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Siyana Apr 14
The Boy That Every Girl Wanted

Fell In Love With A Girl That No One Wanted...

He Planted Roses Inside Her Heart...

But Her Roots Started To Feel Weak

So She Watered Them Down,

Until They Grew...

Into Thorns That Pricked Every Man Who Tried To Plant Their Own Seeds......

Now She Is A Woman With A Heart As Wild As An Untamed Garden....
MODERN SONNETS

I prefer the original definition of the sonnet as a “little song” of indeterminate form and length. These modern sonnets vary from more-or-less traditional to free verse.


Maker, Fakir, Curer
by Michael R. Burch

A poem should be a wild, unearthly cry
against the thought of lying in the dark,
doomed―never having seen bright sparks leap high,
without a word for flame, none for the mark
an ember might emblaze on lesioned skin.

A poet is no crafty artisan―
the maker of some crock. He dreams of flame
he never touched, but―fakir’s courtesan―
must dance obedience, once called by name.
Thin wand, divine!, this world is too the same―

all watery ooze and flesh. Let fire cure
and quickly harden here what can endure.

Originally published by The Lyric

The ancient English scops were considered to be makers: for instance, in William Dunbar’s “Lament for the Makiris.” But in some modern literary circles poets are considered to be fakers, with lies being as good as the truth where art is concerned. Hence, this poem puns on “fakirs” and dancing snakes. But according to Shakespeare the object is to leave something lasting, that will stand test of time. Hence, the idea of poems being cured in order to endure. The “thin wand” is the poet’s pen, divining the elixir―the magical fountain of youth―that makes poems live forever. That is, of course, if he/she can pull it off, which is easier said than done.



Ebb Tide
by Michael R. Burch

Massive, gray, these leaden waves
bear their unchanging burden―
the sameness of each day to day

while the wind seems to struggle to say
something half-submerged planks at the mouth of the bay
might nuzzle limp seaweed to understand.

Now collapsing dull waves drain away
from the unenticing land;
shrieking gulls shadow fish through salt spray―

whitish streaks on a fogged silver mirror.
Sizzling lightning impresses its brand.
Unseen fingers scribble something in the wet sand.

Originally published by Southwest Review



The City Is a Garment
by Michael R. Burch

A rhinestone skein, a jeweled brocade of light,―
the city is a garment stretched so thin
her festive colors bleed into the night,
and everywhere bright seams, unraveling,

cascade their brilliant contents out like coins
on motorways and esplanades; bead cars
come tumbling down long highways; at her groin
a railtrack like a zipper flashes sparks;

her hills are haired with brush like cashmere wool
and from their cleavage winking lights enlarge
and travel, slender fingers ... softly pull
themselves into the semblance of a barge.

When night becomes too chill, she softly dons
great overcoats of warmest-colored dawn.

Originally published by The Lyric



Discrimination
by Michael R. Burch

The meter I had sought to find, perplexed,
was ripped from books of "verse" that read like prose.
I found it in sheet music, in long rows
of hologramic CDs, in sad wrecks
of long-forgotten volumes undisturbed
half-centuries by archivists, unscanned.
I read their fading numbers, frowned, perturbed―
why should such tattered artistry be banned?

I heard the sleigh bells’ jingles, vampish ads,
the supermodels’ babble, Seuss’s books
extolled in major movies, blurbs for abs ...
A few poor thinnish journals crammed in nooks
are all I’ve found this late to sell to those
who’d classify free verse "expensive prose."

Originally published by The Chariton Review



The Harvest of Roses
by Michael R. Burch

I have not come for the harvest of roses―
the poets' mad visions,
their railing at rhyme ...
for I have discerned what their writing discloses:
weak words wanting meaning,
beat torsioning time.

Nor have I come for the reaping of gossamer―
images weak,
too forced not to fail;
gathered by poets who worship their luster,
they shimmer, impendent,
resplendently pale.

Originally published by The Raintown Review



Love Has a Southern Flavor
by Michael R. Burch

Love has a Southern flavor: honeydew,
ripe cantaloupe, the honeysuckle’s spout
we tilt to basking faces to breathe out
the ordinary, and inhale perfume ...

Love’s Dixieland-rambunctious: tangled vines,
wild clematis, the gold-brocaded leaves
that will not keep their order in the trees,
unmentionables that peek from dancing lines ...

Love cannot be contained, like Southern nights:
the constellations’ dying mysteries,
the fireflies that hum to light, each tree’s
resplendent autumn cape, a genteel sight ...

Love also is as wild, as sprawling-sweet,
as decadent as the wet leaves at our feet.

Originally published by The Lyric



Redolence
by Michael R. Burch

Now darkness ponds upon the violet hills;
cicadas sing; the tall elms gently sway;
and night bends near, a deepening shade of gray;
the bass concerto of a bullfrog fills
what silence there once was; globed searchlights play.

Green hanging ferns adorn dark window sills,
all drooping fronds, awaiting morning’s flares;
mosquitoes whine; the lissome moth again
flits like a veiled oud-dancer, and endures
the fumblings of night’s enervate gray rain.

And now the pact of night is made complete;
the air is fresh and cool, washed of the grime
of the city’s ashen breath; and, for a time,
the fragrance of her clings, obscure and sweet.

Published by The Eclectic Muse



Leaf Fall
by Michael R. Burch

Whatever winds encountered soon resolved
to swirling fragments, till chaotic heaps
of leaves lay pulsing by the backyard wall.
In lieu of rakes, our fingers sorted each
dry leaf into its place and built a high,
soft bastion against earth's gravitron―
a patchwork quilt, a trampoline, a bright
impediment to fling ourselves upon.

And nothing in our laughter as we fell
into those leaves was like the autumn's cry
of also falling. Nothing meant to die
could be so bright as we, so colorful―
clad in our plaids, oblivious to pain
we'd feel today, should we leaf-fall again.

Originally published by The Neovictorian/Cochlea



In Praise of Meter
by Michael R. Burch

The earth is full of rhythms so precise
the octave of the crystal can produce
a trillion oscillations, yet not lose
a second's beat. The ear needs no device
to hear the unsprung rhythms of the couch
drown out the mouth's; the lips can be debauched
by kisses, should the heart put back its watch
and find the pulse of love, and sing, devout.

If moons and tides in interlocking dance
obey their numbers, what's been left to chance?
Should poets be more lax―their circumstance
as humble as it is?―or readers wince
to see their ragged numbers thin, to hear
the moans of drones drown out the Chanticleer?

Originally published by The Eclectic Muse



Free Fall
by Michael R. Burch

These cloudless nights, the sky becomes a wheel
where suns revolve around an axle star ...
Look there, and choose. Decide which moon is yours.
Sink Lethe-ward, held only by a heel.
Advantage. Disadvantage. Who can tell?
To see is not to know, but you can feel
the tug sometimes―the gravity, the shell
as lustrous as damp pearl. You sink, you reel
toward some draining revelation. Air―
too thin to grasp, to breath. Such pressure. Gasp.
The stars invert, electric, everywhere.
And so we fall, down-tumbling through night’s fissure ...
two beings pale, intent to fall forever
around each other―fumbling at love’s tether ...
now separate, now distant, now together.

Originally published by Sonnet Scroll



In this Ordinary Swoon
by Michael R. Burch

In this ordinary swoon
as I pass from life to death,
I feel no heat from the cold, pale moon;
I feel no sympathy for breath.

Who I am and why I came,
I do not know; nor does it matter.
The end of every man’s the same
and every god’s as mad as a hatter.

I do not fear the letting go;
I only fear the clinging on
to hope when there’s no hope, although
I lift my face to the blazing sun

and feel the greater intensity
of the wilder inferno within me.



Huntress
by Michael R. Burch

after Baudelaire

Lynx-eyed, cat-like and cruel, you creep
across a crevice dropping deep
into a dark and doomed domain.
Your claws are sheathed. You smile, insane.
Rain falls upon your path, and pain
pours down. Your paws are pierced. You pause
and heed the oft-lamented laws
which bid you not begin again
till night returns. You wail like wind,
the sighing of a soul for sin,
and give up hunting for a heart.
Till sunset falls again, depart,
though hate and hunger urge you―"On!"
Heed, hearts, your hope―the break of dawn.

Originally published by Sonnetto Poesia



Water and Gold
by Michael R. Burch

You came to me as rain breaks on the desert
when every flower springs to life at once,
but joy's a wan illusion to the expert:
the Bedouin has learned how not to want.

You came to me as riches to a miser
when all is gold, or so his heart believes,
until he dies much thinner and much wiser,
his gleaming bones hauled off by chortling thieves.

You gave your heart too soon, too dear, too vastly;
I could not take it in; it was too much.
I pledged to meet your price, but promised rashly.
I died of thirst, of your bright Midas touch.

I dreamed you gave me water of your lips,
then sealed my tomb with golden hieroglyphs.

Originally published by The Lyric



Fountainhead
by Michael R. Burch

I did not delight in love so much
as in a kiss like linnets' wings,
the flutterings of a pulse so soft
the heart remembers, as it sings:
to bathe there was its transport, brushed
by marble lips, or porcelain,―
one liquid kiss, one cool outburst
from pale rosettes. What did it mean ...

to float awhirl on minute tides
within the compass of your eyes,
to feel your alabaster bust
grow cold within? Ecstatic sighs
seem hisses now; your eyes, serene,
reflect the sun's pale tourmaline.

Originally published by Romantics Quarterly



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.

Originally published by Romantics Quarterly



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

Originally published by Sonnet Scroll

Keywords/Tags: modern, sonnet, sonnets, free, verse, song, traditional, romantic, romanticism, art, artisan
Nikolas Feb 13
Extravagant parties and luscious life...
Everybody's in disguise
of a simple man and kind,
Who runs away to find
Himself; in a very small village.

He will reform, redirect and redesign,
Only to see his neighbors sigh;
Who is this new man who thinks
That suddenly he won't pour drinks?

Onegin was bored, both here, and back home,
But it seems he doesn't want to be alone,
He fools around with a lovely young girl,
Who cares for Lensky, for whom she's a pearl.

There was an enthusiast, a calm yet wild soul,
She read and she wrote, played a different role
Than Onegin would've expected; a letter she signed,
And with her pen, she painted what she had in mind.

Yet those, who are nonchalant and fairly useless,
Will not count the hours that were spent being thought about them.
That's how Onegin lived his life and after 8 long years,
He finally loved, but then, he went by.
Written based on the poetic novel of Pushkin: Eugene Onegin
Sara Feb 3
The leaves on the tree
outside my bedroom window
have been yellow for weeks.

I watched them turn
and stagnate
now brittle and quick to crumble.

When they finally stop clinging,
it isn't a float,
or a slow dance to the ground.

They fling themselves
from the edge of the branch,
and plummet
expecting frosted grass.

Instead, they're lodged
in a pile of dog ****
I didn't feel
like picking up this morning.
Man Jan 9
i could pour my heart out to you
but what would it do,
knowing how callous everyone is

i could tell you how i linger on each word you say
or staring too long because i love seeing you
but what would it do

letting you know that when we speak
i get butterflies
and my nerves are overworked

but what would it do

to know how i really think of you
when you don't care to ask
what's the point
Traveler Dec 2020
It was a big leap
from nakedness to
those hideous fig leaves!

To me the gender phenomenon
parallels romanticism

Because
it’s all backwards to me
Fields of lovely flowers are all I see
Your *** is fluent and mighty
The greater the wave
The deep the sea.

Evolution can’t go backwards
or else we’d all take off your clothes
Wouldn’t that be nice
If your genitality was exposed
You do understand
We still wouldn’t be able
to see your soul...
Romanticism is a belief that we should do things like in the past, but the reason things change is because they weren’t working to begin with.
this is also known as a Paradyne shift
Kaliya Skye Nov 2020
sometimes i wake up with the stars i mapped out
caught in my eyes,
other days its a silent panic-
how many times have i had to fear my friends?

sometimes, like you, i hate the pet-names;
the way they crawl under my skin
as an excuse to not butcher mine.
but i would melt like wax wings to be your ‘baby’
just once, won’t you let it slip off your lips?

like honey?
like amber i'm begging to be trapped in?

how long has it been since my soft skin has been touched?
how long has it been since i last felt compassion
in the form of exploring hands
and gentle whispers?

so beautiful, so soft, so willing to listen to me as i

fall
like putty
into your hands.
into a love,
no longer mine-
oh, what would i give to be a lover?

lips full, never kissed
eyes open, never seen
ready to listen, but no words are spoken
no sweet nothings, but arms wide open.

what would it mean
to be held,
as the sun began
to rise again?

if i’m doomed not to sleep,
might i do it
with your name in mind?

if i’m cursed to stay awake,
talk to me until
the sun is in our eyes?

i would melt like wax wings.

would you have me then?
would you take my hand,
with the sweat on my brow?

would you have me now,
so bruised and tired?
with dark circles to balance
my rose-tinted outlook?
won't you hold my weary hand?
don’t be shy.

don’t pretend;
we both know i’m caught between daydreams.
aren’t you nothing but a hallucination?
i’m certain i’ve made you
up in my mind.
don’t be shy… don’t be shy.
my eyes ache but what would i dream?
it seems we're just two ships passing quietly
into the night sky, but i'd swim to you
even afraid; even cold and shaking.
i promise, just sit back & breathe, beloved.
J J Oct 2020
Flowers are the earth's fruit
    Which await the sun's permission
         To beautify and ripen

And at night may serve
   As guiding lanterns floating atop
          Their mother thorns

To gently lead the moon oceanward.
Jamil Sep 2020
Reflecting what you feel today
It’s me and you forever
Even when you disappoint me
I never jet.

I’ve watched you cry so many times
wiping sparkly tears.

Year after year you lift those brittle bones off the ground.
Flipping frowns upside down.
Serving time to open palms.
Healing trauma with broken arms.
I’ve seen you last through strenuous seasons.
Cold as hell
I feel your wheezing.
Walking miles and barely breathing.

I’ve seen you fall,

I’ve seen you crumble,

I’ve seen you cry,

I’ve seen you stumble.

Yet

You stand right here in front of me today.

Stronger than ever,
built with brick,
stainless steel,
not broken sticks.

I’ve seen you shine through imperfections

Change your mind to new perspectives.

Nurse yourself like you’re an infant

Learn new patience

Preach forgiveness.

I just want to say that I’m proud of what you’ve become and where you’re going.


Love,

Self
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