Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Green twisted in bone
Moss growing on stone
The forest floor overgrown
Tree's groan and moan
A predator on its own
It makes its presence known
Its scars are clear and shown
Letting out a long howl
It continues its prowl
With a low growl
Overhead warns an owl
On this quiet night
The moon shines bright
Watching the fight
Blood shining in the light
~18/4/21
Jason Apr 4

You enchanted the moon, didn't you?

Or bribed her?  Maybe you promised her a star or two?

She hunts me with Orion's bow, pacing behind shadowed cloud,

My celestial stalker ridin' low, warily wrapped in misty shroud.

She whispers stark and yet, soft as a breeze on an April afternoon,

Press on now, my pet.  You've done so well, we'll sleep again soon,

But we've a fortnight to go if we're to come full circle by month's end.

So many dreams still to sow... To reap those lupine howls once again.

She waxes and I wane, she mystifies with madness then soothes me sane.

Serenity to insanity, delirious depravity to moon-magicked majesty,

A cosmic clockwork cycle muddling my mind with lunar gravity.

She pushes me to righteous malice and pulls me to solstice solace,

She masters tides in her caprice, what hope has a malcontent apprentice?

© 04/04/21 Jason R. Michie All Rights Reserved

There's a bit of the moon in everything I say and do,
I shouldn't be surprised she reminds me of you.

Just an interesting note: I was inspired to write this last night as I was watching the moon from the window at my desk.  Today, I was wondering if the moon was actually anywhere near Orion...

Turns out Orion is just to the east, but the moon was in the house of Libra when I wrote this, which is friggin cool.  :p
Carlo C Gomez Mar 21
One night
I was a werewolf,
but that got out of hand.
One night
you were a peach,
but I preferred fresh
over canned.

The blood scent was strong
and on your collar,
or was it spaghetti sauce?
We meandered in
the lost city of angels,
but those women
in the maternity ward
were better shape-shifters.

Couldn't see if the moon
was full against
the polluted skyline,
(but I bet it wasn't).

Then somewhere
down the tracks,
the howler (that's you),
half a dream away
on some deserted block,
and flat on your back
like a pancake,
with the nightmares
stacking up,
and dripping
with strawberry syrup.

Or was it blood?
(I bet it wasn't).
Ashlynn Rose Jan 1
Couldy, misty,  night.
Running through the forest.
Time to be true and start new.
This only happens once in a blue moon.

Transformed. I pick myself up from the dirt.
Howl a feral cry and bare my teeth to the earth.
Looked up to the moon and thank her for showing me my truth.
In this world I am not an animal of prey.

It's not in my DNA.
Hastfan Dec 2020
Above the clouds of Tunhill
High above the lands of Arangrad
Stands a figure shrouded
The Rains at his command

Pounds of steely muscle
Fur that sways
All shall tremble
Beneath his waves

Waves of might
Shows of power
Claws of steel so sharp
A hide nails dare not mark

There he stands
Still as night
Calmly though
The stars in fright

On his back
A banner of black
Made naught but tears
And a soaked blood bath

His eyes gleam strong
His gaze far reached
Along his brow
Furrows do reach

Fought hard battles
Turned many sour
Taught many to stand
And all to cower

Beneath his crown
Is all that matters
Nations far and wide
Forced to stagger

Feet of stumps
Roots do grow
Follows reach
Across the globe

Lands to him
Naught but strides
All shall come
Across his eyes

One is shadow
One is flesh
A metaphor
Never to rest

Vigorous gale
Lets none fail
A tattooed sight
For minds so frail

A silvered coat
Makes a mired mail
For none has scope
Fall beneath him - wail

How can you hope
To better yet
Come across one
With broader chest

One so mighty
Cares for all
Enemies of ours
Oh how they fall

Pride to be
One of ours
A mighty warrior
From our own house

The staggered foe
The blunted blade
All are similar
In certain ways

For how can they
Hope to last
Against sharpened stone
Built so fast

A force of nature
Belligerent foe
To the cosmos
Ones to show

Magnanimous hatred
Bitter so
Fought hard beneath
Sweltering tones

For ones creation
Is not wider known
A tremendous being
Moulded so

On fields of battle
Amidst the throng
Deep beneath
The waves that thrown

A king laid flat
A warrior flayed bare
A sorceress so
Shared malevolent stare

Powers of life magic thrown
Used angrily - outwards
Caused a reaction
None could have known

For too much life force
Causes all to grow
To enormous proportions
To then explode

But once or twice
Events conspire
That none could say
Gods would have aspired

For one such case
Where moments ago
Stood a young wolf
Unarmoured and blown

Now stood the force
That would become known
As the one above
The clouds we call home

A wolf still
If even close
But one to rival
The gods own prose

There he stood
Indenting the ground
With his new proportions
And staggering prowl

He gazed once forth
At bewildered witch
Then tore her apart
Aspire his wits

Then his great head lifted
Splattered with gore
To the lines of foe
Butchering his blood

And so he turned
With nothing but claw
Rendering steel
And oh so much more

On he went
With unholy vigour
Ripping and tearing
None saw it quicker

And once he was done
Drenched in the foe
His fur seeming to feast
On the battles below

The great wolf stood
And addressed his great nation
For beneath him stood
men from his station

He raised his proportions
And gathered himself
Rose to his height
And met all above shelf

With silvered tongue
He spoke for a time
And before him kneeled
Every single one in kind

For the wolves of his nation
Astonished you see
Now saw him as greater
Than any could be

Now as they knelt
Awaiting permission
The great wolf roared
all doubts deigned submission

And once he was done
And all had washed their blood
He spoke once more
But then only once

the words he spoke
Shall be etched in stone
Forever and always
To times unknown

Words of a leader
Words from the foe
Words that will follow us
To our graves and below


“I am the wolf
The one to be followed
I will be named king
And awash all of your sorrows

For i am a wolf
But now greater grown
And all that shall know me
Should name me this so

The mightiest among us
A powerful foe
To any before me
Who would seek hate to sow

A name i shall have
A name oft too much bitten
But for a ruler to lead
He must have his ambitions

Call me the wolf
A great king - A great man
Felled the foe
Saved our lands

For as my father
Named me as an heir
I shall be named
The Wolf King, of Zubair
Michael R Burch Oct 2020
O, the Horror! Halloween Poetry!

Halloween Poetry: Dark, Eerie, Haunting and Scary poems about Ghosts, Witches, Vampires, Werewolves, Reanimated Corpses and "Things that go Bump in the Night!"



Thin Kin
by Michael R. Burch

Skeleton!
Tell us what you lack...
the ability to love,
your flesh so slack?

Will we frighten you,
grown as pale & unsound,
when we also haunt
the unhallowed ground?



The Witch
by Michael R. Burch

her fingers draw into claws
she cackles through rotting teeth...
u ask "are there witches?"
… pshaw! …
(yet she has my belief)



Vampires
by Michael R. Burch

Vampires are such fragile creatures;
we dread the dark, but the light destroys them...
sunlight, or a stake, or a cross ― such common things.

Still, late at night, when the bat-like vampire sings,
we shrink from his voice.

Centuries have taught us:
in shadows danger lurks for those who stray,
and there the vampire bares his yellow fangs
and feels the ancient soul-tormenting pangs.
He has no choice.

We are his prey, plump and fragrant,
and if we pray to avoid him, he earnestly prays to find us...
prays to some despotic hooded God
whose benediction is the humid blood
he lusts to taste.



Styx
by Michael R. Burch

Black waters,
deep and dark and still...
all men have passed this way,
or will.

Charon, the ferrymen who carried the dead across the River Styx to their eternal destination, has been portrayed by artists and poets as a vampiric figure.



Revenge of the Halloween Monsters
by Michael R. Burch

The Halloween monsters, incensed,
keep howling, and may be UNFENCED!!!
They’re angry that children with treats
keep throwing their trash IN THE STREETS!!!

You can check it out on your computer:
Google says, “Please don’t be a POLLUTER!!!”
The Halloween monsters agree,
so if you’re a litterbug, FLEE!!!

Kids, if you’d like more treats this year
and don’t want to cower in FEAR,
please make all the mean monsters happy,
and they’ll hand out sweet treats like they’re sappy!

So if you eat treats on the drag
and don't want huge monsters to nag,
please put all loose trash in your BAG!!!

NOTE: If you recite the poem, get the kids to huddle up close, then yell the all-caps parts like you’re one of the unhappy monsters, and perhaps "goose" them as well. They'll get the message.



It's Halloween!
by Michael R. Burch

If evening falls
on graveyard walls
far softer than a sigh;

if shadows fly
moon-sickled skies,
while children toss their heads

uneasy in their beds,
beware the witch's eye!

If goblins loom
within the gloom
till playful pups grow terse;

if birds give up their verse
to comfort chicks they nurse,
while children dream weird dreams

of ugly, wiggly things,
beware the serpent's curse!

If spirits scream
in haunted dreams
while ancient sibyls rise

to plague nightmarish skies
one night without disguise,

while children toss about
uneasy, full of doubt,
beware the Devil's lies...

it's Halloween!



Ghost
by Michael R. Burch

White in the shadows
I see your face,
unbidden. Go, tell

Love it is commonplace;
tell Regret it is not so rare.

Our love is not here
though you smile,
full of sedulous grace.

Lost in darkness, I fear
the past is our resting place.



All Hallows Eve
by Michael R. Burch

What happened to the mysterious Tuatha De Danann, to the Ban Shee (from which we get the term “banshee”) and, eventually, to the Druids? One might assume that with the passing of Merlyn, Morgan le Fay and their ilk, the time of myths and magic ended. This poem is an epitaph of sorts.

In the ruins
of the dreams
and the schemes
of men;

when the moon
begets the tide
and the wide
sea sighs;

when a star
appears in heaven
and the raven
cries;

we will dance
and we will revel
in the devil’s
fen...

if nevermore again.



Pale Though Her Eyes
by Michael R. Burch

Pale though her eyes,
her lips are scarlet
from drinking of blood,
this child, this harlot

born of the night
and her heart, of darkness,
evil incarnate
to dance so reckless,

dreaming of blood,
her fangs ― white ― baring,

revealing her lust,
and her eyes, pale, staring...



Like Angels, Winged
by Michael R. Burch

Like angels ― winged,
shimmering, misunderstood ―
they flit beyond our understanding
being neither evil, nor good.

They are as they are...
and we are their lovers, their prey;
they seek us out when the moon is full
and dream of us by day.

Their eyes ― hypnotic, alluring ―
trap ours with their strange appeal
till like flame-drawn moths, we gather...
to see, to touch, to feel.

Held in their arms, enchanted,
we feel their lips, so old!,
till with their gorging kisses
we warm them, growing cold.



Solicitation
by Michael R. Burch

He comes to me out of the shadows, acknowledging
my presence with a tip of his hat, always the gentleman,
and his eyes are on mine like a snake’s on a bird’s ―
quizzical, mesmerizing.

He ***** his head as though something he heard intrigues him
(although I hear nothing) and he smiles, amusing himself at my expense;
his words are full of desire and loathing, and while I hear everything,
he says nothing I understand.

The moon shines ― maniacal, queer ― as he takes my hand whispering

Our time has come... And so we stroll together creaking docks
where the sea sends sickening things
scurrying under rocks and boards.

Moonlight washes his ashen face as he stares unseeing into my eyes.
He sighs, and the sound crawls slithering down my spine;
my blood seems to pause at his touch as he caresses my face.
He unfastens my dress till the white lace shows, and my neck is bared.

His teeth are long, yellow and hard, his face bearded and haggard.
A wolf howls in the distance. There are no wolves in New York. I gasp.
My blood is a trickle his wet tongue embraces. My heart races madly.
He likes it like that.



Sometimes the Dead
by Michael R. Burch

Sometimes we catch them out of the corners of our eyes ―
the pale dead.
After they have fled
the gourds of their bodies, like escaping fragrances they rise.

Once they have become a cloud’s mist, sometimes like the rain
they descend;
they appear, sometimes silver like laughter,
to gladden the hearts of men.

Sometimes like a pale gray fog, they drift
unencumbered, yet lumbrously,
as if over the sea
there was the lightest vapor even Atlas could not lift.

Sometimes they haunt our dreams like forgotten melodies
only half-remembered.
Though they lie dismembered
in black catacombs, sepulchers and dismal graves; although they have committed felonies,

yet they are us. Someday soon we will meet them in the graveyard dust
blood-engorged, but never sated
since Cain slew Abel.
But until we become them, let us steadfastly forget them, even as we know our children must...



Polish
by Michael R. Burch

Your fingers end in talons—
the ones you trim to hide
the predator inside.

Ten thousand creatures sacrificed;
but really, what’s the loss?
Apply a splash of gloss.

You picked the perfect color
to mirror nature’s law:
red, like tooth and claw.

Published by The HyperTexts



Siren Song
by Michael R. Burch

The Lorelei’s
soft cries
entreat mariners to save her...

How can they resist
her faint voice through the mist?

Soon she will savor
the flavor
of sweet human flesh.



How Long the Night (anonymous Old English Lyric)
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

It is pleasant, indeed, while the summer lasts
with the mild pheasants' song...
but now I feel the northern wind's blast ―
its severe weather strong.
Alas! Alas! This night seems so long!
And I, because of my momentous wrong
now grieve, mourn and fast.



The Wild Hunt
by Michael R. Burch

Near Devon, the hunters appear in the sky
with Artur and Bedwyr sounding the call;
and the others, laughing, go dashing by.
They only appear when the moon is full:

Valerin, the King of the Tangled Wood,
and Valynt, the goodly King of Wales,
Gawain and Owain and the hearty men
who live on in many minstrels’ tales.

They seek the white stag on a moonlit moor,
or Torc Triath, the fabled boar,
or Ysgithyrwyn, or Twrch Trwyth,
the other mighty boars of myth.

They appear, sometimes, on Halloween
to chase the moon across the green,
then fade into the shadowed hills
where memory alone prevails.



The Vampire's Spa Day Dream
by Michael R. Burch

O, to swim in vats of blood!
I wish I could, I wish I could!
O, 'twould be
so heavenly
to swim in lovely vats of blood!

The poem above was inspired by a Josh Parkinson depiction of Elizabeth Bathory up to her nostrils in the blood of her victims, with their skulls floating in the background.



Nevermore!
by Michael R. Burch

Nevermore! O, nevermore!
shall the haunts of the sea
― the swollen tide pools
and the dark, deserted shore ―
mark her passing again.

And the salivating sea
shall never kiss her lips
nor caress her ******* and hips,
as she dreamt it did before,
once, lost within the uproar.

The waves will never **** her,
nor take her at their leisure;
the sea gulls shall not have her,
nor could she give them pleasure...
She sleeps, forevermore!

She sleeps forevermore,
a ****** save to me
and her other lover,
who lurks now, safely smothered
by the restless, surging sea.

And, yes, they sleep together,
but never in that way...
For the sea has stripped and shorn
the one I once adored,
and washed her flesh away.

He does not stroke her honey hair,
for she is bald, bald to the bone!
And how it fills my heart with glee
to hear them sometimes cursing me
out of the depths of the demon sea...

their skeletal love ― impossibility!



Dark Gothic
by Michael R. Burch

Her fingers are filed into talons;
she smiles with carnivorous teeth...
You ask, “Are there vampires?”
― Get real! ―
(Yet she has my belief.)



Epitaph for a Palestinian Child
by Michael R. Burch

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


Athenian Epitaphs (Gravestone Inscriptions of the Ancient Greeks)

Mariner, do not ask whose tomb this may be,
but go with good fortune: I wish you a kinder sea.
― Michael R. Burch, after Plato


Does my soul abide in heaven, or hell?
Only the sea gulls in their high, lonely circuits may tell.
― Michael R. Burch, after Glaucus



Passerby,
tell the Spartans we lie
lifeless at Thermopylae:
dead at their word,
obedient to their command.
Have they heard?
Do they understand?
― Michael R. Burch, after Simonides



Completing the Pattern
by Michael R. Burch

Walk with me now, among the transfixed dead
who kept life’s compact and who thus endure
harsh sentence here―among pink-petaled beds
and manicured green lawns. The sky’s azure,
pale blue once like their eyes, will gleam blood-red
at last when sunset staggers to the door
of each white mausoleum, to inquire―
What use, O things of erstwhile loveliness?


Reclamation
by Michael R. Burch

after Robert Graves, with a nod to Mary Shelley

I have come to the dark side of things
where the bat sings
its evasive radar
and Want is a crooked forefinger
attached to a gelatinous wing.

I have grown animate here, a stitched corpse
hooked to electrodes.
And night
moves upon me―progenitor of life
with its foul breath.

Blind eyes have their second sight
and still are deceived. Now my nature
is softly to moan
as Desire carries me
swooningly across her threshold.

Stone
is less infinite than her crone’s
gargantuan hooked nose, her driveling lips.
I eye her ecstatically―her dowager figure,
and there is something about her that my words transfigure
to a consuming emptiness.

We are at peace
with each other; this is our venture―
swaying, the strings tautening, as tightropes
tauten, as love tightens, constricts
to the first note.

Lyre of our hearts’ pits,
orchestration of nothing, adits
of emptiness! We have come to the last of our hopes,
sweet as congealed blood sweetens for flies.

Need is reborn; love dies.



Deliver Us ...
by Michael R. Burch

The night is dark and scary―
under your bed, or upon it.

That blazing light might be a star ...
or maybe the Final Comet.

But two things are sure: your mother’s love
and your puppy’s kisses, doggonit!



the Horror
by Michael R. Burch

the Horror lurks inside our closets
the Horror hides beneath our beds
the Horror hisses ancient curses
the Horror whispers in our heads

the Horror tells us Death is coming
the Horror tells us there’s no hope
the Horror tells us “life” is futile
the Horror beckons, “there’s the Rope!”



Belfry
by Michael R. Burch

There are things we surrender
to the attic gloom:
they haunt us at night
with shrill, querulous voices.

There are choices we made
yet did not pursue,
behind windows we shuttered
then failed to remember.

There are canisters sealed
that we cannot reopen,
and others long broken
that nothing can heal.

There are things we conceal
that our anger dismembered,
gray leathery faces
the rafters reveal.



Duet
by Michael R. Burch

Oh, Wendy, by the firelight, how sad!
How worn and gray your auburn hair became!
You’re very silent, like an evening rain
that trembles on dark petals. Tears you’ve shed
for days we laughed together, glisten now;
your flesh became translucent; and your brow
knits, gathered loosely. By the well-made bed
three portraits hang with knowing eyes, beloved,
but mine is not among them. Time has proved
our hearts both strangely mortal. If I said
I loved you once, how is it that could change?
And yet I watch you fondly; love is strange . . .

Oh, Peter, by the firelight, how bright
my thought of you remains, and if I said
I loved you once, then took him to my bed,
I did it for the need of love, one night
when you were far away. My heart endured
transfigurement―in flaming ash inured
to heartbreak and the violence of sight:
I saw myself grow old and thin and frail
with thinning hair about me, like a veil . . .
And so I loved him for myself, despite
the love between us―our first startled kiss.
But then I loved him for his humanness.
And then we both grew old, and it was right . . .

Oh, Wendy, if I fly, I fly beyond
these human hearts, these cities walled and tiered
against the night, beyond this vale of tears,
for love, if it exists, dies with the years . . .

No, Peter, love is constant as the heart
that keeps till its last beat a measured pace
and sets the fixtures of its dreams in place
by beds at first well-used, at last well-made,
and counts each face a joy, each tear a grace . . .



Horror
by Michael R. Burch

What I ache to say is beyond saying―
no words for the horror
of not loving enough,
like a mummy half-wrapped in its moldering casements
holding a lily aloft.

No, there are no words for the horror
as a tormented wind howls through the teetering floes
and the cold freezes down to my clawed hairy toes ...

What use to me, now, if the stars appear?
As I moan
the moon finds me,
fangs goring the deer.



Strange Corps(e)
by Michael R. Burch

We are all dying, haunted by life―
dying, but the living will not let us go.
We are perishing zombies, haunted by the moonglow.

With what animation we, shuffling, return
nightly, to worry Love’s worm-eaten corpse,
till, living or dead, she is wholly ours.

We are the dying, enamored of “life”―
the palest of auras, the eeriest call.
We stagger to attention ... stumble ... fall.

We have only one thought―Love’s peculiar notion,
that our duty’s to “live,” though such “living” means
night’s horrific wild hungers, its stranger dreams.

We now “live” on the flesh of eroded dreams
and no longer recoil at the victims’ screams.



Love, ah! serene ghost
by Michael R. Burch

Love, ah! serene ghost,
haunts my retelling of her,
or stands atop despairing stairs
with such pale, severe eyes,
I become another pallid specter.

But what I feel
most profoundly is this:
the absolute lack of her kiss,
the absence of her wild,
unwarranted laughter.

So that,
like a candle deprived of oxygen,
I become mere wick and tallow again.
Here and hereafter ...
gone with her now, in the darkest of nights, the flame!

I lie, pallid vision of man―the same
wan ghost of her palpitations’ claim
on my heart
that I was before.

I love her beyond and despite even shame.



Eden
by Michael R. Burch

Then earth was heaven too, a perfect garden.
Apples burgeoned and shone―unplucked on sagging boughs.
What, then, would the children eat?
Fruit indecently sweet,
redolent as incense, with a tempting aroma ...



Outcasts
by Michael R. Burch

There was a rose, a prescient shade of crimson,
the very color of blood,
that bloomed in that garden.

The most dazzling of all the Earth’s flowers,
men have forgotten it now,
with their fanciful tales of apples and serpents.

Beasts with lips called the goreflower “Love.”

The scribes have the story all wrong: four were there,
four horrid dark creatures―chattering, bickering.
Aduhm placed one red petal in Ehve’s matted hair;

he was lost in her arms
till dawn sullen and golden
imperceptibly streaked the musk-fragrant air.

Two flared nostrils quivered, two eyes remained open.

Kahyn sought me that evening, his bloodless lips curled
in a grimacelike smile. Sunken-cheeked, he approached me
in the Caverns of Similitudes, eerie Barzakh.

“We are outcasts, my brother!, God quickly deserts us.”
As though his anguish conceived in insight’s first blush
might not pale next to mine in Sheol’s gray realm.

“Shining Creature!” he named me and called me divine
as he lavished damp kisses upon my bright scales.
“Help me find me one rare gift to put Love’s gift to shame.”

“There is a dark rose with a bittersweet fragrance
as pungent as cloves: only man knows its name.
Clinging and cloying, it destroys all it touches . . .”

“But red is Ehve’s preference; while Envy is green.”
He was downcast a moment, a moment, a moment . . .
“Ah, but red is the color of blood!”

Disagreeable child, far too clever for his own good.

Published in The Bible of Hell (anthology)



No One
by Michael R. Burch

No One hears the bells tonight;
they tell him something isn’t right.
But No One is not one to rush;
he lies in grasses greenly lush
as far away a startled thrush
flees from horned owls in sinking flight.

No One hears the cannon’s roar
and muses that its voice means war
comes knocking on men’s doors tonight.
He sleeps outside in awed delight
beneath the enigmatic stars
and shivers in their cooling light.

No One knows the world will end,
that he’ll be lonely, without friend
or foe to conquer. All will be
once more, celestial harmony.
He’ll miss men’s voices, now and then,
but worlds can be remade again.



Bikini
by Michael R. Burch

Undersea, by the shale and the coral forming,
by the shell’s pale rose and the pearl’s white eye,
through the sea’s green bed of lank seaweed worming
like tangled hair where cold currents rise . . .
something lurks where the riptides sigh,
something old and pale and wise.

Something old when the world was forming
now lifts its beak, its snail-blind eye,
and with tentacles about it squirming,
it feels the cloud above it rise
and shudders, settles with a sigh,
knowing man’s demise draws nigh.



Ceremony
by Michael R. Burch

Lost in the cavernous blue silence of spring,
heavy-lidded and drowsy with slumber, I see
the dark gnats leap; the black flies fling
their slow, engorged bulks into the air above me.

Shimmering hordes of blue-green bottleflies sing
their monotonous laments; as I listen, they near
with the strange droning hum of their murmurous wings.

Though you said you would leave me, I prop you up here
and brush back red ants from your fine, tangled hair,
whispering, “I do!” . . . as the gaunt vultures stare.



Contraire
by Michael R. Burch

Where there was nothing
but emptiness
and hollow chaos and despair,

I sought Her ...

finding only the darkness
and mournful silence
of the wind entangling her hair.

Yet her name was like prayer.

Now she is the vast
starry tinctures of emptiness
flickering everywhere

within me and about me.

Yes, she is the darkness,
and she is the silence
of twilight and the night air.

Yes, she is the chaos
and she is the madness
and they call her Contraire.



Dark Twin
by Michael R. Burch

You come to me
out of the sun―
my dark twin, unreal . . .

And you are always near
although I cannot touch you;
although I trample you, you cannot feel . . .

And we cannot be parted,
nor can we ever meet
except at the feet.



East End, 1888
by Michael R. Burch

Past darkened storefronts,
hunched and contorted, bent with need
through chilling rain, he walks alone
till down the glistening cobblestones
deliberate footsteps pause, resume.

He follows, by a pub confronts
a pasty face, an overbright smile,
lips intimating easy bliss,
a boisterous, over-eager tongue.

She barters what she has to sell;
her honeyed words seem cloying, stale―
pale, tainted things of sticky guile.



A rustle of her petticoats,
a flash of bulging milk-white breast
. . . the price is set: a crown. “A tip,
a shilling more is yours,” he quotes,
“to wash your privates.” She accepts.
Saliva glistens on his lips.



An alley. There, he lifts her gown,
in answer to her question, frowns,
says―“You can call me Jack, or Rip.”



East End, 1888 (II)
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.

Originally published by Penny Dreadful



Evil, the Rat
by Michael R. Burch

Evil lives in a hole like a rat
and sleeps in its feces,
fearing the cat.

At night it furtively creeps
through the house
while the cat sleeps.

It eats old excrement and gnaws
on steaming dung
and it will pause

between odd bites to sniff through the ****,
twitching and trembling,
for a scent of the cat ...

Evil, the rat.



Temptation
by Michael R. Burch

Jesus was always misunderstood . . .
we have that, at least, in common.
And it’s true that I found him,
shriveled with hunger,
shivering in the desert,
skeletal, emaciate,
not an ounce of fat
to warm his bones
once the bright sun set.

And it’s true, I believe,
that I offered him something to eat―
a fig, perhaps, a pomegranate, or a peach.

Hardly the great “temptation”
of which I’m accused.

He was a likeable chap, really,
and we spent a pleasant hour
discussing God―
how hard He is to know,
and impossible to please.

I left him there, the pale supplicant,
all skin and bone, at the mouth of his cave,
imploring his “Master” on callused knees.

Published in The Bible of Hell (anthology)



Role Reversal
by Michael R. Burch

The fluted lips of statues
mock the bronze gaze
of the dying sun . . .

We are nonplused, they say,
smacking their wet lips,
jubilant . . .

We are always refreshed, always undying,
always young, forever unapologetic,
forever gay, smiling,

and though it seems man has made us,
on his last day, we will see him unmade―
we will watch him decay
as if he were clay,
and we had assumed his flesh,
hissing our disappointment.



Excelsior
by Michael R. Burch

I lift my eyes and laugh, Excelsior . . .
Why do you come, wan spirit, heaven-gowned,
complaining that I am no longer “pure?”

I threw myself before you, and you frowned,
so full of noble chastity, renowned
for leaving maidens maidens. In the dark

I sought love’s bright enchantment, but your lips
were stone; my fiery metal drew no spark
to light the cold dominions of your heart.

What realms were ours? What leasehold? And what claim
upon these territories, cold and dark,
do you seek now, pale phantom? Would you light

my heart in death and leave me ashen-white,
as you are white, extinguished by the Night?



Liar
by Michael R. Burch

Chiller than a winter day,
quieter than the murmur of the sea in her dreams,
eyes wilder than the crystal spray
of silver streams,
you fill my dying thoughts.

In moments drugged with sleep
I have heard your earnest voice
leaving me no choice
save heed your hushed demands
and meet you in the sands
of an ageless arctic world.

There I kiss your lifeless lips
as we quiver in the shoals
of a sea that endlessly rolls
to meet the shattered shore.

Wild waves weep, "Nevermore,"
as you bend to stroke my hair.

That land is harsh and drear,
and that sea is bleak and wild;
only your lips are mild
as you kiss my weary eyes,
whispering lovely lies
of what awaits us there
in a land so stark and bare,
beyond all hope . . . and care.

This is one of my early poems, written as a high school sophomore or junior.



The Watch
by Michael R. Burch

Moonlight spills down vacant sills,
illuminates an empty bed.
Dreams lie in crates. One hand creates
wan silver circles, left unread
by its companion—unmoved now
by anything that lies ahead.

I watch the minutes test the limits
of ornamental movement here,
where once another hand would hover.
Each circuit—incomplete. So dear,
so precious, so precise, the touch
of hands that wait, yet ask so much.

Originally published by The Lyric



Keywords/Tags: Halloween, dark, supernatural, skeleton, witch, ghost, vampire, monsters, ghoul, werewolf, goblins, occult, mrbhalloween, mrbhallow, mrbdark

Published as the collection "Halloween Poems"
Button bites button bites
Got terror in my eyes
Button bites button bites
I am so terrified.  
Garlic smell in the air
His skin was white and fair
Wine glasses clinking loud
White teeth show when he growls
The spell will go away quite soon
He changes when it's a full moon
Look I want him to be my boo
So I simply leave him my shoe
Soon his teeth grow in size
Soon hair grows on his spine
I'm so ready now take me now
That's when he opens his dog mouth
That's when I wake up in my bed
Nothing but red marks on my neck.
Button bites button bites
He might come in the night
Howling out at the light
All in search of a wife
Kindly give constructive criticism as well as kindly tell your friends about my poetry and share it with your friends thank you bye
Dani Jul 2020
The moon rises high in the sky
To the light of day we say goodbye
As the sun goes away
The wolf comes out to play
The man goes away
And the wolf comes out to play
A ***** of flesh it desires
A primal instinct it requires
It runs with the wind
On a hunt for those who have sinned
To eat their hearts full of mud
It's mouth dripping with dark red blood
Sharp teeth and ragged fur
Protection you cannot procure
To the light of day we say goodbye
As the moon rises high in the sky
The form of man goes away
So the wolf can come out to play
Inspired by my daughter playing with her step dad on an amazing adventure!!
Michael R Burch Apr 2020
Solicitation
by Michael R. Burch

He comes to me out of the shadows, acknowledging
my presence with a tip of his hat, always the gentleman,
and his eyes are on my eyes like a snake’s on a bird’s—
quizzical, mesmerizing.

He ***** his head as though something he heard intrigues him
(though I hear nothing) and he smiles, amusing himself at my expense;
his words are full of desire and loathing, and though I hear,
he says nothing that I understand.

The moon shines—maniacal, queer—as he takes my hand and whispers
Our time has come . . . and so we stroll together along the docks
where the sea sends things that wriggle and crawl
scurrying under rocks and boards.

Moonlight in great floods washes his pale face as he stares unseeing
into my eyes. He sighs, and the sound crawls slithering down my spine,
and my blood seems to pause at his touch as he caresses my face.
He unfastens my dress till the white lace shows, and my neck is bared.

His teeth are long, yellow and hard. His face is bearded and haggard.
A wolf howls in the distance. There are no wolves in New York. I gasp.
My blood is a trickle his wet tongue embraces. My heart races madly.
He likes it like that.

Published by Dowton Abbey, Aesthetically Pleasing Vampires, Into the Unknown, Since Halloween is Coming, and Poetry Life & Times. Keywords: vampire, werewolf, supernatural, New York, gentleman, blood, neck, teeth, canines, wolves, desire, loathing, moon, snake, bird, mesmerizing, reptilian
Alex Apr 2020
Sometimes I think I am alone
And I don't know where to go
Sometimes I wonder why I feel
So utterly inhuman

The things that I remember doing
That I could not possibly have done
Though I have hurt a lot of people
I also remember killing one

My name was Ire, I was transformed
He screamed, but still I struck him down
My hands, they trembled, then I was gone
I was a murderous hellhound

The next morning I awoke
And fear was struck in all of them
I wonder what I actually did
I wonder where my victim went
Next page