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    I live in a land that lies between
    Ars Poetica and Daylight.
    Near Poesia the sea of dreams
    shining softly in the moonlight.

    'cross the Isthmus of Illusion, down
    the River of Riotous Times.
    You’ll find me there, beneath a tree
    happily batting out rhymes.

    Beyond the Plains of Perilous Plight
    and the Hills of Recombinant Verse.
    It’s a land where poetry lingers like clouds
    in a sky you’d just love to traverse.

    In a huge balloon made of phrases and verbs
    tied together with lines of conjunction.
    Buoyed by verses so light and so clear
    so delightful they near’ restrict function.

    On the other hand, there’s another land
    to the east, where the verse is so sodden
    that poets (who normally are creatures of light) are
    quite proud of being downtrodden.

    In Pedantia, poetry’s a serious thing
    made with scary rules and compunction.
    With so many levels of interpretation
    you can barely retain mental function.

    With references so arcane and obscure
    that it’s easy to question validity.
    Except when you note that the poet who wrote them
    died drowning in excess perfidy.

    Clarity in poetry’s a dangerous thing
    that terrifies scholars and hokes
    who, failing to see to the bottom of things
    bind their words up in mirrors and smoke.

    The effortless flow of simplicity, just
    evades their awareness, I guess.
    And all they intend, at the end of it all
    is to wow and confuse and impress.

    But the poetry of truth can be simple and clear
    without so much as a riddle.
    Its premise is such that it needs no device
    no artifice nor tremulous fiddl(ing).

    A poetic statement, clear and concise
    understood by any who read it
    is vastly superior to one made with lines
    so confusing they act to defeat it.

    A piece thickly bound in pedantics
    based on overworked pontification
    makes a far better sermon, than poetic verse
    as it’s rooted in obfuscation.  

    My homeland though, is in a place
    where poetry’s thankfully brimming
    with lightness and grace, laid out at a pace
    that doesn’t set your head spinning.

    I come from a land that lies between
    Ars Poetica and Daylight.
    Near Poesia, the sea of dreams
    shining softly in the moonlight.

    'cross the Isthmus of Illusion, down
    the River of Riotous Times.
    You’ll find me here at the end of my days
    happily batting out rhymes.

    Michael Graves
    Senior Poet
    Al Da Beatz Magazine



    Ars Poetica: Ars Poetica is a term meaning "The Art of Poetry" or "On the Nature of Poetry". Early examples of Artes Poeticae by Aristotle and Horace have survived and many other poems bear the same name.


    Poesia: Italian/Portuguese: Poetry


    Pedantica: A fictional land; from Pedantic: “Characterized by a narrow, often ostentatious concern for book learning and formal rules. Marked by a narrow, often tiresome focus on or display of learning, and especially its trivial aspects.”


    hoke: One who hokes or “hokes up”. Originally from "hokum", “to hoke”, means: "to alter or manipulate so as to give a deceptively or superficially improved quality or value (usually followed by up ): as in: “a political speech hoked up with phony statistics."


    One who hokes things up, is therefore a “hoke.”

    I am happy to announce that my book "Messages in a Bottle: Communications to My Future Self" took one of the top awards given by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association in 2018.

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