a.k.a Sharpie the Biker Poet

This is what I lived by and what I ride the open road by, the code:

The Code

I grew up believing in the code

The unspoken rules of life’s road


I hold my course straight and true

With all my heart I say to you


Cling to this and keep it warm

It surely helps make it through the storm


Promises are meant to be kept

Nothing less will I accept


A man’s word is his bond

But you must never be conned


Toe to toe, eye to eye

Keep the faith till you die


You must be steadfast and driven

Remember, no quarters asked or given


This is my code, my golden rule

Be true to yourself and be no fool!

James "Sharpie" Sharpensteen All Rights Reserved 

If I Were Wise

If I were wise,

I'd look at the world with optimistic eyes.

To all the people I would say    
Obedience of the law is the only way.

And when we make that decision,   
There won't be any need for prison.

I'd show how to make the fighting cease    
And how we could live in a world of peace.

Then we could stop wasting money on war
And use it instead to help our poor.

I'd study until I found the solution
To rid the world of its pollution.

And then I'd draw a psychedelic map        
With a road to bridge the generation gap.

I'd find the right words to make men discover   
That God is our Father and each man our brother.

People might say I'm idealistic,     But if I were wise, I'd gladly risk it.

In case you didn’t know, my husband, James Sharpensteen, better known as 'Sharpie the Biker Poet' passed away. 

We are having a Celebration/Memorial for Sharpie on Saturday, April the 8, 2017 at 10am at the Adult Wellness Center in Rogers AR (behind the Frisco Mall on Dixieland and Persimmon).

This will be a casual time to relax, relate, and share all about Sharpie. All are welcome. We need to be out of there by noon. Snacks, coffee, and water will be provided.

This is NOT your average 'Memorial' service. I don't want it to be so formal or so sad. We intend to celebrate his life. Feel free to join us but please do not feel obligated. Thank you all for your love and support as I've been learning to live differently without him physically here. 



Karla Sharpensteen

Here is a copy of his obituary:

Sharpie the Biker Poet a.k.a James Sharpensteen, passed away peacefully on Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016 at the Circle of Life Legacy House in Bentonville, Ark. He is survived by his wife, Karla (Burrell) Sharpensteen; an uncle, Charles Vowell of the Virgin Islands; an aunt, Gretta Vowell of Rogers; mother-in-law, Shirley Rambin of Greenwood, Ark.; three sisters-in-law; one brother-in-law; and numerous nieces; nephews; and cousins; as well as several Biker friends that he was very close to.

James, known to his friends as "Sharpie," lived his "bucket list" his whole life. He was able to travel, see, and do many various things that many of us never even think about. He spent the most of his working years insulating houses. He had done quite a variety of jobs including, but not limited to: merchant marine, ranch hand, gas station manager, changing light bulbs on antenna towers, tying up ships on the docks at New Orleans, welder, pipefitter, pizza delivery, house painter, cement yard ornaments, and was also a gourmet cook.

He was one of the original extreme skateboarders and did lots of surfing, camping, and hiking in his younger days. He hiked the Appalachian Trail where he was bit by a rattlesnake and survived. While delivering pizzas in New Orleans, he was stabbed twice and shot once, he had been struck by lightning twice, and had several close calls with death throughout his life.

He was a poet, writer, philosopher, biker, photographer, and literally a "jack of all trades." His favorite thing in recent years was to take what he called "adventures" on his bike and share his poems with whomever he met. He had just began to really get into photography the past three years and had a natural gift for lining up photos.

A Celebration of his Life will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to a childrens' charity of your choice in his honor. Arrangements by Benton County Memorial Park Funeral Home, Rogers, Arkansas.



* Please sign the GUESTBOOK and let us know where you crossed paths with Sharpie. (Keep scrolling to read more poems.)

Reach me on Facebook: Sharpie the Biker Poet


The description from the cover of my book and links to order are at the bottom of the page so please scroll down and check it out.

"Eternity" by Sharpie the Biker Poet

Short is my time here on earth, 

Eternity is mine since my birth. 

To the earth I will be no slave, 

I will not be buried in a grave. 

I will freely ascend, 

And my ashes scattered in the wind. 

No trap, I will not be caught, 

I will live on in the freedom of thought. 

Frozen in time etched in frost, 

My soul through poetry will never be lost.


©James “Sharpie” Sharpensteen


With third world countries experimenting with nuclear devices this makes me concerned for the future of humanity so I wrote this poem:

Nuclear Breeze

What do we treasure
Who do we love
What is our pleasure,
when push comes to shove

We make our decisions
in the blink of an eye
Hidden is our reason
We don't even ask why

Demons tell their secrets
and they make our minds ill
They take away our regrets
That our thoughts can kill

If we are not careful
with what we value most
The result can be awful
We may all become ghosts

And when we are all gone
What is it that God sees
The sun doesn’t rise at dawn

And there's a nuclear breeze


For years I was in the Merchant Marine.  This is a poem from my years as a Mariner, written at one of the times that I crossed the Equator and I was in the doldrums between the trade winds. To JIBE is to move when the boom of a boat swings across and you do not want to get caught so you have to duck and you yell out “Jibe Ho!” to warn anyone on deck that it's about to swing.:

Jibe Ho & A Little Luck

Learning exactly when to duck

Jib Ho and a little luck

Shiver me timbers and into the night

Steady as she goes and out of site

The main sail set

Hope for the wind

Bellowed and fluttered

Much to my chagrin

Such is the life of a seafaring man

Just cinch the rigging as tight as I can

A spot of rum in this tin cup

And wait for the wind to pick up.



Here's what my poetry means to me:


My words are intricate patterns woven in written text

In anticipation I look forward to what words come next

Like a wheel that has been set in motion

Full of imagery, deep thought, and emotion

Even myself I surprise at times

When later on I read and ponder my rhymes

It’s like my words are talking to me

Trying to make and help me see

My poems are a mosaic of who I am,

Bits and pieces of Sharpie, the poetry man.

Copyright ©2004 James Sharpensteen

a.k.a. Sharpie the Biker Poet

Facebook: Sharpie the Biker Poet©

Book available on Amazon:

Shattered Mosaic: Bits and Pieces of Sharpie the Biker Poet



Vulnerable Protection

When I see the hawk and eagle fly

And my thoughts will fill the sky

It makes me wonder what is real

When they say what they say

And point me on my way

I wonder what it is that I should feel

When I dream and I dare

And my words I try to share

And when I’m feeling blue

Sometimes words come to me

And I think they make me want to see

And I wonder what it is I should do

Do I just tell them to myself

Do I write them down and put them on a shelf

Or do I tell them to someone like you

Will they slip through my fingers like sand

Or will you understand

Or will I just make you blue

I’m not trying to tell you what to think

Just give your soul a little drink

Of my words of inspiration

Maybe I should just beware

There’s a chance you won’t care

And I will have lost my insulation

Happy now I do what I like

I’ll ride on my motor bike

Living out my fascination

Cause I can just ride away

Straight into a better day

And that… is my protection

©James “Sharpie” Sharpensteen



The words of a song

Tiptoe lightly through my memory

Eluding recognition.


I look around me

For inspirational scenery

But my sad eyes see only,


Huge man-made cesspools

Victims of man’s tremendous progress

And death warrant signatures.


Fierce concrete serpents

Supplanting nature as they wind past

The endless beer can grave yards.


Dragons exhaling

Black acrid smoke that covers the sky

Like a terrible death shroud.


Was it something called

Our America the beautiful?

No, that is illogical.

(c)James "Sharpie" Sharpensteen



I have eyes and I have ears

I have courage, yet I have fears.

Sometimes I laugh, then I have tears,

As I transcend through the years.


Sometimes I shun, then allow,

I clasp my hands then I bow.

Something inside wonders how

I have made it to this place called now.



The Good Book says there is a place

So I’ve been searching for it through time and space


Wondering if my wandering is all in vain

But lately it has been driving me quite insane


I don’t know if I’ll find what I’m looking for

This journey through this open door


To this place that I have never been to

As I soar up into the sky so blue


As I try so hard to cope

I’m passing the Hubble Telescope


©James “Sharpie” Sharpensteen




We must Feed A Child Every Day

Without food their hunger won’t go away


This is something this country hasn’t F.A.C.E.D.

Our country’s future on the next generation is based


Without food they cannot grow

Hunger is something no child should know


Without food a child cannot be all they can be

This is something that we should all be able to see


It is wrong for them to do without

That’s not what this country is all about


So please give this some thought


Because children should be hungry - NOT!


©James "Sharpie" Sharpensteen All Rights Reserved


My Poetry

This is my book of poetry,

A mirror of my imagery.

It holds some of my deepest thoughts

Of the peace that my soul has sought.

Some of them are rather silly,

Some, perhaps, a bit too frilly.

 Each rhyme reflecting its own mood,

Tranquil moments of solitude.

 Immortals have taught life to me.

Tolstoy wrote my biography.

Cervantes showed me how to dream,

And Dickens taught me not to scheme.

I studied war with Steven Crane,

And I learned humor from Mark Twain.

William Shakespeare expressed my wrath

And explained the mystery of death.

I learned romance from Hemingway

And David wrote the prayers I say.

When I look with introspection,

And scrutinize my reflection,

I’m often pleased with what I see.

But other times it saddens me.

This is the way I’m seen by God,

Stripped of all my earthly façade.

I leave you these thoughts, they are me.

I’ve wrapped them in love, poetry.


©James “Sharpie” Sharpensteen



Route 66 ain’t what it used to be

When Dad would take the family

On our many varied adventure trips

Across this fine country on Route 66


It’s broken in pieces and in disrepair

Because this nation forgot to care

Nostalgia and history have been swept aside

For the interstate which we now ride


You find an oasis now and then

Like Devils Elbow at the Elbow Inn

The Elbow Inn’s a damn fine watering hole

And full of Bikers with a whole lot of soul


There’s a bunch of us Bikers progress passed by

That would rather ride under the open sky

Music, Bikers, BBQ and beer – a Hell-of-a mix

And we’re still having fun down on Route 66


©James "Sharpie" Sharpensteen All Rights Reserved

A couple of my poems have been set to music by my friend and long-time musician Dan E James and are available to view on YouTube. Copy this link to your address bar to open YouTube and hear the song version of my poem: Working on the 4th of July.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANyGLBPOt2E

Thanks to Dan for working on the songs to put flesh on their bones - you are awesome!

For all my fans who are always asking, my book is now available for download on Kindle in addition to Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.  Here is the link to my book on the Kindle Store:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004OR1SU6

To ask how to get an autographed copy of my book just email me.  

Reach me on Facebook: Sharpie the Poet


The description from the cover of my book and links to order are below this poem so please check it out.

I'm proud to be a member of a group of road poets that ride and write called the Highway Poets Motorcycle Club. We have a website and are on Facebook so check us out.


You can now walk in and purchase an autographed copy of my first book at the NIGHTBIRDS BOOKSTORE on Dickson Street in Fayetteville, AR so be sure and check it out next time you're near!  See links below to order or email me if you want an autographed copy for someone special.



Here is the link to order my book from Amazon.com



Here is the link to order my book from Barnes and Noble.com:



Book Cover


In his debut collection of thought-provoking poetry, essays, and short stories, James 'Sharpie' Sharpensteen gives the reader a glimpse into his soul. His unique perspective of life flows from the pages in simple words lyrically joined to captivate, move, and entertain the reader. We are allowed to peer into his world as he explores day-to-day life experiences and current events with wit, wisdom, and humor; sometimes through metaphor, sometimes spiritually, and sometimes through mythical references.

Poems like Superman Can Fly Again remind us of heroes in our lives and Workin' on the 4th of July speaks of the sacrifices of military people every day. Hurricane Katrina prompted the writing of Broken Levy, Broken Hearts and while recovering after a head-on collision, he was inspired to write Eternity and Singed Wings.