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wes parham Nov 2023
To some Holy Land, now, gather ye,
There, to spend the night in Gethsemane.
Entreat with the father or maybe the son,
Perhaps they can tell you when a war is won.

For another parent, another child,
Their once ancestral home defiled.
Did it help, the blood you spilled?
Your mark of Cain; your curse fulfilled?

Run to your God and pretend he hears,
Believe in lies and dark new fears,
Deny to others their right to live…
We saw what you did and will not forgive.

Where two or more are gathered,
The result is anyone’s game.
But make it many thousands,
And often it is just a shame,
How Gods remain suspiciously quiet,
When the killing is in their name.
I don’t want this to come across as an indictment of religion.  I learned useful lessons in childhood, attending with my family. This piece is to do with those persons who would pervert a faith for their own gain of power or wealth at the expense of their fellow man.  All while hiding behind the pretense of their fairy tales.

Early on, I began to adopt a certain personal axiom when dealing with the faithful.  The moment they claim to know the word or the will of God, do not trust them.  Anyone doing so is a manipulator at worst and deluded at best.
Mel Kay May 2023
There's an oasis in my desert.

Palm trees and koi live here where sands are soil and winds are thick and wet. Cloths that fall from sky to floor, made from a million counts of thread. A beige place, now pastel mixtures of blue and green. Unlike anything the gods could ever dream.

In my body there's a desert oasis on which even I haven't laid my sight. And as I sit here still, I feel it moving and humming like a generator when there's no light. Vibrating auroras through the skies of an African night.

In my soul there's a desert oasis. One that has betrayed the sight of many as mirage. A dissappearing trick, a myth, a facade. Here is where the weak are left for dead. The cruel collaboration between Hathor and Set.

In my body, where my heart stays,

between the fragile spaces,

there's an hourglass that holds my soul in which there's a desert...

where you'll find an oasis.
Rambling, it's s been a while. Hi though...
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
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 moonlight
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 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



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.

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)



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



Pan
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)



Moments
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
Dylan Mar 2023
Haunted winds caressed her pallid face,
bestowed before me in ornamental grace
as I sung an aria for our sorrow 
lilted with silent dreams.

In the dusk begotten serenade,
where spectral lanterns glow,
I found her on the riverbed;
a transparent body cloaked in souls.

I brushed upon my golden strings
to cast a weary strain
unfettered from the pain.

Cool winds caressed her auburn blaze
as enchantment forsook our future days.
I mumbled an aria for desperation
trapped upon the dreamlit stream.
KG Dec 2022
From across the waters of sky and sea, a quest for fire remains.
Contained by borders Zues & Posiedon laugh at this homonculus
What are signs set by stars
division and duality
Smoke drifts from mouth and fingertips as once again the beast howls at the juxtaposing light.
Why then do these walls whisper
Tenderly,
"Burn me down,"
"You've suffered us enough,"
"Nothing worth doing was ever easy,"
"Divinity is given to those willing to drown."
Frown turns to grit turns to Grin turns to me and I give my word of agreement.
"Please."
Isaace Oct 2022
It was as though we were cast in stone.
The weary ones knelt at the shore.
A fitting end to the journey,
Yet our souls still danced on the old, iron roads.
For it was the weak among us
Who gazed at Medusa—
Suckling on the ****** of her dread—
Fearing within their cold, alloyed hearts
A cold, metallic fate:
To be left in stone on the old, iron roads.
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