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 and evocative 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. Keywords/Tags: poets, wonder boys, stars, lightning, electricity, sparks, shock, shocks, smoke, cosmos, cosmic song, celestial music, music of the spheres, Peter Pan, Neverland, flight, fly, flying, soaring, elves, elfin, magic, fey, immortal