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Robin Carretti Aug 2018
Do you really think
everything you
see and touch or
love with such care
Has your name on it
   *      *      *      *      
*Divinity meet the Great

     *      *      *      *      
Lifetimes healing two freaking amazing feet


The house Mr. and Mrs.
   I suppose?
I double dare them
Great Play "Domino"
Where art thou freaking
match
Lover of all time Romeo

Prince and the Pauper her lovely
peasant dress the big catch of the day
This is the fisherman
All hooks and bait of
workmanship
The naked play Julliete
begin
So totally wherein

The spiritual home
never doubt I love

Shakespearian historian
Two Love DovesVictorain
Spiritual growth

Unconditionally
Freaking Great Earth

Defines your passion
The best creation your birth
Our defeat nothing turns
automatically sweet

This is our
"Great Expectations"

What to value anymore
Constitution versus the
Freaking Show Institution

Full bloom maturity growing
adventure unknown
On the same wavelength
He still dresses the same
In the Same town
New York Serendipity
Ice cream cookie dough mix the
freak shakes

That's great no time for breaks
The Baskin sin Robbins
Robin Bob Bobbin

People are not surviving
Their world is too weak
They cannot stretch to hold

The French connection kiss
fourteen carats of gold
Making a rise in good stock
Cattle sold
The Trump Tower fall out stars
The great year for puzzles

The worlds are full of moments
when we shouldn't be laughing
Not a great time he meets your
sadness
Round star of tears kindness

In her movement happiness walk
The worst times bring out her
   freaky nature  

Never aches either to change
Furniture looks modern cold
freaking great hot she was told

To be bonded in a marriage
Feeling older like her antique
wicker baby carriage
Eiffel tower the powerful
romance hour meeting her
happy hour

He is shopping for suits
Going back to his Brooklyn roots
smells of food feeling good

Getting into someone's mind
Meet Robin Hood
If I can turn back time the vessel
The Joker wild fossil

Like a freaking booker
there is no guarantee
The Suspense is killing me
don't freak out

Not paying your rent on-time
Those specks marked up your glasses
Time passes but your making a
spectacle of yourself


Imagine the world all alone
Brillantina smiling at
the Mona Lisa petite ballerina
Great Professor brother
Freaking out sister
Two-headed circus the Freakshow  
The haves or
the have-nots week went slow

The trees someone's apple poison
Gives someone such pleasure
companion what a complicated
mission

  Too deeply dwell in the possibilities

Each morning we are born again
Broke some blood capillaries
Or time will tell the Vampire Diaries

Tomorrow is another day
How you wish every day was payday

Almond eyes creaminess
The pick-up color of your dress
What is curdling freaky spooking
No time to Hail the Mary
Milk Soy what a cute
little miracle boy

Even talking on your
Light up tree ringtones
Out of your comfort
high cheekbones
Egyptian Camels sandstorm
Kiss your Mother just feel

His smile fireplace candescent
With your lover, he could
paint your body how
time just went in a heartbeat

The world is moving but
you're losing some gravity
But he lifts some parts
Sinking your teeth into the
best corn on the cob

Medieval times his
sword is taking
Anew freaking shape
Emerging and peeking out
Hair is French braided fine
knotted

He zooms out freaking great
one of a kind Corvette
Calling to you your name
He told the world
standing like a God
We are all freaking great
  
Poets* Just start to know it
This is freaking great or not we laugh sometimes when things aren't funny but that's okay we need to move on and make it the better day even if our prayers are not answered its in our hearts the best parts are you-you are the freaking great
Robin Carretti Jul 2018
Walking and saying
Things our wellbeing
The soul needing love possessions
Have absolutely no meaning

Playing and praying
Overstaying and Under-paying
Rising sun and Symphonic searching

" Is this the way it is?" Tis the season

But the tightness no business like
searching business
  She is combined and mixed like a song
fully lined both with keynotes somehow
we declined
The feeling that you cannot breathe
or  trust both of us
 we can  bearly **** it all in
My music playing just click my belt buckle
Will start to begin

The soul is not a crime or just a rhyme
I barely cannot breathe
I am in a chuckle, you see his
smile raising up his dimple

Ms. Thumbelina cobblestone
narrow-minded street your
in the tightrope symphonic beat

But its dark outside your ringlets
Waved him on got excitedly mesmerized
His Goblet of wine she curls up in
his body heat brilliantly dazzled
The sky to your dreams he is
reaching your
soft side skin
whats actually within
our souls

So  hooked into your ride not to slide
better grades and goals
The awesomeness symphonic hatter
Victorian divineness
Her paper cut out hearts as real
as they come
The Eastside Symphonic tip of his
Heavenly Bliss private Quarters
What becomes of the broken hearted
Heads or dimes not landing on her stone
Floor heart
The Duke of all trades of the hat he's smart

Cool running ******
Addictions to the mind so fanatic
What a good soul sometimes
He overexaggerates about
love and fate darkness drives him demonic
What are you kidding me
She doesn't rest her heart on his
soul for the burning desires of food
for thought
She keeps piling his poems like any sport
He's her everything she learns to be taught

Searching lips pricing
Red bloodshot eyes of crying onions
She is so fierce controlling
Musically like a Tiger roaring
He is like a design of graphics tattoo
The earring piecing the sweetest taboo

More soul searching
She's the snake purse
to his snake eyes fancy,
he took a ride
Upper-false teeth
The upper west side
have some prideThe dark side
became her thing
The wildflower not to stand to
bloom and bang like her band

Westside sounds came deep
his pride and joy like a parade
and wickedly dark his charade

It was  sneaking up on her backside
And the other side was just hiding
and smiling
She definitely saw the light lamp post how
the smells came stronger the darkness of desire
she was famished not to have vanished

Feeling like a *** roast love continued
She had a gift for her lover, not the
toast who would brag to boost
Two ****** British what
divine glasses at a cost
The symphonic soul
captured them like the
Dark-Knight of words
Symphonic sounds came
hearing names
soulful hummingbirds buzz-net

And there weren't any more
words there was silence
Eating shepherds pie table was set

Taking over another soul that's a lie
just like magic searching for a love
so long ago became tragic
You need more perseverance
Her true love gave her
an incredible sixth sense
of deliverance
The top seat at the concert
classical wicked taste of music
candescent erotically sonic

She had this certain quality
He was a symphonic love bounty
Her lips moved so fitting fantastically
The flower shops caught her eye
She couldn't sense what was real or a lie
The fast pace of the people all worked up.
What a soulful smell music sounds
she faintly known

To her ear wanted to hear only him shown

Besides the faintly illuminated
shapes evergreens were
heartily trimmed
She stood out bright as the ground
She was turning gray losing reality
not to be found or heard
So soulful her lips speak
she was walking with her head up
in the air fancy dancey
How those men could speak.
You could smell all the ethnic
flavors of foods
She felt the search for something
of a Saint, she was trying to
hard to be good
What a Haydn, his wife
was the mad hair driving

Miss Daisy soul of hers crazy curled
inside her book
She's the lady-like curler
How he played through her hair
Hunchback of Notre Dame who was to blame?
How his eyes wondered playing
and observing
But she was holding his stare

like a womanizer and his eyes flew
what a haunting moon
But Samatha the harp shady tree
He said, my fair lady,
He's stringing something together

What! creepypasta but sometimes her powers were weak
The symphonic love potent every other week

Some Gothic man symphonic music started
Playing Rossini Opera he could stand on his head.
She was pinned to his eyes
Pinterest such interest
she was all bloomed like a fly

By witches, flower came he passed her and he knew exactly who she was as is but wait not his?
The pleading the beg humbug far from her tunes of the ladybug

Razzamatazz all body of Jazz jitterbug
He winked she-devil
summoned him on
What a binding spell
She wiped the sweat off her face
She was beautiful with pale
porcelain skin
So alluring walking
with her parasol
This is my darkness of a read I hope you enjoy flowers even if they perk you up if they are the darkness stay alive to bloom there will always be a flower like you
It was written before it was stone, my friend
She tells me a thousand reasons why her tides turn as they do
Each one of them knotting up
Before she ties the noose
She says it’s nothing personal
To disregard anything that was misconstrued
but Wasn’t it you, my darlin’?
I think it was you

I saw her again, late last night
She was wearing a ball gown and was
Sporting her converse tennis shoes
I caught a glimpse of her
As she kneeled down before him
That’s the hard thing about her
She’s a lie, but you can’t know that
Until you know her
and If you’ve known her, you’ll know
That there is no use
It’s a repetitive cycle that just
Begs to be true

When they put it on the stone
They put it on the cross
They made molds to make shapes
To accommodate
For what was lost
They found that what they’d hoped for
Was just a mask, a mirage
So they made up their own story to tell the masses
and On the next Sabbath, slaughtered the cause

and I suspect they took their time sewing shut the valves of your heart

and I don’t know what to do
You always ask me
Like I pay attention to the news
You’re surprised each time
I can’t tell you the truth
But you know what I am, don’t you honey
You’ve got my number, and you’ve got a plan
and I hope you don’t take me down with it
I hope you don’t take me down in it

The street lights, they don’t need a guide
To show them how, to show them out of
The dark night, the street lights
Don’t mind if you mind’s swollen
and Your heart is left open like a
Gaping wound, the street lights
They’ll keep you company tonight

In that moment, I became afraid
There was a disassociative effect
There you were, on the bed
and Then here I was, on the floor
Pulling at my skin
and I glanced at the window pane
Hoping the snow would lift my spirits
Instead I saw shards of glass
In my fists, going at it
I can’t even trust my mind anymore
It used to be my safe haven
Suddenly everything I came here for is
Out of sight, out of vision
and You’ve left your sword
and Abandoned your mission

You walked me home
You came and got me
I didn’t think you’d come, or anybody
I didn’t care,
I never expected anyone to come anyway
I mean that in the plainest way
We are conditioned in circumstance
Nothing else

Some of us fair better than others
and You’ll either survive, or you won’t
It’s the natural order, the law of evolution
We’ll **** out the defective genes,
and Enhance the most
We live in a society that insists
You stand on your own
but We live in a world
With a collective mindset
Who do we trust,
Our roots, or society as a whole?

and In the meantime we’ll try
We’ll do our best
Not to feel alone

I think you better get yourself
Some medical attention
You might have to call an ambulance kid
It could be serious
but I know how serious
Serious gets
and Right now this mess we got here,
This ain’t nothin’
I’m not gonna even
Worry myself about it

When I left I took
All my stuff with me
I took your heart, as it was bleeding
I got in my car, and
As I was leaving
I saw you standing in the window
You were crying, I shut my eyes
Slipped into reverse
Couldn’t help but glance in the mirror
and There you were, still standing
I saw the woman in the day room
Behind mountains of boxes
I knew you’d never leave, in that moment
That I’d return to a silhouette
Still crying, and
I’ve loved you in a way that a monster cannot feel
I don’t understand it, but I had to go
It was one of those moments when
Everything you’ve learned goes out the window
and That queer sensation, that lump in my throat
I didn’t know what it was until something willed me
To return home, you can’t identify
What you don’t know

In plain language
I don’t know how I’ll find a way
To forgive myself, but you
Keep trudging, you keep
Moving forward, because you
Don’t know what else to do
With yourself, because you can’t
Go home, this is your home,
but You are candescent
and Until the light returns to her heart
You will stand in the backdrop of it
jiminy-littly Jan 2017
moving inland far away from
the coast temptation doth bring
deeper in land the head seems consumed by everything

nearing the coast it's the heart that sings

though inland, my love, you will find me

away from the bogs or the shoals o' herring

holding you at bay with *****

keeping me next to me

wanting tomorrow to be the better day

my mind, an island for tromping shores
different from desert sands
when the tide of your concern reprimands

on this island the shells
are smaller and there are no dollars,  
the sea, a shrunken plastic expanse of
syringes and lip balm containers,
soft fluid-filled bodies turned into
sopping brown-bag skeletons,

revenges
of modern life.

there is a rivulet further up shore

do you feel it?

follow the inlet wind

near a candescent pond

there is a house

open the door

if you fall in

a home can be found.
T R-M Apr 2014
conversations are apocalyptic
your thoughts ring cryptic
the light behind your eyes is out
filament broken, candescent doubt.

distant life, a better time
and now you speak a cynics line.
a mind divided, a heart forlorn
tedium heeded, mundanity mourned.

your days seem numbered
comfort through slumber
your path moves slow,
inhibition unencumbered.

pleasure is tasteless
your smile is null
your neurons are wasting
their time in your skull

your voice found quiet,
defiant heartbeat unheard
but in your ears
it is as loud as a funeral dirge

minds recesses untidy,
soul’s embers are flighty
the heat of this bulb is on its way out
mechanism dilapidated, candescent doubt
Derekis Aug 2015
Transient nights of sleeping alone,
fingers tied in knots around my heart in wait.
it slowly drums to this hollow, lonely beat.
I know there is life and its all twisted inside.

Eternity prisms upon grey desolate plains,
a sound echoes across palpable heartstrings,
its music, enchanting in crescent domed skies,
my name on her lips, happiness in my eyes.

I see the mind of her world,
it sparkles and shines,
her light, beautiful, inside.

I wish I could come over,
make your walls break.
I want to get closer...
much closer..

Her elusive heart, a tower to climb,
her love for him, she cannot hide,
jealous wrath that beats in time,
and I feel nothing else inside..

Hope wrapped in coalescent knives,
it's searing pain, always burning,
corruption overtakes me, as it thrives,
scalding torment in my yearning.

I see the spire of her world,
it spirals and entwines,
it reaches the clouds and collides.

See my light fade,
watch it break...
as you two get closer,
much closer...

until darkness is all that remains..
corrupted and twisted inside..
RKM Jul 2011
Nigredo
Crawl to your calignous cave, where
The carbon walls will encroach your gray matter.
Choke on the ebb of your gnarled reason. Left imploring,
You will breathe the expanse, planets will taunt you.
Negligible, your ego will dissipate,
For you do not matter, are not matter, will not matter.
You will take the cathartic dragon,
Purge the soot from its gaping nostrils.
Shadows will multiply and thunder your eyeballs
Quick silver tears will swarm your porcelain peel.
So below, As above.


Albedo
I erupted from my candescent pool, where
The ivory baubles pirouetted in the cerulean sky,
Stimulated faith, insanity, rhapsody.
My unblemished chalk fingertips traced star-letters,
“I do mind, am mind, will mind.”
Bathing in this serene elation,
I released the congested swallows,
Scattered feathers upon the wasteland.
As above, So below.


Rubedo**
Soon will be a crippling inundation of crimson diamonds,
That will shred and tear her dusty membrane,
Waning shards will slowly clear and stitches will surface.
Recognition will ignite from her shadows and
Golden love will germinate in the sandy dunes.
Leaves will gather to crunch her toes.
The vitality queen will reign from her throne,
Encrusted with life, stone in hand,
So above, As below.
Shibu Varkey Dec 2016
A chariot is thine heart,
O thou rich tressed Selene
In which doth ride the tides,
of ardor, tepid aflame.

Strung to thy chariot by chords
Unseen yet tangible knot,
Whither thy chariot wandereth,
Thither draggeth me, constrained.

The chord unseen, yet bindeth,
Ethereal, tenuous sublime,
A barb so dolorous in seasons!
Other times candescent delight.

What causeth this bond precision?
Nay no reasonable cause,
Entrapped in each a residue
from prior existence unknown?

Why doth the string pull so constant,
Tho' intervenes a thousand miles!
Why cometh thine chariot  instant,
When unseen, my spirits' downcast?

Selene! ageless,deathless, thy Endymion,
Eternal though his sleep,
Our souls entwined forever,
Many an aeon shall we keep!!!
Persephone Aug 2013
Maybe I was an ocean in a past life
Drifting in and out of hearts  
like old blood and clotting wounds alike
And maybe I sank memories at sea
And threw overboard emotions raw
That drifted to the beach

And caught in nets the pain, regret
Mourns over and is swept up back again
Failed attempts at revival
New swimmer drowned
in deep waters ****** him
below candescent surface thinly veiled
and out of oxygen

Warning signs on sandy beach
Hard to miss, at every bend
But enticement, loneliness led you in
Those vices, magnets, human virtue
Lead swimmers to my muddy waters
each and every time
Seán Jul 2014
Some days the sky is a glass chalice we hold between our lips to take a sip
The palliative qualities divine in nature are seeping through the subtle splits on the surface of our palms
Fleeting textures suffuse through our quivering hands
Various hues illustrate the wrists as they coil upon the cadaverous structure
Outlining our internal scaffolding with diverse shades
Colours ricochet within our human receptacles
Our bodies are prisms allowing the light of the sun to shine
Beams break forth from the orifice that rests upon our undistinguished faces
Reminders of what is within splintering through every available opening
Wandering rays rendezvous at the core of the chest
Exploring uncharted paths on the geography of our physical selves
Transcendent roads vague to our periphery  
Slowly defining their forms on the outskirts of our wearied retinas
Our illuminated minds, embodying the sun  
candescent stones fortified by layers of bone meant to hold their fluorescence
Our organic beams of light, such tender arms, lingering in the punctured sky
are using the clouds as paintbrushes, pieced together bits of mosaic already at their disposal
Our backs resting on abstract clay with shifting pastels, whispering clarity into our cartilage
leftover laments torn apart to bits with the newfound realization that we are whole.
Like unearthed clairvoyance, we survey the translucent waters before us
peering into the stillness our bodies disrupt like the pillars of beautiful dissonance they are
A collaboration with Michelle Bellanova (@Bellan0va on twitter)
Tommy Randell Mar 2018
Am I lost in your Fire?
Why No!
No one gets lost
In the Fire ... It burns
With a brighter flame -

'Though I guess
The end is the same.

But you who burn
Do you know
We ashes at your feet,
Now we are all gone,
Do you remember
How we shone?
Vanessa Nichols Nov 2012
There are things,
Dark and secret things,
That hide in people.

Carving up the bone
And nestling in the marrow.
Sinking sharp claws in kidneys.

But you-
You darling of beauty, you diaphanous prism of light,
You cracked star shining-

You exist and therefore there is brilliance in the world.

You are a city of light
Set up on a hill for all to see.
All who come to you, are touched by your brightness.

You are a candescent and fiery thing.
Like the sun and lightning
There can be no shadows or true darkness near you.

And so,
Those who are empty-
Filled only with insubstantial night and shades,
With chiseled bones and a gloom that carries claws-
Recoil and lash out against you.

But you are bright, shining and marvelous.
Like the sun and lightning
You will again rise, and you will strike once more.

You are fire and a prism and a fortress of light.
You are glowing and brilliant and effulgent.
You are so very, very beautiful.
You are all things good.

Lady,
‘Fierce’ does not begin to plumb the depths of who your are.
Shine on.
Jessica Lofts Mar 2020
I have seen the words,
‘I love you’ ooze from mouths,
Like poison,
But on your lips,
They are a nectar I am dying to taste.

I sat looking at the stars,
And thought of you,
Wondrous, candescent,
And out of reach,
But still I could not look away,
Self-sabotage is a past time of mine – after all,
I am often hypnotised by  beautiful things.

With them as my guide,
Without them I am un-tethered,
Lost but you won’t find me there,
Shadows haunt the corridors,
Fragments scatter the halls,
I have let too many storms in,.
To call this place a home anymore.

I have spent,
An eternity crystallising,
Only to shatter,
When you look at me,
The pieces fall and reform,
I have never seen them shine so brightly.

I desire the stillness,
That you bring me.
(draft)
Coleen Mzarriz Sep 2020
My feet wandered into
the serene shoreline
while the strong waves
hushed my cacophonic mind —
I strummed my fingers and gripped
tightly of my conch.
While my lips brushed around
its spiral shell — as I whispered my wishes
and blow through,
suddenly an angel
flew by and swiveled —
his wings burning.

From the heavens, he falls
right through the deserted sea.
My naked feet began to push
its life towards him —
he lies on the sand and his wings burning through.
Silhouettes of him rang on my mind;
gashes of water fell
through my eyes —
and whilst even the silence
grieved for us.
His burning wings calmed the strong winds —
the winter sea began to calm its strident waves
as I let myself lie awake beside him.

I closed my eyes and the replicas
of myself flashed through like a
candescent wind —
and there I saw a woman
lying in the hospital bed.
The sun mirroring the artificial light
through the windowpane;
the man standing beside her
had his wings folded —
and his eyes cold as the winter
and the woman dying in her
tranquil sleep.

The trees had fallen its last leaves,
and the winter is coming at dawn.
The man covered my eyes and I was at the
winter sea again —
“Mona, you will die in winter.”

And I woke up.
It was September.
I hope you can give me feedback about this poem. You can comment!

P.S you can also criticize this!

SONG: Sea Change - Stephan Moccio
JRBarclay Feb 2011
dimmed in-candescent trails
streaming through thoughtlessness
grow old in cold knowledge
flutter and waste a shuttered taste
dreaming of wonder, lust
deeming trust a liars blunder

knowing only flowing undertow
bestow a bow upon the tower
lead the weak to seek another
pray for prey to bleed together

cower beneath the power, beseech
teach words that preach not leach
we'll reach the peak of leakage
peel back the streak of team credence

desensitize the lies and compromise
deny the times i tried to feel demise
your eyes guided me, blinded me
snatched vision from decision

pale walls involve crawling, sprawling
drawing proof to unroof this calling
pawning you to the coup of dawning
may we start again, this time, yawning?
© J.R.Barclay, 2011
Michael R Burch Sep 2020
Poems about Poems: Ars Poetica


What the Poet Sees
by Michael R. Burch

What the poet sees,
he sees as a swimmer
~~~~underwater~~~~
watching the shoreline blur
sees through his breath’s weightless bubbles...
Both worlds grow obscure.

Published by ByLine, Mandrake Poetry Review, Poetically Speaking, E Mobius Pi, Underground Poets, Little Brown Poetry,  Triplopia, Poetic Ponderings, Poem Kingdom, PW Review, Neovictorian/Cochlea, Muse Apprentice Guild, Mindful of Poetry, Poetry on Demand, Poet’s Haven, Famous Poets and Poems and Bewildering Stories



Muse/Goddess
by Michael R. Burch

“What will you conceive in me?”―
I asked her. But she
only smiled.

“Naked, I bore your child
when the wolf wind howled,
when the cold moon scowled...
naked, and gladly.”

“What will become of me?”―
I asked her, as she
absently stroked my hand.

Centuries later, I understand;
she whispered―“I Am.”

This was the first poem to appear in the first issue of Romantics Quarterly; it has also been published by Penny Dreadful, Unlikely Stories, Underground Poets, Poetically Speaking, Poetry Life & Times and Little Brown Poetry



Currents
by Michael R. Burch

How can I write and not be true
to the rhythm that wells within?
How can the ocean not be blue,
not buck with the clapboard slap of tide,
the clockwork shock of wave on rock,
the motion creation stirs within?

Originally published by The Lyric



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
while 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 famished ocean
and laugh as they vanish, 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 in Songs of Innocence, Romantics Quarterly and Poetry Life & Times



What Works
by Michael R. Burch

for David Gosselin

What works―
hewn stone;
the blush the iris shows the sun;
the lilac’s pale-remembered bloom.

The frenzied fly: mad-lively, gay,
as seconds tick his time away,
his sentence―one brief day in May,
a period. And then decay.

A frenzied rhyme’s mad tip-toed time,
a ballad’s languid as the sea,
seek, striving―immortality.

When gloss peels off, what works will shine.
When polish fades, what works will gleam.

When intellectual prattle pales,
the dying buzzing in the hive
of tedious incessant bees,
what works will soar and wheel and dive
and milk all honey, leap and thrive,

and teach the pallid poem to seethe.



escape!
by michael r. burch

for anaïs vionet

to live among the daffodil folk...
slip down the rainslickened drainpipe...
suddenly pop out
the GARGANTUAN SPOUT...
minuscule as alice, shout
yippee-yi-yee!
in wee exultant glee
to be leaving behind the
LARGE
THREE-DENALI GARAGE.

This is another poem about poetic kinship ― here, escaping the real world for the world of imagination.



The Heimlich Limerick
by Michael R. Burch

for T. M.

The sanest of poets once wrote:
"Friend, why be a sheep or a goat?
Why follow the leader
or be a blind *******?"
But almost no one took note.



The Better Man
by Michael R. Burch

Dear Ed: I don’t understand why
you will publish this other guy―
when I’m brilliant, devoted,
one hell of a poet!
Yet you publish Anonymous. Fie!

Fie! A pox on your head if you favor
this poet who’s dubious, unsavor
y, inconsistent in texts,
no address (I checked!):
since he’s plagiarized Unknown, I’ll wager!

This double limerick was originally published by The Eclectic Muse (Canada)



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?

Originally published by Tucumcari Literary Review



Caveat Spender
by Michael R. Burch

It’s better not to speculate
"continually" on who is great.
Though relentless awe’s
a Célèbre Cause,
please reserve some time for the contemplation
of the perils of EXAGGERATION.

Originally published by The HyperTexts



The Beat Goes On (and On and On and On...)
by Michael R. Burch

Bored stiff by his board-stiff attempts
at “meter,” I crossly concluded
I’d use each iamb
in lieu of a lamb,
bedtimes when I’m under-quaaluded.

Originally published by Grand Little Things



US Verse, after Auden
by Michael R. Burch

“Let the living creature lie,
Mortal, guilty, but to me
The entirely beautiful.”

Verse has small value in our Unisphere,
nor is it fit for windy revelation.
It cannot legislate less taxing fears;
it cannot make us, several, a nation.
Enumerator of our sins and dreams,
it pens its cryptic numbers, and it sings,
a little quaintly, of the ways of love.
(It seems of little use for lesser things.)

Published by The Raintown Review, The Barefoot Muse and Poetry Life & Times

The Unisphere mentioned is a spherical stainless steel representation of the earth constructed for the 1964 New York World’s Fair. It was commissioned to celebrate the beginning of the space age and dedicated to "Man's Achievements on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe." The lines quoted in the epigraph are from W. H. Auden’s love poem “Lullaby.”



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



Poetry
by Michael R. Burch

I.

Poetry, I found you
where at last they chained and bound you;
with devices all around you
to torture and confound you,
I found you―shivering, bare.

They had shorn your raven hair
and taken both your eyes
which, once cerulean as Gogh's skies,
had leapt at dawn to wild surmise
of what was waiting there.

Your back was bent with untold care;
there savage brands had left cruel scars
as though the wounds of countless wars;
your bones were broken with the force
with which they'd lashed your flesh so fair.

You once were loveliest of all.
So many nights you held in thrall
a scrawny lad who heard your call
from where dawn’s milling showers fall―
pale meteors through sapphire air.

I learned the eagerness of youth
to temper for a lover’s touch;
I felt you, tremulant, reprove
each time I fumbled over-much.
Your merest word became my prayer.

You took me gently by the hand
and led my steps from child to man;
now I look back, remember when
you shone, and cannot understand
why now, tonight, you bear their brand.

II.

I will take and cradle you in my arms,
remindful of the gentle charms
you showed me once, of yore;
and I will lead you from your cell tonight
back into that incandescent light
which flows out of the core
of a sun whose robes you wore.
And I will wash your feet with tears
for all those blissful years...
my love, whom I adore.

I consider "Poetry" to be my Ars Poetica. I believe I wrote the first version of "Poetry" in my late teens, around age 18-19. Originally published by The Lyric, then subsequently by Amerikai költok a második (Hungarian translation by by István Bagi), La Luce Che Non Muore (Italy), The Eclectic Muse (Canada), Shabestaneh (Iran), Kritya (India), Sailing in the Mist of Time (Anthology of Fifty Award-Winning Poems), Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry, Captivating Poetry (Anthology), Formal Verse, Tucumcari Literary Review, The Chained Muse, Poet’s Haven, Poet’s Corner, Famous Poets and Poems and Inspirational Stories



Instruction
by Michael R. Burch

Toss this poem aside
to the filigreed and the prettified tide
of sunset.

Strike my name,
and still it is all the same.
The onset

of night is in the despairing skies;
each hut shuts its bright bewildered eyes.
The wind sighs

and my heart sighs with her―
my only companion, O Lovely Drifter!
Still, men are not wise.

The moon appears; the arms of the wind lift her,
pooling the light of her silver portent,
while men, impatient,

are beings of hurried and harried despair.
Now willows entangle their fragrant hair.
Men sleep.

Cornsilk tassels the moonbright air.
Deep is the sea; the stars are fair.
I reap.

Originally published by Romantics Quarterly



Chit Chat: In the Poetry Chat Room
by Michael R. Burch

WHY SHULD I LERN TO SPELL?
HELL,
NO ONE REEDS WHAT I SAY
ANYWAY!!!

Sing for the cool night,
whispers of constellations.
Sing for the supple grass,
the tall grass, gently whispering.
Sing of infinities, multitudes,
of all that lies beyond us now,
whispers begetting whispers.
And i am glad to also whisper...

I WUS HURT IN LUV I’M DYIN’
FER TH’ TEARS I BEEN A-CRYIN’!!!

i abide beyond serenities
and realms of grace,
above love’s misdirected earth,
i lift my face.
i am beyond finding now...

I WAS IN, LOVE, AND HE ******* ME!!!
THE ****!!! TOTALLY!!!

i loved her once, before, when i
was mortal too, and sometimes i
would listen and distinctly hear
her laughter from the juniper,
but did not go...

I JUST DON’T GET POETRY, SOMETIMES.
IT’S OKAY, I GUESS.
I REALLY DON’T READ THAT MUCH AT ALL,
I MUST CONFESS!!! ;-)

Travail, inherent to all flesh,
i do not know, nor how to feel.
Although i sing them nighttimes still:
the bitter woes, that do not heal...

POETRY IS BORING.
SEE, IT *****!!!, I’M SNORING!!! ZZZZZZZ!!!

The words like breath, i find them here,
among the fragrant juniper,
and conifers amid the snow,
old loves imagined long ago...

WHY DON’T YOU LIKE MY PERFICKT WORDS
YOU USELESS UN-AMERIC’N TURDS?!!!

What use is love, to me, or Thou?
O Words, my awe, to fly so smooth
above the anguished hearts of men
to heights unknown, Thy bare remove...

Originally published by The HyperTexts



Finally to Burn
(the Fall and Resurrection of Icarus)
by Michael R. Burch

Athena takes me
sometimes by the hand

and we go levitating
through strange Dreamlands

where Apollo sleeps
in his dark forgetting

and Passion seems
like a wise bloodletting

and all I remember
, upon awaking,

is: to Love sometimes
is like forsaking

one’s Being―to glide

heroically beyond thought,

forsaking the here
for the There and the Not.



O, finally to Burn,
gravity beyond escaping!

To plummet is Bliss
when the blisters breaking

rain down red scabs
on the earth’s mudpuddle...

Feathers and wax
and the watchers huddle...

Flocculent sheep,
O, and innocent lambs!,

I will rock me to sleep
on the waves’ iambs.



To sleep's sweet relief
from Love’s exhausting Dream,

for the Night has Wings
gentler than moonbeams―

they will flit me to Life
like a huge-eyed Phoenix

fluttering off
to quarry the Sphinx.



Riddlemethis,
riddlemethat,

Rynosseross,
throw out the Welcome Mat.

Quixotic, I seek Love
amid the tarnished

rusted-out steel
when to live is varnish.

To Dream―that’s the thing!
Aye, that Genie I’ll rub,

soak by the candle,
aflame in the tub.



Riddlemethis,
riddlemethat,

Rynosseross,
throw out the Welcome Mat.

Somewhither, somewhither
aglitter and strange,

we must moult off all knowledge
or perish caged.

*

I am reconciled to Life
somewhere beyond thought―

I’ll Live the Elsewhere,
I’ll Dream of the Naught.

Methinks it no journey;
to tarry’s a waste,

so fatten the oxen;
make a nice baste.

I’m coming, Fool Tom,
we have Somewhere to Go,

though we injure noone,
ourselves wildaglow.

Published by The Lyric and The Ekphrastic Review



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, then in The Best of the Eclectic Muse 1989-2003



The Whole of Wit
by Michael R. Burch

for Richard Moore

If brevity is the soul of wit
then brevity and levity
are the whole of it.

Published by Shot Glass Journal, Brief Poems, QuoteFancy, IdleHearts, AZquotes



Kin
by Michael R. Burch

for Richard Moore

1.
Shrill gulls,
how like my thoughts
you, struggling, rise
to distant bliss―
the weightless blue of skies
that are not blue
in any atmosphere,
but closest here...

2.
You seek an air
so clear,
so rarified
the effort leaves you famished;
earthly tides
soon call you back―
one long, descending glide...

3.
Disgruntledly you ***** dirt shores for orts
you pull like mucous ropes
from shells’ bright forts...
You eye the teeming world
with nervous darts―
this way and that...
Contentious, shrewd, you scan―
the sky, in hope,
the earth, distrusting man.

Originally published by Able Muse



The Harvest of Roses
by Michael R. Burch

for Harvey Stanbrough

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 when Harvey Stanbrough was the editor



Safe Harbor
by Michael R. Burch

for Kevin N. Roberts

The sea at night seems
an alembic of dreams―
the moans of the gulls,
the foghorns’ bawlings.

A century late
to be melancholy,
I watch the last shrimp boat as it steams
to safe harbor again.

In the twilight she gleams
with a festive light,
done with her trawlings,
ready to sleep...

Deep, deep, in delight
glide the creatures of night,
elusive and bright
as the poet’s dreams.

Published by The Lyric, Grassroots Poetry, Romantics Quarterly, Angle and Poetry Life & Times



At Wilfred Owen's Grave
by Michael R. Burch

A week before the Armistice, you died.
They did not keep your heart like Livingstone's,
then plant your bones near Shakespeare's. So you lie
between two privates, sacrificed like Christ
to politics, your poetry unknown
except for one brief flurry: thirteen months
with Gaukroger beside you in the trench,
dismembered, as you babbled, as the stench
of gangrene filled your nostrils, till you clenched
your broken heart together and the fist
began to pulse with life, so close to death.

Or was it at Craiglockhart, in the care
of "ergotherapists" that you sensed life
is only in the work, and made despair
a thing that Yeats despised, but also breath,
a mouthful's merest air, inspired less
than wrested from you, and which we confess
we only vaguely breathe: the troubled air
that even Sassoon failed to share, because
a man in pieces is not healed by gauze,
and breath's transparent, unless we believe
the words are true despite their lack of weight
and float to us like chlorine―scalding eyes,

and lungs, and hearts. Your words revealed the fate
of boys who retched up life here, gagged on lies.

Originally published by The Chariton Review



The Princess and the Pauper
by Michael R. Burch

for Norman Kraeft in memory of his beloved wife and fellow poet 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.



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.

Originally published by The HyperTexts



In a Stolen Moment
by Kim Cherub (an alias of Michael R. Burch)

In a stolen moment,
when the clock’s hands complete their inevitable course
and sleep is the night’s dark spell,
I call it a curse,

seeking the force,
the font of candescent words, the electric thrill
tingling from brain to spine
to incessant quill―

the fever, the chill.
I know it as well as I know myself.
Time’s second hand stirs; not I; in my cell,
words spill.

Originally published by The HyperTexts



Orpheus
by Michael R. Burch

after William Blake

I.
Many a sun
and many a moon
I walked the earth
and whistled a tune.

I did not whistle
as I worked:
the whistle was my work.
I shirked

nothing I saw
and made a rhyme
to children at play
and hard time.

II.
Among the prisoners
I saw
the leaden manacles
of Law,

the heavy ball and chain,
the quirt.
And yet I whistled
at my work.

III.
Among the children’s
daisy faces
and in the women’s
frowsy laces,

I saw redemption,
and I smiled.
Satanic millers,
unbeguiled,

were swayed by neither girl,
nor child,
nor any God of Love.
Yet mild

I whistled at my work,
and Song
broke out,
ere long.

Originally published by The HyperTexts



Discrimination
by Michael R. Burch

for poets who continue to write traditional poetry

The meter I had sought to find, perplexed,
was ripped from books of "verse" that read like prose.
I found it in sheet music, in long rows
of hologramic CDs, in sad wrecks
of long-forgotten volumes undisturbed
half-centuries by archivists, unscanned.
I read their fading numbers, frowned, perturbed―
why should such tattered artistry be banned?

I heard the sleigh bells’ jingles, vampish ads,
the supermodels’ babble, Seuss’s books
extolled in major movies, blurbs for abs...
A few poor thinnish journals crammed in nooks
are all I’ve found this late to sell to those
who’d classify free verse "expensive prose."

Originally published by The Chariton Review



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).

Originally published by Light Quarterly



Observance
by Michael R. Burch

Here the hills are old and rolling
carefully in their old age;
on the horizon youthful mountains
bathe themselves in windblown fountains...

By dying leaves and falling raindrops,
I have traced time's starts and stops,
and I have known the years to pass
almost unnoticed, whispering through treetops...

For here the valleys fill with sunlight
to the brim, then empty again,
and it seems that only I notice
how the years flood out, and in...

This is an early poem that made me feel like a real poet. I remember writing it in the break room of the McDonald's where I worked as a high school student. I believe that was at age 17. "Observance" was originally published by Nebo as "Reckoning." It was later published by Tucumcari Literary Review, Piedmont Literary Review, Verses, Romantics Quarterly, the anthology There is Something in the Autumn and Poetry Life & Times.



Millay Has Her Way with a Vassar Professor
by Michael R. Burch

After a night of hard drinking and spreading her legs,
Millay hits the dorm, where the Vassar don begs:
“Please act more chastely, more discretely, more seemly!”
(His name, let’s assume, was, er... Percival Queemly.)

“Expel me! Expel me!”―She flashes her eyes.

“Oh! Please! No! I couldn’t! That wouldn’t be wise,
for a great banished Shelley would tarnish my name...
Eek! My game will be lame if I can’t milque your fame!”

“Continue to live here―carouse as you please!”

the beleaguered don sighs as he sags to his knees.
Millay grinds her crotch half an inch from his nose:
“I can live in your hellhole, strange man, I suppose...
but the price is your firstborn, whom I’ll sacrifice to Moloch.”
(Which explains what became of pale Percy’s son, Enoch.)

Originally published by Lucid Rhythms



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.

Originally published by The HyperTexts



The Wonder Boys
by Michael R. Burch

(for Leslie Mellichamp, the late editor of The Lyric,
who was a friend and mentor to many poets, and
a fine poet in his own right)

The stars were always there, too-bright cliches:
scintillant truths the jaded world outgrew
as baffled poets winged keyed kites―amazed,
in dream of shocks that suddenly came true...

but came almost as static―background noise,
a song out of the cosmos no one hears,
or cares to hear. The poets, starstruck boys,
lay tuned in to their kite strings, saucer-eared.

They thought to feel the lightning’s brilliant sparks
electrify their nerves, their brains; the smoke
of words poured from their overheated hearts.
The kite string, knotted, made a nifty rope...

You will not find them here; they blew away―
in tumbling flight beyond nights’ stars. They clung
by fingertips to satellites. They strayed
too far to remain mortal. Elfin, young,

their words are with us still. Devout and fey,
they wink at us whenever skies are gray.

Originally published by The Lyric



The Singer
by Michael R. Burch

for Leslie Mellichamp

The sun that swoons at dusk
and seems to die—bright grace!—
breaks over distant shores
as a child’s uplifted face
takes up a song like yours.
We listen, and embrace
its warmth with dawning trust.



Dawn, to the Singer
by Michael R. Burch

for Leslie Mellichamp

“O singer, sing to me—
I know the world’s awry—
I know how piteously
the hungry children cry.”

We hear you even now—
your voice is with us yet.
Your song did not desert us,
nor can our hearts forget.

“But I bleed warm and near,
And come another dawn
The world will still be here
When home and hearth are gone.”

Although the world seems colder,
your words will warm it yet.
Lie untroubled, still its compass
and guiding instrument.



The Composition of Shadows (I)
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, Contemporary Rhyme, Candelabrum, Iambs & Trochees, Triplopia, Romantics Quarterly, Hidden Treasures (Selected Poem), ImageNation (UK), Yellow Bat Review, Poetry Life & Times, Vallance Review, Poetica Victorian



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.

Originally published in a different version by The Lyric



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.

Originally published by Contemporary Rhyme



These Hallowed Halls
by Michael R. Burch

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

I.
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.

II.
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 vaulted the Pinnacle of Love,
and the result of each such infatuation―
the long freefall to earth, as the moon glides above.

III.
A solitary clock chimes the hour
from far above the campus,
but my peers,
returning from their dances,
heed it not.

And so it is
that we seldom gauge Time’s speed
because He moves so unobtrusively
about His task.

Still, when at last
we reckon His mark upon our lives,
we may well be surprised
at His thoroughness.

IV.
Ungentle maiden―
when Time has etched His little lines
so carelessly across your brow,
perhaps I will love you less than now.

And when cruel Time has stolen
your youth, as He certainly shall in course,
perhaps you will wish you had taken me
along with my broken heart,
even as He will take you with yours.

V.
A measureless rhythm rules the night―
few have heard it,
but I have shared it,
and its secret is mine.

To put it into words
is as to extract the sweetness from honey
and must be done as gently
as a butterfly cleans its wings.

But when it is captured, it is gone again;
its usefulness is only
that it lulls to sleep.

VI.
So sleep, my love, to the cadence of night,
to the moans of the moonlit hills'
bass chorus of frogs, while the deep valleys fill
with the nightjar’s shrill, cryptic trills.
But I will not sleep this night, nor any...
how can I―when my dreams
are always of your perfect face
ringed by soft whorls of fretted lace,
and a tear upon your pillowcase?

VII.
If I had been born when knights roamed the earth
and mad kings ruled savage lands,
I might have turned to the ministry,
to the solitude of a monastery.

But there are no monks or hermits today―
theirs is a lost occupation
carried on, if at all,
merely for sake of tradition.

For today man abhors solitude―
he craves companions, song and drink,
seldom seeking a quiet moment,
to sit alone, by himself, to think.

VIII.
And so I cannot shut myself
off from the rest of the world,
to spend my days in philosophy
and my nights in tears of self-sympathy.

No, I must continue as best I can,
and learn to keep my thoughts away
from those glorious, uproarious moments of youth,
centuries past though lost but a day.

IX.
Yes, I must discipline myself
and adjust to these lackluster days
when men display no chivalry
and romance is the "old-fashioned" way.

X.
A single stereo flares into song
and the first faint light of morning
has pierced the sky's black awning
once again.

XI.
This is a sacred place,
for those who leave,
leave better than they came.

But those who stay, while they are here,
add, with their sleepless nights and tears,
quaint sprigs of ivy to the walls
of these hallowed halls.

Originally published by The HyperTexts



Brother Iran
by Michael R. Burch

for the poets of Iran

Brother Iran, I feel your pain.
I feel it as when the Turk fled Spain.
As the Jew fled, too, that constricting span,
I feel your pain, Brother Iran.

Brother Iran, I know you are noble!
I too fear Hiroshima and Chernobyl.
But though my heart shudders, I have a plan,
and I know you are noble, Brother Iran.

Brother Iran, I salute your Poets!
your Mathematicians!, all your great Wits!
O, come join the earth's great Caravan.
We'll include your Poets, Brother Iran.

Brother Iran, I love your Verse!
Come take my hand now, let's rehearse
the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
For I love your Verse, Brother Iran.

Bother Iran, civilization's Flower!
How high flew your spires in man's early hours!
Let us build them yet higher, for that's my plan,
civilization's first flower, Brother Iran.

Published by MahMag (translated into Farsi by Mahnaz Badihian), Other Voices International, Thanal Online (India), Deviant Art, Portal Vapasin (Farsi)



To Please The Poet
by Michael R. Burch

for poets who still write musical verse

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 Po' Biz Explained
by Michael R. Burch

A poet may work from sun to sun,
but his editor's work is never done.

The editor’s work is never done.
The critic adjusts his cummerbund.

While the critic adjusts his cummerbund,
the audience exits to mingle and slum.

As the audience exits to mingle and slum,
the anthologist rules, a pale jury of one.

Originally published by The HyperTexts



Performing Art
by Michael R. Burch

Who teaches the wren
in its drab existence
to explode into song?

What parodies of irony
does the jay espouse
with its sharp-edged tongue?

What instinctual memories
lend stunning brightness
to the strange dreams

of the dull gray slug
―spinning its chrysalis,
gluing rough seams―

abiding in darkness
its transformation,
till, waving damp wings,

it applauds its performance?
I am done with irony.
Life itself sings.

Originally published by The Raintown Review



An Obscenity Trial
by Michael R. Burch

The defendant was a poet held in many iron restraints
against whom several critics cited numerous complaints.
They accused him of trying to reach the "common crowd,"
and they said his poems incited recitals far too loud.

The prosecutor alleged himself most stylish and best-dressed;
it seems he’d never lost a case, nor really once been pressed.
He was known far and wide for intensely hating clarity;
twelve dilettantes at once declared the defendant another fatality.

The judge was an intellectual well-known for his great mind,
though not for being merciful, honest, sane or kind.
Clerks loved the "Hanging Judge" and the critics were his kin.
Bystanders said, "They'll crucify him!" The public was not let in.

The prosecutor began his case
by spitting in the poet's face,
knowing the trial would be a farce.
"It is obscene,"
he screamed,
"to expose the naked heart!"
The recorder (bewildered Society)
greeted this statement with applause.

"This man is no poet.
Just look―his Hallmark shows it.
Why, see, he utilizes rhyme, symmetry and grammar!
He speaks without a stammer!
His sense of rhythm is too fine!
He does not use recondite words
or conjure ancient Latin verbs.
This man is an imposter!
I ask that his sentence be
the almost perceptible indignity
of removal from the Post-Modernistic roster."
The jury left in tears of joy, literally sequestered.

The defendant sighed in mild despair,
"Please, let me answer to my peers."
But how His Honor giggled then,
seeing no poets were let in.

Later, the clashing symbols of their pronouncements drove him mad
and he admitted both rhyme and reason were bad.

Published by The Neovictorian/Cochlea and Poetry Life & Times. I wrote this poem around age 18 or 19.



The Century’s Wake
by Michael R. Burch

lines written at the close of the 20th century

Take me home. The party is over,
the century passed―no time for a lover.

And my heart grew heavy
as the fireworks hissed through the dark
over Central Park,
past high-towering spires to some backwoods levee,
hurtling banner-hung docks to the torchlit seas.

And my heart grew heavy;
I felt its disease―
its apathy,
wanting the bright, rhapsodic display
to last more than a single day.

If decay was its rite,
now it has learned to long
for something with more intensity,
more gaudy passion, more song―
like the huddled gay masses,
the wildly-cheering throng.

You ask me―
How can this be?
A little more flair,
or perhaps only a little more clarity.
I leave her tonight to the century’s wake;
she disappoints me.

Originally published by The Centrifugal Eye



Distances
by Michael R. Burch

There is a small cleanness about her,
as though she has always just been washed,
and there is a dull obedience to convention
in her accommodating slenderness
as she feints at her salad.

She has never heard of Faust, or Frost,
and she is unlikely to have been seen
rummaging through bookstores
for mementos of others
more difficult to name.

She might imagine “poetry”
to be something in common between us,
as we write, bridging the expanse
between convention and something...
something the world calls “art”
for want of a better word.

At night I scream
at the conventions of both our worlds,
at the distances between words
and their objects: distances
come lately between us,
like a clean break.

Originally published by Verse Libre



Nashville and Andromeda
by Michael R. Burch

I have come to sit and think in the darkness once again.
It is three a.m.; outside, the world sleeps...

How nakedly now and unadorned
the surrounding hills
expose themselves
to the lithographies of the detached moonlight―
******* daubed by the lanterns
of the ornamental barns,
firs ruffled like silks
casually discarded...

They lounge now―
indolent, languid, spread-eagled―
their wantonness a thing to admire,
like a lover’s ease idly tracing flesh...

They do not know haste,
lust, virtue, or any of the sanctimonious ecstasies of men,
yet they please
if only in the solemn meditations of their loveliness
by the ***** pen...

Perhaps there upon the surrounding hills,
another forsakes sleep
for the hour of introspection,
gabled in loneliness,
swathed in the pale light of Andromeda...

Seeing.
Yes, seeing,
but always ultimately unknowing
anything of the affairs of men.

Published by The Aurorean and The Centrifugal Eye



Resurrecting Passion
by Michael R. Burch

Last night, while dawn was far away
and rain streaked gray, tumescent skies,
as thunder boomed and lightning railed,
I conjured words, where passion failed...

But, oh, that you were mine tonight,
sprawled in this bed, held in these arms,
your ******* pale baubles in my hands,
our bodies bent to old demands...

Such passions we might resurrect,
if only time and distance waned
and brought us back together; now
I pray that this might be, somehow.

But time has left us twisted, torn,
and we are more apart than miles.
How have you come to be so far―
as distant as an unseen star?

So that, while dawn is far away,
my thoughts might not return to you,
I feed your portrait to the flames,
but as they feast, I burn for you.

Published by Songs of Innocence and The Chained Muse



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



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



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



Nightfall
by Michael R. Burch

for Kevin Nicholas Roberts

Only the long dolor of dusk delights me now,
as I await death.
The rain has ruined the unborn corn,
and the wasting breath
of autumn has cruelly, savagely shorn
each ear of its radiant health.
As the golden sun dims, so the dying land seems to relinquish its vanishing wealth.

Only a few erratic, trembling stalks still continue to stand,
half upright,
and even these the winds have continually robbed of their once-plentiful,
golden birthright.
I think of you and I sigh, forlorn, on edge
with the rapidly encroaching night.
Ten thousand stillborn lilies lie limp, mixed with roses, unable to ignite.

Whatever became of the magical kernel, golden within
at the winter solstice?
What of its promised kingdom, Amen!, meant to rise again
from this balmless poultice,
this strange bottomland where one Scarecrow commands
dark legions of ravens and mice?
And what of the Giant whose bellows demand our negligible lives, his black vice?

I find one bright grain here aglitter with rain, full of promise and purpose
and drive.
Through lightning and hail and nightfalls and pale, cold sunless moons
it will strive
to rise up from its “place” on a network of lace, to the glory
of being alive.
Why does it bother, I wonder, my brother? O, am I unwise to believe?
But Jack had his beanstalk
and you had your poems
and the sun seems intent to ascend
and so I also must climb
to the end of my time,
however the story
may unwind
and
end.

Originally published by The HyperTexts



The Board
by Michael R. Burch

Accessible rhyme is never good.
The penalty is understood―
soft titters from dark board rooms where
the businessmen paste on their hair
and, Walter Mitties, woo the Muse
with reprimands of Dr. Seuss.

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

Originally published by The HyperTexts



Confession
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

Originally published by The HyperTexts



Revision
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

ecstatic digging.

Originally published by The HyperTexts



Impotent
by Michael R. Burch

Tonight my pen
is barren
of passion, spent of poetry.

I hear your name
upon the rain
and yet it cannot comfort me.

I feel the pain
of dreams that wane,
of poems that falter, losing force.

I write again
words without end,
but I cannot control their course...

Tonight my pen
is sullen
and wants no more of poetry.

I hear your voice
as if a choice,
but how can I respond, or flee?

I feel a flame
I cannot name
that sends me searching for a word,

but there is none
not over-done,
unless it's one I never heard.

Originally published by The HyperTexts



Grave Thoughts
by Michael R. Burch

as a poet i’m rather subVerse-ive;
as a writer i much prefer Curse-ive.
and why not be brave
on my way to the grave
since i doubt that i’ll end up reHearse-ive?

Originally published by The HyperTexts. “Subversive,” “cursive” and “rehearse-ive” are double entendres: subversive/below verse, cursive/curse, rehearsed/recited and re-hearsed (reincarnated to end up in a hearse again).



Pointed Art
by Michael R. Burch

The point of art is that
there is no point.
(A grinning, quick-dissolving cat
from Cheshire
must have told you that.)

The point of art is this―
the hiss
of Cupid’s bright bolt, should it miss,
is bliss
compared to Truth’s neurotic kiss.

Originally published by The HyperTexts



Editor's Notes
by Michael R. Burch

Eat, drink and be merry
(tomorrow, be contrary).

(***** and complain
in bad refrain,
but please―not till I'm on the plane!)

Write no poem before its time
(in your case, this means never).

Linger over every word
(by which, I mean forever).

By all means, read your verse aloud.
I'm sure you'll be a star
(and just as distant, when I'm gone);
your poems are beauteous (afar).

Originally published by The HyperTexts



The Poet's Condition
by Michael R. Burch

The poet's condition
(bother tradition)
is whining contrition.
Supposedly sage,

his editor knows
his brain's in his toes
though he would suppose
to soon be the rage.

His readers are sure
his work's premature
or merely manure,
insipidly trite.

His mother alone
will answer the phone
(perhaps with a moan)
to hear him recite.

Originally published by The HyperTexts



The Poet
by Michael R. Burch

He walks to the sink,
takes out his teeth,
rubs his gums.
He tries not to think.

In the mirror, on the mantle,
Time―the silver measure―
does not stare or blink,

but in a wrinkle flutters,
in a hand upon the brink
of a second, hovers.

Through a mousehole,
something scuttles
on restless incessant feet.

There is no link
between life and death
or from a fading past
to a more tenuous present
that a word uncovers
in the great wink.

The white foam lathers
at his thin pink
stretched neck
like a tightening noose.
He tries not to think.

Published by Icon and Tucumcari Literary Review



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.

Originally published by The HyperTexts



Pity Clarity
by Michael R. Burch

Pity Clarity,
and, if you should find her,
release her from the tangled webs
of dusty verse that bind her.

And as for Brevity,
once the soul of wit―
she feels the gravity
of ironic chains and massive rhetoric.

And Poetry,
before you may adore her,
must first be freed
from those who for her loveliness would ***** her.

Published by Contemporary Rhyme, The Columbus Dispatch (Sunday, April 3, 2005) and Poem Today



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.

Originally published by The HyperTexts



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 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.

Originally published by The HyperTexts



Duet, Minor Key
by Michael R. Burch

Without the drama of cymbals
or the fanfare and snares of drums,
I present my case
stripped of its fine veneer:
Behold, thy instrument.

Play, for the night is long.

Originally published by Brief Poems



At Caedmon’s Grave
by Michael R. Burch

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



An Ecstasy of Fumbling
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

Originally published by The HyperTexts



Rant: The Elite
by Michael R. Burch

When I heard Harold Bloom unsurprisingly say:
Poetry is necessarily difficult. It is our elitist art ...
I felt a small suspicious thrill. After all, sweetheart,
isn’t this who we are? Aren’t we obviously better,
and certainly fairer and taller, than they are?

Though once I found Ezra Pound
perhaps a smidgen too profound,
perhaps a bit over-fond of Benito
and the advantages of fascism
to be taken ad finem, like high tea
with a pure white spot of intellectualism
and an artificial sweetener, calorie-free.

I know! I know! Politics has nothing to do with art
And it tempts us so to be elite, to stand apart ...
but somehow the word just doesn’t ring true,
echoing effetely away—the distance from me to you.

Of course, politics has nothing to do with art,
but sometimes art has everything to do with becoming elite,
with climbing the cultural ladder, with being able to meet
someone more Exalted than you, who can demonstrate how to ****
so that everyone below agrees that one’s odor is sweet.
"You had to be there! We were falling apart
with gratitude! We saw him! We wept at his feet!"
Though someone will always be far, far above you, clouding your air,
gazing down at you with a look of wondering despair.



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 HyperTexts

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. But according to Shakespeare the object is to leave something lasting, that will stand test of time. Hence, the idea of poems being cured in order to endure. The “thin wand” is the poet’s pen, divining the elixir―the magical fountain of youth―that makes poems live forever.



The Strangest Rain
by Michael R. Burch

"I ... am small, like the Wren, and my Hair is bold, like the Chestnut Bur―and my eyes, like the Sherry in the Glass, that the Guest leaves ..."―Emily Dickinson

"If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry."―Emily Dickinson

The strangest rain, a few bright sluggish drops,
unsure if they should fall, run through with sun,
came tumbling down and touched me, one by one,
too few to animate the shriveled crops
of nearby farmers (though their daughters might
feel each cool splash, a-shiver with delight).

I thought again of Emily Dickinson,
who felt the tingle down her spine, inspired
to lifting hairs, to nerves’ electric song
of passion for a thing so deep-desired
the heart and gut agree, and so must tremble
as all the neurons of the brain assemble
to whisper: This is love, but what is love?
Wrens darting rainbows, laughter high above.



You can crop all the flowers but you cannot detain spring.
―Pablo Neruda, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

While nothing can save us from death,
still love can redeem each breath.
―Pablo Neruda, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

As if you were set on fire from within,
the moon whitens your skin.
—Pablo Neruda, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Please understand that when I awaken weeping
it's because I dreamed I was a lost child
searching the leaf-heaps for your hands in the darkness.
―Pablo Neruda, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I’m no longer in love with her, that's certain ...
yet perhaps I love her still.
Love is so short, forgetting so long!
—Pablo Neruda, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



I love you only because I love you
by Pablo Neruda
loose translation 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
Bends me all the more toward you, so that the measure of my variableness
Is that 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 any hope of peace.

In this tragic plot, I am the one who dies,
Love’s only victim,
And I will die of love because I love you,
Because I love you, my Love, in fire and blood.



Love Sonnet XVII
by Pablo Neruda
loose translation 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, unrevealed & unnamed.

I love you like shrubs that refuse to bloom
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, nor “you”...
so close that your hand on my chest is my own,
so close that your eyes close gently on my dreams.



Every Day You Play
by Pablo Neruda
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Every day you play with Infinity’s rays.
Exquisite visitor, you arrive with the flowers and the water.
You are vastly more than this immaculate head I clasp tightly
like a cornucopia, every day, between my hands ...



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.



The Book of Questions
by Pablo Neruda
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Is the rose ****
or is that just how she dresses?

Why do trees conceal
their spectacular roots?

Who hears the confession
of the getaway car?

Is there anything sadder
than a train standing motionless in the rain?



In El Salvador, Death
by Pablo Neruda
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Death still surveils El Salvador.
The blood of murdered peasants has never clotted;
time cannot congeal it,
nor does the rain erase it from the roads.
Fifteen thousand were machine-gunned dead
by Martinez, the murderer.
To this day the coppery taste of blood still flavors
the land, bread and wine of El Salvador.



If You Forget Me
by Pablo Neruda
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I need you to know one thing ...
You know
how it goes:
if I gaze up at the glowing moon,
if observe the blazing autumn’s reddening branches from my window,
if I touch the impalpable ash of the charred log’s wrinkled body ...
everything returns me to you,
as if everything that exists
―all aromas, sights, solids―
were small boats
sailing toward those isles of yours that await me.

However ...
if little by little you stop loving me
then I shall stop loving you, little by little.

And if you suddenly
forget me,
do not bother to investigate,
for I shall have immediately
forgotten you
also.

If you think my love strange and mad―
this whirlwind of streaming banners
gusting through me,
so that you elect to leave me at the shore
where my heart lacks roots,
just remember that, on that very day,
at that very hour,
I shall raise my arms
and my roots will sail off
to find some more favorable land.

But
if each day
and every hour,
you feel destined to be with me,
if you greet me with implacable sweetness,
and if each day
and every hour
flowers blossom on your lips to entice me, ...
then ah my love,
oh my only, my own,
all that fire will be reinfernoed in me
and nothing within me will be extinguished or forgotten;
my love will feed on your love, my beloved,
and as long as you live it will be me in your arms ...
as long as you never leave mine.



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?



My Dog Died
by Pablo Neruda
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My dog died;
so I buried him in the backyard garden
next to some rusted machine.

One day I'll rejoin him, over there,
but for now he's gone
with his shaggy mane, his crude manners and his cold, clammy nose,
while I, the atheist who never believed
in any heaven for human beings,
now believe in a paradise I'm unfit to enter.

Yes, I somehow now believe in a heavenly kennel
where my dog awaits my arrival
wagging his tail in furious friendship!

But I'll not indulge in sadness here:
why bewail a companion
who was never servile?

His friendship was more like that of a porcupine
preserving its prickly autonomy.

His was the friendship of a distant star
with no more intimacy than true friendship called for
and no false demonstrations:
he never clambered over me
coating my clothes with mange;
he never assaulted my knee
like dogs obsessed with ***.

But he used to gaze up at me,
giving me the attention my ego demanded,
while helping this vainglorious man
understand my concerns were none of his.

Aye, and with those bright eyes so much purer than mine,
he'd gaze up at me
contentedly;
it was a look he reserved for me alone
all his entire sweet, gentle life,
always merely there, never troubling me,
never demanding anything.

Aye, and often I envied his energetic tail
as we strode the shores of Isla Negra together,
in winter weather, wild birds swarming skyward
as my golden-maned friend leapt about,
supercharged by the sea's electric surges,
sniffing away wildly, his tail held *****,
his face suffused with the salt spray.

Joy! Joy! Joy!
As only dogs experience joy
in the shameless exuberance
of their guiltless spirits.

Thus there are no sad good-byes
for my dog who died;
we never once lied to each other.

He died, he's gone, I buried him;
that's all there is to it.



Tonight I will write the saddest lines
by Pablo Neruda
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Tonight I will write the saddest lines.
I will write, for example, “The night is less bright
and a few stars shiver in the distance
as I remember her unwarranted light ...”

Tonight I will write her the saddest lines:
that I loved her as she loved me too, sometimes,
all those long, lonely nights when I held her tight
and filled her ears with indecipherable rhymes ...

Then she loved me too, as I also loved her,
compelled by the spell of her enormous eyes.
Tonight I will write her the saddest lines
as I ponder love’s death and our mutual crimes.

Outside I hear night―silent, cold, dark, immense―
as these delicate words fall, useless as dew.
Oh, what does it matter that love came to naught
if love was false, or perhaps even true?

And yet I hear songs being sung in the distance.
How can I forget her, so soon since I lost her?
I seek to regain her, somehow bring her closer.
But my heart has been blinded; she will not appear!

Now moonlight and starlight whiten dark trees.
We also are ghosts, by love’s failing light.
My love has failed me, but how I once loved her!
My voice ... this cursed wind ... what use to recite?

Another’s. She will soon be another’s.
Her body, her voice, her infinite eyes.
I no longer love her! And why should I love her
when love is sad, short, mad, fickle, unwise?

Because of cold nights we clung through so closely,
I’m not satisfied to know she is gone.
And while I must end this hell I now suffer,
It’s sad to remember all love left undone.


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.

Originally published by The HyperTexts



Keywords/Tags: poems, poets, poetry, muse, goddess, rhythm, rhyme, creation, words, works, mrbpoems, mrbars

Published as the collection “Poems about Poems”
kaitlyn-marie Sep 2014
sometimes, girls with monogrammed
backpacks will hold the boy with
the tattooed arms a little closer
than you want them to.
remember that there has to be a girl
who gets movie nights with her mother
instead of a date with the boy
with the candescent eyes. and sometimes,
that girl is going to be you. but not always.
oh darling, not always.
Lauren Gorger Nov 2014
It is 3:00a.m,
and a cold breeze has suddenly rushed into my room.
These chills seem to have woken me up
to have a conversation with the moon.
The moon that remains so bold,
to shine so bright in such immense darkness.
How brave of her to have the ability to harness the
tarnished cities of which she oversees..
the battered leaves that tomorrow, will leave with the breeze..
the purest hearts that drop down to their knees
in the middle of the street
begging you to please,
have some sympathy..
the thieves that leave with the keys to our hearts,
the ones who said you would never be stranded,
yet you watched them depart.
She sees the things
that wake us out of our coldest dreams.
And yet, her energy bleeds
to relieve the shackles
and loosen your seams.
It seems we don't notice those that breathe,
unless they play a character
in this illusionary theme...
a scheme of how things should be in society.
She observes quietly.
How brave of her to absorb
the reflection of tears
that fall on our floors.
This stillness is something I have come to adore, more and more.
It plays jazz music on the deepest depths of my candescent core.
The door is open, and from myself, I am torn.
I have decided to be bold
like the moon's pull that allowed this ballpoint to roll.
It is time for me to go back to sleep,
and awake reborn.

- L.G.
mark soltero Oct 2020
strolling the candescent street
they don’t make me feel like a creep
my scent has you saturating
with me it’s only me penetrating
that place you really wanted to show me
last week
won’t you just lie in my face
everything i do makes me weak
i find myself fighting
my others
they’re whisperings cloud me with envy
you’re too lovely
some things in this world are god given
they’re given as gifts
but your sorrowing lies pity me
Hugo Pierce Aug 2020
I am not scared of thunder
The low rumbles cause no fear
but when thunder is on the table
It's my phone beckoning my ear

I am not scared of lightning
I look at the electric sky in awe
But the candescent screen terrifies me
because of the Caller ID that I saw

I am not scared of storms
the rain doesn't make me sad
but a raincloud is hanging over me
for that phone call was from my dad

I am not scared of hail
though the crystal bullets cause pain
you have never cared about me
so a call from you hurts just the same

I am not scared of hurricanes
though I think I probably should be
I'm not here to soothe your conscience
making you feel good is not my responsibility

I am not scared of the weather
for I know that it will always fluctuate
storms don't stick around for long
neither did you for the son you helped create
Thanks dad
Kore Nov 2018
In my dreams, we get coffee. I don't like coffee. I tolerate it for you, even in sleep. you drive us somewhere, we joke in nonsense words in this swimming, changing sweven. each time I reach for you, long, languid, far away from you, my hand misses. I can't see your eyes behind your sunglasses.

In my dreams you lift me, swing me round, tip my chin up, my lips parted ready to receive. romantic, amatory, intoxicating as my mind manufactures what your scent is remembered to be. your curls rumpled beneath my fingers, your lips crushed to mine.

In my dreams, your fingers glide over my skin. I still can't see your eyes. obscured, hidden, far away from me. those voids I could get lost in, soft like trodden soil in a forest of forgotten name, the deep  warmth that I would tear the sky open to see, in my dreams they are shrouded.

In my dreams, we are luminous, candescent, besotted with each other. in love with the coffee made of toleration, the car I can't recognize, the jokes spoken in garbled nonsense that will be forgotten as sleep slides from me, as your image slips into the ether.

In my dreams, I can't see your eyes.
just trying out a new format don't mind me
Kenya83 May 2018
He came to her despite it all, with embers clinging to candescent soul
Fighting blackened ash of times untold
Eyes intense, her gaze they hold
Darkness dims a sunless cold
But your hands are as warm as hope when spring is close
Destructive years blown away in muted winds of pain
The palpable breath of night draws in and out and near
Syrup dipped fate sweetly gravitates you here
Willow Silvera Mar 2020
The Maps
Filled with criss-crossed
Broken lines and the spaces in
Between
Loosely covering
The pale green
walls of my room.
Sheltering the cracks
Shaped by forgotten dreams
And lost memories
Finding their way back home
The maps will sometimes
Lead them along a path
Before releasing them back
To the place they were first born.

The Maps
Are more than just
“Pieces of paper”
They are my future
My hopes and dreams
I drew them with my blood
And plastered them onto my faded
Walls with my scarred hands
And broken fingers
They encapture the pathways of my
Veins and the
Flow of my thoughts

The Maps
Are what will help me
Become who I want to be
And get where I want to go
They are aged, and worn
They’ve been spit on by society
And ripped to shreds by the demons
Corrupting this place
But I’ve taped them back together
For hours on end
These Maps,
Are my life source
My light
When there is none
The candescent hope
Giving me strength
When nothing else can.
I will endlessly follow them
Till I lose my last breath.
Debra Van Ness Nov 2020
'You, Me, and Us'
Hello, I am you, you are me, we are "us" and also past and present.
Never insisted to know who I "am" and who you "were". But now I see it much candescent.

    Gone are the years of  last fateful life
      filled with black voids and blood of knife.
      Depression marks his evil tone upon
      our own. Leaving us rusting in the years,
      tainted orange tears.
      We, the one soul, yet each our own,
      I  have shown now what asked  be known.
      You are welcome. Finally! But what you
      could of grabbed from the far reaches of
        your every sick or healthy choice.
To the grit!  shall we go now?

Life is a mud bowl drowning earth, worms writhing dirt. Slips on wet as a stream of silt. Then sits and
dries until we wilt.

Look within. Brought are the maggots of the boil... the boil
of the ugly dried up truth of coating stiffness.
Seeing night and living in light and darkness. do not
question "why"? A purpose far fallen into the pit of
"living".... is also dying.

Darkness must charge against the light and teeth must chatter fright to know the day from night.
Fringing on the edge of the cliff which sits still,
canyon waiting for something to swallow.

Let the shocking fall into the numbness call.

SHOCK! let it flee throughout the brain and demise
the swollen gel inside the rotting head.
Dream a night terror of any kind in every
corner of the mind.
don't rhyme, if you choose to flitter the words
in some chasm of dungeon's time.
Do, if you wish, and swim with the bitten
fish which wallow through red water wounds.

"I am you, you are me, we are 'US' "!
Welcome to the reveal of my latest meal.
© an hour ago, Debra Ann Van Ness
Someone writes through me at times. Or perhaps I AM REALLY crazy!

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