Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Pamela Loykowski  Apr 2012
Begone
Pamela Loykowski Apr 2012
Begone! I say to thee
Begone Satan far from me
Begone, In Jesus name, I banish you from my life
We are through
Jesus died for all my pain
You, my soul will never gain
Begone, You frightful man
For only through the blood of Christ. I can
Be free my soul, come fly with me
For Satan, you could never be
Begone. I banish you
All my foes, pain, fear, depression, all of those
I banish you from my side
Begone from me, for Jesus' way is never wide
No room for you to overthrow
No words for you to ever crow
For in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God
I give to you this farewell nod.
This was a night to remember. The words would not leave me so in my restless sleep I found the peace to get up and write them down. I slept afterwards. A release. I would love to see this one made into a video. It has a power I love and repeat it often.
yvan sanchez Nov 2019
O the woe that lay upon the streets
of the foggy town of London—softly
masked in the air of excitement, the
lives, the deaths, the things, O
their beauty, everlasting beyond them;
white wisps that decorate the edges
of the sordid streets

Vision is illuminated in two, four eyes
One looking, one staring towards it, O
the magnificent ocean in its might;
the destroyer of worlds lay with it,
the creator of the endless night

The sun has lost its battle to the stars;
O, those stars that sing, that cry at the
wreckage below—

“We weep,” they say in its weakened glow
The wisps forming now over sacred clouds
“Begone, O light!” cries the creature below
“Begone, O thing of death upon me, glowing
upon my translucent cape, begone!”

Away and away, the sun mourns its loss
of the sweet ivy that grew upon those walls
“Begone, thing of the night!” it cries in
its post-apocalyptic voice—O a cry not
to be reckoned with in any time nor place

There lay the victims below the bereaved
and lower and lower live they—O, the
horrid undead, the undead that stop
that force of time, beyond the pavement,
beyond the stench, they lay

“Get hence, vile animal,” say they, carrying
their voices over the sound of the wind
O that sound that leaped over the mountains,
A word that shall be the last sentiment of
the living dead, a word spoken from beyond
the milky clouds: “Begone!”
For the Sparrows Dec 2012
Under the gloomy fall sky they say
cold and dry, a world of decay
Too much earth is a body of black bile
The road of melancholy stretches for miles

Black bile, black bile, you curse me!
Begone, Begone I wish to breathe
the air of Spring.

''Like a glass of wine'', the wise one proclaims
flowing like fish through your veins
Dark bitter-sweet liquid fermenting
You cause this heart lamenting

Black bile, black bile, you curse me!
Begone, Begone I wish to feel
the fire of Summer.

Humour me this, the four of you
We seek balance, we seek truth
Perhaps the artist cannot be cured
We are born to fly like the broken bird

Black bile, black bile, you curse me!
Begone, Begone I wish to drink
the water of Winter.
For Josh, my ally,  and my beloved friend.
Bryce Jul 2018
Fold you up like unwanted fat
cook you into a rocky stew
placed beneath a mantle of ice
far enough away to be misconstrued

You are old laminated time
And pillowed rock of incomprehensible
Earlier than any lime
Or sand, or sediment, or any kind
You are the grandfather rock
of mine

When I step with my inconsequential feet
living but transiently
I cannot help but be erased
that even you hath but one resting place

All the plants
and sands
and ever since the very first
we have always been ******
to this earth
walking upon your bones
I am sorry we cannot do more
but you know your creator
Speak in the same language
in amalgamators
of which we have forgot
and for that I can say
we are envious; are we naught?

Build softly, and carry us upon your thick
crust like pizza dough, cooking
and you let it sit
Let us win, set us up
drift us apart, leave us crushed
build us,
make us,
break us,
fill us

I want to be restored into your
stony belt and be redeemed
I want to become my own atomic fossil
to connect with the universe through long-lost
plotholes
and once again
hear the story
as a young lad
the way it was meant to be told

I want to eat dinner with my grandfather again
my real sweet stony-chiseled cheeked
father again
to be loved a boy
and a girl
and the whole world
a soul touched back into the deep
left unshackled
by a ***** or a queen
please,
take me back soon
rather than let me turn into

Laurentia
or Baltica
or Gondwana
alack
smacked into new rock to form
Urals
and Tetons
and Moher
back

Carbonate or Silicate,
and the end its the same
It won't be the end
for that fate rearranged
Sharina Saad Jun 2013
It has been raining all night long..
As I was singing sad love songs..
Look at the sky so dark and gloomy..
The air is damp and raw and lazy..

Looking out from my window..
The streets were wet and sloppy
and the rain came slowly and doggedly down,
as if it had not even the spirit to pour.
That exactly how i feel tonight..
Sad, emotionless, empty and lonely..

I pray for a little bit of sunshine...
Will there be a little light at the end?
Will warmth once more fill my heart
Banish sadness from my soul
Bring new joy after long wet days
A new life, new start for what has yet to come

Begone dark clouds of sadness
Begone wet cold begone
Welcome to this brand new life
Welcome a new beginning
Although the rain has played it part
The sun will warm the living

The storm has left my aching heart
No more sorrow no more pain
Dark clouds have been lifted from my mind
By sunshine after rain
Chloe M Teng Mar 2015
My feet touches, sways, & sweeps,
the white cement left on its street,
it told me, 'begone, begone, begone'
and all I ever cared was the colours of the sun.

A newspaper, thin and fair,
dances along the sways of a breeze,
Smoke creeps out of its small chimney,
of white water and black coffee

A tree stood tall and proud,
despite the lack of clothes and sound,
of the wind, the sun, and the sea,
of anything but the black & white trees.

I stopped, turned and stared,
through the white window
and black chair,
it seemed too easy and fast to me,
but within the black and white,
you were grey to me.
A short easy poem of an average person living within a life of simplicity & reality, that through the window of the barrier between their normality & the abnormality, realizes new life and profound discovery of a new colour.
The ghosts in the trees,
They're all staring at me.
I'm out here alone and lost,
Can't they just let me be?

The ghosts in the trees,
They seem to be scared.
I just want to go home,
But I don't know my way there.

A ghost of a raven
shrieked from the tree.
You may hide in a ravine
You may jump in the sea
You can run to the mountain
Pray to the craven
But I will find theeee!


That ghost in the tree,
It knows my name!
Turning, I start to run,
I don't like this game!

That ghost in the tree,
That shrieked my name.
It's starting to follow me,
Does it know I'm in pain?

Raven, Raven
Stark and mad
No safe haven
To be had
Yellow beak
Upon your back
For evermore,
Forever more.

Ghostly raven in that tree,
Why do you wish to torture me?
I'm simply lost, I don't want trouble.
Can't you just go to hell already?!

Ghostly raven in that tree,
I didn't really mean that.
I'm already so afraid,
I can't stand your beak upon my back.

Flee, fly, foe, crumb
My claws in your hair
Till your heart grows numb
-Begone or your'e done

Evil black bird I can see,
With your mocking and taunting.
I see a glowing light ahead
Your ghostly image is fading

Evil black bird I can see,
With your hatred and torture.
The glowing light is within reach,
I'll be gone and you have no future.

*Begone, begone
The night is long
I fear your fear
Unbidden here
Forever more
Forbidden.
Thank you to r, his fantastic poetic abilities really brought this collaboration to life.
Coleen Mzarriz Jun 2020
The sky holds its truth — as I stomped my feet
and let my cold eyes burn
into the windowpane
I realized,
they have my mysteries.

Shadows were occurring through,
conscious of my becoming —
demons were shrieking,
“Hail! Laud be to the desert god!”
I couldn't keep up anymore.

Dusts were stirring;
spider's web untangling,
they have my secrets.

Yet they stood hushed.

I did it again, did I?
All my sins showing
like a clog stink
I perceive,
the shadows screamed,
“Laud be to the desert god.”

Her face formed from the wetness of my sins,
showing me
of whom I have:
grow into and to be gone.

Hail you, hail you.

The windowpane
drew me back
to its torture,
begone now,
for I have descended from grace.

I am now a fallen angel.
“Begone now, hail you.”
They cried.

The sky holds its truth — all my secrets been dropped long,
but since then, they howled,
resurfaced from the deep hole.

I am frightened.
Begone now,
begone.
seeking for help, begone now.
she feels the warmth of him, in every part of her being
she feels the warmth of him, in every part of her being
to his reside her mind ever trips, oh to have his lips upon hers
to his reside her mind ever trips, oh to have his lips upon hers
oh to have his lips upon hers, she feels the warmth of him
in every part of her being, to his reside her mind ever trips

at a locale they meet, they're miles apart
at a locale they meet, they're miles apart
pangs of desire not actuated, close yet so far
pangs of desire not actuated, close yet so far
close yet so far, at a locale they meet
pangs of desire not actuated, they're miles apart

what to do, the quandary begs
what to do, the quandary begs
will they have a face to face, begone computer's impersonal interface  
will they have a face to face, begone computer's impersonal interface
the quandary begs, begone computer's impersonal interface
will they have a face to face, what to do

at a locale they meet, they're miles apart
close yet so far, will they have a face to face
pangs of desire not actuated, what to do
in every part of her being, oh to have his lips upon hers
the quandary begs, she feels the warmth of him
begone computer's impersonal interface, to his reside her mind ever trips
Sara L Russell Aug 2013
(A poem to be recited by actors)*

I

[Salome]

Jokanaan, such is my desire for thee,
The moon and stars hath turned away their face
I thirst to kiss thy sullen lips, softly,
I love thy lips, thine eyes that darkly gaze.

Fain would I strip thy garments all away
Replacing each with kisses to thy skin
Just as the dark of night becalms the day
Mine open arms shall gather thee within.

I burn to taste the kisses of thy lips
Just as the hummingbird sips from a rose
Stealing thy nectar with such tender sips
As melt thy sternest aspect, till it goes.

O let me taste thy kisses, holy man,
And quench desire as only woman can.


II

[John The Baptist]

Depart from me, daughter of Babylon,
That look'st on me with such covetous gaze!
Siren of *****'s mire, harlot, begone!
Away with thee and all thy wanton ways!

How canst thou speak with such depravity
Addressed unto a holy man of God?
How canst thou dance in merry liberty
Where our forefathers, seers and sages trod?

Look not upon me with thine eyes of lust,
With salivating, ravenous desire!
Love's purity shall outlive mortal dust
When thy dark soul burneth in Hades' fire!

Harlot of Babylon, strumpet, begone!
I am not thine to crudely gaze upon.


III

[King Herod]

Salome dances, circling the hall,
Gold lamplight shimmers in her dove-like eyes;
Her flame-red chiffon swirls with each footfall,
She glides like a bright bird of paradise.

Behold, she throws a veil onto the floor,
Exposing but a fleeting glimpse of breast;
Allowing but a small promise of more,
Another veil she throws, at my behest.

She sinuously sways her slender hips
And not one moment do her eyes leave mine;
She dances closer, smiles play on her lips
Those lips that could be sweet as Muscat wine.

And still she dances, ravaging my sight,
This light-skinned girl with hair as black as night.


IV

[John The Baptist]

Behold! She dances now before the king,
Whose eyes are full of lust incestuous;
For *****'s daughter, wildly gyrating
Whose very presence here is blasphemous!

I hear the music from my dungeon cell
Her light footsteps, distracting me from prayer,
She dances like a dervish sprung from hell,
I reel with loathing, knowing she is there.

Beware thy sins, Herod, Herodias!
Thy fall from grace approacheth like a storm!
Beware daughter of *****! None shall pass
Beyond the pit, the flames, the locust swarm!

Thy kingdom shall be cast into the flames;
Thy souls struck from the book of living names!


V

[King Herod]

Ah! Now the last veil flutters to the floor,
Her body holds no secrets from mine eyes;
Like ripened fruit making me thirst for more,
But I have promised more than may be wise.

Now I make good my promise unto you,
Salome, fairer sister to the moon;
Come now, I am thy slave; what can I do,
Name thy reward, and thou shalt have it soon.

Come hither, precious girl, I wish to share,
Take from the riches offered up to thee;
Choose from the sweetest wines beyond compare,
The rarest rubies of my treasury.

From treasured gems to pleasures of the vine,
Pray name thy heart's desire; it shall be thine.


VI

[Salome]

My heart's desire cares nothing for my love
What jewel can ever love me in return?
My regal beauty's deemed as not enough
For Jokanaan. I see him, and I burn.

I spurn thy earthly treasures set in gold,
I yearn not for their dancing play of light
There was but one pleasure I could behold
And he regaileth me with words of spite.

Thy precious cellar brimming full of wine
All taste divine; yet never quite as sweet
As luscious lips of he who can't be mine
Whose savage beauty stings me like defeat!

Therefore I say, reward me if you can;
Bring me the severed head of Jokanaan!


VII

[Herod]

Salome, you have asked a dreadful thing,
Such monstrous words flame from thy pretty lips!
I offer thee my finest emerald ring
The choicest clipper from my fleet of ships;

Thou canst prevail upon me for my land
My fields and vineyards all lain at thy feet;
Stables of horses all at thy command,
All of these gifts might make thy joy complete.

But do not ask of me the baptist's head,
His eyes disturb me far enough in life;
I listened well to everything he said,
His death would be a curse; a flaying knife!

Salome, quell the anger in thy breast,
I beg thee, reconsider thy request.


IX

[Salome]

Thou shalt not swerve the purpose of my mind,
My mind is set, this action must be done.
There is no greater gift that thou might find
Than that Jokanaan's eyes forsake the sun.

I prithee, take that scurvy **** away,
His eyes stare so, his tongue derides my name;
Silence his prating tongue, he's had his say
Now he must suffer for his words of flame!

I shall not sleep with that voice in my ears,
Sever that head, that mask of insolence!
He rants of prophecies, preys on thy fears,
Now he must make his final recompense.

I danced for thee. Reward me like a man,
Bring me the severed head of Jokanaan!


X

[John The Baptist]

A famine on thy fields, monarch of shame!
Locusts shall take thy vineyards and thy corn!
Rivers of blood have stained thy royal name
Thou art forever doomed, thy kingdom torn!

Thy family are coiled like nesting snakes
Thy daughter whispers with thy feckless queen,
They die along with thee, when the earth quakes
And fall into the bottomless ravine!

I hear thy soldiers storming through the halls
Approaching now, to my decrepit cell;
I shiver at the sound of their footfalls,
Though I'll not be the one condemned to hell.

May God send Raphael down from the sky;
Take me to somewhere better when I die!


XI

[Salome]

Ah now, thine eyes that once held so much fire,
Forever hide their light of righteousness;
I almost miss that shiver of desire
I once felt in their presence, I confess.

Thy tongue is silent now, that once cried out
In shards of venom, wounding blades of words;
And I'm at liberty to pluck it out,
If I desire; and throw it to the birds.

Thy rosy lips, as sullen as thy brow,
Soft petals, rendered harmless in repose;
They spurned me once, but I shall kiss them now,
As easily as one might steal a rose.

Thou once dared to refuse me, holy man,
Now I will kiss thy dead lips, Jokanaan!



The End.
Manas Madrecha Jun 2015
English Tranliteration - Pratishod Ek Mithya Hain

Ghisi peeti baate hain ab, tum naa uljho ateet mein,
Tyaag dwesh gar maaf karo, badle shatru bhi meet mein...

Sugalte badle ki chingaari ko, nahi lagti der badalte aag mein,
Barsaao kshama ka paani us par, katutaa badle prembaag mein...

Sabhi jeev hain mitra tumhare, fir bair bhav ka kya prayojan,
Waqt rehte thook do gussa, behtar hain apna lo sanyam...

Pratishod ek mithya hain, mat uljho iske jaal mein,
Saajisho aur yojaanaao mein, aur badle ki chaal mein...

Krodh ke angaare oor mein rakh, khud hi ko jalaa baithoge...
Man ki chinta chittaa samaan, yeh baat puraani bhulaa baithoge...

Der nahi huyi hain ab tak, maafi ki ehmiyat jaan lo,
Thoda maaf tum kar do ab, aur thodi tum bhi maang lo...

- - - - -

English Translation - Vengeance Is An Illusion

Begone and ancient thing it is, you don't get indulged in the past,
By abandoning hatred, if you forgive (someone) , then even an enemy gets transformed into a friend.

It doesn't take much time for a burning vengeance of cinder to change into fire,
Pour the water of forgiveness onto it, and even bitterness will change into garden of love.

All the beings are friends of yours, then what is the use of aversion?
In time, spit away your anger, and it's better to adopt temperance (sobriety/control) .

Vengeance is an illusion, don't get entwined in its trap,
In its conspiracies & plans, as well as in its schemes.

By keeping the burning coals of anger in heart, you will burn yourself alone,
Mind's worry is like a crematory pyre: you'll forget this ancient wisdom.

It's not too late still; know the significance of forgiveness,
You should now forgive a little and you should also ask for it a little...

- - - - -

Original Poem - प्रतिशोद इक मिथ्या है*

घिसी पीटी बातें हैं अब, तुम ना उलझो अतीत में।
त्याग द्वेष गर माफ़ करो, बदले शत्रु भी मीत में।।

सुलगते बदले की चिंगारी को, नहीं लगती देर बदलते आग मे।
बरसाओ क्षमा का पानी उस पर, कटुता बदले प्रेमबाग मे।।

सभी जीव हैं मित्र तुम्हारे, फिर बैरभाव का क्या प्रयोजन।
वक़्त रहते थूक दो गुस्सा, बेहतर है अपना लो संयम।।

प्रतिशोद इक मिथ्या है, मत उलझो इसके जाल में।
साजिशों और योजनाओं में, और बदले की चाल में।।

क्रोध के अँगारें रख उर में, खुद ही को जला बैठोगे।
मन की चिन्ता चित्ता समान, यह बात पुरानी भुला बैठोगे।।

© Poem by *
Manas Madrecha
This poem was first published on the blog 'Simplifying Universe'
(http://www.simplifyinguniverse.blogspot.com) in May, 2015.
Begone, foul beast;
Your presence is not wanted:
Leave me forever.
Michael R Burch Nov 2020
Poems about Icarus

These are poems about Icarus, flying and flights of fancy...



Southern Icarus
by Michael R. Burch

Windborne, lover of heights,
unspooled from the truck’s wildly lurching embrace,
you climb, skittish kite...

What do you know of the world’s despair,
gliding in vast... solitariness... there,
so that all that remains is to
fall?

Only a little longer the wind invests its sighs;
you
stall,
spread-eagled, as the canvas snaps

and *****
its white rebellious wings,
and all

the houses watch with baffled eyes.



Flight 93
by Michael R. Burch

I held the switch in trembling fingers, asked
why existence felt so small, so purposeless,
like a minnow wriggling feebly in my grasp...

vibrations of huge engines thrummed my arms
as, glistening with sweat, I nudged the switch
to OFF... I heard the klaxon's shrill alarms

like vultures’ shriekings... earthward, in a stall...
we floated... earthward... wings outstretched, aghast
like Icarus... as through the void we fell...

till nothing was so beautiful, so blue...
so vivid as that moment... and I held
an image of your face, and dreamed I flew

into your arms. The earth rushed up. I knew
such comfort, in that moment, loving you.



I AM!
by Michael R. Burch

I am not one of ten billion―I―
sunblackened Icarus, chary fly,
staring at God with a quizzical eye.

I am not one of ten billion, I.

I am not one life has left unsquashed―
scarred as Ulysses, goddess-debauched,
pale glowworm agleam with a tale of panache.

I am not one life has left unsquashed.

I am not one without spots of disease,
laugh lines and tan lines and thick-callused knees
from begging and praying and girls sighing "Please!"

I am not one without spots of disease.

I am not one of ten billion―I―
scion of Daedalus, blackwinged fly
staring at God with a sedulous eye.

I am not one of ten billion, I
AM!



Finally to Burn
(the Fall and Resurrection of Icarus)
by Michael R. Burch

Athena takes me
sometimes by the hand

and we go levitating
through strange Dreamlands

where Apollo sleeps
in his dark forgetting

and Passion seems
like a wise bloodletting

and all I remember
, upon awaking,

is: to Love sometimes
is like forsaking

one’s Being―to glide

heroically beyond thought,

forsaking the here
for the There and the Not.



O, finally to Burn,
gravity beyond escaping!

To plummet is Bliss
when the blisters breaking

rain down red scabs
on the earth’s mudpuddle...

Feathers and wax
and the watchers huddle...

Flocculent sheep,
O, and innocent lambs!,

I will rock me to sleep
on the waves’ iambs.



To sleep's sweet relief
from Love’s exhausting Dream,

for the Night has Wings
gentler than Moonbeams―

they will flit me to Life
like a huge-eyed Phoenix

fluttering off
to quarry the Sphinx.



Riddlemethis,
riddlemethat,

Rynosseross,
throw out the Welcome Mat.

Quixotic, I seek Love
amid the tarnished

rusted-out steel
when to live is varnish.

To Dream―that’s the thing!

Aye, that Genie I’ll rub,

soak by the candle,
aflame in the tub.



Riddlemethis,
riddlemethat,

Rynosseross,
throw out the Welcome Mat.

Somewhither, somewhither
aglitter and strange,

we must moult off all knowledge
or perish caged.

*

I am reconciled to Life
somewhere beyond thought―

I’ll Live the Elsewhere,
I’ll Dream of the Naught.

Methinks it no journey;
to tarry’s a waste,

so fatten the oxen;
make a nice baste.

I’m coming, Fool Tom,
we have Somewhere to Go,

though we injure noone,
ourselves wildaglow.

This odd poem invokes and merges with the anonymous medieval poem “Tom O’Bedlam’s Song” and W. H. Auden’s modernist poem “Musee des Beaux Arts,” which in turn refers to Pieter Breughel’s painting “The Fall of Icarus.” In the first stanza Icarus levitates with the help of Athena, the goddess or wisdom, through “strange dreamlands” while Apollo, the sun god, lies sleeping. In the second stanza, Apollo predictably wakes up and Icarus plummets to earth, or back to mundane reality, as in Breughel’s painting and Auden’s poem. In the third stanza the grounded Icarus can still fly, but only in flights of imagination through dreams of love. In the fourth and fifth stanzas Icarus joins Tom Rynosseross of the Bedlam poem in embracing madness by deserting “knowledge” and its cages (ivory towers, etc.). In the final stanza Icarus agrees with Tom that it is “no journey” to wherever they’re going together and also agrees with Tom that they will injure no one along the way, no matter how intensely they glow and radiate. The poem can be taken as a metaphor for the death and rebirth of Poetry, and perhaps as a prophecy that Poetry will rise, radiate and reattain its former glory...



Free Fall (II)
by Michael R. Burch

I have no earthly remembrance of you, as if
we were never of earth, but merely white clouds adrift,
swirling together through Himalayan serene altitudes―
no more man and woman than exhaled breath―unable to fall
back to solid existence, despite the air’s sparseness: all
our being borne up, because of our lightness,
toward the sun’s unendurable brightness...

But since I touched you, fire consumes each wing!

We who are unable to fly, stall
contemplating disaster. Despair like an anchor, like an iron ball,
heavier than ballast, sinks on its thick-looped chain
toward the earth, and soon thereafter there will be sufficient pain
to recall existence, to make the coming darkness everlasting.



Fledglings
by Michael R. Burch

With her small eyes, pale and unforgiving,
she taught me―December is not for those
unweaned of love, the chirping nestlings
who bicker for worms with dramatic throats

still pinkly exposed, who have not yet learned
the first harsh lesson of survival: to devour
their weaker siblings in the high-leafed ferned
fortress and impregnable bower

from which men must fly like improbable dreams
to become poets. They have yet to learn that,
before they can soar starward, like fanciful archaic machines,
they must first assimilate the latest technology, or

lose all in the sudden realization of gravity,
following Icarus’s, sun-unwinged, singed trajectory.



The Higher Atmospheres
by Michael R. Burch

Whatever we became climbed on the thought
of Love itself; we floated on plumed wings
ten thousand miles above the breasted earth
that had vexed us to such Distance; now all things
seem small and pale, a girdle’s handsbreadth girth...

I break upon the rocks; I break; I fling
my human form about; I writhe; I writhe.
Invention is not Mastery, nor wings
Salvation. Here the Vulture cruelly chides
and plunges at my eyes, and coos and sings...

Oh, some will call the sun my doom, but Love
melts callow wax the higher atmospheres
leave brittle. I flew high: not high enough
to melt such frozen resins... thus, Her jeers.



Notes toward an Icarian philosophy of life...
by Michael R. Burch

If the mind’s and the heart’s quests were ever satisfied,
what would remain, as the goals of life?

If there was only light, with no occluding matter,
if there were only sunny mid-afternoons but no mysterious midnights,
what would become of the dreams of men?

What becomes of man’s vision, apart from terrestrial shadows?

And what of man’s character, formed
in the seething crucible of life and death,
hammered out on the anvil of Fate, by Will?

What becomes of man’s aims in the end,
when the hammer’s anthems at last are stilled?

If man should confront his terrible Creator,
capture him, hogtie him, hold his ***** feet to the fire,
roast him on the spit as yet another blasphemous heretic
whose faith is suspect, derelict...
torture a confession from him,
get him to admit, “I did it!...

what then?

Once man has taken revenge
on the Frankenstein who created him
and has justly crucified the One True Monster, the Creator...

what then?

Or, if revenge is not possible,
if the appearance of matter was merely a random accident,
or a group illusion (and thus a conspiracy, perhaps of dunces, us among them),
or if the Creator lies eternally beyond the reach of justice...

what then?

Perhaps there’s nothing left but for man to perfect his character,
to fly as high as his wings will take him toward unreachable suns,
to gamble everything on some unfathomable dream, like Icarus,
then fall to earth, to perish, undone...

or perhaps not, if the mystics are right
about the true nature of darkness and light.

Is there a source of knowledge beyond faith,
a revelation of heaven, of the Triumph of Love?

The Hebrew prophets seemed to think so,
and Paul, although he saw through a glass darkly,
and Julian of Norwich, who heard the voice of God say,
“All shall be well,
and all manner of things shall be well...”

Does hope spring eternal in the human breast,
or does it just blindly *****?



Icarus Bickerous
by Michael R. Burch

for the Religious Right

Like Icarus, waxen wings melting,
white tail-feathers fall, bystanders pelting.

They look up amazed
and seem rather dazed―

was it heaven’s or hell’s furious smelting

that fashioned such vulturish wings?
And why are they singed?―

the higher you “rise,” the more halting?



Earthbound, a Vision of Crazy Horse
by Michael R. Burch

Tashunka Witko, a Lakota Sioux better known as Crazy Horse, had a vision of a red-tailed hawk at Sylvan Lake, South Dakota. In his vision he saw himself riding a spirit horse, flying through a storm, as the hawk flew above him, shrieking. When he awoke, a red-tailed hawk was perched near his horse.

Earthbound,
and yet I now fly
through the clouds that are aimlessly drifting...
so high
that no sound
echoing by
below where the mountains are lifting
the sky
can be heard.

Like a bird,
but not meek,
like a hawk from a distance regarding its prey,
I will shriek,
not a word,
but a screech,
and my terrible clamor will turn them to clay―
the sheep,
the earthbound.

Published by American Indian Pride and Boston Poetry Magazine



Flight
by Michael R. Burch

It is the nature of loveliness to vanish
as butterfly wings, batting against nothingness
seek transcendence...

Originally published by Hibiscus (India)



The Wonder Boys
by Michael R. Burch

(for Leslie Mellichamp, the late editor of The Lyric,
who was a friend and mentor to many poets, and
a fine poet in his own right)

The stars were always there, too-bright cliches:
scintillant truths the jaded world outgrew
as baffled poets winged keyed kites―amazed,
in dream of shocks that suddenly came true...

but came almost as static―background noise,
a song out of the cosmos no one hears,
or cares to hear. The poets, starstruck boys,
lay tuned in to their kite strings, saucer-eared.

They thought to feel the lightning’s brilliant sparks
electrify their nerves, their brains; the smoke
of words poured from their overheated hearts.
The kite string, knotted, made a nifty rope...

You will not find them here; they blew away―
in tumbling flight beyond nights’ stars. They clung
by fingertips to satellites. They strayed
too far to remain mortal. Elfin, young,

their words are with us still. Devout and fey,
they wink at us whenever skies are gray.

Originally published by The Lyric



American Eagle, Grounded
by Michael R. Burch

Her predatory eye,
the single feral iris,
scans.

Her raptor beak,
all jagged sharp-edged ******,
juts.

Her hard talon,
clenched in pinched expectation,
waits.

Her clipped wings,
preened against reality,
tremble.

Published as “Tremble” by The Lyric, Verses Magazine, Romantics Quarterly, Journeys, The Raintown Review, Poetic Ponderings, Poem Kingdom (All-Star Tribute), The Fabric of a Vision, NPAC―Net Poetry and Art Competition, Poet’s Haven, Listening To The Birth Of Crystals(Anthology), Poetry Renewal, Inspirational Stories, Poetry Life & Times, MahMag (Iranian/Farsi), The Eclectic Muse (Canada)



Album
by Michael R. Burch

I caress them―trapped in brittle cellophane―
and I see how young they were, and how unwise;
and I remember their first flight―an old prop plane,
their blissful arc through alien blue skies...

And I touch them here through leaves which―tattered, frayed―
are also wings, but wings that never flew:
like insects’ wings―pinned, held. Here, time delayed,
their features never merged, remaining two...

And Grief, which lurked unseen beyond the lens
or in shadows where It crept on furtive claws
as It scritched Its way into their hearts, depends
on sorrows such as theirs, and works Its jaws...

and slavers for Its meat―those young, unwise,
who naively dare to dream, yet fail to see
how, lumbering sunward, Hope, ungainly, flies,
clutching to Her ruffled breast what must not be.



Springtime Prayer
by Michael R. Burch

They’ll have to grow like crazy,
the springtime baby geese,
if they’re to fly to balmier climes
when autumn dismembers the leaves...

And so I toss them loaves of bread,
then whisper an urgent prayer:
“Watch over these, my Angels,
if there’s anyone kind, up there.”

Originally published by The HyperTexts



Learning to Fly
by Michael R. Burch

We are learning to fly
every day...

learning to fly―
away, away...

O, love is not in the ephemeral flight,
but love, Love! is our destination―

graced land of eternal sunrise, radiant beyond night!
Let us bear one another up in our vast migration.



In the Whispering Night
by Michael R. Burch

for George King

In the whispering night, when the stars bend low
till the hills ignite to a shining flame,
when a shower of meteors streaks the sky
while the lilies sigh in their beds, for shame,
we must steal our souls, as they once were stolen,
and gather our vigor, and all our intent.
We must heave our bodies to some famished ocean
and laugh as they vanish, and never repent.
We must dance in the darkness as stars dance before us,
soar, Soar! through the night on a butterfly's breeze...
blown high, upward-yearning, twin spirits returning
to the heights of awareness from which we were seized.

Published by Songs of Innocence, Romantics Quarterly, The Chained Muse and Poetry Life & Times. This is a poem I wrote for my favorite college English teacher, George King, about poetic kinship, brotherhood and romantic flights of fancy.



For a Palestinian Child, with Butterflies
by Michael R. Burch

Where does the butterfly go
when lightning rails,
when thunder howls,
when hailstones scream,
when winter scowls,
when nights compound dark frosts with snow...
Where does the butterfly go?

Where does the rose hide its bloom
when night descends oblique and chill
beyond the capacity of moonlight to fill?
When the only relief's a banked fire's glow,
where does the butterfly go?

And where shall the spirit flee
when life is harsh, too harsh to face,
and hope is lost without a trace?
Oh, when the light of life runs low,
where does the butterfly go?

Published by Tucumcari Literary Review, Romantics Quarterly, Poetry Life & Times, Victorian Violet Press (where it was nominated for a “Best of the Net”), The Contributor (a Nashville homeless newspaper), Siasat (Pakistan), and set to music as a part of the song cycle “The Children of Gaza” which has been performed in various European venues by the Palestinian soprano Dima Bawab



Sioux Vision Quest
by Crazy Horse, Oglala Lakota Sioux (circa 1840-1877)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A man must pursue his Vision
as the eagle explores
the sky's deepest blues.

Published by Better Than Starbucks, A Hundred Voices



in-flight convergence
by Michael R. Burch

serene, almost angelic,
the lights of the city ―― extend ――
over lumbering behemoths
shrilly screeching displeasure;
they say
that nothing is certain,
that nothing man dreams or ordains
long endures his command

here the streetlights that flicker
and those blazing steadfast
seem one: from a distance;
descend,
they abruptly
part ―――――― ways,

so that nothing is one
which at times does not suddenly blend
into garish insignificance
in the familiar alleyways,
in the white neon flash
and the billboards of Convenience

and man seems the afterthought of his own Brilliance
as we thunder down the enlightened runways.

Originally published by The Aurorean and subsequently nominated for the Pushcart Prize



Squall
by Michael R. Burch

There, in that sunny arbor,
in the aureate light
filtering through the waxy leaves
of a stunted banana tree,

I felt the sudden monsoon of your wrath,
the clattery implosions
and copper-bright bursts
of the bottoms of pots and pans.

I saw your swollen goddess’s belly
wobble and heave
in pregnant indignation,
turned tail, and ran.

Published by Chrysanthemum, Poetry Super Highway, Barbitos and Poetry Life & Times



Flight
by Michael R. Burch

Eagle, raven, blackbird, crow...
What you are I do not know.
Where you go I do not care.
I’m unconcerned whose meal you bear.
But as you mount the sunlit sky,
I only wish that I could fly.
I only wish that I could fly.

Robin, hawk or whippoorwill...
Should men care that you hunger still?
I do not wish to see your home.
I do not wonder where you roam.
But as you scale the sky's bright stairs,
I only wish that I were there.
I only wish that I were there.

Sparrow, lark or chickadee...
Your markings I disdain to see.
Where you fly concerns me not.
I scarcely give your flight a thought.
But as you wheel and arc and dive,
I, too, would feel so much alive.
I, too, would feel so much alive.

This is a poem that I believe I wrote as a high school sophomore. But it could have been written a bit later. I seem to remember the original poem being influenced by William Cullen Bryant's "To a Waterfowl."



Flying
by Michael R. Burch

I shall rise
and try the ****** wings of thought
ten thousand times
before I fly...

and then I'll sleep
and waste ten thousand nights
before I dream;
but when at last...

I soar the distant heights of undreamt skies
where never hawks nor eagles dared to go,
as I laugh among the meteors flashing by
somewhere beyond the bluest earth-bound seas...

if I'm not told
I’m just a man,
then I shall know
just what I am.

This is one of my early poems, written around age 16-17. According to my notes, I may have revised the poem later, in 1978, but if so the changes were minor because the poem remains very close to the original.



Stage Craft-y
by Michael R. Burch

There once was a dromedary
who befriended a crafty canary.
Budgie said, "You can’t sing,
but now, here’s the thing―
just think of the tunes you can carry!"



Clyde Lied!
by Michael R. Burch

There once was a mockingbird, Clyde,
who bragged of his prowess, but lied.
To his new wife he sighed,
"When again, gentle bride?"
"Nevermore!" bright-eyed Raven replied.



Less Heroic Couplets: ****** Most Fowl!
by Michael R. Burch

“****** most foul!”
cried the mouse to the owl.

“Friend, I’m no sinner;
you’re merely my dinner!”
the wise owl replied
as the tasty snack died.

Published by Lighten Up Online and in Potcake Chapbook #7

NOTE: In an attempt to demonstrate that not all couplets are heroic, I have created a series of poems called “Less Heroic Couplets.” I believe even poets should abide by truth-in-advertising laws! ― MRB



Lance-Lot
by Michael R. Burch

Preposterous bird!
Inelegant! Absurd!

Until the great & mighty heron
brandishes his fearsome sword.



Kissin’ ’n’ buzzin’
by Michael R. Burch

Kissin’ ’n’ buzzin’ the bees rise
in a dizzy circle of two.
Oh, when I’m with you,
I feel like kissin’ ’n’ buzzin’ too.



Delicacy
by Michael R. Burch

for all good mothers

Your love is as delicate
as a butterfly cleaning its wings,
as soft as the predicate
the hummingbird sings
to itself, gently murmuring―
“Fly! Fly! Fly!”
Your love is the string
soaring kites untie.



Lone Wild Goose
by Du Fu (712-770)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The abandoned goose refuses food and drink;
he cries querulously for his companions.

Who feels kinship for that strange wraith
as he vanishes eerily into the heavens?

You watch it as it disappears;
its plaintive calls cut through you.

The indignant crows ignore you both:
the bickering, bantering multitudes.

Du Fu (712-770) is also known as Tu Fu. The first poem is addressed to the poet's wife, who had fled war with their children. Ch'ang-an is an ironic pun because it means "Long-peace."



The Red Cockatoo
by Po Chu-I (772-846)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A marvelous gift from Annam―
a red cockatoo,
bright as peach blossom,
fluent in men's language.

So they did what they always do
to the erudite and eloquent:
they created a thick-barred cage
and shut it up.

Po Chu-I (772-846) is best known today for his ballads and satirical poems. Po Chu-I believed poetry should be accessible to commoners and is noted for his simple diction and natural style. His name has been rendered various ways in English: Po Chu-I, Po Chü-i, Bo Juyi and Bai Juyi.



The Migrant Songbird
Li Qingzhao aka Li Ching-chao (c. 1084-1155)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The migrant songbird on the nearby yew
brings tears to my eyes with her melodious trills;
this fresh downpour reminds me of similar spills:
another spring gone, and still no word from you...



Lines from Laolao Ting Pavilion
by Li Bai (701-762)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The spring breeze knows partings are bitter;
The willow twig knows it will never be green again.



The Day after the Rain
Lin Huiyin (1904-1955)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I love the day after the rain
and the meadow's green expanses!
My heart endlessly rises with wind,
gusts with wind...
away the new-mown grasses and the fallen leaves...
away the clouds like smoke...
vanishing like smoke...



Untitled Translations

Cupid, if you incinerate my soul, touché!
For like you she has wings and can fly away!
―Meleager, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

As autumn deepens,
a butterfly sips
chrysanthemum dew.
―Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Come, butterfly,
it’s late
and we’ve a long way to go!
―Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Up and at ’em! The sky goes bright!
Let’***** the road again,
Companion Butterfly!
―Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Ah butterfly,
what dreams do you ply
with your beautiful wings?
―Chiyo-ni, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Oh, dreamlike winter butterfly:
a puff of white snow
cresting mountains
―Kakio Tomizawa, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Dry leaf flung awry:
bright butterfly,
goodbye!
―Michael R. Burch, original haiku

Will we remain parted forever?
Here at your grave:
two flowerlike butterflies
―Matsuo Basho, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

a soaring kite flits
into the heart of the sun?
Butterfly & Chrysanthemum
―Michael R. Burch, original haiku

The cheerful-chirping cricket
contends gray autumn's gay,
contemptuous of frost
―Matsuo Basho, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Whistle on, twilight whippoorwill,
solemn evangelist
of loneliness
―Matsuo Basho, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

The sea darkening,
the voices of the wild ducks:
my mysterious companions!
―Matsuo Basho, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Lightning
shatters the darkness―
the night heron's shriek
―Matsuo Basho, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

This snowy morning:
cries of the crow I despise
(ah, but so beautiful!)
―Matsuo Basho, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

A crow settles
on a leafless branch:
autumn nightfall.
―Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Hush, cawing crows; what rackets you make!
Heaven's indignant messengers,
you remind me of wordsmiths!
―O no Yasumaro (circa 711), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Higher than a skylark,
resting on the breast of heaven:
this mountain pass.
―Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

An exciting struggle
with such a sad ending:
cormorant fishing.
―Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Does my soul abide in heaven, or hell?
Only the sea gull
in his high, lonely circuits, may tell.
―Glaucus, translation by Michael R. Burch

The eagle sees farther
from its greater height―
our ancestors’ wisdom
―Michael R. Burch, original haiku

A kite floats
at the same place in the sky
where yesterday it floated...
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Critical Mass
by Michael R. Burch

I have listened to the rain all this morning
and it has a certain gravity,
as if it knows its destination,
perhaps even its particular destiny.
I do not believe mine is to be uplifted,
although I, too, may be flung precipitously
and from a great height.

"Gravity" and "particular destiny" are puns, since rain droplets are seeded by minute particles of dust adrift in the atmosphere and they fall due to gravity when they reach "critical mass." The title is also a pun, since the poem is skeptical about heaven-lauding Masses, etc.



Ultimate Sunset
by Michael R. Burch

for my father, Paul Ray Burch, Jr.

he now faces the Ultimate Sunset,
his body like the leaves that fray as they dry,
shedding their vital fluids (who knows why?)
till they’ve become even lighter than the covering sky,
ready to fly...



Free Fall
by Michael R. Burch

for my father, Paul Ray Burch, Jr.

I see the longing for departure gleam
in his still-keen eye,
and I understand his desire
to test this last wind, like those late autumn leaves
with nothing left to cling to...



Leaf Fall
by Michael R. Burch

Whatever winds encountered soon resolved
to swirling fragments, till chaotic heaps
of leaves lay pulsing by the backyard wall.
In lieu of rakes, our fingers sorted each
dry leaf into its place and built a high,
soft bastion against earth's gravitron―
a patchwork quilt, a trampoline, a bright
impediment to fling ourselves upon.

And nothing in our laughter as we fell
into those leaves was like the autumn's cry
of also falling. Nothing meant to die
could be so bright as we, so colorful―
clad in our plaids, oblivious to pain
we'd feel today, should we leaf-fall again.

Originally published by The Neovictorian/Cochlea



The Folly of Wisdom
by Michael R. Burch

She is wise in the way that children are wise,
looking at me with such knowing, grave eyes
I must bend down to her to understand.
But she only smiles, and takes my hand.

We are walking somewhere that her feet know to go,
so I smile, and I follow...

And the years are dark creatures concealed in bright leaves
that flutter above us, and what she believes―
I can almost remember―goes something like this:
the prince is a horned toad, awaiting her kiss.

She wiggles and giggles, and all will be well
if only we find him! The woodpecker’s knell
as he hammers the coffin of some dying tree
that once was a fortress to someone like me

rings wildly above us. Some things that we know
we are meant to forget. Life is a bloodletting, maple-syrup-slow.

Originally published by Romantics Quarterly



Kin
by Michael R. Burch

for Richard Moore

1.
Shrill gulls,
how like my thoughts
you, struggling, rise
to distant bliss―
the weightless blue of skies
that are not blue
in any atmosphere,
but closest here...

2.
You seek an air
so clear,
so rarified
the effort leaves you famished;
earthly tides
soon call you back―
one long, descending glide...

3.
Disgruntledly you ***** dirt shores for orts
you pull like mucous ropes
from shells’ bright forts...
You eye the teeming world
with nervous darts―
this way and that...

Contentious, shrewd, you scan―
the sky, in hope,
the earth, distrusting man.



Songstress
by Michael R. Burch

Within its starkwhite ribcage, how the heart
must flutter wildly, O, and always sing
against the pressing darkness: all it knows
until at last it feels the numbing sting
of death. Then life's brief vision swiftly passes,
imposing night on one who clearly saw.
Death held your bright heart tightly, till its maw―
envenomed, fanged―could swallow, whole, your Awe.
And yet it was not death so much as you
who sealed your doom; you could not help but sing
and not be silenced. Here, behold your tomb's
white alabaster cage: pale, wretched thing!
But you'll not be imprisoned here, wise wren!
Your words soar free; rise, sing, fly, live again.

A poet like Nadia Anjuman can be likened to a caged bird, deprived of flight, who somehow finds it within herself to sing of love and beauty. But when the world finally robs her of both flight and song, what is left for her but to leave the world, thus bereaving the world of herself and her song?



Performing Art
by Michael R. Burch

Who teaches the wren
in its drab existence
to explode into song?

What parodies of irony
does the jay espouse
with its sharp-edged tongue?

What instinctual memories
lend stunning brightness
to the strange dreams

of the dull gray slug
―spinning its chrysalis,
gluing rough seams―

abiding in darkness
its transformation,
till, waving damp wings,

it applauds its performance?
I am done with irony.
Life itself sings.



Lean Harvests
by Michael R. Burch

for T.M.

the trees are shedding their leaves again:
another summer is over.
the Christians are praising their Maker again,
but not the disconsolate plover:
i hear him berate
the fate
of his mate;
he claims God is no body’s lover.

Published by The Rotary Dial and Angle



My Forty-Ninth Year
by Michael R. Burch

My forty-ninth year
and the dew remembers
how brightly it glistened
encrusting September,...
one frozen September
when hawks ruled the sky
and death fell on wings
with a shrill, keening cry.

My forty-ninth year,
and still I recall
the weavings and windings
of childhood, of fall...
of fall enigmatic,
resplendent, yet sere,...
though vibrant the herald
of death drawing near.

My forty-ninth year
and now often I've thought on
the course of a lifetime,
the meaning of autumn,
the cycle of autumn
with winter to come,
of aging and death
and rebirth... on and on.

Originally published by Romantics Quarterly as “My Twenty-Ninth Year”



Myth
by Michael R. Burch

Here the recalcitrant wind
sighs with grievance and remorse
over fields of wayward gorse
and thistle-throttled lanes.

And she is the myth of the scythed wheat
hewn and sighing, complete,
waiting, lain in a low sheaf―
full of faith, full of grief.

Here the immaculate dawn
requires belief of the leafed earth
and she is the myth of the mown grain―
golden and humble in all its weary worth.



What Works
by Michael R. Burch

for David Gosselin

What works―
hewn stone;
the blush the iris shows the sun;
the lilac’s pale-remembered bloom.

The frenzied fly: mad-lively, gay,
as seconds tick his time away,
his sentence―one brief day in May,
a period. And then decay.

A frenzied rhyme’s mad tip-toed time,
a ballad’s languid as the sea,
seek, striving―immortality.

When gloss peels off, what works will shine.
When polish fades, what works will gleam.
When intellectual prattle pales,
the dying buzzing in the hive
of tedious incessant bees,
what works will soar and wheel and dive
and milk all honey, leap and thrive,

and teach the pallid poem to seethe.



Desdemona
by Michael R. Burch

Though you possessed the moon and stars,
you are bound to fate and wed to chance.
Your lips deny they crave a kiss;
your feet deny they ache to dance.
Your heart imagines wild romance.

Though you cupped fire in your hands
and molded incandescent forms,
you are barren now, and―spent of flame―
the ashes that remain are borne
toward the sun upon a storm.

You, who demanded more, have less,
your heart within its cells of sighs
held fast by chains of misery,
confined till death for peddling lies―
imprisonment your sense denies.

You, who collected hearts like leaves
and pressed each once within your book,
forgot. None―winsome, bright or rare―
not one was worth a second look.
My heart, as others, you forsook.

But I, though I loved you from afar
through silent dawns, and gathered rue
from gardens where your footsteps left
cold paths among the asters, knew―
each moonless night the nettles grew

and strangled hope, where love dies too.

Published by Penny Dreadful, Carnelian, Romantics Quarterly, Grassroots Poetry and Poetry Life & Times



Transplant
by Michael R. Burch

You float, unearthly angel, clad in flesh
as strange to us who briefly knew your flame
as laughter to disease. And yet you laugh.
Behind your smile, the sun forfeits its claim
to earth, and floats forever now the same―
light captured at its moment of least height.

You laugh here always, welcoming the night,
and, just a photograph, still you can claim
bright rapture: like an angel, not of flesh―
but something more, made less. Your humanness
this moment of release becomes a name
and something else―a radiance, a strange
brief presence near our hearts. How can we stand
and chain you here to this nocturnal land
of burgeoning gray shadows? Fly, begone.
I give you back your soul, forfeit all claim
to radiance, and welcome grief’s dark night
that crushes all the laughter from us. Light
in someone Else’s hand, and sing at ease
some song of brightsome mirth through dawn-lit trees
to welcome morning’s sun. O daughter! these
are eyes too weak for laughter; for love’s sight,
I welcome darkness, overcome with light.



Prodigal
by Michael R. Burch

This poem is dedicated to Kevin Longinotti, who died four days short of graduation from Vanderbilt University, the victim of a tornado that struck Nashville on April 16, 1998.

You have graduated now,
to a higher plane
and your heart’s tenacity
teaches us not to go gently
though death intrudes.

For eighteen days
―jarring interludes
of respite and pain―
with life only faintly clinging,
like a cashmere snow,
testing the capacity
of the blood banks
with the unstaunched flow
of your severed veins,
in the collapsing declivity,
in the sanguine haze
where Death broods,
you struggled defiantly.

A city mourns its adopted son,
flown to the highest ranks
while each heart complains
at the harsh validity
of God’s ways.

On ponderous wings
the white clouds move
with your captured breath,
though just days before
they spawned the maelstrom’s
hellish rift.

Throw off this mortal coil,
this envelope of flesh,
this brief sheath
of inarticulate grief
and transient joy.

Forget the winds
which test belief,
which bear the parchment leaf
down life’s last sun-lit path.

We applaud your spirit, O Prodigal,
O Valiant One,
in its percussive flight into the sun,
winging on the heart’s last madrigal.



Breakings
by Michael R. Burch

I did it out of pity.
I did it out of love.
I did it not to break the heart of a tender, wounded dove.

But gods without compassion
ordained: Frail things must break!
Now what can I do for her shattered psyche’s sake?

I did it not to push.
I did it not to shove.
I did it to assist the flight of indiscriminate Love.

But gods, all mad as hatters,
who legislate in all such matters,
ordained that everything irreplaceable shatters.



An Illusion
by Michael R. Burch

The sky was as hushed as the breath of a bee
and the world was bathed in shades of palest gold
when I awoke.

She came to me with the sound of falling leaves
and the scent of new-mown grass;
I held out my arms to her and she passed

into oblivion...

This is one of my early poems, written around age 16 and published in my high school literary journal, The Lantern.



Lines for My Ascension
by Michael R. Burch

I.

If I should die,
there will come a Doom,
and the sky will darken
to the deepest Gloom.

But if my body
should not be found,
never think of me
in the cold ground.

II.

If I should die,
let no mortal say,
“Here was a man,
with feet of clay,

or a timid sparrow
God’s hand let fall.”
But watch the sky darken
to an eerie pall

and know that my Spirit,
unvanquished, broods,
and cares naught for graves,
prayers, coffins, or roods.

And if my body
should not be found,
never think of me
in the cold ground.

III.

If I should die,
let no man adore
his incompetent Maker:
Zeus, Jehovah, or Thor.

Think of Me as One
who never died―
the unvanquished Immortal
with the unriven side.

And if my body
should not be found,
never think of me
in the cold ground.

IV.

And if I should “die,”
though the clouds grow dark
as fierce lightnings rend
this bleak asteroid, stark...

If you look above,
you will see a bright Sign―
the sun with the moon
in its arms, Divine.

So divine, if you can,
my bright meaning, and know―
my Spirit is mine.
I will go where I go.

And if my body
should not be found,
never think of me
in the cold ground.



The Locker
by Michael R. Burch

All the dull hollow clamor has died
and what was contained,
removed,

reproved
adulation or sentiment,
left with the pungent darkness

as remembered as the sudden light.

Originally published by The Raintown Review



Keywords/Tags: Sports, locker, lockerroom, clamor, adulation, acclaim, applause, sentiment, darkness, light, retirement, athlete, team, trophy, award, acclamation


Keywords/Tags: Icarus, Daedalus, flight, fly, flying, wind, wings, sun, height, heights, fall, falling, ascent, descent, imagination, bird, birds, butterfly, butterflies, hawk, eagle, geese, plane, kite, kites, mrbfly, mrbflight, mrbicarus

— The End —