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Nicki Tilston Jun 2015
The girl with the kite
Didn't have a care
She'd run on the beach
With the wind in her hair
She'd run up hills
Lie in fields of wild flowers
Gazing at the ever changing sky
She would dream for hours

The girl with the kite
Saw faces in the sky
Angels looking down on her
From clouds floating by
She'd hold on so tight
As her kite took flight
She said she'd never let go
Of her beautiful kite

The girl with the kite
Would make daisy chains
She'd pick clover and butter cups
As she walked country lanes
Life was simple
Or it seemed that way
The sun was always shining
When she went out to play

The girl with the kite
Started to grow
She felt under pressure
To let her kite go
Demands were made
For her to achieve and perform
Make her way in the world
Please other people and conform

The girl with the kite
Felt things were going wrong
It was hard growing up
Then a man came along
He played his guitar
He brought a bouquet
As he sang his sweet song
Her kite drifted away

The girl with the kite
Heard his sweet song turn sour
His true colours were shown
As the man used his power,
Manipulation and aggression
To clip her wings
To crush her spirit
To pull her strings

The girl with the kite
Felt she was to blame
For her bad choices
She hid her shame
Kept her sadness a secret
Tried to make things right
Trapped in her world
She lost her self in the fight

The girl with the kite
Wanted to die
She couldn't live any more
She had no kite to fly
She went to the Doctor
Who gave her some pills
They just made her numb
Didn't cure her ills

The girl with the kite
Slept for a decade, or more
Life went on around her
Each day was a chore
She had to wake from the inertia
She had become bereft
When she woke from the dark sleep
She had nothing left

The girl with the kite
Had to start anew
Like a Phoenix from the ashes
She knew she'd pull through
She's found her kite
Found a beach for it to blow
Up to the angels on their clouds
This time, she won't let go

The girl with the kite
Is now a woman, strong and proud
Content to live her life alone
Independent and unbowed
She flies her kite sedately
Life is not a race
She's free to fly it when she wants to
It flies at her own pace

Nicki Tilston.
sabrine Nov 2013
It was nice outside
A warm afternoon
The sun was shining
During the month of June

It was fairly windy
So we went to the park
My father and I
We would stay until dark

He brought a kite
"My favorite," he said
As he tugged the kite
And loosened the thread

"I found this baby
Before you were born
And it's the only one
I've ever adored"

I smiled at him
He looked very proud
Looking at his favorite kite
Flying among the clouds

It was the first time in a while
To have a smile from ear to ear
Because not long before
My mother disappeared

I tried to keep my mind off her
I had to think of something else
Other than the way she laughed
Or how she dressed or smelled

So I stared at the kite
And I laid back
I kept my eye on it
To help me relax

I tried not to think, but
The kite reminded me of her
So I kept my eye on the kite
And everything else was a blur

The way the kite fought
Against the wind
Reminded me of my mother
And the way she grinned

Metaphorically, I thought
The kite was my mother
Because of the way it carried itself
Reminded me of her

The kite was just like my mom
It had the same skin
I could have sworn that this kite
Was my mother's twin

The way the kite flew
Thought it was better than the rest
It's as if this flight
Was for all to test

If my mother was a kite
This kite would be her
Because often times my mother
Had delusions of grandeur

This kite was my mother
I could have sworn
Because where my mom had scars
The kite was torn

Then I saw something on that kite
That frightened me a tad
That kite had the same tattoo
As the one my mother had
if you don't get it, the kite is the skin of the mother (very morbid lol)
Phil Lindsey Mar 2015
Dad made a kite
Out of paper and wood
And a white, ripped up sheet for a tail.
We all watched with wonder when without any wind
He could make his kite rise up and sail!
The trick, he would tell us
Is to run just a bit, then let the string play out just so.
There is wind up above us that you cannot see
It will make the kite rise up and go.

Up went his kite
High up over the trees
And soon it was up with clouds.
It dipped, skipped and twirled as he tightened his rein
“It’s DANCING!” we shouted out loud!
The kite, he would tell us
Responds to your touch, don’t hold it too loose or too tight.
Be forgiving, yet firm, let it fly by itself
And most times it will turn out all right.

Dad gave the kite
To the youngest child there,
And the rest of us waited our turn.
The kite soared, then collapsed; our confidence too
Dad taught; we attempted to learn.
Life, he would tell us
Is like flying a kite, you hold on but you cannot control.
Don’t let a failure or lack of success
Stop you from reaching your goal.

Be like the kite
Reach as high as you can
Set your goals high, and dance with the clouds!
Respect and remember the wind you can’t see.
It’s your Faith that will make others proud.
Faith, he would tell us
Is the courage to fly, and belief in a Presence unseen.
But most of all Faith is the strength to go on
When your kite gets stuck high in a tree.
PwL 3/30/15
My Kite

The view of purplish branches upon the trees and
Looking beyond grassy mountains on the horizon
Bring back memories of my childhood days,
Wading in a nearby creek and flying my kite before a sunlit sky
And then recalling the wind beginning to blow.

Magenta leaves would decorate
Branches of both growing and fallen trees-
Wild geese soared above and deer were running freely
While my kite was carried upward by the wind
As highly as those trees would ever grow.

My kite I believed would carry that mysterious spirit deep inside of me
Into which I had placed all my faith and trust
The tail of my kite seemed to cross the sun, though far above me
I feared the demons’ of the woodlands following me as I walked-
But with strong assurance I pursued my kite wherever it would go.

Dark clouds began to cover the sun one day and
Branches upon the trees were seemingly blackening
While lightening sharply illuminated the sky
I believed a storm was rapidly approaching.
As fright and haunting disbelief inside of my mind began to overshadow.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     .
I have told others that my kite held within my protective soul which was always with me
Because I saw it to be an angel dancing freely in the sky
I believe my kite held inside the spirit of a seraph,
That saved me from all that betrayed and hurt me
As the voices inside of my mind had often told me so.

Years have passed and that wind was always fierce and deceitful-
Breaking the string with which I held my kite-
I sadly watched it as it flew higher and higher towards the sky
Until it disappeared behind those approaching darkening thunderclouds
Vanishing beyond my sight- leaving me frightened and alone below.

Years have also passed since I lost my kite which I believed was my guiding illumination
People would laugh and say my mind had escaped reality
Now I can see that there is no one to save me from those demons of this planet
I still hide the pain of loss of my spirit of salvation behind laughter and a smile
But that does not erase the void I feel inside and that is an unrelenting sorrow.

Claudia Krizay
Rebekah Walker Apr 2020
A kite with faded colors
and unwoven threads,
once made with care,
now not much more than shreds.

It hovered with sorrow
longing to fly free,
but found it was held fast
by an unwavering string.

The cord was not much to look at,
most people would say.
But it was charming to the kite
in its own humble way.

It was vulnerable in places
and had a knot here and there,
but it never once faltered.
In its task, it took care.
It held the kite tightly
and made sure it stayed.
Otherwise, the high aiming kite
would surely float away.

Although the twine was secure,
gripping the helpless kite,
without the kite’s grasp,
the string would never take flight.
The able piece of rope would’ve
spent all its days
lying dormant on the dust,
never to be raised.
The kite helped it dream,
to see the sky and clouds,
and the string made sure
they both stayed near the ground.

The kite had seen other ropes,
crafted more tasteful and long.
They were appealing on the surface,
but never as strong.
They always broke off,
not steady enough to stay,
but this plain, simple cord
was there day after day.

The kite learned to love it,
saw beauty out and inside.
They weren’t sure if they’d make it,
but they’d undoubtedly try
to hold each other in place
until the end of their time.

A simple, sound string
and a half-broken kite.
As I rushed home, I thought about

The last thing that I'd read

"Can we go out to fly my kite?

Before I go to bed."

A text was sent by my young son

To go and fly his kite

I texted back "no problem son,"

"We'll go do that tonight"

Once I got home, I went to change

And he changed his clothes too

The sun was still up shining

And the kite would help the view

The wind was blowing briskly

Just enough to fly it right

And if others were out flying too

It would really be a sight

I told my son, to dress up warm

For the wind did hold a chill

But, flying kites with my young boy

Well, it gave my heart a thrill

He gathered up his kite

And then he raced me to the door

I picked up my hat that had

Been knocked upon the floor

He raced me up the street as we

made our way out to the park

He wanted to be first

to get there before it did get dark

He held his kite so tightly,

I myself thought it would break

It was a black and golden box kite

With a tail just like a snake

We bought it up in Chinatown

At a little antique shop

When the wind hit it just perfect

It would just hover and then stop

Of all the kites he owned

This was his favorite one

I think it was his favorite

Because it danced beneath the sun.

We got there, I let out the string

And I got it in the air

And once it became airborne

I tied it to his chair

My son, can't hold the kite string

Can't control the way it flies

He's confined to his blue wheelchair

Until the day he dies

He controls it with his finger

Races all around the place

And when we get out flying kites

There's such a smile on his face

He backs it up, the kite responds

Flying high up in the sky

"i wish that I could be that free"

"I wish that I could fly"

"One day son, you will be free"

"You'll be as mobile as that kite

You'll be moving like you used to do

"On your feet, you'll be so light"

He was injured in an accident

But, that's not here nor there,

He was hit by a drunk driver

He was too **** drunk to care

But for now, my boy is smiling

We're out flying kites at night

And as long as we're toghether

Then our world is still all right.
K Balachandran Dec 2013
The kite gets  high, stays aloft-
quite some time displaying
enviable dexterity, for fun
do spectacular  somersaults as much times
as it could, climbs up in air with a loud swoosh
then look! how the wind gets *****
with her, if she has something
of  a skirt, it goes up, up to an
indecent height, she doesn't have
that balance a player at such
heights should have kept always.
Its absurd, all these acrobatics silly kite
displays before the world at high altitudes
with a unholy interest
to show herself more accomplished
than what she really is, could you
pardon that frivolity, because she
has many more colors than clouds.

He admits abashedly that he too was
once in love with her frivolous attractiveness,
but he never could understand a kite;
in spite of the lightness, that makes
it easier to travel heights, has kite a significance?
After all what is a kite? her merit?
a strange arrangement that defies
common sense, all it can do is aimless flying.

Isn't it a charge serious enough?
even a dry leaf, or a falling feather
can do these acrobatics for a while.
What is the meaning of a kite,
kindly someone notify , if it has any,
meaningless flying is not for anything
of substance, what kind of play
is it,   if it is perceived as one, by any one
why the folly of someone take us
for a ride all these years, without
a second thought, he wonders
who might have promoted it,  had some
ulterior motive, some point to prove;
wind, mightiest of forces is made to look weak
in everyday life .
He would suspect, in the bargain many
generations too spent their time
in this vein pursuit without any thought.
Any kite display a greed to go up and
stay there, till the time it is possible to float
don't want to be back, when wind is on her side
unless force is applied, what does it signify?

Kite has a hunger to touch wonder with its fingers
he knows, and he can't but appreciate it
and when the occasion arises she fly up to the cloud,
play with him as if he is her secret lover, that hurts
could such a liaisons are to be  be tolerated
she knows how a cloud tastes at different times
Yes, sky certainly intoxicates her,
she want to move closer, doesn't it spell danger?

A girl small, requests her uncle for some "manja" and a kite.
Then goes up to the terrace quietly, choosing a lonely site.
Writing something on the kite, when away from others sight.

She then tries to fly it high up to heaven, in a hurry;  with a push light.
The kite finally soars up, Heavenward; after some struggle n fight.
Suddenly her family, after a long time, see on her face a smile bright.

The kite now, far away is, and zooming to a height;
When suddenly it is cut off and is soon out of everyone's sight.
When her they approach to console, see they, a smile bright.

Surprised they are n dumb founded, to see her dancing with all her might.
Ask her they, why happy she is about this; on seeing this plight.
Replies the cute little girl, my kite has, my mother reached; n will soon be in her sight.

I have sent my love n asked her to return; with ink blue on this kite white.
Soon, o very soon, the kite will reach Heaven, n will be within my mum's sight.
With tears they hugged her; knew they, nothing could be done, about the orphan's plight.

Armin Dutia Motashaw
I. awoke to crest fallen clouds so heavy with water ,
and wind as wild as what was left in my heart .
Intrepid it was not .
Fearful of God it had become ,
Starved of joy ,
Peace ,
For if a man is left to starve he must go hungry and thirst for food ,
For it is all he can think of .
If a man cannot find water he must thirst .
If a soul finds God and does not find rest in his word ,
and looks for it not ,
Then his fields and trees may wither ,
What was once beautiful become ugly and dry .
I stood on a mountain ,
I stand on a hill ,
With other boys beside me
the Kite master stood still .
With a Kite he stood ,
With grey sky's above ,
and released that Kite to soar above .
Thick dense clouds it soared past thicket , trees and woods .
I watched as the bird flew out of view .
The masters call
, is the faith to know ,

I stood there waiting ...

Once where serindipidy stood ,
Somewhere between luck and chance dance ,
and fortune lights up a toast to all above ,
the Kite turned back ,
Spread its wings for home .
with Faith ,
Hope and love it spread its wings .
It's master called once again

For the flies you swotted when you were young
now reside in peerless sky's ,
in The Concert halls of God
Playing Jesu joy of mans desiring .
on miniature grand pianos ,
In honor of their creator .

So pray ,
and seek ,
For I saw that Kite many hours in flight ,
as the evenings Sun sank ,
and darkened clouds asailed. It not ,
The kite in evening shadow returned ,
And even if all my friends had gone ,
The Kite masters call  ,
how long the wait
It's never to late ,
And Christ is Lord of  all ,
to the Glory of God the Father .
Ronnie Ng Nov 2011
He wasn't very confident about himself
as he had lost a kite before. The kite was
playful and frolicked with the winds. She
wanted to fly as high as she could to touch
the clouds and reach for the sun. The winds
were too strong for the boy, and he lost his grip.
The kite wandered off and joined the winds;
She was lost in sight, and the boy lost his trust.

This time, the boy tightened the knots to his new
kite and made sure that the string wasn't too long.
He gripped as hard as he could and kept his eyes
on the kite. There weren't many clouds and the winds
weren't too strong this time. He ought to feel safe
this time, but to his surprise, the kite got stuck between
the branches of a tree, and the string got cut off;
He learned that some things just weren't meant to be.

Copyright, Ronnie Ng, 2011 (
Pea Jun 2014
If I ever talk to the cloud again
and ask where my kite went ---

But the cloud would not speak
for it has no tongue nor teeth

Maybe my kite heard the wind singing
Or the sweet, sweet voice of Siren luring

Sun floats still
Couldn't run away

Sun stole, stole
Stole my kite away

If I ever talk to Ra again ---
I had no time explaining

Such sensitive teeth my kite has
Don't let it bite the Siren's voice

Sweet, sweet haze

Sun floats still
Earth on routine

What did my kite say
when it reached your core?

It reached your core,
didn't it? It reached your core,
didn't it? It reached y--

Tell me what my kite said,
would you?
Philly James Dec 2013
My kite, was new and spotless,
It was one of the things I held dearest.
Being selfish, I never once did share my kite,
Having it destroyed was one true fright.

Even on warm windy days,
I won't borrow it to my friend who plays.
This greedy feeling built up inside,
Blinding other things from my site.

Moving along with my kite in hand,
I flew it above some grassy land.
The weather was perfect, the sky was clear,
My mind was free, I had no fear.

Birds chirping, filling the air with tune,
My kite, by the air, it was consumed.
Out of no where on this perfect day,
My kite popped the string and flew away.

My heart was broken, to a level I couldn't compare,
'What have I done, to deserve this despair?'
Starring at my kite soaring through the sky,
A trail of tears escaped my eyes.

Now I see what selfishness does,
It separates you and the things you love.
I was so blind to see,
What my greedy heart had done to me.

Standing there, staring at the kite that once was mine,
I couldn't help but smile and feel divine.
My selfishness, the kite, all my troubles were taken away,
Taken away by the wind that very day.
Lora Cerdan Oct 2014
There was once a kite flyer
who flew his kites so high
He can hold on to his strings
and never get tired

He makes his kites by hand
He makes 'em colorful
He makes 'em grand

So one day, the kite maker flew his finest kites
In the hopes of showing everyone his amazing feats of flight
But because there were so many and the wind was strong
His strings tangled and the flight patterns got all wrong
one of the strings snapped and one of the kites flew
the wind took it and away it blew

One by one the strings broke
and all the kite flyer can do was to watch them float
away from him, the kites were set free
All his hard work, his dreams. his reality

The kite flyer looked up the sky
crying and regretting
There's nothing left of him
nothing but broken strings
I don't know how to fly kites let alone make one
A Castillo Dec 2013
A kite—that's something I would like.
When ground is damp and lambs are born,
The kite floats up to lofty height.
When sky is fleeced and trees are crisp,
The kite is pulled up forks of light.
When brittle leaves are shed and blown,
The kite is thrown into their flight.
When dewy grass is glazed in rime,
The kite on frosty field alights.
When frost creeps over, all is white.
raen Sep 2011
Am I the only one to think
that a kite is such a sad thing?

never really free,
forever tied to a string

Yes, it can soar indeed,
so high, with the wind taking it places,
almost making it forget,
just enjoying the wind rushing through,

The wind drops,
then it gets snared
among tree branches maybe,
or perhaps stuck on a roof or elsewhere

with its string all tangled and knotted,
almost impossible to untangle

if made with paper,
it should be lucky to still be intact,
with nary a tear

more often than not,
it gets ditched in the trash,
the price to pay for
its momentary freedom

Sometimes, though
perhaps a rarity these days,
there is that boy who makes
that kite from scratch,
whittles the sticks himself,
painstakingly forming that frame,
creating that kite with love

So when it does get all tangled up,
that boy still tries so hard to fix it,
to make it new...
never minding the cuts
he gets in the process--

That string not meant to tie down
that kite,
but a lifeline to the boy

But like I said,
that must be a rare thing these days...

For I am one to think
that a kite is such a sad thing...
never really free,
forever tied to a string
Michael R Burch Nov 2020
Poems about Icarus

These are poems about Icarus, flying and flights of fancy...

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

Only a little longer the wind invests its sighs;
spread-eagled, as the canvas snaps

and *****
its white rebellious wings,
and all

the houses watch with baffled eyes.

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.

by Michael R. Burch

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

I am not one of ten billion, I.

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

I am not one life has left unsquashed.

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

I am not one without spots of disease.

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

I am not one of ten billion, I

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

Athena takes me
sometimes by the hand

and we go levitating
through strange Dreamlands

where Apollo sleeps
in his dark forgetting

and Passion seems
like a wise bloodletting

and all I remember
, upon awaking,

is: to Love sometimes
is like forsaking

one’s Being―to glide

heroically beyond thought,

forsaking the here
for the There and the Not.

O, finally to Burn,
gravity beyond escaping!

To plummet is Bliss
when the blisters breaking

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

Feathers and wax
and the watchers huddle...

Flocculent sheep,
O, and innocent lambs!,

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

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

for the Night has Wings
gentler than Moonbeams―

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

fluttering off
to quarry the Sphinx.


throw out the Welcome Mat.

Quixotic, I seek Love
amid the tarnished

rusted-out steel
when to live is varnish.

To Dream―that’s the thing!

Aye, that Genie I’ll rub,

soak by the candle,
aflame in the tub.


throw out the Welcome Mat.

Somewhither, somewhither
aglitter and strange,

we must moult off all knowledge
or perish caged.


I am reconciled to Life
somewhere beyond thought―

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

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

so fatten the oxen;
make a nice baste.

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

though we injure noone,
ourselves wildaglow.

This odd poem invokes and merges with the anonymous medieval poem “Tom O’Bedlam’s Song” and W. H. Auden’s modernist poem “Musee des Beaux Arts,” which in turn refers to Pieter Breughel’s painting “The Fall of Icarus.” In the first stanza Icarus levitates with the help of Athena, the goddess or wisdom, through “strange dreamlands” while Apollo, the sun god, lies sleeping. In the second stanza, Apollo predictably wakes up and Icarus plummets to earth, or back to mundane reality, as in Breughel’s painting and Auden’s poem. In the third stanza the grounded Icarus can still fly, but only in flights of imagination through dreams of love. In the fourth and fifth stanzas Icarus joins Tom Rynosseross of the Bedlam poem in embracing madness by deserting “knowledge” and its cages (ivory towers, etc.). In the final stanza Icarus agrees with Tom that it is “no journey” to wherever they’re going together and also agrees with Tom that they will injure no one along the way, no matter how intensely they glow and radiate. The poem can be taken as a metaphor for the death and rebirth of Poetry, and perhaps as a prophecy that Poetry will rise, radiate and reattain its former glory...

Free Fall (II)
by Michael R. Burch

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

But since I touched you, fire consumes each wing!

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

by Michael R. Burch

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

still pinkly exposed, who have not yet learned
the first harsh lesson of survival: to devour
their weaker siblings in the high-leafed ferned
fortress and impregnable bower

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

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

The Higher Atmospheres
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

Notes toward an Icarian philosophy of life...
by Michael R. Burch

If the mind’s and the heart’s quests were ever satisfied,
what would remain, as the goals of life?

If there was only light, with no occluding matter,
if there were only sunny mid-afternoons but no mysterious midnights,
what would become of the dreams of men?

What becomes of man’s vision, apart from terrestrial shadows?

And what of man’s character, formed
in the seething crucible of life and death,
hammered out on the anvil of Fate, by Will?

What becomes of man’s aims in the end,
when the hammer’s anthems at last are stilled?

If man should confront his terrible Creator,
capture him, hogtie him, hold his ***** feet to the fire,
roast him on the spit as yet another blasphemous heretic
whose faith is suspect, derelict...
torture a confession from him,
get him to admit, “I did it!...

what then?

Once man has taken revenge
on the Frankenstein who created him
and has justly crucified the One True Monster, the Creator...

what then?

Or, if revenge is not possible,
if the appearance of matter was merely a random accident,
or a group illusion (and thus a conspiracy, perhaps of dunces, us among them),
or if the Creator lies eternally beyond the reach of justice...

what then?

Perhaps there’s nothing left but for man to perfect his character,
to fly as high as his wings will take him toward unreachable suns,
to gamble everything on some unfathomable dream, like Icarus,
then fall to earth, to perish, undone...

or perhaps not, if the mystics are right
about the true nature of darkness and light.

Is there a source of knowledge beyond faith,
a revelation of heaven, of the Triumph of Love?

The Hebrew prophets seemed to think so,
and Paul, although he saw through a glass darkly,
and Julian of Norwich, who heard the voice of God say,
“All shall be well,
and all manner of things shall be well...”

Does hope spring eternal in the human breast,
or does it just blindly *****?

Icarus Bickerous
by Michael R. Burch

for the Religious Right

Like Icarus, waxen wings melting,
white tail-feathers fall, bystanders pelting.

They look up amazed
and seem rather dazed―

was it heaven’s or hell’s furious smelting

that fashioned such vulturish wings?
And why are they singed?―

the higher you “rise,” the more halting?

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.

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

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)

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,

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

Her hard talon,
clenched in pinched expectation,

Her clipped wings,
preened against reality,

Published as “Tremble” by The Lyric, Verses Magazine, Romantics Quarterly, Journeys, The Raintown Review, Poetic Ponderings, Poem Kingdom (All-Star Tribute), 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)

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

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, 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;
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

by Michael R. Burch

There, in that sunny arbor,
in the aureate light
filtering through the waxy leaves
of a stunted banana tree,

I felt the sudden monsoon of your wrath,
the clattery implosions
and copper-bright bursts
of the bottoms of pots and pans.

I saw your swollen goddess’s belly
wobble and heave
in pregnant indignation,
turned tail, and ran.

Published by Chrysanthemum, Poetry Super Highway, Barbitos and Poetry Life & Times

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 that I believe I wrote as a high school sophomore. But it could have been written a bit later. I seem to remember the original poem being influenced by William Cullen Bryant's "To a Waterfowl."

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. According to my notes, I may have revised the poem later, in 1978, but if so the changes were minor because the poem remains very close to the original.

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

NOTE: In an attempt to demonstrate that not all couplets are heroic, I have created a series of poems called “Less Heroic Couplets.” I believe even poets should abide by truth-in-advertising laws! ― MRB

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.

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.

Du Fu (712-770) is also known as Tu Fu. The first poem is addressed to the poet's wife, who had fled war with their children. Ch'ang-an is an ironic pun because it means "Long-peace."

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.

Po Chu-I (772-846) is best known today for his ballads and satirical poems. Po Chu-I believed poetry should be accessible to commoners and is noted for his simple diction and natural style. His name has been rendered various ways in English: Po Chu-I, Po Chü-i, Bo Juyi and Bai Juyi.

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,
―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

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

Critical Mass
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.

"Gravity" and "particular destiny" are puns, since rain droplets are seeded by minute particles of dust adrift in the atmosphere and they fall due to gravity when they reach "critical mass." The title is also a pun, since the poem is skeptical about heaven-lauding Masses, etc.

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

by Michael R. Burch

for Richard Moore

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...

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

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.

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. But when the world finally robs her of both flight and song, what is left for her but to leave the world, thus bereaving the world of herself and her song?

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”

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Lines for My Ascension
by Michael R. Burch


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.


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.


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.


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.

The Locker
by Michael R. Burch

All the dull hollow clamor has died
and what was contained,

adulation or sentiment,
left with the pungent darkness

as remembered as the sudden light.

Originally published by The Raintown Review

Keywords/Tags: Sports, locker, lockerroom, clamor, adulation, acclaim, applause, sentiment, darkness, light, retirement, athlete, team, trophy, award, acclamation

Keywords/Tags: Icarus, Daedalus, flight, fly, flying, wind, wings, sun, height, heights, fall, falling, ascent, descent, imagination, bird, birds, butterfly, butterflies, hawk, eagle, geese, plane, kite, kites, mrbfly, mrbflight, mrbicarus
Jessica Fowler Mar 2012
The pull is strong,
heavy. The dense weight
of a kite tugging at its string.

The pearl of the moon swung
over the sea. Easily. Here, there. Wherever it might want,
yet the pull is strong.

Held in place, it’s carefully strung
up and cold. I thought of you and wrote
daily; a kite tugging at its string.

Be free, shine in the white
pull that is strong.

Sharp as it stung
me, the ache of this wait;
a kite tugging at its string.

On my back you will be slung
close, yet wherever we are is right.
The pull is strong;
a kite tugging at its string.
Trenton Hartford Jun 2015
When I was eight years old, I always wanted to grow up just so I could order the cool toys they were selling on T.V. I never wanted my parents permission to be able to play a game because I felt like a big boy.

When I was first titled “Big Boy” I thought that meant I could make my own mistakes and learn from them, not have my own kite string of restrictions on what I could and couldn’t do that was only being unraveled as time flashed by.

Now that I’m seventeen, I don’t want my own responsibilities, I still want to have the kite string attached to me because at least then I know somebody still cares about me.

I don’t want to worry about how much money I have to eat, or where I’m going to sleep at night because this Kite only feels safe under the roof I live in now. The time my father passes away who am I supposed to look for when I want real advice. Better still why would people come to me for advice?

I want to know that no matter what mistakes in life I make, that my family right now will be there for me in years beyond then

I want a never ending kite string attached to me because the real world is nothing I ever dreamed about. Knowing I have to work hard every single day and only be told I’m appreciated temporarily by people who are considered family.

I don’t want to be the one asked to buy some crazy pillow that glows in the dark and is super cool, by my kids, while I’m sitting in the kitchen worrying about how much money i have for food week after week.

I want to be the one sitting in front of the T.V. again…..

Having my teal colored gameboy waiting for lunch.

But now it’s just that stage, where the string attached to me is about to be clipped, for nightmares of responsibilities, to become reality.
A poem about my fear of getting older
Harsha Dec 2014
Wind was smooth,
And the kite, flying high.
And me, in full control of the kite,
I assume.

The kite above,
like a paint brush.
The  sky beneath it,
like a canvas.

The string pulled me,
towards the kite.
I was attracted,
I give in.

But the wind got gusty,
The string snapped.
The kite flew away,
Like She did.

The kite,
No longer with me.
But still pulls me,
Like She does.
I’m a kite
Attached to a string
Moments of freedom
Reveling in the feeling of the wind
Until a tug
And a pull
Keeps you in place
Reminds me
I’m not truly free

Someone won’t you set me free?
Someone won’t you help me?
Loosen the string
Loosen your hold
So I can fly free
Away from here
Away from the string holding me here

Let me be an untethered kite
I could fly free
Explore the world
Bring joy
With my flashy colors
My vibrant patterns

Instead I am under the control
Of those who keep me
Who decide when I have a few minutes
Riding on the freedom of the wind

I wish I had arms
To reach down
With a pair
Of gleaming scissors
To cut my tether

I wish I had a voice
To tell them what I want
What I think
Because they won’t listen
Won’t pay attention
To my relentless fight
To my constant struggle
Against the confines of my rope

Won’t someone set me free?
Can’t somebody help me?
To become an untethered kite?
fs yousaf Sep 2018
My father used to bring home kites
from Pakistan,
made out of colorful paper
and thin sticks.

Mine was pink and blue,
and caught my eye as soon
as it was taken out.
It was beautiful,
and i imagined it soaring through
the skies,
viewable from all the houses in town.

The yarn was grey,
and had minuscule shards of glass
woven within it.
My father told me that it was for kite fighting,
the way they used to do it from the rooftops
of the villages.

One would fly the kite
and the other would be in charge of the spool.
Together, they would change altitudes
and attempt to cut other kite strings.
The last kite left in the air would be the winner.

And my mind would run to those rooftops,
the very sand ridden rooftops he had described.
Imaginarily controlling the kite
with a friend handling the spool behind me.
Together winning the kite fighter crown,
and my father being proud of his only son.

All while i lay in bed,
with a grand imagination,
and not a single clue
on how to make the last thought a reality.
Astounding Dec 2013
I drift alone on this sea of life
Searching the skies for an answer
I search the stars and endless blue
Though I rarely find the answer I'm after
I know what you're thinking
If you're tired of drifting just put down your anchor
But my boat starts sinking
It doesn't work in my favor

What is an anchor?
It's something that lies on the sea's ground
Something that will hold you down
The reason why I almost drown
But I need it.
I need to have the depression
I crave the tears
I've been living with the tragedy of me for all these years
I crave the kite
The manic episodes of my existence
My ideas are vast
I show persistence
I fly high above people and I feel my spirit soar
I grab on to the strings when I cant take anymore
But the landing is always rough
It's unpredictable and fast
Aha! I found my answer alas!
I hold on to my kite while I drag my anchor
So my boat can float comfortably on the sea
I love my kite and my anchor
They are the two most extreme parts of me
Andrew Rueter Nov 2017
I take flight
With all my might
To be your kite
Following you wherever you go
To be part of your ebb and flow
People think I ingested the wrong pill
Because up here I can't see the roadkill
And float over the pitch black oil spills
From the end of your string
I become king

There is an approaching storm
As you deviate from the norm
And discontinue acting warm
Your lightning strikes
My metal pike
Electricity tears through my thin fabric
As I dream of a tranquil casket
And you want to grant me my death wish
I guess that's why they call me Icarish
For flying to close to the rain
Only to constantly feel pain
To distract me from the shame
From those with unknown names
But familiar bigoted flames
To me you both are the same
Once I go against the grain
You tell me to stay in my lane
High above the gravelly ground
Where you can't hear my sounds
Of impaling wailing
Because you're bailing
Letting go of the string
You become king

I am a kite floating
Spending night noting
All my many mistakes
That caused these breaks
But despite trying my very best
The wind provides a difficult test
After I am battered into tatters
My hopes couldn't be flatter
So I start to feel it doesn't matter
When my dreams came true then shattered
The wind solemnly sings
Of distant powerful kings
But I cannot fly anymore
In my broken kite form
Hannah Christina Sep 2018
I bought myself a kite to fly
I tossed it up and ran around
I tried to pull it through the sky
But found it just dragged on the ground.

It landed in the mud, it was mangled, it was done
And thus concludes the tragic tale of the kite I numbered one.

My second kite was different.
It caught a mighty gale
I flew it well, then let it go
And in the end I failed.

It joined released balloons and leaves, whatever else is there
In the *****, lonely cloudland in the out-of-picture air.

I still had hope and so I bought
My final silken bird
I told myself that I would soon
Unleash it to the word.

The kite's debut date got pushed back and further back until
It found a final resting place untested in its skill.

I bought myself three kites to fly
The first two meet ill fates
The third one has a dusty shelf
Where it keeps very safe.
Of dreams and men.

I'll probably change the title and maybe edit more, we'll see.  This was honestly in my drafts for like over two months.  I wanted to finally publish it.
Pagan Paul Jan 2019
The string trails away down
I tug it with all of my might,
I am the hue of setting suns,
I am a sporting red kite.

I wanted someone with scissors
to so deftly cut the strings,
transform into a real Red Kite
with eyes and feathers and wings.

Floating free upon the winds,
and marvelling at all that I spy,
swooping and diving at high play,
the flying master of the sky.

But now something has changed,
a strange and different feeling,
I think I'd like to be grounded,
for someone to start in-reeling.

I would like to feel so treasured,
a possession of the hearts cry.
Wishing to be the real Red Kite,
the pleasure in someone else's sky.

© Pagan Paul (30/12/18)
Corina Sep 2015
You were born to dance
run free in the wind
don't tie yourself
you shouldn't get stuck in one place

This kite
is not a dancer
it barely noticed the wind
for many many years

The kite is stuck
******* on a lamp post
cold and lonely
but scared to let go

Kite, cut yourself free
let the next breeze
lift you high
and let you be you
Alin Jan 2015
Let me always stay here
at this height
where I am free
to dream

This vacuum
made of white light
beyond skies
above clouds
sprinkles rainbows
to lovers
when you
Alin Sep 2016
imagine a kite today
that becomes visible
only because
you’ve imagined it

imagine a kite today
that will be seen
in all colors
made of
the rainbows
of the eyes
of the loving
st64 Mar 2013

Oh, liftin'........liftin'......lift us

Carryin'.......carryin'.......carry away....

Ah, Jesus .....

Driftin' on this sea
That nobody can see.....

Come.....come with me......
Let us meet that rising tide
Let us drift away.....
On celestial kites.


Ah, Jesus
Please.....oh, please

Tides away on a kite
Take this filter, baby
You can't cut smoke
So, float along....on celestial kites.

Take it in, **** it in
Wait, wait, not so deep
There, easy does the trick now
Now, we can sail away again....

I will be your exquisite poesy
You can eat me, all you want
Yes, I'm your intense poem, take me
Absorb the tides in me....

You float my boat up in the sky
My beautiful buoy, you are
Hover gentle over me
Look kind into my eyes......

Hang me in the sky
And peg your love on me
Lay me on the moon
And pierce my mind with stars....

Plop me on a nimbus cloud
Nay, I will not fall through
Forsooth, I'll sail on wind and gale
To catch that kite to you!

How I long for that box to open
Oh, do lemme out! I smell the breeze....
I'll die sweetly, perchance
To be on your celestial kite.

Leave me not sodden and sick
Let's fly high on celestial kites
Where angels pray to kiss
These high skies no-one kens.

Ah, Jesus....

Let me not die bereft of hope
To drift away...... with you..... snag that tail-end ribbon
And hail this ride on your kite!

Star Toucher, 12 March 2013
Make of it . . . as far as ye mind canst see fit . . .
Abdullah Ayyash Jul 2015
Day after day
And a night before tonight
Knight after knight
Lost lives climbing your height
You are a mountain
You are the moon
Don't pretend you are not the light
You are a thousand year of dreams
You are a life time of hopes
And without you...
I'm just a lost kite
© Copyrighted
Abdullah Ayyash
July 8th, 2015
Thinking Doc Jul 2015
Long were the hours then, full of anger,
I sat on my broken throne, a reminder of my defeat,
like a shattered dream, my heart in pieces,
and my mind still in flames.

In my dreams, psychedelic promises of freedom flower,
like battered gardens in a battlefield,
I could have gone anywhere, and escaped,
but I longed for a sign that never came.

I looked at the concrete horizon, in anger,
blinded by my words, deafened by my pain,
I was wounded, bruised, battered, and bleeding,
each drop of blood bore silent testimony.

I longed for freedom, I thrashed at the chains,
that bound me there, I despaired, i looked up to the sky,
I found no stars, an empty darkness,
opened its jaws at my shame.

I broke free one day, I ran,
my legs carried me farther,
than my mind could have ever imagined,
and my wounds no longer hurt,
I was no longer bleeding,
in my dreams, promises were flowering in springtime.

I ran all my life, I was existing once but I was running then,
Finally, exhausted, I stop, still walking, there are no shadows,
behind me is my prison, my mind is still frozen on suffering,
Psychedelic promises of Love, lie shattered here,
Love was the sign that never came,
it was a promise of rain, but all was dark in my heart,
All I am left with, is a pocket of loose change,
and a kiss from Time, like a shooting star on a dark sky.

Time comes again with that fatal kiss,
but I am still searching for the shore,
Walking so hard, that fatigue, burns my flesh,
The shadows have gone, but so has the light,
there is nothing to guide me to the Shore.

Still i walked, till I saw the Kite,
the Kite on the Shore, a banner, or freedom,
I walked towards the Kite, there was a string,
that tied it to Earth, as it soared high above,
like the Moon on a clear night,
it was my North Star, my guide,
it was the Key, and the Shore was the gateway,
to my freedom.

I saw the ocean stretch itself till the horizon,
and with Pride, I surveyed the road behind me,
the shadows I left behind,
the trail that I carved was now a blur,
my sufferings were placed like an offering,
on the altar of the eternal freedom
that was the ocean, and the Kite still soared in the dusky sky.

I saw the string that tied it down,
I felt the wind that lifted it up,
I stooped, and broke the string,
and set myself free.
Abby Sanderson Nov 2011
Outside my window I see a kite,
red as a cherry right before its prime,
flying against a grey sky.
It's struggling to escape, relentless like a dog on a leash,
tugging and stretching until its tongue hangs out.
A boy with clumsy sneakers and a curious smile,
with skinny legs like knobby branches,
and a freckled, sun-burned, smiling face,
feels its tugging and stretching,
but decides with great determination,
to never let it get away.
ryn Dec 2014

i wish
to infinitely
soar•in the highest
of skies•always higher,
and always more•held back by
the string that ties•i'd still welcome
hale air•as it blows stunningly
fresh•meets and carries my
body bare•bearing invi-
sible treasures in its
cache...•the errant
breeze i'd openly
fight•but i was
made with a
shoddy kit
•i'm fail-
ing and


— The End —