Seeds and Weeds


Poetry and Prose by JJ Johnson


Chapter 7: State Of The Artrocity





Seeds And Weeds is a philosophically expressive compilation of poetry and prose, creatively expressed in rhyme and reason. The poems within are more than simply a collection of verse with splashes of imagery. Seeds And Weeds challenges the mind and heart to find a better way through observations and feelings on the rise and fall of character.  Written in the moment, the poetry here is sometimes harsh, but always honest. Digging deeply into the essence of poetic creation, they have not been conjured from the casual observations on life that some would accept as poetic inspiration. These works are the raw emotions, articulated in words that have been inspired by a lifetime of experiences. Offering progressive views on equality, justice, politics, peace, war, environment, nature, fate, faith, family, friendship, introspection, and poetic inspiration, this book explores the struggle between human instinct, intellect and compassion.

It's time to weed the garden!




Chapter 7: State Of The Artrocity




            Over the past twenty-five years, poetry has increasingly become a fixture in my life, more so than anything else. For most of that time, I used it to express feelings I wasn’t able to put into words when speaking, usually to women I was attracted to. In this book I will delve into the reasons why that is and why I see self-esteem as the key to all things in life. The first poem in this book is one I selected for a specific reason. After writing poetry for more than twenty years, I began to feel it was not enough to simply write it on paper, I wanted to share it with others, not just the woman I was trying to woo with the poems, but anyone else who might relate to them. Over time, I sought out new ways to display my works. I never wrote poems to publish them, in fact, most were written exclusively for individuals and not intended to be read by anyone but the person I had in mind.

Over the years others have read them through one source or another and told me how closely they related to certain poems and enjoyed reading them all. I used to think it was just my friends being nice to me and not wanting to tell me how dreadfully boring they really were. But as more and more people complimented me, I started to wonder and eventually began to dream of one day getting published. I figured that if people wanted to read them, why not let them? I started looking for publishers and how one goes about getting published by them. That’s when I initially decided never to bother trying to get a book of poetry in print. It seemed that the world of publishing was much like the music industry, too worried about what will sell millions of copies and not at all interested in creating trends themselves. I concluded there was no way I was going to get published in this worlds market and looked for other ways I could get my work out there.

It just so happens that the internet was really starting to bloom and websites were sprouting up all over the place where you could post content for free. I was very excited about the prospect of having people read my poetry on my own personal web page that I had complete artistic control over, so I signed up on several sites for free web space. This worked for a while, until many of the dot-coms began going bankrupt and several of my websites vanished into cyber hell. Some sites lasted but I needed to find another way.

Around that time I started going to poetry readings to watch how other poets presented their work to the public. I was terrified of actually going up to the microphone and reading my poems aloud to people, especially other poets who might be more critical of my work than the average reader. So I went to numerous readings over the course of a couple of years, carrying my book of poems in case I got up enough nerve to actually read one or two aloud. I kept going and thinking to myself, “ok, tonight’s the night, I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna just get up there and do it!”

One night I went to an open mic reading I had heard about in Albany at a bar called Valentine’s. I had never been there and didn’t know anyone who would be attending, so I decided it would be a safe place to finally do it. If I sucked, who would care? They didn’t know me and I’d probably never see any of them again. It was as good a time and place as any, so I wrote my name down on a piece of paper, dropped in the bowl to be drawn randomly and waited till my name was called. It seemed like forever and I felt as nervous as I had ever been in my life. When the host, RM Engelhardt, finally pulled my name out of the bowl to come up and read, he introduced me as a virgin poet, for my first time reading at an open mic. Finally, on February 25th, 2003, I crossed the threshold. That night, after I got home, I wrote “Death Of A Virgin” to mark the moment I liberated my poetry from the written page to the spoken word.

Death Of A Virgin

I was in a queasy state all day
The clock was ticking in a digital way
The minutes crawled through swamp filled hours
While the seconds stung like sleeting showers

Eating supper seemed to make it worse
But I needed strength to overcome the curse
The one that's always held me back
Fear whispered of the confidence I lack

The time drew near, my hand reached the door
My feet stepped in on to the hallowed floor
My eyes explored the atmosphere
My ears listened for sounds I came to hear

I knew this time I would not back down
These imprisoned words would release their sound
As those before me with unchained hearts
Exposed their passion beyond naked parts

Would I look as smooth or sound as cool
As the dark knights whose lessons teach this school?
If I pass the test am I let in?
Now the time has come, let the rhymes begin

A virgin poet took to the stage
Reading words into climactic verbal rage
Who cares if I failed or made the grade?
The poem's been read, I'm finally laid!

Created On: 02/25/2003



            Journalism is not now, nor will it ever be, poetry. I argued this point with a poet/journalist, Dominique Perrino, some time ago who said, "Poetry is nothing more than an observation of surroundings broken up (sometimes) into stanzas." I completely disagree.

For me, poetry is much more, so a blanket statement such as that was too much for me to let slide. It may be that for her but it seems to me that poetry is the reflection of emotions one feels when observing the surroundings. Not only our surroundings, but even more importantly, examining and expressing what is inside of us, our feelings and our thoughts as well. Simply making observations on the surroundings is what reporters are supposed to do. And they can't even get that right, reducing themselves to commentary, injecting their bias and feeding us conclusions, rather than allowing us to decide for ourselves based on the facts. Poets are not reporters, we are not supposed to merely pass the facts along to others. Our expression of the passion we feel for what we observe is what sets us apart from journalists. Readers may interpret what we write and have their own perspective, but when writing poetry, we should not be hiding our feelings. Let the readers respond in criticism or perhaps by writing a poem of their own which will express their own heart.

I have offered my philosophy of poetry many times before and the one common thread, no matter how I may word it, is that it comes from the heart, not the mind. It mystifies me how anyone can write what they consider poetry without including their feelings. Poetry is all about expressing ones self and yet when people attempt to define it, they often leave out that one vital component. It as if they are afraid others will see them for who they truly are. I wonder if they view emotional expression as a weakness and are afraid to admit they have such a weakness. I can't imagine trying so hard to hide what is in my heart. Rather I open mine and allow whatever is there to rush forth into my mind where I can guide them into words for others to read and perhaps relate to. The mind is not the creator of words, it is a conduit for them to travel through and be organized into whatever language we choose. Sometimes the language of poetry is difficult to discern between the imagery and analogies. And even for those who understand it yet may not be able to relate to the feelings expressed, they may still be able to appreciate why the poet feels them. Perhaps not, but if they wish to criticize the artist, well, there’s always journalism.
            Another member of the community was declaring not to write poetry which expressed feelings of self-pity. He wrote a list of virtues of poetry which I disagreed with strongly and decided to create my own list of what poetry is to me, as opposed to what it is not. Of course poetry can be many things to many people but these are the concepts I believe in and draw on when I write. These are by no means intended as rules written in stone, even for me, they are simply guidelines I follow, for the most part.
            1: Poetry reflects the true feelings of the writer. Anything written to manipulate others with false words or feelings is what I wrote "Artificial Artists" about many years ago. The most important guideline of poetry, as far as I'm concerned, is to write from the heart. Write about the feelings within, whatever they may be. If they are feelings of self-pity, so be it. The only sin of writing poetry is to not express your true feelings. Never mind about the negative point of view, writing about what poetry is not or what you don't like about some one else’s poems. I once had a conversation with my "psychologist" brother while I was in college in which he said to me, "Joe, you define yourself by what you oppose, not by what you are."
He was right and I wrote a poem about it called "Self-Portrait". Stop looking for what you are not and focus on everything you are.
            2: It is written in an understandable way. One can go too far with analogies and words that leave the readers wondering what drugs you were taking when the poem they just finished was being created. Too much mind and not enough heart might also be a reason for this. Thinking too much instead of allowing your feelings to take the poem to its highest meaning is a sure way to make readers feel like you are trying to fool them into thinking you’ve written a great poem when it lacks true feelings.
            3: I almost never use them, but when writing in a pre-defined style, stick to the rules of that style, or call it something else. (ie: Abecedarian, Acrostic, Anagram, Ballad, Cinquain, Free Verse, Ghazal, Haiku, Senryu, Tanka, Limerick, Pantoum, Prose, Sestina, Song/Lyric, Sonnet, Terza Rima, Villanelle.) In many of these styles there are pre-defined patterns that must be followed. Some poets drift away from those patterns but still want to label them as such. It seems to me that if you're not following those patterns, you're no longer writing in that style and need to call it something else, perhaps free verse....
            4: When using imagery, try to invoke images that readers can commonly conjure in their minds. The more vivid the better, but accuracy of the image is imperative. I have often heard it said in classrooms, “show me, don’t tell me” and I agree for the most part. But I also realize that not every feeling can be expressed with an original image. Good imagery runs the risk of becoming cliché when poets start using the same written pictures over and over. I also feel that describing ones feelings to relay the accuracy of them is no sin. If words are the better way, then let them say.
            5: Flow of the words and lines. There's almost nothing as painful as tripping and banging your knees on the cement. And so with poetry, tripping over lines in a stanza is mentally painful. Rhythm in a poem is as important as rhythm in a song. Some poems read better on paper, but are not always spoken so eloquently. Some poems read like a word jumble on paper but when hearing them read aloud have life breathed into them by their creator. Some poets have a style that grows on readers. The first time you read one, it might not be what you are used to and you could dismiss it, or the poet altogether. But you might revisit the poem or other works by that poet and it somehow clicks. I have had friends recommend a poet I had dismissed, then changed my mind after reading more.
            6: Be creative. Imagination can be a very powerful tool. That doesn't mean to make things up that never happened, but to tell a story about something that did happen in an interesting and out of the ordinary way. Be mysterious without being obscure. That doesn’t mean you can’t create stories or ballads about people that did not exist or events that never happened, but let the reader know. Personally, I haven’t done this, I write from my own experience, though I have taken on the challenge by others to write from the point of view of a woman. In each case it was more of a learning experience on life than poetry and I did take away some important lessons from having written them.
            7: Be original. Write in your own words.  I'm not only talking about plagiarism, I mean don't use platitudes. Trite sayings make me wanna puke! Trying to compress the definition of love into a quaint little paragraph is impossible. But comparing it to something seemingly unrelated, making analogies to other things we share a familiar reference to in life, is something I enjoy doing. That displays the ability to see the same thing on more than one level. I mention this idea in the section on imagery, but here it is about words in particular. Using old sayings in a poem is as cliché as repeating imagery.

            One of the things that annoys me in music is when a song states "Everybody's" doing something, or "We All" when it’s really just a few. Songs that name cities just so they can sell more records in a particular market and have nothing to say about why the singer feels something special when in that place, are a sham. How many times have you heard Detroit, LA, New York, London, Paris and various other places for absolutely no other reason than to create popularity and sell more records? Touring and shouting the name of the city when playing a concert, the crowd goes crazy and goes out to buy the song the next day. The record business at its finest! Though I am no Sinatra fan, I do like hearing the song New York, New York when I go to a Met’s game or visit the city for some other event. It accurately describes the feeling I get when I am in New York. For the most part, I hate lounge music and the crooners who sing it, as they seem completely plastic to me. It’s all a show, but when viewed in that context, it has its place. I don’t want to be a part of that business and I also don’t want the business to make it impossible for artists who create for the love of it to be kept on the outside.
             Money undermines the creation of art. Not that any form of art can’t be created for financial gain, after all, everyone must earn a living somehow. If a songwriter must record a few songs on each album that will sell the record as a whole, then so be it. But when the financial gains become more important than the art, it turns art into rubbish. Even worse than making ones own art a byproduct of the marketplace, it lends to constructing a machine that will only produce tasteless formula. It creates an atmosphere that suffocates those who wish to create art that speaks the language of their heart.

Those in charge of the “business” of art make good fences, but not good neighbors. The artists who cave in to their demands are nothing more than links in the fence that pen in the writers who want to create art. The artificial artists would make better warriors if they laid down their pens and took up swords in their hands. They foil the imagination of those who don’t realize the fence that keeps the competition out is holding them captive within. All done so they can be controlled to doing the bidding of those who bleed them dry from behind their mahogany office desk while their fat asses sit comfortably in fine leather chairs. But only while these artists remain popular enough to feed off of, are they allowed to linger in the pen. How long before the gate opens once more, to trap another and force the forgotten out. Vincent, will they listen then?

Artificial Artists (State Of The Art)

My words are not written for me to make a profit
Nor do I profess to be a spiritual prophet
I just want a gallery to display what I create
Just a place where no one's counting up the gate

You have confused God with your Almighty Dollar
And sold your soul for some artificial power
Inside you're already equipped with all that you need
I won't be bought 'cos I've closed my eyes to the beauty of greed

Fools will compare music of yesterday and today
Technology can't make up for words without a way
If a song's natural strength is not strong enough
Why soften it by stuffing padding in the fluff?

I hear a lot of slick production on the radio
I really think the rock has gotten out of control
I have seen the artists struggling in smoke filled bars
And now in my visions I can see beyond the stars

All I ever hear these days are sopped-up smoothie tunes
Rising up the charts as fast as full hot air balloons
Even if you don't hear music from my point of view
Stop polishing the rock, don't let it roll over you

You're making lots of dollars but you're not making any sense
Your smoothie tunes lack the passion that makes a song intense
Believe the words you sing or the song is finished from the start
Stop writing from your wallet, let it flow from in your heart

Put some soul behind your roll and find the spirit that you lack
Once it's sold you can't buy it back even with your endless stack
In spite of all you've made, it's a fact you can't dismiss
Art flows from within, not the corporate edifice

Record company politics and artists just don't mix
The ones who steal the money have one name, "666”
Pride won't buy your dinner but inside is where it pays
Despite the Record Biz, one song has several ways

I don't want to become anyone’s hero
But I wouldn't be here now if mine added up to zero
I don't want to dictate the style of music that you do
I just want to hear something a little bit more true

I could go on and on and on and I think I will anyway
Until someday when it's you in your music I hear you play
Can it really be so hard to feel and write down what you think
Or is there something wrong, is your pen filled with phony ink?

While it may be ok for you to live your life a lie
Your fans worship you and I can't help but wonder why
You have worked so hard to be what you wanted to be
But to be yourself, you shouldn't have to try

Time after time you sing and yet your song remains unsung
Show us your true colors, expose your insides to the sun
Songs are more than simply words for you to sing
Will you ever understand that money isn't everything?

I spin the radio dial and hear the commercial pioneers
Every radio station is poison to my ears
That isn't the kind of artist that I want to be
All I really want is for my music to be me

And so the con-artists continue to sell out their souls
While mine's committed to making sure the rock still rolls
And there is only one way to get back what they have lost
But the barrier between greed and visions must be crossed

Created On: 01/01/1986




            In his early years as an artist, Vincent Van Gogh vividly related his concept of art to his brother Theo in two separate letters from July of 1882. In a book of Vincent’s letters, translated by W.H. Auden titled, “Van Gogh, A Self-Portrait”, these letters , numbered 218 and 221, can be more carefully read than if I were to paraphrase or quote bits and pieces here. His letters are a portal into the mind of a great artist and a misunderstood man.

            Vincent was not some wacko who cut off part of his ear and shot himself from insanity. He was a deeply caring man, a genius who observed life so far over the heads of the so-called art experts that they could not see his vision and would not show his paintings in art exhibitions. Now there isn’t an art gallery in the world that wouldn’t give anything to have just one Van Gogh on display. The Museum of Modern Art in NY City is fortunate to have two of them.

            I consider myself fortunate to have been to MOMA and seen both Starry Night and Olive Trees. It was an awe-inspiring moment when I saw Starry Night for the first time. I was so overwhelmed that I could barely bring myself to walk up and look closely at it. After about ten minutes, I finally did and was amazed at the detail. Photos do not do this painting justice. To see the brush strokes and minute gaps where there is no paint gives one an entirely new perspective on this great work of art. If the opportunity presents itself, go and see it.

            So, while his work was not recognized during his lifetime, as he predicted back then, sooner or later sincere art finds its audience and is accepted by the art lovers. Vincent thought it might seem pretentious for him to talk about his art with such regard, but in hindsight, who can argue with him now? How ironic that his paintings now sell for millions of dollars when only a couple of them sold while he was alive.

            If not for Theo saving the paintings and letters Vincent sent him, we might never have known this man and his tender heart. Art, weather it be paintings, poetry, music or any other form, must be expressed unconditionally. Even in the early years, more than eight years before his suicide, Vincent felt that art was for the artist to create, not to be influenced by the critics, dealers and gallery owners, or to be produced for the market. It isn’t that art should not be sold once it has been created; the dilemma arises when selling out in the formation of it.


Artificial Artists (X-Reprise)

Have all the sex you want but not with old St. Nic
He won't come down your chimney with his toys or with his prick
You're like The Ghost Of Christmas Past 'cos you're easy to see through
Santa may not be an artist but he's more real than you

I wouldn't want your sex if you sat on me and whirled
It's easy to get caught up in the material world
Greed is a temptation I found hard to rise above
But even Mr. Number One knows money can't buy love

Compared to your record sales you're just a song and dance
So buy a baggy pair and stop grabbing at your pants
It's hard to feel reality even in the end
When the world that you live in is nothing but pretend

One day you'll realize there is no surgery
That can alter what we hear or the man we see
I may have two but that's the other side of me
At least both of my faces reflect what's inside me

For all I care you can freeze yourself for a thousand years
I'll be dead but even in my grave I'll still plug my ears
I'll never let you buy the rights to any of my songs
They came from inside me and that's where ownership belongs

Created On: 01/01/1986



            After finally finishing “Artificial Artists”, which took nearly six years to complete through various changes, I had a dream about being sued by Madonna and Michael Jackson. In the dream, while appearing in court, I had two lawyers who turned out to be Pete Ham and Tom Evans. Both Ham and Evans were members of the band Badfinger and both committed suicide by hanging themselves in their garages. It is significant to the dream because the reasons for their suicides had to do with the music business destroying their lives. The business manager for the band had been secretly emptying their bank accounts after creating an elaborate system of funneling their money into a corporation he created for that express purpose. Ham took his life after finally coming to the realization that he had been lied to and betrayed by someone he completely trusted and who had left him financially destitute, unable to pay for his home, much less anything else after selling millions of records the world over. Several years later, after trying to recreate the band and the magic of the Badfinger years to little avail, Evans did the same.

            The story of Badfinger has been well chronicled in a book by Dan Matovina titled “Without You, The Tragic Story of Badfinger” and a movie titled “Badfinger”, by Gary Katz. I have recently heard rumors that Badfinger member Joey Molland is working on a book that will offer an alternative view from within the band. In any case, I want to remain in the context of the poem I was inspire to write after the dream about being sued for writing “Artificial Artists”, part of which was about Madonna and Jackson. With regards to the poem, I later removed those parts after a conversation with my brother Tom who said that I should not be critical of those I have no experience to relate to their lives and careers. After removing the stanzas I decided I could not simply throw away the stanzas I had written and made a separate piece as a reprise to the original. There were numerous other stanzas I wrote over the years that did not survive the re-writing and editing stages, but most of them were badly written diatribes. The first drafts of the poem were titled simply, “State Of The Art” and later “Artificial Artists” was added after thinking about them as the ones who sold out to the business. But who is really to blame, the hooker on the street corner, the John who pays for the sex or the pimp who makes the real money behind the scenes?

I suppose the dream could be chalked up to delusions of grandeur, but these are feelings I had about art and my own desire to create poetry without the business of publishing standing between me and those who might find some value in reading it. I wanted to express those feelings and put a voice to my concerns for all artists who will come face to face with those who are more concerned with financial gain than the creation of pure art.

I am reminded of Vincent Van Gogh, who even in his early years as an artist had so perfectly related his concept of art to his brother Theo in letters 218 and 221 from July of 1882. In a book of Vincent’s letters, translated by W.H. Auden titled, “Van Gogh, A Self-Portrait”, these letters can be read more closely than I can paraphrase here, but even in the early years, more than eight years before his suicide, Vincent knew that art was for the artist to create and not to be influenced by the critics, dealers and gallery owners or to be produced for the market. So while his work was not recognized during his lifetime, as he predicted back then, sooner or later sincere art finds its audience and is accepted by the art lovers. Vincent thought it might seem pretentious for him to talk about his art with such regard, but in hindsight, who can argue with him now? Art, weather it be paintings, poetry, music or any other form, must be expressed unconditionally.


I'm sorry for offending you
And exposing the naked truth
But I can't sing the way you do
All that sugar hurts my false tooth

I'm sorry you can't understand
The value of a song comes from inside
I'm sorry `cos this isn't what I planned
I'm sorry that Rock has died

I'm sorry for the cuts
And I'm sorry for the digs
I'm sorry that you have no guts
And I'm sorry that you're pigs

I'm sorry I won't get rich
`Cos I refuse to be like you
But the real tragedy in this
Is that I feel sorry for you

Created On: 04/07/1989




            The business of music is not merely an opposing force to the creation of art, it is also fully involved in the manipulation of its availability to the public after its creation. If a songwriter or musician is not willing to make what the producers tell them to make, they are finished. If not for the internet, so much creativity would be squashed by the greed of those who work meticulously in an effort to control sales and airplay.



Artists Are Lonely

Artists are lonely
We've been known to go insane
We feel so much our hearts confuse the brain
Minds clogged up without a place to drain
Accepted only if we entertain

Artists have talent
Which all too often is abused
Laugh all you want but I'm un-amused
When money and emotions are fused
My abilities are better left unused

Artists are happy
In the worlds that we create
In my world I reshape the shapes I hate
Where greed and pride cannot penetrate
Where colors aren't forced to segregate

Created On: 04/29/1989




            I was going through a dry spell in my writing. Not that I was trying all that hard, but as is my way in writing, I do not attempt creating poems when I do not feel inspired to write. So what I was really going through was a period of uninspired life. I had no desire to write a poem, and there wasn’t anything happening in my life to give me motivation.

            One night while asleep, I dreamt that my muse was a wolf, trying to break in my house. Finally, she came crashing through the door, sent me to bed and then read poems to me while I lay there wondering if she was going to eat me. I was trying to stay awake so that I wouldn’t get devoured, but then began to enjoy the sound of her voice reading me all sorts of poems.

            I couldn’t stay awake any longer and fell asleep within the dream, then woke up and wrote this poem. So my muse came to me in my dream to inspire me, and it worked. You just never know where life will take you and inspiration will find you. I was reminded of this while watching Neil Young’s latest concert film called “Heart Of Gold”.

            Shortly after having a brain aneurysm, just before his brain surgery, he was inspired to write several songs and then recorded them. Then he went to Nashville to perform a concert of those songs and several of his older tunes that fit the feel of the new album. It has a country flavor to it, though I am not a country fan, when Neil does it, he brings an edge to it that really fills my soul with peace. It felt like actually being at a live Neil concert, which is an experience I have had in the past 13 times, so I know what it's like to be at a concert of his. It was both exiting and moving. Mr. Young was very lucky it was his muse that came to visit him and not Mr. Grim.




Where Is My Muse


A restless night
A hot Summer sweat
I dreamed you came to my door
I would not let you in
You rang and banged
Like the wolf of Goldilocks
Huffing and puffing
You blew my house in
And I thought
My what big lungs you have
All the better to read you poems with my dear
Was your sly reply
And so I lay back in my bed
You read and read and read and read
Poetry of love and some of death
You read some poems I could not hear
Or was it the silence of my fear?
My voice was silent to make you stay
And no more poems flowed from my pen
For stopping you might mean the end
Then once again I would be alone
Until your soothing voice came to my phone
To caress my ear and touch my heart
My passion for you feels like a sin
A locket sealed to lock it in
Until the clock strikes there is no ring
Where is my phone, where is my poem
Where is my muse, she hides alone
Fly back to me, spread your wings


Created On: 09/14/2005



            With a little inspiration from the Moody Blues, after “In The Beginning” from "On The Threshold Of A Dream", I was responding to some criticism I received for opinions I had expressed in a few of my poems. I am not opposed to being criticized, but if one is going to critique poetry, it seems to me the criticism should be for the quality of the poem, not the opinions expressed in it. That is unless you wish to debate the issues, but that is not criticism. When looking for constructive criticism on poems, what I expect is comments about what works or what does not work in the poem’s construction, grammar or suggestions on improving the poem.

            The objections were in political opposition to my own views on war, so it seemed more like something that should have been sent in an e-mail, or discussed in an open forum, rather than in a comment box where I could not respond. The comment fields were set up for other members of the website to respond to poems, and the writers were not permitted to leave their own comments. Doing so would allow members to affect their standing in the sites rating system. The only alternative is to turn off the ability for others to leave comments, but then there is no opportunity for positive suggestions either. It all seems rather absurd anyway, so it struck me as somewhat humorous and wrote “Philosophy, Therefore Poetry” as a tongue in cheek retort.




Philosophy Therefore Poetry

I think, therefore I am
I am, therefore I feel
I feel, therefore I write poetry
I write poetry, therefore I get criticized
I get criticized, therefore I express my opinions
I express my opinions, therefore I offend those who disagree
I offend those who disagree because they know I am right
I know I am right, I think....

Created On: 03/29/2002



            The owner of a poetry website asked me to add a poem to the site to test a new feature he had added to it. I didn’t have a new poem to add, so I decided to write one. I had to come up with one quickly so I decided to use the old TV emergency broadcast warning as a guideline for writing it, but of course it had to be about poetry, since that’s what the website was about.




A Test

This is a test

This poet is conducting a test of the apathetic Add a Poem function
Please stand by
This is only a test
For the next 60 seconds
Your regular poetry programming will be interrupted
The admins of this site
In voluntary cooperation with the Gabbin’ authority
Have developed this system
To keep you posting in the event of a poetic inspiration
If this had been an actual poetry addition
The Green Attention Arrow --> you just saw
Would have been followed by an official poem
Which you would be reading now
With options to rate and post comments on the creation
This community, known as Apathetic Poetic Socialists
Serves the entire international poetry community
Thank you for your patience
This concludes this test of the apathetic Add a Poem function
We now return you to your regularly scheduled poetry reading

Created On: 11/03/2002



To view excerpts* from other chapters, click each Chapter Title below

Each Chapter excerpt presented on-line contains two poems* and prose from that chapter.

Information on purchasing this book can be found below the index.



Seeds & Weeds main page: Seeds & Weeds index (click link)




Chapter 1: Pride & Prejudice (click Chapter Title for excerpts*)


 1: Pride Is One Seed

 2: Seeds & Weeds - (prose)

 3: 3 Seeds ** (on main index page)

 4: 4th Independence

 5: Matthew 5:5

 6: Knot In The Loop

 7: Segregation *

 8: Separation *

 9: Where Will You Aim Your Hate?

10: NYS OCFS Graduation Speech, Parker Training Academy, 12/10/99 *

11: The Boyz At Tryon




Chapter 2: Power & Peace (click Chapter Title for excerpts*)


12: 1000 Keys *

13: Pay For The War *

14: Like Father, Like Son

15: Pride Blinds Biased Eyes

16: Nation's Pledge

17: Empty Arms And Burning Flags

18: Stars And Stripes

19: There's More Than One Way

20: Rush To Judgment - Judgment To Rush

21: God's Children / One Family We Are

22: Do Not Die For Me




Chapter 3: Faith: Search Within & Beyond (click Chapter Title for excerpts*)


23: Great Unknown *

24: Pass On True Freedom

25: A Question Of Faith

26: Have You Heard?

27: Faith In What I Don't Believe

28: Unwilling To Let Go

29: This Dream I Dreamt Last Night

30: The One On My Shoulder - Never Succumb

31: No End To The Flesh

32: Invisible Light

33: Touch *




Chapter 4: Dysfunctionality & Family (click Chapter Title for excerpts*)


34: Ro-Ro Rows Her Boat *

35: Quarter-Life Crisis

36: The Family Way

37: Within Me - Beyond Me *

38: The Task Undone

39: A Ray Of Sun From A Pot Of Gold




Chapter 5: Introspection (click Chapter Title for excerpts*)


40: Life Is An Ocean *

41: Self Portrait

42: Forgive Not Forget

43: Two Faced

44: Constant & Changing

45: Walls And Bridges

46: Desire To Fly

47: The Man I Am No One Else Knows

48: Blind To The Me Others See

49: Stock Room Blues

50: But Does God Trust in US?

51: Struggle Against Success

52: Every Eden Has It's Apples

53: See Through Inner Eyes

54: I Am

55: Under The Bridge *




Chapter 6: Mother Natures Sun (click Chapter Title for excerpts*)


56: He Who Laughs Last Will Be A Fertile, Mutant Cockroach *

57: Sleep (Hiding From The Touch Of Death)

58: Leaves

59: Inner Eclipse

60: Full Womb Crescent Moon

61: Moon & River *




Chapter 8: Broken Bonds (click Chapter Title for excerpts*)


70: Drive Home *

71: Even The Best Of Us

72: This Quiet Cemetery

73: A Ghost At My Door

74: Soul Silhouette

75: Where Are You Going? I've Seen Where You've Been! *

76: A Door Too Close To Closed To Adore You

77: At The End Of Every Rainbow

78: Eye Of The Pirate, Heart Of A Thief

79: Sometimes Wishes Come True

80: What Happened To Us?




Chapter 9: Loose Ends (click Chapter Title for excerpts*)


81: Big Hair

82: Across The Miles

83: Hidden Alterations

84: Unspoken Thirst

85: Daylight’s Darkness

86: Two Color Souls One Color

87: Someone's Drowning In Your Pool *

88: Aisumasen Renee *





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War and Peace - Rage and fear


Nice guys don’t finish last, we just want to be sure no one gets left behind.”

Peace and thanks,

JJ Johnson