Two more poems from The Lyric (Winter 2021)

Here are two more of my poems published in Lyric poetry magazine. These are from the winter 2020 issue. I hope to submit more work to the magazine soon.


By Rob Crisell

I rest here on the ocean floor,

But once I rode upon the foam,

And carried soldiers off to war,

And bore them safely home. 

Now light drifts down to me below

As I gaze up at sapphire sky.

Upon my back bright starfish grow,

Within my chest dwell octopi.

An icy current weaves its way

Across my bones of rusted steel,

Reminding me of thrilling days

When gallant captains turned my wheel.

But I don’t mourn my damaged pride, 

Nor for my mortal labors long. 

I dream the salt and sigh the tide,

And sing the sea’s eternal song.


By Rob Crisell

A plot twist—Hamlet reaches middle age:

Claudius is killed at prayer some years before, 

Allowing Gertrude’s son to take the stage

With bride Ophelia, at Elsinore. 

He trades his scholar’s eye for Denmark’s throne,

His antic disposition vindicated;

His people prosperous, his children grown,

His father’s spirit well propitiated. 

And yet he wonders: Did he miss the point?

Did easy living dull his poet’s heart?

No tragic flaw; no time that’s out of joint;

Not even players move him with their art. 

He drinks his wine to spur the years along,

Suspecting someone, somewhere, got it wrong. 

Author: admin

Rob Crisell is an author, actor, teacher, and Shakespearean in Temecula, CA. He teaches poetry and Shakespeare with the Murrieta Valley Union School District as part of its Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) program. He is a Shakespeare lecturer with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. He has acted in The Merchant of Venice, Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged), Baskerville, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, The Tempest (Prospero), Macbeth, Othello (Iago), and others. Over the quarantine, he has acted in Much Ado About Nothing and Merry Wives of Windsor (with Nathan Agin’s “A Working Actor’s Journey production) and King Lear (Quarantine Players). He has written and performed several one-man plays featuring Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Shakespeare in America. He’s the author of Shakespeare’s Book of Wisdom: Advice on Living a Wiser, Happier Life from William Shakespeare & Friends (DePortola Press 2018). His 2016 TED Talk is “How NOT to Hate Shakespeare.” His verse adaptation of Sophocles’ Electra will be produced by Full Circle Players in Riverside, California in October 2020. He is a graduate of Yale University and George Mason University Law School. For details, visit or www.facebook/robcrisellactor/.