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Zoe Fritz Oct 2020
Inspired by Shel Silverstien’s “Hungry Mungry”

They’re coming. They’ll get me.
They’ll get me, and hit me, and make me bleed my young blood that looks just like theirs,
With skin that looks just like theirs, but something in me’s different.
As different as my mothers before me.

It doesn’t matter.
They’re coming.
Their dark boots clomp down the hall, begging to bash my ribs, or my face, or my shins, or--

--They’re here. They take their fists and their feet and their words, taking turns finding the soft flesh
Covered by my backpack and my shoes and my clothes and my bones.

They found me, and they’ll beat me, and they’ll **** me--
That’s what I think until--
--I change.

I grow. My shins and my fingers and my skull and my toes.
My body elongates, it stretches and lengthens.
I’m still bleeding and bleeding and still bruising and bleeding.
But the blows stop.

They back away, at least I think so, but my body pushes them farther and farther,
I’m pressed against the ceiling, pressed against the lockers, until I feel them give, and I’m free.
I break through the ceiling, I break past the rain, I--

--Stand up. My head skims the clouds, misting my face. I feel myself drift away from this place,
As my head reaches farther, my neck, my chest, my stomach, my legs.

Trees break beneath my feet.
They crack and splinter, just like the houses, just like the schools.

The ground gets farther and farther away, my feet so big they spread across the land and the seas.
I’m blowing up like a balloon, like Violet-*******-Beauregard, from that book I read in in the second grade.
I push back against mass under my feet,
Let them feel the fire, let them feel the heat.
Earth is flying too close to the sun, as I grow, and I grow, and I grow.

The stars drift around me, popping blistering holes in my skin as I grow and push against them too.
I stick my hand in Jupiter, in Neptune, in Saturn.
I crush Mars like a dirt clod inside my fist, and slap nebulas together with a flick of the wrist.

I am the sun, and I am the storm, and the wind and the waves,
From the place I was birthed--

--The place I was birthed? Where was I? Where’s that?

I look to my feet and see naught but a speck,
I do a summersault to examine it closer--

--Not an inch from the Sun, my home withers and dies.

But still I grow, and I grow, and I grow.

Earth is now too small to hold

Still I grow, and I grow, and I grow.

I see so many things from here, but I shan’t get closer, for fear they’ll disappear.
But that’s not enough, still I grow, and I grow, and I grow.

Pushing them away like so many I know.

I hope and I dream for this ride to stop, still I grow, and I grow and I grow.

I grow, and I grow, and I grow.
Hi! I wrote this a while ago, and it's supposed to be a spoken word, but I'm still learning this whole thing. Thanks!
Early before the **** crows
I woke up to sing,"grow"
Grow grow grow
Grow Kirui grow
Grow and be a doctor grow
Grow grow grow.
And my mother could spent time
Gazing at me..
Could it be spirits ?
She could ask but never did she!
I was tuned and steared
I knew nothing but my song
Grow grow grow.
The world has constantly made me go back sing.
Grow grow grow.
I sing to restore hope
To enrich my faith ..
Grow grow grow!
You're as active as a thief's night eye;
You cannot talk yet, but you still try;
You are almost always hyperactive;
Yes most survive. But I think you live.

I wish you would not ever grow up;
That you'd be a baby, play nonstop.
I wish. I pray. I beg. I even dare hope,-
But then, you were born to grow up.

Seeing the silhouette of you as a man,-
Inspires the thought of 'Emmanuel Pan.'
Maybe then you'd not grow as you should;
Just so your world would always be good.

Please don't grow; keep your stature;
I still fancy your un-nurtured nature.
Do not grow big. Don't even grow tall,
So you don't stop looking up to your uncle.

I wish you would not ever grow up;
That you'd be a baby, play nonstop.
I wish. I pray. I beg. I even dare hope,-
But then, you were born to grow up.

I really don't want you to grow.
But you'll have to, I too know;
So when you do grow up, eventually,-
I pray you grow to be better than me.

Whatever happens, remember this;
Life's a puzzle; you're merely a big piece.
Grow bigger. Grow taller. Grow up kid,
But don't you dare try to grow stupid!

Be cool. Be funny. Be you tee full;
But you should not be too big a fool.
Laugh. Smile. Cry. Dance. Its important.
But don't do it just because you want.

Play. Have fun. Enjoy life's benefits.
But matches and girls are off limits.
Lose yourself if you really have to,
But never lose hope or lose you.

Get in trouble. Get out. Get in a fight.
Yes! You heard me right. A freaking fight!
I, too, fought for that in which I believed.
How else was our Independence to be achieved?

Lie, only next to your rightful spouse;
But only get a wife after you get a house.
Raise anybody who dares to mess with you,-
Only if you raise your kids to be better than you.

Grow up. Grow old. Grow wise. Grow a beard.
But never grow above the wisdom you heard;
Like money. Love family. Have an opinion,
But remember to always keep it as your own.

Change your clothes sometimes. Its OK if you do.
But never change into something less than you.
Live. Be. Do. Have. Its all good if the time's right.
Grow up someday, but chatter once more tonight.

Keep Smiling
I wrote this poem for my 9-months-old nephew, Emmanuel
Lyra Brown Oct 2013
to grow out my health
to grow out my self esteem
to grow out my sense of adventure
to grow out my happiness
to grow out my honesty
to grow out my bravery
to grow out my laughter
to grow out my openness
to grow out my vulnerability
to grow out my forgiveness
to grow out my potential
to grow out my inner mermaid
to grow out my trust
to grow out my creativity
to grow out my perseverance
to grow out my patience
to grow out my motivation
to grow out my willingness
to grow out my beliefs
to grow out my soul
to grow out my desire
to grow.
MdAsadullah Nov 2014
Just about the size of my thumb
Plant so delicate and dumb
little by little I see my henna plant grow

You don't have tongue to talk
You don't have legs to walk
little by little I see my henna plant grow

The sun makes you sweat
And rain makes you wet
little by little I see my henna plant grow

Up grows your shoot
Down grows your root
little by little I see my henna plant grow

One by one leaves sprout
Making you strong and stout
little by little I see my henna plant grow

In this season of spring
Sparrows around you dance and sing
little by little I see my henna plant grow

At times they pluck your leaves
those cute little thieves
little by little I see my henna plant grow

I give a miserly glance but I don't interfere
It is entirely nature's affair.
little by little I see my henna plant grow

Your tiny existence soothes my eyes
I can hear you when others fail hear your voice
little by little I see my henna plant grow

You are Sharing another plant's flowerpot
Don't worry a new *** soon we will allot
little by little I see my henna plant grow


There you will grow bigger and bigger
Your branches will become stiffer and stiffer
little by little I see my henna plant grow


Within you they will make beautiful nest
Sparrows with enthusiasm and zest
little by little I see my henna plant grow

And when you are big and strong
Maybe then I'll be inspired to write another song.
little by little I see my henna plant grow.
little by little I see my henna plant grow.
His father reminded him of the giddy times,
As if he forgot them.
He does this habitually,
Implying that a lot has changed.
Of course, because today isn't yesterday
And the present isn't the past.
He wishes it was like before.
He can't recognize his son
As if he's wearing a mask.
Grew through adolescence without him
As he put on his mask.
He can't recognize him,
But he'll continue to remind him
That they are

Growing distant,
Without being literally far away,
It seems like it though.
Separated like fission,
And the miles grow and grow.

The true colors faded,
After they were shown.
The underlying tone of it all,
Segregated by a labyrinth of walls.

While we were wearing masks
We couldn't recognize each other,
While we were wearing masks
We couldn't recognize each other anymore.

Growing distant,
Without being literally far away,
It seems like it though.
Separated like fission,
And the miles grow and grow.

He remembers the connection he had with her,
As if she forgot about it.
He speaks of how spending time with her elated him,
Implying that he misses her.
Of course today isn't yesterday
And the present isn't the past,
But he wishes it was like before,
So he asks if they could return to what they once were,
He asks if they could return to what they once were.

They're growing distant
Without being literally far away,
It seems like it though.
Separated like fission,
And the miles grow and grow.

Separated like fission,
And the miles grow and grow,
The miles grow and grow.
It seems like it though.
Growing distant,
And the miles grow and grow,
The miles grow and grow,
Growing distant.

(c) 2014 Brandon Antonio Smith

(Originally written 12/1/10,
Revised 9/23/14)
LonelyPoet Dec 2013
I need to grow up, I need to grow up, I need to grow up!
Everyone tells me so and I refuse to listen. I want to grow up,
I want to grow up, I want to grow up! They all do it so smoothly
but I don't know how. I have to grow up, I have to grow up,
I have to grow up! My life and I live in this parallelism, watching
each other run at a different pace. I have to need to want!
Crying old sorrows, watching antique chains, doesn't work anymore.
The have is to break free, the need to for my sanity, the want is to
finally be the grown up I desire.
Laneze Be Nov 2017
It will break, hearts break, frankly all the time.
Its not because people care less or do it on purpose.
Isn’t it because in today’s life we know too much, want too much and leave so little room to discover something new about ourselves?
We live in a scripted world, reality TV being a perfect example.
Something as simple as a text gets edited until we press send.
Unless you are angry, ’cause that poison get unleashed without a second thought.

Why so afraid to make a fool of yourself?
Did you know that when you apologize to who it matters, you learn and grow?
Grow, you don’t change, you don’t break and even if you fall apart a little, its completely ok ’cause you grow.

Look at a tree, very few of the big beautiful ones grow straight up and then stop.
They start at the bottom, pretty small, then they get bigger and want deeper roots.
They grow an extra branch and grow a little more.
Someone comes along and picks all the leaves off one side, so it splits again and decides to grow more branches, so that it can grow more leaves to get bigger.
The tree didn’t get up and slap the idiot for picking all the leaves, taking away the part it needs most to stay alive.
No, it grew deeper roots and grew a little faster.
Every time it hits an obstacle it grows more branches.
Soon enough its this massive tree, yet it keeps growing.
Growing, not because it needs to over come a challenge.
No, more simple because it lives now looking up towards the sun and wants more.
At this point it might even have realized its purpose and decides to flower, so all the birds come back.
It strengthens the branch it grew during hard times, now because they are of use to someone else.
In the end when this tree can no longer grow, it dies.
Even though all the leaves die with it, the branch that it grew and strengthened still stands.
The birds still come back and even if they have no idea how great it once was they still use the branches.

So don’t crumble and give up when times are hard.
Take a deep breath, use what you have and grow.
Become bigger and stronger, don’t cut yourself down.
Just simply grow from there.
Look up and dig deep, just keep going.
Mateuš Conrad Aug 2022
i could tell you how certain stations on the London underground
smell, but i can't capture you this smell...
a bit like in that film Perfume: scents are lost over time,
with regards to places -
                            unlike the eternal pine forest...
or the zest of lemon...
                                         those are universal scents...
one could and humanity has: created a synthetic answer
and copied these scents... made synthetic tastes
a whole chemistry of a posteriori scents and tastes...
Kant and chemistry are a perfect combination...
given the classical schematic:

analytical                         analytical
a priori                             a posteriori
apples grow on               tomatoes:
trees and                          categorised as fruits          
carrots grow                    yet used as vegetables
in the earth                      the analysis being
since apples                     even though they grow
are a fruit                         on something: trees,
while carrots                    bushes, vines...
are a root vegetable,       analysis has found that
ergo?                                 they are better treated
all vegetables                   as vegetables rather than
grow in the earth            fruits, since one rarely cooks
while all fruits                 savoury meals with fruit
grow on trees                  yet the tomato is used
or shrubs                         plentifully in savoury cooking


synthetic                          synthetic
a priori                           a posteriori
■, ▲                                   in light of the given examples
(geometry)                        in the realm of the analytical
and the propositions       a priori: that fruits grow on
that come with                 trees or bushes
them:                                  there's the pineapple
e.g. c² = a² + b²                   anomaly:
or physics:                         pineapples grow on the ground
e = mc²                                (in the ground) like cabbage-heads
                                            grow in much the same fashion...

i always struggle with the a posteriori conceptualization...
in the original i wrote as can be seen above...
are tomatoes the byproduct of
analytical a posteriori knowledge?
i.e. they are fruits that are used as vegetables (used,
hell, even treated as such)... because you will not find
a tomato desert as such...
the classification of a tomato as a fruit:
given how it grows... would also invoke the cucumber
to be treated as a vegetable:
vegetables are not as juicy as fruits...
the flesh of the fruit is usually softer and certainly
more juicy... while the flesh of the vegetable
is more bulky and requires cooking and salt
to extract the juices oh a higher carbohydrate
concentrate of the fibrous nature...

pineapples... a fruit that grows like a vegetable
in the earth...
i like this "confusion" in my head...
i'm not going to clarify it...
            i leave this curiosity in my writing on purpose...
analytical a posteriori facts:
well... first having categorised the tomato as a fruit:
upon analysis... true: the tomato behaves like
a fruit... but upon analysis: after the fact:
it is better used as a vegetable...

         and the synthetic a posteriori truth about
the pineapple? then again: i know where i might be going wrong...
isn't synthetic a posteriori knowledge possible?
it's not as simple as the pineapple example
based on: fruits grow on trees while vegetables grow in
the earth... i can only find questions
on the possibility of synthetic a priori knowledge...
ergo? of course synthetic a posteriori knowledge
is possible...
    it's ingrained in chemistry...
what does synthetic a posteriori knowledge look like?

a chemist tastes a lemon... and he tries to replicate
the taste of lemon using chemicals...
he breaks down the chemistry of the lemon...
and? with due course... replicates the taste of lemon
without actually using a lemon!
he breaks the lemon to the basic components
of citric acids and whatever else is needed to replicate
the taste of lemon and grind it into a powder:
chemistry is synthetic a posteriori knowledge...
isn't it?

the examples i cited with the pineapples:
it doesn't matter that the pineapple behaves like
a vegetable when it grows...
apart from that sick idea of a Hawaiian pizza toppings...
pineapple? ham?! you what?!
that's not synthetic a posteriori knowledge:
that's just a ******* whim of bad-taste...
there's no actual synthesis of the pineapple growing
as a vegetable and the "ingenuity" of treating
it like a bad idea for a pizza topping...
the tomato: however... is a pristine example
of analytical a posteriori knowledge:
sure... it's categorised as a vegetable...
because of the way it grows... compared to actual vegetables:
but? you wouldn't allow the tomato
to be bitten into like an apple... you wouldn't bake
a tomato cake as you might bake a banana cake...
the analysis concludes: our knowledge of fruits is this...
and we have this vegetable: the tomato
that's a fruit... but it would be better suited
in being used like a vegetable...

synthetic a posteriori does exist... it just doesn't apply
to pineapples for the simply reason that they
grow like vegetables... they're still going to be fruits...
synthetic a posteriori knowledge is chemistry...
it has to exist because a pineapple is
not a synthetic a priori "idea" of TASTE let alone
virtue or however Kant framed it...

ugh... my first day back at Craven Cottage...
little ****** steward: i hate these hierarchies...
it's a petty army of high-viz. jackets...
   i wasn't the supervisor but i had some colts under
my "supervision"... i tried to smooth things over:
i did... in the end i wanted to see Fulham play
Liverpool... i spread the word around:
this is *******... they should have put us inside
the stadium...
   but... the weather was the loveliest and the Thames
was tide-out... two seagulls arguing...
in the shade: this part of London is truly mesmerising...
i love the smell of the Thames with the tide out...
in the shade under these mammoth-esque splendours
of foliage...
hell... i even managed to spot my first KONIK
(little horse)... that's slang for... those ******* that buy
tickets at the regular price... then hang around the stadium
and try to push the tickets at a hyper-inflated price...
the ****** was selling the tickets for £250 for two!
and this was after the first half finished!
i told one of the guys with a radio:
call this in...
                          i had to repeat myself about 3 times
before the management agreed to my concern...
they sent two spare police officers to the person in question...
he almost sold those ******* tickets...
one minute i see him pretend to tie his shoelaces
(he wasn't pretending) - his black cap
disappearing under the bushes... next minute:
wh'ah where?! ****** did a runner...
so he wasn't tying his shoelaces "on a whim":
he was about to do a runner...

                  that's ******* exploitation...
that's like: stealing... capitalism at its worst...
the ingenuity of crime: oh... but it's innocent crime...
it's i buy something for £30 but...
i'll sell it for you for £250...
                             now... it's not antiques! it's not a *******
van Gogh painting that has been lying around
for quite some time... gaining a repertoire and a reputation
as something good, worthwhile:
it's a ******* football match ticket!
hyper-inflation like under the Weimar Republic...
money good as "gold": "gold" as in winter fuel,
timber the new platinum!

after all: there was no real synthetic a priori knowledge:
chemistry is hardly a question of appearance,
water is clear, but so is hydrochloric acid...
what else is clear? sodium hydroxide...
                 chemistry was born from synthetic a posteriori
knowledge...
how many chemical experiments came as a surprise
a sort of anti-Eureka of synthetic a priori knowledge?
champagne springs to mind... lysergic acid comes
to mind: no one was actually trying to find these things...
e.g. they did not come about through analytical
a posteriori knowledge: they arose from
a dimension of the synthetic a posteriori knowledge:
by chance: by accident...

sure... i might be doing a ******-low-skill job right
now: and it is... i'll admit...
it's super **** sometimes:
most of the time my coworkers are either
over-bearing ego-maniacs fixated on hierarchy,
or they're lazy Somali youths...
or just plain-sighted Nimrods...
i sometimes leave my mind to wander...
that when i get the jerks in the feet like
i'm about to fall over... like for bearskin hatted
soldiers on parade...
but i leave my mind to wander:
it's not an insult if it's true...
                  no: when i was a roofer and fiddling
with inanimate things there was more focus
on the work to be done... dealing with people
is a crass differentiation from perfecting how an inanimate
ought to behave under your hands...
to turn a roll of felt into a water-insulated roof
with a roll of fleece and enough tar...
people are different: i'm sort of studying people...
gearing myself to hover in on children in schools...

if Leibniz preferred the profession of librarian
and a private intellectual life of par excellence...
i wouldn't think twice about becoming a primary school
teacher than being a secondary school
teacher of chemistry...
**** me: if drag queen hour is about to be imported
from America: i best (better) step in...
i just imagine: well... unlike a barren woman...
who has no children...
who goes into a profession akin to primary school
teaching... but then i'd arrive...
i know the obvious stereotype to battle:
PEDOHPILE! ha ha...
           Ava Lauren: just my type... plump...
full-bodied... probably the age of my mum by now...
that's my type...
i need something rounded of:
a 5.9 = a 6... just an example...
                
             but i let my mind wander... when roofing
you couldn't leave your mind to wonder...
i could... tell you of the specific scents in certain
underground stations... Baker Street? is that the one
with the Victorian arches, a station under the bridge?
i don't remember...
Putney Bridge is a beautiful station...
but today i took the route:
Romford via train... got off at Stratford... waited for a minute
for the central line...
(i love meditating on the topic of tubes maps...
there are only two important lines
in London... why? based on how many times
they intersect... the Central Line and the Piccadilly
Line... they only intersect at Holborn)...
travelled to Holborn... not sitting...
at each carriage there are these half-seats...
you're leaning back... standing-sitting...
i felt so relaxed... i gave way to the momentum
of the tube...
i was moving backwards and forwards...
head nodding... shoulders doing the mr. plastic-fantastic...
i almost tried to remember the remaining
tension in my body... the grip i had on a bottle
of water and a packet of tortilla wraps...
the rest of me was: freed...

when it comes to scents... that's one thing:
everyone knows it's a stupid idea to change tube
lines at Bank... why? well... Bank it connected
to Monument...
it's a city within a city: a London 2.0... oh oh:
yes it ******* is... never change at Bank...
anyway... as i was relaxing having closed my eyes...
i can tell you where the best sounds of
machinery exist in London?
between Liverpool St. - Bank - and Chancery Lane...
mind you... i cycle the route from time to time...
what's above? is not, what's above...
compared to cycling... this route is like:
watching the original Dune movie...
i'm strapped to a ******* earthworm...
or: being digested by one while listening to
the clag glug and clamour iron biting iron...
i sometimes do the "twirl" of the tube above
ground... just after Aldgate...
i head towards Brick Lane... toward Liverpool St.
prior to reaching Bank St.:

all the Piccadilly Stations between Holborn and
Earl's Court have this sickly sweet stench
about them... it's sickly sweet... it's: sickly sweet...

i remember back in St. Augustine's we had one
female primary school teacher...
some ****** proverb speaks the words:
woe unto you for having to care for the children
of others...
while i'm thinking: that would be a worthwhile challenge...
i don't want any of my own:
the fear of ******* them up more than
i was ****** up wears me down...
at least with the genes of strangers
i can send in an auxiliary covert party of my psyche...
who would i send in? the usual suspects...
Kant, Heidegger, Newton, Ezra Pound...
oh... the list is pretty long...

most probably Rumi hanging around with
Zhuangzi... Ovid and Horace...
ooh... terrible idea to start drinking whiskey
after binge-eating a watermelon...
the burps i'm getting back:
******* postcards from Uan Muhuggiag (Libya)...
i'm seeing camels double the number of their humps!
not good... absolutely no good

burp... ooh... this watermelon will not go down
so good... while i worry about *******
myself come tomorrow morning...
unlike the Red Hot Chilly Peppers singing
the fames of California:
what do i have? i have the countryside of Essex
and the incursions in the concrete staccato
of London... i can mediate this...

              burp: well... at least it's whiskey mingling
with the juices of a watermelon...
i much prefer that to the half-digested acidic
meat of any sort...
                 that's healthy burping and healthy farting
for your...
hmm... investing in children... that's an idea...
i once remarked to a boy in a supermarket:
you know... how a while i thought animals
were incapable of seeing 3D objects
in a 2D canvas: i.e. why wouldn't animals
watch television with men?
today i had a "Fred" pester me for a bite
of my tortilla roll...
i would have given it to him freely:
i wasn't that hungry...
   so i asked his owner: so... what's his diet like?
oh... Fred has had pretty stomach upsets...
he spent the past three days eating mulberries
from a tree...
ooh! i love mulberries: who couldn't be more upset?
the dog or the mulberries?
ugh: these kind of people:
that have their dogs on a ******* vegan diet...
hey! Fred! bite into this tortilla wrap!
i have learned that the food man eats
if also eaten by a dog tastes better:
after it was eaten by man!

o.k., fair enough Fred... you have an owner that
deserves having you: but no children...
i'd put you in the same category as a child...
children, dogs, cats...
things that might stir in man the unusual:
certainly not Darwinistic / genetic investment
that might reduce a man's hormonal balance...
mate... you look at me that dumb-***** eyed way
one more time... let me pat you on the head
like i have... you're coming with me to the land
of eternal tortillas wrapping around chicken
and bacon: there's no "yes" as there's no "no"...

but that's London for you...
            and that's also Essex for you...
i spent an entire day in London?
where did i find those cheap-*** beauties of womanhood?
i didn't find them in London:
i had to travel back to Romford to find...
i sat down to eat a snack bucket in a chicken shop:
three spicy wings, some chips...
mayonnaise and some chilly sauce...
a 7up... £3.50... i enjoyed the meal
and thought about: nothing...
nothing is usually hard to "think" about...
you get into geometry: to prolong your time at pretending
to look "cool"... when eating alone...

i hopped on the bus... watched two hunchbacks
of an elderly couple "manage" their way own:
what cruel fate... the extension of mortality
via science... may i never see myself
that old... reduced to being the child of Atlas...
no... i don't care for the sensibility of secularism
and science...
old age transcends both of these:
it's the reality of old age...
prolonged old age is best renowned
and celebrated by lizards: turtles most in fact...
mammals look weird...
mammals look weird when their life is prolonged:
unnaturally: via the basis of science!

start giving out re-prescriptions to people
with a a faith in science but no hope in hope...
start selling them hopes of eternity...
this materialistic "eternal life": is drawing us closer
to no closure...
there comes a life: there coms a death of said life...
it's not fair to pretend that the inevitiable
is "not" going to happen: it will...
the tyranny of old age...
                  by the standards of the Benelux:
i'm more than willing to bow out...

who knows! i am not willing to simply live
for the awkward presence of strangers
on a basis of anomalies and non-intrusions
of some freaked-up formalities...
to hell with that: i have no evolutionary-existential
plight of  "conscience" that might make me suppose:
on racial grounds: that the human "effort"
will disappear: outright: completely:
sure... chances are... humanity will be governed
by more people willing to ***** cities of death via
the pyramid... people engage in the magic carpet
flights of Islam and pseudo-Islam from regions
akin to Somalia and Bangladesh:
my problem? i can't live forever! can i?

et scriptum est...
i like being toyed around as being the idiot...
it helps me grow...
and it was so written...
                ergo? ut necesse sit!
(and so it must be)
  ha ha! ah ha ha h ha ha!
vulnus ferrum:
                  sanguis respiratio
scratch of iron:
breathing blood!
            
mortuus est mori: the dead must die!
vivos debet mori /
vivos non sunt exceptio!

i work among people that make my intellect:
CLOWN!
   i entertain them... i must...
but their intellect is about as much:
grappling as... i don't know what!
i'm out of metaphors and aphorisms...

                        intelligence is discouraged when it comes
to a working environment...
           i'm like Leibniz... i'm unlike Newton...
my ambitions a "cowering" in a personal enterprise...
i like the individualism of m own enterprise:
i don't hope to solve or save the problems of
a common man... nope!
                
last time i heard? the train has arrived:
i also heard: the train is leaving...
well... i'm i geared up:
what do i care for the famines in Ethiopia?!
i don't care for claiming responsibilities for
people who don't take responsibilities for
themselves!
starve?! **** it... why not?"
oh right... one of the Somali types?!
pretend it's work by hiding behind the bushes?!
ergo? behind the bushes i pretend to shower you
with free bread and pork? don't like pork?
eat dirt instead!

i'm done: free-loaders: i'm done with them...
i'm so ******* with these Somalis that you can't even begin to comprehend!
MS Lynch Jun 2013
I am going to bloom,
Whether or not you want me to.
Replanted by a heartbreak,
I no longer grow between your bones.
It hurts to taste such liberty,
Your heart is no longer my home.
Your blood's no longer my sunshine,
I am free to grow and grow and grow.
I will water myself with my own tears,
Photosynthesize my fears,
Turn darkness into sugar,
And grow and grow and grow.
I will bloom where I am planted,
Take in every ray of light,
Push my soul into my petals,
And grow and grow and grow.
I am going to bloom,
Whether or not I want to.
Because if you're not blooming,
You are withering.
I am going to bloom.
Chloe Jan 2022
I feel so miserable
Nothing is going to change
I feel so caught up in
all my rage
… grow up

I feel like I deserve
to die and if not
I deserve to hurt
I feel so overwhelmed
I need something
to cover my head
…. grow up

I feel empty inside
and yet so full
I could explode
What I feel right now
is all I will ever know
… grow up
Grow up
Grow up
Grow up
GROW UP
GROW UP
GROW UP
GROW UP
My New Years resolution
Katie Mac Sep 2015
i do not only grow
up

i grow out and around and
over myself like a ****.
i grow in ways that contort
and confuse and construe.

i do not only grow
up.

i grow in ways that begged to be pruned
and i grow downwards into the below.
i grow set and seated and still.

i do not only grow
up.

i grow and grow and grow
and i can't tell if ive grown any taller
but i think that is ok.

they have trimmed me and stemmed me
and tried to pull me from my place.
but that is ok.

i do not only grow
up.
Andrei Corre Jul 2016
When everything moves in flashes
And so fast you slip through my fingers
I'll try to catch the years til I'm ashes
And one last time I'll dry your independent tears

Grow down, my sweetheart, grow down
Just lay still amidst my breast
Grow down, my sweetheart, grow down
Sit with me and take your heart to rest

The days when all is summer
And laughter is all that escapes your lips
I just can't see you suffer
So dear, listen to my wish

Grow down, my dear, grow down
Come with me and eat your favorite treat
Grow down, my dear, grow down
I'll hum you songs til you're asleep

To see you in full bloom
Makes my heart swell
With delight, tears, pride and gloom
And all I want's to see you doing well

But grow down, honey, grow down
It's hard for me to watch you walk down the aisle
Grow down, honey, grow down
Back to the days when your world's only I...
Leonard Green May 2016
Here we are, children of the Almighty Being
finished in the image to multiply and prosper, freely
as we continue to slumber in an endless dream
manifesting itself in a smug like comfort, so willingly

Time to grow and see pass the learned behavior
Time to grow and embrace one's spiritual flavor
Time to grow and regain the fruits of the garden
Time to grow and live in peace on this earthly heaven

Here we go, children never really rising
satisfied with the glamour of a self-indulgent life, compliantly
as we contend to control this false existence
clinging on this lifeline with defiance, so desperately

Time to grow and see the difference in others
Time to grow and embrace the leaves of Fall's weather
Time to grow and sip the love of the Carpenter's chalice
Time to grow and grasp wisdom of the Word without malice

For the time to grow is here, set aside for us to be clear
on a life we should lead, meek in the fullness of our deeds.
Panda - Feb 2016
Grow up.
Forget the pill bottles; no more slicing up your wrist pretending that everything was your fault. Get rid of your unhealthy addiction because your addiction was him, and thinking about it is like acid being injected into your veins, it will eat you alive.
Grow up.
I can’t, because growing up means I have to give up, and giving up is on my mind more frequently and it’s like time is racing past me and I just need to; slow down or stop time but my mind can’t stop thinking because you’re everywhere I go, you’re everything I see like you’re tattooed on my non existent eyelids preventing me from sleep. I can’t.
Grow up.
Forget about your past, don’t think about your future and live in the present. There’s better things than what you see through the transparent cracked glass, I promise. The glass is just your own allusion[d] mocking you that you're the last one to realize that fast is as slow as slow is too fast.
Grow up.
How? How do I grow up when I fell in love with him easier than children believe that their parents will stay. When the intoxicated screaming over runs the central control and it consumes every life form, eating away every white blood cell I have left in my body.
Grow up.
I’m finally admitting to myself that I’ll grow up, but living, now that’s different. I’m still debating if I really wanna live or am if I’m pretending, pacing around with a pencil drawn fake smile while my lifeline remains at zero. But I’ll grow up, because growing up is easier than seeing him everyday and feeling my heart stop as if I’m one second closer to death. I’ll grow up because every blood cell I had left slowly dissolve into something a little less then being alive. I’m growing up because I don’t know if I can continue down this twisted confusing path any longer by myself.
I’m giving up.
because I have nothing else to lose
Raj Arumugam Jul 2011
grow little girl
grow like a flower
grow into fullness
charm and grace;
grow, my little darling
grow into strength
and wit and wisdom

may you take your place
take what is yours
in this wide world of ours;
may all good things
and all blessings
and choice possessions be yours

may you grow
to bring joy to all who see you;
may you always be filled with energy
and may all who meet you
feel the happiness in your presence
may you live long and well

may all beings feel the warmth
just in hearing your name;
may all beings benefit
through your life

grow little girl
grow like a flower
grow into fullness
charm and grace;
grow, my little darling
grow into strength
and wit and wisdom
poem based on painting: "Mother and Child" by Edmund Tarbell (1862-1938); and" Woman Fixing Girl's Hair" (1900) by Odake Chikuha (1878-1936)
When we first met, we were bundles of energy and joy.
Grow old with me.

We inevitably became a couple, and we got engaged.
Grow old with me.

A family has started with two beautiful daughters.
Grow old with me

The kids have graduated high school, and are now heading to University.
Grow old with me.

We watch the kids find their companions for life.
Grow old with me.

We help them through times of hardship, and are always there for their achievements.
Grow old with me.

The kids have their own family now.
Grow old with me.

As we now reach our final years of life on this Earth, there is nothing more I could ever want than for you to be by my side.
And to have had you grow old with me all these years.
Makes me the happiest individual there could possibly be.

So let us sit together next to the fireplace on our rocking chairs, and reminisce.
Hmm... I'd rather not say what was going through my mind when I wrote this. It's rather peculiar...

Enjoy.
Rachel Gosby Jul 2014
Grow up
Stops with the talking behold other
Stop with the fighting
Grow up
Stop with the shooting and start protecting the youth of the community
Grow up
Stop acting phony and start being real with your self
Grow up
Stop being lazy and start being a grow up
Stop leaching on other and get up and get your own
Grow up
Stop being scared and face your fears
Stop judging and start helping
Grow up
Stop with the rushing and just slow down


                  Just stop & Grow up
Mike Hauser Aug 2013
When will I ever grow up...

Says the innocence of the child
I want to experience all there is in life
And I want to experience it now

When will I ever grow up...

Says the newly developed teen
I've just stepped out childhood
Ready to live the life I've dreamed

When will I ever grow up...

The nineteen year old says
They tell me to vote, send me to war
Yet still call me a kid

When will I ever grow up...

Says the twenty something wife
Like I saw in my mother
At this stage in her life

When will I ever grow up...

Little did she know her mother said
When she was also that twenty something
As she gazed at life ahead

When will I ever grow up...

Asks the forty year old divorcee
And will I find someone mature enough
To fill my wants and needs

When will I ever grow up...

I ask myself time and time again
I just hope and pray it happens
As I'm fast approaching the end

When will I ever grow up...**

Says the old man on his death bed
It's got to happen soon
As he expels his last dying breath
MoonChild Mar 2013
A single seed
Watch and it shall grow
No measure to length
Or width to abide
But grow it must
And will forever
Not this to subside

One embarks
To grow to grow
With what before
Only known from once
Shown and grown

From dirt to dusk
We rise
And fall
Expand and collapse
But grow
Is in all the seeds to begin
Growth the only ingredient no
Destination
Manuel
Or infiltration

From small to large
Large in sight
For this we grow
To take flight within
Ones soul
Which growth
Sees to ignite

From nest to barrier
From mouth to tongue
From stars to planets
Far and wide we all must grow

Outward and inward
But inward it’s from
The center point
From which all to grow
Not outward to expand
We rise inward
Occasionally to fall
But inward its there
The growth we mustn’t forget to dare
Inside
Inside
From within
We see
The begin and the end
From inside
That is all of me
Mike Hauser Jun 2016
Now that I've hit the big time
The one thing that I find
Tell you now that I ain't lying
I don't want to grow up

It ain't how they presented it
Too much trouble in the mix
I've had enough to the point of quit
I don't want to grow up

With all the wrinkles on my face
Where there's not an ache there is pain
At times can't remember my own name
I don't want to grow up

No pleasure to be had in this
Add it to the could care less list
I used to hit now all I do is miss
I don't want to grow up

Sure I'm not the only one in the crowd
The only one to find this out
Being nothing like I heard about
I don't want to grow up

Is it too late to change my mind
Come back to this some other time
Could someone help me out of this bind
Cause I don't want to grow up
The family tree is dying
Everyone seems to be lying.
The tree is falling apart,
Everyone stops caring
My family grew from the same roots,
But our branches are growing so far apart.
Everyone is letting this demon into their heart.


I am planting my own tree.
This tree is going to grow in upmost care,
With no one to stare at us.
This tree
I will call my own
Will have strong roots,
Values and traditions.
While the old tree dies away with every bad omen.


This tree will grow with care.
It will grow with every emotion to spare.
I will feed my new tree with genuine love and understanding,
No more fighting.
No more judging.
Just pure patience
Our branches will grow intertwined.
The roots go deep into the ground,
Tons of people in so many places.
But the past is dying.
The traditions are dying like a malnourished plant.
I cannot believe how low this tree is coming.’
These roots which grew deep
Are soaking in poison
Feeding the poison through the tree,
And affecting the modern members.
Anger the only root.
These roots are becoming ghosts.
They watch us.
Our moves.
Our actions.
My family is not a family.
These roots which was so deep are killing us at the top
Our lives falling like leaves in the fall.
I know that I want to make a new tree.
But let it not be in vein.
I will learn from this old tree,
An old mentor,
Who lived a life most unsatisfied.
This new life starts at 18,
Carving my name at the beginning,
And as I live,
I will see the sapling grow,
While watching the other tree die.
Its pain is my gain,
Because I am learning the tricks of the trade,
I am learning how to escape the grips of anger,
The accuser who condemned my family for generations.
I will break free,
Grow with the tree.

My family’s branches are high, but alas far.
They are becoming separated, but I am young and watching.
They say that your life is set by your parents,
But I am not fueled by abusive fire,
I have grown past them,
I have thrown this virus of the tree away.
I am not going to fix their problems,
But I am growing my own success,
My future.
This sapling here,
The seed to be birthed,
It is going to grow,
So tall.
These notes I have scribbled,
Will lead to the happiness of my child,
The contentness of my wife,
The success of the spawn of us.
This tree is going to take a long time to grow.
It will learn from its mistakes as its predecessor did not.
It will be tall.
Making this broken tree nothing more than a shell,
This life,
This tree.
It is going to be free.
The sickening evil for blood with dry up,
The new tree will feed on smiles and happiness,
And out will sprout
The family,
I have always hoped for.

But this hope started somewhere.
This hope I birthed had pain.
It is a spawn of abuse.
Which seems to be the main cause for the old tree to dig so deep.
The anger of the leader spread somewhere,
And though not everyone is the cause,
We were ALL effected.
It took our values
Pushed them to the depths of hell
And left a chilling heat of anger and hate,
And though this is a debate,
Our family’s trajectory is going straight to hell,
Back to the man who gave us anger.
I cry today,
For those who were consumed by the darkness.
I feel sorry for those in the tree who did not reach for the sun,
Who did not fight for the family,
Who did not fight the urge to inflict pain.
A sad thing indeed,
But this is why I have the need
To start again.
This is why this life,
This current tree
Just isn’t working.
I’m tired of being fed hate.
It not too late.
My tree is going to grow strong.
It’s starting now,
Here
Today
It always has been.
I was superglued to someone else’s tree.
Taught their values.
Taught their insecurities and told they were my own.
But the forbidden word.
No.
Is becoming my advocate.
I will reach for the sun.
I vow to encourage
I vow to take what is rightfully mine.
I vow to start anew.
Make this tree reach high.
This new tree will never know the “Mendoza” way of things.
This new tree
Started by a sad situation
And a definite resolution
Is becoming truth.
I may have grew up in the poison,
But more and more ii have found a cure,
Immune to anger
To hate
I have found that these roots of their tree,
Which has poisoned each twig,
Has one fault.
It never tried to reach for the sun.
So I,
I take this,
And I make this my own.
This house is not my home,
But things will bend
And I will break,
And start anew.
I will live to see my family flourish.
As its predecessor did not
for my family
peter oram Dec 2011
AMBIGRAM VIII

Recto:

Yesterday was Christmas, and the days
already start to grow a little longer.
In our hand, the new year‘s fledgling, stronger
though more fragile too in many ways

than this bedraggled, aging crow, its song a
a sad, repeated phrase among the blackened
trees along a river. So sit back and
raise your glasses to it, do the conga,

auld lang syne, then hit the sack. And black and
white explode, a throng of rainbows—gaze!
You‘ll see it, wakened in  the morning haze,
ascending as the tethering s?tring is slackened:

Verso:

Yesterday was Christmas, and
the days already start to grow
a little longer. In our hand,

the new year‘s fledgling, stronger  though
more fragile too in many ways
than this bedraggled, aging crow,

its song a sad, repeated phrase
among the blackened trees along a
river. So sit back and raise

your glasses to it, do the conga,
auld lang syne, then hit the sack. And
And black and white explode, a throng of

rainbows—gaze! You‘ll see it, wakened
in the morning haze, ascend-
ing as the tethering string is slackened.






















































­
































































­
































































­
































































­
































































­
































































­
































































­























































AMBIGRAM
­
Recto:

Yesterday was Christmas, and the days
already start to grow a little longer.
In our hand, the new year‘s fledgling, stronger
though more fragile too in many ways

than this bedraggled, aging crow, its song a
a sad, repeated phrase among the blackened
trees along a river. So sit back and
raise your glasses to it, do the conga,

auld lang syne, then hit the sack. And black and
white explode, a throng of rainbows—gaze!
You‘ll see it, wakened in  the morning haze,
ascending as the tethering s?tring is slackened:

Verso:

Yesterday was Christmas, and
the days already start to grow
a little longer. In our hand,

the new year‘s fledgling, stronger  though
more fragile too in many ways
than this bedraggled, aging crow,

its song a sad, repeated phrase
among the blackened trees along a
river. So sit back and raise

your glasses to it, do the conga,
auld lang syne, then hit the sack. And
And black and white explode, a throng of

rainbows—gaze! You‘ll see it, wakened
in the morning haze, ascend-
ing as the tethering string is slackened.






















































­
































































­
































































­
































































­































































A­MBIGRAM

Recto:

Yesterday was Christmas, and the days
already start to grow a little longer.
In our hand, the new year‘s fledgling, stronger
though more fragile too in many ways

than this bedraggled, aging crow, its song a
a sad, repeated phrase among the blackened
trees along a river. So sit back and
raise your glasses to it, do the conga,

auld lang syne, then hit the sack. And black and
white explode, a throng of rainbows—gaze!
You‘ll see it, wakened in  the morning haze,
ascending as the tethering s?tring is slackened:

Verso:

Yesterday was Christmas, and
the days already start to grow
a little longer. In our hand,

the new year‘s fledgling, stronger  though
more fragile too in many ways
than this bedraggled, aging crow,

its song a sad, repeated phrase
among the blackened trees along a
river. So sit back and raise

your glasses to it, do the conga,
auld lang syne, then hit the sack. And
And black and white explode, a throng of

rainbows—gaze! You‘ll see it, wakened
in the morning haze, ascend-
ing as the tethering string is slackened.






















































­
































































­
































































­
































































­
































































­
































































­
































































­



























































AMBIG­RAM

Recto:

Yesterday was Christmas, and the days
already start to grow a little longer.
In our hand, the new year‘s fledgling, stronger
though more fragile too in many ways

than this bedraggled, aging crow, its song a
a sad, repeated phrase among the blackened
trees along a river. So sit back and
raise your glasses to it, do the conga,

auld lang syne, then hit the sack. And black and
white explode, a throng of rainbows—gaze!
You‘ll see it, wakened in  the morning haze,
ascending as the tethering s?tring is slackened:

Verso:

Yesterday was Christmas, and
the days already start to grow
a little longer. In our hand,

the new year‘s fledgling, stronger  though
more fragile too in many ways
than this bedraggled, aging crow,

its song a sad, repeated phrase
among the blackened trees along a
river. So sit back and raise

your glasses to it, do the conga,
auld lang syne, then hit the sack. And
And black and white explode, a throng of

rainbows—gaze! You‘ll see it, wakened
in the morning haze, ascend-
ing as the tethering string is slackened.
Even sunflowers need the rain to grow
Like recycling scar tissue you refuse to show
Like holding the words to a cookbook containing the recipe for disaster
Like the blood of an open wound placed by the whip of an unruly master
Even sunflowers need the rain to grow
Like when you finally learn the meaning of you reap what you sow
Like a magnificent sand castle washed away by the sea
All the sand becomes one and denies the right to be free
Even sunflowers need the rain to grow
Like the sting from the phrase I told you so
Like a deer caught in headlights frozen dead in it's tracks
Like gazing the stars if we could just climb the smoke stacks
Even sunflowers need the rain to grow
Like excluding truth from what you think you know
Like playing life in a game of poker, and the *** is everything but cheap
Karma has the high hand, face up, read'em and weep
Even sunflowers need the rain to grow
Like running through red lights because all you want is to go
Like a jack of all trades who can't fix his own heart
Like the tortoise that took off before the race even start
Even sunflowers need the rain to grow
Like a hundred oars and no arms to row
Torin May 2016
As wrong as the clouds that gather on horizons but never bring rain
My heart beats your name in silence from fear you may hear it
I love you more than your skin, your eyes, your smile, your warmth
I love you as you heal me, and I heal you
That you grow flowers or thorny vines around my mind
                                          I'll feel pain or joy
                                         I want you to grow
So grow in me as darkness or life
                                  Whatever you choose to be
                                                              ­     Whatever you are
                                                             ­                      Whatever becoming me
Grow on me as wings

Just listen......
Because the song I sing
Is for you alone
And my notes are all the tender lights I had to fight demons to keep
I'll shine, I'll burn, I'll work, I'll die
My love,
                                             I'll grow wings
And my feathers harbor with each barb a piece of your soul
I never could fly
Without you
Maybe its good, transcendental, meaningful. Maybe its art, maybe its love. Maybe its whatever you think it is.
Matthew Walker Aug 2013
I'm going to have the best life
In the whole wide world.
I am going to be so so so happy.
I want to grow up so badly.

The words of a different boy,
What happened to me?

My mind was in the clouds.
My heart was in the skies.
My soul, never slowing down.

I ran forward.
I was so distracted looking up,
I didn't realize there was no longer
Ground beneath my feet.
With one final step,
Joy,
Ambition,
Hope,
They plummeted off the cliff.
As that last bit of ground disappeared,
My happiness was replaced with fear.

I wanted to grow up so badly.
Life granted my wish.

"Let's play a game,
It's a secret game,
Just you and me,
Promise not to tell anybody.

Take off your pants,
Don't you trust me?
We're family."

I wanted to grow up so badly.
Life granted my wish,
She stole my innocence.

Sorry Matt,
He's gone.

How is a little kid supposed to accept death like that?
I never knew this type of pain.
The lack of knowledge was replaced with a lack of sleep.
Don't close your eyes,
You'll just see his face.

The last gift he gave me was a knife.
I don't want to live without him.
I don't want to live today.
Maybe I'll see him if I use this blade.
His death first, mine next.
Let's introduce steel to my chest.

I wanted to grow up so badly.
Life granted my wish,
She gave me his death and asked for mine.

Your condition is severe.
According to the scans,
Your brain's due date is near.
You're gonna die unless we operate.

I'll be fine,
This is just a step in my life.
It's just a phase,
I'll be healthy in a matter of days.

But on the inside I questioned my life.
What if I die today,
What if I die tonight?
Confidence flickers like candlelight.
The candle caught fire and it all began to burn.
My memories turned to ash,
And confidence flew with the wind.

I can't remember anything,
I can't remember me.
I have a name,
I have stories.
But I've lost the ability to see.

I wanted to grow up so badly.
Life granted my wish,
She let me taste death and took my security.

"Can you take your brother to school?
I don't feel good this morning."
Six months later,
She's still in bed,
Still doesn't feel good,
Will she get better?
Will this ever end?

Tears staining the hospital floor,
How can so much pain come from a place of healing?

I wanted to grow up so badly.
Life granted my wish,
She tried to take my mom from me.

Five in the morning,
Another one gone.
I thought I had become numb,
But relapse came with the storm.
I can't take much more.

Her life traded for endless pain.
I'll never be alone,
When I have this loneliness to keep me company.
How many more must you take?
How many scars must you create?

I wanted to grow up so badly.
Life granted my wish,
She killed my best friend.

I have no where else to go,
There's no place for me.
Growing seems to be in reverse,
I'm dying slowly.

I wanted to grow up so badly.
But I never wanted God to abandon me,
I never wanted life to destroy me.
If this is what growing up is like,
I don't ever want to grow up again.
a spoken word poem. 5/3/2013
Lucky Queue Sep 2015
When you're a child, hotel rooms are magical, a place for pillow castles and blanket superheroes;
When you're a child, an empty paper towel roll is a telescope or sword, Excalibur in disguise;
When you're a child there's a man who runs on the telephone wires as you watch from behind car windows;
When you're a child you're told to act your age and grow up, to behave, sit nicely and mind your manners if you want special privileges.

So you do what you're told, and you grow up.

But when you grow up, hotel rooms become places for weary collapse in the stale cigarette burned blankets of a cheap road trip motel, or intimate rendevous with someone you can't take home.
When you grow up, an empty toilet paper roll is a reminder that you need to get groceries but you're running low on cash and payday is in a week and why don't we have any clean rags in this house?
When you grow up, you forget the telephone wire man because now you're driving and so help me I will turn this car around if you make one more sound back there!
When you grow up, you wish you didn't have to act your age or be grown up, you grumble at your boss and swear at the guy who cut in front of you because who the @#$% does he think he is?!

They don't tell you that when you grow up, you might lose your wonder.
9.10.15
Obviously growing up isn't always as gloomy as all this, and there are plenty of childlike adults or serious children out there.
Meggn Alyssa Dec 2014
Grow up and compromise
because you can't win every time
you can sure try
but sometimes you have to share the victory
and let me tell you that feels pretty great too

Grow up and shut up
not everyone is going to love you
and there is bound to be at least one person you hates you
for no particular reason
but fighting with words
behind their back
will only make you more angry

Grow up and listen
your opinion is fan-frickin'-tastic
but do you know you just regurgitated the quiet child's words
someone else may have the solution
and you would know that if you just took the time to hear it

Grow up and stop listening
find right and wrong for yourself
stop caring what the girl behind you or the boy down the hallway is saying
guess what, newsflash, it probably isn't about you!
develop selective hearing
so when people are being
flat
out
dumb
you can dance over their words

Grow up and grow up
it's fine to be a child
but don't be stuck in your childhood
there are better things ahead
if you just
compromise
shut up
listen
stop listening
you'll find your place
and it will feel amazing
and all those sickening words in the back of your head won't matter anymore

Grow up
jim fry Nov 2010
the shadow works, 2005-2006

might as well keep them all together ...
a journey through the shadowz ...
through the possessions ...
through the hell ...
through me ...
through!
whew!

during this time, i sought support from an indian medicine man, a shaman, past life regression therapist, and a variety of other spiritual healers ... some of those, narrated in depth, elsewhere ...

the enclosed is probably not of interest to many,
understood, yet offered up,
as a journey,
narrated through times,
via rhymes


Heavy

May 6, 2005

I feel knee deep in a bog
Tackling responsibility for emotions
Are these weights a lesson
Projections reflected

I want things smooth
Light and carefree
I don’t seek control
But expect absence of impact

I can’t buy, reason or work
My way out of this challenge
Each time faced head on
I give up ground and accommodate
To point of compromise
No side is right here
What is, just is

I have my perceptions
And filters
And the weight intensifies
I want to dissolve it
Haven’t figured out how
Depression, heavy
Rooted inside

How do I break free
I feel alone
Even within myself
I don’t know
The reflection
In the mirror

There is a longing to be free
Unchained
Unbound
To live
To sleep
To find balance
Chasm

I want to be
What I feel I’m not
I don’t celebrate
What I perceive
Myself to be

I seek void
Death
Rebirth
Ha
Do this again
Easier
To take flight
Black
Grey
White

Tears
Rip across my chest
Seeking
To release my heart
Bound and chained
I want them to flow
Pent emotions
Seek exorcism

I haven’t surrendered
I don’t accept
Open I bleed
Closed I store pain

I want to feel flow

Nothing aligned
Empty I know
Torn
Shredded
Fragments and shards
Differentially
Scattered

Ungrounded
Not whole
I want to go home
Here come the tears
Smiles


Dark Envelop

July 9, 2005

Feeling my way through the illusion
Finding no solace in delusion
Have my angels found another to watch over
Are my whispers no longer heard and contemplated

As I believe I do my best
I don’t convince even myself
So much struggle and challenge
Why do I even travel
Away from my bed

Prodded along
Voices and dialogs
In my head

I could start again tomorrow
Wait, I have done that before
Somewhere within, my shadow sneers
Chaotic and off balance, I’m fodder
Material for my shadow’s jeers
******, ***** and stripped bare
Seeking a single reason to care
Am I victim to want it all fair

Now

I recognize this place
Hell etched in my face
I could so easily quit
Leave the game’s race
Always another will replace
Scripts each written on ****** mace

Not yet ready

Lessons to learn
Though I yearn
Tis not my time to rest
Not until this unconscious
With which I wrest
Is balanced and addressed
Then, only, will it be my turn
I’ll find some sun
Seek beauty and joy
Transcend this marathon run

I’m not the universe’s toy


Reflections from the Void

August 21, 2005

So, this is death!
all distractions departed
leaving emptiness, not loneliness
gnawing absence of purpose, manifests in tears

Purgatory,
between somethings that felt to have mattered
without logical linkage
between then, now and the next then

Transitions require momentum
energy is here, but failing direction
what pursuit of new experience calls
none … these moments

Sleep comes easy, frequently
no dreams revealed in the aftermode
void … passionless … lethargic … empty … void
emotionless?

Looking for some elixir
to heal, to know, to feel …
the game continues / with tears of the void
the potential unknown
I guess I do feel alone …

why … what the **** is the point … anyways …
does this rub … offend … ????

this, my creation, my expression of infinite potential, capacity, too bad that
I have no TV to distract …
guess I need to process through …

ps …
if you receive this – love you …
for what it is worth ...

I guess I am ‘OK’, just feeling my way through ………..


Heart of Sadness

November 6, 2005

Incredible, my heart screams of sadness
as I accept and surrender
Surrender to what I have wrought,
what I did from my state of pain

Our pain breeds more pain, often,
and feeds back upon itself
Amplifying toward a crescendo
of intensity felt viscerally

As our hearts ache
In deepening depression,
I feel spoiled that I want more
than I have
I feel I should harden up
and move forward,
towards, what …

If I harden up, I harden my heart
and it feels now is the moment
to dive into this pain,
to learn from this pain,
to grow from this pain,
to understand from this pain,
to rebuild my heart in an open way

Experience the pain in full color
experience the loneliness,
experience the emptiness,
experience my void,
experience my sorrow,
experience my defeat,
experience yet another death,
experience my drama,
experience my immaturity,
experience my dysfunctional self,
experience the consequences,
experience the responsibility,
experience the resentment of myself,
experience the anger at myself,
experience the pain,
experience the bleeding,
experience the desolation,
experience the emotions raw,
experience the tears,
experience the shredding in my heart

grow in compassion,
grow in empathy,
grow in unconditional love,
grow in reverence,
grow in acceptance,
grow in maturity,
grow in awareness

I don’t need to sacrifice,
I need to celebrate

I don’t need to enable,
I need to empower

I don’t need to think,
I need to feel

I don’t need to protect,
I need to love

I don’t need to speak,
I need to listen

I don’t need to hurt or project,
I need to heal


Returning Home, Changed

November 8, 2005

a lover scampered off
then returned past time
after everything shifted
in another’s heart
and mind

old windows shuttered
no quarter taken or given
thus tears held reign
from processed pain

now at an advanced arc
on the circle of love
lessons in alchemy
seem sent from above

this journey now vectored
with independent trajectories
finding different connection
within renewed reflection

the cat broke the home
the archer wandered on
now on new paths
each does roam

the cat is changing
experiencing nature anew
with life rearranging
deeply ranging

in love with you


Shadow Teachings

November 14, 2005

We have known all along
yet didn’t trust those feelings
As our subconscious takes charge
when we fall asleep at the wheel

Just as we continue to breathe
within each moment of slumber
Some segment within us
will always surface
to chart our courses

With each emotion left
unexpressed in the moment
another is drawn forth and purged

Cycling
Withhold, Withdraw, Project
The truth will set us free
If we have courage to reveal
And the truth clears out
emotions, two by two
one new, one buried
Creating space
allowing

Love,

Courage,

Creativity,

Understanding,

Joy­,

Celebration,

Illumination,

Growth,

LIFE

Express or Suppress

a Choice

of Voice

Opportunity found
in stormy weather
repairing the roof
in the rain

We may heal together
With whomever
NOW, then or never

It commences
via
loving thy self

Reinforced in experience
beyond words from
books on the shelf

WE WRITE OUR SCRIPTS

WE CREATE OUR EXPERIENCE

WE ARE RESPONSIBLE

WE ARE CREATORS CREATING

HOLD REVERENCE IN OUR POWER

FOR TRANSMUTING ENERGY

WITH LOVE


Be Impeccable of Word
(seasons of silence and truth to be expressed),

Don’t Take It Personal
(while observing the internal CHARGE!),

Don’t Make Assumptions
(they are mostly our projections!),

Do Your Best
(while ready for universal fireworks!)


Reflections Forward

November 30, 2005

Where am I going
with what I feel today
finding pure simplicity
laughter, being, love and play

Wisdom’s foundation built
on wisps of reflections past
absorbed experience
never allowed to wilt

My soul
has been heard
that incessant screaming
now
finally ceased
still raw
yet healing
moment
by moment
with each regression
new levels encountered
it was always
my lessons
cycling
for conclusion
the tool is divine
yet a challenge
to master
wanting
to be there
faster
just where
right here
presence
in now

Tao

honor in flow
faith in it all
no withdraw
from my call


Crumbles

Whelp, that was intense
Wrong words
Wrong tone
Wrong subject

How fast creation
changes
dissolves
and begins
Anew

Suddenly
all the discussion
all the plans
all the harmony
evaporated
reminding me
to look back within

I didn’t know
we were that fragile
without enough
foundation
relation

What does this circumstance
reflect about me
never independent
at least I remained calm
and found compassion
without projection

I honored the four agreements
as I watched you cry
as I absorbed the barbs flung
and chose not to deflect
mostly
silent
as I elected
to simply reflect
on your pain
your sorrow
that I couldn’t
prevent
heal
or soften

The dream has faded
the future now foggy
I know depression
I know sadness
I know empathy
and love

I choose life
I choose growth
I choose to heal
I choose to love

Paths feel divergent
with new adventure
just around the corner

I gave my love
my attention
affection
and soul

Angels!!!!!
support me now
as I shed these tears
listen as I call

I won’t stagger
much
I won’t fall
but face
unknown years
unknown fears

Nobody Knew Me

2006.01.31

No other soul
Experienced me
Fully authentic
As I lay hiding
From myself
Doubting
I could survive
Naked

When my Mother
Declared
My friend
And Lover
Was EVIL
My delusion
Fractured

Within moments
Over days
Illusions crumbled
Imploded
In fragments
Then shards
Of recognition
Crept
Then flooded in

I found myself
In darkness
Exposed and bare
I had strove
With my unique intensity

To be
Validated
Nurtured
Wanted
Touched
And Loved

To obtain these desires
I Compromised
I Manipulated
I Projected
I Overwhelmed

I would then Withdraw
I closed my eyes
Then my ears
Then my touch
Then my mind
And finally my heart

I wove stories
And swam, immersed
In my lies

My truth and core
Thus illuminated
In both peace
And tears of sorrow
I have been alone
I belong alone
I shall be alone
While I meet
Myself, now
Innocent
Again

I release Mom’s rejection
Transmuting her reflection
And transfiguring
Her projection

Thank you, Mother
You missed just one aspect

The EVIL was MINE
I created my experience
To break my own chains
Script complete
Curtain falls
No applause
No audience
Now
Silence

Nobody knew me
Not
Even
Me

Tears
Joy to follow


Unwelcome Back
2006.03.17

The dark visitors have arrived
and tears stream down my checks
are these demons
another component of ‘me’?

I call, sincerely
on angels and help
yet remain feeling
disconnected

Tonight was supposed to be
about sharing, growth
and healing
yet why, again
am I left reeling

Am I paying
for karmic bonds
both instant and past
is it time,
yet again,
to merely fast
to turn off these emotions
suppress yet another round

I have again
found the deep pain
why is it so hard
to love
and transcend my pain

There are keys
I haven’t yet found
there are messages
silent in sound

I don’t know myself
though I look with intensity
I apologize
here and now
for exposing myself
projecting myself
dragging anyone down
to my despair
felt beyond repair

Harr!

this IS the trap
feeling alone
feeling the sorrow
missing the balance
reveling in another tomorrow

This game is ****** up
get over it now
bring forth the light
shine in true essence
become
in presence
it is easy to quit
resign and give up

Hail beyond!!!!!!!!!
Creators transcend
right up
from the muck
Stella Apr 2018
Why am I so weak?
Why can’t I be strong for once.
Why can’t I be normal?
Why do I live in a world of pain
This reality of truth
This realm of heartbreak?
Why do I live in a society where I fear for my life?
I fear the terrorists coming,
I fear the school shooters shooting,
I fear the threats that have yet to be known.
Why should I, or anyone
Have to grow up with this?
The constant threat of something coming,
The feeling of uncertainty when it come to school,
Wondering if I’ll be the next victim?
When will I be able to walk the streets,
Not wondering if I will get shot.
What wrong with today?
People ask.
Let me tell you.
I have to grow up
Living In fear for my life
I have to grow up
with the threats of terrorism
I have to grow up
Wondering if I’ll die today
I have to grow up
Knowing the world is falling apart
I have to grow up
Feeling as if there is always something bigger than me
I have to grow up
With no hope for a better world
This world is toxic,
I wonder when others will start noticing
Well, I hope you like it. Thanks for reading. I wrote this a while ago when the Florida shooting was more prominent than it is now.
ryyan Jul 2018
When I grow old, I hope I have wooden bones
that chip with a sculptors chisel and decompose
into the same soil as the dirt underneath my nails.
When I grow old, I hope I've found my green thumb,
and haven't forgotten Eden's hum, to have a garden to
drink coffee in.
When I grow old, I hope I still smoke tobacco from a pipe,
and read by candlelight, I hope I look back on life
and feel at peace when I go to bed at night.

When I grow old, I hope I find company in a woman with
grey hair whose somber, but bright eyes still stare at the Robins through the morning sun's glare. I hope she hasn't forgotten
how to smile when I'm being senile. And her joyous laugh still resonates deep in her stomach.
I hope we talk about the weather, how last winter was
better, and that we grieve well growing old together.

When I grow old, I hope the young ones will take my
mundane advice, and even if they find it trite,
pretend that it's wise.
I hope I have granddaughters and sons who'll be
just as excited for the sunrise as I, sharing the same
childish wonder for dawn's light sky.

When I grow old, I hope I still hope,
and haven't sunken into the stodgy bitterness that
plagues old men,
but still remain with fiery kind eyes that yearn
to turn earth into God's garden again.
Michael R Burch Oct 2020
Poems about Flight, Flying, Flights of Fancy, Kites, Leaves, Butterflies, Birds and Bees



Flight
by Michael R. Burch

It is the nature of loveliness to vanish
as butterfly wings, batting against nothingness
seek transcendence...

Originally published by Hibiscus (India)



Southern Icarus
by Michael R. Burch

Windborne, lover of heights,
unspooled from the truck’s wildly lurching embrace,
you climb, skittish kite...

What do you know of the world’s despair,
gliding in vast... solitariness... there,
so that all that remains is to
fall?

Only a little longer the wind invests its sighs;
you
stall,
spread-eagled, as the canvas snaps
and *****
its white rebellious wings,
and all
the houses watch with baffled eyes.



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



American Eagle, Grounded
by Michael R. Burch

Her predatory eye,
the single feral iris,
scans.

Her raptor beak,
all jagged sharp-edged ******,
juts.

Her hard talon,
clenched in pinched expectation,
waits.

Her clipped wings,
preened against reality,
tremble.

Published as “Tremble” by The Lyric, Verses Magazine, Romantics Quarterly, Journeys, The Raintown Review, Poetic Ponderings, Poem Kingdom, The Fabric of a Vision, NPAC—Net Poetry and Art Competition, Poet’s Haven, Listening To The Birth Of Crystals (Anthology), Poetry Renewal, Inspirational Stories, Poetry Life & Times, MahMag (Iranian/Farsi), The Eclectic Muse (Canada)



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.



Springtime Prayer
by Michael R. Burch

They’ll have to grow like crazy,
the springtime baby geese,
if they’re to fly to balmier climes
when autumn dismembers the leaves...

And so I toss them loaves of bread,
then whisper an urgent prayer:
“Watch over these, my Angels,
if there’s anyone kind, up there.”

Originally published by The HyperTexts



Learning to Fly
by Michael R. Burch

We are learning to fly
every day...

learning to fly—
away, away...

O, love is not in the ephemeral flight,
but love, Love! is our destination—

graced land of eternal sunrise, radiant beyond night!
Let us bear one another up in our vast migration.



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



For a Palestinian Child, with Butterflies
by Michael R. Burch

Where does the butterfly go
when lightning rails,
when thunder howls,
when hailstones scream,
when winter scowls,
when nights compound dark frosts with snow...
Where does the butterfly go?

Where does the rose hide its bloom
when night descends oblique and chill
beyond the capacity of moonlight to fill?
When the only relief's a banked fire's glow,
where does the butterfly go?

And where shall the spirit flee
when life is harsh, too harsh to face,
and hope is lost without a trace?
Oh, when the light of life runs low,
where does the butterfly go?

Published by Tucumcari Literary Review, Romantics Quarterly, Poetry Life & Times, Victorian Violet Press (where it was nominated for a “Best of the Net”), The Contributor (a Nashville homeless newspaper), Siasat (Pakistan), and set to music as a part of the song cycle “The Children of Gaza” which has been performed in various European venues by the Palestinian soprano Dima Bawab



Earthbound, a Vision of Crazy Horse
by Michael R. Burch

Tashunka Witko, a Lakota Sioux better known as Crazy Horse, had a vision of a red-tailed hawk at Sylvan Lake, South Dakota. In his vision he saw himself riding a spirit horse, flying through a storm, as the hawk flew above him, shrieking. When he awoke, a red-tailed hawk was perched near his horse.

Earthbound,
and yet I now fly
through the clouds that are aimlessly drifting...
so high
that no sound
echoing by
below where the mountains are lifting
the sky
can be heard.

Like a bird,
but not meek,
like a hawk from a distance regarding its prey,
I will shriek,
not a word,
but a screech,
and my terrible clamor will turn them to clay—
the sheep,
the earthbound.

Published by American Indian Pride and Boston Poetry Magazine



Sioux Vision Quest
by Crazy Horse, Oglala Lakota Sioux (circa 1840-1877)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A man must pursue his Vision
as the eagle explores
the sky's deepest blues.

Published by Better Than Starbucks and A Hundred Voices



in-flight convergence
by Michael R. Burch

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

here the streetlights that flicker
and those blazing steadfast
seem one: from a distance;
descend,
they abruptly
part ———— ways,
so that nothing is one
which at times does not suddenly blend
into garish insignificance
in the familiar alleyways,
in the white neon flash
and the billboards of Convenience

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

Originally published by The Aurorean and subsequently nominated for the Pushcart Prize



Flight 93
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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



Flight
by Michael R. Burch

Eagle, raven, blackbird, crow...
What you are I do not know.
Where you go I do not care.
I’m unconcerned whose meal you bear.
But as you mount the sunlit sky,
I only wish that I could fly.
I only wish that I could fly.

Robin, hawk or whippoorwill...
Should men care that you hunger still?
I do not wish to see your home.
I do not wonder where you roam.
But as you scale the sky's bright stairs,
I only wish that I were there.
I only wish that I were there.

Sparrow, lark or chickadee...
Your markings I disdain to see.
Where you fly concerns me not.
I scarcely give your flight a thought.
But as you wheel and arc and dive,
I, too, would feel so much alive.
I, too, would feel so much alive.

This is a poem I wrote in high school. I seem to remember the original poem being influenced by William Cullen Bryant's "To a Waterfowl."



Flying
by Michael R. Burch

I shall rise
and try the ****** wings of thought
ten thousand times
before I fly...

and then I'll sleep
and waste ten thousand nights
before I dream;

but when at last...
I soar the distant heights of undreamt skies
where never hawks nor eagles dared to go,
as I laugh among the meteors flashing by
somewhere beyond the bluest earth-bound seas...
if I'm not told
I’m just a man,
then I shall know
just what I am.

This is one of my early poems, written around age 16-17.



Stage Craft-y
by Michael R. Burch

There once was a dromedary
who befriended a crafty canary.
Budgie said, "You can’t sing,
but now, here’s the thing—
just think of the tunes you can carry!"



Clyde Lied!
by Michael R. Burch

There once was a mockingbird, Clyde,
who bragged of his prowess, but lied.
To his new wife he sighed,
"When again, gentle bride?"
"Nevermore!" bright-eyed Raven replied.



Less Heroic Couplets: ****** Most Fowl!
by Michael R. Burch

“****** most foul!”
cried the mouse to the owl.
“Friend, I’m no sinner;
you’re merely my dinner!”
the wise owl replied
as the tasty snack died.

Published by Lighten Up Online and in Potcake Chapbook #7.



Lance-Lot
by Michael R. Burch

Preposterous bird!
Inelegant! Absurd!
Until the great & mighty heron
brandishes his fearsome sword.



Kissin’ ’n’ buzzin’
by Michael R. Burch

Kissin’ ’n’ buzzin’ the bees rise
in a dizzy circle of two.
Oh, when I’m with you,
I feel like kissin’ ’n’ buzzin’ too.



Delicacy
by Michael R. Burch

for all good mothers

Your love is as delicate
as a butterfly cleaning its wings,
as soft as the predicate
the hummingbird sings
to itself, gently murmuring—
“Fly! Fly! Fly!”
Your love is the string
soaring kites untie.



Lone Wild Goose
by Du Fu (712-770)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The abandoned goose refuses food and drink;
he cries querulously for his companions.
Who feels kinship for that strange wraith
as he vanishes eerily into the heavens?
You watch it as it disappears;
its plaintive calls cut through you.
The indignant crows ignore you both:
the bickering, bantering multitudes.



The Red Cockatoo
by Po Chu-I (772-846)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A marvelous gift from Annam—
a red cockatoo,
bright as peach blossom,
fluent in men's language.

So they did what they always do
to the erudite and eloquent:
they created a thick-barred cage
and shut it up.



The Migrant Songbird
Li Qingzhao aka Li Ching-chao (c. 1084-1155)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The migrant songbird on the nearby yew
brings tears to my eyes with her melodious trills;
this fresh downpour reminds me of similar spills:
another spring gone, and still no word from you...



Lines from Laolao Ting Pavilion
by Li Bai (701-762)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The spring breeze knows partings are bitter;
The willow twig knows it will never be green again.



The Day after the Rain
Lin Huiyin (1904-1955)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I love the day after the rain
and the meadow's green expanses!
My heart endlessly rises with wind,
gusts with wind...
away the new-mown grasses and the fallen leaves...
away the clouds like smoke...
vanishing like smoke...



Untitled Translations

Cupid, if you incinerate my soul, touché!
For like you she has wings and can fly away!
—Meleager, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

As autumn deepens,
a butterfly sips
chrysanthemum dew.
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Come, butterfly,
it’s late
and we’ve a long way to go!
—Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Up and at ’em! The sky goes bright!
Let’***** the road again,
Companion Butterfly!
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Ah butterfly,
what dreams do you ply
with your beautiful wings?
—Chiyo-ni, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Oh, dreamlike winter butterfly:
a puff of white snow
cresting mountains
—Kakio Tomizawa, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Dry leaf flung awry:
bright butterfly,
goodbye!
—Michael R. Burch, original haiku

Will we remain parted forever?
Here at your grave:
two flowerlike butterflies
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

a soaring kite flits
into the heart of the sun?
Butterfly & Chrysanthemum
—Michael R. Burch, original haiku

The cheerful-chirping cricket
contends gray autumn's gay,
contemptuous of frost
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Whistle on, twilight whippoorwill,
solemn evangelist
of loneliness
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

The sea darkening,
the voices of the wild ducks:
my mysterious companions!
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Lightning
shatters the darkness—
the night heron's shriek
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

This snowy morning:
cries of the crow I despise
(ah, but so beautiful!)
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

A crow settles
on a leafless branch:
autumn nightfall.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Hush, cawing crows; what rackets you make!
Heaven's indignant messengers,
you remind me of wordsmiths!
—O no Yasumaro (circa 711), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Higher than a skylark,
resting on the breast of heaven:
this mountain pass.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

An exciting struggle
with such a sad ending:
cormorant fishing.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Does my soul abide in heaven, or hell?
Only the sea gull
in his high, lonely circuits, may tell.
—Glaucus, translation by Michael R. Burch

The eagle sees farther
from its greater height—
our ancestors’ wisdom
—Michael R. Burch, original haiku

A kite floats
at the same place in the sky
where yesterday it floated...
—Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Descent
by Michael R. Burch

I have listened to the rain all this morning
and it has a certain gravity,
as if it knows its destination,
perhaps even its particular destiny.
I do not believe mine is to be uplifted,
although I, too, may be flung precipitously
and from a great height.



Ultimate Sunset
by Michael R. Burch

for my father, Paul Ray Burch, Jr.

he now faces the Ultimate Sunset,
his body like the leaves that fray as they dry,
shedding their vital fluids (who knows why?)
till they’ve become even lighter than the covering sky,
ready to fly...



Free Fall
by Michael R. Burch

for my father, Paul Ray Burch, Jr.

I see the longing for departure gleam
in his still-keen eye,
and I understand his desire
to test this last wind, like those late autumn leaves
with nothing left to cling to...



Leaf Fall
by Michael R. Burch

Whatever winds encountered soon resolved
to swirling fragments, till chaotic heaps
of leaves lay pulsing by the backyard wall.
In lieu of rakes, our fingers sorted each
dry leaf into its place and built a high,
soft bastion against earth's gravitron—
a patchwork quilt, a trampoline, a bright
impediment to fling ourselves upon.
And nothing in our laughter as we fell
into those leaves was like the autumn's cry
of also falling. Nothing meant to die
could be so bright as we, so colorful—
clad in our plaids, oblivious to pain
we'd feel today, should we leaf-fall again.

Originally published by The Neovictorian/Cochlea



The Folly of Wisdom
by Michael R. Burch

She is wise in the way that children are wise,
looking at me with such knowing, grave eyes
I must bend down to her to understand.
But she only smiles, and takes my hand.
We are walking somewhere that her feet know to go,
so I smile, and I follow...
And the years are dark creatures concealed in bright leaves
that flutter above us, and what she believes—
I can almost remember—goes something like this:
the prince is a horned toad, awaiting her kiss.
She wiggles and giggles, and all will be well
if only we find him! The woodpecker’s knell
as he hammers the coffin of some dying tree
that once was a fortress to someone like me
rings wildly above us. Some things that we know
we are meant to forget. Life is a bloodletting, maple-syrup-slow.

Originally published by Romantics Quarterly



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.



Songstress
by Michael R. Burch

Within its starkwhite ribcage, how the heart
must flutter wildly, O, and always sing
against the pressing darkness: all it knows
until at last it feels the numbing sting
of death. Then life's brief vision swiftly passes,
imposing night on one who clearly saw.
Death held your bright heart tightly, till its maw–
envenomed, fanged–could swallow, whole, your Awe.
And yet it was not death so much as you
who sealed your doom; you could not help but sing
and not be silenced. Here, behold your tomb's
white alabaster cage: pale, wretched thing!
But you'll not be imprisoned here, wise wren!
Your words soar free; rise, sing, fly, live again.

A poet like Nadia Anjuman can be likened to a caged bird, deprived of flight, who somehow finds it within herself to sing of love and beauty.



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.



Lean Harvests
by Michael R. Burch

for T.M.

the trees are shedding their leaves again:
another summer is over.
the Christians are praising their Maker again,
but not the disconsolate plover:
i hear him berate
the fate
of his mate;
he claims God is no body’s lover.

Published by The Rotary Dial and Angle



My Forty-Ninth Year
by Michael R. Burch

My forty-ninth year
and the dew remembers
how brightly it glistened
encrusting September,...
one frozen September
when hawks ruled the sky
and death fell on wings
with a shrill, keening cry.

My forty-ninth year,
and still I recall
the weavings and windings
of childhood, of fall...
of fall enigmatic,
resplendent, yet sere,...
though vibrant the herald
of death drawing near.

My forty-ninth year
and now often I've thought on
the course of a lifetime,
the meaning of autumn,
the cycle of autumn
with winter to come,
of aging and death
and rebirth... on and on.

Originally published by Romantics Quarterly as “My Twenty-Ninth Year”



Myth
by Michael R. Burch

Here the recalcitrant wind
sighs with grievance and remorse
over fields of wayward gorse
and thistle-throttled lanes.
And she is the myth of the scythed wheat
hewn and sighing, complete,
waiting, lain in a low sheaf—
full of faith, full of grief.

Here the immaculate dawn
requires belief of the leafed earth
and she is the myth of the mown grain—
golden and humble in all its weary worth.



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.



Child of 9-11
by Michael R. Burch

a poem for Christina-Taylor Green, who
was born on September 11, 2001 and who
died at age nine, shot to death...

Child of 9-11, beloved,
I bring this lily, lay it down
here at your feet, and eiderdown,
and all soft things, for your gentle spirit.
I bring this psalm — I hope you hear it.

Much love I bring — I lay it down
here by your form, which is not you,
but what you left this shell-shocked world
to help us learn what we must do
to save another child like you.

Child of 9-11, I know
you are not here, but watch, afar
from distant stars, where angels rue
the evil things some mortals do.
I also watch; I also rue.

And so I make this pledge and vow:
though I may weep, I will not rest
nor will my pen fail heaven's test
till guns and wars and hate are banned
from every shore, from every land.

Child of 9-11, I grieve
your tender life, cut short... bereaved,
what can I do, but pledge my life
to saving lives like yours? Belief
in your sweet worth has led me here...
I give my all: my pen, this tear,
this lily and this eiderdown,
and all soft things my heart can bear;
I bring them to your final bier,
and leave them with my promise, here.

Originally published by The Flea



Desdemona
by Michael R. Burch

Though you possessed the moon and stars,
you are bound to fate and wed to chance.
Your lips deny they crave a kiss;
your feet deny they ache to dance.
Your heart imagines wild romance.

Though you cupped fire in your hands
and molded incandescent forms,
you are barren now, and—spent of flame—
the ashes that remain are borne
toward the sun upon a storm.

You, who demanded more, have less,
your heart within its cells of sighs
held fast by chains of misery,
confined till death for peddling lies—
imprisonment your sense denies.

You, who collected hearts like leaves
and pressed each once within your book,
forgot. None—winsome, bright or rare—
not one was worth a second look.
My heart, as others, you forsook.

But I, though I loved you from afar
through silent dawns, and gathered rue
from gardens where your footsteps left
cold paths among the asters, knew—
each moonless night the nettles grew
and strangled hope, where love dies too.

Published by Penny Dreadful, Carnelian, Romantics Quarterly, Grassroots Poetry and Poetry Life & Times



Transplant
by Michael R. Burch

You float, unearthly angel, clad in flesh
as strange to us who briefly knew your flame
as laughter to disease. And yet you laugh.
Behind your smile, the sun forfeits its claim
to earth, and floats forever now the same—
light captured at its moment of least height.
You laugh here always, welcoming the night,
and, just a photograph, still you can claim
bright rapture: like an angel, not of flesh—
but something more, made less. Your humanness
this moment of release becomes a name
and something else—a radiance, a strange
brief presence near our hearts. How can we stand
and chain you here to this nocturnal land
of burgeoning gray shadows? Fly, begone.
I give you back your soul, forfeit all claim
to radiance, and welcome grief’s dark night
that crushes all the laughter from us. Light
in someone Else’s hand, and sing at ease
some song of brightsome mirth through dawn-lit trees
to welcome morning’s sun. O daughter! these
are eyes too weak for laughter; for love’s sight,
I welcome darkness, overcome with light.



Reading between the lines
by Michael R. Burch

Who could have read so much, as we?
Having the time, but not the inclination,
TV has become our philosophy,
sheer boredom, our recreation.



Rilke Translations

Archaic Torso of Apollo
by Rainer Maria Rilke
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

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



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

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

Originally published by Measure



The Panther
by Rainer Maria Rilke
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

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



Come, You
by Ranier Maria Rilke
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

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

Come, you—the last one I acknowledge; return—
incurable pain searing this physical mesh.
As I burned in the spirit once, so now I burn
with you; meanwhile, you consume my flesh.
This wood that long resisted your embrace
now nourishes you; I surrender to your fury
as my gentleness mutates to hellish rage—
uncaged, wild, primal, mindless, outré.
Completely free, no longer future's pawn,
I clambered up this crazy pyre of pain,
certain I'd never return—my heart's reserves gone—
to become death's nameless victim, purged by flame.
Now all I ever was must be denied.
I left my memories of my past elsewhere.
That life—my former life—remains outside.
Inside, I'm lost. Nobody knows me here.



Love Song
by Rainer Maria Rilke
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

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



The Beggar's Song
by Rainer Maria Rilke
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I live outside your gates,
exposed to the rain, exposed to the sun;
sometimes I'll cradle my right ear
in my right palm;
then when I speak my voice sounds strange,
alien...
I'm unsure whose voice I'm hearing:
mine or yours.
I implore a trifle;
the poets cry for more.
Sometimes I cover both eyes
and my face disappears;
there it lies heavy in my hands
looking peaceful, instead,
so that no one would ever think
I have no place to lay my head.



Ivy
by Michael R. Burch

“Van trepando en mi viejo dolor como las yedras.” — Pablo Neruda
“They climb on my old suffering like ivy.”

Ivy winds around these sagging structures
from the flagstones
to the eave heights,
and, clinging, holds intact
what cannot be saved of their loose entrails.
Through long, blustery nights of dripping condensation,
cured in the humidors of innumerable forgotten summers,
waxy, unguent,
palely, indifferently fragrant, it climbs,
pausing at last to see
the alien sparkle of dew
beading delicate sparrowgrass.
Coarse saw grass, thin skunk grass, clumped mildewed yellow gorse
grow all around, and here remorse, things past,
watch ivy climb and bend,
and, in the end, we ask
if grief is worth the gaps it leaps to mend.



Joy in the Morning
by Michael R. Burch

for my grandparents George Edwin Hurt and Christine Ena Hurt

There will be joy in the morning
for now this long twilight is over
and their separation has ended.
For fourteen years, he had not seen her
whom he first befriended,
then courted and married.
Let there be joy, and no mourning,
for now in his arms she is carried
over a threshold vastly sweeter.
He never lost her; she only tarried
until he was able to meet her.



Prodigal
by Michael R. Burch

This poem is dedicated to Kevin Longinotti, who died four days short of graduation from Vanderbilt University, the victim of a tornado that struck Nashville on April 16, 1998.

You have graduated now,
to a higher plane
and your heart’s tenacity
teaches us not to go gently
though death intrudes.

For eighteen days
—jarring interludes
of respite and pain—
with life only faintly clinging,
like a cashmere snow,
testing the capacity
of the blood banks
with the unstaunched flow
of your severed veins,
in the collapsing declivity,
in the sanguine haze
where Death broods,
you struggled defiantly.

A city mourns its adopted son,
flown to the highest ranks
while each heart complains
at the harsh validity
of God’s ways.

On ponderous wings
the white clouds move
with your captured breath,
though just days before
they spawned the maelstrom’s
hellish rift.

Throw off this mortal coil,
this envelope of flesh,
this brief sheath
of inarticulate grief
and transient joy.

Forget the winds
which test belief,
which bear the parchment leaf
down life’s last sun-lit path.

We applaud your spirit, O Prodigal,
O Valiant One,
in its percussive flight into the sun,
winging on the heart’s last madrigal.



Breakings
by Michael R. Burch

I did it out of pity.
I did it out of love.
I did it not to break the heart of a tender, wounded dove.

But gods without compassion
ordained: Frail things must break!
Now what can I do for her shattered psyche’s sake?

I did it not to push.
I did it not to shove.
I did it to assist the flight of indiscriminate Love.

But gods, all mad as hatters,
who legislate in all such matters,
ordained that everything irreplaceable shatters.



The Quickening
by Michael R. Burch

I never meant to love you
when I held you in my arms
promising you sagely
wise, noncommittal charms.

And I never meant to need you
when I touched your tender lips
with kisses that intrigued my own—
such kisses I had never known,
nor a heartbeat in my fingertips!



It's Halloween!
by Michael R. Burch

If evening falls
on graveyard walls
far softer than a sigh;
if shadows fly
moon-sickled skies,
while children toss their heads
uneasy in their beds,
beware the witch's eye!

If goblins loom
within the gloom
till playful pups grow terse;
if birds give up their verse
to comfort chicks they nurse,
while children dream weird dreams
of ugly, wiggly things,
beware the serpent's curse!

If spirits scream
in haunted dreams
while ancient sibyls rise
to plague black nightmare skies
one night without disguise,
while children toss about
uneasy, full of doubt,
beware the devil's eyes...
it's Halloween!



An Illusion
by Michael R. Burch

The sky was as hushed as the breath of a bee
and the world was bathed in shades of palest gold
when I awoke.
She came to me with the sound of falling leaves
and the scent of new-mown grass;
I held out my arms to her and she passed
into oblivion...

This is one of my early poems, written around age 16 and published in my high school literary journal, The Lantern.



Describing You
by Michael R. Burch

How can I describe you?
The fragrance of morning rain
mingled with dew
reminds me of you;
the warmth of sunlight
stealing through a windowpane
brings you back to me again.

This is an early poem of mine, written as a teenager.



www.firesermon.com
by Michael R. Burch

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

Published by: Ironwood, Triplopia and Nisqually Delta Review



Her Grace Flows Freely
by Michael R. Burch

July 7, 2007

Her love is always chaste, and pure.
This I vow. This I aver.
If she shows me her grace, I will honor her.
This I vow. This I aver.
Her grace flows freely, like her hair.
This I vow. This I aver.
For her generousness, I would worship her.
This I vow. This I aver.
I will not **** her for what I bear
This I vow. This I aver.
like a most precious incense–desire for her,
This I vow. This I aver.
nor call her “*****” where I seek to repair.
This I vow. This I aver.
I will not wink, nor smirk, nor stare
This I vow. This I aver.
like a foolish child at the foot of a stair
This I vow. This I aver.
where I long to go, should another be there.
This I vow. This I aver.
I’ll rejoice in her freedom, and always dare
This I vow. This I aver.
the chance that she’ll flee me–my starling rare.
This I vow. This I aver.
And then, if she stays, without stays, I swear
This I vow. This I aver.
that I will joy in her grace beyond compare.
This I vow. This I aver.



Second Sight (II)
by Michael R. Burch

Newborns see best at a distance of 8 to 14 inches.
Wiser than we know, the newborn screams,
red-faced from breath, and wonders what life means
this close to death, amid the arctic glare
of warmthless lights above.
Beware! Beware!—
encrypted signals, codes? Or ciphers, noughts?
Interpretless, almost, as his own thoughts—
the brilliant lights, the brilliant lights exist.
Intruding faces ogle, gape, insist—
this madness, this soft-hissing breath, makes sense.
Why can he not float on, in dark suspense,
and dream of life? Why did they rip him out?
He frowns at them—small gnomish frowns, all doubt—
and with an ancient mien, O sorrowful!,
re-closes eyes that saw in darkness null
ecstatic sights, exceeding beautiful.



Incommunicado
by Michael R. Burch

All I need to know of life I learned
in the slap of a moment,
as my outward eye turned
toward a gauntlet of overhanging lights
which coldly burned, hissing—
"There is no way back!..."
As the ironic bright blood
trickled down my face,
I watched strange albino creatures twisting
my flesh into tight knots of separation
all the while tediously insisting—
“He's doing just fine!"



Letdown
by Michael R. Burch

Life has not lived up to its first bright vision—
the light overhead fluorescing, revealing
no blessing—bestowing its glaring assessments
impersonally (and no doubt carefully metered).
That first hard

SLAP

demanded my attention. Defiantly rigid,
I screamed at their backs as they, laughingly,

ripped

my mother’s pale flesh from my unripened shell,
snapped it in two like a pea pod, then dropped
it somewhere—in a dustbin or a furnace, perhaps.

And that was my clue

that some deadly, perplexing, unknowable task
lay, inexplicable, ahead in the white arctic maze
of unopenable doors, in the antiseptic gloom...



Recursion
by Michael R. Burch

In a dream I saw boys lying
under banners gaily flying
and I heard their mothers sighing
from some dark distant shore.

For I saw their sons essaying
into fields—gleeful, braying—
their bright armaments displaying;
such manly oaths they swore!

From their playfields, boys returning
full of honor’s white-hot burning
and desire’s restless yearning
sired new kids for the corps.

In a dream I saw boys dying
under banners gaily lying
and I heard their mothers crying
from some dark distant shore.



Poet to poet
by Michael R. Burch

I have a dream
pebbles in a sparkling sand
of wondrous things.
I see children
variations of the same man
playing together.
Black and yellow, red and white,
stone and flesh, a host of colors
together at last.
I see a time
each small child another's cousin
when freedom shall ring.
I hear a song
sweeter than the sea sings
of many voices.
I hear a jubilation
respect and love are the gifts we must bring
shaking the land.
I have a message,
sea shells echo, the melody rings
the message of God.
I have a dream
all pebbles are merely smooth fragments of stone
of many things.
I live in hope
all children are merely small fragments of One
that this dream shall come true.
I have a dream...
but when you're gone, won't the dream have to end?
Oh, no, not as long as you dream my dream too!
Here, hold out your hand, let's make it come true.
i can feel it begin
Lovers and dreamers are poets too.
poets are lovers and dreamers too



Life Sentence
by Michael R. Burch

... I swim, my Daddy’s princess, newly crowned,
toward a gurgly Maelstrom... if I drown
will Mommy stick the Toilet Plunger down
to **** me up?... She sits upon Her Throne,
Imperious (denying we were one),
and gazes down and whispers “precious son”...

... the Plunger worked; i’m two, and, if not blessed,
still Mommy got the Worst Stuff off Her Chest;
a Vacuum Pump, They say, will do the rest...

... i’m three; yay! whee! oh good! it’s time to play!
(oh no, I think there’s Others on the way;
i’d better pray)...

... i’m four; at night I hear the Banging Door;
She screams; sometimes there’s Puddles on the Floor;
She wants to **** us, or, She wants some More...

... it’s great to be alive if you are five (unless you’re me);
my Mommy says: “you’re WRONG! don’t disagree!
don’t make this HURT ME!”...

... i’m six; They say i’m tall, yet Time grows Short;
we have a thriving Family; Abort!;
a tadpole’s ripping Mommy’s Room apart...

... i’m seven; i’m in heaven; it feels strange;
I saw my life go gurgling down the Drain;
another Noah built a Mighty Ark;
God smiled, appeased, a Rainbow split the Dark;
... I saw Bright Colors also, when She slammed
my head against the Tub, and then I swam
toward the magic tunnel... last, I heard...
is that She feels Weird.



Beast 666
by Michael R. Burch

“... what rough beast... slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?”—W. B. Yeats

Brutality is a cross
wooden, blood-stained,
gas hissing, sibilant,
lungs gilled, deveined,
red flecks on a streaked glass pane,
jeers jubilant,
mocking.

Brutality is shocking—
tiny orifices torn,
impaled with hard lust,
the fetus unborn
tossed in a dust-
bin. The scarred skull shorn,
nails bloodied, tortured,
an old wound sutured
over, never healed.

Brutality, all its faces revealed,
is legion:
Death March, Trail of Tears, Inquisition...
always the same.
The Beast of the godless and of man’s “religion”
slouching toward Jerusalem:
horned, crowned, gibbering, drooling, insane.



America's Riches
by Michael R. Burch

Balboa's dream
was bitter folly—
no El Dorado near, nor far,
though seas beguiled
and rivers smiled
from beds of gold and silver ore.

Drake retreated
rich with plunder
as Incan fled Conquistador.
Aztecs died
when Spaniards lied,
then slew them for an ingot more.

The pilgrims came
and died or lived
in fealty to an oath they swore,
and bought with pain
the precious grain
that made them rich though they were poor.

Apache blood,
Comanche tears
were shed, and still they went to war;
they fought to be
unbowed and free—
such were Her riches, and still are.

Published by Poetic Reflections and Tucumcari Literary Review



Kindergarten
by Michael R. Burch

Will we be children as puzzled tomorrow—
our lessons still not learned?
Will we surrender over to sorrow?
How many times must our fingers be burned?
Will we be children sat in the corner,
paddled again and again?
How long must we linger, playing Jack Horner?
Will we ever learn, and when?
Will we be children wearing the dunce cap,
giggling and playing the fool,
re-learning our lessons forever and ever,
still failing the golden rule?



Photographs
by Michael R. Burch

Here are the effects of a life
and they might tell us a tale
(if only we had time to listen)
of how each imperiled tear would glisten,
remembered as brightness in her eyes,
and how each dawn’s dramatic skies
could never match such pale azure.

Like dreams of her, these ghosts endure
and they tell us a tale of impatient glory...
till a line appears—a trace of worry?—
or the wayward track of a wandering smile
which even now can charm, beguile?

We might find good cause to wonder
as we see her pause (to frown?, to ponder?):
what vexed her in her loveliness...
what weight, what crushing heaviness
turned her lustrous hair a frazzled gray,
and stole her youth before her day?

We might ask ourselves: did Time devour
the passion with the ravaged flower?
But here and there a smile will bloom
to light the leaden, shadowed gloom
that always seems to linger near...
And here we find a single tear:
it shimmers like translucent dew
and tells us Anguish touched her too,
and did not spare her for her hair
of copper, or her eyes' soft hue.

Published in Tucumcari Literary Review



Numbered
by Michael R. Burch

He desired an object to crave;
she came, and she altared his affection.
He asked her for something to save:
a memento for his collection.
But all that she had was her need;
what she needed, he knew not to give.
They compromised on a thing gone to seed
to complete the half lives they would live.
One in two, they were less than complete.
Two plus one, in their huge fractious home
left them two, the new one in the street,
then he, by himself, one, alone.
He awoke past his prime to new dawn
with superfluous dew all around,
in ten thousands bright beads on his lawn,
and he knew that, at last, he had found
a number of things he had missed:
things shining and bright, unencumbered
by their price, or their place on a list.
Then with joy and despair he remembered
and longed for the lips he had kissed
when his days were still evenly numbered.



Nucleotidings
by Michael R. Burch

“We will walk taller!” said Gupta,
sorta abrupta,
hand-in-hand with his mom,
eyeing the A-bomb.

“Who needs a mahatma
in the aftermath of NAFTA?
Now, that was a disaster,”
cried glib Punjab.

“After Y2k,
time will spin out of control anyway,”
flamed Vijay.

“My family is relatively heavy,
too big even for a pig-barn Chevy;
we need more space,”
spat What’s His Face.

“What does it matter,
dirge or mantra,”
sighed Serge.

“The world will wobble
in Hubble’s lens
till the tempest ends,”
wailed Mercedes.

“The world is going to hell in a bucket.
So **** it and get outta my face!
We own this place!
Me and my friends got more guns than ISIS,
so what’s the crisis?”
cried Bubba Billy Joe Bob Puckett.



All My Children
by Michael R. Burch

It is May now, gentle May,
and the sun shines pleasantly
upon the blousy flowers
of this backyard cemet'ry,
upon my children as they sleep.

Oh, there is Hank in the daisies now,
with a mound of earth for a pillow;
his face as hard as his monument,
but his voice as soft as the wind through the willows.

And there is Meg beside the spring
that sings her endless sleep.
Though it’s often said of stiller waters,
sometimes quicksilver streams run deep.

And there is Frankie, little Frankie,
tucked in safe at last,
a child who weakened and died too soon,
but whose heart was always steadfast.

And there is Mary by the bushes
where she hid so well,
her face as dark as their berries,
yet her eyes far darker still.

And Andy... there is Andy,
sleeping in the clover,
a child who never saw the sun
so soon his life was over.

And Em'ly, oh my Em'ly...
the prettiest of all...
now she's put aside her dreams
of lovers dark and tall
for dreams dreamed not at all.

It is May now, merry May
and the sun shines pleasantly
upon the green gardens,
on the graves of all my children...
But they never did depart;
they still live within my heart.

I wrote this poem around age 15-16.



Kingdom Freedom
by Michael R. Burch

LORD, grant me a rare sweet spirit of forgiveness.
Let me have none of the lividness
of religious outrage.

LORD, let me not be over-worried
about the lack of “morality” around me.
Surround me,
not with law’s restrictive cage,
but with Your spirit, freer than the wind,
so that to breathe is to have freest life,
and not to fly to You, my only sin.



Birthday Poem to Myself
by Michael R. Burch

LORD, be no longer this Distant Presence,
Star-Afar, Righteous-Anonymous,
but come! Come live among us;
come dwell again,
happy child among men—
men rejoicing to have known you
in the familiar manger’s cool
sweet light scent of unburdened hay.
Teach us again to be light that way,
with a chorus of angelic songs lessoned above.
Be to us again that sweet birth of Love
in the only way men can truly understand.
Do not frown darkening down upon an unrighteous land
planning fierce Retributions we require, and deserve,
but remember the child you were; believe
in the child I was, alike to you in innocence
a little while, all sweetness, and helpless without pretense.
Let us be little children again, magical in your sight.
Grant me this boon! Is it not my birthright—
just to know you, as you truly were, and are?
Come, be my friend. Help me understand and regain Hope’s long-departed star!



Litany
by Michael R. Burch

Will you take me with all my blemishes?
I will take you with all your blemishes, and show you mine. We’ll **** wine from cardboard boxes till our teeth and lips shine red like greedily gorging foxes’. We’ll swill our fill, then have *** for hours till our neglected guts at last rebel. At two in the morning, we’ll eat cold Krystals as our blood detoxes, and we will be in love.

And that’s it?
That’s it.

And can I go out with my friends and drink until dawn?
You can go out with your friends and drink until dawn, come home lipstick-collared, pass out by the pool, or stay at the bar till the new moon sets, because we'll be in love, and in love there's no room for remorse or regret. There is no right, no wrong, and no mistrust, only limb-numbing ***, hot-pistoning lust.

And that’s all?
That’s all.

That’s great!
But wait...

Wait? Why? What’s wrong?
I want to have your children.

Children?
Well, perhaps just one.

And what will happen when we have children?
The most incredible things will happen—you’ll change, stop acting so strangely, start paying more attention to me, start paying your bills on time, grow up and get rid of your horrible friends, and never come home at a-quarter-to-three drunk from a night of swilling, smelling like a lovesick skunk, stop acting so lewdly, start working incessantly so that we can afford a new house which I will decorate lavishly and then grow tired of in a year or two or three, start growing a paunch so that no other woman would ever have you, stop acting so boorishly, start growing a beard because you’re too tired to shave, or too afraid, thinking you might slit your worthless wrinkled throat...



Mending Glass
by Michael R. Burch

In the cobwebbed house—
lost in shadows
by the jagged mirror,
in the intricate silver face
cracked ten thousand times,
silently he watches,
and in the twisted light
sometimes he catches there
a familiar glimpse of revealing lace,
white stockings and garters,
a pale face pressed indiscreetly near
with a predatory leer,
the sheer flash of nylon,
an embrace, or a sharp slap,
... a sudden lurch of terror.

He finds bright slivers
—the hard sharp brittle shards,
the silver jags of memory
starkly impressed there—
and mends his error.



Shadowselves
by Michael R. Burch

In our hearts, knowing
fewer days—and milder—beckon,
how are we, now, to measure
that flame by which we reckon
the time we have remaining?

We are shadows
spawned by a blue spurt of candlelight.
Darkly, we watch ourselves flicker.

Where shall we go when the flame burns less bright?
When chill night steals our vigor?

Why are we less than ourselves? We are shadows.

Where is the fire of youth? We grow cold.

Why does our future loom dark? We are old.

Why do we shiver?

In our hearts, seeing
fewer days—and briefer—breaking,
now, even more, we treasure
the brittle leaf-like aching
that tells us we are living.



Pressure
by Michael R. Burch

Pressure is the plug of ice in the frozen hose,
the hiss of water within vinyl rigidly green and shining,
straining to writhe.

Pressure is the kettle’s lid ceaselessly tapping its tired dance,
the hot eye staring, its frantic issuance
unavailing.

Pressure is the bellow’s surge, the hard forged
metal shedding white heat, the beat of the clawed hammer
on cold anvil.

Pressure is a day’s work compressed into minutes,
frantic minute vessels constricted, straining and hissing,
unable to writhe,

the fingers drumming and tapping their tired dance,
eyes staring, cold and reptilian,
hooded and blind.

Pressure is the spirit sighing—reflective,
restrictive compression—an endless drumming—
the bellows’ echo before dying.

The cold eye—unblinking, staring.
The hot eye—sinking, uncaring.



Open Portal
by Michael R. Burch

“You already have zero privacy—get over it.”
Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems

While you’re at it—
don’t bother to wear clothes:
We all know what you’re concealing underneath.

Let the bathroom door swing open.
Let, O let Us peer in!
What you’re doing, We’ve determined, may be a sin!

When you visit your mother
and it’s time to brush your teeth,
it’s okay to openly spit.

And, while you’re at it,
go ahead—
take a long, noisy ****.

What the he|ll is your objection?
What on earth is all this fuss?
Just what is it, exactly, you would hide from US?



beMused
by Michael R. Burch

Perhaps at three
you'll come to tea,
to sip a cuppa here?

You'll just stop in
to drink dry gin?
I only have a beer.

To name the greats:
Pope, Dryden, mates?
The whole world knows their names.

Discuss the songs
of Emerson?
But these are children's games.

Give me rhythm
wild as Dylan!
Give me Bobbie Burns!

Give me Psalms,
or Hopkins’ poems,
Hart Crane’s, if he returns!

Or Langston railing!
Blake assailing!
Few others I desire.

Or go away,
yes, leave today:
your tepid poets tire.



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.



Salve
by Michael R. Burch

for the victims and survivors of 9-11

The world is unsalvageable...
but as we lie here
in bed
stricken to the heart by love
despite war’s
flickering images,
sometimes we still touch,
laughing, amazed,
that our flesh
does not despair
of love
as we do,
that our bodies are wise
in ways we refuse
to comprehend,
still insisting we eat,
drink...
even multiply.

And so we touch...
touch, and only imagine
ourselves immune:
two among billions
in this night of wished-on stars,
caresses,
kisses,
and condolences.

We are not lovers of irony,
we
who imagine ourselves
beyond the redemption
of tears
because we have salvaged
so few
for ourselves...

and so we laugh
at our predicament,
fumbling for the ointment.



Stump
by Michael R. Burch

This used to be a poplar, oak or elm...
we forget the names of trees, but still its helm,
green-plumed, like some Greek warrior’s, nobly fringed,
with blossoms almond-white, but verdant-tinged,
this massive helm... this massive, nodding head
here contemplated life, and now is dead...

Perhaps it saw its future, furrow-browed,
and flung its limbs about, dejectedly.
Perhaps it only dreamed as, cloud by cloud,
the sun plod through the sky. Heroically,
perhaps it stood against the mindless plots
of concrete that replaced each flowered bed.
Perhaps it heard thick loggers draw odd lots
and could not flee, and so could only dread...

The last of all its kind? They left its stump
with timeworn strange inscriptions no one reads
(because a language lost is just a bump
impeding someone’s progress at mall speeds).

We leveled all such “speed bumps” long ago
just as our quainter cousins leveled trees.
Shall we, too, be consumed by what we know?
Once gods were merely warriors; august trees
were merely twigs, and man the least divine...
mere fables now, dust, compost, turpentine.



First Dance
by Michael R. Burch

for Sykes and Mary Harris

Beautiful ballerina—
so pert, pretty, poised and petite,
how lightly you dance for your waiting Beau
on those beautiful, elegant feet!

How palely he now awaits you, although
he’ll glow from the sparks when you meet!



Keep the Body Well
by Michael R. Burch

for William Sykes Harris III

Is the soul connected to the brain
by a slender silver thread,
so that when the thread is severed
we call the body “dead”
while the soul — released from fear and pain —
is finally able to rise
beyond earth’s binding gravity
to heaven’s welcoming skies?

If so — no need to quail at death,
but keep the body well,
for when the body suffers
the soul experiences hell.



On Looking into Curious George’s Mirrors
by Michael R. Burch

for Maya McManmon, granddaughter of the poet Jim McManmon

Maya was made in the image of God;
may the reflections she sees in those curious mirrors
always echo back Love.

Amen



Maya’s Beddy-Bye Poem
by Michael R. Burch

for Maya McManmon, granddaughter of the poet Jim McManmon

With a hatful of stars
and a stylish umbrella
and her hand in her Papa’s
(that remarkable fella!)
and with Winnie the Pooh
and Eeyore in tow,
may she dance in the rain
cheek-to-cheek, toe-to-toe
till each number’s rehearsed...
My, that last step’s a leap! —
the high flight into bed
when it’s past time to sleep!

Note: “Hatful of Stars” is a lovely song and image by Cyndi Lauper.



Chip Off the Block
by Michael R. Burch

for Jeremy

In the fusion of poetry and drama,
Shakespeare rules! Jeremy’s a ham: a
chip off the block, like his father and mother.
Part poet? Part ham? Better run for cover!
Now he’s Benedick — most comical of lovers!

NOTE: Jeremy’s father is a poet and his mother is an actress; hence the fusion, or confusion, as the case may be.



Whose Woods
by Michael R. Burch

Whose woods these are, I think I know.
**** Cheney’s in the White House, though.
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his chip mills overflow.

My sterile horse must think it queer
To stop without a ’skeeter near
Beside this softly glowing “lake”
Of six-limbed frogs gone nuclear.

He gives his hairless tail a shake;
I fear he’s made his last mistake—
He took a sip of water blue
(Blue-slicked with oil and HazMat waste).

Get out your wallets; ****’s not through—
Enron’s defunct, the bill comes due...
Which he will send to me, and you.
Which he will send to me, and you.



1-800-HOT-LINE
by Michael R. Burch

“I don’t believe in psychics,” he said, “so convince me.”

When you were a child, the earth was a joy,
the sun a bright plaything, the moon a lit toy.
Now life’s minor distractions irk, frazzle, annoy.
When the crooked finger beckons, scythe-talons destroy.

“You’ll have to do better than that, to convince me.”

As you grew older, bright things lost their meaning.
You invested your hours in commodities, leaning
to things easily fleeced, to the convenient gleaning.
I see a pittance of dirt—untended, demeaning.

“Everyone knows that!” he said, “so convince me.”

Your first and last wives traded in golden bands
for vacations from the abuses of your cruel hands.
Where unwatered blooms line an arid plot of land,
the two come together, waving fans.

“Everyone knows that. Convince me.”

As your father left you, you left those you brought
to the doorstep of life as an afterthought.
Two sons and a daughter tap shoes, undistraught.
Their tears are contrived, their condolences bought.

“Everyone knows that. CONVINCE me.”

A moment, an instant... a life flashes by,
a tunnel appears, but not to the sky.
There is brightness, such brightness it sears the eye.
When a life grows too dull, it seems better to die.

“I could have told you that!” he shrieked, “I think I’ll **** myself!”

Originally published by Penny Dreadful



Lines for My Ascension
by Michael R. Burch

I.
If I should die,
there will come a Doom,
and the sky will darken
to the deepest Gloom.

But if my body
should not be found,
never think of me
in the cold ground.

II.
If I should die,
let no mortal say,
“Here was a man,
with feet of clay,

or a timid sparrow
God’s hand let fall.”
But watch the sky darken
to an eerie pall

and know that my Spirit,
unvanquished, broods,
and cares naught for graves,
prayers, coffins, or roods.

And if my body
should not be found,
never think of me
in the cold ground.

III.
If I should die,
let no man adore
his incompetent Maker:
Zeus, Jehovah, or Thor.

Think of Me as One
who never died—
the unvanquished Immortal
with the unriven side.

And if my body
should not be found,
never think of me
in the cold ground.

IV.
And if I should “die,”
though the clouds grow dark
as fierce lightnings rend
this bleak asteroid, stark...

If you look above,
you will see a bright Sign—
the sun with the moon
in its arms, Divine.

So divine, if you can,
my bright meaning, and know—
my Spirit is mine.
I will go where I go.

And if my body
should not be found,
never think of me
in the cold ground.

Keywords/Tags: flight, flying, fancy, kites, leaves, birds, bees, butterflies, wings, heights, fall, falling
ern kingham Apr 2015
Patience, Time, Grow,
Time, Grow, Change,
Grow, Change, Repeat,
Change, Repeat, Live,
Repeat, Live, Change,
Live, Change, Grow,
Change, Grow, Time,
Grow, Time, Patience,

**...Live
Sonja Eliason May 2012
When I grow up, I want to be a dentist
Astronaut or mage apprentice.  
I want to be a dancer, an artist, a king.
I'm hoping to stand on a stage and sing.
When I grow up, I want to be a lawyer,
Or have lead role in the play Tom Sawyer.
I'll be a comedian, and make people laugh!
Or the CEO with a thousand staff.
I'll be a waitress, a teacher, a vet.
Snow White's eighth dwarf that no one has met!
I might be a chef, or a scientist.
How about architect or alchemist?
When I grow up, I'll be a song writer
Or maybe your friendly, next-door firefighter.
I'll be a technician or pharmacy worker,
A fashion designer or New York stock broker.
I'm gonna be everything, just you wait and see!
But I think in the end I'm just gonna be me.
Romali Arora Mar 2014
When we grow old
Would you still kiss my forehead
And wake me up
****** glances at me
When i step out of the bath

When we grow old
Would you still eat
The burnt toast for breakfast
Evrytime i tried to make it good
And screwd it up

When we grow old
Would you still brew me coffee
When i have a ****** up head
Or on weekends
So that i can stay a little longer in bed

When we grow old
Would you still call me beautiful
And kiss me passionately
Would you still hold me in silence
And say how your heart beats only for me

When we grow old
Would you still surprise me with gifts
And leave behind chits

When we grow old
Would you still rest my head on your shoulder
And sing me a song
Would you still promise to love me
When i'm gone

And when i'm gone
Would you promise to carry me
In your arms to the grave
Like you carried me so lovingly
On our wedding day

— The End —