Guest Poet Bob Connors


My friend is a Judge.
Constantly tells me stories about the court.
All day long he hear lies.
No one has ever committed a crime.
No one will admit to ever doing a violent action,
Even those who have been arrested at the scene,
With blood all over their hands,
Holding the murder weapon.
No one can remember anything,
Except to further his own interest.

It wears him out.
Tears him apart.
Somedays he stumbles through with a troubled heart.
He got into his racket
Not expecting to earn a huge packet
Of money.
No, his intentions were good.
He wanted to serve his fellow man.
He just never expected that they would
Act so miserably.
He hoped, against hope, for something other than the reality
He is forced to face daily.
People are out to get as much as they can,
Of whatever valuable commodity is available.
It doesnít matter if they have to kill, rob
Or if they don't have a need for the merchandise.
Everything has a price somewhere.
Everything stolen can be sold.
Even if the cost extracted from the individuals,
Both to the crook and the victim
Far outweighs the benefit.
Donít the crooks
Understand that they are risking
A life confined to a cell.
What a living hell.
For a few bucks
They can lose their existence.

My buddy, the Judge, expert at the legal rules of human behavior,
Looks at me for solace, advice.
You see, I am the one whose role
Is to do so.
I delve into the murky foundations of us,
Being a minister.
I donít know how to help him.
Because I get the same crew as he gets.
I sometimes think they leave the court
And come directly over to my church.
There canít be an over-abundance of people
Who come to confess their sins to me, can there?

When they lie to me--
And they all do
I donít sentence them to jail.
I forgive them.
But when they continue breaking my laws
They donít have a trifling punishment
Of life behind bars.
They lose their very most precious commodity
Their almighty souls.
The very tool they use to create their plots
Of mayhem, plundering.

September 1997

Bob Connors' Questions:

1 Is this too preachy? Should I have used a psychologist, instead
of using a minister to contrast the judge?

2 I wonder if I should pay more attention to the rhyme scheme?

Correspond with Bob Connors at
with your ideas about this poem.


When I started my life I had such dreams.
Sadly it seems
I have settled for much less than I should have.
Iíve learned through bitter experience
Second best is not good enough.

Iíve reached mediocrity in income.
Iíve achieved the ordinary score in intelligence.
I have the average number of kids and the commonplace house.

Iíve never failed
Because Iíve never been tested.
Iíve settled for
The safe, secure life
Cashed in my dreams for emptiness.
Belatedly realized that if you never try
You never have a chance to win
And therefore you lose.
I lost it all. I settled for nothing.

September 1997

Bob Connors' Questions:

1. I am interested more in content than rhyme scheme.
Is that wrong?

2. I have a definite view and I am pushing it in this poem.
Is it better to let the reader draw his own conclusions rather
than forcing mine?

Correspond with Bob Connors at
with your ideas about this poem.


I rouse myself daily--
Jut my chest forward.
I assure myself that none of my foes
Will get the better of me today.
I wonít let fear get in my way.
This will be a day unlike any other day.

Soon, I am shaking my head
Wondering if I correctly heard
What has just been said.
Then I get written confirmation
And I canít but ponder,
Can my eyes, as well as my ears,
Be suffering from the ravages of time simultaneously?
Or is it just that I am having another typical day--
Trying to get my way
Amongst others who have the identical goal.
Each of us have differing methods,
But we all want to end up on top.
Logic says that isnít possible--
Perhaps that is the reason the madness canít stop.

September 1997

Bob Connors' Questions:

1. Is it too negative?

2. I was wondering if I would improve this by placing
the last 4 lines, as also the first 4 lines.

Correspond with Bob Connors at
with your ideas about this poem.

The Albany Poetry Workshop