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The American dream
had a tough childhood
and is developing symptoms
of a sinkhole personality

I take back everything
I said about the Panama Canal
there's nothing wrong
about being artificial
so long as it brings others together

If we bring it down to eye level
Mr. Paranoia feels outnumbered
the fruits of his labor
are all store bought

There are no more
drive-in movies within
walking distance
'cause Cinderella's dead
says the cult leader
Alex Aug 2023
There was once a weak little sparrow. She has yet to learn to fly, so she fell out of the nest. Little did she know it would keep her alive. In a small stream she drifted on by as the other creatures burned alive, a fire engulfed the forest she once called home. It nipped the edges of the stream burning her wings, as time went by the fire died leaving the entire forest in ash. A lone witch searched the forest with tears in her eyes for any signs of life.
Only to find a lone little bird, barely clinging to life, desperate to survive. So the little witch took the little sparrow home, trying to save its life. Her wings were badly burned, and she would never be able to fly. The witch did what she could and kept the bird alive, but as time went by the sparrow grew sad. Knowing everything was gone, and she was alone as she looked at the burned forest.
Then the little witch had an idea, to try and turn the sparrow human, so they wouldn't feel so alone anymore. She didn't see the agony that would cause the sparrow, and never expected the burn scars would stay. So the little sparrow was turned human, well mostly. The witch has to teach her how to be human, which took many years. Eventually they lived comfortably, enjoying each other's company, but good things never last.
Someone from the nearby village saw the little witch and her small hut. They were suspicious of her, hating anything different from them. They looked disgusted by the other one, the sparrow didn't look like them. Not only that, but they hated the witch and chained the sparrow, forcing her to watch as they burned the witch. They studied the odd girl, wanting to know what she was, why she was different. The torture seemed to never stop, till she finally broke, harnessing the witches power and the life of the ancient forest that was burned. The ancient forest where she was born was burned by the villagers and the magic went into the little sparrow, hoping she would survive.
She went into a fury, slaughtering the village, leaving nothing left of the ones who tortured her, burned her only family alive and destroyed her home. She when she finally calmed, she was on the mountain overlooking the dead forest and decimated village, realizing she was truly alone.
A cute little short story I did for a character backstory
My Dear Poet Jun 2023
“Why is your flute so tiny
and all?”,
said the Willow to the little boy
“Maybe cos my song
is low and light
and my fingers
are so small”

“Why’s your arms
so stretched up high”
asked the boy looking up
“Maybe to send your tune,
past clouds and sky,
that resonates from my stump”

So together it dawned
the day they joined
spreading  the sweetest sound
The one who sits small,
with one standing tall
Together, reached heaven
from the ground
Sometimes all you need is just some simple support
Michael R Burch May 2023
These are poems I call my Fables...

Will There Be Starlight
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

Will there be starlight
while she gathers
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 moonlight
while she gathers
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 TALESetc, Starlight Archives, The Word (UK), Poezii (Romanian translation by Petru Dimofte), The Chained Muse, Famous Poets & Poems, Grassroots Poetry, Inspirational Stories, Jenion, Regalia, Poetry Webring and Writ in Water; also set to music by the award-winning New Zealand composer David Hamilton.

She Gathered Lilacs
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

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, Borderless Journal, The Eclectic Muse (Canada), Shabestaneh (Iran), Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry, Famous Poets and Poems, The Chained Muse, Inspirational Stories, Lilac Blossom Collection, English Poetry, Love Poems and Poets, Not Just a Label and Captivating Poetry (Anthology)

Step Into Starlight
by Michael R. Burch

Step into starlight,
lovely and wild,
lonely and longing,
a woman, a child . . .

Throw back drawn curtains,
enter the night,
dream of his kiss
as a comet ignites . . .

Then fall to your knees
in a wind-fumbled cloud
and shudder to hear
oak hocks groaning aloud.

Flee down the dark path
to where the snaking vine bends
and withers and writhes
as winter descends . . .

And learn that each season
ends one vanished day,
that each pregnant moon holds
no spent tides in her sway . . .

For, as suns seek horizons,
boys fall, men decline.
As the grape sags with its burden,
remember—the wine!

Published by The Lyric, The Chained Muse, New Lyre, Poetry Life & Times, The Hypertexts and OperaNews

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.

Published by Romantics Quarterly, Boston Poetry Magazine, Famous Poets and Poems, Vajhu (India), Litera (UK), Art in Society (Germany), Inspirational Stories, Poetry Life & Times and Freshet

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:

I knew:
everything had changed.

Later, 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.

Published by Romantics Quarterly, Muse Apprentice Guild, Victorian Violet Press, Boston Poetry Magazine and Poetry on Demand

The Endeavors of Lips
by Michael R. Burch

How sweet the endeavors of lips—to speak
of the heights of those pleasures which left us weak
in love’s strangely lit beds, where the cold springs creak:
for there is no illusion like love ...

Grown childlike, we wish for those storied days,
for those bright sprays of flowers, those primrosed ways
that curled to the towers of Yesterdays
where She braided illusions of love ...

“O, let down your hair!”—we might call and call,
to the dark-slatted window, the moonlit wall ...
but our love is a shadow; we watch it crawl
like a spidery illusion. For love ...

was never as real as that first kiss seemed
when we read by the flashlight and dreamed.

Published by Romantics Quarterly and The Eclectic Muse (Canada)

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

by Michael R. Burch

... Among the shadows of the groaning elms,
amid the darkening oaks, we fled ourselves ...

... Once there were paths that led to coracles
that clung to piers like loosening barnacles ...

... where we cannot return, because we lost
the pebbles and the playthings, and the moss ...

... hangs weeping gently downward, maidens’ hair
who never were enchanted, and the stairs ...

... that led up to the Fortress in the trees
will not support our weight, but on our knees ...

... we still might fit inside those splendid hours
of damsels in distress, of rustic towers ...

... of voices heard in wolves’ tormented howls
that died, and live in dreams’ soft, windy vowels ...

Published by The Chariton Review, Romantics Quarterly, The Chained Muse, New Lyre, Poetry Porch/Sonnet Scroll, Muse Apprentice Guild, The Eclectic Muse (Canada), Famous Poets & Poems, Inspirational Stories, The Neovictorian/Cochlea, Poetry Life & Times and Sonetto Poesia (Canada)

by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

There were moments
full of promise,
like the petal-scented rainfall
of early spring,
when to hold you in my arms
and to kiss your willing lips
seemed everything.

There are moments
strangely empty
full of pale unearthly twilight
—how the cold stars stare!—
when to be without you
is a dark enchantment
the night and I share.

Published by Tucumcari Literary Review, Romantics Quarterly, Poezii (Romanian translation by Petru Dimofte), Borderless Journal (Singapore), Grassroots Poetry, The Chained Muse, in a Soundcloud reading by Vex Darkly, and in a YouTube reading by Jasper Sole

The Aery Faery Princess
by Michael R. Burch

for Keira

There once was a princess lighter than fluff
made of such gossamer stuff—
the down of a thistle, butterflies’ wings,
the faintest high note the hummingbird sings,
moonbeams on garlands, strands of bright hair ...
I think she’s just you when you’re floating on air.

Published in Whimsy/Poems for Big Kids and A Bouquet of Poems for children of all ages

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, 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?

Published by Tucumcari Literary Journal and Night Roses

I believe this poem was written in the late 1970s or very early 1980s, around the time it became apparent that the lovely Diana Spencer was going to marry into the British royal family.

Because She Craved the Very Best
by Michael R. Burch

Because she craved the very best,
he took her East, he took her West;
he took her where there were no wars
and brought her bright bouquets of stars ...

The blush and fragrances of roses,
the hush an evening sky imposes,
moonbeams pale and garlands rare,
and golden combs to match her hair ...

A nightingale to sing all night,
white wings, to let her soul take flight ...
She stabbed him with a poisoned sting
and as he lay there dying,
she screamed, "I wanted everything!"
and started crying.

Originally published by Lone Stars

Happily Never After (the Second Curse of the ***** Toad)
by Michael R. Burch

He did not think of love of Her at all
frog-plangent nights, as moons engoldened roads
through crumbling stonewalled provinces, where toads
(nee princes) ruled in chinks and grew so small
at last to be invisible. He smiled
(the fables erred so curiously), and thought
bemusedly of being reconciled
to human flesh, because his heart was not
incapable of love, but, being cursed
a second time, could only love a toad’s . . .
and listened as inflated frogs rehearsed
cheekbulging tales of anguish from green moats . . .
and thought of her soft croak, her skin fine-warted,
his anemic flesh, and how true love was thwarted.

Originally published by Romantics Quarterly

Keywords/Tags: fable, fables, poetic fable, poem, poems, poetry, verse, romance, romantic, love, fairy tale, myth, lullaby, nursery rhyme, child, children, bedtime story
Carlo C Gomez Apr 2022
It's 'pay up' time

But under my pillow
The next morning
A clipping of
Lillian Brown's household hints?

Apparently this guy pays
A whole lot more
For a perfect tooth
Than one in remarkable decay
I S A A C Feb 2022
I suppose I should repose
explore new clothes since I've outgrown
every and anything in this ratchet city
every day I wish to make it out before I am 50
before my bones and motivation crack
before my smile lines and crow's feet are all I have
watching my sanity slip like my grandson down the waterslide
oh, why God why, did you never let me fly?
Was I caged or fearful? Was it staged or virile?
Was I ever able or just another one of your fables?
the man that would never because he never believed he could
Seán Mac Falls Aug 2021
So many ****** birds,
Grey, brown and black,
Suited as they sully in sun,
In feather and windy-speak
And dream, drifting to profit
Points, marring the globe,
They have so many ways
Of singing on their swings
Behind bars, murky birdies,
Gawking in the crowded fields,
Fielding, flighty questions without
Answer, winging all souls to oblivion,
Who fly, flustering, dusting with song
Twisting the air into pure falsehoods,
Curious, grounded pets for kingdoms,
For masters, fly-hoping in their cages.
Seek and you shall find; Knock and it shall be shown to you. Sound and Song; Sacred n̶̨̢̛̛̮̱̟̣̺̳͓͓̣̠͉̎͛̔̿̎̈́͛͆͋̓̔̕͜͠ͅa̶̺̼͒͂m̸̻̗̎̎̔̔͋̿̓͗̓̒̈̾̕͝e̵̛̐̆̾̚̕͝­̡̩̙̣̤́͆̾͝ş̵̡̨̤̪̘͈͕̹͖̯͙̫̯̎̔͑̔̉̋͛͠͠͠ͅ and prosperity. It is a sacred s̴̯̮̤̫̃̈́̏̋o̴͓̓̐͌͒n̵̼̜̹͌̉̎̀̿͘ͅg̸̞̫̗͆̿, but you must fast to hear it.

You have to be vulnerable to love. Always give back to where you came from. Every enemy taught you how to become strong. Truth eliminates fear through clarity. Don't become so clear that you think you  ̸̠̹̃k̸͉̈ņ̵͖̏͝ö̸̪̂w̴̥̌.̴͎̹̀̑ ̵̮̾̅

11:11 and I'm heaven-sent :
(Was it heaven-sent or hell-bent?)

Crown of kings drown in dreams
Seven/seven fit the mirror like I'm Elvis ; (king)

D̷̻̈́͐͜r̵̜͇̅͘o̷̡̞͋w̸͇̐̉ň̸̟͘ ̷̞̮̕ỉ̵̝ñ̴̺͌ ̸̢́͝d̸̝́̕r̶̭͝e̴̮̹̕̚ã̷̜̀m̷̦̋͆,̴̘̈́́ ̵̮̺̒̒crown of dream ̵̮̺̒̒
Found my means renouncing  ̵̮̺̒̒ ̵t̴h̵i̶n̵g̴s̴ ̵̮̺̒̒

Fake as make-believe, believe by planting seed ̵̮̺̒̒ ̵̮̺̒̒ ̵̮̺̒̒
Raising  ̵̮̺̒̒  ̵̮̺̒̒ ̵̮̺̒̒trees ̵̮̺̒̒ ̵̮̺̒̒  ̵̮̺̒̒ supersedes stagnant grief,
sowing strands of reef, genie granting these
wishes to stand for free: instead of free dumb
To stand for king instead: of king dumb

Light the dance. orbit o the angels
Aligned the winds. Purple sway  the cradles
Purple sway , purple Haze, purple play like h̵a̷̪͛l̶̝͠ȯ̴̪ș̷̈ ̴̤͐
even in the shallows  Tracing hallowed  cables
hollow between angel actors and  kraken crafted

Discovered carved tables, symbols etched in
Fables labeled as age-old things, start ta twitching
Pass me down culture so I can rip the seams
Gambled on Renewal: connecting means
Connected dots: collected thought memes
Till we find,

Horror quarantined in-between time machines.
Aura Byzantine, a dash of florentine in my nicotine
a little dash of what you dream sash about
Hit the  limonene in my limousine
Ask me how philistine when my ego guillotine

Fell out of sync, out of light, out of wack
Fat beats,fat  bones, thro heavy set

Broken and bleeding new Wounds.
So far I'm feeding You (loons)

these lines that I'm leaving bruised
Lines Im breaking, snapped in twos

throwing back a pack of brews
swing a sack of screws,

split  the devil's noose with
Tight screws, hype views,

(always) choose To never lose,
just adapt my views

(̶i̵(̶(̸ ̷c̵h̴a̸n̴t̸ ̴t̴h̵e̵ ̶a̸r̸c̵h̴i̷t̶e̶c̷t̶)̶ ̴x̵ ̵i̶ ̶c̶h̶a̶n̷t̶ ̷t̴h̷e̸ ̷g̷u̷r̴u̶ ̵)̷)̵
Chant the who knew rain with chance of voodoo

Came with a dance of  too new
But what's the shaking got to do

with my too juiced breakthrough
Everything: .. nothing ..

N̶̘̄o̸̱̞̾thin̶̢̥͊ġ̶̞ always somethin̶̢̥͊ġ̶̞~
So we sing what you go to loooooooose?

Please it's time to chooooosee
Nana na naw naaaa na no na naah

I can't lose selecting self-respect,
stand ***** proud my chest
No disrespect,  just here to collect
my resurrected form 
in retrospect, I should have loved here more

Can't lose you should have bet smore....
Soft-spoken with a ****** message from...
Often token I'm guessing so do these dudes...
Please Just take my arm....

Let's me demonstrate :Conflictlikenospacing
Taken Deadly fronts from a ghost I'm no facing

You call it suffering I call it gro̴͚͈̿̄w̸̢͓͐̐th phases
They call it suff̷̠͌ë̵̫̜́̎ř̴̯̥̏ing we call it growth phȃ̵͙͘s̵͕̄͜es
Meet the divine in the air with your breath.
Jade Apr 2021
⚠️Trigger Warning: the Following poem contains subject matter pertaining to self-harm and suicide. ⚠️
This piece is an emulation of Aesop's fable "The Boy Who Cried Wolf". Any similarities, as a result, are purely intentional, and I am thus giving credit where credit is due.
There once was a girl
who cut herself,
a plan by which she could get
a little company
some excitement.

(Or so it was presumed)

She rushed out from the
school washroom
after tearing herself open
and called out,
"suicide, suicide!”

And her teachers and classmates
came out to meet her,
and some of them stopped
with her for a considerable time.

This pleased the girl
so much,
that a few days afterwards,
she tried the same trick,
and again her
teachers and classmates
came to help.

This pleased the girl
so much,
that a few days afterwards,
she tried the same trick,
and again her
teachers and classmates
came to help.

This pleased the girl
so much,
that a few days afterwards,
she tried the same trick,
and again her
teachers and classmates
came to help—

But instead of
trying to understand
the chronic illness
that plagued her,

they resorted to an archaic stigma
to inform their judgments
on the subject of mental illness.

They believed
that she only bled
to receive attention,
and was therefore named
The Girl Who Cried Suicide
after The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

she wasn't allowed
to use the school washroom
at all anymore

even if she had to
take a ******* ****

it would only encourage


Despite them never
saying this to her face,
the girl was not



the defamations
that had fallen from the
tongues of these
black sheep.

The Girl was so
profoundly hurt
by this betrayal

that a few years
as she attempted
to bleed herself dry
in the bathtub
at 3 Am
on a stormy
May 30th,

she dared not
tell a soul

for she knew
they would think
this to be an act
of deceit

a freak show
she put on just
for the ******
hell of it—



in some sick,
crimson pageant.

But this was not
a game of


the wolves
had always been




to the blood moon
of her mind's eye

every beautiful thought


the fabric of her sanity
torn from her skull

(And the veins torn from her flesh)

the wolves’ cry
a siren song

leading the lamb
to her slaughter.

Don’t you understand?

I am not playing dress-up

I am not the wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing
I am not the wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing
I am not the wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing

I  am

the lamb to this slaughter
Tell me

If it was all just for



then why did I feel the need

to hide my cuts
with long-sleeved shirts

during gym class

in the summer?

Why did I start
cutting in places
Where no one would ever
of looking?

Why did I tell everyone I
when I hadn’t?

Did you really care about me?

Or did you care about
What would happen to
if the liability killed herself?
You cut me in ways
a razor
never could.
How could you
How could you
How could you

Go **** yourselves,
You uneducated
Don't be a stranger--check out my blog!

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