My Slow Methodical Ways (Poem)

My Slow Methodical Ways
by Rob Roper July 29, 2016

Like a soldier awaiting orders
He stood ten feet away
and answered my attempts at conversation
with four-word sentences.

It was clear he didn’t want to be friends.

He was impatient.
He wanted to go home.
My methodical concern for doing things right
drove him crazy.

Like all people of this type
he cut corners
he did things without verifying
which, of course, cost him
and resulted in taking longer to fix the problem
than it would have
if he had just left it to me
and my slow methodical ways.

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Shooting Star (Poem)

I said:
I never saw a shooting star.
She said:
That’s because you never
look up.

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Salmon (Poem)

Salmon
by Rob Roper 1st draft 7/26/16

Salmon swim upstream
just to lay their eggs
giving birth to a new generation
then die
their job done.

Like the salmon
the poet and the songwriter
swim upstream
against the current
dodging obstacles
and predators.

Like the salmon
some don’t make it.

But the rest of us
persevere
because we know
it is our duty
our historic obligation
necessary
for the survival of the species.

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Carkeek Park (New Poem)

I’ve been out of practice with lyric writing for a long time. For 9 months I was taking music classes, and the amount of homework and practice was such that I had no time for songwriting. So I’m “out of shape.” One of the exercises I give myself to get back into shape is to write poems. Now, I’m a songwriter, not a poet. So this is not good poetry; it’s crap. But writing crap poetry gets me working with words in a rhythmic way, and an economical way, which is essential to writing good song lyrics.

So here’s a couple more that I wrote in the last week. See the two previous posts also.

Carkeek Park, Seattle
by Rob Roper 1st draft 7/26/16

I’m in the woods
ivy-covered trees
crows yakking
picking wild blackberries
walking across a wooden bridge
over a salmon stream

The trees open to reveal
a grassy park
and a view of the bay
Railroad tracks
run across a rocky beach
a man fishes in hip-deep water

15 minutes ago
I was in the city
cars and trucks
streets and red lights
oil change and transmission shops
neighborhoods
houses with TVs
refrigerators and computers.

I prefer the woods.

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What You Taught Me (New Poem)

What You Taught Me
by Rob Roper
1st Draft July 12, 2016

This is what you taught me
in the fall of 1968
at Redbird Park
in Dallas, Texas
when you hit me in the back
after the play was over.

You, the biggest boy on the team
137 pounds
and me, the smallest
at 95 pounds
right in front of the head coach
with your dad– his best friend–
squatting next to him
and grinning proudly
at his son’s achievement

and the other players
either laughing
or saying nothing
to defend me
as I Iay face down
on the prairie weeds
of the practice field.

You taught me that the weak
have no chance against the strong
that it’s who you know that counts
that those with connections
can break the rules
and get away with it
that might makes right
and that there is no such thing
as justice.

And those of who laughed
or turned away in silence
you taught me, too.
You taught me
that the masses will not rise in revolt
against the oppressor.
No, I am all alone
helpless
defenseless
against the attacks of the powerful.

Yes, you taught me well
You taught me
to shut up
and give up
because, no matter how hard I try
the game is rigged
and I will never succeed
at anything I do.
Never.

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