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The People Loved What They Had Loved Before
by Michael R. Burch

We did not worship at the shrine of tears;
we knew not to believe, not to confess.
And so, ahemming victors, to false cheers,
we wrote off love, we gave a stern address
to things that we disapproved of, things of yore.
And the people loved what they had loved before.

We did not build stone monuments to stand
six hundred years and grow more strong and arch
like bridges from the people to the Land
beyond their reach. Instead, we played a march,
pale Neros, sparking flames from door to door.
And the people loved what they had loved before.

We could not pipe of cheer, or even woe.
We played a minor air of Ire (in E).
The sheep chose to ignore us, even though,
long destitute, we plied our songs for free.
We wrote, rewrote and warbled one same score.
And the people loved what they had loved before.

At last outlandish wailing, we confess,
ensued, because no listeners were left.
We built a shrine to tears: our goddess less
divine than man, and, like us, long bereft.
We stooped to love too late, too Learned to *****.
And the people loved what they had loved before.

Keywords/Tags: traditional, poetry, meter, rhyme, reason, music, song, form, love, loved, monuments, bridges, unpaid, free, verse, score, classic, classical, Romantic
Embracing the symphonies of midnight
Carefully sewn in between silence's guise
As salvation from this perilous plight

Shallow breaths as they clasp their bent knees tight
Crass caprices brim their minds in surmise
Embracing the symphonies of midnight

Ardent baton flicks to get them just right
Quietude, serenity—ode in reprise
As salvation from this perilous plight

Tinkering bells escorted by dim light
Yet shrill shrieking with menacing disguise
Embracing the symphonies of midnight

Soft, steady beats aloud, to hear I might
Lone martyr forgives in between my thighs
As salvation from this perilous plight

In low weeps, choruses of tears recite
Here I stand, dawning upon raven skies
Embracing the symphonies of midnight
As salvation from this perilous plight
Day 7 of #NaPoWriMo 2020. Been practicing fixed verse forms and today's a villanelle. Prompt is writing a poem with three things you hear at midnight.
Dried-out sweat, tired-out eyes
Placards coated in reds and blacks
Hair strands wet, vermillion skies
Whiteout sneakers underneath slacks

Chipping bricks adorned with dusk's glow
Soft thuds drown in bustling sidewalks
Concrete walls enrobed in guised woes
Like calls of Cincinnati clocks

Down the path's lead, an alley lies
Only known by a few handful
An easy shortcut for the wise
A definite route for the fool

Empty blocks pampered in ruins
Grow dahlia shrubs in feeble soil
Yet cherished by passing humans
As they perceive in gleeful toil

Click, clack. Tip, tap.
Echoing the narrow pathway
Click, clack. Tip, tap. Click, clack. Tip, tap.
Reverberating the walkway

Gush of summer coldness trickles
Playing with thin skin's hair to stand
Along evening's hazy drizzles
Until lips' beam's closed by a hand

Frozen. Motionless. Absolute.
Pulsating ears, vibrating fears
I, the troubled, straightaway mute
Searching for comfort in fresh tears

Frigid, sharp blade graze flesh through clothes
Algid, rough palms tightened their grip
With trembling mouth, whimpers in lows
Time's ticking, closer to the tip

"How dare you go against!?" he yells
His voice falling on deaf pavements
Alike encaging prison cells
Beneath wretched, worn-out basements

Writhed free from his desperate hold
Unclasped myself, away I go
Yet burly hands grab my shirt's fold
On my side, planting the grand blow

The night weakens, the knife deepens
Meeting downcast eyes as I stare
Remorseless, the demon wakens
No plans—this petty soul—to spare

Deafening shrieks still ring my ears
The masses' cries of unjustness
Voices crystal clear amid tears
Demur of headstrong robustness

Earlier's protest fresh in mind
Echoing as I reminisced
Realized the shrills' suit unfeigned
Are screams from my own throat's abyss

Away from the hustling streetscape
For anyone to hear my plea
In desperate crawls to escape
He lifts the wood in counts of three

Bashed head meet placards to shatter
Jagged splinters abrade my face
Entwined with rain's pitter-patter
To finish me off, just in case

Each and every breath nears to none
Boulevard of dreams come broken
The mist douse this limp body done
I take my last, eyes wide open

Dried-out life, tired-out cries
Pebbles coated in reds and blacks
****** palms rife, obsidian skies
Lone witnessed—mum dahlias on cracks.
Day 5 of #NaPoWriMo 2020. This woke me up all night, and definitely not regretting. Yes, I love dahlias.
Giving joy, getting joy, never coy,
Often pretty, always called a toy,
She sells all that there is to deploy.

And there is she who is demure;
A teacher whose job is secure.
Some say that all teachers are pure.

And there is he who is a professor;
He is his father’s successor;
Just like his father’s predecessor.

The first one we call a *****;
She prostitutes her body more and more;
But the other ones we adore.

The professor prostitutes his knowledge.
He also sells his precious time.
And the teacher too makes the same pledge;
Especially while she is in her prime.

We all ******* something every day;
Yet only the first one’s a *******; yay!
Hossein Mohammadzade
The Board
by Michael R. Burch

Accessible rhyme is never good.
The penalty is understood:
soft titters from dark board rooms where
the businessmen paste on their hair
and, Colonel Klinks, defend the Muse
with reprimands of Dr. Seuss.

The best book of the age sold two,
or three, or four (but not to you),
strange copies of the ones before,
misreadings that delight the board.
They sit and clap; their revenues
fall trillions short of Mother Goose.

Keywords/Tags: poetry, accessible, rhyme, traditional, muse, Seuss, Mother Goose, misreadings, discrimination, prejudice, revenues, sales, copies
Discrimination
by Michael R. Burch

for lovers of traditional poetry

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."

Published by The Chariton Review, The Eclectic Muse, Famous Poets and Poems, Poetry Life & Times and Trinacria (where it was nominated for the Pushcart Prize)

Keywords/Tags: Sonnet, rhythm, rhyme, meter, traditional poetry, metrical verse, poetry journals, literary journals, number, numbers, feet
As the King sat parked, slumped deep into his throne,

His eyes ever vigilant, aimed at the open walkway ahead,

His orders barked at his royal guards, as his paranoia grew.
Yash Jan 31
My heart beating alone in a Ghosttown, dhak dhak
The ringing phone in an empty house, ring ring
The dripping of water in an abandoned home, drip drop
The soft breeze rustling the curtains in an isolated place, swoosh.

My soul in a Ghosttown, cry.
Sylvia in her kitchen, cut.
Whitney in her bathtub, drug.
Lucy Jordan in her house, laugh.

My love in a Ghosttown
Hades in Tartarus
Hestia at the Hearth
Kitty Genovese in New York.

Adam and Eve in Eden.
Zeus and Hera at Olympus.
Marilyn and John in the White house.
A Ball, A Ballad, A Masquerade.

A Dove in Normandy.
An Olive branch in Kashmir.
A communist in America in 1940.
Dreamers & Idealists in existence.

Mahatma Gandhi in 1948.
John F. Kennedy in 1963.
Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.
John Lennon in 1980.

Imagine
I have a dream that one day
we need men who can dream
where there is love, there if life.

A heart beating
beats of isolation.
A soul weeping
the tears of loneliness.

My Soul
My Love
My Heart
all in a Ghosttown.
This poem is ultimately about chronic and deep isolation and loneliness. A poem about the deprivation and lack of love from the person.
Yash Jan 31
The slow dance with yourself, prom.
No partner in crime, no getaway.
Caught, red and white all I see.
The sirens of my heart, ringing.

No Heer, No Ranjha.
No Paris, No Helena.
No Laila, No Majnu.
No Romeo, No Juliet.

Ties and Dresses
Corsage and Coronary
Royal Red carpets
straight from the heart.

Epileptic lights
Face in a sea of masks
Empty hands and waiting eyes
Welcome to the Lonely Masquerade Ball.

Where no faces exist
home of the masks.
Where no hip is free
Siamese twins.

Only heart that beats alone.
Only open eyed one
Only closed lipped one
Soulless, Loveless.

Hordes, Masses, Groups.
Flurry of flamingos
Cackle of hyenas
Litter of rabbits, garbage.

The ugly duckling
Oscar Wilde
Stars on Earth
Rainbows in storms.

Missing posters, wanted.
Revolving doors, wait.
Get the getaway car
Go Go Go.
This poem is about somebody who does not belong. A poem about isolation in the midst of traditional love. And a poem about getting away from that place.
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