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Michael R Burch Sep 2021
These are early poems of mine, written as a high school student in the 10th grade.

as Time walked by
by Michael R. Burch

yesterday i dreamed of us again,
when
the air, like honey,
trickled through cushioning grasses,
softly flowing, pouring itself upon the masses
of dreaming flowers...
then
the sly impish Hours
were tentative, coy and shy
while the sky
swirled all its colors together,
giving pleasure to the appreciative eye
as Time walked by.

sunbright, your smile
could fill the darkest night
with brilliant light
or thrill the dullest day
with ecstasy
so long as Time did not impede our way...
until It did,
as It did.

for soon the summer hid
her sunny smile...
the honeyed breaths of wind
became cold,
biting to the bone
as Time sped on,
fled from us
to be gone
Forevermore.

this morning i awakened to the thought
that u were near
with honey hair and happy smile
lying sweetly by my side,
but then i remembered—u were gone,
that u'd been toppled long ago
like an orchid felled by snow
as the bloom called “us” sank slowly down to die
and Time roared by.

This poem appeared in my high school literary journal and was probably written around age 15-16, or thereabouts. This was during my 'cummings period, ' which started after I/i discovered e.e. cummings in an English textbook. "as Time walked by" and the next poem "hymn to Apollo" are companion poems, written around the same time and perhaps even on the same day.



hymn to Apollo
by Michael R. Burch

something of sunshine attracted my i
as it lazed on the afternoon sky,
golden,
splashed on the easel of god . . .

what,
i thought,
could this elfin stuff be,
to, phantomlike,
flit through tall trees
on fall days, such as these?

and the breeze
whispered a dirge
to the vanishing light;
enchoired with the evening, it sang;
its voice
enchantedly
rang
chanting “Night!” . . .

till all the bright light
retired,
expired.

This poem appeared in my high school literary journal; I believe I was around 15 or 16 when I wrote it.



Have I been too long at the fair?
by Michael R. Burch

Have I been too long at the fair?
The summer has faded,
the leaves have turned brown;
the Ferris wheel teeters ...
not up, yet not down.
Have I been too long at the fair?

This is one of my early poems, written around age 15 and published in my high school literary journal.



When last my love left me
by Michael R. Burch

The sun was a smoldering ember
when last my love left me;
the sunset cast curious shadows
over green arcs of the sea;
she spoke sad words, departing,
and teardrops drenched the trees.

This poem was published by my college literary journal, Homespun, issue 1976-1977. I believe I wrote the original version around age 16.



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 sun-splashed sky,
I only wish that I could fly.
I only wish that I could fly.

Robin, hawk or whippoorwill . . .
Should men care if 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.

I think this poem was written around age 16.



Damp Days
by Michael R. Burch

These are damp days,
and the earth is slick and vile
with the smell of month-old mud.

And yet it seldom rains;
a never-ending drizzle
drenches spring's bright buds
till they droop as though in death.

Now Time
drags out His endless hours
as though to bore to tears
His fretting, edgy servants
through the sheer length of His days
and slow passage of His years.

Damp days are His domain.

Irritation
grinds the ravaged nerves
and grips tight the gorging brain
which fills itself, through sense,
with vast seas of soggy clay
while the temples throb in pain
at the thought of more damp days.
I wrote the first version of this poem around age 16.



El Dorado
by Michael R. Burch

It's a fine town, a fine town,
though its alleys recede into shadow;
it's a very fine town for those who are searching
for an El Dorado.

Because the lighting is poor and the streets are bare
and the welfare line is long,
there must be something of value somewhere
to keep us hanging on
to our El Dorado.

Though the children are skinny, their parents are fat
from years of gorging on bleached white bread,
yet neither will leave
because all believe
in the vague things that are said
of El Dorado.

The young men with the outlandish hairstyles
who saunter in and out of the turnstiles
with a song on their lips and an aimless shuffle,
scuffing their shoes, avoiding the bustle,
certainly feel no need to join the crowd
of those who work to earn their bread;
they must know that the rainbow's end
conceals a *** of gold
near El Dorado.

And the painted “actress” who roams the streets,
smiling at every man she meets,
must smile because, after years of running,
no man can match her in cruelty or cunning.
She must see the satire of “defeats”
and “triumphs” on the ambivalent streets
of El Dorado.

Yes, it's a fine town, a very fine town
for those who can leave when they tire
of chasing after rainbows and dreams
and living on nothing but fire.

But for those of us who cling to our dreams
and cannot let them go,
like the sad-eyed ladies who wander the streets
and the junkies high on snow,
the dream has become a reality
—the reality of hope
that grew too strong
not to linger on—
and so this is our home.

We chew the apple, spit it out,
then eat it "just once more."
For this is the big, big apple,
though it is rotten to the core,
and we are its worm
in the night when we squirm
in our El Dorado.

This is an early poem of mine. I believe I wrote the first version during my “Romantic phase” around age 16 or perhaps a bit later. It was definitely written in my teens because it appears in a poetry contest folder that I put together and submitted during my sophomore year in college. Keywords/Tags: El Dorado, big apple, worms, New York City, junkies, streetwalkers, hookers, prostitutes, actors, actresses, hustlers, conmen




Easter, in Jerusalem
by Michael R. Burch

The streets are hushed from fervent song,
for strange lights fill the sky tonight.
A slow mist creeps
up and down the streets
and a star has vanished that once burned bright.
Oh Bethlehem, Bethlehem,
who tends your flocks tonight?
"Feed my sheep,"
"Feed my sheep,"
a Shepherd calls
through the markets and the cattle stalls,
but a fiery sentinel has passed from sight.

Golgotha shudders uneasily,
then wearily settles to sleep again,
and I wonder how they dream
who beat him till he screamed,
"Father, forgive them!"
Ah Nazareth, Nazareth,
now sunken deep into dark sleep,
do you heed His plea
as demons flee,
"Feed my sheep,"
"Feed my sheep . . ."

The temple trembles violently,
a veil lies ripped in two,
and a good man lies
on a mountainside
whose heart was shattered too.
Galilee, oh Galilee,
do your waters pulse and froth?
"Feed my sheep,"
"Feed my sheep,"
the waters creep
to form a starlit cross.

According to my notes, I wrote this poem around age 15-16.



Of You
by Michael R. Burch

There is little to write of in my life,
and little to write off, as so many do . . .
so I will write of you.

You are the sunshine after the rain,
the rainbow in between;
you are the joy that follows fierce pain;
you are the best that I've seen
in my life.

You are the peace that follows long strife;
you are tranquility.
You are an oasis in a dry land
. . . and . . .
you are the one for me!

You are my love; you are my life; you are my all in all.
Your hand is the hand that holds me aloft . . .
without you I would fall.

This was the first poem of mine that appeared in my high school journal, the Lantern, and thus it was my first poem to appear on a printed page. A fond memory, indeed! I have tried to remember when I wrote the poem, but that memory remains elusive. This one feels “younger” to me, so I will guess a composition date around age 16.



I Am Lonely
by Michael R. Burch

Oh God, I am lonely;
I am weak and sore afraid.
Now, just who am I to turn to
when my heart is torn in two?

Oh God, I am lonely
and I cannot find a mate.
Now, just who am I to turn to
when the best friend that I’ve made

remains myself?

This poem appeared in my high school journal; I believe it was written around age 15-16.



A midnight shade of blue
by Michael R. Burch

You thought you saw a shadow moving somewhere in the night—
a lost and lonely stranger searching for a little light—
so you told me to approach him, ask him if he'd like a room . . .
how sweet of you to think of one alone out in the gloom,
but he was only ...  a midnight shade of blue.

I thought I saw an answer shining somewhere in the night—
a spark of truth irradiating wisdom sweet and bright—
but when I sought to seize it, to bring it home to you . . .
it fluttered through my fingers like a wispy curlicue,
for it was only ... a midnight shade of blue.

We thought that we had found true love together in the night—
a love as fine and elegant as wine by candlelight—
but when we woke this morning, we knew it wasn't true . . .
the "love" we'd shared was less than love; I guess we owe it to
emotion ... and a midnight shade of blue.

I wrote this poem around age 16.



Liar
by Michael R. Burch

Chiller than a winter day,
quieter than the murmur of the sea in her dreams,
eyes softer than the diaphanous spray
of mist-shrouded streams,
you fill my dying thoughts.

In moments drugged with sleep
I have heard your earnest voice
leaving me no choice
save heed your hushed demands
and meet you in the sands
of an ageless arctic world.

There I kiss your lifeless lips
as we quiver in the shoals
of a sea that, endless, rolls
to meet the shattered shore.
Wild waves weep, "Nevermore,"
as you bend to stroke my hair.

That land is harsh and drear,
and that sea is bleak and wild;
only your lips are mild
as you kiss my weary eyes,
whispering lovely lies
of what awaits us there

in a land so stark and bare,
beyond all hope . . . and care.

This is one of my early poems, written as a high school sophomore or junior.


Keywords/tags: early, early poem, juvenile, juvenalia, child, childhood, boy, boyhood, teen, teenage, student, study, studies, high school, freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, college, first love, time
Angela Rose Feb 2020
I keep telling myself  "oh it's just a crush"

But I find myself doing anything for you
And I find myself falling asleep wishing you were here
And then I dream about you just holding my ******* hand
But the love songs I hear always make me think of your goofy smile
And the movies and the shows about romance make me think about us
And then I dream about you feeling the same way

But it's just a crush. And I just feel crushed.
Z Sep 2019
37
Her gaze got the best of me
Burning bright and mahogany
Conversation-soliloquy
I framed my fervor in filigree

hollow gestures, a pantomime
She just wanted to pass the time
Nearly twenty, too juvenile
To be anything more than tactile

A crowded room, a compact tableau
I still look for her where I go
A stubborn habit, it’s hard to quell
Maybe too callous, but I meant well

A little less than fortuitous
Resolution eluded us
Two strings, discordant synchronies
My pride, my wounded dignity
I've been listening to Hippo Campus a lot and I love the way they write so this is a *very* basic attempt at the style! Thanks for stoppin by
John Glenn May 2019
the clock
tick tocks
in golden variables
every hour malleable
every minute ductile
every second savored
while we are juvenile
feel every moment
s Jul 2018
i try to suppress the pain
but emotion isn't docile
i form words to explain
but it's all juvenile
& i want to be heard
but language is so futile
though i can think as an adult,
i speak like a ******* child

the ringing in my ears
won't seem to cease
my body burns in hell
while everyone else
gets to roam free
no hope for the future
hope is naive

i'm just longing
to feel nothing,
because nothing
creates peace.
how can i feel so much yet so little?
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