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Circe
by Michael R. Burch

She spoke
and her words
were like a ringing echo dying
or like smoke
rising and drifting
while the earth below is spinning.
She awoke
with a cry
from a dream that had no ending,
without hope
or strength to rise,
into hopelessness descending.
And an ache
in her heart
toward that dream, retreating,
left a wake
of small waves
in circles never completing.

Originally published by Romantics Quarterly

Keywords/Tags: Circe, enigma, enigmatic, enchantress, siren, enchanted, witch, goddess, magic, Ulysses, pigs, sty



Moon Lake
by Michael R. Burch

Starlit recorder of summer nights,
what magic spell bewitches you?
They say that all lovers love first in the dark...
Is it true?
Is it true?
Is it true?

Starry-eyed seer of all that appears
and all that has appeared—
What sights have you seen?
What dreams have you dreamed?
What rhetoric have you heard?

Is love an oration,
or is it a word?
Have you heard?
Have you heard?
Have you heard?

I believe I wrote this poem in my late teens, during my “Romantic Period.”



Tomb Lake
by Michael R. Burch

Go down to the valley
  where mockingbirds cry,
  alone, ever lonely . . .
  yes, go down to die.
And dream in your dying
  you never shall wake.
  Go down to the valley;
  go down to Tomb Lake.
Tomb Lake is a cauldron
  of souls such as yours —
  mad souls without meaning,
  frail souls without force.
Tomb Lake is a graveyard
  reserved for the dead.
  They lie in her shallows
  and sleep in her bed.

I believe this poem and "Moon Lake" were companion poems, written around my senior year in high school, in 1976. In addition to having similar titles, they had similar "staircase" indention styles. According to my notes, I modified "Moon Lake" two years later in 1978, at which time the poem was substantially finished. I then modified "Tomb Lake" in 1981, but must have forgotten about it, because I don't show that I ever submitted the poem for publication or did anything with it for more than 40 years. Keywords/Tags: Moon, Lake, Lakes, Water, Reflection, Reflections, Image, Imagery, Mirror, Magic, Magician, Seer, Prophet, Shaman, Spell, Spells, Enchantment, Sorcery, Bewitchment, Bewilderment, Incantation, Rhapsody, Love Talk, Love Potion
I AM!
by Michael R. Burch

I am not one of ten billion—I—
sunblackened Icarus, chary fly,
staring at God with a quizzical eye.

I am not one of ten billion, I.

I am not one life has left unsquashed—
scarred as Ulysses, goddess-debauched,
pale glowworm agleam with a tale of panache.

I am not one life has left unsquashed.

I am not one without spots of disease,
laugh lines and tan lines and thick-callused knees
from begging and praying and girls sighing "Please!"

I am not one without spots of disease.

I am not one of ten billion—I—
scion of Daedalus, blackwinged fly
staring at God with a sedulous eye.

I am not one of ten billion, I
AM!

Keywords/Tags: I, AM, ego, individual, individuality, character, Icarus, Daedalus, Ulysses, fly, gadfly, chary, wary, quizzical, questioning, panache, sedulous, heretical



jesus hates me, this i know
by michael r. burch

jesus hates me, this I know,
for Church libel tells me so:
“little ones to him belong”
but if they use their dongs, so long!
     yes, jesus hates me!
     yes, jesus baits me!
     yes, he berates me!
    Church libel tells me so!

jesus fleeces us, i know,
for Religion scams us so:
little ones are brainwashed to
believe god saves the Chosen Few!
yes, jesus fleeces!
yes, he deceases
the bunny and the rhesus
because he’s mad at you!

jesus hates me—christ who died
so i might be crucified:
for if i use my **** or brain,
that will drive the “lord” insane!
     yes, jesus hates me!
     yes, jesus baits me!
     yes, he berates me!
    Church libel tells me so!

jesus hates me, this I know,
for Church libel tells me so:
first fools tell me “look above,”
that christ’s the lamb and god’s the dove,
but then they sentence me to Hell
for using my big brain too well!
     yes, jesus hates me!
     yes, jesus baits me!
     yes, he berates me!
    Church libel tells me so!
Rowan S Jan 2019
I'd like to say
If I'd have stayed
I wouldn't be here now
But truthfully
Inquiring
Will only sink me down
Pass memories
That mock and tease
Ulysses' siren song
The jagged rocks
Seductive talks
Carry my soul along
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hevNco-VIho

Even Mike from Picture Loans don't wanna banter
'bout the football: I must be Mr. N.S. Senshawl.

My fascias & guttering are gagging for it,
but Safestyle never call: I must be Mr. N.S. Cenchall.

Nadir? It ain't bloomers baron Asil
in Cypriot sanctum tranquil:
it's me, myself & Mr. N.S. Senchall.

All the shitposting edgelords
catsitting for their exes Saturdaynight
are still more cool
than Mr. N.S. Senshaul.

I cross the informationsuperbillygoatsgruffbridge,
data unharvested: I must be  'NIFOC In Norfolk'...
'Drat & dratdrat, wrong username!'
blushed Mr. N. S. Censhawl.

Happy Hanukkah card was a circular
from the Inland Revenue.
Wasn't even addressed to
Mr. N.S. Senchawl.

In my hibernaculum, awaiting the business acumen
of a Sally Army mercenary, knocking to sell
me a doorbell that plays, 'Jingle Bells,
Mr. N.S. Censhall smells'.

Neither chaplain attached to suicide magnet estates,
nor my own personal Semitic Jazz Zeus, ministers
to unspeakably forgotten O me of little face,
Mr. N.S. Cenchawl ,
unseemly as all the major faiths.

Even if I rescued Meghan Markle
from Mr. & Mrs. Shackles' tumbril,
in sadiemaisie bunnyland black swaddling
on the road to Much Marcle,
the press would still misspell the hero of the hour's name,
'Mr. N.S. Censhaul'.

On my birth certificate, impasto vitiligo
of correction fluid furs the phobile mome no.
at my mum's hobile mone. & my name.
I cannot decifur
if it's Mr. N.S. Senchaul
or Mr. N.S. Senshall.
Or 'Mysteron Is Sensual'.

Has my mind gone blanket,
or is it a sense shawl?
Now I feel like Wolverine,
at least a vulperteen.
Militaryindustrial *******, sob,
did they massacre my memories, bub?
Defuse my dreams of a life less stabby?
Contorture me into this cybertiger Caliban,
monstro-Mowgli?
Now I feel like Wolverine's
wisdomtooth, a pain deemed
so negligible
- like Mr. N. S. Cenchaul.

Stan, Stan!
Radioman
Baker,  M'intosh, Zodiac Killer,  
Dr. Livingstone,
Mike from Picture Loans,
do you copy, over?
It's me,  Mr. N.S. Dooberry.
Joe Thompson Oct 2016
Long forgotten in poems and prose
Are the tribulations of a person’s toes.
Perhaps the likes of the great Ulysses
Are all afraid that they will sound like sissies -
If, in a battle full of strife and woe
They should take a moment to say “ouch, my toe!”
(though no one thought twice to hear Achilles squeal,
“I can’t go on - I broke a heel”
So go on and whine if you stub your toe -
be like: “this little piggie went to battle - Yo!”
Tommy W Jan 2014
The Wandering Rocks

Ulysses was a hero
With his very own crew
They blew through the ocean
On a boat full of supplies

They sailed out of darkness
Into the light
Back to the world they knew
As they sailed home
They heard a sound, the crew couldn't describe
Not a man or a seagull
But a sound all the same
Whistled through and around

The crew glanced back
Behind the aft of the boat
To the unnoticed sight
There were a group of rocks
All jagged and small
Far into the distance all right

But as the crew watched the rocks
They seemed to grow over time
It was a peculiar sight
To see

The crew moved on by Ulysses order to row
Then Ulysses set sights for land
A land called Thrinacia,
Isle of the Sun Titan
In hopes the rocks stop the chase
Cecelia Francis Mar 2016
"You are likely to
succeed if you try!"

Perhaps that's why
I find a part of the
self in verbal form

At the subatomic level of
this and that there is a Platonic
good vibrating like mad, like a
mountain flower

Saying "Yes, I said yes,"
will you yes to its yes?
Yuki Yuna is a hero, chord progression
Cecelia Francis Mar 2015
Heart going like mad
yes, to my mountain flower
I said, I would, yes
Daniel B Feb 2015
What song did the sirens sing, Ulysses?
What tune could break your will,
cause you to lose your way?

Were you strung by the sound of a harpy's harp?
Lured by the lies of hideous creatures
singing songs of fabled falsehoods?
Like empty eggshells holding none
of the nutrients they promised.

Was their melody flooded with the bitter truth of love unreturned?

Did they sing of release?
Release from the turmoil the journey was and would continue to bring?
Were the dissonant harmonics of a watery end,
the chance to be one with the sea
what made you beg for your bindings to be cut?

Perhaps the sirens sang the greatest songs of all.
Perchance they sung
of passion sweeter than nectar,
of love stronger than ambrosia,
waiting to be given to the sailor
that could traverse
death itself
and make his way to them.
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