Category Archives: poetry

One Poet’s Process

Saturday Writers columnist Diane How published a brief interview with me conducted after my poem “Caesura” won the winter contest. Here’s what she had to say:

“April’s contest also included a first-place poetry winner. Robert Walton won with his twelve-line poem, Caesura. This brief verse journeys from burgundy October memories to hopeful emerald May eyes. I was surprised when Robert said he doesn’t write poetry. What???? 

Then he explained, “I never write poetry. Poetry writes me. An image or a thought seizes me unbidden and leads to the beginnings of a poem. That’s not to say that craft doesn’t enter in while I’m trying to find the poem’s truest shape.” Now that is poetic. 

His journey of explanation regarding where the inspiration came from is a story in itself. “One of the inspiring things about parenthood is that it never ends. Eldest son Jeremy was winding up his research project for the Max Planck Institute last autumn. He needed to move his stuff out of both his office and a pied -a-terre flat in 

Goettingen, Germany. Everything (a lot, believe me! Jeremy collects vinyl!) had to go from there to his family home in Zagreb, Croatia. He drafted me to help with packing and moving. In between the packing and toting sessions, he had professional responsibilities to fulfill. Pop had to stay out of the way and amuse himself. I often did so in the garden behind Max Planck’s HQ, a lovely, wooded place, good for reading while listening to the fountain and its brook. Ah, the fountain!” 

Robert’s simple advice to other writers is brief and powerful much like his poem. “Keep your eyes wide open — always!” 

And there you have it, folks. Keep your eyes open and your pen or laptop ready. Inspiration surrounds us. Now it’s your turn to write a winning entry and I can’t wait to read it!” 

Thanks very much, Diane!

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Filed under Accolades, Front Page, poetry

A Poem Honored by Saturday Writers

I belong to a very active, very supportive writers’ group called Saturday Writers. They just awarded a poem of mine first place in their spring contest. I am most pleased and honored!

February, March and April Poetry Contest ​
Themes: Mountains, Bodies of Water & Prairies 

First Place: Robert Walton for Caesura
Second Place: Susan Gore Zahra for Kansas Snapshots
Third Place: Billie Holladay Skelley for Mountain Lovers
Honorable Mention:Cathleen Callahan for Letter from the Frontier Prairie
Honorable Mention:Carol Roberson for The Church on the Hill 
Honorable Mention:Donna Mork Reed for Solitary Bird

Here’s the poem:

Caesura

Burgundy leaves,

Swaying in October breezes

Escaped from coming winter,

Dip toward a brook

Soon to be ice,

Its chimes and murmurs

Not yet muted —

A conversation 

To be resumed

When bursting buds

Open emerald eyes

In May.

Caesura

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Filed under Accolades, Front Page, poetry

One Bee

Many things worry me, but few concern me more than the well-being of pollinators. Editor Jayne Jaudon Ferrer shared my One Bee on Your Daily Poem and I thank her for doing so! Here’s the link if you wish to take a peek: https://www.yourdailypoem.com/page/aboutus

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Ramadan in Istanbul

The view from Kurtulus

While visiting son Jeremy some years ago, I experienced Ramadan in Istanbul — drums before dawn, tensions during the hot afternoon, wonderful mezes after dusk. My poem in Verse Virtual plucks memories from that trip. https://www.verse-virtual.org/2022/April/walton-robert-2022-april.html

Here’s the Basilica Cistern — just because.

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Sister Carmela’s Passing

It takes me a long time, often years, to smooth the flow of a formal poem. That’s true of Sister Carmela’s Passing. I began it more than ten years ago after an unexpected experience south of Carmel. I sent the resulting villanelle to the Braided Way three years ago and forgot about it. The editor dropped me a note informing me that she published it. I’d like to share it with all of you. https://braidedway.org/sister-carmelas-passing/

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Half Moon and other poems in Verse Virtual!

Moon silver!

Half Moon and two other of my poems were published in Verse Virtual today. I’m most honored to have them included alongside those of some amazing poets! Please take a peek at mine and all the poems in this month’s issue. Here’s the link: https://www.verse-virtual.org/2021/September/walton-robert-2021-september.html

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Filed under Chaos Gate, poetry

Tenaya Moods in Red Wolf Journal

I thank editor Irene Toh for including “Tenaya Moods Shared” in Red Wolf Journal. Yosemite’s beauties – especially Tenaya Lake – are sources of spiritual regeneration for all who visit them. Covid has severed us from those beauties for more than a year and our spirits suffer. Words are cabnot substitute, but I hope mine will help a little.

https://redwolfjournal.wordpress.com

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Filed under Accolades, Front Page, poetry