Monday, December 31, 2012

Walt Whitman -a poetic thought.

I have just found this lovely quote by Walt Whitman:

“To have great poets, there must be great audiences too. Walt Whitman”

One wonders if we have bigger audiences for poetry than in Whitmans day? I suspect that we have bigger audiences but many more poets! (not all of them great).

May 2013 be a year of good poetry read, written and appreciated.

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Source of Poetry

I found this profound quote by Yeats today:

“Of our conflicts with others we make rhetoric; of our conflicts with ourselves we make poetry. William Butler Yeats”

It is often the turmoil in my mind that comes out in my poetry. Poetry crystallizes human experience.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas is Over

Christmas is gone
Just like the Mayan calendar.
For once peace reigned
an oasis in a desert of contention.

And now it's time
to face up to a new year.
Resolutions to be made
check out the broken resolutions
and goals of 2012.

A new year
brings new hope.
A chance to reinvent
one's self.

Hope and optimism reign
in the face of experience and reality.

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Vagabond Poetry

Jack Micheline a well known vagabond poet in outlaw circles had this to say related to vagabond poetry:

Being an outlaw meant that the "academy" would ignore him; his work would not be readily available, he wouldn't be anthologized, he wouldn't be taught in schools. Any success he had would be through the pure strength of his work and would be disseminated by small publishing houses or through self publication efforts.

For most parts he was helping to define a new poetry canon.

Here is one of his poems,

Beauty is Everywhere Baudelaire

Beauty is everywhere Baudelaire
Even a worm is beautiful
The thread of a beggar's dress
The red eye of a drunkard
On a rainy night
Chasing the red haired girl
Baudelaire across the sky
Your raggy pants
Laughing in the rain
Beauty is everywhere Baudelaire.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Year End or Mayan World end?

The last day of work is finished
For 2012 whilst 2013
Lumbers to the starting line.

Another year gone of
Success and failure,
Frustration and release.

Next year will be good
As long as the Mayan timekeepers
Have it wrong.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Charles Bukowski on Sex

Sex is interesting, but it's not totally important. I mean it's not even as important (physically) as excretion. A man can go seventy years without a piece of ass, but he can die in a week without a bowel movement. by Charles Bukowski

The Poets elemental mind in action. I think theres a poem in that quote.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Lovely Quote about Poetry

Poetry is not only dream and vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundations for a future of change, a bridge across our fears of what has never been before.
Audre Lorde

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Xmas is xrass

Xmas time of goodwill
And cheer to all
Unless you are poor
Maimed, disabled
Or lacking in
Social graces.

So Xrass is the
Xmas commercial
That reaps riches for the merchants
And fights, misery, suicide
And loneliness
To the great unloved.

Xmas is Xristless
He would wonder what
We are doing...
Even St Nicholas would
Be disappointed.

Friday, December 14, 2012


Tired as...
At first the affinity
With the road
and The journey
Energized me.

But hour after hour
The sharp edge
And the monotony
Of the ribboned roads
Kicks in.

8 hours driving
tires the brain
And body too...
Why did the dogs
Choose this morning
To invade the bedroom?

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Manifest Reality of Poetry

There is nothing that can not be covered in a poem. The poem can take you into the future or the past, it can be written from myriads of points of view. You can be whatever you desire to be. This freedom gives the poet much room to move.

I find that reflecting on experiences in a poem, allow me to capture the essence of my daily life. In that way I can use my blog as a journal of my life.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

iPhone Poetry

I have found a new tool for my poetry - my iPhone. I have a mobile version of Blogger and I can write a poem whenever I feel like it. I can also take photos of places or people I have seen that I want to write about. I guess it replaces my writers notebook. My recent poems related to the bookshop and Te Papa were both composed on my iPhone. Give it a try, it allows for immediacy.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Found at Te Papa

This poem is constructed from the signs on art works at Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand.

Paintings for people to walk by
A New Zealand Art 1920s-1960s
He toi hou no Aotearoa.
Bold Pioneer,
Colin McCahon
Outsider influence.

A vision of sanity
An individual interpretation
A born sculptor
Delwyn Moru (born 1939)
Returning the gaze,
Appropriate? E Tika Ana?
The art of photography,
Don Peebles
Rudolf Gopas
Abstracting the landscape,
Graham Sydney
Rozzie at Pisa
Egg tempera on board
Reading Room.

This was an interesting experience to see the juxtaposition of labelled elements that obviously had been curated. It made me think about the cross over of art, poetry and the lived life. I think I have been influenced by O'Haras Lunch Poems.

Poetry as play

To me writing poetry is fun and has a significant element of play. Words are like clay, something to be shaped by the poets hands. Words are wonderful and manifold and available in so many languages and contexts.

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Monday, December 10, 2012

In a Bookshop

Sheer Height
The Last Human

Queen Mothers

And Lovely Power
Shoulder to shoulder
In the bookshop.

Books of all kinds poesy
And not
Eve was framed.

Camera Culture
Crowded together
Discriminate or not

Shelf fellows
By Chance
And not by choice.

This poem is written from found elements that I can observe from my comfortable seat in the bookshop situated in Wellington, New Zealand. I love books and bookshops.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

I Do

I do, you know
I really do...
I do it well
I do it often
And now I'll do it more
just for you
for you.

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Farmlet Idyll

There is something very pleasant,
In the country greeting you.
When you wake up in the morning,
And the ground is wet with dew.

The birds are early risers,
The morning chorus new,
As the dawn is gently breaking,
Waking me and you.

The idyll Homer wrote of,
Of  Ithaca renewed,
A home to Odysseus,
Amidst Cerulean blue.

The farmlets always with us,
As we spend a year or two,
Enjoying a rich bounty,
Until our lives are through.

A great example of bad rhymed poetry. I'm not sure where that came from.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

An F word Poem

Frustrated today
Flourishing Tomorrow
Foolish sometimes
Fretful often
Forgetful occasionally
Fending for myself
Fishing for compliments
Flatout thinking

Not what you though?


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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Experimental Poetry

When I was young I hated poetry. The cloying, restricted rhyme patterns and the assinine topics did nothing for me. When I was introduced to free verse I began to change my mind. Now I enjoy reading and writing Experimental Poetry which allows for far more expression and indeed exploration. The ModPo poetry course from UPenn on has opened me up to new techniques and new ways of looking at poetry, hence some of my recent posts and poems. The 10 week course has now ended but the learnings will be with me for life. I plan to try more experimental forms on this blog. 

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God Defend New Zealand - a Sound Poem

Sound poems concentrate on the sound of words and the meter instead of on meaning. A well known technique is to take a well known piece of poetry or declaration and change the words to a similar sound.

Here is an attempt on Verse 1 of New Zealands National Anthem - God of Nations


God of Nations at Thy feet,
In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices, we entreat,
God defend our free land.
Guard Pacific's triple star
From the shafts of strife and war,
Make her praises heard afar,
God defend New Zealand.
Sound poem 

Cod of nay shuns hat thigh feat
Inn the ponds of dove wee meat
Hair hour choices we in treat
Cod deaf end ow three hand

Original in Maori

E Ihowā Atua,
O ngā iwi mātou rā
Āta whakarangona;
Me aroha noa
Kia hua ko te pai;
Kia tau tō atawhai;
Manaakitia mai
Sound Poem

He e hoer are two are
Nah he we Matthew roar
Carter what a Rangoon eh
Mare arrow Hanover

You get the idea. When these sound poems are read they mimic the sound but not the meaning of the original.
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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Flarfing Flarf Poem

Flarf poetry started by a group of poets trying to write the worst poem possible to see if it would be accepted by, a vanity publisher. Their increasingly wild attempts were all accepted and more people joined the fun.

Flaring can be done by using a Google search with some unrelated terms and then using the results to write a poem from what comes up.

In this flarf poem I have used the terms John Ashbery, elk and blue whale and the resultant poem is as follows:

Full of dark blue jays
Includes Crone rhapsody
Consommé root
John Fante
Ask the dusk?

The Squid and the Whale
Green industrial waste bins
Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery
Kenneth Koch
Blue whale multitudes
To coral gulfs.

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Charity Walk

Out of bed at 8am
Pouring with rain
The 12K charity walk

Milling with the peacock
Hue of color waiting.
And now the race begins...

Surrounded, thronged by
Thousands it takes a while
To hit the stride

1K comes quicker than thought
Relaxed with 11 more to go
What's the fuss about?

2K takes a bit more effort
But the crowd has thinned
The pace settled .

At 3K half of half is reached
If only 6K it would be half
Way home.

4K and the stragglers straggle
Whilst the leaders
Have led and are gone.

5K comes and goes
The upward slope
Concentrates thought.

The path divides
6Kers to the left
12Kers straight ahead.

The numbers drop considerably
And a new lease of life is
Reached at 6K.

Where is everybody?
Just 2 ahead and 2 behind

7K is here with 5 to go
The upward slope
Takes it's toll.

At 8K time for a photoshoot
Relaxed and band music

9K comes and goes
The downhill homeward
Stretch ahead.

10K Thank God not far now
Legs turning to jelly
Aching glutei maximi


12K home, but they're
rolling up the finish line
Just make it over
Before everyone goes home!!

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Juxtaposition - a found poem

Gazing upon Gold
I will be the leader
or a Shearer
Disppearance would
be too hard to bear

Mad cow link
in hunters death
Settlement failure costs $3M
Shearer leadership
suffers defeat--

Way to Go David
Don't Labour too hard

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Found Poem from Stuff

The Greatest
Homicide Land Search
Overstayer used Uncles ID
Hang Glider crashes in Canterbury
No confirmation on NZ data
Train collides with crowd in US.

This is a compilation of headlines in the Stuff online publication for 16 November 2012.

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Mesostics a discovery

You have all heard of an acrostic, but do you know what a mesostic is? A mesostic builds around a spine with the spine of the mesostic running down the middle of the poem rather than the front. The spine and the text chosen to find the mesostic do not need to be related but it is often good if they do.

To construct a mesostic identify your spine word or words

Find a source text

Use the first word in your text that has the spine letter in any position other than the first or ultimate letter.

If you want to you can use wings where more than one word is used to encapsulate the spine

An example is shown below using MBSPOET as the spine and one of my poems "Saturday Morning" as the text.

The original poem is:

In bed

With iPad
Looking through
Just for you.

What is it
About poetry
That captivates me?
The power of
Words to mesmerise

The mesostic looks like this

Captivates Me
             In Bed
    MesmeriSe in
           LoOking through

The mesostic changes the meaning but reveals a truth that I am mesmerised by my iPad and poetry.


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Monday, October 29, 2012


Every poem starts with possibilities
and then wends its undetermined way
through the nooklets of thought
The surreal possibilities narrow
until we reach the

This poem was something related to a poem by Frank O'Hara titled, "Why I am not a Painter". O'Hara was from the New York school who were influenced by the surrealists.

His poem is below:

Why I Am Not a Painter

by Frank O'Hara

I am not a painter, I am a poet.

Why? I think I would rather be

a painter, but I am not. Well,

for instance, Mike Goldberg

is starting a painting. I drop in.

"Sit down and have a drink" he

says. I drink; we drink. I look

up. "You have SARDINES in it."

"Yes, it needed something there."

"Oh." I go and the days go by

and I drop in again. The painting

is going on, and I go, and the days

go by. I drop in. The painting is

finished. "Where's SARDINES?"

All that's left is just

letters, "It was too much," Mike says.

But me? One day I am thinking of

a color: orange. I write a line

about orange. Pretty soon it is a

whole page of words, not lines.

Then another page. There should be

so much more, not of orange, of

words, of how terrible orange is

and life. Days go by. It is even in

prose, I am a real poet. My poem

is finished and I haven't mentioned

orange yet. It's twelve poems, I call

it ORANGES. And one day in a gallery

I see Mike's painting, called SARDINES.

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The Poetic Mathematics

Like mathematics, poetry is capable of building another world. Mathematicians often live in a theoretical construct, an alternative mathematical universe which they find to be very satisfying. I believe that poetry also can be used to build a theoretical world where we can escape to. The connecting thread is idealism. Both mathematicians and poets are looking for a perfect world, a world of the ideal. This drive for the sublime is what makes poetry special for me.

Agree or disagree?


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Modern and Contemporary American Poetry

I am currently one of 30,000 people taking the paper, "Modern and Contemporary American Poetry" by Al Filreis of the University of Pennsylvania. This is classified as a Massively Open Online Course or MOOC and it can be accessed at .

The course content is excellent and many poems are covered. Of special interest to me are the tutorial sessions that Al has with his TA's and that open up the poems in the course.

I have discovered a new (or new to me) poet: Frank O'Hara of the New York School.

If you love poetry you will enjoy this course and it's free as well.

Many thanks to Al and the ModPo team including the technical folk behind the scenes who help to make the top quality video productions and readings.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Rain Soaked Walk

Yikes a meeting across campus
and its pouring with rain
If the coffee was not so good
I would abstain

Wish me well
as I storm the weather
or the weather
storms me.

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Team Meeting

Clustered around the plotter printer
We meet
The Monday Morning ritual
Post weekend torpor

An unlikely fellowship
a meeting of the minds
of opinions
and deliverables
shared and digested

In the knowledge that
$0 hours
must pass
Til we meet again.


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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

If Poems were Bonds I'd be Rich

If poems were bonds
I'd be rich
No more work for me

If poems were bonds
I'd write
and cash them in

If poems were bonds
I'd write more poems
And live the dreamers

But alas
Poems are poems
legal tender only
with other poets
But not with banks
or bourses

And that my friend is why poets are not usually rich, in monetary terms, but rich in life experience and expression.

Keep well

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Why is Business a Forbidden Poetry Subject?

Many of us, poets included, spend our daily life working in or running businesses yet there is a paucity of poems around this important subject area. Love, marriage, money, animals, family, travel and scenery are all used in poems but humble business is neglected.

So here is another business poem entitled Late Night at the Office

I'm here again
working late at the office
The rain falls noisily on the roof
while the cadences of my typing
Fill the empty air.

So much for work life balance
More like work and more work imbalance..oops
Nearly fell off
my hobby horse
A business related accident.

Still, and stillness, late at night
Have their benefits
I can think more clearly about
Love, marriage, money, animals,
Family, travel and scenery.

Right I'm out of here,
Home, hearth and books
are beckoning

Have a great day/night/morning/afternoon (delete non applicable items)


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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Kiwitahi Pilgrimage

 How strange to travel the world
for years and years
To settle back
20 miles from her

A very long and convuluted
journey from Home
to home
From farm to farmlet
on the Amberley Downs.

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Home Sweet Home

 Poetry is a glue that can bind you to your roots. We went to the Wallace Gallery today in Morrinsville and I found a collection of poems from a collective of poets in Thames at the bottom of the Coromandel. I flicked through the poems for an area I do not yet know and wondered how I will feel once I know more of the lay of the land.

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Saturday Morning

In bed
With my iPad
Looking through
Just for you.

What is it
About poetry
That captivates me?
Its the power of
Words to mesmerize

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Liberating Poetry from Academia

I am currently reading a book written by poet Dana Gioia called: Can Poetry Matter? This is a book of essays on poetry and the book takes it's title from the headline essay. This essay caused furore in the US when it was first published in November, 1991. 

The premise that poetry had been captured by academia rang true with many people who felt that poetry belongs to all and did not want to see poetry go the way of prose criticism which disappeared up it's own academic orifice with barely a trace.

Here are some key phrases from the introduction to the 10th anniversary edition of the book (revised in 2002).

As their testimonies demonstrated, they cared passionately for the art but felt isolated and disenfranchised from the official academic culture of poetry. An outsider myself, who worked in an office during the day and wrote at night, I felt a deep kinship with their situation...Their comments provided the clear and candid insight on the place poetry still occupied in the lives of many Americans (pxii).
Can Poetry Matter? opened up the public conversation about American poetry to a large number of readers and writers who had previously felt excluded. For many, the book's impact was as much emotional as intellectual. It gave them the strength of their convictions.
 Literary culture is essentially a conversation. When a substantial number of new people enter the exchange- especially from segments of society not previously represented - they raise new questions that change the course of events. By critiquing the role of academic institutions in fostering poetry and insisting that contemporary poetry had a constituency outside the university, Can Poetry Matter? invited a number of new participants from all walks of life and of every literary opinion to join the conversation (pxiii).
Although the university writing programs critiqued in the book remain largely the same, they have lost their monopoly on contemporary poetry because the literary culture around them has experienced a vast renewal by reconnecting poetry with a broader audience (pxiv).
Poetry has become an increasingly public and performative art (pxiv).
This book is a must read especially for those in the blogging community who write and publish their own poetry. The web has released the poetic genie (muse) from the university bottle and he has no intention of going back anytime soon.

When I was an undergraduate studying the humanities I made a conscious decision not to do post graduate study in English Literature. At that stage I had already had poetry published and seen the post modern twaddle that was beginning to prevail in academia. The approach took the student away from reading books and understanding them, into dry and arid places filled with nonsense illustrated by the quotation below from the writings of Guattari:

We can clearly see that there is no bi-univocal correspondence between linear signifying links or archi-writing, depending on the author, and this multireferential, multi-dimensional machinic catalysis. The symmetry of scale, the transversality, the pathic non-discursive character of their expansion: all these dimensions remove us from the logic of the excluded middle and reinforce us in our dismissal of the ontological binarism we criticised previously.
In fact we can see nothing at all clearly from this passage. It is all illusory.

Instead of studying literature I went on to study management and business and in this way I came across Gioia who classes himself as a "business poet".

(He has a wonderful Standford podcast explaining how he is the only person who went to Stanford business school to learn how to become a poet!!)

Enough rabble rousing. I will now get back to the next essay and report back soon.



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PMINZ Connection - Whanaungatanga: Pragmatic Risk Management for Projects

 Check out an article I have written for the PMI

PMINZ Connection - Whanaungatanga: Pragmatic Risk Management for Projects: By Grant Goodman

 Life is risky and since time immemorial human beings have found a myriad of ways to maim, injure and kill themselves ... Help The MBSPoet fund his poetry

Friday, May 18, 2012

Proust is my Friend

Proust is my friend
Speaking to me
In his verbose and
Convoluted way.

There is a richness
In his silent utterances
Arising from the pages
Of his opus
That speak to me
Causing a heartfelt response.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Cat and the Rat

4am the cat tumbled through the window
With the strange muffled miaow
Of the victorious rat catcher
I try and sleep on
But the flipping motions and the
Thud of dead rat flying through
The air concentrates
My attention.

Oscar is very happy
The rat very dead
And my sleep disappeared

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Readers Block

We have all heard of writers block, but you don't hear much about readers block. This is when you just find it hard to get motivated to read. I am battling my way through Proust and some days it is all too much.

So what is the cure?

I have found the best cure to be reading a light book such as a thriller or mystery, one that doesn't need a lot of concentration. It does work and after a gory thriller I am now back reading Proust and some of my more serious reading.

May the force be with you...

Friday, April 13, 2012


Meaningless confusion
A tumble of chaotic
Who is living
In my mind?

Awake but not alert
Struggling to find

Trying to raise above
The surface of my
To be myself

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Early Morning Warrior

It is 5am
Get up
Get going

In the office
at 6.45am
eagerly getting
to the most
Important work

Before the phones ring
The emails come flying in
And the peace and quiet


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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Poetic Craft - Condensation

The art of a good poetry is to crystallise a human experience into a poem. This means that you need a good grasp on the language you are writing in. The craft is in working on variants of words until the poem is just right. This takes time and thought. Many of the best poems look like they have been written effortlessly but the blood, seat and tears are hidden behind the finished poems in it's iterative drafts.

Happy writing

Grant aka drkelp

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I hate ties

Having worked for many years in clinical and business environments I have had a hate/love relationship with that modern Elizabethan accoutrement, the tie.

I hate my tie

dangling lifeless thing

that it is

hanging limply

useless strip of limpid

cloth upon my chest.

I love my tie

colorful and bright

male plumage

of the corporate club

the old school tie.

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Dr Kelps Book Blog!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Poem on the MBS Acronym

The acronym MBS in my blog name stands for Master of Business Studies. The poem below comes up with some alternatives:

Mad - madly in love with poetry
Bad - purveyor of trashy and terribly bad poems
Safe - because on average a bad poet earns as much as a good poet i.e. $0.00

Maudlin - the feeling when that poem just won't come
Blah - the feeling when it still won't come
Serendipity - the inspiration that falls from above to solve M&B above

Muse - she that comes but not when called
Bouyant - the feeling when she does arrive
Satisfaction - the feeling about the end product.


Grant aka drkelp

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Fragment of a Poem by Neruda

I found this fragment today in a book I am reading:

to have lived
through one solitude to arrive at another,
to feel oneself many things and recover wholeness.

Pablo Neruda

This describes my life and poetic experience. As all poets know the craft is one of solitude but the end result, the poem, can encapsulate the many things becoming one.

Happy writing and reading in 2012

Grant aka drkelp

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Monday, January 2, 2012

Night Time Stealth Poetry

Why is night the time
To vent my spleen
Upon the page?

At night
The stillness creeps
into my consciousness
like a stealthy cat,

Maybe the day is far to real
To allow me
To wander, explore and
Inhabit the place
That lies
Between my mind
and heart.

The place called the
Night Time Stealth and Poetry,


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Sunday, January 1, 2012


Another year
What will it bring?
Poetic inspiration?
or dryness of soul.

Still every day is new
Every year is new
Every poem is new
I am new
because poetry
breathes life

into the poet and reader alike

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