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Summer 3d
I’m a ghost,
peering at my physical body down below—
there but not really there
I’m a stranger
looking on the burning world
with cold, unseeing eyes
I’m the haze, the curtain
veiling the living and the dead
I’m alone
Eloisa 3d
Then she turned off the volume
of her world today.
Seeking her much needed silence in her heart.
She tried to live alone inside a special place
where grief and pain do not exist.
And in her silence and solitude,
she began to renew her springs
that have dried up.
Kofi ye 5d
i went off grid
    in search of peace of mind
but guess what i found
      i found chaos awaiting me
in the fortress of my solitude
peace was nowhere to be found
         only broken mirrors on the floor
reflecting anxiety in every frame
the skeletons of paranoia creeped out of every closet i opened...
Remember me
When you see the moon
On the door of your heart
One, two and three
The sound of my rapping knock
Under the full bright moon
Remember me
When you see the moon
Brian Yule Oct 4
Crickets chirping
A pulsating veil
Beyond which silence knocks
Heat seethes from baking rocks
Alive in this aching
Swathed in hot spring's cocoon
Crushed **** steeping
Nurturing her hushed bleeds
Wonder's womb weeping
A carrion bird perching,
Unsated, wails
I've met so many people,
Seen so many faces
Yet here I am
Sitting by the tree
All alone,
Often Pondering
What life would have been?
Had I not cut off
People who reminded me of
Simpler and happier times,
Singing together
To the tunes that barely rhymed,
Had I not cut off
The things that always seemed so real,
And some feelings that I tried to conceal.
But here I am
Learning to be happy,
Even if it seems sloppy
Maybe God's watching over me,
As I walk along my path carefree
Maybe I was playing with my sanity,
Just by sleeping in the arms of destiny.
Will I be happy about being selfish?
Or is treading the longer path towards gratitude something I'd relish?
Lozenge
by Michael R. Burch

When I was closest to love, it did not seem
real at all, but a thing of such tenuous sweetness
it might dissolve in my mouth
like a lozenge of sugar.

When I held you in my arms, I did not feel
our lack of completeness,
knowing how easy it was
for us to cling to each other.

And there were nights when the clouds
sped across the moon’s face,
exposing such rarified brightness
we did not witness

so much as embrace
love’s human appearance.



East Devon Beacon
by Michael R. Burch

Evening darkens upon the moors,
Forgiveness—a hairless thing
skirting the headlamps, fugitive.

Why have we come,
traversing the long miles
and extremities of solitude,
worriedly crisscrossing the wrong maps
with directions
obtained from passing strangers?

Why do we sit,
frantically retracing
love’s long-forgotten signal points
with cramping, ink-stained fingers?

Why the preemptive frowns,
the litigious silences,
when only yesterday we watched
as, out of an autumn sky this vast,
over an orchard or an onion field,
wild Vs of distressed geese
sped across the moon’s face,
the sound of their panicked wings
like our alarmed hearts
pounding in unison?



Kindred (II)
by Michael R. Burch

Rise, pale disastrous moon!
What is love, but a heightened effect
of time, light and distance?

Did you burn once,
before you became
so remote, so detached,

so coldly, inhumanly lustrous,
before you were able to assume
the very pallor of love itself?

What is the dawn now, to you or to me?
We are as one,
out of favor with the sun.

We would exhume
the white corpse of love
for a last dance,

and yet we will not.
We will let her be,
let her abide,

for she is nothing now,
to you
or to me.



i o u
by Michael R. Burch

i might have said it
but i didn’t

u might have noticed
but u wouldn’t

we might have been us
but we couldn’t

u might respond
but probably shouldn’t



chrysalis
by Michael R. Burch

these are the days of doom
u seldom leave ur room
u live in perpetual gloom

yet also the days of hope
how to cope?
u pray and u *****

toward self illumination ...
becoming an angel
(pure love)

and yet You must love Your Self

If you know someone who is very caring and loving, but struggles with self worth, this may be a poem to consider.


Dancer
by Michael R. Burch

You will never change;
you range,
investing passion in the night,

waltzing through
a blinding blue,
immaculate and fabled light.

Do not despair
or wonder where
the others of your race have fled.

They left you here
to gin and beer
and won't return till you are bled

of fantasy
and piety,
of brewing passion like champagne,

of storming through
without a clue,
but finding answers fall like rain.

They left.
You laughed,
but now you sigh

for ages,
stages
slipping by.

You pause;
applause
is all you hear.

You dance,
askance,
as drunkards cheer.



The Evolution of Love
by Michael R. Burch

Love among the infinitesimal
flotillas of amoebas is a dance
of transient appendages, wild sails
that gather in warm brine and then express
one headstream as two small, divergent wakes.

Minuscule voyage—love! Upon false feet,
the pseudopods of uprightness, we creep
toward self-immolation: two nee one.

We cannot photosynthesize the sun,
and so we love in darkness, till we come
at last to understand: man’s spineless heart
is alien to any land.
We part
to single cells; we rise on buoyant tears,
amoeba-light, to breathe new atmospheres ...
and still we sink.
The night is full of stars
we cannot grasp, though all the World is ours.

Have we such cells within us, bent on love
to ever-changingness, so that to part
is not to be the same, or even one?
Is love our evolution, or a scream
against the thought of separateness—a cry
of strangled recognition? Love, or die,
or love and die a little. Hopeful death!
Come scale these cliffs, lie changing, share this breath.



Longing
by Michael R. Burch

We stare out at the cold gray sea,
overcome
with such sudden and intense longing . . .
our eyes meet,
inviolate,
and we are not of this earth,
this strange, inert mass.

Before we crept
out of the shoals of the inchoate sea,
before we grew
the quaint appendages
and orifices of love . . .

before our jellylike nuclei,
struggling to be hearts,
leapt
at the sight of that first bright, oracular sun,
then watched it plummet,
the birth and death of our illumination . . .

before we wept . . .
before we knew . . .
before our unformed hearts grew numb,
again,
in the depths of the sea’s indecipherable darkness . . .

When we were only
a swirling profusion of recombinant things
wafting loose silt from the sea’s soft floor,
writhing and ******* in convulsive beds
of mucousy foliage,

flowering,
flowering,
flowering . . .

what jolted us to life?



Memento Mori
by Michael R. Burch

I found among the elms
something like the sound of your voice,
something like the aftermath of love itself
after the lightning strikes,
when the startled wind shrieks . . .

a gored-out wound in wood,
love’s pale memento mori—
that white scar
in that first heart,
forever unhealed . . .

and a burled, thick knot incised
with six initials pledged
against all possible futures,
and penknife-notched below,
six edged, chipped words
that once cut deep and said . . .

WILL U B MINE
4 EVER?

. . . which now, so disconsolately answer . . .

—————-N-
—EVER.



Annual
by Michael R. Burch

Silence
steals upon a house
where one sits alone
in the shadow of the itinerant letterbox,
watching the disconnected telephone
collecting dust...

hearing the desiccate whispers of voices'
dry flutters, —
moths' wings
brittle as cellophane...

Curled here,
reading the yellowing volumes of loss
by the front porch light
in the groaning swing...

through thin adhesive gloss
I caress your face.



Nucleotidings
by Michael R. Burch

“We will walk taller!” said Gupta,
sorta abrupta,
hand-in-hand with his mom,
eyeing the A-bomb.

“Who needs a mahatma
in the aftermath of NAFTA?
Now, that was a disaster,”
cried glib Punjab.

“After Y2k,
time will spin out of control anyway,”
flamed Vijay.

“My family is relatively heavy,
too big even for a pig-barn Chevy;
we need more space,”
spat What’s His Face.

“What does it matter,
dirge or mantra,”
sighed Serge.

“The world will wobble
in Hubble’s lens
till the tempest ends,”
wailed Mercedes.

“The world is going to hell in a bucket.
So **** it and get outta my face!
We own this place!
Me and my friends got more guns than ISIS,
so what’s the crisis?”
cried Bubba Billy Joe Bob Puckett.



The Octopi Jars
by Michael R. Burch

Long-vacant eyes
now lodged in clear glass,
a-swim with pale arms
as delicate as angels'...

you are beyond all hope
of salvage now...
and yet I would pause,
no fear!,
to once touch
your arcane beaks...

I, more alien than you
to this imprismed world,
notice, most of all,
the scratches on the inside surfaces
of your hermetic cells ...

and I remember documentaries
of albino Houdinis
slipping like wraiths
over the walls of shipboard aquariums,
slipping down decks'
brine-lubricated planks,
spilling jubilantly into the dark sea,
parachuting through clouds of pallid ammonia...

and I know now in life you were unlike me:
your imprisonment was never voluntary.



Consequence
by Michael R. Burch

They are fresh-faced,
not innocent, but perhaps not yet jaded,
oblivious to time and death,
of each counted breath
in the pendulum’s sway
falling unheeded.

They are bright, undissuaded
by foreign tongues,
by sepulchers empty and waiting,
by sarcophagi of ancient kings,
by proclamations,
by rituals of scalpels and rings.

They are sworn, they are fated
to misadventure and grief;
but they revel in life
till the sun falls, receding
into silent halls
to torrents of inconsequential tears . . .

. . . to brief tragedies of tears
when they consider this: No one else sees.
But I know.
We all know.
We all know the consequence
of being so young.



Cycles
by Michael R. Burch

I see his eyes caress my daughter’s *******
through her thin cotton dress,
and how an indiscreet strap of her white bra
holds his bald fingers
in fumbling mammalian awe . . .

And I remember long cycles into the bruised dusk
of a distant park,
hot blushes,
wild, disembodied rushes of blood,
portentous intrusions of lips, tongues and fingers . . .

and now in him the memory of me lingers
like something thought rancid,
proved rotten.
I see Another again—hard, staring, and silent—
though long-ago forgotten . . .

And I remember conjectures of ***** lines,
brief flashes of white down bleacher stairs,
coarse patches of hair glimpsed in bathroom mirrors,
all the odd, questioning stares . . .

Yes, I remember it all now,
and I shoo them away,
willing them not to play too long or too hard
in the back yard—
with a long, ineffectual stare

that years from now, he may suddenly remember.



Confession
by Michael R. Burch

What shall I say to you, to confess,
words? Words that can never express
anything close to what I feel?

For words that seem tangible, real,
when I think them
become vaguely surreal when I put ink to them.

And words that I thought that I knew,
like "love" and "devotion"
never ring true.

While "passion"
sounds strangely like the latest fashion
or a perfume.

NOTE: At the time I wrote this poem, a perfume called Passion was in fashion.



Incommunicado
by Michael R. Burch

All I need to know of life I learned
in the slap of a moment,
as my outward eye turned
toward a gauntlet of overhanging lights
which coldly burned, hissing—
"There is no way back!"

As the ironic bright blood
trickled down my face,
I watched strange albino creatures twisting
my flesh into tight knots of separation
while tediously insisting—

“He's doing just fine!"



An Ecstasy of Fumbling
by Michael R. Burch

The poets believe
everything resolves to metaphor—
a distillation,
a vapor
beyond filtration,
though perhaps not quite as volatile as before.

The poets conceive
of death in the trenches
as the price of art,
not war,
fumbling with their masque-like
dissertations
to describe the Hollywood-like gore

as something beyond belief,
abstracting concrete bunkers to Achaemenid bas-relief.



Litany
by Michael R. Burch

Will you take me with all my blemishes?
I will take you with all your blemishes, and show you mine. We’ll **** wine out of cardboard boxes till our teeth and lips shine red like greedily gorging foxes’. We’ll swill our fill, then have *** for hours till our neglected guts at last rebel. At two in the morning, we’ll eat cold Krystals out of greasy cardboard boxes, and we will be in love.

And that’s it?
That’s it.

And can I go out with my friends and drink until dawn?
You can go out with your friends and drink until dawn, come home lipstick-collared, pass out by the pool, or stay at the bar till the new moon sets, because we will be in love, and in love there is no room for remorse or regret. There is no right, no wrong, and no mistrust, only limb-numbing ***, hot-pistoning lust.

And that’s all?
That’s all.

That’s great!
But wait . . .

Wait? Why? What’s wrong?
I want to have your children.

Children?
Well, perhaps just one.

And what will happen when we have children?

The most incredible things will happen—you’ll change, stop acting so strangely, start paying more attention to me, start paying your bills on time, grow up and get rid of your horrible friends, and never come home at a-quarter-to-three drunk from a night of swilling, smelling like a lovesick skunk, stop acting so lewdly, start working incessantly so that we can afford a new house which I will decorate lavishly and then grow tired of in a year or two or three, start growing a paunch so that no other woman would ever have you, stop acting so boorishly, start growing a beard because you’re too tired to shave, or too afraid, thinking you might slit your worthless wrinkled throat . . .



Salve
by Michael R. Burch

for the victims and survivors of 9-11

The world is unsalvageable ...
but as we lie here
in bed
stricken to the heart by love
despite war’s
flickering images,

sometimes we still touch,

laughing, amazed,
that our flesh
does not despair
of love
as we do,

that our bodies are wise

in ways we refuse
to comprehend,
still insisting we eat,
drink ...
even multiply.

And so we touch ...

touch, and only imagine
ourselves immune:
two among billions

in this night of wished-on stars,

caresses,
kisses,
and condolences.

We are not lovers of irony,

we
who imagine ourselves
beyond the redemption
of tears
because we have salvaged
so few
for ourselves ...

and so we laugh
at our predicament,
fumbling for the ointment.



The Secret of Her Clothes
by Michael R. Burch

The secret of her clothes
is that they whisper a little mysteriously
of things unseen

in the language of nylon and cotton,
so that when she walks
to her amorous drawers

to rummage among the embroidered hearts
and rumors of pastel slips
for a white wisp of Victorian lace,

the delicate rustle of fabric on fabric,
the slightest whisper of telltale static,
electrifies me.



Retro
by Michael R. Burch

Now, once again,
love’s a redundant pleasure,
as we laugh
at my childish fumblings
through the acres of your dress,
past your wily-wired brassiere,
through your *******’ pink billows
of thrill-piqued frills ...

Till I lay once again—panting redfaced
at your gayest lack of resistance,
and, later, at your milktongued
mewlings in the dark ...

When you were virginal,
sweet as eucalyptus,
we did not understand
the miracle of repentance,
and I took for granted
your obsessive distance ...

But now I am happily unbuttoning
that chaste dress,
unhitching that firm-latched bra,
tugging at those parachute-like *******—
the ones you would have gladly forgotten
had I not bought them in this year’s size.



****** Analysis
by Michael R. Burch

This is not what I need . . .
analysis,
paralysis,
as though I were a seed
to be planted,
supported
with a stick and some string
until I emerge.
Your words
are not water. I need something
more nourishing,
like cherishing,
something essential, like love
so that when I climb
out of the lime
and the mulch. When I shove
myself up
from the muck . . .
we can ****.



East End, 1888
by Michael R. Burch

He slouched East
through a steady downpour,
a slovenly beast
befouling each puddle
with bright footprints of blood.

Outlined in a pub door,
lewdly, wantonly, she stood . . .
mocked and brazenly offered.
He took what he could
till she afforded no more.

Now a single bright copper
glints becrimsoned by the door
of the pub where he met her.
He holds to his breast the one part
of her body she was unable to *****,

grips her heart to his wildly stammering heart . . .
unable to forgive or forget her.



Open Portal
by Michael R. Burch

“You already have zero privacy—get over it.”—Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems

While you’re at it—
don’t bother to wear clothes:
We all know what you’re concealing underneath.

Let the bathroom door swing open.
Let, O let Us peer in!
What you’re doing, We’ve determined, may be a sin!

When you visit your mother
and it’s time to brush your teeth,
it’s okay to openly spit.

And, while you’re at it,
go ahead—
take a long, noisy ****.

What the he|ll is your objection?
What on earth is all this fuss?
Just what is it, exactly, you would hide from US?



Artificial Smile
by Michael R. Burch

I’m waiting for my artificial teeth
to stretch belief, to hollow out the cob
of zealous righteousness, to grasp life’s stub
between clenched molars, and yank out the grief.

Mine must be art-official—zenlike Art—
a disembodied, white-enameled grin
of Cheshire manufacture. Part by part,
the human smile becomes mock porcelain.

Till in the end, the smile alone remains:
titanium-based alloys undestroyed
with graves’ worm-eaten contents, all the pains
of bridgework unrecalled, and what annoyed

us most about the corpses rectified
to quaintest dust. The Smile winks, deified.



Revision
by Michael R. Burch

I found a stone
ablaze in a streambed,
honed to a flickering jewel
by all the clear,
swiftly-flowing
millennia of water...

and as I kneeled
to do it obeisance,
the homage of retrieval,
it occurred to me
that perhaps its muddied
underbelly

rooted precariously
in the muck
and excrescence
of its slow loosening
upward...

might not be finished,
like a poem
brilliantly faceted
but only half revised,
which sparkles
seductively
but is not yet worth

ecstatic digging.



They Take Their Shape
by Michael R. Burch

“We will not forget moments of silence and days of mourning ...”—George W. Bush

We will not forget ...
the moments of silence and the days of mourning,
the bells that swung from leaden-shadowed vents
to copper bursts above “hush!”-chastened children
who saw the sun break free (abandonment
to run and laugh forsaken for the moment),
still flashing grins they could not quite repent ...
Nor should they—anguish triumphs just an instant;
this every child accepts; the nymphet weaves;
transformed, the grotesque adult-thing emerges:
damp-winged, huge-eyed, to find the sun deceives ...
But children know; they spin limpwinged in darkness
cocooned in hope—the shriveled chrysalis
that paralyzes time. Suspended, dreaming,
they do not fall, but grow toward what is,
then ***** about to find which transformation
might best endure the light or dark. “Survive”
becomes the whispered mantra of a pupa’s
awakening ... till What takes shape and flies
shrieks, parroting Our own shrill, restive cries.

Keywords/Tags: free verse, human, humanity, love, hearts, forgiveness, relationships, solitude, distance, strangers, kin, kindred
Bri Stokes Sep 28
Solitude is like a
feathered embrace.
Like a swell of moonlight
on dewy,
manicured
grass.
And should you go looking
for the magick--
for the secrets
unveiled
in stillness
and beats
that stretch for miles,
from one
shivering
heart
to another,
you’ll find realms of
untold dreams.
Rheems of
bursting starlight,
of long-squashed fantasies
in demand
of your attention.
Daydreams that unwind
until you’ve found
what you were searching for:
the secret,
long-lost
places
you hadn’t known
were long-since missing.
Without suffering, there is silence.
Cross Boundry Sep 23
is the impenatrable silence between days i see you
and the days i do are full of music
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