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TinaMarie Mar 2012
Sunny afternoon

75 degrees

Breeze
     Flowing
          Blowing softly through the slightly cracked window

Trees
     Swaying
          Laying rhythmic undertones to lyrical chirping

Me
     Smiling
Snuggled so tightly
     Pressed against your skin
Entangled limbs
     Indistinguishable as to where you end and I begin

Our
     Hearts and Breaths
Synced
     Collaborating
Producing a soothing lullaby as we drift off to...
      Sleep

I miss afternoon naps

     With you

In

     The afterglow

                                   after...



© Tina Thompson
Ma Cherie Sep 2016
Speaking of broken hearts
and mended fenced in mem'ries  
I am painting skies
of tangerine, saffron
& an illuminated lilac hue
against the starkly contrasted crisp cornflower blue, stretching canvas that is
along with all the
other blindingly beautiful colors of a twilight sky

And those dripping cotton candy stratospheric clouds
Ice crystals freezing into supercooled
water droplets
Streaking the sky in cirrus whispers
..I hear them whisper, "hello"...

Blinding beauty
through unadulterated sunlight
I am fleeced like a lamb
watching in awe,
..in wonder
then stomping sounds
of coming thunder,

Finding depth and height
out  in the stratosphere
Blinded by the
After Light
or afterglow
affected by the amount of haze
I'm in a daze
...as I am reaching

High above the fading light
of a brilliant early fall sunset
I take a big breath
of that sumptuous air
and twirl my skirted legs
my painted toes
where I know
I am back
to solid ground

Appreciating the last time
I say sleep well
to you  my dear
summertimes sweet mem'ries
and the fun we had this year.

Cherie Nolan © 2016
Wow....idk. Felt inspired.
Michael R Burch Sep 2020
Sonnets

For this collection I have used the original definition of "sonnet" as a "little song" rather than sticking to rigid formulas. The sonnets here include traditional sonnets, tetrameter sonnets, hexameter sonnets, curtal sonnets, 15-line sonnets, and some that probably defy categorization, which I call free verse sonnets for want of a better term. Most of these sonnets employ meter, rhyme and form and tend to be Romantic in the spirit of the Romanticism of Blake, Keats, Shelley, Wordsworth and Dylan Thomas.




Auschwitz Rose
by Michael R. Burch

There is a Rose at Auschwitz, in the briar,
a rose like Sharon's, lovely as her name.
The world forgot her, and is not the same.
I still love her and enlist this sacred fire
to keep her memory exalted flame
unmolested by the thistles and the nettles.

On Auschwitz now the reddening sunset settles;
they sleep alike―diminutive and tall,
the innocent, the "surgeons." Sleeping, all.

Red oxides of her blood, bright crimson petals,
if accidents of coloration, gall my heart no less.
Amid thick weeds and muck
there lies a rose man's crackling lightning struck:
the only Rose I ever longed to pluck.
Soon I'll bed there and bid the world "Good Luck."

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 and in The Best of the Eclectic Muse 1989-2003



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 Forge
by Michael R. Burch

To at last be indestructible, a poem
must first glow, almost flammable, upon
a thing inert, as gray, as dull as stone,

then bend this way and that, and slowly cool
at arms-length, something irreducible
drawn out with caution, toughened in a pool

of water so contrary just a hiss
escapes it―water instantly a mist.
It writhes, a thing of senseless shapelessness ...

And then the driven hammer falls and falls.
The horses ***** their ears in nearby stalls.
A soldier on his cot leans back and smiles.

A sound of ancient import, with the ring
of honest labor, sings of fashioning.

Originally published by The Chariton Review



For All That I Remembered
by Michael R. Burch

For all that I remembered, I forgot
her name, her face, the reason that we loved ...
and yet I hold her close within my thought.
I feel the burnished weight of auburn hair
that fell across her face, the apricot
clean scent of her shampoo, the way she glowed
so palely in the moonlight, angel-wan.

The memory of her gathers like a flood
and bears me to that night, that only night,
when she and I were one, and if I could ...
I'd reach to her this time and, smiling, brush
the hair out of her eyes, and hold intact
each feature, each impression. Love is such
a threadbare sort of magic, it is gone
before we recognize it. I would crush
my lips to hers to hold their memory,
if not more tightly, less elusively.

Originally published by The Raintown Review



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



Isolde's Song
by Michael R. Burch

Through our long years of dreaming to be one
we grew toward an enigmatic light
that gently warmed our tendrils. Was it sun?
We had no eyes to tell; we loved despite
the lack of all sensation―all but one:
we felt the night's deep chill, the air so bright
at dawn we quivered limply, overcome.

To touch was all we knew, and how to bask.
We knew to touch; we grew to touch; we felt
spring's urgency, midsummer's heat, fall's lash,
wild winter's ice and thaw and fervent melt.
We felt returning light and could not ask
its meaning, or if something was withheld
more glorious. To touch seemed life's great task.

At last the petal of me learned: unfold.
And you were there, surrounding me. We touched.
The curious golden pollens! Ah, we touched,
and learned to cling and, finally, to hold.

Originally published by The Raintown Review



See
by Michael R. Burch

See how her hair has thinned: it doesn't seem
like hair at all, but like the airy moult
of emus who outraced the wind and left
soft plumage in their wake. See how her eyes
are gentler now; see how each wrinkle laughs,
and deepens on itself, as though mirth took
some comfort there and burrowed deeply in,
outlasting winter. See how very thin
her features are―that time has made more spare,
so that each bone shows, elegant and rare.

For loveliness remains in her grave eyes,
and courage in her still-delighted looks:
each face presented like a picture book's.
Bemused, she blows us undismayed goodbyes.

Originally published by Writer's Digest's: The Year's Best Writing 2003



In the Whispering Night
by Michael R. Burch

for George King

In the whispering night, when the stars bend low
till the hills ignite to a shining flame,
when a shower of meteors streaks the sky,
and the lilies sigh in their beds, for shame,
we must steal our souls, as they once were stolen,
and gather our vigor, and all our intent.
We must heave our bodies to some violent ocean
and laugh as they shatter, and never repent.
We must dance in the darkness as stars dance before us,
soar, Soar! through the night on a butterfly's breeze:
blown high, upward-yearning, twin spirits returning
to the world of resplendence from which we were seized.

Published in Songs of Innocence, Romantics Quarterly and Poetry Life & Times. This is a sonnet I wrote for my favorite college English teacher, George King, about poetic kinship, brotherhood and romantic flights of fancy.



The Toast
by Michael R. Burch

For longings warmed by tepid suns
(brief lusts that animated clay),
for passions wilted at the bud
and skies grown desolate and gray,
for stars that fell from tinseled heights
and mountains bleak and scarred and lone,
for seas reflecting distant suns
and weeds that thrive where seeds were sown,
for waltzes ending in a hush,
for rhymes that fade as pages close,
for flames' exhausted, drifting ash,
and petals falling from the rose, ...
I raise my cup before I drink,
saluting ghosts of loves long dead,
and silently propose a toast―
to joys set free, and those I fled.



Second Sight (II)
by Michael R. Burch

(Newborns see best at a distance of 8 to 14 inches.)

Wiser than we know, the newborn screams,
red-faced from breath, and wonders what life means
this close to death, amid the arctic glare
of warmthless lights above.
Beware! Beware!―
encrypted signals, codes? Or ciphers, noughts?

Interpretless, almost, as his own thoughts―
the brilliant lights, the brilliant lights exist.
Intruding faces ogle, gape, insist―
this madness, this soft-hissing breath, makes sense.
Why can he not float on, in dark suspense,
and dream of life? Why did they rip him out?

He frowns at them―small gnomish frowns, all doubt―
and with an ancient mien, O sorrowful!,
re-closes eyes that saw in darkness null
ecstatic sights, exceeding beautiful.



Archaischer Torso Apollos (“Archaic Torso of Apollo”)
by Rainer Maria Rilke
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

We cannot know the beheaded god
nor his eyes' forfeited visions. But still
the figure's trunk glows with the strange vitality
of a lamp lit from within, while his composed will
emanates dynamism. Otherwise
the firmly muscled abdomen could not beguile us,
nor the centering ***** make us smile
at the thought of their generative animus.
Otherwise the stone might seem deficient,
unworthy of the broad shoulders, of the groin
projecting procreation's triangular spearhead upwards,
unworthy of the living impulse blazing wildly within
like an inchoate star―demanding our belief.
You must change your life.

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE: This is a Rilke sonnet about a major resolution: changing the very nature of one's life. While it is only my personal interpretation of the poem above, I believe Rilke was saying to himself: "I must change my life." Why? Perhaps because he wanted to be a real artist, and when confronted with real, dynamic, living and breathing art of Rodin, he realized that he had to inject similar vitality, energy and muscularity into his poetry. Michelangelo said that he saw the angel in a block of marble, then freed it. Perhaps Rilke had to find the dynamic image of Apollo, the God of Poetry, in his materials, which were paper, ink and his imagination.―Michael R. Burch



Komm, Du (“Come, You”)
by Ranier Maria Rilke
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

This was Rilke’s last poem, written ten days before his death. He died open-eyed in the arms of his doctor on December 29, 1926, in the Valmont Sanatorium, of leukemia and its complications. I had a friend who died of leukemia and he was burning up with fever in the end. I believe that is what Rilke was describing here: he was literally burning alive.

Come, you―the last one I acknowledge; return―
incurable pain searing this physical mesh.
As I burned in the spirit once, so now I burn
with you; meanwhile, you consume my flesh.

This wood that long resisted your embrace
now nourishes you; I surrender to your fury
as my gentleness mutates to hellish rage―
uncaged, wild, primal, mindless, outré.

Completely free, no longer future’s pawn,
I clambered up this crazy pyre of pain,
certain I’d never return―my heart’s reserves gone―
to become death’s nameless victim, purged by flame.

Now all I ever was must be denied.
I left my memories of my past elsewhere.
That life―my former life―remains outside.
Inside, I’m lost. Nobody knows me here.



Der Panther ("The Panther")
by Rainer Maria Rilke
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

His weary vision's so overwhelmed by iron bars,
his exhausted eyes see only blank Oblivion.
His world is not our world. It has no stars.
No light. Ten thousand bars. Nothing beyond.
Lithe, swinging with a rhythmic easy stride,
he circles, his small orbit tightening,
an electron losing power. Paralyzed,
soon regal Will stands stunned, an abject thing.
Only at times the pupils' curtains rise
silently, and then an image enters,
descends through arrested shoulders, plunges, centers
somewhere within his empty heart, and dies.



Liebes-Lied (“Love Song”)
by Rainer Maria Rilke
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

How can I withhold my soul so that it doesn’t touch yours?
How can I lift mine gently to higher things, alone?
Oh, I would gladly find something lost in the dark
in that inert space that fails to resonate until you vibrate.
There everything that moves us, draws us together like a bow
enticing two taut strings to sing together with a simultaneous voice.
Whose instrument are we becoming together?
Whose, the hands that excite us?
Ah, sweet song!



Sweet Rose of Virtue
by William Dunbar [1460-1525]
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Sweet rose of virtue and of gentleness,
delightful lily of youthful wantonness,
richest in bounty and in beauty clear
and in every virtue that is held most dear―
except only that you are merciless.

Into your garden, today, I followed you;
there I saw flowers of freshest hue,
both white and red, delightful to see,
and wholesome herbs, waving resplendently―
yet everywhere, no odor but bitter rue.

I fear that March with his last arctic blast
has slain my fair rose of pallid and gentle cast,
whose piteous death does my heart such pain
that, if I could, I would compose her roots again―
so comforting her bowering leaves have been.



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.

This is a free verse sonnet originally published by Southwest Review.



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



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



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.

This is a free verse sonnet originally published by Romantics Quarterly.



The Communion of Sighs
by Michael R. Burch

There was a moment
without the sound of trumpets or a shining light,
but with only silence and darkness and a cool mist
felt more than seen.
I was eighteen,
my heart pounding wildly within me like a fist.
Expectation hung like a cry in the night,
and your eyes shone like the corona of a comet.

There was an instant . . .
without words, but with a deeper communion,
as clothing first, then inhibitions fell;
liquidly our lips met
―feverish, wet―
forgotten, the tales of heaven and hell,
in the immediacy of our fumbling union . . .
when the rest of the world became distant.

Then the only light was the moon on the rise,
and the only sound, the communion of sighs.

This is one of my early free verse sonnets but I can’t remember exactly when I wrote it. Due to the romantic style, I believe it was probably written during my first two years in college, making me 18 or 19 at the time.



Abide
by Michael R. Burch

after Philip Larkin's "Aubade"

It is hard to understand or accept mortality―
such an alien concept: not to be.
Perhaps unsettling enough to spawn religion,
or to scare mutant fish out of a primordial sea

boiling like goopy green tea in a kettle.
Perhaps a man should exhibit more mettle
than to admit such fear, denying Nirvana exists
simply because we are stuck here in such a fine fettle.

And so we abide . . .
even in life, staring out across that dark brink.
And if the thought of death makes your questioning heart sink,
it is best not to drink
(or, drinking, certainly not to think).

This is a free verse sonnet originally published by Light Quarterly.



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.

This is a 15-line free verse sonnet originally published by Sonnet Scroll.



Once
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

Once when her kisses were fire incarnate
and left in their imprint bright lipstick, and flame,
when her breath rose and fell over smoldering dunes,
leaving me listlessly sighing her name . . .

Once when her ******* were as pale, as beguiling,
as wan rivers of sand shedding heat like a mist,
when her words would at times softly, mildly rebuke me
all the while as her lips did more wildly insist . . .

Once when the thought of her echoed and whispered
through vast wastelands of need like a Bedouin chant,
I ached for the touch of her lips with such longing
that I vowed all my former vows to recant . . .

Once, only once, something bloomed, of a desiccate seed―
this implausible blossom her wild rains of kisses decreed.

Originally published by The Lyric



At Once
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

Though she was fair,
though she sent me the epistle of her love at once
and inscribed therein love’s antique prayer,
I did not love her at once.

Though she would dare
pain’s pale, clinging shadows, to approach me at once,
the dark, haggard keeper of the lair,
I did not love her at once.

Though she would share
the all of her being, to heal me at once,
yet more than her touch I was unable bear.
I did not love her at once.

And yet she would care,
and pour out her essence ...
and yet―there was more!

I awoke from long darkness,
and yet―she was there.

I loved her the longer;
I loved her the more
because I did not love her at once.

Originally published by The Lyric



Twice
by Michael R. Burch

Now twice she has left me
and twice I have listened
and taken her back, remembering days

when love lay upon us
and sparkled and glistened
with the brightness of dew through a gathering haze.

But twice she has left me
to start my life over,
and twice I have gathered up embers, to learn:

rekindle a fire
from ash, soot and cinder
and softly it sputters, refusing to burn.

Originally published by The Lyric



Moments
by Michael R. Burch

There were moments full of promise,
like the petal-scented rainfall of early spring,
when to hold you in my arms and to kiss your willing lips
seemed everything.

There are moments strangely empty
full of pale unearthly twilight―how the cold stars stare!―
when to be without you is a dark enchantment
the night and I share.



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



Distances
by Michael R. Burch

Moonbeams on water―
the reflected light
of a halcyon star
now drowning in night ...
So your memories are.

Footprints on beaches
now flooding with water;
the small, broken ribcage
of some primitive slaughter ...
So near, yet so far.

NOTE: In the first stanza the "halcyon star" is the sun, which has dropped below the horizon and is thus "drowning in night." But its light strikes the moon, creating moonbeams which are reflected by the water. Sometimes memories seem that distant, that faint, that elusive. Footprints are being washed away, a heart is missing from its ribcage, and even things close at hand can seem infinitely beyond our reach.



A Surfeit of Light
by Michael R. Burch

There was always a surfeit of light in your presence.
You stood distinctly apart, not of the humdrum world―
a chariot of gold in a procession of plywood.

We were all pioneers of the modern expedient race,
raising the ante: Home Depot to Lowe’s.
Yours was an antique grace―Thrace’s or Mesopotamia’s.

We were never quite sure of your silver allure,
of your trillium-and-platinum diadem,
of your utter lack of flatware-like utility.

You told us that night―your wound would not scar.

The black moment passed, then you were no more.
The darker the sky, how much brighter the Star!

The day of your funeral, I ripped out the crown mold.
You were this fool’s gold.



Songstress
by Michael R. Burch

for Nadia Anjuman

Within its starkwhite ribcage, how the heart
must flutter wildly, O, and always sing
against the pressing darkness: all it knows
until at last it feels the numbing sting
of death. Then life's brief vision swiftly passes,
imposing night on one who clearly saw.
Death held your bright heart tightly, till its maw―
envenomed, fanged―could swallow, whole, your Awe.

And yet it was not death so much as you
who sealed your doom; you could not help but sing
and not be silenced. Here, behold your tomb's
white alabaster cage: pale, wretched thing!
But you'll not be imprisoned here, wise wren!
Your words soar free; rise, sing, fly, live again.

A poet like Nadia Anjuman can be likened to a caged bird, deprived of flight, who somehow finds it within herself to sing of love and beauty. But when the world finally robs her of both flight and song, what is left for her but to leave the world, thus bereaving the world of herself and her song?



Come Down
by Michael R. Burch

for Harold Bloom

Come down, O, come down
from your high mountain tower.
How coldly the wind blows,
how late this chill hour ...

and I cannot wait
for a meteor shower
to show you the time
must be now, or not ever.

Come down, O, come down
from the high mountain heather
now brittle and brown
as fierce northern gales sever.

Come down, or your heart
will grow cold as the weather
when winter devours
and spring returns never.

NOTE: I dedicated this poem to Harold Bloom after reading his introduction to the Best American Poetry anthology he edited. Bloom seemed intent on claiming poetry as the province of the uber-reader (i.e., himself), but I remember reading poems by Blake, Burns, cummings, Dickinson, Frost, Housman, Eliot, Pound, Shakespeare, Whitman, Yeats, et al, and grokking them as a boy, without any “advanced” instruction from anyone.



Such Tenderness
by Michael R. Burch

for the mothers of Gaza and loving, compassionate mothers everywhere

There was, in your touch, such tenderness―as
only the dove on her mildest day has,
when she shelters downed fledglings beneath a warm wing
and coos to them softly, unable to sing.

What songs long forgotten occur to you now―
a babe at each breast? What terrible vow
ripped from your throat like the thunder that day
can never hold severing lightnings at bay?

Time taught you tenderness―time, oh, and love.
But love in the end is seldom enough ...
and time?―insufficient to life’s brief task.
I can only admire, unable to ask―

what is the source, whence comes the desire
of a woman to love as no God may require?



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.

This is a mostly tetrameter sonnet with shorter and longer lines.



Mare Clausum
by Michael R. Burch

These are the narrows of my soul―
dark waters pierced by eerie, haunting screams.
And these uncharted islands bleakly home
wild nightmares and deep, strange, forbidding dreams.

Please don’t think to find pearls’ pale, unearthly glow
within its shoals, nor corals in its reefs.
For, though you seek to salvage Love, I know
that vessel lists, and night brings no relief.

Pause here, and look, and know that all is lost;
then turn, and go; let salt consume, and rust.
This sea is not for sailors, but the ******
who lingered long past morning, till they learned

why it is named:
Mare Clausum.

This is a free verse sonnet with shorter and longer lines, originally published by Penny Dreadful. Mare Clausum is Latin for "Closed Sea." I wrote the first version of this poem as a teenager.



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 and The Best of the Eclectic Muse 1989-2003



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



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



The Endeavors of Lips
by Michael R. Burch

How sweet the endeavors of lips: to speak
of the heights of those pleasures which left us weak
in love’s strangely lit beds, where the cold springs creak:
for there is no illusion like love ...

Grown childlike, we wish for those storied days,
for those bright sprays of flowers, those primrosed ways
that curled to the towers of Yesterdays
where She braided illusions of love ...

"O, let down your hair!"―we might call and call,
to the dark-slatted window, the moonlit wall ...
but our love is a shadow; we watch it crawl
like a spidery illusion. For love ...

was never as real as that first kiss seemed
when we read by the flashlight and dreamed.

Originally published by Romantics Quarterly (USA) and The Eclectic Muse (Canada)



Loose Knit
by Michael R. Burch

She blesses the needle,
fetches fine red stitches,
criss-crossing, embroidering dreams
in the delicate fabric.

And if her hand jerks and twitches in puppet-like fits,
she tells herself
reality is not as threadbare as it seems ...

that a little more darning may gather loose seams.

She weaves an unraveling tapestry
of fatigue and remorse and pain; ...
only the nervously pecking needle
****** her to motion, again and again.

This is a free verse sonnet published by The Chariton Review as “The Knitter,” then by Penumbra, Black Bear Review and Triplopia.



If You Come to San Miguel
by Michael R. Burch

If you come to San Miguel
before the orchids fall,
we might stroll through lengthening shadows
those deserted streets
where love first bloomed ...

You might buy the same cheap musk
from that mud-spattered stall
where with furtive eyes the vendor
watched his fragrant wares
perfume your ******* ...

Where lean men mend tattered nets,
disgruntled sea gulls chide;
we might find that cafetucho
where through grimy panes
sunset implodes ...

Where tall cranes spin canvassed loads,
the strange anhingas glide.
Green brine laps splintered moorings,
rusted iron chains grind,
weighed and anchored in the past,

held fast by luminescent tides ...
Should you come to San Miguel?
Let love decide.



A Vain Word
by Michael R. Burch

Oleanders at dawn preen extravagant whorls
as I read in leaves’ Sanskrit brief moments remaining
till sunset implodes, till the moon strands grey pearls
under moss-stubbled oaks, full of whispers, complaining
to the minions of autumn, how swiftly life goes
as I fled before love ... Now, through leaves trodden black,
shivering, I wander as winter’s first throes
of cool listless snow drench my cheeks, back and neck.

I discerned in one season all eternities of grief,
the specter of death sprawled out under the rose,
the last consequence of faith in the flight of one leaf,
the incontinence of age, as life’s bright torrent slows.

O, where are you now?―I was timid, absurd.
I would find comfort again in a vain word.

Published by Chrysanthemum and Tucumcari Literary Review



Chloe
by Michael R. Burch

There were skies onyx at night ... moons by day ...
lakes pale as her eyes ... breathless winds
******* tall elms; ... she would say
that we loved, but I figured we’d sinned.

Soon impatiens too fiery to stay
sagged; the crocus bells drooped, golden-limned;
things of brightness, rinsed out, ran to gray ...
all the light of that world softly dimmed.

Where our feet were inclined, we would stray;
there were paths where dead weeds stood untrimmed,
distant mountains that loomed in our way,
thunder booming down valleys dark-hymned.

What I found, I found lost in her face
while yielding all my virtue to her grace.

Originally published by Romantics Quarterly as “A Dying Fall”



Aflutter
by Michael R. Burch

This rainbow is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh.―Yahweh

You are gentle now, and in your failing hour
how like the child you were, you seem again,
and smile as sadly as the girl (age ten?)
who held the sparrow with the mangled wing
close to her heart. It marveled at your power
but would not mend. And so the world renews
old vows it seemed to make: false promises
spring whispers, as if nothing perishes
that does not resurrect to wilder hues
like rainbows’ eerie pacts we apprehend
but cannot fail to keep. Now in your eyes
I see the end of life that only dies
and does not care for bright, translucent lies.
Are tears so precious? These few, let us spend
together, as before, then lay to rest
these sparrows’ hearts aflutter at each breast.

This is a poem about a couple committing suicide together. The “eerie pact” refers to a Bible verse about the rainbow being a “covenant,” when the only covenant human beings can depend on is the original one that condemned us to suffer and die. That covenant is always kept perfectly.



To Flower
by Michael R. Burch

When Pentheus ["grief'] went into the mountains in the garb of the baccae, his mother [Agave] and the other maenads, possessed by Dionysus, tore him apart (Euripides, Bacchae; Apollodorus 3.5.2; Ovid, Metamorphoses 3.511-733; Hyginus, Fabulae 184). The agave dies as soon as it blooms; the moonflower, or night-blooming cereus, is a desert plant of similar fate.

We are not long for this earth, I know―
you and I, all our petals incurled,
till a night of pale brilliance, moonflower aglow.
Is there love anywhere in this strange world?
The Agave knows best when it's time to die
and rages to life with such rapturous leaves
her name means Illustrious. Each hour more high,
she claws toward heaven, for, if she believes
in love at all, she has left it behind
to flower, to flower. When darkness falls
she wilts down to meet it, where something crawls:
beheaded, bewildered. And since love is blind,
she never adored it, nor watches it go.
Can we be as she is, moonflower aglow?

Originally published by The Neovictorian/Cochlea



Flight 93
by Michael R. Burch

I held the switch in trembling fingers, asked
why existence felt so small, so purposeless,
like a minnow wriggling feebly in my grasp ...

vibrations of huge engines thrummed my arms
as, glistening with sweat, I nudged the switch
to OFF ... I heard the klaxon-shrill alarms

like vultures’ shriekings ... earthward, in a stall ...
we floated ... earthward ... wings outstretched, aghast
like Icarus ... as through the void we fell ...

till nothing was so beautiful, so blue ...
so vivid as that moment ... and I held
an image of your face, and dreamed I flew

into your arms. The earth rushed up. I knew
such comfort, in that moment, loving you.

This is a free verse sonnet originally published by The Lyric.



Oasis
by Michael R. Burch

I want tears to form again
in the shriveled glands of these eyes
dried all these long years
by too much heated knowing.

I want tears to course down
these parched cheeks,
to star these cracked lips
like an improbable dew

in the heart of a desert.

I want words to burble up
like happiness, like the thought of love,
like the overwhelming, shimmering thought of you

to a nomad who
has only known drought.

This is a mostly hexameter sonnet with shorter and longer lines.



Melting
by Michael R. Burch

Entirely, as spring consumes the snow,
the thought of you consumes me: I am found
in rivulets, dissolved to what I know
of former winters’ passions. Underground,
perhaps one slender icicle remains
of what I was before, in some dark cave―
a stalactite, long calcified, now drains
to sodden pools, whose milky liquid laves
the colder rock, thus washing something clean
that never saw the light, that never knew
the crust could break above, that light could stream:
so luminous, so bright, so beautiful ...
I lie revealed, and so I stand transformed,
and all because you smiled on me, and warmed.



Afterglow
by Michael R. Burch

The night is full of stars. Which still exist?
Before time ends, perhaps one day we’ll know.
For now I hold your fingers to my lips
and feel their pulse ... warm, palpable and slow ...

once slow to match this reckless spark in me,
this moon in ceaseless orbit I became,
compelled by wilder gravity to flee
night’s universe of suns, for one pale flame ...

for one pale flame that seemed to signify
the Zodiac of all, the meaning of
love’s wandering flight past Neptune. Now to lie
in dawning recognition is enough ...

enough each night to bask in you, to know
the face of love ... eyes closed ... its afterglow.



All Afterglow
by Michael R. Burch

Something remarkable, perhaps ...
the color of her eyes ... though I forget
the color of her eyes ... perhaps her hair
the way it blew about ... I do not know
just what it was about her that has kept
her thought lodged deep in mine ... unmelted snow
that lasted till July would be less rare,
clasped in some frozen cavern where the wind
sculpts bright grotesqueries, ignoring springs’
and summers’ higher laws ... there thawing slow
and strange by strange degrees, one tick beyond
the freezing point which keeps all things the same
... till what remains is fragile and unlike
the world above, where melted snows and rains
form rivulets that, inundate with sun,
evaporate, and in life’s cyclic stream
remake the world again ... I do not know
that we can be remade―all afterglow.



These Hallowed Halls
by Michael R. Burch

a young Romantic Poet mourns the passing of an age . . .

A final stereo fades into silence
and now there is seldom a murmur
to trouble the slumber of these ancient halls.
I stand by a window where others have watched
the passage of time alone, not untouched,
and I am as they were―unsure, for the days
stretch out ahead, a bewildering maze.
Ah, faithless lover―that I had never touched your breast,
nor felt the stirrings of my heart,
which until that moment had peacefully slept.
For now I have known the exhilaration
of a heart that has leapt every pinnacle of Love,
and the result of all such infatuations―
the long freefall to earth, as the moon glides above.



Come!
by Michael R. Burch

Will you come to visit my grave, I wonder,
in the season of lightning, the season of thunder,
when I have lain so long in the indifferent earth
that I have no girth?

When my womb has conformed to the chastity
your anemic Messiah envisioned for me,
will you finally be pleased that my *** was thus rendered
unpalatable, disengendered?

And when those strange loathsome organs that troubled you so
have been eaten by worms, will the heavens still glow
with the approval of God that I ended a maid―
thanks to a *****?

And will you come to visit my grave, I wonder,
in the season of lightning, the season of thunder?



Erin
by Michael R. Burch

All that’s left of Ireland is her hair―
bright carrot―and her milkmaid-pallid skin,

her brilliant air of cavalier despair,
her train of children―some conceived in sin,

the others to avoid it. For nowhere
is evidence of thought. Devout, pale, thin,
gay, nonchalant, all radiance. So fair!

How can men look upon her and not spin
like wobbly buoys churned by her skirt’s brisk air?
They buy. They ***** to pat her nyloned shin,
to share her elevated, pale Despair ...
to find at last two spirits ease no one’s.

All that’s left of Ireland is the Care,
her impish grin, green eyes like leprechauns’.



The Composition of Shadows
by Michael R. Burch

“I made it out of a mouthful of air.”―W. B. Yeats

We breathe and so we write; the night
hums softly its accompaniment.
Pale phosphors burn; the page we turn
leads onward, and we smile, content.

And what we mean we write to learn:
the vowels of love, the consonants’
strange golden weight, each plosive’s shape―
curved like the heart. Here, resonant,

sounds’ shadows mass beneath bright glass
like singing voles curled in a maze
of blank white space. We touch a face―
long-frozen words trapped in a glaze

that insulates our hearts. Nowhere
can love be found. Just shrieking air.



The Composition of Shadows (II)
by Michael R. Burch

We breathe and so we write;
the night
hums softly its accompaniment.

Pale phosphors burn;
the page we turn
leads onward, and we smile, content.

And what we mean
we write to learn:
the vowels of love, the consonants’

strange golden weight,
the blood’s debate
within the heart. Here, resonant,

sounds’ shadows mass
against bright glass,
within the white Labyrinthian maze.

Through simple grace,
I touch your face,
ah words! And I would gaze

the night’s dark length
in waning strength
to find the words to feel

such light again.
O, for a pen
to spell love so ethereal.



To Please The Poet
by Michael R. Burch

To please the poet, words must dance―
staccato, brisk, a two-step:
so!
Or waltz in elegance to time
of music mild,
adagio.

To please the poet, words must chance
emotion in catharsis―
flame.
Or splash into salt seas, descend
in sheets of silver-shining
rain.

To please the poet, words must prance
and gallop, gambol, revel,
rail.
Or muse upon a moment, mute,
obscure, unsure, imperfect,
pale.

To please the poet, words must sing,
or croak, wart-tongued, imagining.



The First Christmas
by Michael R. Burch

’Twas in a land so long ago . . .
the lambs lay blanketed in snow
and little children everywhere
sat and watched warm embers glow
and dreamed (of what, we do not know).

And THEN―a star appeared on high,
The brightest man had ever seen!
It made the children whisper low
in puzzled awe (what did it mean?).
It made the wooly lambkins cry.

For far away a new-born lay,
warm-blanketed in straw and hay,
a lowly manger for his crib.
The cattle mooed, distraught and low,
to see the child. They did not know

it now was Christmas day!

This is a poem in which I tried to capture the mystery and magic of the first Christmas day. If you like my poem, you are welcome to share it, but please cite me as the author, which you can do by including the title and subheading.



The Lingering and the Unconsoled Heart
by Michael R. Burch

There is a silence―
the last unspoken moment
before death,

when the moon,
cratered and broken,
is all madness and light,

when the breath comes low and complaining,
and the heart is a ruin
of emptiness and night.

There is a grief―
the grief of a lover's embrace
while faith still shimmers in a mother’s tears ...

There is no emptier time, nor place,
while the faint glimmer of life is ours
that the lingering and the unconsoled heart fears

beyond this: seeing its own stricken face
in eyes that drift toward some incomprehensible place.



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.

This is a free verse sonnet originally published by The HyperTexts.



The Princess and the Pauper
by Michael R. Burch

for Norman Kraeft in memory of his beloved wife June Kysilko Kraeft

Here was a woman bright, intent on life,
who did not flinch from Death, but caught his eye
and drew him, powerless, into her spell
of wanting her himself, so much the lie
that she was meant for him―obscene illusion!―

made him seem a monarch throned like God on high,
when he was less than nothing; when to die
meant many stultifying, pained embraces.

She shed her gown, undid the tangled laces
that tied her to the earth: then she was his.
Now all her erstwhile beauty he defaces
and yet she grows in hallowed loveliness―
her ghost beyond perfection―for to die
was to ascend. Now he begs, penniless.



Album
by Michael R. Burch

I caress them―trapped in brittle cellophane―
and I see how young they were, and how unwise;
and I remember their first flight―an old prop plane,
their blissful arc through alien blue skies ...

And I touch them here through leaves which―tattered, frayed―
are also wings, but wings that never flew:
like insects’ wings―pinned, held. Here, time delayed,
their features never changed, remaining two ...

And Grief, which lurked unseen beyond the lens
or in shadows where It crept on feral claws
as It scratched Its way into their hearts, depends
on sorrows such as theirs, and works Its jaws ...

and slavers for Its meat―those young, unwise,
who naively dare to dream, yet fail to see
how, lumbering sunward, Hope, ungainly, flies,
clutching to Her ruffled breast what must not be.



Because You Came to Me
by Michael R. Burch

Because you came to me with sweet compassion
and kissed my furrowed brow and smoothed my hair,
I do not love you after any fashion,
but wildly, in despair.

Because you came to me in my black torment
and kissed me fiercely, blazing like the sun
upon parched desert dunes, till in dawn’s foment
they melt, I am undone.

Because I am undone, you have remade me
as suns bring life, as brilliant rains endow
the earth below with leaves, where you now shade me
and bower me, somehow.



Break Time
by Michael R. Burch

for those who lost loved ones on 9-11

Intrude upon my grief; sit; take a spot
of milk to cloud the blackness that you feel;
add artificial sweeteners to conceal
the bitter aftertaste of loss. You’ll heal
if I do not. The coffee’s hot. You speak:
of bundt cakes, polls, the price of eggs. You glance
twice at your watch, cough, look at me askance.
The TV drones oeuvres of high romance
in syncopated lip-synch. Should I feel
the underbelly of Love’s warm Ideal,
its fuzzy-wuzzy tummy, and not reel
toward some dark conclusion? Disappear
to pale, dissolving atoms. Were you here?
I brush you off: like saccharine, like a tear.



911 Carousel
by Michael R. Burch

“And what rough beast ... slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”―W. B. Yeats

They laugh and do not comprehend, nor ask
which way the wind is blowing, no, nor why
the reeling azure fixture of the sky
grows pale with ash, and whispers “Holocaust.”

They think to seize the ring, life’s tinfoil prize,
and, breathless with endeavor, shriek aloud.
The voice of terror thunders from a cloud
that darkens over children adult-wise,

far less inclined to error, when a step
in any wrong direction is to fall
a JDAM short of heaven. Decoys call,
their voices plangent, honking to be shot . . .

Here, childish dreams and nightmares whirl, collide,
as East and West, on slouching beasts, they ride.



At Cædmon’s Grave
by Michael R. Burch

“Cædmon’s Hymn,” composed at the Monastery of Whitby (a North Yorkshire fishing village), is one of the oldest known poems written in the English language, dating back to around 680 A.D. According to legend, Cædmon, an illiterate Anglo-Saxon cowherd, received the gift of poetic composition from an angel; he subsequently founded a school of Christian poets. Unfortunately, only nine lines of Cædmon’s verse survive, in the writings of the Venerable Bede. Whitby, tiny as it is, reappears later in the history of English literature, having been visited, in diametric contrast, by Lewis Carroll and Bram Stoker’s ghoulish yet evocative Dracula.


At the monastery of Whitby,
on a day when the sun sank through the sea,
and the gulls shrieked wildly, jubilant, free,

while the wind and time blew all around,
I paced those dusk-enamored grounds
and thought I heard the steps resound

of Carroll, Stoker and good Bede
who walked there, too, their spirits freed
―perhaps by God, perhaps by need―

to write, and with each line, remember
the glorious light of Cædmon’s ember,
scorched tongues of flame words still engender.

Here, as darkness falls, at last we meet.
I lay this pale garland of words at his feet.

Originally published by The Lyric



Radiance
by Michael R. Burch

for Dylan Thomas

The poet delves earth’s detritus―hard toil―
for raw-edged nouns, barbed verbs, vowels’ lush bouquet;
each syllable his pen excretes―dense soil,
dark images impacted, rooted clay.

The poet sees the sea but feels its meaning―
the teeming brine, the mirrored oval flame
that leashes and excites its turgid surface ...
then squanders years imagining love’s the same.

Belatedly he turns to what lies broken―
the scarred and furrowed plot he fiercely sifts,
among death’s sicksweet dungs and composts seeking
one element that scorches and uplifts.



Downdraft
by Michael R. Burch

for Dylan Thomas

We feel rather than understand what he meant
as he reveals a shattered firmament
which before him never existed.

Here, there are no images gnarled and twisted
out of too many words,
but only flocks of white birds

wheeling and flying.

Here, as Time spins, reeling and dying,
the voice of a last gull
or perhaps some spirit no longer whole,

echoes its lonely madrigal
and we feel its strange pull
on the astonished soul.

O My Prodigal!

The vents of the sky, ripped asunder,
echo this wild, primal thunder—
now dying into undulations of vanishing wings . . .

and this voice which in haggard bleak rapture still somehow downward sings.



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.

Published by The HyperTexts, Dracula and His Kin and Sonnetto Poesia (Canada)



Happily Never After (the Second Curse of the ***** Toad)
by Michael R. Burch

He did not think of love of Her at all
frog-plangent nights, as moons engoldened roads
through crumbling stonewalled provinces, where toads
(nee princes) ruled in chinks and grew so small
at last to be invisible. He smiled
(the fables erred so curiously), and thought
bemusedly of being reconciled
to human flesh, because his heart was not
incapable of love, but, being cursed
a second time, could only love a toad’s . . .
and listened as inflated frogs rehearsed
cheekbulging tales of anguish from green moats . . .
and thought of her soft croak, her skin fine-warted,
his anemic flesh, and how true love was thwarted.



Because She Craved the Very Best
by Michael R. Burch

Because she craved the very best,
he took her East, he took her West;
he took her where there were no wars
and brought her bright bouquets of stars,
the blush and fragrances of roses,
the hush an evening sky imposes,
moonbeams pale and garlands rare,
and golden combs to match her hair,
a nightingale to sing all night,
white wings, to let her soul take flight ...

She stabbed him with a poisoned sting
and as he lay there dying,
she screamed, "I wanted everything!"
and started crying.



Caveat
by Michael R. Burch

If only we were not so eloquent,
we might sing, and only sing, not to impress,
but only to enjoy, to be enjoyed.

We might inundate the earth with thankfulness
for light, although it dies, and make a song
of night descending on the earth like bliss,

with other lights beyond―not to be known―
but only to be welcomed and enjoyed,
before all worlds and stars are overthrown ...

as a lover’s hands embrace a sleeping face
and find it beautiful for emptiness
of all but joy. There is no thought to love

but love itself. How senseless to redress,
in darkness, such becoming nakedness . . .

Originally published by Clementine Unbound



To the Post-Modern Muse, Floundering
by Michael R. Burch


The anachronism in your poetry
is that it lacks a future history.
The line that rings, the forward-sounding bell,
tolls death for you, for drowning victims tell
of insignificance, of eerie shoals,
of voices underwater. Lichen grows
to mute the lips of those men paid no heed,
and though you cling by fingertips, and bleed,
there is no lifeline now, for what has slipped
lies far beyond your grasp. Iron fittings, stripped,
have left the hull unsound, bright cargo lost.
The argosy of all your toil is rust.

The anchor that you flung did not take hold
in any harbor where repair is sold.

Originally published by Ironwood



Wonderland
by Michael R. Burch

We stood, kids of the Lamb, to put to test
the beatific anthems of the blessed,
the sentence of the martyr, and the pen’s
sincere religion. Magnified, the lens
shot back absurd reflections of each face―
a carnival-like mirror. In the space
between the silver backing and the glass,
we caught a glimpse of Joan, a frumpy lass
who never brushed her hair or teeth, and failed
to pass on GO, and frequently was jailed
for awe’s beliefs. Like Alice, she grew wee
to fit the door, then couldn’t lift the key.
We failed the test, and so the jury’s hung.
In Oz, “The Witch is Dead” ranks number one.



Day, and Night
by Michael R. Burch

The moon exposes pockmarked scars of craters;
her visage, veiled by willows, palely looms.
And we who rise each day to grind a living,
dream each scented night of such perfumes
as drew us to the window, to the moonlight,
when all the earth was steeped in cobalt blue―
an eerie vase of achromatic flowers
bled silver by pale starlight, losing hue.

The night begins her waltz to waiting sunrise―
adagio, the music she now hears;
and we who in the sunlight slave for succor,
dreaming, seek communion with the spheres.
And all around the night is in crescendo,
and everywhere the stars’ bright legions form,
and here we hear the sweet incriminations
of lovers we had once to keep us warm.

And also here we find, like bled carnations,
red lips that whitened, kisses drawn to lies,
that touched us once with fierce incantations
and taught us love was prettier than wise.



130 Refuted
by Michael R. Burch

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
―Shakespeare, Sonnet 130

Seas that sparkle in the sun
without its light would have no beauty;
but the light within your eyes
is theirs alone; it owes no duty.
And their kindled flame, not half as bright,
is meant for me, and brings delight.

Coral formed beneath the sea,
though scarlet-tendriled, cannot warm me;
while your lips, not half so red,
just touching mine, at once inflame me.
And the searing flames your lips arouse
fathomless oceans fail to douse.

Bright roses’ brief affairs, declared
when winter comes, will wither quickly.
Your cheeks, though paler when compared
with them?―more lasting, never prickly.

And your cheeks, though wan, so dear and warm,
far vaster treasures, need no thorns.

Originally published by Romantics Quarterly



Love Sonnet LXVI
by Pablo Neruda
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I love you only because I love you;
I am torn between loving and not loving you,
between apathy and desire.
My heart vacillates between ice and fire.

I love you only because you’re the one I love;
I hate you deeply, but hatred makes me implore you all the more
so that in my inconstancy
I do not see you, but love you blindly.

Perhaps January’s frigid light
will consume my heart with its cruel rays,
robbing me of the key to contentment.

In this tragic plot, I ****** myself
and I will die loveless because I love you,
because I love you, my Love, in fire and in blood.



Love Sonnet XI
by Pablo Neruda
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
I stalk the streets, silent and starving.
Bread does not satisfy me; dawn does not divert me
from my relentless pursuit of your fluid spoor.

I long for your liquid laughter,
for your sunburned hands like savage harvests.
I lust for your fingernails' pale marbles.
I want to devour your ******* like almonds, whole.

I want to ingest the sunbeams singed by your beauty,
to eat the aquiline nose from your aloof face,
to lick your eyelashes' flickering shade.

I pursue you, snuffing the shadows,
seeking your heart's scorching heat
like a puma prowling the heights of Quitratue.



Love Sonnet XVII
by Pablo Neruda
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I do not love you like coral or topaz,
or the blazing hearth’s incandescent white flame;
I love you as obscure things are embraced in the dark ...
secretly, in shadows, unguessed & unnamed.

I love you like shrubs that refuse to blossom
while pregnant with the radiance of mysterious flowers;
now, thanks to your love, an earthy fragrance
lives dimly in my body’s odors.

I love you without knowing―how, when, why or where;
I love you forthrightly, without complications or care;
I love you this way because I know no other.

Here, where “I” no longer exists ... so it seems ...
so close that your hand on my chest is my own,
so close that your eyes close gently on my dreams.



Sonnet XLV
by Pablo Neruda
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Don't wander far away, not even for a day, because―
how can I explain? A day is too long ...
and I’ll be waiting for you, like a man in an empty station
where the trains all stand motionless.

Don't leave me, my dear, not even for an hour, because―
then despair’s raindrops will all run blurrily together,
and the smoke that drifts lazily in search of a home
will descend hazily on me, suffocating my heart.

Darling, may your lovely silhouette never dissolve in the surf;
may your lashes never flutter at an indecipherable distance.
Please don't leave me for a second, my dearest,

because then you'll have gone far too far
and I'll wander aimlessly, amazed, asking all the earth:
Will she ever return? Will she spurn me, dying?



Imperfect Sonnet
by Michael R. Burch

A word before the light is doused: the night
is something wriggling through an unclean mind,
as rats creep through a tenement. And loss
is written cheaply with the moon’s cracked gloss
like lipstick through the infinite, to show
love’s pale yet sordid imprint on us. Go.

We have not learned love yet, except to cleave.
I saw the moon rise once ... but to believe ...
was of another century ... and now ...
I have the urge to love, but not the strength.

Despair, once stretched out to its utmost length,
lies couched in squalor, watching as the screen
reveals "love's" damaged images: its dreams ...
and ******* limply, screams and screams.

Originally published by Sonnet Scroll



Mayflies
by Michael R. Burch

These standing stones have stood the test of time
but who are you
and what are you
and why?

As brief as mist, as transient, as pale ...
Inconsequential mayfly!

Perhaps the thought of love inspired hope?
Do midges love? Do stars bend down to see?
Do gods commend the kindnesses of ants
to aphids? Does one eel impress the sea?

Are mayflies missed by mountains? Do the stars
regret the glowworm’s stellar mimicry
the day it dies? Does not the world grind on
as if it’s no great matter, not to be?

Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose.
And yet somehow you’re everything to me.

Originally published by Clementine Unbound



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.



Modern Appetite
by Michael R. Burch

It grumbled low, insisting it would feast
on blood and flesh, etcetera, at least
three times a day. With soft lubricious grease

and pale salacious oils, it would ease
its way through life. Each day―an aperitif.
Each night―a frothy bromide, for relief.

It lived on TV fare, wore pinafores,
slurped sugar-coated gumballs, gobbled S’mores.
When gas ensued, it burped and farted. ’Course,

it thought aloud, my wife will leave me. ******
are not so **** particular. Divorce
is certainly a settlement, toujours!

A Tums a day will keep the shrink away,
recalcify old bones, keep gas at bay.
If Simon says, etcetera, Mother, may
I have my hit of calcium today?


Mother of Cowards
by Michael R. Burch aka "The Loyal Opposition"

So unlike the brazen giant of Greek fame
With conquering limbs astride from land to land,
Spread-eagled, showering gold, a strumpet stands:
A much-used trollop with a torch, whose flame
Has long since been extinguished. And her name?
"Mother of Cowards!" From her enervate hand
Soft ash descends. Her furtive eyes demand
Allegiance to her ****'s repulsive game.

"Keep, ancient lands, your wretched poor!" cries she
With scarlet lips. "Give me your hale, your whole,
Your huddled tycoons, yearning to be pleased!
The wretched refuse of your toilet hole?
Oh, never send one unwashed child to me!
I await Trump's pleasure by the gilded bowl!"

Originally published by Light



Premonition
by Michael R. Burch

Now the evening has come to a close and the party is over ...
we stand in the doorway and watch as they go―
each stranger, each acquaintance, each unembraceable lover.

They walk to their cars and they laugh as they go,
though we know their warm laughter’s the wine ...
then they pause at the road where the dark asphalt flows
endlessly on toward Zion ...

and they kiss one another as though they were friends,
and they promise to meet again “soon” ...
but the rivers of Jordan roll on without end,
and the mockingbird calls to the moon ...

and the katydids climb up the cropped hanging vines,
and the crickets chirp on out of tune ...
and their shadows, defined by the cryptic starlight,
seem spirits torn loose from their tombs.

And I know their brief lives are just eddies in time,
that their hearts are unreadable runes
to be wiped clean, like slate, by the dark hand of fate
when their corpses lie ravaged and ruined ...

You take my clenched fist and you give it a kiss
as though it were something you loved,
and the tears fill your eyes, brimming with the soft light
of the stars winking gently above ...

Then you whisper, "It's time that we went back inside;
if you'd like, we can sit and just talk for a while."
And the hope in your eyes burns too deep, so I lie
and I say, "Yes, I would," to your small, troubled smile.

I rather vividly remember writing this poem after an office party the year I co-oped with AT&T (at that time the largest company in the world, with presumably a lot of office parties). This would have been after my sophomore year in college, making me around 20 years old. The poem is “true” except that I was not the host because the party was at the house of one of the upper-level managers. Nor was I dating anyone seriously at the time.



Your e-Verse
by Michael R. Burch

for the posters and posers on www.fillintheblank.com

I cannot understand a word you’ve said
(and this despite an adequate I.Q.);
it must be some exotic new haiku
combined with Latin suddenly undead.

It must be hieroglyphics mixed with Greek.
Have Pound and T. S. Eliot been cloned?
Perhaps you wrote it on the ***, so ******
you spelled it backwards, just to be oblique.

I think you’re very funny, so, “Yuk! Yuk!”
I know you must be kidding; didn’t we
write crap like this and call it “poetry,”
a form of verbal exercise, P.E.,
in kindergarten, when we ran “amuck?”

Oh, sorry, I forgot to “make it new.”
Perhaps I still can learn a thing or two
from someone tres original, like you.



http://www.firesermon.com
by Michael R. Burch

your gods have become e-vegetation;
your saints―pale thumbnail icons; to enlarge
their images, right-click; it isn’t hard
to populate your web-site; not to mention
cool sound effects are nice; Sound Blaster cards
can liven up dull sermons, [zing some fire];
your drives need added Zip; you must discard
your balky paternosters: ***!!! Desire!!!
these are the watchwords, catholic; you must
as Yahoo! did, employ a little lust :)
if you want great e-commerce; hire a bard
to spruce up ancient language, shed the dust
of centuries of sameness; lameness *****;
your gods grew blurred; go 3D; scale; adjust.

Published by: Ironwood, Triplopia and Nisqually Delta Review

This poem pokes fun at various stages of religion, all tied however elliptically to T. S. Eliot's "Fire Sermon: (1) The Celts believed that the health of the land was tied to the health of its king. The Fisher King's land was in peril because he had a physical infirmity. One bad harvest and it was the king's fault for displeasing the gods. A religious icon (the Grail) could somehow rescue him. Strange logic! (2) The next stage brings us the saints, the Catholic church, etc. Millions are slaughtered, tortured and enslaved in the name of religion. Strange logic! (3) The next stage brings us to Darwin, modernism and "The Waste Land.” Religion is dead. God is dead. Man is a glorified fungus! We'll evolve into something better adapted to life on Earth, someday, if we don’t destroy it. But billions continue to believe in and worship ancient “gods.” Strange logic! (4) The current stage of religion is summed up by this e-mail: the only way religion can compete today is as a form of flashy entertainment. ***** a website before it's too late. Hire some **** supermodels and put the evangelists on the Internet!



The State of the Art (?)
by Michael R. Burch

Has rhyme lost all its reason
and rhythm, renascence?
Are sonnets out of season
and poems but poor pretense?

Are poets lacking fire,
their words too trite and forced?
What happened to desire?
Has passion been coerced?

Shall poetry fade slowly,
like Latin, to past tense?
Are the bards too high and holy,
or their readers merely dense?



Plastic Art or Night Stand
by Michael R. Burch

Disclaimer: This is a poem about artificial poetry, not love dolls! The victim is the Muse.

We never questioned why “love” seemed less real
the more we touched her, and forgot her face.
Absorbed in molestation’s sticky feel,
we failed to see her staring into space,
her doll-like features frozen in a smile.
She held us in her marionette’s embrace,
her plastic flesh grown wet and slick and vile.
We groaned to feel our urgent fingers trace
her undemanding body. All the while,
she lay and gaily bore her brief disgrace.
We loved her echoed passion’s squeaky air,
her tongueless kisses’ artificial taste,
the way she matched, then raised our reckless pace,
the heart that seemed to pound, but was not there.



“Whoso List to Hunt” is a famous early English sonnet written by Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542) in the mid-16th century.

Whoever Longs to Hunt
by Sir Thomas Wyatt
loose translation/interpretation/modernization by Michael R. Burch

Whoever longs to hunt, I know the deer;
but as for me, alas!, I may no more.
This vain pursuit has left me so bone-sore
I'm one of those who falters, at the rear.
Yet friend, how can I draw my anguished mind
away from the doe?
                                   Thus, as she flees before
me, fainting I follow.
                                     I must leave off, therefore,
since in a net I seek to hold the wind.

Whoever seeks her out,
                                         I relieve of any doubt,
that he, like me, must spend his time in vain.
For graven with diamonds, set in letters plain,
these words appear, her fair neck ringed about:
Touch me not, for Caesar's I am,
And wild to hold, though I seem tame.



Alien Nation
by Michael R. Burch

for J. S. S., a "Christian" poet who believes in “hell”

On a lonely outpost on Mars
the astronaut practices “speech”
as alien to primates below
as mute stars winking high, out of reach.

And his words fall as bright and as chill
as ice crystals on Kilimanjaro―
far colder than Jesus’s words
over the “fortunate” sparrow.

And I understand how gentle Emily
felt, when all comfort had flown,
gazing into those inhuman eyes,
feeling zero at the bone.

Oh, how can I grok his arctic thought?
For if he is human, I am not.



Keywords/Tags: sonnet, sonnets, meter, rhythm, music, musical, rhyme, form, formal verse, formalist, tradition, traditional, romantic, romanticism, rose, fire, passion, desire, love, heart, number, numbers, mrbson
Robin Carretti Jul 2018
This is not, a time to loosen up
Or nine to five job to give up
Just saddle up the power is in you
Five ladies cafe to dine at five and
drove_* the meter is running
(The Canadian Cup) team versus the
     Taxi Cup
He swooned you in your
Five dreamy but half heart sugars
Come on Baby bloomers
Let's see some boom!!

In your hips men will be men taking
frequent flyer trips temptation 1 2345
We need fewer digs one love teo reasons
World  345  heart flags
We don't have to cross our hearts
Perhaps tattoo heart legs no more strikes
Jumping Jack flash
What a rope in this isn't the Pope

Somehow we all get broke
To court her like your the lasso
stars cosmos hearts like Lassie
Never a change of subject how it
remains in your heart how it hit hard
to react but changed to five cards
Digging too long  lucky 777 like heaven
Heart digs

1-where?
Oh! There

No, I am here
We are always  
In-between
numbers_ I only
have 5 minutes
No I phone have a heart
Oh! where is designed for me
Those five plates

Whats in between them
      *Him

We are opening Live- Five
Strong heart to give the caring
The useful heart is never so daring
My gate* Girls are nail digging
Hugging

Or losing add +

Flirty
*****
Our community
Heftier like Jupiter
Heart to build
the gravity
A big kiss hunch
of five roses

Your getting to bloom
but only have
5 extra movie parts
The front dress mermaid tail
Your heart delicate hands
opened up your emails
I think you hit the
Jackpot

Max to the million shot
No heart of gold
Only more leaders
Scrambling and digging
your fork
Mixing those egg beaters

Five men think they know
there women
like ten
commandments
Turn to five wrong
engagements
There it goes the lucky
five arguments

A plot beating
like a hot-shot
The French Baguette
Bread 9 to 5 firecracker
Five-carat baguette
wedding band in her safe
Heart digs to five hands
Heart neck guilty as a giraffe

The cafe house had only
5 cups left  they sold you out
Only Five Bed and breakfast
stayers
Do detailed with their Ladyfingers
But need more alone time
Be on time get sweet key lime
What is real-time so sublime

That rose- paper cut- origami
Sorcerer of five he was like the
cold cuts of big Sub Salami
Japanese sword samurai
What a Geronimo Oh! no
Jericho
This wasn't a hot potato

Or Gizmo No-Go
Getting a shot for Polio
The gusto songs to the heart play
Maestro the Cosmo's
The five stars to heart his
afterglow
Like a titanic ship but heroics

Five lunatics wedding horns ******
Five two timer Mario gamers
so demonic
DOMINO'S bed five students wed
We dug deeper get-up sleepy-head
Exposed cries location set
Network U- dig cups

Something lip curved
He misplaced my lips
What did he do in exchange
More stocks and hard stone rocks
Like frying pan egg
scrambled words

Crossed heart Rapper so believing
The Fox five sticking tacky glue
His CD Rose lying pants no clue
Painful pointed shoes need R&R
     Robin's *Responsibilities
       The Heart On Replay
The deeper you dig to restart

The healthy organically grown brain
Men on Pause I truly believe nature
takes its course
but another beat to go is that so?
And if so heart digs to five
Feel the good vibe in another tribe
Five times I had to wake you up
I am the love cure reminiscing

Giving me five reasons
Our beautiful change of
heart in season

Studying the fine art heart
Referencing
Never refusing thats life
five-step to strive nothing
Fancy

Robin shoutbox she getting
her point across
Either you're the worker or loner
The heart pleaser the boss
Your heart looks good
on your dress
Whether we win or deep mess
The good heart can change to
a bad start

Recharge your heart count to five
Venus- beauty moved on like a
pathologist digging over staying alive
The hearts what digs this is not the 9-5 workers we are talkers
and long settling in heart walkers come any join me we may actually be alive did I get a live one
Benjamin Adams Jul 2012
Whiskey carries me
To the fading afterglow of
Engines spent.
Michael R Burch Mar 2020
Afterglow
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

The night is full of stars. Which still exist?
Before time ends, perhaps one day we’ll know.
For now I hold your fingers to my lips
and feel their pulse ... warm, palpable and slow ...

once slow to match this reckless spark in me,
this moon in ceaseless orbit I became,
compelled by wilder gravity to flee
night’s universe of suns, for one pale flame ...

for one pale flame that seemed to signify
the Zodiac of all, the meaning of
love’s wandering flight past Neptune. Now to lie
in dawning recognition is enough ...

enough each night to bask in you, to know
the face of love ... eyes closed ... its afterglow.

Keywords/Tags: afterglow, stars, suns, planets, zodiac, moon, orbit, gravity, universe, love, radiation, night, exist, existence, time
Jupiter The Poet Jul 2021
Meet me in the afterglow,
When the soft sun sets on sandy beaches,
Cerulean blue sea water, filtering through pebbles,

Meet me in the afterglow,
In some quaint American suburban town,
Where you can speed down roads lit by neon diner signs,
Which drip their colours onto the rain-soaked pavement,
Leaning out of the windows,
Wind in our hair,

Meet me in the afterglow.
Michael R Burch Mar 2020
All Afterglow
by Michael R. Burch

Something remarkable, perhaps ...
the color of her eyes ... though I forget
the color of her eyes ... perhaps her hair
the way it blew about ... I do not know
just what it was about her that has kept
her thought lodged deep in mine ... unmelted snow
that lasted till July would be less rare,
clasped in some frozen cavern where the wind
sculpts bright grotesqueries, ignoring springs’
and summers’ higher laws ... there thawing slow
and strange by strange degrees, one tick beyond
the freezing point which keeps all things the same
... till what remains is fragile and unlike
the world above, where melted snows and rains
form rivulets that, inundate with sun,
evaporate, and in life’s cyclic stream
remake the world again ... I do not know
that we can be remade—all afterglow.

[Note: “inundate with snow” is not a typo.] Keywords/Tags: afterglow, remarkable, light, color, eyes, hair, snow, frozen, cavern, grotesqueries, freezing, thaw, degrees, melt, melted, permafrost, snow, rain, rivulets, sun, evaporate, evaporation, love, loss, parting, separation
Julian Sep 2020
I famigerate without taciturn timidity the straits of a straightened jury-rig of nesiote narrowbacks harping the accordion zest and zeal of the plenilune consuetude of a scrivello infamy sprung into the rows of rip-tide acclaim hamstrung by the decline in fastidious upkeep of the timberlask vesicles that avoid the phenakism of prismatic reformation fundamental to transmogrified simpers of dismal saturnine darkness encroaching on the parallax of realms within the dominion of the Almighty for the omniety of the usucaption of the fruitful prune in the priggish afterglow of a noontide eclipse bereaved of whispering retreat in the hallowed wasms of stiltanimity becoming an entreaty to ecumenical barbs of propriety selected without intimacy to folksy bibliopolists but rugged in sterling tribute to the true vine of the appointed ways of sacerdotal triage among a roughshod vanity of a derelict world marveling at otiose rejoinder rather than true spasms of tragedy flickering in the recessive alleles of a careworn culture. The travesty of Beirut is the bromide of current leapfrogs of sentinel lust and malapert destruction forming an ironclad camaraderie with chocolate-box langlauf disasters wed uxoriously to the penury of the brackish version of the catadromous bailiwick of despotic nescience pregnant with sophrosyne redemption at the cusp of a plaid perfunctory quip of quisling intimations of the sketchy provenance of humdingers of comestion lurking in the plodding prowl of a ribald wiseacre of a beckoned billow of trinkochre welded into a conscientious blarney that awaits the popinjays that sculpt brittle redshort fictions into awakened carapaces of a limacine reduction of impoverished fulmination into the neatly sworn footprints of a geotaxis shuddering with magnetism only in spectacle without the overhailing zeal of vintners who specialize in curtailed wine drawn from Caiaphas and soaked with the muddy turgid Siloam as avenues toward the repentance of asunder becoming marginalized as a whimper of taciturn choleric war receding not even into an audible delope as the masterful chryselephantine assault of cryptic auditions in the theater of effete refuge sink into the pelagic oblivion of a remarkable blister festering into inconsequence as the rebarbative emoluments to tattered travesty hearken a battle-cry yet emanated in the reprehensible bulwark of the gerendum of a poised plastered humility aggrieved with such friction turgid on rollicking magpiety that even the larceny of brutish renegades of triumph sink beneath the brevity of accident rather than the fortitude of globalized turpitude weakened by the improper demarche of fuliginous homeless depredation of innocent bystanders flocking to the harvest of war found in insight rather than the perfunctory bromidrosis of the macroscian enmity of hidden maleficence spawning a credenda that is spayed on arrival in the faineant zoolatry of a spelunkers’ madcap dash to flex the filigrees of turmoil in resentment of the amicable truces of a God who never tempts and a lurking lie that never itches for trigger-happy hapless rebukes because the skittish skirmish of futilitarian repose is a scoundrel of the profligacy of errant weakness blinkered by the humdrum din of deafening semaphores of provocative thornbush on the threshing floor of cowardly imposture president of all affairs of spirit and all renegades of caitiff megalography of forgotten oblivion despite the curglaff of vindictive and never vindicated assaults on the integrity of the birthright of Lebanon to wager a presumptive gamble of trifling retribution for the alacrity of suspicions eloping with forbidden mistresses in the humdingers of flackey rather than the troudasque harbinger of a lunacy impugned by a restive triumphant fallow time seasonable for a litany of pretenses demassified for a liturgy of seances with eldritch commiseration in the saw-toothed serration of selachostomous bravado wielded by likely or unlikely culprits of ravenous ruin shepherded by the guilty cardinal sins of the complicity of explosive vanity marauding on the ruins of a fortress debased by pettifoggery of internal excuse rather than the wrath of provocative ire in the irksome cauterized wounds of the inured to deliver spectacular reticence despite such grievous diacope. Evil gilderoys of maleficence carve the sapwood of the periphery to aimless subversions miscarried by the modern atrocity of glamour memorialized as a sound-byte underminnow of a roaring rhombos rip tide as stocks wavy at the curvature of edgy demarche despoil the denuded wasteland of cultural despondency a wagtail to the impudence of famigerated affronts that deserve a sterling recompense wielded by the onerous and operose burdens of a prone decubitus of aboriginal bread seeded from Heavenly realms dissipating into the roars of blinded conflagration too meek to even exist on the ramshackle hillside of a barnstorm of aggression powerless to encapsulate the nexility of unspoken allegiance to destruction rather than the halidom of consecrated marriages balking at the caulked provisions of a slugabed monolith of craven capers on the recesses of abeyance in the interregnum of a time where famous people communicate with me. How can such a charismatic bravado of lurking presidency stoop to the denizens of usufruct in licentious latitudes on the outskirts of consideration even pretend anymore that the vacuum of effluvium (Gal 6:7) can be mocked and milked into the row of centuries blistering through the calenture of apprisal and heaved awakening as the zephyrs of the Occident meet temporal juncture with the coenesthesia of a hibernating trumpery formed by the turnverein of listless lethargy billowing through fumiducts of siphoned lavaderos of hypogeiody that the underground spasms of cacophony could marvel at the historic emergence of a magnate with the most powerful magnetism of God shepherding the true flock John 10:27 because he is willing to be the good shepherd and potentially die for his sheep John 10:11. Remember, whenever you hear a Queer Studies Radical Feminist bloviate on emasculated sardanapalian posture John 8:44 and even though personified as a masculine titan of bulwarks of immense otiose wilted inkburch shielding the world from true meaning, the maskirovka of the Devil is present in the dark trespasses of personal abandon among the wilderness of many marsupial jackals of martles wagtails to an invictive proclamation of invulnerable sappy sopanaceous filibusters against hefty sinew forged the bony fragments of the charnels lost to brief epitaphs never mourned in threnodies worthy of remembrance that the departed died with us and live again through us whether in Heaven as participant or on Earth as an acting battalion of the skullduggery of the mystique of shimmers of God acting on Man’s behalf 1 Col 1:15-16. That the firstborn of all creation obtains supremacy through the finalisms that I seek as the captain of trailblazing untrammeled roads we are reminded of the narrow and wide gates expanded by the explosion of thought that trespasses into the hidebound ratchet of a reasonable bleat becoming a harsh outcry of justice for Lebanon that they feel so powerless in implosion what could aggrieve potentate civilizations to the precipice of global maleficence in destruction. Swarming for alveolate hominid hominism as an outgrowth of alienation by design polarized spectral dangles at jaundice flamestun by the ordeal of oppositive barnacles to the chryselephantine habituation of a masked menace of Procrustean authority to muzzle the free license of armamentariums of a latent man keen to the kenspeckel visibilia that we might have punctuation in the poised primiparas of a hearkened unprecedented in modern history that the traipse of lapse is no longer the tenure of mindless calculation of authoritarian gabble sentries of a mobilized fleet of embodied human ignorance but a foisted sprite of whangams of apothegm that deserve in their gnomic respite from the phenakisms of a philogeant kumbaya assertive in its treony of radical compassion for those who dwell in tentpoles of revelry bound not to the covenant that sent us into light and sparkling in hidden obsolescence that the fulgurant words of Mount Horeb (Sinai) are both immaculate and without trace of sin because Acts 17:30 declares a powerful truth lost to the twinges of time that issued peremptory governance of my theology but through remission I admit the grievances of septiferous blockades of ponderous plodding nescience haunting the spectral aubades of paeans to a high-flown sun darting through galactic space apace of the velivolant sails of divine wind that come in the spree of recompense authored by the vines to which all roots belong rhizogenic and immutable because the demarches of time forget the marches against the cauterized grime of new-world suspicions of aleatory fickle gubernatorial proclamations that issue reverb more than sprinkle flanged atrocity in the sight of the holy ramparts of an active double-edged God who reminds us of our many witnesses but provides not a single latchkey of escapism resident to many hapless homes of the drunken sing-song rhapsody nullifying the psychotaxis of the motatory miserly Draconian charades of Leviathan grasping the tridents of warp-speed revisionism in a benighted world overrun by mandarist fictions that fumigate a pasteurized control of cultural malcontent in situations of dearth infested by the concentration camps of China that remain unheralded in brumal and brutish indoctrination spared from worldwide outrage by the tribunes that are complicit more in malfeasance than they are celebrated for the herald of heinous bletcherous crimes of abecedarian abligurition anointed in waste rather than refined like unquenched slakes of eternal water so that no man can thirst hungry for the daily bread without returning to the providence of God awakened. Recalcitrant by the impudent quislings of repugnasket flarmeys of advenient flummoxed besieged clairvoyance I bask and beaze on the light that never fades because of the brackish whisk of a barnstorm of allegiance that is contumely to a bromide society listless in inferiority of intellect to my former streaks beyond jejune reiteration of the Jehu mentality against the canine fate of Jezebel and her faltered ministry of ewnastique waged as battalion gore of a trifling musket of an aboriginal swim through the oceanic gaze of peerless eternity squirming because of flagging resolution among the spandrels of incommunicable largesse lolloped extravagantly not just for the spoils of hyped pedigree but also a chamade to Heaven to enlist the purblind vestiges of a crambazzled Earth rejuvenated in adolescent esprit rather than callow eclat against the outrecuidance of whimpered miserly conscientiousness that exists in a shorter frame of reference than the provident dashes through a furlough of time and ancestry to cobble together a lapidary bristling excoriation of the tumescent squabbles of mystique brave enough to rarefy the humid pasteurization of a mannequin kenspeckel still-frame jilt of jostled infamy brusque in its curt envies borne of still-born promenades of a whasper between the youthful ligony and the intrepid soul of a collective warrior debased by the adscititious participant to elegant effronteries of the newfangled intellectual vogue that is the grombang of the tralleyripped hamshackle of ostentation meeting mirrored paralysis in sheepish ewnastique creations meddlesome in their ironic frizz of recursion as I lounge on the habits of creation by intelligent lurches of design that appointed the demarcations of all creatures and the mysterious bridge between the missing links that remain elusive to the flombricks of the misery of epigenetic rhizogenic imparlance of desuetude cringing at foresight littered with the disaster of ravished hindsight blushing at the limpid degeneration of the vapid varnish of benighted ligony rather than heroic strides of stoic-epicurean compromise in the apolaustic pursuit of the one eternal God present in rebellion but never the temptress of mendacity and mendaciloquence because the tug I have on speed is ratifying a cauterized casualty in the spumid betrothed wicked snuffs of extinguished furor for a time beyond barnstormed racloir rugged origination and faulty phenogenesis that escorts mythos into actionable litanies of the awakened breed scoffing at the inkburch of “Electrolytes”-wernaggle that besets the queer fascinations of a warped generation. The pytherian swank of artrench embodied in the recocted rendevation of hypetrophy in hubris swaddled by the reductive dranger polluting the realm of compliant complicant complaints of the ashowel of albatross astroud in the hibernaculum of langlauf rather than the ultramontane fiduciary tether to the estrockentch rather than the laureates of plevisable courage found in truest shades of vinsky not the subhastation of a gaslighted galvanization of purebred classy swivels of opportunism nor the ravenous incubus appetite for usufruct in subversion belongs to the behest of an insular nesiote flexing the flux of subversion as the candid posies of saccharine immodesty become relegated figments of the everlasting age of promised propriety rather than rigid stultimathy of hackencrude virtues of virtuosos that marvel at troudasque wonders occluded by the girlcott of Team Biden and his militarized soldiers of desiccation of trumpery and the faucets unbounded by swanky concealed epithets of regaled rentgourge by a hapless objection of the runic destruction of apothecary leniency becoming of the betokened emblazonry of scrimshank in every perfuncturation but embodiment of character shouldered by every chasm of power erected in demolition of the warped egintoch radicalism of the submerged wernaggles of the hopeless minority swimming with autodimplage few have to bear but the truest flock of God heeds my voice and has the sapience to spare themselves of contumely and invective to hearsay of invictive triumph beyond radioglare swirk to renege the musical providence of the chamades to the asterongue I often take for granted by immunifacient degrees of the foretold encroaching upon the crux of a pivotal and pivoted destiny not distant from cordial providence. The sweedle of epigones for the risctender of obligation to subvert the coryphaeus with the rigmarole of gentincture borrowed from the Gates’ formulaic effleck of perverse warbles of collectivized contrition for abetted cultural pederasty limpid in its achieved objective of the crudenzy borrowed from a lacking impediment to arentrum belonging to the knowledgeable happenstance of the glorified dengonin is a denostram that forestalls the agelasts behind porsters of culture rather than legitimate mainlined contamination of wellsprings of fliction of paranoiac enthusiasm might swim in kinkativy blinkered blind piebald girouettism but never dauntless in sematic entrenchment of robust dilettantism as the swaddled corrugation of time into centripetal ****** against centrifugal modernism that alienates propriety while estranging by vacuous vacuums the outspoken progeny of the surviving age beyond the Jay and Silent Bob travesty that manifests as a glower of menacing Bushian invention to tarnish with ****** mythos the drapes of a defenestrated realism of the flinkers of sheepish indignation against many drakstings of intonorous sclerotic mandibles of crackjaw chockablock annihilation of core precepts and institutions indelible from the face of a quixotic entreaty of a ragged intrusion of ageotropic monoideism above the secular-clerical fidelity of honest witness borne of triumph and tribulation festooning the nativist hyperbole into a useless effigy of mountebank imposture silly in precision and purblind to gallantry. Yet I must kisswonk rather than truckle under such ponderous pretense because of a sertivine certainty in the thickets of prudence rather than the tomfoolery of humgruffin impudence scaffolds me to a post-modern ****** that shanks through prisons of guilt and burrows an interrogation of reality supreme over all complaint that the virtuosity of the Gifted (the elect flock that comprehends my volcanic diatribes against mandarism and stomachs them without sardonic pastorauling insults of passerby vicissitude) will spare many nations of awakened perjury against human instinct in the fitness of nations to denigrate the populist squalor of lurid and livid ewnastique wernaggles of the listless buttress against my formal modesty encouraged in all affairs even in aggrieved humility belonging to intimidation rather than spawned jostles through the rumpus of shunamitism that might rankle a later age.  Yentrified morality is a personal flapdoon against the promiscuous pederasty of freewheeling ophelimity and the lurking narquiddity of the traindeque of donnist hedonism to hijack my psychedelic tolerance into an unwarranted and inadvisable sanction into the netherworld of the frinterans of cultural modality that curdact religion into a cosmetic cosmogony rather than a soldiered infamy becoming a beacon on a towering hill growing in solidarity with the pleonasm of existence itself which surpasses crude formulas that already abide by the riches of decorum too much to be admired as trigger-happy fools run the asylum of domesticated irony and the librettos to downfall rather than the wassails of “The Man” becoming more masculine in featured charisma rather than defiled against Leviticus among others who preach belonging to nuclear creed without fission but for true rapprochement to the fusion of the treony with legitimate gripes of unsung complaint among the masculine minority. The traindeque of a baseline complaint aggrieved by the kilmarge carapace of stiltanimity for the hackencrude resentment of the inkburch of illiteracy is a profligate degeneracy lurid in hyped enmity that the envied entreaty becomes the despotic shadow masquerading in shadows blossoming into the full wisdom of the mature sophrosyne heart eager to pour out blessings upon a conservation of recycled epitaphs becoming hearsay in a rebarbative convolution of redacted rigmarole incendiary to whittled henpecks of political engineering but never vapid in their flagging insistence upon an ecumenical toleration of the brooks of modernity and compromise upon which much felicity is aggrandized and permuted against the spoilsport frinterans who encage a dodgy moralism in wilted etiolated jaunty pedigree that espouses the maudlin grievous and ghastly ghouls and sprites that haunt the fictional hobgoblins of the Potemkin Village that finds usury convenient and perjury even more facile for the glib facetious engineers of modalities of hatred unsung by the ribald witwanton “I got a Solution...You’re a ****…South Carolina What’s Up” crowd that never marvels at ingenuity or rarely attempts it in the summit of the climacteric jaundice of hidebound whemmles of ridicule sparring against spartan flagitious wiseacres of genocide of ideation for the revelry of armed missives denatured by raw promotion of the questionable ethics of a flavork of needed slakes of unquenchable desire swarming us with daily temptresses not of wayward women but the disarmed pretense of a lapidary rejoinder to a long expatiation or harangue against hackencrude curdles of rowboat injustice masquerading as sentinel savory destruction of the towering edifice of proclamation. There is great menace in the casuistry of sophist philogeant philocubists dicey with destiny for mincemeat puppetry against sciamachy for the gallionic rise of gammadions in the craven lore of baseline pasquinade rallied to the insuperable causes of tribal shibboleth anointed by secular totemisms of fracture and fricative hisses of lineage that amount to pleonasms of brassage rather than mystagogical mystique of the prestige of human fraternity that shatters paradigms of creed and invites an honest vestige of Noble Savages to roam the Earth yet again unencumbered by lugubrious welters of misnomer and malapropism wagered by artifices of guileless supremacy that is cursory prima facie neglect of even the sororal duties not of sophomoric glib facetious cowardice of backbited backlash of venom militarized for the desuetude of entertained visagists sculpting *****-nilly their version or verdict of decisive apartheid when we should all rally behind the united frontier of the chosen flock in the chosen generation to truckle beneath the pews not of ignorance aggravated by the polluted kilmarge egintoch puritan barbs against publicity choices I now regret (as an emolument to an incredibly euphoric track with a poor miserly message to the enchanted flock inoculated from such diversions) because alighted upon the quenched thirst of salvation I will be judged more harshly as a teacher James 3:1 than the rest of my flock but gifted with the gratuitous salvation carved from the chiselers of ribald infamy capering around with dacoitage and ladronism of the bomans of unsuspecting quixotic caprice I must reckon with the burden of ghoulish shadows on the spectral imprint of my eternal soul relishing in vicarious splendor yet bereaved of quintessential love 1 Cor 13:4 that is necessary for the nuclear conclamation of vibrant hues of resplendent and refulgent providence necessary not from a dynastic perspective but from an aimed providence that alerts dynamism rather than chides with mimes of useless schadenfreude carved from the prestidigitation of the wicked condemned in Galatians 6:7 for the mockers of sanctanimity accorded upon me as gratuity that no man can boast my elite ears and my astute wonderworks of imagination qualified me for prophecy and among the most mesmerizing prophecies registered to fulfillment that the world has ever yet witnessed because the watershed isn’t a bridgewater for the chavish of ignoramus hatred congealed into thrombosis but the narrowed gate enlarges to encompass the swath of man amenable to the flocks that escort me into permanence rather than regale the tridents of a hedonism that elected me clairvoyant at a cost of immaculate splendor registered to the holy clergy of the Sacred Catholic Church and the broader Ecumenical Endeavor that tries to be a seamstress and bridge elemental divides inherent to divided approaches to liturgy which flex their strengths in times of robust fortitude rather than become a subhastation to the vestiges of the pilgrimage to false tabernacles erected by people cozened into charlatan endeavors by the pernicious and persnickety whiplash of Least Common Denominator subversion of widely heralded sentience and sapience enriching the lot of human ambition rather than stoking useless conflagrations of refracturism accorded to the swallock of primposition of the hackneyed hackencrude that swivels with the odious ornery pretense of overtures not to apertures and lychgates of the true abiding Heaven felt on Earth by many Christians whether in sobriety or not without the evil maleficence of a misguided donnism of narquiddity for the grambazzles of aged recklessness aborning on vacant responsibility that is rickety in its magnanimity of absolution because of the ulterior chase for bottom-line top-dollar oligochrome foisted by the cartels that blind true spiritual insight from ever reaching the magnitude of ambition required to shape mountains of revolution among the tertiary squabbles of a conversant Earth open to the troudasque gallop into yield and cloveryield for repcrevel reforms the paludism of the swamp remains skittish about conforming to because objectivism is a renegade of perspicuous light blinkering in hubris and gourmandizing the hinderbaggle of cosmetic pollutions aggravated by the plevisable articles of envy and TLDR politics to “Electrolyte” logic that is a sad recursive wernaggle of the useless buffoonery of humgruffins of tatterdemalion spate rollicking in the magpiety of a timid consentient faltering myth of unanimity among the beleaguered rainbows of many lugubrious tears showering bickering blasphemy upon the mockery of God for the pleasantry of self-aware sheepish resignation that professes only that any form of meritocracy is existentially unfounded only because the beehive elected its progeny the scepter of the ironclad kingdom that wages war against idolatry and serenades heaven with luxury simultaneously. We are all shepherds of providence and there is power enough in collective prayer that we don’t fiddle around with bodewash in mistaken identity but riddle the persnickety blemish of the fastidious critiques of biting sarcasm as a tantamount blasphemy and a criminal repartee of sardonic cloys of inanity foisted above truth. The peevish breedbates who scour my evidentiary pillar of chiseled vertebrae of unbroken bones of solidarity with oikonisus will be sorely disappointed in their truthful audits of my true perception because in every single case it exonerates me from the pulpit of menacing idiots who scrawl random gabble in attempts to sound smart while reeking of iniquity wrought by the gavels of predevoted inferiority of complexion and attitude that gravitates them to an insensate benumbed transmogrified bailiwick of an appalling atrocity of mythomaniacal myths spurned by consensus among those who prize my grandeur above the superstitions of the illiteracy of the rancid rankle of otiose stupidity writhing its own sheepish envy of arbitrary dislike motivated by feminist aggressors waging warfare on turf I already conquered by swaying the intelligentsia to beckon my cause rather than pillory me on a false scaffold of frinteran abuses of the nyejays of bernacle that junediggle in the taradiddle of the nanciful excoriation of my leaden corpse weighed down by the witchcraft of connivance trayning its own delicate myths while avoiding scrutiny for appalling contumely that deserves an audience more suited for fracklings of treony belonging to the trinkochre of the rising alienation and suicides among perverted gay indoctrination that is a scourge on the planet because it willfully denies with its portentous hibbles the regaled wisdom of the culminated age against renegades of apostasy and for the behemoths of true monumental change that sizzles in savory circles among the vanguard only to alarm the Status Quo hijack of my entire endeavors as a covert crusade to use wrecking-ball fashion tactics to cosmetically incisively and insidiously perform a harprick of surgery upon a blameless countenance only for being a thorn to wragatek wragapole slavery which wages war against universal salvation because it gripes with inkburch and circular pleonasms about the most obvious glaring lies and feasts upon the serrated edge of the capers of hatred that frolic in meadows too skittish to enter the barbarian fortress of my forested residence robust in fortitude and glowering with a menacing contempt for runaround psychobabble that obganiates the obelisk of the moribund crusade to make normative ethics effeminate and to enthrone inviolable women’s speech as supreme to any male objections like the Cristiano Ronaldo accuser that came forth 8 months after #MeToo one of the most dishonest campaigns in modern history enthroned by Hollywood elites in gammerstang insurrection against pay-gap ethics done manipulatively with the sapwood of mendaciloquence like Blasey Ford whose physiognomy reeked of maudlin pretense that was so ornery in how obvious of a maleficence the intrepid Abortion Agenda has over the minds of selfish women who prefer ecbolic second-term abortions to the servile gripes of primiparas building new life rather than tearing down the scaffolds of new generations. Hominism deserves its rise because-in increasing numbers-men are derelicted by society and coerced into vapid tallespin enslavement that ridicules itself with the perjury of soul to the soulless vanity of recursive cycles of benumbed narquiddity found in “****** Hero” among other atrocities littering the human fascination with the hinderbaggle of our polluted age verging on totemic blistering hegemony of a few rotten apples corrupting the vagrant ingenuity of the forgotten champion who ushered in a new era of candor in the attempted interregnum of the United States government because I Am Hollywood got the name correct considering how many memorials there are to me in the movie industry. The junediggles of sc-ha-den-freud-e which is as deliberate of a German pun as JUDEn JuDEN which shows the German language is as farsighted as you can get and why many of my neologisms have a German tinge to them. German is an elegant language with botched syntax but a peerless repertoire of vocabulary and even though I love French, the Germans are smart because their language is smart not just because of petty arguments of pedigree which are specious at best. Being dontolesque with  the zenkidu of rengall nauclatic mythos is an artful degree which accords nominal prestige to licentiates while excorifying the obvious metaphors of sunblind logic that scours the scorched Earth of internet diatribes of sophistry and dethrones the Marcie Biancos of the world “Heterosexuality is officially OVER...K Bye” with her 145 IQ and a Stanford Degree in Queer Studies (A professed atheist by her own Twitter admission) with the warped logic to equate a heterosexual relationship for a woman as ******* to patriarchy. For someone that well-studied in literature she sure is a dumb-*** and I will demolish the syntagma of those that root against me for Status Quo preservation in the official interregnum of Saturdays during the Trump Presidency. We need an official referendum on the ideas of termagant illogical anti-egalitarian poison that derives from a deracinated worldview that doesn’t contextualize how powerful language is at shaping thought because if the entire world were Anglophonic every single country on Earth virtually would see immediate dividends in terms of intellectual creativity and limber with concepts and percepts because it is no accident the most successful empire in History the United Kingdom, was favored because of its shibboleths of Shakespearean creativity draped with flairs of the irreverent while gilded by God to be a majestic commonwealth. England and France monopolized a huge majority of history by no accident because although English might be a slightly keener language the French culture of salons of freewheeling intellectual enlightenment gilded the 17th and 18th centuries into absolution despite the Panglossian epithets of Voltaire who was ironically dissuaded from religion because of the All Saints Day 1755 Lisbon Earthquake and Tsunami. We need to be vigilant against encroachments of perceived shibboleths and more keen on an affirmative meritocracy that favors the poor and blesses the meek in their poverty and inspire ambition among them to join the coteries of refinement in thought sometimes harder to achieve with crackjaw lollops in pleonasmic languages that fail to articulate with nexility or forceful wit the true abstractions that govern the pataphysics of the unknown. Language is so decisive over human thought that it is incumbent upon every language to refine its vocabulary to trayne compendious verbiage and trim the hedges of global reform to invite the curiosity of the age to favor all creeds and languages of Abraham and the diverse progeny of a variegated panoply of majestic feats common to all parlance and capacity beyond just the Anglophonic snare because the world needs not a chicanery of blustering churlish buffoonery but an Almighty respect for the consanguinity of all to God’s blessed creation that he inseminated by his deliberate hands to enrich the world with diversity rather than cleave the world with piecemeal skeumorphs of radical propaganda that opposes the modern and post-modern egalitarian streak. One wrong must be corrected, however, the underrepresentation of Hispanics in the media and in film because this grave error is much more pervasive than the ******* LGBT inclusion narrative because these days the lollygags of fashionista odalisques with Obelisks to Baal get more say over the common decorum than the marginalized bronteum of the  rich and vibrant Latino culture which is squelched by the poverty of media and Hollywood representation. Synectics showcases how a henpecked aim at the synaesthesis of culture congregated around our Almighty Father blessed among the nations who adhere to the progeny of Abraham can be more blessed when working together rather than tribal with nepotism and aristocratic in sustained affronts to the elevation of affirmative meritocracy to the forefront of discussion rather than the froward backlash of benumbed narquiddity because the synallagamatic nature of complexity needs to be devolved with industrious ambition to all cultures and the savory flair of the vogue needs not merely a wednongue fascination with an eventual terminus of crudenzy but a sustained intellectual reformation on all fronts to standardize the English language through Hollywood and the Music Industry so that the dragnets of appeal etch a permanent trace into the engraved souls of the true flock John 10:27 are consecrated in divine purpose to reverse the Babylonian Diaspora of confused and conflated purpose that stunts the raltention of humane course and the proper pataphysical syncrisis of an evolved mundane temperament that transcends the circular traps of circumlocution common to the milquetoast industrial titans who winsomely charm with toady gestures the elitism of a moribund philosophy of intellectual thought delegation to elevate the common rhetoric to reach new pinnacles in both tribune and political gamesmanship because higher standards are required even when they surpass some common understanding so that every ambition becomes a conclave for the goal of human unity solidified by the truth of the kerygma and proclaimed to all creation as the culminated synclastic reformation of the idea of indulgence and the propriety of regaled moderation that appeases the common decorum with a shared vested interest in Latin America especially which is besieged by the cultural tenets of obrogated specialization and denigrated by the common myths of warped phenogenesis which should be debunked as a wasm of hypocrisy limited because its callous tentacles lack the charismatic fulgurant equipment of future generations to bear the operose burdens of a quintessential time of harmony united by the hymns for God by God to appease the sentries in Heaven and the celestial realms that exist for our merriment more than our detriment. The sprauncy have the  frikmag to recognize the spuria of apocryphal heresies that encourage kinship above matriotism and shared fortitude for intellectual valor rather than “*** talk TLDR” hashtags abounding on the turf of the insensate wernaggle of clueless charlatans wiggling through life not because they were borne into slavery but because they choose to be Helicopter Parents of “Baby Shark” rather than token mantelpieces of enlivened culture shimmering with radiation of Gods glory as cemented in Colossians 1:15-16 because the firstborn of all creation lives in some form in the ligature of Christ 1 Cor 12:12 because there are so many talents that exist in our variegated world that the mastery of expertise in dominions of conversant fluency will abet the variegated crops of a draped humanity corrugated on its own ironies for the delicate sizzle of beatific felicity multiplying itself in centupled design over centuries to overcome hinderbaggle while realizing the fictions of some drawflark. The strigine world concedes to this upstart rooster maybe considered a parvenu of dearth but luxuriant in riches boundless to all that draw near to the kerygma of Christ and feast on his daily bread found throughout liturgy because we should listen to people like Cardinal Timothy Dolan who is exceptionally astute (perhaps an understatement) to guide us on a regenerative rather than degenerative pathway towards universal attempts at salvation that broach a new decorum bridged by aliens to select chosen emissaries to bridle the fissions of repartee reserved for the forlorn that balk at ambition rather than relish a new era of seditious determination against the determinist fallacy and for the mental health of those coping with autodimplage and sheepish regrets and persnickety articles of remorse because all the world deserves our consolation and desperate attention rather than the trumpery of the circus masquerade of marauding agitprop which congeals into thrombosis of toxicity as the vast majority of Democrats refuse to even hear Trump speak when he is discussing discursive solutions to enigmatic quagmires,for, if more people listened to Trump they would be disabused by the specious claims of his misogyny and white allegiances because his candor is brilliant and despite the prominent advocacy of Biden who has considerable prestige in my memory, we deserve a bipartisan syncretism that unites the world and unifies the country away from the swerve of salacious mythos and towards a rambunctious magpiety of solidarity against the secular humanism of a defunct piety to Marxist feminism which is a crudenzy among the awakened men around the world increasingly alienated by the hackencrude of wednongue illiteracy even trumpeted by the vanguard as panacea when it is a comestible form of poison. We need visionary unity where there was once toxic divisive balkanization of exclaves of limited foresight clashing with new wave awakening to the persecution of illumination itself for not a rigid hierarchy but a flexible structure of inclusion that adjusts to cultural expectancy and modifies the traindeque that strands many in institutionalized poverty especially in Latin America and India and obviously Africa too. The stegophilists of language should herald the aubade of the chavish of redintegration over the squawk of din of squabbles of internecine redacted revisionism beleaguering our lyceums with toxic agitprop even at the highest institutions of learning who balk often at the recycled auditorium of useful thought because their venal tilt is complicit in squelching freedom of thought and our schools should open early so that zig-zag-zoom politics around feldtrounds who are eagerly outnumbered by the patrons who police thought become agentic not with outspoken treacheries but inseminations of intimation to hint at the spectral mystagogical reality we are all members of despite hurdles that beset the hemiteries of odalisques who seek inertia rather than mobilization. The ribald underminnow of transparency is a carcinogen of the rampant siege of Status Quo coarse hypocrisy for tentative flings with cadged cloyed saturnine professions of the landmines of atrocious miscarriage as I soldier on in the causes of the poor and the forlorn to become enriched by the glory that God delivers with munificence so that all might be enriched by the emanations of the true vine and in distaste of error I rebuke the armada of belittled armamentariums of the cantonment of deep-state breedbates boiling over potboiler frikmag that exists as a transcendent obscurantism flowering in decisive times to warp the contextual footprint of a life served in the service of all the oppressed people as a kind of Moses figure raised by the elite and fighting for the criminally oppressed and the ****** of mediagenic hyperbole is dissatisfied by my glowering spectacles because they dismount from the equipoise of the righteous gallop towards ecumenical solidarity at untimely punctuations of juncture superseding the flictions of frikmag dethroning my righteous valor and provident sanctanimity to prowl like predatory wolves the fathers of the casuistry of mendaciloquence to accentuate the stridor of inopportune squalor of the selachostomous regimes of teetotaler totalitarian freebooters who prevent bootstraps from manufacture as they gradgrind the world into ergonomic insufficiency while I provide a Kamacho-like galvanization to the broader world that favors the consanguinity of all animate sentience to the aboriginal vine of the universe that plays with the toyed cadge of oppositive support but lends credence to a more evolved view than the crudity of encapsulated travesties inserted with jaundice against the lyceum of freedom of thought and the celerity of headless horseman galloping in partial interregnum to crown the strobic stridor of the stiver of the steven of contarianism engineered for walloped ringleaders of the renegades of heresiarch sedition in their odalisque oaths to Pagan dieties carved from the sapwood of gullible Illuminati naivety that professes allegiance to the worst whangam ever invented Baphomet and his faked cronies of ewnastique free-for-all diminutive crags in the renown of dawning light becoming cagey struthious structuralism embedded in sclerotic wasms of the wanhope of a nullified message becoming a sacred creed to the attentive while the lilt of the otiose drawl in serpentine convolution a ribald pleonasm of circular circumlocution that provides locomotive linearity rather than leapfrogged slogmarches into the province of the territorial alignment of kinship against the partisan hollertrap and the stigmatophilia of obsessive persnickety popinjay beadledom the last stronghold of the rickety resistence to this Saturday interregnum which presides over the better part of the intelligentsia if not the common pedestrian parlance because hortatory weights cannot be described in any other way than metagnostic flickers of Yellow Submarine vandalism of a pristine living animation of the humane spirit that prizes the plight of the poor and the blarney and blench of unjust opprobrium faced by the institutionalized bailiwick of flictions of gammadion gallionic posture when in fact they register as seismic entities engraved upon my Christian conscience that strictly welcomes the emigrants to truth from whatever consecrated virtue they originate from because all are capable of the same light and the same compassion of a beatified humanity rather than the relish of deep-state castophrenia which belies its own ribald gay mockery on live TV as not a single twinge of ****** attraction overtakes me in matriotic sardanapalian effrontery of a hollow but sadly hallowed vainglory of the hierodules that bury the coffers of patriotism in a sad LGBTQ graveyard of landmines that demonstrate a complete disregard of the nuclear family and should be decried as an outcry against redefined Christianity bolted to unshakable irrefragable beliefs in the constitution of man and women wed together in one monogamous flesh with the occasional cuddle of close tithes to the ******* of friendship as the slavery of sin in Leviticus 20:13 falls to the wayside because this patriotic lewdness is a vapid fatuous derangement that is a new low for the United States attempt to inoculate China from religious accord with the broader world and should be seen as a Chinese maskirovka worthy of the heaviest disdain and I will disavow America if it continues to bandy the tripwires of Chinese boondoggles under the American banner and pretend its pretense isn’t lagging under its own bletcherous abecedarian elementary fallacy of psychobabble oblivion of dark saturnine brusque termagants of tatterdemalion cloaks of the selfsame illusion of a desperation of China to wreck the United States economy and inseminate Florida, Arizona and Texas especially with the Coronavirus to swing the election in Biden’s favor with or without US Complicity to expedite the course of a virus which sees no resurgence in any other civilized country in the world while the heroic Russians, Germans, Israelis, French, British and true American Christians banish the barristers of bad taste as an acerbic poison on the wellsprings of a flagitious flag I would kneel for in the knells of disgrace if the pompous and completely inoculated missives of Buttigieg ******* continue to roam shepherded by deep state elitism to wreck the opportune moment of religious revival for petty reasons of chryselephantine gambit and gimcrack for institutionalized poverty which my ambition is to heal completely by sacerdotal deeds and consecrated prayers in the Lord whose peace surpasses the temporal despair of senectitude and comforts the grievances of the aggrieved because Galatians 6:7 is no more true than the fatuous display of muscular idiots waving American flags for turpitude rather than flogging very perverse Gay men in the streets which might be a more fitting outcome even though I must remove the plank in my own eyes first to see the irony of the detested. The doytin is no longer misguided by the nanciful derision of the vociferous clangor of the venal Gates mafia militia wrecking ball vaccination Bezos crew in Medina which is a mettle I can’t match when you own every citizen in the world in a few square miles of nesiote territory the denizens of conquest besieging religious sanctity with profane outbursts of corruptible linchpins on the public lynch of the strepsis of periblebsis that vitiates commonwealths of supreme sputtering regimented clairvoyant superlative alabaster wealth of the isangelous protectorate of the supreme God that supervises his careworn flock into the storge against the scourge of prosodemic stigma stained in bleeding heart liberal bathed tears of pseudoautochiria of Jim Morrison glaring in the face of the triads that Killed Him in the French Connection ******* of 71’ that outnumbered his hobohemia of loyal jewish bohemians livid in the rhapsody of nurture rather than enfeebled by the unfurled destiny of the Soul Kitchen he foresaw to his own pitiable demise at probably the hands of strangulation because no autopsy was performed. Although repetitive Transparent is a real anthem for oracular mystagogical transcendence a mandatory hymn for the ryseolagnus of the poetic verve of a new wave swooning the cordial progressive of atmospheric oneness with the primordial vine and the vintners that congregate on populated soil to feed a desolate destitution of synoecy or synaesthesis in the syncretic rhapsody of the subfocal ageotropic plenilune yet saturnine lugubrious toil of those that shovel through the albatross of ewnastique recapitulation to the same tired “Its got what plants crave, it’s got electrolytes” wernaggle of the hopelessly dismal inkburch of illiteracy crawling like a Hyacinth House on a vacant graveyard turf guarding the legionaires of rapid-fire zig-zags through a serpentine curvature of the ligaments of fabricated space warped through prismatic lenses of aperspectival time aspiring for ventriloquial enamored rapture upon Earthly parallax with tapestries of refulgent cascading wandering wonder that meditates its own lucubration with careworn tutelage against the wasms of dying oleaginous swelters of redshort opportunistic vultures swooping with Raven’s claws against the odometer of viewership surpassing records in unspeakable wisdom that crowds out the crambazzle toonardical wreffelaxity of the tiresome nuisance of ornery brawn muscled into a formidable triage in vengeance for Jim Morrison’s scripted eviction from Earth either by poisoned ****** or by  Asphyxiation by the French Connection avenging RFK and the cultural revolutions of 67’ in Haight Ashbury and the widespread percolation of treacheries fathomed to the most obvious degree in showmanship that it bristled as an affront so severe that even the patronage of Paris wasn’t immune to infiltration. His threnodies will always be sung with Triumph that the hallowed day of a monumental soul eluding the darkness of purgatory into the welcoming aborning light of the noontide progeny of eternal ataraxia awaited him in the stagecraft tub of blasphemy bellowing ratcheted warnings that not even the palatine grasp of a potentially divine being was inoculated from the deep dark chasm of nefarious skullduggery for boasting so widely and openly of his professed foresight to glamorous to be hidden as the beacon of virtuosity that galvanized a generation to flout the  futtocks of a keelhauled vision of sanitized purblind mortality that the fear of death rarely crossed the mind of the greatest fearless poet of an entire epoch that we may pray that Jim Morrison feasts in Heaven atoned for his sins and is at peace with God now. The substratose congeniality of marginalia on the outskirts of pederasty in cultural miscarriage owned by hierodules boundless in their lurid debaucheries that they might be remanded for being custodians of hostage to a prolific nescience  reaffirming their dying posture in the extinction of sardanapalian coverthrow of repcrevel camorras of ladronism and dacoitage always cauponate in imbibed throes of lewd AstroTurf outrecuidance glowering at sanctity with a bereaved psychobabble divorced from the purebred empiricism of true giants of industry that are almost insuperable in their extortion that their darkness in deeds of Kobe Bryants assassination do not go unpunished at least in Los Angeles. His untimely death as with many others registered on the Richter Scale because Come Clean perverts from Kansas City wanted San Francisco to win to clean the mops of janitorial revenge of the subturbary rickety foundations of a flailing moral compass so wicked in arbitrage that no subreption undetected would flourish among capernoited vigilantes of poached titanism and illuminism scarring the vestiges of enigmatic encroachment upon untouchables daring the frights of the Living Daylights of scurrilous rebukes so scathing in their menacing depiction of negligent bromides of token sacrilege and scarred sacrifice of a scarecrow example of how the prosodemic scourge of befuddled turgid pristine transmogrified heralds scampered away with pseudoautochiria that afflicted Jimi Hendrix suspiciously as well. My support is behind the justice warriors aggrieved by the Beirut explosion because they deserve a vindictive outcome that quells the quislings of atrocity of the popinjay beadledom of the unspeakable tremors of seismotic popples of unrest warranted in Lebanon the homeland of Keanu Reeves a saint among men for his peerless grace and agraceries of the smog of myth evanescence becoming perdurable swings of the humdingers of berated jaundice becoming the prerogative of the revenge of a city leveled to the ground by suspicious skullduggery and I am surprised they lay dormant for this long in their protracted grievance over the ghoulish frights of one of the most unheralded major events in recent memory. We need to highlight the plight of Lebanon so that world leaders are frightened even of intimidated people tranquilized by terror rather than enlivened by the propriety of redacted rejoinders that serve the ulterior mission of a Titanic bravery that never sinks beneath the sumptuary treacle of grombang grambazzle and supercherie of the supercalendar of poignant repined repose derailing an emolument to ecumenical solidarity. Lets highlight Lebanon as an inexcusable trespass worthy of some mighty reckoning if not a riveted war but at the very least a devastated twinge of outrage.
Jesse stillwater Apr 2018
Nightbird perches high
beneath the shooting stars
that dapple the bouquet
    of sleepless peace
... his soft downy breast      
    has lent breath
to the sweet April afterglow
     heaving with song

The mystical feathered troubadour's
     swooning echo
A melodic twilight serenade
conjures a moonstruck metamorphosis,
sprouting magical wings of flight;

rousing a lonely heart's esprit
     to fly away unfettered
     in constellations of song

How dare imaginings spilled from the big dipper
enchant such an enrapturing magic spell?
It's so far to fall from swinging on a star!
It's so far beyond nearing crescent moon
     when you wish upon a star  

Thereupon struck by a bewitching bolt of starlight;
Dropping asudden as a shooting-star!

    Rolling like trailing thunder;
        tucked and tumbling ―
             somersaulting,

           celestial rumbling
blossoming with an unearthly joy

A nascent winged heart splayed bare,
soars upon cresting wind waves;
    dreaming of that shapeless  
          w h o  o  o  o  s h ―
         gathering beneath
        ~ uplifting wings ~

  Suddenly ― gliding freely,
       winging gracefully
  upon wafting star drift glitter;
lilting lightly upon the arising cadence
of nightingale's melodious fluted song

Nightingale sings sweet April perfume
beneath the star shed lamplight twinkle

... and it makes no difference if it's only a dream
    if my heart had wings



imagined by:   Jesse Stillwater
22nd  April  2018

Imagination set free ... perhaps rooted in the branches of a tree
https://hellopoetry.com/poem/2397540/a-lost-angels-wings/

Luscinia, nightingale -  songbird noted for its melodious nocturnal song
.
Lucy Tonic Oct 2014
Today I memorized your face
But still can’t pinpoint your smile
All is in perfect symmetry
But your eyes change color
So I’ll protect you from cosmic rays
While you use infrared to see right through me
And in the audio afterglow
We’ll let the sounds and colors wash over us
I don’t want to be your passport to the afterlife
I don’t want to be the black hole in the center of your universe
I want each galactic moment to stretch on elastic
Until it’s time to say goodbye
Until it’s time to see a shooting star and wish for change
And we’ll have a casual funeral
The neighborhood kids will surround you
And perhaps provide you more comfort than I ever could
But until that time let’s savor this energy exchange
You can turn the clock of my third eye into a tree of life
And I can plant the sun and moon into your bloodshot eyes
You’ll protect me from cosmic rays
While I use infrared to see right through you
And in the audio afterglow
We’ll let the sounds and colors wash over us
Mysterious Aries Nov 2015
My days at Penlandia definitely reached its afterglow
Now it’s hard for me to find my rhythm
Hopefully, the soul of some of my poetry will find their mark
If not unto someone’s head, then to somebody’s heart

I hope my words are not just vandals on the wall
Nor merely a stain on the paper
I created them to touch, stab, **** and make love
To bring peace unto hell and create fire in the sky above

It’s up to your eyes now, my dearest readers to magnify
Hate my stuff or love them
What's the reason why I’m inches away on parking my pen?
Voices from the other side echoes within my ear again and again

That’s why I’m writing this poetry as if my last
But if one day you’ll see me deploying another poem
I hope you enjoy stories with an unexpected ending
Besides, even the afterglows have a little radiance remaining

Mysterious Aries

11/19/2015
Michael R Burch Mar 2021
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 and experimental sonnets.



Auschwitz Rose
by Michael R. Burch

There is a Rose at Auschwitz, in the briar,
a rose like Sharon’s, lovely as her name.
The world forgot her,
                                   and is not the same.
I revere her and enlist this sacred fire
to keep her memory’s exalted flame
unmolested by the thistles and the nettles.

On Auschwitz now the reddening sunset settles ...
They sleep alike—diminutive and tall,
the innocent, the “surgeons.”
                                               Sleeping, all.

Red oxides of her blood, bright crimson petals,
if accidents of coloration, gall
my heart no less.
                            Amid thick weeds and muck
there lies a rose man’s crackling lightning struck:
the only Rose I ever longed to pluck.
Soon I’ll bed there and bid the world “Good Luck.”

Originally published by The Neovictorian/Cochlea, then by Voices Israel, Other Voices International, Verse Weekly, Black Medina, The Eclectic Muse (Canada), Promosaik (Germany), FreeXpression (Australia), Poetry Super Highway, Inspirational Stories, Trinacria, Pennsylvania Review, Litera (UK), Yahoo Buzz, and de Volkskrant Blog (a Dutch newspaper)



Such Tenderness
by Michael R. Burch

for the mothers of Gaza

There was, in your touch, such tenderness—as
only the dove on her mildest day has,
when she shelters downed fledglings beneath a warm wing
and coos to them softly, unable to sing.

What songs long forgotten occur to you now—
a babe at each breast? What terrible vow
ripped from your throat like the thunder that day
can never hold severing lightnings at bay?

Time taught you tenderness—time, oh, and love.
But love in the end is seldom enough ...
and time?—insufficient to life’s brief task.
I can only admire, unable to ask—

what is the source, whence comes the desire
of a woman to love as no God may require?

Published by Borderless Journal and SindhuNews (India)



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.



A Surfeit of Light
by Michael R. Burch

There was always a surfeit of light in your presence.
You stood distinctly apart, not of the humdrum world—
a chariot of gold in a procession of plywood.

We were all pioneers of the modern expedient race,
raising the ante: Home Depot to Lowe’s.
Yours was an antique grace—Thrace’s or Mesopotamia’s.

We were never quite sure of your silver allure,
of your trillium-and-platinum diadem,
of your utter lack of flatware-like utility.

You told us that night—your wound would not scar.
The black moment passed, then you were no more.
The darker the sky, how much brighter the Star!

The day of your funeral, I ripped out the crown mold.
You were this fool’s gold.



The Composition of Shadows
by Michael R. Burch

“I made it out of a mouthful of air.”—W. B. Yeats

We breathe and so we write; the night
hums softly its accompaniment.
Pale phosphors burn; the page we turn
leads onward, and we smile, content.

And what we mean we write to learn:
the vowels of love, the consonants’
strange golden weight, each plosive’s shape—
curved like the heart. Here, resonant, ...

sounds’ shadows mass beneath bright glass
like singing voles curled in a maze
of blank white space. We touch a face—
long-frozen words trapped in a glaze

that insulates our hearts. Nowhere
can love be found. Just shrieking air.

Published by The Lyric and Contemporary Rhyme



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.



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



Marsh Song
by Michael R. Burch

Here there is only the great sad song of the reeds
and the silent herons, wraithlike in the mist,
and a few drab sunken stones, unblessed
by the sunlight these late sixteen thousand years,
and the beaded dews that drench strange ferns, like tears
collected against an overwhelming sadness.

Here the marsh exposes its dejectedness,
its gutted rotting belly, and its roots
rise out of the earth’s distended heaviness,
to claw hard at existence, till the scars
remind us that we all have wounds, and I ...
I have learned again that living is despair
as the herons cleave the placid, dreamless air.

Originally published by The Lyric



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



Loose Knit
by Michael R. Burch

She blesses the needle,
fetches fine red stitches,
criss-crossing, embroidering dreams
in the delicate fabric.

And if her hand jerks and twitches in puppet-like fits,
she tells herself
reality is not as threadbare as it seems ...

that a little more darning may gather loose seams.

She weaves an unraveling tapestry
of fatigue and remorse and pain ...
only the nervously pecking needle
****** her to motion, again and again.

Published by The Chariton Review (as “The Knitter”)



in-flight convergence
by michael r. burch

serene, almost angelic,
the lights of the city                  extend
over lumbering behemoths shrilly screeching displeasure;
they say
that nothing is certain,
that nothing man dreams or ordains
long endures his command

here the streetlights that flicker
and those blazing steadfast seem one
from a                distance;
           descend?
they abruptly
part                    ways,

so that nothing is one
which at times does not suddenly blend
into garish insignificance
in the familiar alleyways,
in the white neon flash
and the billboards of Convenience

and man seems the afterthought of his own Brilliance
as we thunder down the enlightened runways.

Originally published by The Aurorean and nominated for the Pushcart Prize



Chloe
by Michael R. Burch

There were skies onyx at night ... moons by day ...
lakes pale as her eyes ... breathless winds
******* tall elms ... she would say
that we’d loved, but some book said we’d sinned.

Soon impatiens too fiery to stay
sagged; the crocus bells drooped, golden-limned;
things of brightness, rinsed out, ran to gray ...
all the light of that world softly dimmed.

Where our feet were inclined, we would stray;
there were paths where dead weeds stood untrimmed,
distant mountains that loomed in our way,
thunder booming down valleys dark-hymned.

What I found, I found lost in her face
by yielding all my virtue to her grace.

Originally published by Romantics Quarterly as “A Dying Fall”



Come Down
by Michael R. Burch

for Harold Bloom and the Ivory Towerists

Come down, O, come down
from your high mountain tower.
How coldly the wind blows,
how late this chill hour ...

and I cannot wait
for a meteor shower
to show you the time
must be now, or not ever.

Come down, O, come down
from the high mountain heather
blown far to the lees
as fierce northern gales sever.

Come down, or your hearts will grow cold as the weather
when winter devours and spring returns never.

I dedicated this poem to Harold Bloom after reading his introduction to the Best American Poetry anthology he edited. Bloom seemed intent on claiming poetry as the province of the uber-reader (i.e., himself), but I remember reading poems by Blake, Burns, Byron, cummings, Dickinson, Frost, Housman, Keats, Eliot, Pound, Shakespeare, Shelley, Whitman, Wordsworth, Yeats, et al, and grokking them as a boy, without any “advanced” instruction from anyone.



Erin
by Michael R. Burch

All that’s left of Ireland is her hair—
bright carrot—and her milkmaid-pallid skin,
her brilliant air of cavalier despair,
her train of children—some conceived in sin,
the others to avoid it. For nowhere
is evidence of thought. Devout, pale, thin,
gay, nonchalant, all radiance. So fair!

How can men look upon her and not spin
like wobbly buoys churned by her skirt’s brisk air?
They buy. They ***** to pat her nyloned shin,
to share her elevated, pale Despair ...
to find at last two spirits ease no one’s.

All that’s left of Ireland is the Care,
her impish grin, green eyes like leprechauns’.



To Flower
by Michael R. Burch

When Pentheus [“grief’] went into the mountains in the garb of the baccae, his mother [Agave] and the other maenads, possessed by Dionysus, tore him apart (Euripides, Bacchae; Apollodorus 3.5.2; Ovid, Metamorphoses 3.511-733; Hyginus, Fabulae 184). The agave dies as soon as it blooms; the moonflower, or night-blooming cereus, is a desert plant of similar fate.

We are not long for this earth, I know—
you and I, all our petals incurled,
till a night of pale brilliance, moonflower aglow.
Is there love anywhere in this strange world?

The agave knows best when it’s time to die
and rages to life with such rapturous leaves
her name means Illustrious. Each hour more high,
she claws toward heaven, for, if she believes

in love at all, she has left it behind
to flower, to flower. When darkness falls
she wilts down to meet it, where something crawls:
beheaded, bewildered. And since love is blind,

she never adored it, nor watches it go.
Can we be as she is, moonflower aglow?



Loose Knit
by Michael R. Burch

She blesses the needle,
fetches fine red stitches,
criss-crossing, embroidering dreams
in the delicate fabric.

And if her hand jerks and twitches in puppet-like fits,
she tells herself
reality is not as threadbare as it seems ...

that a little more darning may gather loose seams.

She weaves an unraveling tapestry
of fatigue and remorse and pain ...
only the nervously pecking needle
****** her to motion, again and again.

Published by The Chariton Review (as “The Knitter”)



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



Mare Clausum
by Michael R. Burch

These are the narrows of my soul—
dark waters pierced by eerie, haunting screams.
And these uncharted islands bleakly home
wild nightmares and deep, strange, forbidding dreams.

Please don’t think to find pearls’ pale, unearthly glow
within its shoals, nor corals in its reefs.
For, though you seek to salvage Love, I know
that vessel lists, and night brings no relief.

Pause here, and look, and know that all is lost;
then turn, and go; let salt consume, and rust.
This sea is not for sailors, but the ******
who lingered long past morning, till they learned

why it is named:
Mare Clausum.



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



Hearthside
by Michael R. Burch

“When you are old and grey and full of sleep...” — W. B. Yeats

For all that we professed of love, we knew
this night would come, that we would bend alone
to tend wan fires’ dimming bars—the moan
of wind cruel as the Trumpet, gelid dew
an eerie presence on encrusted logs
we hoard like jewels, embrittled so ourselves.

The books that line these close, familiar shelves
loom down like dreary chaperones. Wild dogs,
too old for mates, cringe furtive in the park,
as, toothless now, I frame this parchment kiss.

I do not know the words for easy bliss
and so my shriveled fingers clutch this stark,
long-unenamored pen and will it: Move.
I loved you more than words, so let words prove.

Published by Sonnet Writers, Setu (India), Borderless Journal (Singapore) and Vallance Review (Canada)



how many Nights (i)
by michael r. burch

how many Nights we laughed to see the sun
       go
down ...
your hair a frightful, dizzy golden crown ...
your skirt up to your thighs, displaying these
and others of men’s baser fantasies ...
that little pouting flower, slightly parted,
with nothing intervening, nothing thwarted ...



how many Nights (ii)
by michael r. burch

how many Nights we laughed to see the sun
       go
down ...
because the Night was made for reckless fun.
Your golden crown,
Your skin so soft, so smooth, and lightly downed.

how many nights i wept glad tears to hold
You tight against the years.
Your eyes so bold,
Your hair spun gold,
and all the pleasures Your soft flesh foretold.

how many Nights i did not dare to dream
You were so real ...
now all that i have left here is to feel
in dreams surreal
Time is the Nightmare God before whom men kneel.

and how few Nights, i reckoned, in the end,
we were allowed to gather, less to spend.



Come!
by Michael R. Burch

Will you come to visit my grave, I wonder,
in the season of lightning, the season of thunder,
when I have lain so long in the indifferent earth
that I have no girth?

When my womb has conformed to the chastity
your anemic Messiah envisioned for me,
will you finally be pleased that my *** was thus rendered
unpalatable, disengendered?

And when those strange loathsome organs that troubled you so
have been eaten by worms, will the heavens still glow
with the approval of God that I ended a maid—
thanks to a *****?

And will you come to visit my grave, I wonder,
in the season of lightning, the season of thunder?

“Come!” won fifth place in the Writer’s Digest 2012 Rhyming Poetry Contest, out of over 9,500 overall contest entries.



This is a sonnet despite the nonstandard stanza breaks. It was inspired by Dylan Thomas's poem "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower."

There’s a Stirring and Awakening in the World
by Michael R. Burch

There’s a stirring and awakening in the world,
and even so my spirit stirs within,
imagining some Power beckoning—
the Force which through the stamen gently whirrs,
unlocking tumblers deftly, even mine.

The grape grows wild-entangled on the vine,
and here, close by, the honeysuckle shines.
And of such life, at last there comes there comes the Wine.

And so it is with spirits’ fruitful yield—
the growth comes first, Green Vagrance, then the Bloom.

The world somehow must give the spirit room
to blossom, till its light shines—wild, revealed.

And then at last the earth receives its store
of blessings, as glad hearts cry—More! More! More!

Keywords/Tags: poem, poetry, spring, stirring, awakening, spirit, power, force, grape, vine, wine, growth, bloom, blooming, blossom, blossoming



Herbsttag (“Autumn Day”)
by Rainer Maria Rilke
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Lord, it is time. Let the immense summer go.
Lay your long shadows over the sundials
and over the meadows, let the free winds blow.
Command the late fruits to fatten and shine;
O, grant them another Mediterranean hour!
Urge them to completion, and with power
convey final sweetness to the heavy wine.
Who has no house now, never will build one.
Who's alone now, shall continue alone;
he'll wake, read, write long letters to friends,
and pace the tree-lined pathways up and down,
restlessly, as autumn leaves drift and descend.

Published by Measure, Setu (India), The HyperTexts, 3 Penny Paintings and The Society of Classical Poets



Aflutter
by Michael R. Burch

This rainbow is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh.—Yahweh

You are gentle now, and in your failing hour
how like the child you were, you seem again,
and smile as sadly as the girl
                                              (age ten?)
who held the sparrow with the mangled wing
close to her heart.
                            It marveled at your power
but would not mend.
                                And so the world renews
old vows it seemed to make: false promises
spring whispers, as if nothing perishes
that does not resurrect to wilder hues
like rainbows’ eerie pacts we apprehend
but cannot fail to keep.
                                     Now in your eyes
I see the end of life that only dies
and does not care for bright, translucent lies.
Are tears so precious? These few, let us spend
together, as before, then lay to rest
these sparrows’ hearts aflutter at each breast.

Published by The Lyric, Poetry Life & Times and The Eclectic Muse (Canada)



For All That I Remembered
by Michael R. Burch

For all that I remembered, I forgot
her name, her face, the reason that we loved ...
and yet I hold her close within my thought:
I feel the burnished weight of auburn hair
that fell across her face, the apricot
clean scent of her shampoo, the way she glowed
so palely in the moonlight, angel-wan.

The memory of her gathers like a flood
and bears me to that night, that only night,
when she and I were one, and if I could ...
I’d reach to her this time and, smiling, brush
the hair out of her eyes, and hold intact
each feature, each impression. Love is such
a threadbare sort of magic, it is gone
before we recognize it. I would crush

my lips to hers to hold their memory,
if not more tightly, less elusively.



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 joys are wan illusions 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.



The Forge
by Michael R. Burch

To at last be indestructible, a poem
must first glow, almost flammable, upon
a thing inert, as gray, as dull as stone,

then bend this way and that, and slowly cool
at arm’s-length, something irreducible
drawn out with caution, toughened in a pool

of water so contrary just a hiss
escapes it—water instantly a mist.
It writhes, a thing of senseless shapelessness ...

And then the driven hammer falls and falls.
The horses ***** their ears in nearby stalls.
A soldier on his cot leans back and smiles.

A sound of ancient import, with the ring
of honest labor, sings of fashioning.

Published by The Chariton Review


See
by Michael R. Burch

See how her hair has thinned: it doesn’t seem
like hair at all, but like the airy moult
of emus who outraced the wind and left
soft plumage in their wake. See how her eyes
are gentler now; see how each wrinkle laughs,
and deepens on itself, as though mirth took
some comfort there, then burrowed deeply in,
outlasting winter. See how very thin
her features are—that time has made more spare,
so that each bone shows, elegant and rare.
For life remains undimmed in her grave eyes,
and courage in her still-delighted looks:
each face presented like a picture book’s.
Bemused, she blows us undismayed goodbyes.



Flight 93
by Michael R. Burch

I held the switch in trembling fingers ... asked
why existence felt so small, so meaningless,
like a minnow squirming feebly in my grasp ...

... vibrations of huge engines thrummed my arms
as, glistening with sweat, I nudged the switch
to OFF ... I heard the klaxon’s shrill alarms

like vultures’ shriekings ... earthward, in a stall ...
we floated ... earthward ... wings outstretched, aghast
like Icarus ... as through the void we fell ...

till nothing was so beautiful, so blue ...
so vivid as that moment ... and I held
an image of your face, and dreamed I flew

into your arms ... the earth rushed up ... I knew
such comfort, in that moment, loving you.

Published by The Lyric



If You Come to San Miguel
by Michael R. Burch

If you come to San Miguel
before the orchids fall,
we might stroll through lengthening shadows
those deserted streets
where love first bloomed ...

You might buy the same cheap musk
from that mud-spattered stall
where with furtive eyes the vendor
watched his fragrant wares
perfume your ******* ...

Where lean men mend tattered nets,
disgruntled sea gulls chide;
we might find that cafetucho
where through grimy panes
sunset implodes ...

Where tall cranes spin canvassed loads,
the strange anhingas glide.
Green brine laps splintered moorings,
rusted iron chains grind,
weighed and anchored in the past,

held fast by luminescent tides ...
Should you come to San Miguel?
Let love decide.

Published by Romantics Quarterly



To Please The Poet
by Michael R. Burch

To please the poet, words must dance—
staccato, brisk, a two-step:
so!
Or waltz in elegance to time
of music—mild,
adagio.

To please the poet, words must chance
emotion in catharsis—
flame.
Or splash into salt seas, descend
in sheets of silver-shining
rain.

To please the poet, words must prance
and gallop, gambol, revel,
rail.
Or muse upon a moment—mute,
obscure, unsure, imperfect,
pale.

To please the poet, words must sing,
or croak, wart-tongued, imagining.

Originally published by The Lyric



The Endeavors of Lips
by Michael R. Burch

How sweet the endeavors of lips—to speak
of the heights of those pleasures which left us weak
in love’s strangely lit beds, where the cold springs creak:
for there is no illusion like love ...

Grown childlike, we wish for those storied days,
for those bright sprays of flowers, those primrosed ways
that curled to the towers of Yesterdays
where She braided illusions of love ...

“O, let down your hair!”—we might call and call,
to the dark-slatted window, the moonlit wall ...
but our love is a shadow; we watch it crawl
like a spidery illusion. For love ...

was never as real as that first kiss seemed
when we read by the flashlight and dreamed.

Published by Romantics Quarterly and The Eclectic Muse (Canada)



Once

for Beth

Once when her kisses were fire incarnate
and left in their imprint bright lipstick, and flame,
when her breath rose and fell over smoldering dunes,
leaving me listlessly sighing her name ...

Once when her ******* were as pale, as beguiling,
as wan rivers of sand shedding heat like a mist,
when her words would at times softly, mildly rebuke me
all the while as her lips would more wildly insist ...

Once when the thought of her echoed and whispered
through vast wastelands of need like a Bedouin chant,
I ached for the touch of her lips with such longing
that I vowed all my former vows to recant ...

Once, only once, something bloomed, of a desiccate seed—
this impossible blossom her wild rains of kisses decreed.

Published by The Lyric, Writer’s Journal, Grassroots Poetry, Tucumcari Literary Journal, Unlikely Stories, Poetry Life & Times



These Hallowed Halls
by Michael R. Burch

a young Romantic Poet mourns the passing of an age . . .

A final stereo fades into silence
and now there is seldom a murmur
to trouble the slumber of these ancient halls.
I stand by a window where others have watched
the passage of time—alone, not untouched.
And I am as they were—unsure—for the days
stretch out ahead, a bewildering maze.

Ah, faithless lover—that I had never touched your breast,
nor felt the stirrings of my heart,
which until that moment had peacefully slept.
For now I have known the exhilaration
of a heart having leapt from the pinnacle of Love,
and the result of each such infatuation ...
the long freefall to earth, as the moon glides above.



Oasis
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

I want tears to form again
in the shriveled glands of these eyes
dried all these long years
by too much heated knowing.

I want tears to course down
these parched cheeks,
to star these cracked lips
like an improbable dew

in the heart of a desert.
I want words to burble up
like happiness, like the thought of love,
like the overwhelming, shimmering thought of you

to a nomad who
has only known drought.



Melting
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

Entirely, as spring consumes the snow,
the thought of you consumes me: I am found
in rivulets, dissolved to what I know
of former winters’ passions. Underground,
perhaps one slender icicle remains
of what I was before, in some dark cave—
a stalactite, long calcified, now drains
to sodden pools whose milky liquid laves
the colder rock, thus washing something clean
that never saw the light, that never knew
the crust could break above, that light could stream:
so luminous,
                     so bright,
                                                      so beautiful . . .
I lie revealed, and so I stand transformed,
and all because you smiled on me, and warmed.

Published by Borderless Journal



Afterglow
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

The night is full of stars. Which still exist?
Before time ends, perhaps one day we’ll know.
For now I hold your fingers to my lips
and feel their pulse ... warm, palpable and slow ...

once slow to match this reckless spark in me,
this moon in ceaseless orbit I became,
compelled by wilder gravity to flee
night’s universe of suns, for one pale flame ...

for one pale flame that seemed to signify
the Zodiac of all, the meaning of
love’s wandering flight past Neptune. Now to lie
in dawning recognition is enough ...

enough each night to bask in you, to know
the face of love ... eyes closed ... its afterglow.



All Afterglow
by Michael R. Burch

Something remarkable, perhaps ...
the color of her eyes ... though I forget
the color of her eyes ... perhaps her hair
the way it blew about ... I do not know
just what it was about her that has kept
her thought lodged deep in mine ... unmelted snow
that lasted till July would be less rare,
clasped in some frozen cavern where the wind
sculpts bright grotesqueries, ignoring springs’
and summers’ higher laws ... there thawing slow
and strange by strange degrees, one tick beyond
the freezing point which keeps all things the same
... till what remains is fragile and unlike
the world above, where melted snows and rains
form rivulets that, inundate with sun,
evaporate, and in life’s cyclic stream
remake the world again ... I do not know
that we can be remade—all afterglow.

[Note: “inundate with snow” is not a typo.]



A Vain Word
by Michael R. Burch

Oleanders at dawn preen extravagant whorls
as I read in leaves’ Sanskrit brief moments remaining
till sunset implodes, till the moon strands grey pearls
under moss-stubbled oaks, full of whispers, complaining
to the darkening autumn, how swiftly life goes—
as I fled before love ...
                                     Now, through leaves trodden black,
shivering, I wander as winter’s first throes
of cool listless snow drench my cheeks, back and neck.

I discerned in one season all eternities of grief,
the specter of death sprawled out under the rose,
the last consequence of faith in the flight of one leaf,
the incontinence of age, as life’s bright torrent slows.

O, where are you now?—I was timid, absurd.
I would find comfort again in a vain word.

Published by Chrysanthemum and Tucumcari Literary Review



Break Time
by Michael R. Burch

for those who lost loved ones on 9-11

Intrude upon my grief; sit; take a spot
of milk to cloud the blackness that you feel;
add artificial sweeteners to conceal
the bitter aftertaste of loss. You’ll heal
if I do not. The coffee’s hot. You speak:
of bundt cakes, polls, the price of eggs. You glance
twice at your watch, cough, look at me askance.
The TV drones oeuvres of high romance
in syncopated lip-synch. Should I feel
the underbelly of Love’s warm Ideal,
its fuzzy-wuzzy tummy, and not reel
toward some dark conclusion? Disappear
to pale, dissolving atoms. Were you here?
I brush you off: like saccharine, like a tear.

Published by Sonnet Writers, Freshet and Sontey (Czechoslovakia)



At Cædmon’s Grave
by Michael R. Burch

“Cædmon’s Hymn,” composed at the Monastery of Whitby (a North Yorkshire fishing village), is one of the oldest known poems written in the English language, dating back to around 680 A.D. According to legend, Cædmon, an illiterate Anglo-Saxon cowherd, received the gift of poetic composition from an angel; he subsequently founded a school of Christian poets. Unfortunately, only nine lines of Cædmon’s verse survive, in the writings of the Venerable Bede. Whitby, tiny as it is, reappears later in the history of English literature, having been visited, in diametric contrast, by Lewis Carroll and Bram Stoker’s ghoulish yet evocative Dracula.

At the monastery of Whitby,
on a day when the sun sank through the sea,
and the gulls shrieked wildly, jubilant, free,

while the wind and time blew all around,
I paced those dusk-enamored grounds
and thought I heard the steps resound

of Carroll, Stoker and good Bede
who walked there, too, their spirits freed
—perhaps by God, perhaps by need—

to write, and with each line, remember
the glorious light of Cædmon’s ember,
scorched tongues of flame words still engender.

Here, as darkness falls, at last we meet.
I lay this pale garland of words at his feet.

Published by The Lyric



Altared Spots
by Michael R. Burch

The mother leopard buries her cub,
then cries three nights for his bones to rise
clad in new flesh, to celebrate the sunrise.

Good mother leopard, pensive thought
and fiercest love’s wild insurrection
yield no certainty of a resurrection.

Man’s tried them both, has added tears,
chants, dances, drugs, séances, tombs’
white alabaster prayer-rooms, wombs

where dead men’s frozen genes convene ...
there is no answer—death is death.
So bury your son, and save your breath.

Or emulate earth’s “highest species”—
write a few strange poems and odd treatises.



Crunch
by Michael R. Burch

A cockroach could live nine months on the dried mucous you scrounge from your nose
then fling like seedplants to the slowly greening floor ...

You claim to be the advanced life form, but, mon frere,
sometimes as you ****** encrusted kinks of hair from your Leviathan ***
and muse softly on zits, icebergs snap off the Antarctic.

You’re an evolutionary quandary, in need of a sacral ganglion
to control your enlarged, contradictory hindquarters:
surely the brain should migrate closer to its primary source of information,
in order to ensure the survival of the species.

Cockroaches thrive on eyeboogers and feces;
their exoskeletons expand and gleam like burnished armor in the presence of uranium.
But your cranium
     is not nearly so adaptable.

“Crunch” is a poem about evolution and survival of the fittest which questions where human beings really are the planet earth’s most advanced life forms.



Duet (II)
by Michael R. Burch

If love is just an impulse meant to bring
two tiny hearts together, skittering
like hamsters from their Quonsets late at night
in search of lust’s productive exercise . . .

If love is the mutation of some gene
made radiant—an accident of bliss
played out by two small actors on a screen
of silver mesh, who never even kiss . . .

If love is evolution, nature’s way
of sorting out its DNA in pairs,
of matching, mating, sculpting flesh’s clay . . .
why does my wrinkled hamster climb his stairs

to set his wheel revolving, then descend
and stagger off . . . to make hers fly again?

Published by Bewildering Stories



Album
by Michael R. Burch

I caress them—trapped in brittle cellophane—
and I see how young they were, and how unwise;
and I remember their first flight—an old prop plane,
their blissful arc through alien blue skies ...

And I touch them here through leaves which—tattered, frayed—
are also wings, but wings that never flew:
like Nabokov’s wings—pinned, held. Here, time delayed,
their features never merged, remaining two ...

And Grief, which lurked unseen beyond the lens
or in shadows where It crept on furtive claws
as It scritched Its way into their hearts, depends
on sorrows such as theirs, and works Its jaws ...

and slavers for Its meat—those young, unwise,
who naively dare to dream, yet fail to see
how, lumbering sunward, Hope, ungainly, flies,
clutching to Her ruffled breast what must not be.



Because You Came to Me
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

Because you came to me with sweet compassion
and kissed my furrowed brow and smoothed my hair,
I do not love you after any fashion,
but wildly, in despair.

Because you came to me in my black torment
and kissed me fiercely, blazing like the sun
upon parched desert dunes, till in dawn’s foment
they melt ... I am undone.

Because I am undone, you have remade me
as suns bring life, as brilliant rains endow
the earth below with leaves, where you now shade me
and bower me, somehow.



Caveat
by Michael R. Burch

If only we were not so eloquent,
we might sing, and only sing, not to impress,
but only to enjoy, to be enjoyed.

We might inundate the earth with thankfulness
for light, although it dies, and make a song
of night descending on the earth like bliss,

with other lights beyond—not to be known—
but only to be welcomed and enjoyed,
before all worlds and stars are overthrown ...

as a lover’s hands embrace a sleeping face
and find it beautiful for emptiness
of all but joy. There is no thought to love

but love itself. How senseless to redress,
in darkness, such becoming nakedness . . .

Originally published by Clementine Unbound



The Princess and the Pauper
by Michael R. Burch

for Norman Kraeft in memory of his beloved wife June

Here was a woman bright, intent on life,
who did not flinch from Death, but caught his eye
and drew him, powerless, into her spell
of wanting her himself, so much the lie
that she was meant for him—obscene illusion!—
made him seem a monarch throned like God on high,
when he was less than nothing; when to die
meant many stultifying, pained embraces.

She shed her gown, undid the tangled laces
that tied her to the earth: then she was his.
Now all her erstwhile beauty he defaces
and yet she grows in hallowed loveliness—
her ghost beyond perfection—for to die
was to ascend. Now he begs, penniless.

Published by Katrina Anthology, The Lyric and Trinacria



Every Man Has a Dream
by Michael R. Burch

lines composed at Elliston Square

Every man has a dream that he cannot quite touch ...
a dream of contentment, of soft, starlit rain,
of a breeze in the evening that, rising again,
reminds him of something that cannot have been,
and he calls this dream love.

And each man has a dream that he fears to let live,
for he knows: to succumb is to throw away all.
So he curses, denies it and locks it within
the cells of his heart and he calls it a sin,
this madness, this love.

But each man in his living falls prey to his dreams,
and he struggles, but so he ensures that he falls,
and he finds in the end that he cannot deny
the joy that he feels or the tears that he cries
in the darkness of night for this light he calls love.



Free Fall (II)
by Michael R. Burch

I have no earthly remembrance of you, as if
we were never of earth, but merely white clouds adrift,
swirling together through Himalayan serene altitudes—
no more man and woman than exhaled breath—unable to fall
back to solid existence, despite the air’s sparseness: all
our being borne up, because of our lightness,
toward the sun’s unendurable brightness . . .

But since I touched you, fire consumes each wing!

We who are unable to fly, stall
contemplating disaster. Despair like an anchor, like an iron ball,
heavier than ballast, sinks on its thick-looped chain
toward the earth, and soon thereafter there will be sufficient pain
to recall existence, to make the coming darkness everlasting.



Fledglings
by Michael R. Burch

With her small eyes, pale blue and unforgiving,
she taught me: December is not for those
unweaned of love, the chirping nestlings
who bicker for worms with dramatic throats

still pinkly exposed, ... who have yet to learn
the first harsh lesson of survival: to devour
their weaker siblings in the high-leafed ferned
fortress and impregnable bower

from which men must fly like improbable dreams
to become poets. They have yet to grasp that,
before they can soar starward like fanciful archaic machines,
they must first assimilate the latest technology, ... or

lose all in the sudden realization of gravity,
following Icarus’s sun-unwinged, singed trajectory.



The Higher Atmospheres
by Michael R. Burch

Whatever we became climbed on the thought
of Love itself; we floated on plumed wings
ten thousand miles above the breasted earth
that had vexed us to such Distance; now all things
seem small and pale, a girdle’s handsbreadth girth ...

I break upon the rocks; I break; I fling
my human form about; I writhe; I writhe.
Invention is not Mastery, nor wings
Salvation. Here the Vulture cruelly chides
and plunges at my eyes, and coos and sings ...

Oh, some will call the sun my doom, but Love
melts callow wax the higher atmospheres
leave brittle. I flew high: not high enough
to melt such frozen resins ... thus, Her jeers.



In the Whispering Night
by Michael R. Burch

for George King

In the whispering night, when the stars bend low
till the hills ignite to a shining flame,
when a shower of meteors streaks the sky
as the lilies sigh in their beds, for shame,
we must steal our souls, as they once were stolen,
and gather our vigor, and all our intent.
We must heave our husks into some raging ocean
and laugh as they shatter, and never repent.
We must dance in the darkness as stars dance before us,
soar, Soar! through the night on a butterfly's breeze:
blown high, upward-yearning, twin spirits returning
to the heights of awareness from which we were seized.

Published by Songs of Innocence, Romantics Quarterly, Poetry Life & Times and The Chained Muse



Elemental
by Michael R. Burch

for and after Dylan Thomas

The poet delves earth’s detritus—hard toil—
for raw-edged nouns, barbed verbs, vowels’ lush bouquet;
each syllable his pen excretes—dense soil,
dark images impacted, rooted clay.

The poet sees the sea but feels its meaning—
the teeming brine, the mirrored oval flame
that leashes and excites its turgid surface ...
then squanders years imagining love’s the same.

Belatedly, he turns to what lies broken—
the scarred and furrowed plot he fiercely sifts,
among death’s sicksweet dungs and composts seeking
one element whose scorching flame uplifts.



Premonition
by Michael R. Burch

Now the evening has come to a close and the party is over ...
we stand in the doorway and watch as they go—
each stranger, each acquaintance, each casual lover.

They walk to their cars and they laugh as they go,
though we know their forced laughter’s the wine ...
then they pause at the road where the dark asphalt flows
endlessly on toward Zion ...

and they kiss one another as though they were friends,
and they promise to meet again “soon” ...
but the rivers of Jordan roll on without end,
and the mockingbird calls to the moon ...

and the katydids climb up the cropped hanging vines,
and the crickets chirp on out of tune ...
and their shadows, defined by the cryptic starlight,
seem spirits torn loose from their tombs.

And we know their brief lives are just eddies in time,
that their hearts are unreadable runes
carved out to stand like strange totems in sand
when their corpses lie ravaged and ruined ...

You take my clenched fist and you give it a kiss
as though it were something you loved,
and the tears fill your eyes, brimming with the soft light
of the stars winking sagely above ...

Then you whisper, "It's time that we went back inside;
if you'd like, we can sit and just talk for a while."
And the hope in your eyes burns too deep, so I lie
and I say, "Yes, I would," to your small, troubled smile.



Leave Taking (II)
by Michael R. Burch

Although the earth renews itself, and spring
is lovelier for all the rot of fall,
I think of yellow leaves that cling and hang
by fingertips to life, let go . . . and all
men see is one bright instance of departure,
the flame that, at least height, warms nothing. I,

have never liked to think the ants that march here
will deem them useless, grimly tramping by,
and so I gather leaves’ dry hopeless brilliance,
to feel their prickly edges, like my own,
to understand their incurled worn resilience—
youth’s tenderness long, callously, outgrown.

I even feel the pleasure of their sting,
the stab of life. I do not think —at all—
to be renewed, as earth is every spring.
I do not hope words cluster where they fall.
I only hope one leaf, wild-spiraling,
illuminates the void, till glad hearts sing.

It's not that every leaf must finally fall ...
it's just that we can never catch them all.



Because She Craved the Very Best
by Michael R. Burch

Because she craved the very best,
he took her East, he took her West;
he took her where there were no wars
and brought her bright bouquets of stars ...

The blush and fragrances of roses,
the hush an evening sky imposes,
moonbeams pale and garlands rare,
and golden combs to match her hair ...

A nightingale to sing all night,
white wings, to let her soul take flight ...
She stabbed him with a poisoned sting
and as he lay there dying,
she screamed, "I wanted everything!"
and started crying.



Wonderland
by Michael R. Burch

We stood, kids of the Lamb, to put to test
the beatific anthems of the blessed,
the sentence of the martyr, and the pen’s
sincere religion. Magnified, the lens
shot back absurd reflections of each face—
a carnival-like mirror. In the space
between the silver backing and the glass,
we caught a glimpse of Joan, a frumpy lass
who never brushed her hair or teeth, and failed
to pass on GO, and frequently was jailed
for awe’s beliefs. Like Alice, she grew wee
to fit the door, then couldn’t lift the key.
We failed the test, and so the jury’s hung.
In Oz, “The Witch is Dead” ranks number one.



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.



www.firesermon.com
by Michael R. Burch

your gods have become e-vegetation;
your saints—pale thumbnail icons; to enlarge
their images, right-click; it isn’t hard
to populate your web-site; not to mention

cool sound effects are nice; Sound Blaster cards
can liven up dull sermons, [zing some fire];
your drives need added Zip; you must discard
your balky paternosters: ***!!! Desire!!!

these are the watchwords, catholic; you must
as Yahoo! did, employ a little lust :)
if you want great e-commerce; hire a bard
to spruce up ancient language, shed the dust

of centuries of sameness;
                                             lameness *****;
your gods grew blurred; go 3D; scale; adjust.



Happily Never After (the Second Curse of the ***** Toad)
by Michael R. Burch

He did not think of love of Her at all
frog-plangent nights, as moons engoldened roads
through crumbling stonewalled provinces, where toads
(nee princes) ruled in chinks and grew so small
at last to be invisible. He smiled
(the fables erred so curiously), and thought
bemusedly of being reconciled
to human flesh, because his heart was not
incapable of love, but, being cursed
a second time, could only love a toad’s . . .
and listened as inflated frogs rehearsed
cheekbulging tales of anguish from green moats . . .
and thought of her soft croak, her skin fine-warted,
his anemic flesh, and how true love was thwarted.

Originally published by Romantics Quarterly



130 Refuted
by Michael R. Burch

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red ...
— Shakespeare, Sonnet 130

Seas that sparkle in the sun
without its light would have no beauty;
but the light within your eyes
is theirs alone; it owes no duty.
And that flame, not half as bright,
is meant for me, and brings delight.

Coral formed beneath the sea,
though scarlet-tendriled, cannot warm me;
while your lips, not half so red,
just touching mine, at once inflame me.
And the searing flames your lips arouse
fathomless oceans fail to douse.

Bright roses’ brief affairs, declared
when winter comes, will wither quickly.
Your cheeks, though paler when compared
with them?—more lasting, never prickly.
And your cheeks, so dear and warm,
far vaster treasures, need no thorns.

Originally published by Romantics Quarterly



Heat Lightening
by Michael R. Burch

Each night beneath the elms, we never knew
which lights beyond dark hills might stall, advance,
then lurch into strange headbeams tilted up
like searchlights seeking contact in the distance . . .

. . . quiescent unions . . . thoughts of bliss, of hope . . .
long-dreamt appearances of wished-on stars . . .
like childhood’s long-occluded, nebulous
slow drift of half-formed visions . . . slip and bra . . .

Wan moonlight traced your features, perilous,
in danger of extinction, should your hair
fall softly on my eyes, or should a kiss
cause them to close, or should my fingers dare

to leave off childhood for some new design
of whiter lace, of flesh incarnadine.



Hymn to an Art-o-matic Laundromat
by Michael R. Burch

after Richard Moore’s “Hymn to an Automatic Washer”

O, terrible-immaculate
ALL-cleansing godly Laundromat,
where cleanliness is next to Art
—a bright Kinkade (bought at K-Mart),
a Persian rug (made in Taiwan),
a Royal Bonn Clock (time zone Guam)—
embrace my *** in cushioned vinyl,
erase all marks: ****, vaginal,
******, inkspot, red wine, dirt.
O, sterilize her skirt, my shirt,
my skidmarked briefs, her padded bra;
suds-away in your white maw
all filth, the day’s accumulation.
Make us pure by INUNDATION.

Published by The Oldie, where it was the winner of a poetry contest



If Love Were Infinite
by Michael R. Burch

If love were infinite, how I would pity
our lives, which through long years’ exactitude
might seem a pleasant blur—one interlude
without prequel or sequel—wanly pretty,
the gentlest flame the heart might bring to bear
to tepid hearts too sure of love to flare.

If love were infinite, why would I linger
caressing your fine hair, lost in the thought
each auburn strand must shrivel with this finger,
and so in thrall to time be gently brought
to final realization: love, amazing,
must leave us ash for all our fiery blazing.

If flesh’s heat once led me straight to you,
love’s arrow’s burning mark must pierce me through.



Imperfect Sonnet
by Michael R. Burch

A word before the light is doused: the night
is something wriggling through an unclean mind,
as rats creep through a tenement. And loss
is written cheaply with the moon’s cracked gloss
like lipstick through the infinite, to show
love’s pale yet sordid imprint on us. Go.

We have not learned love yet, except to cleave.
I saw the moon rise once ... but to believe ...
was of another century ... and now ...
I have the urge to love, but not the strength.

Despair, once stretched out to its utmost length,
lies couched in squalor, watching as the screen
reveals “love’s” damaged images: its dreams ...
and ******* limply, screams and screams.



Renown

for Jeremy

Words fail us when, at last,
we lie unread amid night’s parchment leaves,
life’s chapter past.

Whatever I have gained of life, I lost,
except for this bright emblem
of your smile . . .

and I would grasp
its meaning closer for a longer while . . .
but I am glad

with all my heart to be unheard,
and smile,
bound here, still strangely mortal,

instructed by wise Love not to be sad,
when to be the lesser poet
meant to be “the world’s best dad.”



Late Frost
by Michael R. Burch

The matters of the world like sighs intrude;
out of the darkness, windswept winter light
too frail to solve the puzzle of night’s terror
resolves the distant stars to salts: not white,

but gray, dissolving in the frigid darkness.
I stoke cooled flames and stand, perhaps revealed
as equally as gray, a faded hardness
too malleable with time to be annealed.

Light sprinkles through dull flakes, devoid of color;
which matters not. I did not think to find
a star like Bethlehem’s. I turn my collar
to trudge outside for cordwood. There, outlined

within the doorway’s arch, I see the tree
that holds its boughs aloft, as if to show
they harbor neither love, nor enmity,
but only stars: insignias I know—

false ornaments that flash, overt and bright,
but do not warm and do not really glow,
and yet somehow bring comfort, soft delight:
a rainbow glistens on new-fallen snow.



Over(t) Simplification
by Michael R. Burch

“Keep it simple, stupid.”

A sonnet is not simple, but the rule
is simply this: let poems be beautiful,
or comforting, or horrifying. Move
the reader, and the world will not reprove
the idiosyncrasies of too few lines,
too many syllables, or offbeat beats.

It only matters that she taps her feet
or that he frowns, or smiles, or grimaces,
or sits bemused—a child—as images
of worlds he’d lost come flooding back, and then . . .
they’ll cheer the poet’s insubordinate pen.

A sonnet is not simple, but the rule
is simply this: let poems be beautiful.



The Lingering and the Unconsoled Heart
by Michael R. Burch

There is a silence—
the last unspoken moment
before death,

when the moon,
cratered and broken,
is all madness and light,

when the breath comes low and complaining,
and the heart is a ruin
of emptiness and night.

There is a grief—
the grief of a lover's embrace
while faith still shimmers in a mother’s tears ...

There is no dismaler time, nor place,
while the faint glimmer of life is ours
that the lingering and the unconsoled heart fears

beyond this: seeing its own stricken face
in eyes that drift toward some incomprehensible place.

Keywords/Tags: modern, sonnet, sonnets, free, verse, song, traditional, romantic, romanticism, art, artisan
Thia Jones Apr 2014
This is how it goes
your hands will be proxy for mine
my hands will be proxy for yours
your fingers my fingers
and my fingers yours
what I describe, you enact
told in detail so exact

Just to begin
I squeeze your *******
knead and pinch
tweak a ******
give it a tug

Stroke your tummy
work over your thighs
move up the inner
where skin is smooth
circle around, moving in
till soft contours are caressed
through pants that burn
to be removed
that pain you to wear
and I see in my mind
as you describe
the spreading, darkening patch
that fills the gusset

Now they're pulled down
removed quickly, completely
and you are revealed
spread, opened, shameless

Gentle fingertips tease
dance in circles, barely touching
yet the fire within grows
back and forth, round and round
dance the fingertips
as both reciprocate
with growing pace
and firmer touch

I hear you gasp down the line
and your breathing quickens
as you hear mine
as your excitement fuels mine
as mine fuels yours
in our feedback loop of lust

And I tell you how
my fingertip would give way
to tonguetip if I could
that I can taste you
in my imagination
fragrant, salty sweetness
with musky undertones
the tip of my tongue now circling
then flicking back and forth
beating out the rhythm
that you best harmonise with
bringing forth your moans

Then darting down, back
between wet, glistening folds
exploring each ridge and valley
working remorselessly

Breathing faster now
with animal grunts and moans
directions of pleasure gasped
breathless down the phone

As fingers again
take the lead
find the opening
slip readily within
probe, explore, ****
find that place
on your front wall
yes, just that spot
that's a little rougher
and feels sooo goood

Add a second finger
working and *******
licking and rubbing
moaning and gasping
barely intelligible now
...yess...more...yess...ohhh
are all that have meaning

Finger three joins one and two
then the pressure builds
demanding release
and shaking and thrusting
grows to shuddering
and...yes...yesss...sooo clooose

******* faster furiously
till we both explode
hearing each other's
voicing of our ecstasy
in language intelligible
only in this one context

Brains and voices return
as we bask in the afterglow
and what passes between us then
in those moments
is the deepest intimacy of all

Cynthia Pauline Jones 01/02/2014
Louis Brown Aug 2010
I remember the beginning
And how you took my heart
The way your arms would hold me
Your lips so warm and soft
The way you bit my neck
To grab my full attention
And off to wilder tempos
Till love relieved our tension
We’d relax a moment
In lovers' afterglow
And soon you’d be right back
And off again we’d go
You woke my sleeping senses
And warmed me to the bone
Our loving was fantastic
With thunder in our *****
Just like two thoroughbreds
We pushed our outer limits
Holding back just barely
To delay the final finish
Milking all the sweetness
As hungry lovers might
To reach another pinnacle
Before the morning light
Copyright Louis Brown
Seán Mac Falls Jul 2015
Bright as any dawn
After dark breaks universe
Wildflowers open
SE Reimer Aug 2015
~

where clear blue sky meets water's deep
his sunbeams reach her waves to tease,
to warm her currents, foaming spray;
dawn to dusk when daylight fades,
till only afterglow remains,
an interlude of celestial stage.

he speaks to her on written sky
and in the mournful sea-bird's cry,
wraps sultry ribbons in her tresses,
his fingers linger in caresses,
and in soothing choreography
he gently stirs her ocean's breeze.

he sends her gifts of palm and dates,
wrapped on waves in salty sprays;
watches her with much delight,
he sings to her each eventide,
love songs with the calling gull,
and rocks her tween the gusts and lulls.

wedded at horizon’s edge,
devotion to her he has pledged,
to have forever and to hold,
his comfort to her storm-tossed soul;
his tender kiss on tear-stained cheek,
where clear blue sky meets water's deep.

~

post script.

when one gazes
into the vastness
of sea and sky,
of what is from
height to depth
an endless blue,
one cannot but think
of eternal devotion,
of the relationship
between two who have
pledged their forever troth!


as i wonder from what recesses
this one came, i remember…
our 36th wedding anniversary
is fast approaching...
i’ve been thinking of what to gift her
that will make her cry anew.


**thank you to Hello Poetry for
the tremendous honor bestowed
with their designation of this poem as the daily
and to all who have expressed their heartfelt
love and appreciation... your message
came through loud and clear...
there can be no denying it,
i am an incredibly blessed man
because of each of you!  
thank you, truly,
from the bottom of my heart!
traces of being Mar 2016
.
                  It was the arc
                        of the rainbow
                              strewn above  
                                  thunder showered
                                     dawn;
                                         sun rays
                                           bending  
                                             into another
                                               resurrection
                                                 freshening hope
                                                   ..., or   
                                                      is it only
                                                        flecks
                                                          of colored light
                                                            curving
                                                         ­    in an arch
                                                            ­ your supple
                                                          ­  vestige
                                                            risi­ng to the sighs
                                                           of passionate touch ?
                                                           ..., perhaps just
                                                          leftover stardust,  * * *
                                                        spilled­ from                  *
                                         ­             someone else’s                      *
                                   ­                impassioned twilight ...                     *
                                                 becoming      ­                                         *
                                               nothing more
                                            than a hollow
                                          waning memory,
                                        a yearning ache,
                                    fading
                ­                like a  sunrise
                        daydream’s
                   afterglow



                                        wild is the wind © 2015
                                                ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩
while looking out across
the empty silk sheets of dawn,
where you once lay..,
a rainbow filled the sky
the colour & shape,
the memory of moonlight upon
your body's sway....
Umi May 2018
Do you remember how you stood there ?
When the sun had set and the afterglow started to fade, you stood proud, slightly upon the dusk, brilliantly, majestically yet so tiny,
You looked so lonely and helpless, as light faded into darkness,
Covering the world; a sweet blanket filled with many twinkling stars,
How impossible it seems to turn back, have you realized how you changed so drastically, my little sparkling friend over such little time?
Irrational the things hidden away by the night, no moon comes to rise
If you would realise, how this world really is, or the place you are being led, softly, gently, elegantly to stand would be like, what then ?
Have you changed because, you calmly, without having any knowledge fear the night and it's lingering, loitering darkness ?
The night is stained with illusions, keep your gaze up to the sky and follow another star, then surely you would be able to reach your goal,
When you engage in pure furies, the whereabouts of the heart remain undetermined, you just lose yourself within its wandering fragrance,
Because the world you had taken for granted collapsed into somber,
Collapsed into a dimmer more frightening state of undefined beauty,
Everything is far too late, impossible to return now, it has been decided that it maybe should have been so, a loitering darkness to be,
You are part of this world now, standing where you are don't you think that this sky, slumbering earth is as allure as nothing else ?
If it awakens your wish will become true and you will disappear by the sight of the daybreak, the sun takes over with her golden light,
The world you have forgotten will reappear then everything starts a new and maybe one day you too will understand, my dearest,
That the night is something very beautiful.

~ Umi
David Hall Aug 2014
two bolts of lightning
flash at the very same time
you streaking your way
and me streaking mine

for the briefest of moments
together we lit up the sky
then the whole world went dark
with no one left to ask why

that brilliant light is gone forever
all that’s left are cloudy skies
and your afterglow in the lonely dark
at night when I close my eyes
LD Goodwin Mar 2013
Afterglow
Lover's blush
Passionate blood rush
Insuppressible incandescence on skin
Blossom
Harrogate, TN   March 2013
Nico Julleza Nov 2017
∙∙∙◦◦•◎•◦◦∙∙∙
Shut the doors
and drift the words away
we act like rascals
toiling with our frays
weakening to the knees
idyllic river feels,
reaching an ominous sea
longing our moments
as our tale would breathe

She adores many
may it be pretty in pink
or baby in blues
but I like most a lot
how she paints prism hues
unfailingly she tells me
—that she's in love
and I could tell
in her gleaming smile
extending up above

She's the Juliet
I would never trade
the starlight in between
my midnight eyes
the snow I would trail

A poem and A prose
everyone's dying to sigh
a binding might
our hearts of ribbons tied
and we sat to an oriel
—above the bedroom floor
touching hands
grasping each other’s core
a common connection
the afterglows of love
a better reason
as we left kisses to depart
#Eternally #Inspired #Love

(NCJ)POETRYProductions. ©2017
Stu Harley Jun 2013
after the rains
lord you give us
the rainbow but
where to find
this sacred
*** of gold
yet i know
the real beauty
is the afterglow
red blue green
yellow violet and
some indigo
Vernon Waring Feb 2017
towels mingle toss tease
in an unforgiving rush of water
merrily tumbling through waves
rich with detergent

meanwhile dark fabrics twist
in an angry climactic surf
while lighter colors undulate elsewhere
in a wet frivolous frenzy

dainty lingerie -
in yet another machine -
gently sails in a delicate ballet...
whites, pinks, muted yellows and blues
intermingle playfully as they wait
for the cool rinse cycle to commence
and perform its own unique magic

finally the dryers prevail
and the folded garments rest on a table -
the warm spent players basking
in a glorious afterglow
Dauphin Dolphin Dec 2013
An early, gentle breeze billows
the curtains and lilts a rose that blushes
from the memories of last night’s love.

A hush of air teases a white shirt
with a strawberry kiss on the collar,
still draped across the back of the chair
where it was carelessly tossed the night before.

Sweet sunbeams tug linen sheets and smile
warmly and sweetly behind the ears.
Good morning, love.

Safety and silence, slowly breathing
within an embrace in the only moment
that has ever caressed like this.
Draft 3
MickeyP Aug 2015
Allow me to steer you from this endless road of monotony
to a luminous land
where you will be bathed in an effervescent afterglow
Created by a realm of invisible possibilities
spun into the iridescent colorwheel of hope
Ataxia
Melt into my embracing arms
as I lead you through a state of comatose
I will guide you to the kaleidescape
And you will
Understand
How encaged you have been
by the life presented
By the fearful and the small
So enraptured by the mundane
So afraid to rearrange
I understand the temptation .
Believe me
I understand
But allow me to explain how the ultimate risk you take
Is when your fear of not knowing
is why it all remains the same

mp
deanena tierney Jan 2011
In the afterglow of prodigal, there is found a sour taste,
One of worthless memories, and of time that was a waste.
A bitterness which became ingrown by neglectful disconnect,
Which thrives on learned indifference and a lack of self respect.
And as for needs, there are not many, shy of another breath.
But even that is questionable, still there is no desire for death.
A ticking clock with broken hands, there's no edge on the knife,
Thus only the heartbeat's contrary to, an empty pointless life.
Johnny Monologue Sep 2012
When the sun flits behind the horizon of your heart;
Its pallid afterglow blazing into the sky;
Read these words, and know that I loved you.
No other was ever of such fine creation;
I loved your every fleeting emotion.
I loved the changes in your aging face,
And the sorrows of your slowing pace.
I loved the shattering light of your feeling.
And your great, heaving sighs, your breathing.
I loved you with a love that time cannot deny.
Know that I still love you, slowly as you die.
Seán Mac Falls Mar 2016
Bright as any dawn
After dark breaks universe
Wildflowers open
Stu Harley Sep 2023
Love brings the afterglow, a gentle hue,
In its warm embrace, our spirits renew.
With hearts entwined, we watch it grow,
As love paints the skies in a radiant show.

In the twilight's quiet, love's whispers sing,
With every touch, it takes to wing.
In the moments after the sun does go,
Love brings the afterglow.

In the calm of night, under the moon's soft light,
Love's presence shines, oh, so bright.
With each tender kiss and each loving flow,
Love's beauty lingers in the afterglow.

So let us cherish this love we've found,
In its gentle radiance, we are truly bound.
With every day's end, and the stars aglow,
Love brings the afterglow.
Blackbird Sep 2017
She opens herself to me
As I press in deeper
Her scent releases me
My heart is on fire

Together we move
To the rhythm of our hearts
Faster, harder deeper
Ecstasy unleashed

Hot breath mingling
In the cold night air
Moonlight dancing in her eyes
Hearts light becoming brighter

She is the honey on my lips
The fire that consumes me
Every part of me is released
As our love is spent

Together in the afterglow
We hold each other closely
Locked in loves sweet embrace
Waiting for the tide to rise again
Chris D Aechtner Aug 2012
Momentary lapses of shyness within pretentiousness the size of a non-la-hat
offering shade from the sweltering sun,
confused the boy still residing beneath an
exterior of brashness. A wooing of rose or
lotus petals? Did she not enjoy such frivolity?
What of a bard letting words slide through
the air like silk, for I didn't possess such
romantic poetry.
__

Instead, I embarked upon a journey of false-heroism, took a bullet, figured it to shape me
into a man. I showed off the wound, blood soaking through the bandages--you seemed far from impressed by this display of stupidity.
Yet you played coy, bending over,
letting sunlight play through a thin
summer dress, highlighting inner thighs,
lines arching up into a dome of dizzy-
delirium so sensual it almost appeared sinful.

At night you'd undress before a naked
window, let shadows flirt across moonlit dew.
It was all I could do to keep eyes averted,
instead, living on dreams of unwrapping gifts
under the influence of feverish waves,
even though I never forgot to take quinine.

And after all the games, I had only to stay
still long enough for you to complete another sketch, take its lines, breathe together a new poem, unleashing torrents of words into my ear. A funny sort of unconventional, tactile courtship. You wanted for me to listen,
to test my patience, and once your head
was emptied out, heat arose from the bloom, enveloping me in soft petals, vanquishing
my fever, with a different feverish embrace.
Your eyes almost felled me with their complexities of virginal innocence and a whorish lust. The thrusts,
lips and fingers, the blended push-pull
of rhythm and wild abandon
caused me to lose myself long enough,
to find your soul drifting alongside my own,
amongst the stars that had always been shining amongst the light already written
before our birth.
June 2nd, 2012
Luna Apr 2019
I'm feeling pretty *****.
Or maybe I'm just desperate for an intimate relationship
And I fantasize about sensuality
because I crave the passionate love between two human beings
And I fantasize about skin rubbing skin
the sweat dripping between them
The mixing of two souls and the conjunction of two bodies
The beautiful slopes and curves of her figure
slowly caressing mine
The soft whispers of love that brush against my ear
And trail kisses down my neck
Her soft gasp as I trail my fingers up her thigh
my other hand grasping the back of her head, threading my fingers through her hair
Pulling her closer, ever closer
Her nails digging into my back
Leaving stinging red marks to remind me of her
when I leave for work in the morning
touching the scratches, I'll remember her
In the afterglow
Her arm around me, our legs tangled together
Her hair curled wild around her face
"I love you"
she whispers
Giving me a tender peck on the lips
Before blissfully surrendering to exhaustion
I watch her chest rise and fall
Her soft breathing lulls me to sleep
I'll smile when I think of her
Because I'll remember her words
"I love you"
They'll ring through my mind
"I love you"
Following me wherever I go
"I love you"
Lighting the candle in my heart
The flame growing brighter and brighter with each hushed word
"I love you"

or maybe I'm just *****.
Łëïçkî Jan 2020
Mosquito bites and warm summer nights.
Cold beers and unfounded drunken fears.
Sinning in the garage,
Seeing double like a mirage
Driving slow and enjoying the afterglow.
Sweet *** and the afterglow.
My sweet romantic teenage nights

— The End —