Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Samual Clemens

I am going to Missouri, the show-me-state, tomorrow with my family, to visit the extended family. It is the land of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Mark Twain is from the state and besides Harry Truman, might be the most famous individual from the state. It is very green and very beautiful. I have many memories of summer trips there fishing in the muddy waters and making mud slides (lot's of mud is found there). In tribute, here are some links to poems and quotes by Mark Twain, who is more of a humorist poet, but a great one.

Twain quotes about poetry

Genius -Humorous (but maybe true!) take on what true genius is.

Here is also one of mine, unfortunately it is more serious...

Under Avalon, Missouri

Gray in the ground,
the fertile fields whistled
on the warmth of a winter
altered and molded
by a family of Avalon.
His dove spoke
in western chords
once to the carved bars
and recently, to a pure
Under Avalon
a steam engine sifts
through harvested grain
and finds the staple
that is often overlooked.
The sky now is opaque
but the stars continue
to pierce and smear,
falling into our ground
after wandering the fields.
-Robert L. Jackson III
From Shedding Layers of Ocean

Friday, June 26, 2009


Just a poem that seems to fit the day.


Many, many shards,
slipping through my skin.
Light glistening on the angles,
each beautiful, each unique.
I can't grasp any of them,
and each try, cuts.
The prism of colors,
reflects as they fall.
More still break off,
and come into reach.
I want them, I think,
but I lie on the brink,
of my own chaos.
The pain, the beauty,
the shards cutting through,
cuts healing and renewing
as they fall on through.
-Robert L. Jackson III

Available in Shedding Layers of Ocean

Thursday, June 25, 2009

First Poem Published (about swimming)

Well, I've been recently reviving or reinventing my poetic side. As part of that I was looking and finding old poems that I published. I came across what is actually the first poem I ever published. I submitted it to Splash Magazine in 1995, which is a magazine about competitive swimming. I used to be a competitive swimmer in high school and college. So I really don't think the poem is one of my best, but it does convey the feeling of competition and swimming. I liken it to a fun summer action movie, rather than a textured and layered drama. I think there is a place for that as fun and humor is an important part of life. As Jimmy once said "If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane." So, I'll stop rambling. Here's the link to a copy of the actual page in the magazine (hopefully it is legible enough to read):

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Poem about Iran and the State of the World

Well, I hardly slept last night. With everything going on in the world I couldn't resist writing my thoughts. I send my prayers to the people of Iran, Korea, the subway victims in Washington D.C. and people everywhere in the world. It appears that green is taking on a symbolic meaning. Here is what I wrote last night:

Green, Red, White and Blue

Beyond all borders,
whether covered
by branches, barricades, bridges,
or by blood,
we are similar
in our primal heart.
When it rains
we often relish
its sparse cleansing drops
until we grow cold
and find shelter
beneath the palms.
Green is the color of growth,
but vines
can tear down
the stone structures
of civilization.
Rather than plead,
let us build
our own palette
and become vivid
within the world
of ant hills and marble palaces,
of bursting forests and soft oceans;
forever finding balance without limits.

-Robert L. Jackson III

Monday, June 22, 2009

Post Number One

Well, I've decided to open myself to the world, or at least my thoughts. I guess I need to provide a brief history about myself. However, before I do I'd like to define the intended scope of this blog. It is mostly for poetry and for discussing poetry, although I might post random thoughts from time to time. You can always easily find more information about me if you really want to, but I am not all that exciting.

I am a professor of mechanical engineering at Auburn University. I teach in this area and also perform research in friction, wear and lubrication. I went to Georgia Tech for all my degrees. I am originally from Florida and am still in love with the ocean and the natural side of the state, which is becoming harder to find. So none of this probably sounds much like the background of someone who writes poetry. However, I have been writing poetry longer than I have been doing research and I actually published poems before I ever published an engineering paper.

Well, that's enough about me. Here is the first poem that I'd like to post:

Hatching Eggs

Shedding layers of ocean
I've revealed my crustaceans.
With time we've had
more to remove,
but also more to remember.
Eroding layers of ocean
I've revealed the earth.
It will take forever
to reconstruct
all that was lost in the slide.
Flaking layers of ocean
from my dry skin,
the bones fossilize,
conditioning themselves
for the next burden.
Filling layers of ocean,
the creatures scurry;
I follow them
down the soft beach
toward the predator filled ocean.
-Robert L. Jackson III

This one also produced the title of my first book that is linked here:
Shedding Layers of Ocean