Monday, September 9, 2019

The Still Life

What is this skull beside the cactus, white
Beside the epiphytic green--death-dry
Beside the succulent. In nature high
Upon a limb, white flowers will delight
Nocturnal moths out of the barren sight
Of empty eyes whose rigid bones should lie
Beneath the ground. This table will deny
The desiccating dirt, the airy height.

Has life and death been tamed by still life art,
Domesticated on our tables, chairs?
The painted orchids clipped from off the tree
They grow upon, beside the cactus, part
Of our desires, hold our fears and cares
In stillness--they are safe where we can see. 

Monday, September 2, 2019

Dance of the Gobies

To feel the music in your body--birds
Displaying fancy feathers, antlered elk,
The poets with their rhythmic, rhyming words,
And kings with purples from the ocean whelk--

All art is dancing, subtle glancing, dark
And light in most modest movement, necks
Exposed to bloodstained blades, the meadowlark
Up on the line will serenade your sex.

The fish is dancing in its territory,
It's showing off its colors just to chase
Away and to attract--you read its story
In Bach and Baudelaire, the Muses' lace.

A vase of genitalia shows I feel
The oxytocin dancing in my brain--
The colors, nectar bring the bees, unreal
As butterflies in heaven's deep domain.

The bird of paradise displays its feathers
And we display our minds in art and song--
We dance among anemones and heathers
To find a fellow soul where we'll belong.

Monday, August 26, 2019

The Gambler's Blues

Lost everything I ever had
Least wasn't that much to lose
And that is why I'm sittin' here
Sittin' here singin' the blues

I gambled all my money gone
I gambled off my house
I gambled off my dog and truck
My children and my spouse

I gambled off my clothing,
Except what's on my back
I gambled off my friends and foes
I think I'm losing track

Lost everything I ever had
Least wasn't that much to lose
And that is why I'm sittin' here
Sittin' here singin' the blues

My wife was always cheatin'
My kids took all my dough
My dog let burglars in the house
There's nothing left, you know.

And so I stand here on the street
And sing my sorry song
I promise I won't miss a beat
I swear it won't be long

Lost everything I ever had
Least wasn't that much to lose
And that is why I'm sittin' here
Sittin' here singin' the blues

With all the change from singin'
I bought this here guitar
Without the licks I'm playin'
I won't get very far.

Lost everything I ever had
Least wasn't that much to lose
And that is why I'm sittin' here
Sittin' here singin' the blues

Monday, August 19, 2019

Jittoku to the Postmodernists

I'll sweep away your reason
I won't give it a season
There's nothing in it pleasin'
To me or Michael Beeson

Monday, August 12, 2019

To the Decadents

You're living in an age of wonders, yet
Deny it all. Ungrateful wretches, all!
You hate your wealth, pretend that you regret
The benefits that hold us all in thrall.

The wider distance drifting from what you
Could be and circumstances will allow
Makes anxiousness, and deep depression through
The years will make you lash out, raise a row.

You're privileged, seeking privilege more--elite,
Unhappy you're not more elite. You cry
"Injustice" since you find you can't delete
All who would thwart your tyranny, your lie.

I am the future--and I'm thankful you
Are not. My poems sing of all that's true. 

Monday, August 5, 2019

Kanzan to Jittoku

I sit and read the wisdom of the world
Here in the shade of trees, here on the bench--
It's such a lovely bench, a red unfurled
Within the verdant green--a Judi Dench
Of benches in the park. Let's sweep away
The way we all unreason with our reason,
Pretending conscious choices every day,
Pretending we can plan each living season
When we pepper our prophylactic lives
With purple periods bleeding our blessings
Into the ocean-chasing streams. It drives
Us into donning dry and dirty dressings.
The world walks by and judges me insane
For reading blank pages--my mind will gain. 

Monday, July 29, 2019

Watch Yourself

You're on the phone, ignoring everyone
You're always angry at the world from work
You're finished but nothing has yet begun
Demanding more, and yet you always shirk

You're breaking bonds, insist you're ethical
You're envious, pretending you hate greed
You only push, but say you want to pull
You always speak, but never do the deed

Demanding justice, you're the most unjust
You hate all hate, but seek to segregate
You spread dark dissonance and deep distrust
You say you love, your actions spell out hate

Now ask, how do you think you'd act each day
If you could watch yourself in my next play?

Monday, July 22, 2019


Suck in the air--
You're sitting there
Right in a chair--
You look as anxious as a hare--
You're glancing everywhere,
Full of despair,
Afraid because the world's unfair.
You're withering beneath its golden stare,
You fail beneath its silver glare
And wonder if you dare.
You wonder if you dare. 

Saturday, July 20, 2019

The Fountain of Vaucluse

The villa of Petrarch sits on a hill
Above the rapids tumbling through the rocks.
It's ruins now--the broken stones are clocks
That tick much faster than his poems will.
We fabricate his home to hold it still
While his verse blossoms like deep purple stocks
And his rhymes gather like ascending flocks--
We neither need his home nor feathered quill.

We cannot touch the love in broken stones,
And yet, we cannot help but seek them out--
We hope to find the magic of their art
Embedded in their ruins, scattered bones.
We're certain if we find ourselves in drought
An icon of them will make it depart.

Monday, July 15, 2019

The Misallocated Human Resource Blues

My mind is up for rent
But I can't find a taker
My offer's in descent
From being an art-maker

I wish it were not true
My mind is up for rent
But see the wind, it blew
Apart my woven tent

My life is warped and bent
Because you won't accept
My mind is up for rent
My value down has crept

My value is destroyed
I am not worth a cent
I cannot be employed
My mind is up for rent

Monday, July 8, 2019


The monkey spirit is aroused--
What do you now intend?
I'm safe, secured here in my sanctum--
My soul he will defend.

The monkey spirit will obey--
You cannot take the chance,
For he will make your spirit flee,
Your corpse your final glance.

Monday, July 1, 2019

The Abduction of Europa

When gazing down upon Europa's face,
Great Zeus was filled with love and lust. To lure
the maiden to him, he transformed--no chase
Was needed--to a bull on whom she'd pour
Her heart. She grabbed him by his hefty horn
And climbed on him and rode him to the sea,
The salty waves now splashing thighs now borne
To rocky Crete to bear for Zeus a three
From whom a king would rise to birth the West,
From jumping bulls to labyrinths and man-
Mad minotaur, King Minos would be blessed,
For that's when civilization began
In Greece and all the West that got its name
From beautiful Europa's bull-borne fame.

Monday, June 24, 2019

To the Entrepreneur

I'd like to thank you for the gifts you give
The world, solutions you provide, the wealth
The world enjoys. How many people live
A better life, a longer life, in health?

I'm eating grapes in winter, writing this
On a computer, air-conditioned room
In summer, art is everywhere--this bliss,
This blessing now provided to the tomb.

And yet, the selfish and the greedy want
The tiny bit we bless you with for all
You've done--providing nothing, they now hunt
You down to line you up against the wall.

For all the things you do to change our fate
The world should cherish you and celebrate. 

Monday, June 17, 2019

Sacrifice Your Iphigenia

We're in the doldrums now, and Artemis
Has stopped the winds in punishment
Because we have abandoned poetry.
Postmodern verse was never meant
To strike us all with awe and fear, or bring
The gods to earth with awesome beauty.
We have abandoned all that poetry
Was meant to be and failed our duty,
Offended her, the sacred moon, the light
Of shifting shadows that brings mind
Enlightenment from contemplation.
And now the moon demands a sacrafice
Before she will allow creation
To find its voice in you. You think you have
A voice? Oh, fool who lives in lies,
Pretends the doldrums are swift hurricanes,
And you are simply in their eyes--
You have to sacrifice what you most love.
What's your Iphigenia? Face
The mother of your great creation, kill
Her in the hope of glory's grace,
Risk your poetic life to open life
To poetry and poetry
To life in its complexities, for truth
And beauty come from tragedy.

Monday, June 10, 2019

What Alone

The swans are feigning gentleness--they swell
With white and whisper on the surface, white
Light diamonding the sapphire surface--spell
Now cast, the swans now follow their delight.

The lighter lichens catch the little light,
But otherwise, the forest fills with shade
Attracting your naive soul with its night
That fill the spaces in this little glade.

I know that I can change the world. I know
That I can't change the world. I know that I
Can change myself alone. I have to show
Myself myself and all that I deny.

The forest and the pond both have their pull.
Among the roots the waves lap on a skull. 

Monday, June 3, 2019


Out of the seeming chaos came the world--
In Fibonacci spirals it unfurled--
For God's the chaos that makes order be
And Satan is the order that sets free
Disorder and destruction, evil's root.

We can't forget Satan's most beautiful--
A beauty that deceives our souls--now mull
This truth: utopias in mind or made
Are beautiful because they're Satan's shade
And home, though made from skulls, deceit,  and loot.

Creation everywhere precedes destruction--
But from the chaos everything must rise--
From all the rubble will come new construction--
 But never deconstruct what you despise.

Monday, May 27, 2019

The Theater of Hate

With eco-fascists, left and right,
With racists, sexists, socialists,
With science, reason now in flight,
Solutions fought with dripping fists

We can't surrender to the hate
We can't surrender to the mob
When reason's racist, all debate
Devolves and you can only rob

An ethics which you have not earned,
Self-righteousness backed by the gun,
Because there's nothing you have learned
And you're unhappy you have won

Monday, May 20, 2019

I Must

The Muses crawl around inside my brain
And keep my neurons always lit--I must
Make poetry--I'm living with this trust
I cannot leave behind--I can't refrain
From making art--production keeps me sane--
Neglect will only drive me to the brink,
To where I can no longer breath nor think--
And yet, I think this is a gift, a gain.

I have to live up on the mountaintop,
Out in the sun, the dancing star, the air
So crisp and cool, the water crystaline.
I'm forced to always harvest my mind's crop
Before it withers in the heat--the fair
Wind, weather will not last. I must begin. 

Monday, May 13, 2019

An Invitation

The gods have fled? They haven't been invited!
A century has passed opposing beauty
And now we stand depressed, dismayed, indicted
As artists for our failure at our duty.

Our art, our poetry--none beautiful
Enough to bring the gods to Earth--
None terrible enough to bravely cull
Us of the evil spirits we give birth.

We ought to bravely, boldly mark our blaze--
Instead, we set all art ablaze and kill
The soul--the avant garde's designed to raze
 Instead of raise us--empty, never fill.

We wander lonely, stripped of flesh and soul--
We've been abandoned--art has lost its goal.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Aphorisms on Life, Death, and Meaning

"You cannot know about death before you know about life." -- Kung Fu Tzu

Creation must precede destruction.

Birth and life and sex come before death.

Avoiding death means you're avoiding life.

To have no peace, you must avoid all strife.

To create chaos, impose order.

True anarchy's the architect of complex order.

Imposing meaning means there is no meaning being made.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Birthing Pains

Oh sun, send forth your silent rays
On all our melancholy days,
On me and those who follow me,
To raise an ancient reverie.

I've seen the paintings on these walls
So many times I see their flaws--
My feet, my hips in searing pain
Like van Gogh I might go insane.

He who asks questions knows far more
Than he who asks you nothing. War
With those who hide from lunar light,
Rejecting poetry's delight.

The music rises, rises, falls
Reminding us of ancient calls--
The searing pain, the sudden joy
The strings, the woodwinds, drums deploy.

The sun of truth, the moon of verse
Together lift the ancient curse,
Together paint a brand new art,
Where music never can depart.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Usurious Theorists

The poets all complain of usury--
The Canterbury Tales, the Cantos tell
Us of its evils--yet we cannot flee
The debt on which professors' wallets swell.
The money flows from government and debt
To literary theorists who all dine
On the youth's scarlet blood and salty sweat
And drink the money, flowing sweet as wine.

The fault is in the markets--that's the false,
Self-serving Marxist narrative we hear
In English classes fed by falsely low
Interest rates decimating English halls
Once the bubble burst, burst what once was dear
And from their negligence have naught to show.

Monday, April 15, 2019


I cannot violate the rules--the rules
I did not make, the grammar, syntax, soul
Of rhetoric, the nature-given tools
That make us more of who we are. The goal
That can't be reached is what will beautify--
The path that can't be trod will take us there--
Resentment, envy we must all defy--
Find love in trade, but only if we dare.

I violate the rules to make a space
For newer games and truer games to grace
My kitchen table of the rarest wood
The forest filled, the farmer felled--I face
The fact that breaking rules is often good
And beauty's hidden and exposed by lace.

Monday, April 8, 2019

From Love

When time emasculated the broad sky
And churned the sea into a frothy foam,
Then love emerged, most feminine, to lie
With war to make male love and harmony,
And unrequited love (the poets' choice)
And fear, most foul revenge, and dread and lust.
She'd lie with unrestrained consumption, birth
A masculinity unrestrained, burst
In rampant plowing of the fertile earth.
She'd lie with commerce, balancing the home,
The masculine and feminine, the voice
Of mutuality and harmony.
In fields of colorful anemones
That grew up from her sorrow in the breeze
From the death sent by war and the chaste moon
Arose a daughter destined for the sea.
War's death in lust, the moon in virginal
Revenge brought love and death poetic life
That always comes from living sacred strife.

Monday, April 1, 2019


We think we’re on fire
And preach to the choir
Give in to desire
But there’s none we inspire
And none who would hire
A liar denier
They’re stuck in the mire
And light every pyre
Cause they believe every liar
And that’s why I tire
Of trying to sire
A world where my life
Is nevermore rife
With anger and strife
I’ll cut with a knife
The ones that my wife
Say stand on her neck
The scum and the dreck
Who think that their beck
And call is a check
To pay for the wreck
They made of society
They don’t see reality
The weight of the gravity
Built by depravity
Made by the hand we
Love to be petted by
As we try to deny
The leash that holds us all by
The neck so we cannot fly
We’re merely just getting by
No matter how hard we try
But we will not dare defy
Our masters who will reply
With guns and then we will cry
As we and our children die

Monday, March 25, 2019

Warrior Poets

In tiger stripes and leopard spots the wind
Spreads out the light among the branches, leaves
And pull me, drunken with the wine of life
Into the threads imagination weaves.

God grants the gift to wake the world with words--
He woke the world with words, then gave the gift
To poets so that we could make the world
One logos at a time. With it we shift

Horizons, then launch all our silver ships.
Come, goddesses who wing the warrior up
From death into the heavens where the cup
Of victory shall always touch her lips.

The poet is the master of the word,
The warrior who flies with the heavens' bird.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Eros' Arrows

How can I think agape thoughts
When your wet lips are pink, agape,
Inviting me to bare my chest
To Eros' arrows. I would feel your shape
And I would surely bear the wait,
The time it takes to shed your petals
And swell to ripest, reddest fruit
To fill the bowls and pots and pans and kettles
With such sweet juice I would preserve
Until we both run out of time. I trust
The constancy I find in you
When you cannot control with me your lust
For all I say, for all I do,
My intellect, the way I stroke your breast,
The way I love but you alone--
I gaze upon you, know that I am blessed.

Monday, March 11, 2019

To Lie

"I want your honesty"--the greatest lie
We tell each other--you just want my lie.

Resentment, lashing out, and anger--light
Of truth brings these--you're happy in the lie.

The upright stance--you push and pull and lure
Me down so that beside you I will lie.

Can love or hate, desire or disgust
Survive a single day without the lie?

What kind of love, what kind of friendship lives
By swimming in pacific seas of lies?

Are you upset because I speak the truth?
I do not show I love you when I lie.

When I am honest, I show my support--
I show my disrespect when every lie.

It does not mean I do not care for you
If I don't feed you a comforting lie.

The truth that I express in poetry--
How I, Troy Camplin, falsify the lie.

Monday, March 4, 2019

When They Won't Listen

Here's one of life's neglected rules:
Don't waste your time with drunks and fools.

Monday, February 25, 2019

The Tree of Life

The worm that wriggles in my hand
Is at the top of life's dense tree--
And though he wriggles and I stand,
He's at the top, the same as me.

Man never came from chimpanzees--
We have a common ancestry
That brachiated through the trees--
From them is how we came to be.

No species now remains unchanged
From Coelecanth to biting flea--
All DNA has been arranged
For chaos makes order for free.

We came from love, we came from strife--
Such strange attractions made all life.

Monday, February 18, 2019

How to Make an Atheist

The Flood drove all the dinosaurs extinct--
You little knew that mankind's sins were linked
To those great creatures' sad and sudden deaths?
Dimetrodons could never hold their breaths
So long that they'd survive. Ichthyosaurs,
Or other things that don't go on all fours?
Why would the winged beasts be gone when flight
Above the clouds could keep them at a height
No mountain-drowning flood could ever reach?
What could this death of dinosaurs then teach
Us of the wages of our sins? Perhaps
The trilobites all drowned or we'd relapse
To decadence and unbelief. It's odd
So many want to think these things of God.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

I Don't Need You Around

Why do you speak of need I have no need
Of any individual--not you,
My love, nor anyone. You true
And always love--I want to always feed
Out of your dish--You fill me up--indeed,
I'll give you all the love that you are due.
Why speak of need? Out of my well you drew
True water--there's no need to make me bleed.

It's only out of want you get desire--
It's only out of want where you get wealth--
It's only out of wanting extra heat
That anyone was taming fatal fire.
I do not need-- I much prefer the health
Of wanting you so love will not retreat.

Monday, February 11, 2019


I have a Master's and a Ph.D.
But I live life autistically.
I was a para in a B.S.C.
But I write plays and poetry.

I have three children and a wife at home--
I'm working on an epic tome--
On honeymoon I took my wife to Rome,
But never have I been to Nome.

I have a tank of fish, a rabbit, too--
They are my children's, to be true.
I write and read--it's almost all I do--
I love to go someplace that's new.

I grew up in Kentucky--I was born
In Indiana (not near corn)--
I lived in Mississippi when forlorn,
And now I live in Dallas, where I'm worn.

The oddest orchids, other epiphytes
Are both among my loves, delights--
All knowledge, wisdom that give my thoughts flights
Bring me beloved rhymes, insights.

I bound around here in a life that's rife
With chaos, but I feel no strife:
My daughter, sons, and most lovely wife--
They are the true loves of my life.

Monday, February 4, 2019

The Pythagorean Theorem

Do not eat beans! Their tiny souls
Will exit out your ass--
And with their sound and stinky smell
Your friends will think you crass.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Shedding Death

Behold the sacred source of life. In birth
The brand-new baby sheds its mother, drinks
Its life and growth from her--she is the door
Through which we enter, open life to life.

Life sheds the dead--from life life comes--
From death all life remains--both feed us all
And make the way for life eternally
To live--the serpent sheds death on the ground.

The cavern of the underworld leads down
To death and darkness, out to light and life--
The source of creativity, creation,
We enter to the ever-changing moon.

The seed that's shed onto the ground will shed
Its coat when watered by the moon's clear tears--
Then, trembling, the shoot spears the sky and spreads
Its roots into the soil--leaves grasp the sun.

This constant change unchanges everything
And entropy negentropies the world--
The key unlocking beauty into life
Renewed opens the door through its shed skin.