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Bleurose Dec 2020
Oh Dionysus.
How I miss you,
but your blood....gives me anxiety.
It makes people hate me, I can't stand to be
alone.

I can't say I don't miss dancing with you
But it's not much of a party with just the two of us.
No one else is willing to dance for long.

There was a time where you were,
my only friend
and you would smile and take me in your arms while
I sobbed and enjoyed the haze of your being.
I in turn, worshipped you. Even if research, candles and hymns, libations of your own blood and my perfume could hardly be enough.

It's all I have, my lord.

While I miss the roiling, twisting madness of your magnificence
I shouldn't be there.
I want to be, desperately
but I pick up a bottle and look at myself in disgust and shame.
It's not you, it's me.
This is far from a disillusionment of gods.
I will still dance, my lord, just perhaps not as closely as before.
I miss drinking and my lord Dionysus.
oscar Nov 2020
a child stands before you
begging to devour your wit
praying to steal your eyes.

he is looking at you,
he who no longer has a body
no longer has a voice,
he who was made translucent,
he is looking
through you
and howls his white-hot heart:

'how does one live,
how can one love,
if one feels no anguish?

first, there lies death;
then, a massacre of void-kissed beliefs.
and then, only then, can there be life
which bears little importance.'

the sage muse of tragedy
holds in her forgiving palm
the secret of your
divine-poisoned sap,

she kisses your bones;
tied together by vine branches
born from the hands of fervid dionysus.
you hear her inside your skin:

'i know how weary your throat is
of singing (screaming) the same hymns.
dip them in terror, see them
drip with slaughter and doom
and ablaze cries and a
long-forgotten deity’s roar and —'

the last words die off
between your soiled fingers,
on the bloodstained ground.
kyle dionysus Nov 2020
Vines around my neck.
Thorns in my waist.
Seeds in my eyes.
Juice drips from my veins.
Apollo Oct 2020
Lovers kiss
fig-sweet and holy
tangled in ivy
fingers twined 
in Titian hair
He loves the taste
of wine and blood
the madness 
of drunken lust
of frenzied rage
of flesh and fruit
Lips full
and blushed crimson
slick with nectar
Words that spill from
his kiss-swollen mouth
rend and restore
burn against skin
Balm of Gilead 
to the heart
Drink him, slowly
the thirst
is bottomless
Spadille Sep 2020
Dionysus I pray to you
Give me a thousand gallons of wine
So that my soul will be intoxicated

With wine, I can forget
My soul will be released from it's prison
The burden it carries will be lifted

Dionysus I beg you
Drive me insane
My mind can not go on

Drown me in a sea of wine
Let me sink into the seafloor
My heart is too heavy
King Arthur Apr 2020
There’s no better time than now to celebrate
Even when it feels like the world is ending, rejoice
Rejoice for life, rejoice for living, never forget
That we will always be able to fill our cups
Our sorrows will always be replaced by happiness
We will always be here after the storm
Michael R Burch Mar 2020
To Flower
by Michael R. Burch

We are not long for this earth, I know—
you and I, all our petals incurled,
till a night of pale brilliance, moonflower aglow.
Is there love anywhere in this strange world?

The agave knows best when it’s time to die
and rages to life with such rapturous leaves
her name means Illustrious. Each hour more high,
she claws toward heaven, for, if she believes

in love at all, she has left it behind
to flower, to flower. When darkness falls
she wilts down to meet it, where something crawls:
beheaded, bewildered. And since love is blind,

she never adored it, nor watches it go.
Can we be as she is, moonflower aglow?

When Pentheus [“grief’] went into the mountains in the garb of the baccae, his mother [Agave] and the other maenads, possessed by Dionysus, tore him apart (Euripides, Bacchae; Apollodorus 3.5.2; Ovid, Metamorphoses 3.511-733; Hyginus, Fabulae 184). The agave dies as soon as it blooms; the moonflower, or night-blooming cereus, is a desert plant of similar fate.

Published by The Neovictorian/Cochlea, Famous Poets and Poems, Poetry on Demand, Sonnetto Poesia (Canada). Keywords/Tags: Moonflower, cereus, agave, flower, Illustrious, Pentheus, grief, Dionysus, maenads, Euripides, Ovid, mrbch, mrbroses, mrbflow, mrbflower



Day, and Night
by Michael R. Burch

The moon exposes pockmarked scars of craters;
her visage, veiled by willows, palely looms.
And we who rise each day to grind a living,
dream each scented night of such perfumes
as drew us to the window, to the moonlight,
when all the earth was steeped in cobalt blue―
an eerie vase of achromatic flowers
bled silver by pale starlight, losing hue.

The night begins her waltz to waiting sunrise―
adagio, the music she now hears;
and we who in the sunlight slave for succor,
dreaming, seek communion with the spheres.
And all around the night is in crescendo,
and everywhere the stars’ bright legions form,
and here we hear the sweet incriminations
of lovers we had once to keep us warm.

And also here we find, like bled carnations,
red lips that whitened, kisses drawn to lies,
that touched us once with fierce incantations
and taught us love was prettier than wise.



Mayflies
by Michael R. Burch

These standing stones have stood the test of time
but who are you
and what are you
and why?

As brief as mist, as transient, as pale...
Inconsequential mayfly!

Perhaps the thought of love inspired hope?
Do midges love? Do stars bend down to see?
Do gods commend the kindnesses of ants
to aphids? Does one eel impress the sea?

Are mayflies missed by mountains? Do the stars
regret the glowworm’s stellar mimicry
the day it dies? Does not the world grind on
as if it’s no great matter, not to be?

Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose.
And yet somehow you’re everything to me.



Our English Rose
by Michael R. Burch

for my mother Christine Ena Burch

The rose is―
the ornament of the earth,
the glory of nature,
the archetype of the flowers,
the blush of the meadows,
a lightning flash of beauty.

NOTE: This is my translation/interpretation of a Sappho epigram.



First and Last
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

You are the last arcane rose
of my aching,
my longing,
or the first yellowed leaves―
vagrant spirals of gold
forming huddled bright sheaves;
you are passion forsaking
dark skies, as though sunsets no winds might enclose.

And still in my arms
you are gentle and fragrant―
demesne of my vigor,
spent rigor,
lost power,
fallen musculature of youth,
leaves clinging and hanging,
nameless joys of my youth to this last lingering hour.



Fairest Diana
by Michael R. Burch

Fairest Diana, princess of dreams,
born to be loved and yet distant and lone,
why did you linger―so solemn, so lovely―
an orchid ablaze in a crevice of stone?

Was not your heart meant for tenderest passions?
Surely your lips―for wild kisses, not vows!
Why then did you languish, though lustrous, becoming
a pearl of enchantment cast before sows?

Fairest Diana, as fragile as lilac,
as willful as rainfall, as true as the rose;
how did a stanza of silver-bright verse
come to be bound in a book of dull prose?



Sweet Rose of Virtue
by William Dunbar 1460-1525
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Sweet rose of virtue and of gentleness,
delightful lily of youthful wantonness,
richest in bounty and in beauty clear
and in every virtue that is held most dear―
except only that you are merciless.

Into your garden, today, I followed you;
there I saw flowers of freshest hue,
both white and red, delightful to see,
and wholesome herbs, waving resplendently―
yet everywhere, no odor but rue.

I fear that March with his last arctic blast
has slain my fair rose of pallid and gentle cast,
whose piteous death does my heart such pain
that, if I could, I would compose her roots again―
so comforting her bowering leaves have been.



Lady’s Favor
by Michael R. Burch

May
spring
fling
her riotous petals
devil-
may-care
into the air,
ignoring the lethal
nettles
and may
May
cry gleeful-
ly Hooray!
as the abundance
settles,
till a sudden June
swoon
leave us out of tune,
torn,
when the last rose is left
inconsolably bereft,
rudely shorn
of every device but her thorn.

Published by The Lyric, Poem Today, Deviant Art and Suravejiliz (Tokelau)



The Harvest of Roses
by Michael R. Burch

I have not come for the harvest of roses―
the poets' mad visions,
their railing at rhyme...
for I have discerned what their writing discloses:
weak words wanting meaning,
beat torsioning time.

Nor have I come for the reaping of gossamer―
images weak,
too forced not to fail;
gathered by poets who worship their luster,
they shimmer, impendent,
resplendently pale.

Originally published by The Raintown Review



The Toast
by Michael R. Burch

For longings warmed by tepid suns
(brief lusts that animated clay),
for passions wilted at the bud
and skies grown desolate and gray,
for stars that fell from tinseled heights
and mountains bleak and scarred and lone,
for seas reflecting distant suns
and weeds that thrive where seeds were sown,
for waltzes ending in a hush,
for rhymes that fade as pages close,
for flames' exhausted, drifting ash,
and petals falling from the rose,...
I raise my cup before I drink,
saluting ghosts of loves long dead,
and silently propose a toast―
to joys set free, and those I fled.



Roses for a Lover, Idealized
by Michael R. Burch

When you have become to me
as roses bloom, in memory,
exquisite, each sharp thorn forgot,
will I recall―yours made me bleed?

When winter makes me think of you,
whorls petrified in frozen dew,
bright promises blithe spring forgot,
will I recall your words―barbed, cruel?

I don't remember the exact age at which I wrote this poem, but it was around the time I realized that "love is not a bed of roses." I wrote it after breaking up with my first live-in girlfriend, in my early twenties. We did get back together, before a longer, final separation. The poem has been published by The Lyric, Trinacria, Better Than Starbucks, The Chained Muse and Glass Facets of Poetry. It has also been translated into Italian by Comasia Aquaro and published by La luce che non muore.



Escape!!
by Michael R. Burch

You are too beautiful,
too innocent,
too inherently lovely
to merely reflect the sun’s splendor...

too full of irresistible candor
to remain silent,
too delicately fawnlike
for a world so violent...

Come, my beautiful Bambi
and I will protect you...
but of course you have already been lured away
by the dew-laden roses...



Winter
by Michael R. Burch

The rose of love's bright promise
lies torn by her own thorn;
her scent was sweet
but at her feet
the pallid aphids mourn.

The lilac of devotion
has felt the winter ****
and shed her dress;
companionless,
she shivers―****, forlorn.

Published by Songs of Innocence, The Aurorean, Contemporary Rhyme and The HyperTexts



Violets
by Michael R. Burch

Once, only once,
when the wind flicked your skirt
to an indiscreet height

and you laughed,
abruptly demure,
outblushing shocked violets:

suddenly,
I knew:
everything had changed

and as you braided your hair
into long bluish plaits
the shadows empurpled,

the dragonflies’
last darting feints
dissolving mid-air,

we watched the sun’s long glide
into evening,
knowing and unknowing.

O, how the illusions of love
await us in the commonplace
and rare

then haunt our small remainder of hours.

Originally published by Romantics Quarterly



Sunset
by Michael R. Burch

This poem is dedicated to my grandfather, George Edwin Hurt, who died April 4, 1998.

Between the prophecies of morning
and twilight’s revelations of wonder,
the sky is ripped asunder.

The moon lurks in the clouds,
waiting, as if to plunder
the dusk of its lilac iridescence,

and in the bright-tentacled sunset
we imagine a presence
full of the fury of lost innocence.

What we find within strange whorls of drifting flame,
brief patterns mauling winds deform and maim,
we recognize at once, but cannot name.



***** Nilly
by Michael R. Burch

for Tom Merrill

Isn’t it silly, ***** Nilly?
You made the stallion,
you made the filly,
and now they sleep
in the dark earth, stilly.
Isn’t it silly, ***** Nilly?

Isn’t it silly, ***** Nilly?
You forced them to run
all their days uphilly.
They ran till they dropped—
life’s a pickle, dilly.
Isn’t it silly, ***** Nilly?

Isn’t it silly, ***** Nilly?
They say I should worship you!
Oh, really!
They say I should pray
so you’ll not act illy.
Isn’t it silly, ***** Nilly?



What Would Santa Claus Say?
by Michael R. Burch

for Tom Merrill

What would Santa Claus say,
I wonder,
about Jesus returning
to **** and plunder?

For he’ll likely return
on Christmas Day
to blow the bad
little boys away!

When He flashes like lightning
across the skies
and many a homosexual
dies,

when the harlots and heretics
are ripped asunder,
what will the Easter Bunny think,
I wonder?

Published by Lucid Rhythms, Poet’s Corner and translated into Czech by Vaclav ZJ Pinkava



gimME that ol’ time religion!
by michael r. burch

for tom merrill

fiddle-dee-dum, fiddle-dee-dee,
jesus loves and understands ME!
safe in his grace, I’LL **** them to hell—
the strumpet, the harlot, the wild jezebel,
the alky, the druggie, all queers short and tall!
let them drink ashes and wormwood and gall,
’cause fiddle-dee-DUMB, fiddle-dee-WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEee . . .
jesus loves and understands
ME!



The Pain of Love
by Michael R. Burch

for Tom Merrill

The pain of love is this:
the parting after the kiss;

the train steaming from the station
whistling abnegation;

each interstate's bleak white bar
that vanishes under your car;

every hour and flower and friend
that cannot be saved in the end;

dear things of immeasurable cost...
now all irretrievably lost.

Note: The title "The Pain of Love" was suggested by an interview with Little Richard, then eighty years old, in Rolling Stone. He said that someone should create a song called "The Pain of Love." I have always found the departure platforms of railway stations and the vanishing broken white bars of highway dividing lines to be very depressing.



Lean Harvests (II)
by Michael R. Burch

for Tom Merrill

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



The Heimlich Limerick
by Michael R. Burch

for Tom Merrill

The sanest of poets once wrote:
"Friend, why be a sheep or a goat?
Why follow the leader
or be a blind *******? "
But almost no one took note.



The Donald Trumps the White House Roses
by Michael R. Burch

Roses are red,
Daffodils are yellow,
But not half as daffy
As that taffy-colored fellow.



Isolde's Song
by Michael R. Burch

According to legend, Isolde and Tristram/Tristan were lovers who died, were buried close to each other, then reunited in the form of plants growing out of their graves. A rose emerged from Isolde's grave, a vine from Tristram's, then the two became one. Tristram was the Celtic Orpheus, a minstrel whose songs set women and even nature a-flutter.

Through our long years of dreaming to be one
we grew toward an enigmatic light
that gently warmed our tendrils. Was it sun?
We had no eyes to tell; we loved despite
the lack of all sensation―all but one:
we felt the night's deep chill, the air so bright
at dawn we quivered limply, overcome.
To touch was all we knew, and how to bask.
We knew to touch; we grew to touch; we felt
spring's urgency, midsummer's heat, fall's lash,
wild winter's ice and thaw and fervent melt.
We felt returning light and could not ask
its meaning, or if something was withheld
more glorious. To touch seemed life's great task.
At last the petal of me learned: unfold
and you were there, surrounding me. We touched.
The curious golden pollens! Ah, we touched,
and learned to cling and, finally, to hold.

Originally published by The Raintown Review and nominated for the Pushcart Prize; since published by Ancient Heart Magazine (Australia), The Eclectic Muse (Canada), Boston Poetry Magazine, The Orchards Poetry Journal, Strange Road, On the Road with Judy, Complete Classics, FreeXpression (Australia), Better Than Starbucks, Fullosia Press, Glass Facets of Poetry, Sonnetto Poesia (Canada), The New Formalist and Trinacria



Will There Be Starlight
by Michael R. Burch

Will there be starlight
tonight
while she gathers
damask
and lilac
and sweet-scented heathers?

And will she find flowers,
or will she find thorns
guarding the petals
of roses unborn?

Will there be starlight
tonight
while she gathers
seashells
and mussels
and albatross feathers?

And will she find treasure
or will she find pain
at the end of this rainbow
of moonlight on rain?

Published by Grassroots Poetry, Poetry Webring, TALESetc, The Word (UK), Writ in Water, Jenion, Inspirational Stories, Famous Poets and Poems



She Gathered Lilacs
by Michael R. Burch

She gathered lilacs
and arrayed them in her hair;
tonight, she taught the wind to be free.

She kept her secrets
in a silver locket;
her companions were starlight and mystery.

She danced all night
to the beat of her heart;
with her tears she imbued the sea.

She hid her despair
in a crystal jar,
and never revealed it to me.

She kept her distance
as though it were armor;
gauntlet thorns guard her heart like the rose.

Love!―awaken, awaken
to see what you've taken
is still less than the due my heart owes!

Published by The Neovictorian/Cochlea, The Eclectic Muse (Canada), Shabestaneh (Iran), Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry, The Chained Muse, Inspirational Stories and Captivating Poetry (Anthology)



Auschwitz Rose
by Michael R. Burch

There is a Rose at Auschwitz, in the briar,
a rose like Sharon's, lovely as her name.
The world forgot her, and is not the same.
I still love her and extend this sacred fire
to keep her memory exalted flame
unmolested by the thistles and the nettles.

On Auschwitz now the reddening sunset settles!
They sleep alike―diminutive and tall,
the innocent, the "surgeons." Sleeping, all.

Red oxides of her blood, bright crimson petals,
if accidents of coloration, gall
my heart no less. Amid thick weeds and muck
there lies a rose man's crackling lightning struck:
the only Rose I ever longed to pluck.
Soon I'll bed there and bid the world "Good Luck."



Chloe
by Michael R. Burch

There were skies onyx at night... moons by day...
lakes pale as her eyes... breathless winds
******* tall elms;... she would say
that we loved, but I figured we’d sinned.

Soon impatiens too fiery to stay
sagged; the crocus bells drooped, golden-limned;
things of brightness, rinsed out, ran to gray...
all the light of that world softly dimmed.

Where our feet were inclined, we would stray;
there were paths where dead weeds stood untrimmed,
distant mountains that loomed in our way,
thunder booming down valleys dark-hymned.

What I found, I found lost in her face
while yielding all my virtue to her grace.



Mending
by Michael R. Burch

I am besieged with kindnesses;
sometimes I laugh,
delighted for a moment,
then resume
the more seemly occupation of my craft.

I do not taste the candies;
the perfume
of roses is uplifted
in a draft
that vanishes into the ceiling’s fans

that spin like old propellers
till the room
is full of ghostly bits of yarn...

My task
is not to knit,
but not to end too soon.



Let Me Give Her Diamonds
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

Let me give her diamonds
for my heart's
sharp edges.

Let me give her roses
for my soul's
thorn.

Let me give her solace
for my words
of treason.

Let the flowering of love
outlast a winter
season.

Let me give her books
for all my lack
of reason.

Let me give her candles
for my lack
of fire.

Let me kindle incense,
for our hearts
require

the breath-fanned
flaming perfume
of desire.



To the boy Elis
by Georg Trakl
translation by Michael R. Burch

Elis, when the blackbird cries from the black forest,
it announces your downfall.
Your lips sip the rock-spring's blue coolness.

Your brow sweats blood
recalling ancient myths
and dark interpretations of birds' flight.

Yet you enter the night with soft footfalls;
the ripe purple grapes hang suspended
as you wave your arms more beautifully in the blueness.

A thornbush crackles;
where now are your moonlike eyes?
How long, oh Elis, have you been dead?

A monk dips waxed fingers
into your body's hyacinth;
Our silence is a black abyss

from which sometimes a docile animal emerges
slowly lowering its heavy lids.
A black dew drips from your temples:

the lost gold of vanished stars.

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE: I believe that in the second stanza the blood on Elis's forehead may be a reference to the apprehensive ****** sweat of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. If my interpretation is correct, Elis hears the blackbird's cries, anticipates the danger represented by a harbinger of death, but elects to continue rather than turn back. From what I have been able to gather, the color blue had a special significance for Georg Trakl: it symbolized longing and perhaps a longing for death. The colors blue, purple and black may represent a progression toward death in the poem.



She Was Very Strange, and Beautiful
by Michael R. Burch

She was very strange, and beautiful,
like a violet mist enshrouding hills
before night falls
when the hoot owl calls
and the cricket trills
and the envapored moon hangs low and full.

She was very strange, in a pleasant way,
as the hummingbird
flies madly still,
so I drank my fill
of her every word.
What she knew of love, she demurred to say.

She was meant to leave, as the wind must blow,
as the sun must set,
as the rain must fall.
Though she gave her all,
I had nothing left . . .
yet I smiled, bereft, in her receding glow.

Originally published by The Neovictorian/Cochlea



Geode, a Resemblance
by Michael R. Burch

Take this geode with its rough exterior—
crude-skinned, brilliant-hearted ...

a diode of amethyst—wild, electric;
its sequined cavity—parted, revealing.

Find in its fire all brittle passion,
each jagged shard relentlessly aching.

Each spire inward—a fission startled;
in its shattered entrails—fractured light,

the heart ice breaking.

Published by Poet Lore, Poetry Magazine and the Net Poetry and Art Competition



Snapshots
by Michael R. Burch

Here I scrawl extravagant rainbows.
And there you go, skipping your way to school.
And here we are, drifting apart
like untethered balloons.

Here I am, creating "art,"
chanting in shadows,
pale as the crinoline moon,
ignoring your face.

There you go,
in diaphanous lace,
making another man’s heart swoon.

Suddenly, unthinkably, here he is,
taking my place.

Published by Tucumcari Literary Review, Romantics Quarterly, Centrifugal Eye, Poetry Webring, Poetry Life & Times and The Eclectic Muse



Memento Mori
by Michael R. Burch

I found among the elms
something like the sound of your voice,
something like the aftermath of love itself
after the lightning strikes,
when the startled wind shrieks . . .

a gored-out wound in wood,
love’s pale memento mori—
that white scar
in that first heart,
forever unhealed . . .

and a burled, thick knot incised
with six initials pledged
against all possible futures,
and penknife-notched below,
six edged, chipped words
that once cut deep and said . . .

WILL U B MINE
4 EVER?

. . . which now, so disconsolately answer . . .

—————-N-
—EVER.



Published as the collection "To Flower"
Elicia Hurst Sep 2019
Sacrosanct sacrifices  
collide in a mirrored image.
There’s a dual grace in the anguish
as the High Priestess tears
a beating heart out —

It lures a half-crazed
Apollonian hymn from you,
harmonized to the devil’s interval,
for my repertoire of Dionysian dance,
attuned to ballet’s feral ceremonies.  
On the lunar stage of ecstasy,
we sedate and ******.

But how far do you dare to rival the muses?
“As far as it takes, and then some more.”
You say to me, in consummate hunger.
Or are we just fools drunk on nectar
in a tug of never-ending war?
April 2018
Dante Jun 2019
God knows no love like the kind you give me
When you are ravenous in your giving--
When you are hunger within hunger;
needing me to receive you as you give yourself to me.

We are Dionysus feeding himself.

And as you slide a grape into my mouth,
I feel your teeth pried open
as I slide one into yours.
Brandon Conway Jun 2018
I don't work for a tangible currency
I slave for digital binary
01101000 01100101 01101100 01110000
While I scribble poetry
Emptying my personal winery
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