A Dream Within A Dream by Edgar Allan Poe

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream; 
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone? 
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep! 
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp? 
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave? 
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
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Happiness (Thoughts on a Thursday)

Today, as I sit at my desk, I wonder am I truly happy.  Then, I decide to ask myself what actually dictates a person’s happiness.  Is it our significant others, our jobs, our materialistic items, or is it our education?  Maybe it’s family that gives us that feeling of happiness, but I want it to be more than a feeling.  I genuinely want to BE HAPPY.

I have heard that we may have been placed in situations that can deter us from achieving our goals in life and I definitely believe that.  The job that I have and the goals that I want to achieve do not align with each other.  I want to accomplish so much more than just making a substantial amount of money; I want the money that I make to be a REAL reflection of something I love and of the hard work that I do.

At the moment, I don’t feel like I am of use to anyone and that is probably my fault.  How does one move on from feeling like this?  Do they create their own path to success by just quitting their job or do they handle their 9-5 as well as work at their dream?  I believe that whatever life has in store for me, including this moment of uncertainty, is going to teach me a valuable lesson.  I will get through this.

 

-J. S. Atkins

Mr. Perfect

To Mr. Perfect who has no flaws

And is steady tossing stones at others’ walls,

Does not realize he is not perfect at all.

To Mr. Perfect who can do no wrong

And is always singing the same old song

Of “woe is me” and “you should do”;

Believes he is different from me and you,

But one day he will see

He is not perfect at all.

To Mr. Perfect who judges most,

Stands up to make a toast

To himself in normal fashion

And says with such passion

That “perfection is the only quality

Bestowed upon him solely”.

Mr. Perfect will soon find out

That perfection is not for man

And that flaws are a part of God’s plan;

So that we will know humility

And be able to take responsibility

For all our actions, evil or kind.

Mr. Perfect is not perfect at all.

One day those walls will fall,

Due to all the stones he’s cast

Trying to make everyone else

Take responsibility for their acts.
– J. S. Atkins

Spring In The South by Henry Van Dyke

Now in the oak the sap of life is welling,
Tho’ to the bough the rusty leafage clings;
Now on the elm the misty buds are swelling,
See how the pine-wood grows alive with wings;
Blue-jays fluttering, yodeling and crying,
Meadow-larks sailing low above the faded grass,
Red-birds whistling clear, silent robins flying,–
Who has waked the birds up? What has come to pass?

Last year’s cotton-plants, desolately bowing,
Tremble in the March-wind, ragged and forlorn;
Red are the hill-sides of the early ploughing,
Gray are the lowlands, waiting for the corn.
Earth seems asleep still, but she’s only feigning;
Deep in her bosom thrills a sweet unrest.
Look where the jasmine lavishly is raining
Jove’s golden shower into Danae’s breast!

Now on the plum the snowy bloom is sifted,
Now on the peach the glory of the rose,
Over the hills a tender haze is drifted,
Full to the brim the yellow river flows.
Dark cypress boughs with vivid jewels glisten,
Greener than emeralds shining in the sun.
Who has wrought the magic? Listen, sweetheart, listen!
The mocking-bird is singing Spring has begun.

Hark, in his song no tremor of misgiving!
All of his heart he pours into his lay,–
“Love, love, love, and pure delight of living:
Winter is forgotten: here’s a happy day!”
Fair in your face I read the flowery presage,
Snowy on your brow and rosy on your mouth:
Sweet in your voice I hear the season’s message,–
Love, love, love, and Spring in the South!

Not a House, But a Home

A home is more than walls and beams,
It is a place created by dreams.

Let your spirit fill every room,
So that sadness can not resume.

May laughter take residence in the walls,
So you can still hear it while walking the halls.

When the outside world seems to fail
Know your home is a place where love prevails.

That's because of you and your beautiful soul
And that's what makes each room glow.

So much so,
The lights seem more bright,
There's a warmth that exist,
And everything just feels right.

You are what makes this home so golden
And you need nothing more;
Each and every visitor feels it,
When they walk through the door.

- J. S. Atkins

I wrote this poem for my friend and placed it in a shadowbox as a housewarming gift.  I really enjoyed creating a poem that was custom to the occasion, as well as the person.  I am hoping that more opportunities to create custom poetry will arise for other occasions because this was beyond amazing and the final product was beautiful.

Make Time

This is for the person who is

Too busy,

Too important,

Or too uninterested.

The moments seem so minuscule

Compared to your daily schedule;

You’ll miss them

Once they have passed

And everyone has moved on.

So stop!

Let people know they are not replaceable,

That you are not too important or busy

And that life simply would not be the same

Without them.

 

International Women’s Day

In honor of International Women’s Day I am posting multiple quotes from women’s activists who helped pave the way for women’s rights.  We must continue their work because it is far from finished.

“When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed.  But when we are silent, we are still afraid.  So it is better to speak.”
— Audre Lorde

“Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less.”
— Susan B. Anthony

“If women want any rights more than they’s got, why don’t they just take them, and not be talking about it.”
–Sojourner Truth

“The best protection any woman can have…is courage.”
–Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“Now all we need is to continue to speak the truth fearlessly, and we shall add to our number those who will turn the scale to the side of equal and full justice in all things.”
–Lucy Stone

“The way to right wrongs is to turn light of truth upon them.”
— Ida B. Wells

“To understand how any society functions you must understand the relationship between the men and the women”
— Angela Davis

Le sporting-club de Monte Carlo (for Lena Horne) by James Baldwin

The lady is a tramp
 a camp
 a lamp

The lady is a sight
 a might
 a light
the lady devastated
an alley or two
reverberated through the valley
which leads to me, and you

the lady is the apple
of God's eye:
He's cool enough about it
but He tends to strut a little
when she passes by

the lady is a wonder
daughter of the thunder
smashing cages
legistlating rages
with the voice of ages
singing us through.