Monday, February 10, 2014

Please be informed that the poetry posted here has been moved to a Facebook page.  If you enjoy poetry and would like to read original poems please go to Facebook and type in Dean Robbins' Poetry or click on the following link to reach my poetry page:

Thanks and I look forward to sharing poetry with you.

Dean Robbins

Saturday, October 5, 2013

     First the poem, then the explanation.

Bridge Hand
A crew of eight; a sea of red.
All hands to port, then full ahead.
Off the banks and the shoals are tight;
drop anchor when the dock's in sight.
Hard to starboard one man sails,
bearing straight between the rails.
Crossing the bar where the breakers spread,
sailing alone on a sea of red.
     A few weeks back I was imbibing at my favorite watering hole (as I am wont to do) and I settled in to watch an evening of pool played among a group of eight divided into teams of two.  I noticed at some point that seven of eight were left handed.  I understand that being a southpaw is not unusual but, I thought, seven of eight people in the same group must be somewhat rare.  I then tucked that thought where I tuck away such things, and resumed watching the games.
     Not long after, I remarked to myself as one of the players was attempting an extremely long shot, that the distance to cross between cue ball and target ball covered a lot of red.  "An ocean of red," I thought, which immediately retrieved my tucked away bit and I realized there was a poem hiding here.  Indeed, there was, and after researching a number of nautical terms the poem revealed itself.
     Read it again, keeping in mind it is describing a game of pool.  You might need to find the definitions for a number of words if you are as unfamiliar with sea faring language as I.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

     Breaking news:  The planets are in alignment; the Druids have returned to Stonehenge; the Great Pyramids are glowing with electricity; the Library of Atlantis has been found in a huge empty chamber beneath the feet of the Sphinx; and I am on Facebook.  That's right.  Facebook.  My work can be found on Facebook at Dean Robbins' Poetry.  Oh, and by the way, all that other end of the world stuff isn't really happening.  I mean, as far as I know.
     The Autumnal Equinox arrives Sunday at 4:44 pm.  Most of us have already accepted the change of seasons as we've noticed the sun now sets a tad earlier every evening.  And, of course, we've just enjoyed the full Harvest Moon.  Nothing to do now but embrace it and hope the Farmer's Almanac is wrong.
     Today's piece originated when I realized in October 2012 that I had once again fallen into the same routine that develops this time of year.  I'm certain it will sound familiar to many of you.

This is Autumn never discussed:
what little daylight remains between
coming home and sunset fades in
soporific stupor as long hour
legs fold into corner chairs and eyes
slip below television screen
horizons until eight thirty is
midnight - just as dark, just as heavy,
and going to bed is redundant.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

      I appreciate the beauty and elegance of flowers, having a particular fondness for yellow roses and daisies of any type, followed closely by sunflowers.  My mother's favorite flower has always been the yellow rose, and I'm certain she deserves the credit for the place it holds in my heart.  Every time I see a yellow rose I think of her.  My affection for daisies comes from an old song I first heard as a child and have kept with me for all these years - A Daisy A Day by Jud Strunk.  Yes, that's right.  Jud Strunk.  It's a very catchy, poignant song.  Look it up and listen to the words.  Sunflowers?  No special reason.  I simply think they are curiously wonderful.
     Obviously, today I'm sharing flower poems.  Two, to be exact.  I've already given you my poem on roses (Annual).  Therefore, the first verse is about a cluster of Brown-eyed Susans which grow every summer just outside the gate to my yard.  The second is a haiku that originated on a September morning trip to Mansfield in 2010.   I have yet to think of a title for it.

Susan waits along the gate,
brown eyes watching day to day,
ready for her chance to say,
"Welcome!  You've been missed of late,
as I've been too long away."
Lining north bound roads,
fields of sunflowers stretch
awake at sunrise.

Note:  My mistake.  I realize after checking that I have not shared my rose poem (Annual).  I will rectify that in the future.


Friday, August 30, 2013

     In September of 2012, my daughter asked me to write a poem which would be set to music and performed by the Mansfield University Sisters of Sigma Alpha Iota, Delta Phi Chapter, a professional music fraternity to which she belongs.  Apparently, it is to be sung after music functions.  I wrote the following piece which was paired with music composed by a bright and talented Mansfield University graduate student named Steven S. Miller.  I have heard only a recording of the first sight reading session, which sounded wonderful to me.  I hope to someday hear the official, polished rendition.

(Dedicated to the Mansfield University Sisters
of Sigma Alpha Iota, Delta Phi Chapter)
Listen four winds playing autumn leaves.
Music. raindrops drumming city streets.
Music. snow brushing crystal cymbals.
Music. flames strumming firewood strings.
Music. ancient mountains echo hymns.
Music. oceans sweeping shoreline keys.
And always voices blending, heard
wherever, whenever, conferred
as promise when you hear one word...
Then you are...we
10/25/12 - 11/04/12

Monday, August 19, 2013

     The somber cry of a train haunts me as does nothing else, always bringing thoughts of loneliness and rain.  Even on the brightest summer day or the clearest star filled evening, the wail of a passing train stops me cold as I internalize those mournful notes.  And so I would like to share two short poems inspired by distant train whistles, the first from an early morning walk in June of 2006 and the other originating from a sleepless night in March of this year.
Monday, 6/12/06
The echo of a train
cries lonely from afar;
calling, time and again,
no one particular,
as all who search in vain
for where the others are.
Night Train
Just after 2 a.m., the lonesome train
announced its presence to this sleeping town -
a haunting rain-song reverberating
across the valley as a lullaby
played to the rhythm of wheels on tracks.
In the morning, the man certain he had
not slept another night before said "I
heard that train again last night."
                                                      She replied,
"Again?  Are you sure you weren't just dreaming?"





Friday, August 9, 2013

     If you haven't yet noticed, the sun has begun setting ever so slightly earlier.  It's only a minute or two every other day or so, but by the end of the month we'll all be wondering where Summer has gone (there's that time thing again). 
     I've become aware that Autumn is now my favorite season.  Some years ago, when I was still playing and coaching baseball, I lived for Summer.  Not anymore.  I now look forward to the cool mornings and evenings, and the comfortably warm (no humidity) afternoons Autumn offers, even though the season brings a touch of sadness and regret.  I once wrote in a short poem that " no more profoundly grieves/  than with the falling of the leaves."  I hope to find that poem and share it here.
     I wrote the following verse in the late 1990s during a week's vacation in Chincoteague, Virginia, home of the annual pony swim.  This is the third and final poem I can legally share from my book A Simple Gift (PublishAmerica, LLLP, 2003).  If you've enjoyed the poems I've posted from the book it is available at  Sorry for the shameless plug.  Anyway, I hope you enjoy this verse.

August Evenings on the Eastern Shore
Something the ocean said about the night,
about its coming sooner than before,
might have offended the great Eastern light,
for early dusk again shades sea and shore.
True, water is not one for subtleties,
too often rushing in to fill the void
rather than asking "May I, pretty please?"
No wonder that the Sun would seem annoyed.
Do not suppose the daystar ran so soon
in heated anger - stars know not of rage.
'Twas only handing over to the moon
the spoils of a Summer's ripe old age.