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These are poems about the homeless and poems for the homeless.

Epitaph for a Homeless Child
by Michael R. Burch

I lived as best I could, and then I died.
Be careful where you step: the grave is wide.

Homeless Us
by Michael R. Burch

The coldest night I ever knew
the wind out of the arctic blew
long frigid blasts; and I was you.

We huddled close then: yes, we two.
For I had lost your house, to rue
such bitter weather, being you.

Our empty tin cup sang the Blues,
clanged—hollow, empty. Carols (few)
were sung to me, for being you.

For homeless us, all men eschew.
They beat us, roust us, jail us too.
It isn’t easy, being you.

Published by Street Smart, First Universalist Church of Denver, Mind Freedom Switzerland and on 20+ web pages supporting the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Frail Envelope of Flesh
by Michael R. Burch

for homeless mothers and their children

Frail envelope of flesh,
lying cold on the surgeon’s table
with anguished eyes
like your mother’s eyes
and a heartbeat weak, unstable ...

Frail crucible of dust,
brief flower come to this—
your tiny hand
in your mother’s hand
for a last bewildered kiss ...

Brief mayfly of a child,
to live two artless years!
Now your mother’s lips
seal up your lips
from the Deluge of her tears ...

For a Homeless Child, with Butterflies
by Michael R. Burch

Where does the butterfly go ...
when lightning rails ...
when thunder howls ...
when hailstones scream ...
when winter scowls ...
when nights compound dark frosts with snow ...
where does the butterfly go?

Where does the rose hide its bloom
when night descends oblique and chill,
beyond the capacity of moonlight to fill?
When the only relief’s a banked fire’s glow,
where does the butterfly go?

And where shall the spirit flee
when life is harsh, too harsh to face,
and hope is lost without a trace?
Oh, when the light of life runs low,
where does the butterfly go?

by Michael R. Burch

What good are tears?
Will they spare the dying their anguish?
What use, our concern
to a child sick of living, waiting to perish?

What good, the warm benevolence of tears
without action?
What help, the eloquence of prayers,
or a pleasant benediction?

Before this day is over,
how many more will die
with bellies swollen, emaciate limbs,
and eyes too parched to cry?

I fear for our souls
as I hear the faint lament
of theirs departing ...
mournful, and distant.

How pitiful our “effort,”
yet how fatal its effect.
If they died, then surely we killed them,
if only with neglect.

The childless woman,
how tenderly she caresses
homeless dolls ...
—Hattori Ransetsu, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

to the plum tree:
one blossom's worth of warmth
—Hattori Ransetsu, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Oh, fallen camellias,
if I were you,
I'd leap into the torrent!
—Takaha Shugyo, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

What would Mother Teresa do?
Do it too!
—Michael R. Burch

Keywords/Tags: homeless poetry, homeless poems, homelessness, street life, child, children, mom, mother, mothers, America, neglect, starving, dying, perishing, famine, illness, disease, tears, anguish, concern, prayers, inaction, death, charity, love, compassion, kindness, altruism
Kaka 2d
Immensely grateful
To have the privilege to open my eyes and witness today
To get to ride all the highs and lows with every emotion I feel
To get hurt but also have the opportunity to heal
To get to whine and cry at times
To get overwhelmed with joy when the stars align
Just grateful to be one of us
To get to be me
Today, here and now,
However it may be,
I am grateful that it is
Thank you
Kaka 2d
Sometimes I write poems.
Sometimes I become one.
#poems #sometimes
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
I see you there grasshopper,
you're famous, don't you know,
Often when spied on thickets,
mistaken for crickets,
but no more,
you've made yourself quite clear,

You appear in dreams,
"Freedom, independence, enlightenment,
inability to settle down,
So it seems,

Your family's ancestors come from the early Triassic, roughly back 250 million years ago,

John the Baptist ate locusts,
wild honey too,
Still people denied you,
False claims,
A vegetarian food,
ignorant of truth,
Blinded to the fact that
ἀκρίδες means plenty of you,

So bask in the sun,
feeling heat,
acceleration of heart rate,
watching with your 5 eyes,
When a spider comes along,
you can be ready to run,
shall I say ready to lunge.

Author Ven J Arnold
( SacredInkedBlood
People attempted to explain that the locusts were in fact a suitably ascetic vegetarian food such as carob beans, notwithstanding the fact that the word ἀκρίδες means plainly grasshoppers.
Greek: "ἀκρίδες καὶ μέλι ἄγριον, akrídes kaì méli ágrion."
Mark Wanless Apr 20
all poems have no
meaning unless you say so
die warheit ist klar
Ashwin Kumar Apr 15
We started off as colleagues
At that time, working from home was something
That was almost unheard of
Yet, we met only once or twice
In an entire month
Because you stayed really far away
Moreover, you had a family to run
We'll come back to that later
Anyway, when we met for the first time
I found you to be warm and friendly
And I said to myself
"Here's someone I can trust
Without a second thought"
I also loved your dedication to work
However, it wasn't as though you were a workaholic
On the other hand, you were quite lively
And ensured that our spirits were high
Even when there was a lot of work to be done
As I had mentioned earlier
You had to take care of work
And manage your family
At the same time
A daunting task, without an iota of doubt
Especially when there are kids involved
As well as in-laws!!
However, the way you handled the pressure
You almost made it look easy
Though the reality was vastly different
Moreover, we had some great times
I remember one occasion in particular
When we had a team lunch at Canto
The pizza we ate was extremely delicious
And full of veggies as well
Another thing that is impossible to forget
As far as that day was concerned
Was the fact that it just kept on raining!!
It was really good that you left early
Because it took me three hours to reach home!!!
I always enjoyed working with you
Because you somehow managed to find a way
To keep boredom and stress at bay
Especially that RM-Wealth mandate
On which we both struggled like anything
But you ultimately managed to close it
Hats off to your dedication, patience and perseverance
Then the pandemic struck
While I was dealing with work pressure
As well as the cloud of uncertainty
That hung over my indefinitely postponed marriage
Your words of wisdom helped me stay afloat
In those troubled waters
Meanwhile, you took a sabbatical
Thus, I missed you at work
But felt relieved for you
Since you finally got the break you deserved
After working so hard, for so long
Nevertheless, I was glad when you returned to work
Because you are not just a colleague
But a really good friend of mine
Of course, we haven't met in the last three years
Since you've permanently shifted to Udaipur
However, a friendship with such a strong foundation
As ours is built on
Does not require proximity in order to survive
Coming back to work
Just about a month ago
We were working on a huge research project
Which was extremely challenging and stressful
Yet again, you were a source of comfort for me
And ensured that I was able to keep my wits about me
And complete my work on time
Without letting pressure get the better of me
Moreover, at the same time, you did a great job yourself
Once again, hats off to your dedication, patience and perseverance
Just be the way you are
Because you are a friend to treasure
Poem dedicated to Neha, my friend and colleague.
science zoom in on a disturbance
science zoom in on a lens of the universe
science disturb the lens of the universe
science create or disturb the lens of the universe
science create or zoom in on the lens of creativity
creativity zoom in on creativity
creativity is a lens of creativity

the universe create the lens of creativity
disturbance zoom in on disturbance
to zoom is to zoom in on creativity
a world create the lens of a world
a global world is a global lens
creation is a global world
a lens is a global lens

a lens is a global lens of the universe
creation is a global lens of creation
creation is a global lens of the universe
creativity create creativity
a lens of creativity is a lens of the universe
creativity disturb creativity
disturb is disturbing creativity
my writing is called philosophical writing. i only uses middle ages words,words from the renaissance. for instance words liked gracious,extravaganza,etc... this poem is about the creation of the universe. i don’t add capitalization’s on my writing.
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