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David Jan 2016
She never loved me
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She never loved me
She loved you when you left her in the rain after you kissed

She loved you when you were with other girls

She loved you when she was *****

She loved you when you didn't believe her

She loved you when you were together

She loved you when you promised they'd always be

She loved you when you broke those promises

She loved you when she took you back

She loved you when you betrayed her

She loved you when you left her

She loved you when she forgave you

She loved you when you came to live with her

She loved you when she fell asleep beside you

She loved you through every fight

She loved you when you said you weren't sure about marriage

She loved you when you said you weren't sure about fatherhood

She loved you when you talked to another girl

She loved you when you defended her

She loved you when you broke your own rules

She loved you when you lied to her

She loved you when you weren't kissing her anymore

She loved you when you had pity *** with her

She loved you when she woke up in your arms that morning

She loved you when you told her you were leaving again

She loved you as her cheek burned from the kiss

She loved you as you took the picture of you both together

She loved you as you left

She loved you when she visited you

She loved you when you made love a few more times

She loved you when she took you back

She loved you when you said she had to be a secret

She loved you when she said she couldn't and that it was over

She loved you when you stopped messaging her

She loved you when you vanished

She loved you always

She loved you too much

She loves you still.
mysa May 2018
you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved you are loved

please don't forget it
I loved him when I was 14 more than I have ever loved another human being in my entire 16 years of life

I loved him so much I could have cared less what other people had to say about him

I loved him so much I believed in him when no one else did

I loved him so much that I was willing to invest time into him to fix him

I loved him so much that I was willing to risk everything to be with him

I loved him so much that even though I knew he was no good for me I still stayed with him

I loved him so much that I threw away friendships to be with him

I loved him so much that I moved mountains just to see him

I loved him so much I stuck by his side even when he made it impossible at times

I loved him so much that I couldn't imagine life without him

I loved him so much I can barely put it into words

I loved him so much that when I saw him in pain I also felt his pain

I loved him so much I would have died for him

I loved him so much I was willing to forgive him after all he put me through because I didn't want to lose him

I loved him so much he used my unconditional love as a tool to break my heart

I loved him so much that I chased him and didn't care how desperate I looked because I believed what we had was real

I loved him so much when we broke up it was physically difficult for me to breathe without him

I loved him so much that I still held on to some hope that he would one day change

I loved him so much that without him I felt like I was missing a part of me

I loved him so much that I even though I knew I would hurt myself loving him I didn't care

I loved him with every ounce of my body that when he finally left I lost a part of my soul

I loved him so much that I defended and made excuses for him when he laid hands on me

I loved him so much to the extreme I didn't even know it was even possible to love anyone as much as I loved him

I loved him so much that I forgot to love myself

I loved him so much more than life itself

I loved him so much that I wanted to die without him

I loved him so much that the thought of him with someone else made my stomach turn

I loved him so much that I tried to **** myself so I wouldn't have to live with the fact he didn't love me back

I loved him so much that if I had the choice to start over and chose between destroying myself loving him or to walk away, I would love him again in a heartbeat because he shaped me for better and for once

I loved him so much and because I loved him I never want to love anyone else ever again

I loved him so much that I can't risk falling in love ever again
I loved you even with your mistakes
I loved you through your addiction
I loved your soul
I loved your body
I loved your messy hair
I loved your heart
I loved you when you weren't lovable
I loved you when you didn't love me
I loved you when you chose something over me
I loved you when drugs were your best friend
I loved you when you didn't love yourself
I loved you when you were being hardheaded
I loved you when love wasn't enough
I loved you with a broken heart
I loved you when you were the one that broke my heart
I loved you when you let me down
I loved you because I loved you
I loved you because I saw the man you could be
I loved you because you made me feel alive
I loved you because you're you
The point is I loved you
Why’d you go and do that to me?
You know what “we” meant to me.
Why’d you go on and **** her?
You said you didn’t even love her.
Why’d you go and break my heart?
Because of you, I fell apart.
Now I’m searching far and wide,
For happiness I’ll never find.

You said you loved me, loved me, loved me.
You said you loved me, loved me, loved me.
You said you wouldn’t hurt me again,
But if that were true, we’d still be friends.
You said you loved me, loved me, loved me.
You said you loved me, loved me, loved me.
You said you wouldn’t tell me lies,
But you still looked me in the eyes
and said you loved me.

What made her so special?
Why was she so ******* special?
Why’d you have to break my heart?
I was putting back the pieces when you ripped them apart.
Now because of you, my bed is tainted.
You should have said no. You should have waited.
Now I’m searching far and wide,
For a love I’ll never find.

You said you loved me, loved me, loved me.
You said you loved me, loved me, loved me.
You said you wouldn’t hurt me again,
But if that were true, we’d still be friends.
You said you loved me, loved me, loved me.
Now you don’t love me, love me, love me.
You went and stole my heart,
Now you’re tearing it apart.
You said you loved me, loved me, loved me.
Now you don’t love me, love me, love me.
And as you turn to leave, I’ll still beg and plea,
For you to love me.
Written from my exes POV.
You loved me when I wanted to give up
You loved me from far away
You loved me at my absolute worst
You loved me on my birthday
You loved me when I was stressed
You loved me when I slept
You loved me in pajamas and messy hair
You loved me in heels and a dress
You loved me when I was poor
You loved me when I was rich
You loved me when I was kind
You loved me when I was a *****
You loved me when I was crying
You loved me when I was angry
You loved me when I was doubtful
You loved me when I was succeeding
You loved me when I was reckless
You loved me when I was strong
You loved me when my scars were cuts
You loved me when I was wrong
You loved me in the snow
You loved me in the rain
You loved me when I couldn’t love myself
You loved me through everything
WRITTEN BY: Mandie Michelle Sanders
WRITTEN ON: November. 13, 2014 Thursday 4:26 A.M.
karen1234 May 2019
We hide pain in the weirdest places
Broken souls with smiling faces
Fighting for surrender
For now and the after, yeah
Just look around and you'll see that people
Are scared to say how they really feel
Oh, we all need a little honesty
You are loved
If your heart's in a thousand pieces
If you're lost and you're far from reason
Just look up; know you are loved
Just look up; and know you are loved
When it feels like something's missing
If it hurts but you can't find healing
Just look up, know you are loved
Just look up, know you are loved
We're not made to be superheroes
Photoshopped, all size zeroes
A light not expected
But not quite perfected yet
Look up; see the sun is shining
There's hope on a new horizon
Calling you, it's calling
You are loved
If your heart's in a thousand pieces
If you're lost and you're far from reason
Just look up; know you are loved
Just look up; and know you are loved
When it feels like something's missing
If it hurts but you can't find healing
Just look up, know you are loved
Just look up, know you are loved
You, don't have to prove yourself
Don't try to be someone else
You don't have to prove yourself
Don't try to be someone else
You are loved
Just look up; you are loved
Just look up; you are loved
Just look up; you are loved, just look up
You are loved
If your heart's in a thousand pieces
If you're lost and you're far from reason
Just look up; know you are loved
Just look up; and know you are loved
When it feels like something's missing
If it hurts but you can't find healing
Just look up, know you are loved
Just look up, know you are loved
If your heart's in a thousand pieces
If you're lost and you're far from reason
Just look up; know you are loved
Just look up; and know you are loved
If it feels like something's missing
If it hurts but you can't find healing
Just look up, know you are loved
Just look up, know you are loved
This is a song but it's powerful, please go listen to it and comment down below what you thought of it!
You are loved [Lyrics] - Stars Go Dim
Tia Dec 2018
I didn't loved you
because you told me so
I didn't loved you
So you can hear I love you too

I didn't loved you
because I needed you
Nor did I loved you
because I wanted you

I loved you
The moment you understood my brain and my pain
I loved you
The moment you watched the night sky and the stars with me

I loved you
When you said you'll never leave
I loved you
When you said you'll always be here

I loved you
When I saw you looked up and  and stare at the moon
I loved you
When under the moonlight you held my hand

I loved you
When you swore a little too much
I loved you
When your brows are drawing a straight line

I loved you
The moment you showed me your soul
I loved you
The moment I felt that I am in love with you

I loved you
Even though I don't know if you did too
I loved you
Even though I don't know if yours was true

I loved you
Even though I don't know your truths
I loved you
Even though I realized you don't feel the same too

I was a fool
Not listening to my mind
I was a fool
Thinking that you'll be mine

I was a fool
Believing your made up story
I was a fool
I forgot you're a real writer of stories

But yet
I didn't put a thought on it
But yet
I still continued ignoring it

Because I loved you
Not because you made me
But because I fell in love with you
And I chose to love you
Patrick Austin Sep 2018
Our Backgrounds before we met...

I'm an only child born in Montana in 1983, from a divided home. Parents divorced at seven, Mom was unstable and unfaithful. Dad obtained custody of me and we moved to Oregon Coast to live with my Grandma. I had unhealthy visits and relationship with Mom thereafter. My Grandma died at 12 and at 13 my Dad remarried an alcoholic woman, I had a strained relationship with them until adulthood when she stopped drinking. I had exposure to trauma; alcoholism, mental illness, verbal abuse and juvenile troubles. I rebelled by using drugs in my late teens and early twenties, I lived on my own for a few years after high school but had little direction.

My bride is the eldest with two little brothers, parents stayed in same area of Portland during childhood with lots of family support and her parents stayed married. They had Christian values but some anger and anxiety issues at home. She was sexually assaulted at 17 and never had good closure with this. She told me her parents didn't provide her enough help with things like this growing up. Status quo was the backbone of the family dynamic, challenging emotions were discouraged. She rebelled by being reckless with herself, financially and sexually. She decided to join the Navy at 19. She lived alone briefly, but mostly with Grandparents & Parents before our marriage.

I loved how we both grew up reading Archie comics. No other girl I had ever met had that in common with me. I think we wanted a surreal life like the one in Riverdale.

2002

She and I were 19 when we first met in my home town on the coast at an arcade. We became friends and secretly liked each other. I was too nervous to ever make a move on her. We traveled together, she stayed with me, we used drugs together and drank at times. One night she drank too much and had *** with a guy I knew at a party. I was devastated by this. She was Navy bound and I didn't see a real future for us. The next morning she left and I didn't talk to her again for two years. I figured she would be gone with the Navy soon and that she must not have been interested in a relationship with me despite the time we spent together.

2003

I was depressed about this rejection. I dated an older woman who was interested in me but was no substitute. I eventually moved to the Portland area to work and live. I still had few plans and was lonely, in or out of the few brief relationships I attempted. I never found someone that I felt safe with or had a true connection, let alone true love. She ended up not following through with the Navy and continued working her way up in her job at the call center. She attended community college and dated a few guys. She dated one guy for a couple of years who was not a good match for her but stayed with him off and on despite issues. His family was wealthy and treated her well. He slept around on her as did she. At one point he gave her an STD. She also had an ongoing affair with a married man in the military that she went to high school with. He had a child and a wife with mental health issues. She was still hurting a lot at times and not always doing well.

2004

She reached out to me via email after two years of no contact. We emailed back and forth a couple times over the next few months. We talked about meeting up. We spoke on the phone and eventually met up in Portland. We had an amazing night getting to know each other again and work past the confusion of our earlier days of friendship. I realized that she did in fact like me before but since I was timid and trying to be proper and take things slowly she didn't understand my motives. She apologized for her actions at the party as well. She claimed she was in a really messed up place and was making bad choices at that time. Getting our feelings out in the open was good and she appreciated my attitude towards being slow to make moves on her when we first met. I was worried about falling for her based on our history but eventually I was determined to give it a shot. We soon after starting dating and being intimate. Our love was extremely powerful and beyond all others we had both experienced. She broke ties with other suitors and shortly after we talked about marriage and started planning a wedding for the next year.

I remember when we first held hands. We were so shakey and she was quivering on my couch as I had my arm around her. We felt so safe with each other. We could finally be ourselves and do what our hearts desired. We knew we were on to something new and so amazing. We were so patient with each other as we navigated our new love and emotional thresholds.

I remember when we saw Matisyahu in concert together. That was a once in a lifetime experience and a life-changing moment for us. I feel it set the tone for things to come in our future.

I remember how creative my proposal to her was, in the Arcade where we first met. I hid the ring in a prize container from one of those claw machines. Pretending I got the ring from inside by reaching into the machine on one knee I was so nervous and wasn't sure if I could pull it off before she caught on. She looked so shocked and surprised. I was so excited she said yes! We took pictures in the photo machine and had burgers afterwards, I'd do all of it all over again just to see her face in that moment.

2005

We found an apartment for us in Portland. I moved in while she was still living back with her parents until the wedding. She had to change her number because the married man she was previously involved with kept calling her about changing her mind about marriage and continuing their relationship. She was offered a job in Denver and we decided to move away together after our sandy wedding in Cannon Beach. I still had a very hard time and was embarrassed with my past history with her. Many of my friends knew what had happened at 19 and how much it hurt me but I was so crazy about her I think I tried to pretend it didn't happen or that it was not a big deal because we were younger. We got married and moved to Colorado soon after. We made friends at a church, I became more active as a Christian and really loved being married. We were very involved in keeping spirituality in our marriage. I began to notice her poor financial decisions and practices more. This caused conflict but we always tried to communicate and work on things.

I remember when we went down to my folks for New Year's in 2005. We sipped tea in my Datsun as we drove to the coast over the snowy mountain pass. We told them of our engagement. We were all so blissful and excited. We never knew what was to come. We didn't even know about the opportunity in Denver yet. Our story is amazing!

I remember when I wanted to go see her in Portland and the roads were iced over. I left my car at a park and ride before I caused a wreck. I took the light rail across town then rode a bus to the Eastside shopping mall. The bus to her house was not running because it wasn't safe so I walked the rest of the 4 Miles sometimes having to crawl on my hands and knees to make it up hills in the ice and then I finally made it only to just spend a couple hours with her and fall asleep on her parents couch. Her Dad drove us back the next morning to my car so I could get to work. It was all worth it just to see her for that little extra time. I would have done anything for her.

I remember when she was interviewing for the new position in Denver? I drove all over Portland trying to find little toy cars to help with her illustration about how a team is like a car having all four wheels and how they work together to accomplish a goal. I was so proud of her for giving it her all and succeeding at earning that position. Now that I think of it, that car analogy applies to our family and us. We all need each other to be better and keep on track and be a team. I am so motivated by that and our boys. I lose my way without that and I want to be her reflection and motivation as she has been that for me. I truly thought we brought out the best in each other when we were together.

I remember when we were given tickets to see Fiona Apple. That was so spontaneous and a great way to kick off our time in Denver together. We always used to watch our same movies over and over again. Like the Friends DVDs and White Christmas every winter break and The Wedding Singer. We walked everywhere and lived simply. "I wanna be the guy, who grows old with you"

I remember in our first Denver apartment when we took baths together in our claw foot tub in the big bathroom. We put a board over the top and played cards. I liked playing Uno with her in bed too. She was so funny being slightly color blind and in the dark, mixing up the greens and blues. We played Uno in Breckenridge too at that cool bed and breakfast in the fall.

2006

We had continued fun and adventure in our new home of Denver. She was doing well as a trainer for the bank and I started working in health foods. We went camping in New Mexico a couple times with friends and we both took individual trips to Oregon as well as one together for her uncle's wedding. We had marital spats on occasion but always bounced back. The issues we had seemed like part of a normal marriage and were far better than what I had grown up around. I realized that marriage was a lot of work but I was up for the task. She occasionally became aggressive throwing things at me or breaking things during conflict.  I believed I was the problem and tried to change for her in many ways. With two incomes we still had trouble making our bills at times. She had debts that I never knew about that started to catch up with us but I took care of getting them settled and we paid off her car and traded it for an older Volvo Wagon that we both loved, I even had it repainted her favorite color for a birthday gift. Overall things seemed like they were progressing in a positive way.

I remember when we saw Midnight in concert in Boulder. That was the peak of our hippy days. We were alive with pleasure in our healthy vegetarian diets and practices living in a time and place like no other. I want to be like that again. Reggae was our music. We had much in common.

2007

We really fell into our roles in our marriage and the community; church and culture, friends etc. Things seemed very balanced and appropriate for us at that time and that age (24-25). We had separate bank accounts and jobs. I had money in savings. We started the process of buying a house so we could invest in something. She became pregnant shortly after. I embraced the challenge with positive energy but we were both in for a big change. We started having more fights. I didn't have many friends and would write to old friends via social media just so I could to catch up and tell them things were going great with being married to make myself feel better than I actually did. She hated the dawn of social media and also felt isolated I'm sure. She felt I should be doing more for her and I didn't know how to do what she needed but I failed to ask a lot of the time. After one argument, she left the house. My instinct told me to look at ******* and ******* as a retaliation. I had not done this much once we were married because she always met my needs but when things were difficult between us I felt more emotionally isolated. She walked in and realized what I had been doing. She was very upset, and because she was pregnant, thought I was not attracted to her. The truth is I found her even more beautiful and in fact when I looked at ******* I tried to look at women I found less attractive than her so that I feel good about what I have. I mostly fantasized about how these women were more submissive and loving than her. That is the part I needed to feel good about and feel better about myself with because I felt very dominated and controlled. She has never forgiven me for this and I will never stop feeling sorry to her for my brokenness. During one particular argument that year she was getting close to being violent towards me again and I pushed her away on the chest with my fingertips. She got very mad and said I hurt her. I immediately felt terrible and apologized. I never let something like that happen again. I have always avoided violence towards others especially women and of course her. I was defenseless against physical and emotional abuse.

2008

Our eldest son was born at the beginning of the year, it was a traumatic birth for everyone. We wanted a natural birth with a midwife but we were transferred to a hospital and she ended up having an emergency C-section, nothing went as planned. We had a really hard time coping with the emotions of this experience. A lot of buried feelings and trauma from both of us started coming out. We moved a month later into our new home outside of town. No more walking or biking to places, we had to drive everywhere. This house was next to our friends from church. We thought this would make us feel less isolated but we didn’t really have the community with them that we had hoped for. They were upset that they didn't have a child of their own yet and being around us might have been hard for them. My wife stopped working and stayed home with our son. All these changes made for a very difficult time. I did my best to support them but this was the first time we shared a bank account and needed to follow a budget more than ever before. We had no debt at the beginning of the year with money in savings but then the hospital bills put us down about $7,000 and rising with new home and moving expenses and baby needs. My job could barely keep up. She and I had a hard time adjusting. We could not afford to travel home to Oregon and visit family as much and we felt more and more isolated. She started showing me more signs of instability, locking herself in the bathroom with kitchen knives and scraping her legs which continued off and on for years to come. Talks of divorce and suicide threats seemed to happen more than before. I felt responsible and tried to fix her ever changing issues with me.

I remember when herr ******* were full and swollen with milk. It is so beautiful the way she could feed our babies. I wanted her in every way, our bodies belonged to each other. I was there for her and our shared pleasure. I loved it when she told me that she was mine in the heat of passion. This spark could only be a bandage for so long but I didn't know that yet.

2009

I tried to promote within my company but was not selected, they were cutting budgets and employment all around me. I felt worried about our future. I had always thought the military might be a good opportunity and could move us closer to family back home. My father-in-law encouraged me to look into the Coast Guard. I felt this would be a good way to get moved closer to Oregon.  I ended up joining the Navy because we found out we were pregnant again with our second son and that was the only way I could join a military branch. She worked off and on as a nanny and later in the year at a coffee house working nights. We barely spent time together and when we did it was a lot of hard conversations or arguments about finances with making up intimately in the middle of the night between times of caring for the baby. She once scratched my neck with her fingernails during an argument. People I worked with noticed. It was a hard time and we knew change was on the horizon with jobs and moving. We did visit Oregon that summer though and had a great vacation at the beach with a borrowed 4x4 and staying at a hotel and picnicking out of a cooler as well as going to her brothers wedding. I was 26 and about to join the Navy to provide better for my family at all costs sacrificing myself for their benefit because I would have rather died than look like I didn't try my best for them.

I remember when our babies would kick and move around inside her belly. I loved laying by her and feeling her tummy. I would hum to the baby and hear them move and squirm. I loved giving our boys baths when they were babies too. We had our little bundles of our love, wrapped in a towel in our hands, so tiny and vulnerable. I miss those days and want to remember them with her, aside from this state of melancholy.

2010

The Navy recruiters would only take me if we rented out our home and had her stay with family during boot camp and training. We moved to a furnished apartment in Denver and put our things in storage. She was 5 months pregnant and our eldest was two. I shortly after was let go from my job. Our second son was born in April. I got a contract with the Navy at the last minute but didn't leave until August. We sold our beloved vehicles and lived off retirement funds for six months and moved down to Florida where her parents had just moved out of the blue for work, to stay with them until I left for boot camp. I applied for temporary work in Florida at a dozen places but had no luck in my three months there. I took care of our eldest a lot while she took care of the new baby. Being in Florida was a culture shock for us but we had our moments of romance and made the best of it. Eventually I left for boot camp in August. It was really hard and sad to be gone. She stayed in Florida and came to visit me with the baby at boot camp graduation in October. I then went to Connecticut for five months of training. It was also hard but at least I could call home every day and be in the same time zone. I visited Florida during the winter break and saw my boys and her. We went to Disney world and had a great time on her parents. We also made a romantic home movie I could enjoy while away from her. I flew back to Connecticut and tried to make the best of things. My roommate was very abusive of substances and I resisted the temptation for a long time but the threat of being submarine service bound and missing my family pushed me to drinking every weekend and getting messed up to escape before I left.

I remember when we drove to Key Largo, Florida and stopped at a crazy bird wildlife center. I remember our oldest was so amazed hearing a bird say hello back to us. It was so foreign and fun there. I am glad we all shared that experience together.

I remember our trip to the citrus grove in Florida. That was such a great day for our family. I always look back on that with really fond sentiment. I felt like I was in a beautiful family music video with them.

2011

I finished Submarine Training and got orders back to the Northwest. The plan was all coming together. I arrived first and bought a car and got our items moved from storage in Denver to our townhouse rental in Washington. She and the boys joined me a month later. I didn't report to my Sub for another month as they were at sea. She became pregnant again with our third son right after arriving. We had just bought a small car and were not planning on another child. Towards the end of the year I was working a lot and having a really hard time, being bullied and treated poorly at work plus our financial situation was still very difficult. Adjusting to the military was hard among younger men being 28. I dreaded each day in that environment but I tried to endure it for my family. I went to sea for a couple months at the end of the year stopping in Hawaii and California. During this time She reached out to her ex married affair partner after six years of no contact. She didn't tell me until later. She said she needed closure with him, we were not in counseling yet but she decided this was appropriate. I flew home early from sea and wanted to surprise her. The stress and trauma of this quick transition home after being to sea for the first time (which was also traumatic) made me want to drink and get messed up before flying. I arrived home and surprised her but I seemed off to her which I was but didn’t explain why, I have never done that since. I got to be home for two months almost work free while we celebrated the holidays and prepared for the new baby to be born. She started getting more involved with a church and building a community for us which was great. Our financial struggles almost led us to foreclosure of our home back in Colorado but by the grace of God we got it sold with a short sale just in time.

I remember when I came back from Hawaii and brought her a beaded necklace and she wore it naked with her big beautiful pregnant goddess belly and we made passionate hippy love together. I want to grow out my beard again and spend my life making hippy love and feeling free again.

2012

Our third son was born in January. It was a very positive birth experience and much less stressful than the other two. Shortly after I flew out to finish the other half of the deployment I had missed. I really focused on being positive and spiritually connected by reading my Bible at sea which was helpful. I called her when I arrived in Japan halfway through being gone. She was upset because she tested positive for an STD while trying to get on birth control. I became suspicious of her yet she was suspicious of me. We both got tested again and I was clean, she told me she had a false positive after all. This put a big strain on our trust, especially being so far away. This forced us to be honest with each other about some things such as her contact with her ex lover and my drinking to cope. We were both very upset until I returned home and we could start some counseling to work through things. Forgiveness seemed to be difficult for us. It brought up hurts of the past when we were 19. She also had severe postpartum depression that became worse after each birth. I was still having a hard time with work and the submarine environment. Our church friends tried to counsel us but it was not the most helpful. My submarine was scheduled for extended repairs and not going to sea for three years, I would be transferred before the end of that period. I used this time to bond with her and my boys. I wanted to get better involved in our community and do volunteer work and side jobs to earn extra money. Our boys were all given diagnosis's for autism which begun to fill our lives with appointments and challenges for years to come but we were a good team in dealing with all of it. It gave us something to work together on but took our focus away from working on our own personal issues and relationship with each other as much as we should have.

2013

We had new years with both sides of our family in a snowy mountain setting in Oregon. It looked like it was going to be a great year until her Grandpa passed away suddenly. It ripped our entire family apart but especially her. He kept the family grounded and she was very close to him, he really loved all of us. She and I started going on dates again because we had Navy sponsored child care. It was the beginning of a really good thing for us. Tragically one night after a date we were dancing with the boys on the patio and I tried to pick her up and I lost my balance and fell on her, breaking her collar bone severely. She needed surgery and was very mad at me for years to come. She has a scar, a metal plate and numbness in her chest. We worked through it with our community from church but she still is very mad at me. I feel more terrible about this incident than she could ever know. I would lose a finger in place of that incident if I could. I continued having a really hard time in the Navy and I didn't want to stay in but She insisted our boys needed care only the Navy could offer. She also said she would divorce me if I ever left the Navy. I took this threat seriously even though she assured me later that she would never actually do that. Against my own convictions I reenlisted because I wanted to do the best thing for my family. We moved into base housing at the end of summer and didn’t go out to do things as much anymore. The house was nice but it ****** us in, we also had less community with people around our home. I started volunteering at church more and doing work with special needs people. I felt like I was doing good things and that I had purpose all around. I think she appreciated this about me.

2014

We started seeing a professional counselor together and individually. It became a regular event. I worked on myself and she worked on herself. I had a lot of issues with my Mom and eventually broke off communication with her for my own well-being and the betterment of my family. I got past a lot of the bad feelings I had. She worked on her traumatic experiences and our relationship dynamics. Just when things were going well I got a new boss who made things hard for me and others at work and I started messing up more. I got in trouble for messing up a job at work and was given strike one on my record. She lost respect for me as a provider but I tried to stay strong showing her that I would continue to do my best.

I remember when we had an appointment in Tacoma and we had a brunch date together afterwards. She looked so beautiful that day, I took her picture and was so proud to enjoy  huevos rancheros and momosas with her. I remember going to the Tacoma Art Museum seeing the Georgia O’Keefe exhibit, we have a great time together doing new things and feeding each other's interests. I loved laughing with her too, sometimes we just bust up like nobody's around. I loved the sound of her laughter. I loved watching Portlandia with her, it is so funny to remember the funny place where we became close and be able to relate together.

2015

I kept working hard and being involved with family and appointments for my boys and her. I still maintained my volunteer work and part time side jobs. I got strike two with the Navy for messing up again... I had just gained orders to leave the sub for local shore duty. I could not get out of the extended repair situation soon enough. She was very disappointed in me and not so understanding. I worked through this situation with our counselor as did she. He always told her I am a good man and that I do a lot for her and the boys. It's true, I care more than anything about them, I made mistakes and I feel bad especially when I cause my family stress. I left for shore duty in April. It was a hard time adjusting to the new routine but eventually we seemed to make it work. That summer we took a trip to visit Texas where her parents had just moved from Florida. We spent a great night together for our 10th anniversary in a hotel in Texas and went dancing. We had a lot more time together as my work schedule was less. The more people we had in our home working with our kids on issues the less useful my input seemed. I was not included as much in making family decisions because they all seemed to happen while I was at work, despite my objections. We tried to get our budget under control but she still had anxiety discussing spending. She continued to struggle with depression and was put on medication because she had still been harming herself. She was put on Prozac daily and anti anxiety medication as needed. He family members were not very supportive of medication which upset her but I always tried to be supportive in seeking help and continued care for both of us.

2016

We had a busy routine of kids in school now and home school and preschool and appointments for all of us. She wanted to go to church less and less. I started drinking a couple beers at night almost every day. I tried to mask my stress from her mood swings. She decided not to go to church at all anymore and focused teaching the boys about Jewish traditions exclusively which was hard for me to adjust to and confusing for the boys. I loved her and wanted to be supportive. As usual I was submissive and removed myself from the Christian church and some friendships. I feel like we lost our community at that point. We searched for a good place to have a new community with Jewish people but it was like starting over. I felt like I converted to Christianity for her when we got together and now I had to convert again, either way I would have done it for her because I loved her that much. The kids were confused by this change. After trying and failing at many synagogues we finally found one that seemed right for us.

2017

We finally had some money in savings because I kept it a secret and ended up planning a trip to visit her parents in Texas but it fell through due to lack of military flights. Instead we spent three nights away in a nice hotel resort as a family in February. We had three days of pure family time. Playing Battleship and other games in our room as a family, watching movies and eating at all the different restaurants and getting room service. Going swimming everyday in the foggy pool. I love our family and how we can have a great time together doing nothing but at the same time so much. That was so peaceful and relaxing. I wanted to keep doing things like that together as a family before our boys got too old. Shortly after this vacation she wanted to go back to school, then we bought a third vehicle so she could. Shortly after this she changed her mind about school and wanted to buy another house instead. I went along with it to please her and we practically killed ourselves trying to get the move accomplished with not much help or money. We had a good year over all. We got away for a romantic anniversary together in the summer. Just before the boys were going to start public school in the fall, her parents moved back to the area. She had anxiety with this and cut off contact with her parents and brothers for a while. Her Dad called me very upset and I tried to keep the peace until they reconciled. I was doing better with work and made up for lost progress as well as making arrangements to change jobs in the Navy to something more fitting. Since the boys started public school, I planned on leaving for Navy training in my new position after the beginning of the new year when they would be at a more settled place in their routine.

I remember when we went to the Olympic Club for our anniversary and we stayed there for a night away. We drove the long way through the countryside talking about new music that she wanted to share with me and she made notes of it on my phone notepad. We brought our own cooler and picnic that included Session Lagers and chocolate. We checked in to our room and made noisy bohemian love on the edge of the creaky bed in our small European room inches from the door. Then we went to the theater downstairs and watched the late showing of a really interesting Sci-fi movie "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets". We took showers and slept sweetly together. We made love again in the morning before we had a delicious brunch outside on the patio. We took the long way home and drove around on new roads and found our way out of cell phone reception. We figured out the road less traveled to get back to our home. We loved being alone and away together, just one night can make such a difference and mean so much.

I remember going to the Forest Theater to see Tarzan with our boys. That was such a great time. I would love to get our boys into theater and go see them someday. I wanted to keep our dreams and goals together alive and not lose opportunity and fall short by losing our partnership.

I loved going camping in Seabeck. Loading the truck with all our gear and getting away. Archer got sick from the cowboy caviar and I had to clean him and the tent up in the night. I was glad we had each other to be a team in our marriage in that situation as with all the other times. These sorts of things are what escape a person's mind when they are determined to get a divorce.

2018

We had a lot less money than the year before, again buying a house took its toll on finances as did the boys school and after school activities. I stayed very involved taking the boys to appointments and sporting practices. We stopped going to synagogue but tried to practice Judaism at home as much as possible, which I was very supportive of and involved with. She was still depressed and talking about suicide at times. I encouraged her to get help as I always had. Eventually she was diagnosed as Bipolar 2 and manic depressive by a new provider. She started taking new medicine for this and was worried I would want to leave her. I assured her I would never leave her and that I always wanted to work on things with her and help her. I left for training in Mississippi February 8th. It was going to be hard but I thought it might be good to have some time apart from each other to miss one another and reflect on things as well as prepare for times when I would be away at sea. I got in trouble in Mississippi for giving junior personnel a ride and being negligent of people who might be underage and possibly drinking, this became strike three. I never thought this could happen. I became recommend for separation from the Navy shortly after and was stuck in Mississippi for six months instead of six weeks. She was supportive through most of it but seemed to fall into hopelessness. Money was spent by her that we didn't have without discussion. She quietly leased appliances and tires and purchased a vehicle as well as having a secret bank account and email address. I discovered through our insurance company that she wanted to leave our policy for divorce. I didn't know this and she had even told the boys she wanted a divorce before I even knew. I was caught off guard and confused. I kept trying to communicate and reason with her but she didn't want to talk. I refused to give up and wrote emails and a letter but it only seemed to push her away further. By the time I left Mississippi she had filed for divorce and a restraining order against me saying I was unstable and a threat. I couldn't return to my home. My whole life fell apart in just a couple months. I found out she had been talking to other men in the Navy and keeping more secrets. I assumed this was her way of taking control during a difficult situation. I really needed her support during this hard time of transition out of the military. I became homeless, jobless and without my family in a month. I prayed to God that given time things might change between us but it was of no use. Bipolar had consumed whatever was left of my bride and there was no turning back.

I felt that our love was not one to be cast away. Other people might not understand or agree but what we had was truly special. We may have surely needed some time and space to get counseling as well as reconfigure and repair our marriage but I didn't feel like our relationship was irretrievably broken. She was so important to me and I thought she was the love of my life and would always have my heart. I wanted to be her partner in love and life, watching our boys grow up and being there to support each other. Being that she is Bipolar I knew she will need a lot of help and I was more than willing to assist her in making sure she was taking care of herself and not throwing herself into harm's way, ensuring she sticks with a plan we agree to for consistency. I cared about her deeply and had much compassion for her. I didn't believe she was thinking this through or thinking about the future. I really wanted to look at the long and short game with her, neither seemed appealing to me if we progressed but here we are. Things are not going to be easier. She will still have to face her problems and deal with me on a regular basis for the rest of our lives no matter what happens. She can believe her lawyer when they promise she'll get the moon and stars out of this in the end but they only see half of the story. Above all they want our money. It would have been good for her to face me in person and tell me she wanted to divorce and we could have started talking about it with a counselor to figure out how that could even work. Instead she chose to avoid as much responsibility for her actions as possible by doing everything in my absence as if I am not a real person. I had to find out about it from our insurance company and was last to know.

Immediately after I hear the word divorce I looked into her cell usage history and find she has a new military boyfriend that she talks to 20-30 times a day. She felt she owed me no explanation for this and it was none of my business. A mature person would have let me know about this months before and I would have seen it coming but there was no sign until it was seemingly too late. She strayed down a dark path and never turned back.

Her proposed parenting plan was cruel and had no thought put into it. Two hours a week with supervision, no holidays but father's day? She said she’s not trying to keep me from the kids but this is the exact opposite of what she’s saying with the paperwork she filed. She seems very mixed up and still you continues to make rash and sudden choices. Like a completely bogus restraining order against me that contradicts so many facts she has stated herself on record during my Navy retention process. She was so bold as to want to change her identity and even put it in ink on the divorce paperwork as well to a whole new name. That is not the actions of a stable person. She has since changed her mind again on that just as quickly as everything else in her recent life choices. I can't trust that any decisions she is making right now are for the right reasons or that she is of sound mind. I have never seen her so conflicted and confused, grasping at straws and running scared from herself.

Using the legal system so carelessly and going back and forth makes me feel like she is not ready to be making big choices and changes for her and our family. It is very unfair that she can’t consider my feelings on things and what I wish for the boys as well. Very reckless behavior. She can’t anticipate that the day would come where she has to face me and talk to me like an adult. She wants to hide behind the legal system which only leaves much to be unresolved. Ghosting me is not really an option in a marriage of 13 years with children.

Having relationship conversations is too difficult for her at this time and she would rather avoid it and skip to divorce because she thinks that will somehow be easier. I suspect she knows she is making poor choices, possibly out of fear and lust for something new and less painful than the reality of things right now. Our marriage was nowhere close to divorce when I left. She was sad to see me leave and woke with me at 3:30 am to say goodbye, making me coffee and cookies for me to take with.

Our community and accountability seems to be gone due to the continued trend of isolation that she is drawn to. The God fearing loving committed wife I thought I had is gone or trapped inside a terrified shell of herself. She cut me off from her family members and I can't discuss my concerns about her with them either. She only seems to have community with those who are not going to discourage her from these destructive choices.

I understand we have had issues and struggles but we are no worse off than other couples during challenging times. I think that because we loved each other so much it just hurt more when things got hard. I can't accept or believe this is justified or the right choice based on the positive trend we were on before I left. This was the longest break we have ever had from each other and I think she just needed someone to be there more for her, no matter who it was. Time can heal all wounds and I hope that is true for our relationship as co-parents.

She still refuses to tell me about why she wanted a divorce or talk about anything beyond caring for the kids. I have fought the restraining and I can see my boys again but I am still not allowed to my home without her permission.

I have risen from the ashes in just a couple months. I rent a room from a nice couple from our old church and obtained a good paying job while I continue paying the household bills.

This is a really hard time, this difficult spell could have been a tool to better our relationship. I wanted to experience more beautiful memories with her. We had so many more beautiful memories and dreams left to create. This is what marriage looks like to me now as I lower the casket.
This is a timeline of the major events during my 13 year marriage. Amidst the reality, I injected all the lovely memories that refuse to leave my mind.
Keva Minus Mar 2013
Hungry for love, I was so hungry for love.
I am festering from my own greed, ravenous love.
Poor guy, he was a victim to this love hungry savage.
I attacked him with my love, pushed him so far away.
I’m not meant to be loved, no not meant for anybody.
He loved me, he actually loved me.
Yet I did not know how to love him back.
I wish he understood, and I wish I could have told him.
I’m not meant to be loved, NO ,should not be loved by him.
Stupid girl, so very stupid girl, and girl you are very much stupid.
Stepped all over his heart, unworthy of his love, so ungrateful.
My past hurt leaked into my present, unwanted, not wanted.
I felt like he was going to hurt me, hurt me, hurt me, I’m hurt.
I’m not meant to be loved, no not meant to be loved by any.
I am loves enemy, oh how love hates my bitter soul, my cold heart.
Let me in, I wont let love in, it knocks its knocking, I slam I slam.
Love wants to **** me, but I’m already dead, and now love buries me.
Here I lay; I’ve lost a heart, that beating muscle which enables me to breathe.
I gave him my heart, yet it lacked love, he didn’t feel, he didn’t know it beats.
I’m not meant to be loved, no no no not meant to be loved at all.
I love him, oh God how I love him, like you love us God.
But how do I love him, how do I show, how can I show?
I had, I have a Purple undeveloped, bloodless, loveless heart.
He pumped his blood into me; he drowned me in his love.
I tried to pump back, only a leak, over the years it drained out.
So what’s left for him, what did he get, a heart that’s dehydrated.
I’m not meant to be loved; no not meant because of me.
Here I am, sick with agony, dripping in pain.
Too late, its too late, how he hates me, me he hates, he hates.
How he tried, hard he tried, tried to fix a broken glass and got cut.
He’s bleeding now, I want to stop his pain, but the more I touch the more he bleeds.
I didn’t mean to God, I pray take his pain away, let him forget me.
Take the love he has for me out of his heart, let him drop mine, just leave it on the floor.
Let the herd demolish it completely this time so I cannot feel anymore hurt.
I never should have allowed him to grow near, but I loved him more than me.
I thought I was showing my love, I really tried, oh how I tried.
I’m not meant to be loved; I never was, never meant to be loved.
Never meant to be loved by anybody, never meant to be loved by him.
I'm not meant to be loved by you!
By: Keva Minus ©
Ryan Faubert Mar 2018
There once was I time when I fell in love with this girl.  It was life once again had new meaning and purpose.  I had someone in my life that was worth getting out of bed for.  I spent so many hours travelling to go see her.  Many a long days and even longer nights to travel back and forth just to see her and hold her.  Long nights in the hospital when she was I pain, watching her just struggle with pain just broke me each time.  I wished I could help more than I was, but I was with her and that's all that mattered.  I surprised her many a time, the one time after court was the one I'll never forget.  Just watching her eyes light up when she walked in the door was a moment I'll never forget for the rest of my life.  It was the most amazing time of my life that happened by accident.  It was the surprise of my life that I never expected and one that would change me forever.

  For a time it was the most amazing experience.  We learned each other and listened and talked for hours on end just to hear the others voice.  She talked I listened and just absorbed all that she had to say.  I learned her habits, Her likes, Her dislikes, what made her tick, what made her angry, And a lot of what made her cry.  I learned her witching hour, I learned her cycle, I learned her body better than anyone else had.  I loved her on a level she had never experienced, I loved her kids like they were my own.  It was a journey that for an entire 6 months I was living with my head in the clouds.  Then it all ended.  You see it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I crumpled like I got hit by a semi truck.  I cried for days and nights, I didn't eat, I didn't sleep, I merely just existed for weeks.  Until it clicked one day that, I'll be ok and I can move on.

  There twice was a time I fell in love with this girl.  It's like a bad dream that you can never properly remember you just know you have it.  Weeks of loneliness and pain just washed away by moving on and forgetting the past.  Suddenly just became a memory.  She said, "hello " And I just became a storm of emotions, I wanted to shut her out and ignore her knowing it was best for me.  Although, there is just something inside of me that I cannot ignore because this kindness of who I am just can't let me go that easy.  So the storm calmed and we conversed.  It was almost like nothing changed after a short time.  We laughed, We cried, we joked, and we lied to ourselves and each other that there was this void between us that longed for each other.  

  I spent a week in hell with her.  I watched her suffer and it killed me inside.  To watch be in constant pain and torment, while ones that were supposed to care for her just hung her out to dry.  I fought her, against her, for her, And played the devil's advocate for the sake of argument.  But at the end of it all I loved her more.  And she couldn't stay away anymore because she knew she loved me too.  It was only a few short weeks and we were once again in each other arms, as friends, lovers, and partners.  I showed her my past life.  All the memories of my childhood lay before her and I told her while I showed her about how I came to be.  Why I am who I am and the story unfolded right before her eyes.  There was such love in those eyes and I didn't want that day to end.

  I was once again rolling in the clouds of happiness.  I love her more than before, but I also loved her less.  I was a damaged man before we met and I put faith in her hoping that she could put me back together again and for a time she did.  But once again I was rendered a broken man with a shattered heart that I left open only to her.  I loved her more because I had her again,  I knew her better and knew how to take care of her,  But I loved her because she broke me once before.  I protected my wounds and treaded carefully as to avoid the pain from happening again.  I continued to make sacrificing of my time and money and sleep to come visit and spend time with her from such a distance.  I cared for her and talked her through some of her darkest nights, her suicidal thoughts, and fought her demons of all shapes and sizes.  I fought the physical, the emotional, the mental, and all them at once.  I poured into her my love and affection and let her find her peace in my embrace.  But I loved her less because as much as I cared for her, I still could not escape the terror of those nights that I was left alone to deal with my demons when she left me first.  I remembered the nightmares that haunted my dreams, taunting me it would happen again.  So I loved her less.

  For another 6 months, life was once again such a joy.  I fell in love with my best friend during that time.  Not a day went by I didn't talk to her, not think about her, or miss her.  We planned, talked, and discussed what the future might hold for us.  But we did not expect what we would happen to us first.  We once again grew distant, then bam.....it happened.  I was left alone, as if shot it the dark and left to rot until someone found me.  It didn't hurt as much as it did before.  I had been expecting it for a few days.  Like a bad vision of the future, I could sense it in the air like an approaching storm.  Once again I was  broken man with a shatter heart but this time it hurt less and I moved on.

  There thrice was a time I fell in love with this girl.  Good god was there ****** tension and desire between us that day we went for breakfast.  It was so strong you could cut it with a butter knife.  We both knew we were I trouble but neither of us wanted to admit it.  The next day we were consumed by such strong desire we knew it would ruin us to stay together any longer.  We broke apart and tried to fight it, but in the end we both lost.  We found each other and we were both so happy once again.  I loved her more than before, but  I loved her less.  I was broken by her twice and put back together each time after.  Surely third time is a charm and we had learned from our mistakes and would make this time.  We had never been so wrong.

  Days turned into weeks and weeks into months.  It was like there was never any gaps in our friendship, love, or relationship for a time.  Our lives became so intertwined that we included each other in everything we did.  The future seemed so certain, our lives seemed to be connected to tight that it appeared impossible for them to become separated.  We had never been more wrong.  Just as like the past times before after 6 months, It all fell apart.  

  This time I spent nights just holding her as she cried, begging the universe why she had to struggle so much.  Why this cruel world hated her so and never let her have a moments peace.  My heart broke for her as she just became a crumpled mess in my arms.  I loved her more as she trusted me and let me care for her and I willingly and happily just cared for her without a second thought, but I loved her less after all this.  You see that even though I had never stopped loving her at any point in time, I was constantly tormented by this horrid feeling of loneliness that one day she'll just leave again.  Just like how it had happened in the past.  I couldn't and wouldn't let this stop me from pouring out what I could give her when she needed me.  I ran to her side when she did, told her it would be alright, And held her until she fell asleep in my arms.  She found comfort in my embrace, while I stayed awake to watch over her.  In those moment I was left alone with my thoughts.  I'd look at her and hear things I shall never repeat for they cause too much pain to say aloud.  I didn't hate her for this, I didn't want to cause her harm, I never wanted to be the cause of any of her pain.  But I couldn't give my all to her until I had proof something was different.  Until that one day where we said "I do" and there was no backing out of it.

  A fight unlike any that had taken place before.  Both sides made mistakes, Both sides said things they regret, both sides lost in the end.  And now they are left with broken pieces of themselves to try and clean up.  Shattered lives that were once so confident in one another that marriage seemed the obvious next choice and growing old together was the greatest first each other had to offer.  In the end, we agreed that this was the end and that the damage was far too great to repair.  Moving on is and was the only solution for both of us.

  Who knows what the future holds for either of us.  Perhaps one day, the universe will once again play some horrid trick on us once again and lead us back into each other's arms.  I will not lie and say I don't love her, I have just learned to realize that perhaps being just need to stay in our heart and not our lives for the future.  I can't pretend that it doesn't bother me to attempt to live life without her once again, but I have to try or else I'll never get anywhere.

  There thrice was a time I fell in love with this girl, and I loved her more each time.  But much to my regret, I also loved her less.
I wrote this one night about two weeks after my 3 year relationship came to a sudden end.  The night I came to terms with the reality of how it ended the way it did and how I could see it coming but refused to acknowledge it.
Melissa Nye Oct 2013
I'm not in love with you, my dear, but maybe I loved you
You left me without warning, without sign
Gave me seven days to figure out what to do
I think I loved you once, with that time

I loved you like I knew no other way,
If I loved you that is
I loved you without complications
I loved up straight up
If I loved you at all that is
I loved you easily
I loved you hard
I loved you more
I loved you fast
I loved you without knowing when
I loved you at the fall,
I loved you impulsively,
I loved you without call,
That is though, if I even loved you at all.
niamh Dec 2014
How she loved!
She loved how
He made her laugh,
Loved how he held her
While they danced.
Loved how he stroked her face
When he thought no-one was watching
Loved how emotional he got
At the first scan.
Loved how he loved
Their child
Loved how he stared at her
And promised to love her forever
Loved how he asked how she was
When they learnt he was sick.
Loved how grateful he was
For a glass of water in bed
Loved how he tried
To make her laugh instead of cry
Loved how he held their child
Even though his arms were so weak
Loved how he let her cuddle in
As his breathing slowed
Loved how even when he was gone
The memory of him brought joy to her heart.
Loved how when anyone asked her
What she had done with her life
She could look them in the eye
And honestly declare
"I truly loved‘"
Angela Rose Oct 2017
How many ways have I loved you?

I loved you at your darkest
I loved you at your most vulnerable
I loved you when you were wrong
I loved you even when I hated you
I loved you when you saw me break
I loved you when I could not even love myself
I loved you late at night
I loved you beneath the sheets
I loved you with the lights off
I loved you even more with the lights on
I loved you through a sea of confusion
I loved you through a conflicted heart
I loved you despite our differences
I loved you even as I hurt myself
I loved you although you never really loved me

So how many ways have I loved you?
Too many.
Raven Apr 2018
When I was three I thought there were monsters in my closet and under my bed
When I was three I had a dog and a dad, mom and brother who I loved and who loved me back

When I was six the monsters were no longer in my closet or under my bed
For now they were at the side of my bed in the crack between mattress and wall
When I was six my dog died and I cried for many many nights
My dad would yell and hit not only me but mostly my brother
My mom still loved him, my brother and me and I loved her and my brother

When I was eight we moved to a new town and now the monsters in the cracks had started talking to me and whispering sweet truth
When I was eight my dad no longer worked and now stayed at home
My mom worked two jobs and wasn’t there for me when I cried
If she was there when he hit us or yelled she would sit and watch in painful silence as warm tears cascaded our cheeks
My brother tried to do his best to be strong and nice but sometimes he would start fights
I wasn’t sure who my dad loved anymore if he loved anyone at all
My mom loved my dad, my brother and me
And I loved my brother and the cat we now had who adopted our family

When I was nine I started telling myself the demons were whispering lies
When I was nine my dad finally told me he loved me one night
But not in the way I thought he meant
So I thought everything would be alright
My mom now worked more hours and was barely home
My brother still tried his best but played with me less
My dad loved me, or so I thought
My mom loved my dad, my brother, me and our cat
I loved them all for that short little while

When I was ten the monsters were no longer just at the side of my bed, for now they were also in my head
When I was ten I realized what my dad did was wrong
School was now my favourite place even though I had no friends and the teachers weren’t fond of me
When I was ten I started to hurt myself in places no one would notice, for it was my only sweet relief in a life of horror and chaos
My dad now yelled and hit more but that was nothing compared to the showers and poisonous nights
My mom was barely home but if she got home soon enough, would bring us treats
I didn’t know how my brother was or how hard he was trying to be strong for I no longer cared very much
My cat or so I liked to call her was the only one who I thought loved me
My dad was heartless and a walking lie so I didn’t know if he was capable of love
My mom loved my dad, my brother, me and our cat
I loved the cat and all animals for I no longer knew how to love a person

When I was eleven I thought love was touch so I did things I shouldn’t

When I was twelve the demons were now only in my head
My dad still touched me and poisoned my mind
So much happened when I was twelve I can’t even begin to describe
My mom was now tired more often than not
I never showed anyone the real me for I was scared to let them see the broken girl I had come to be
I no longer accepted hugs and pushed everyone away eventually
My mom loved my dad, my brother, the cat, the dog we now owned and me
I loved nothing and no one for now I was too broke

Let’s skip a few years and lots of tears until we end up here at fourteen where I am now
I no longer live at home but with a friend
I still cut but less often for I am trying to stop
I don’t eat very much because I don’t like my body
My dad is dead to me
My mom is still with him and so is my brother
My mom loves my dad, my brother, the dog and me
No longer the cat cause she left not too long after me
I love shiloh and jordyn but I don’t yet love me
For I have been too scared throughout my ages.
cs Jul 2017
It was around February when I started to question everything I knew about him. I wasn't sure if what I was feeling towards him was even “real”. I would look at his name and I used think how lucky I was to have him as a friend. I used to believe that everything he did and said was meant to sweep me off my feet and for a moment they did. It felt like my head was stuck in the clouds and I couldn't even feel my own weight. It felt like every single bone in my body was meant to love him.

and maybe I did.

I loved him for the way he said hello. It wasn’t the typical “hi” you would expect, but instead, he would go straight to what he wanted to talk about. I loved him for the way he called me on the phone because he wanted to hear my voice instead of read the messages I always took much time on typing because I wanted to impress him. I loved the way he laughed at my jokes when we both knew I was trying too hard. I loved the way he would invite me to walk with him because he wanted some fresh air and time to be alone. I loved his passion for poetry and languages. I loved that we both love to write and I loved how he asked me to do some writing with him.

I loved the way he asked me to the dance. I don’t usually like attention, but the way he planned it all out on that stage in front of more than 50 people made me feel worth more than the time he spent actually preparing. He said, “Roses are red, horses do a prance, will you let me take you to the dance?” and of course, I said yes. It wasn’t because of the longing eyes staring, waiting for me to say it. I said yes because I loved the way he wrote poems. I loved the way he read them to me and how he treasured them so much. I said yes, simply because I believed every word he said to me.

"I believed every word he said to me."
and it was the worst mistake I have ever made.

There isn’t anyone to blame but myself for this hurt I have and still am feeling because I did this to myself. There was always someone telling me
‘Don’t trust him’
‘He’s not who you think he is’
But somehow he made me ignore the friends who I always sought advice from, the ones who always looked after me when I wasn’t being myself, the ones who warned me about this heartbreak I’m feeling right now. I didn’t want to believe them.

I always found myself defending him.
"He’s too serious"- he means what he says.
"He’s ignoring your messages"- he’s busy with school.
"He’s taking advantage of you"- he just wants to get to know me.
"He wrote about someone else"- …
"He asked you to the dance because the first option would’ve said no"- …
"He shared his poems because he’s in love"- …
"He’s in love with someone else"- …

"I loved the way he wrote poems", I said. The poems I didn’t know went so deep into his heart, dedicated to those who have stolen it.

"I loved the way he asked me to the dance", I said. The dance he wished he could have gone to with someone else.

"I loved how he asked me to do some writing with him", I said. A few months later he’s performing a slam poetry with another girl who is soon labeled as his girlfriend.

"I loved the way he called me on the phone", I said. He never called me again after the 3rd time.

"I loved him for the way he said hello", I said. I haven’t heard from him for more than 2 months.

It was around the end of summer when I started to question everything I knew about him. I wasn’t sure if what I was feeling was real anymore. I would look at his name then look away. I wanted to believe that none of it was true- that none of the poems he wrote were for her. That she wasn’t lingering in the back of his mind when he was the only one stuck in mine. That he didn’t use me to fill up the empty space she left, only to be replaced by someone else in the end.- I wanted to believe that I deserved more.

and maybe I do.
I want to be loved by a poet
for his words would wash away sorrow
I'd live a life caressed by metaphors
and kissed by imagery

I want to be loved by a poet
Expressions of love would have me flipping through a dictionary
expanding my knowledge of what means
love

I want to be loved by a poet
to live in a world where eyes and stars
are synonymous
and every spoken line is a riddle of truth

I want to be loved by a realist
for there would be no mystery behind the lines
life would be empty of
guessed meaning

I want to be loved by a realist
to never need to question or decipher what I have
Love expressed in simplicity
and directness

I want to be loved by a realist
for honesty would be what is
spoken
and my life would be grounded

I want to be loved by masculinity
for heroics would be part of
the puzzle
life with bar fights for my honor

I want to be loved by masculinity
to live with knowledge that love
was also safety and strength when there
was trouble

I want to be loved by masculinity
to know that my life could be protected
and strong arms would catch me
when I fall

I want to be loved by an adventurer
with new twists and turns behind every corner
Where love is professed on mountain tops
and in exploration

I want to be loved by an adventurer
for surprises would be grand and
boredom
would never set in

I want to be loved by an adventurer
because life would be new everyday and
the discovery channel would be viewed through
my eyes

I want to be loved
        want
            to be
                              loved
Mira Hope Jun 2015
There was a time when I loved the water.
Loved it's coolness
Loved it's freedom.

There was a time when I loved the moon.
Loved it's presence
Loved it's freedom.

There was a time when I loved the sky.
Loved it's vastness.
Loved it's freedom.

There was a time when I soared,

There was a time when nothing could stop me.

There was a time...

Was.

There was a time...

There was a time when I loved the night.
Loved it's secrets
But more it's freedom.

Never again.

There was a time when I loved the shadows.
Loved their protection
But more their freedom.

Never again.

There was a time when I loved you.
Loved your light
Loved your freedom.
But I never really was one to open my eyes.

Was.
I loved you when you smiled.
I loved you when you cried.
I loved when you spoke.
I loved you when you opened your eyes.
I loved you when you were weak.
I loved you when you were strong.
I loved you when you were *****.
I loved you when you were clean.
I loved you for your heart.
I loved you for your mind.
I loved you for your style.
I loved you for your hair.
I loved for when you said hi.
I loved you when you said bye.

In the end, I still love you.
Claire Elizabeth Sep 2014
If somebody asked me if I still loved you

I'd say yes

If they continued to ask me what I loved about you
I would say

I loved how you laughed at the things I said. The way you stopped mid sentence and kind of chuckled. You'd cover your mouth and your eyes would dance and your shoulders would shake a little.

I would say

I loved how your hands played the piano. I always knew that there was some beauty in humans but never like the sight of your fingers dancing over the keys. You played so effortlessly, like it was nothing. I could have listened to you forever.

I would say

I loved the way you obsessed over your hair. I know I would always rag on you for being too into it, but it was endearing. Whenever you played with it a little I wished that I could do that too. I also loved the smell of the gel you used.

I would say

I loved how the sun hit your eyes. It would make them spark like you had something witty to say, and most of the time I think you did. The blue would look like the underside of a flame, bright, hot, burning. I think I hurt myself on them.

I would say

I loved how you breathed. Just sat there breathed. I wish I could have laid my head on your chest for longer, held my breath for longer to hear your heart beating. Sometimes giving up my life just to be in yours seems like a better option.

I would say

I loved when your glasses would slip down your nose when you were concentrating, whether it be on music or schoolwork. You'd push them back up with the delicate tip of your *******, shoving them back up to the safety of the bridge.

I would say

I loved the way your arms looked around my waist, like there wasn't a single thing that you wished to hold more. Your smooth skin was what I wished I could feel on mine again. I don't think there's another thing I wished I could touch once more.

Lastly, I would say

I loved how you tried to stick around until the very end. It wasn't easy for you, I know. But ******* it you tried. I think that's what I loved most about you, that you didn't give up because it got too hard. You gave up because you knew that I wasn't ready. I'm never going to be.

The only thing I hate is how I have to write all of this as "loved" and not "love" because I'm supposed to have let go of something this trivial a few months ago.

I'm sorry.
Xan Abyss Oct 2014
Once upon a time there was a lonely creature
Mind always shrouded in darkness
Hopeless was he, without a prayer for salvation
Dwelling forever in the abyss

But then one glorious afternoon
An angel's light broke through the gloom
They were both far from home
In a land they didn't know
She held out her hand
And asked him to follow

And the demon loved an angel
She brought salvation to his pain
The demon loved an angel
She was his white rose in the rain
The demon loved an angel
His heart no longer black
The demon loved an angel
But she could never...love him back

They journeyed together in a far off land
Where all they had was each other
It was there amongst forests and lakes
The one fell in love with the other

The demon and the angel, together but alone
The demon's cold and bitter heart, no longer made of stone
The angel brought him peace
Showed love to a beast
From his pain emancipated
From his sorrow, now released

And the demon loved an angel
She brought salvation to his pain
The demon loved an angel
She was his white rose in the rain
The demon loved an angel
His heart no longer black
The demon loved an angel
But she could never...love him back

They knew they had to return home
But he could not say goodbye
The thought of losing her forever
Ripped through him inside

But in the end, they parted ways
And he returned home
Back to the abysmal gloom
Once again alone
Before long she disappeared
Never to be found
Then the pain, the sorrow and loss
Pulled his soul back down...

And to this day he wonders why
Why he couldn't say goodbye
And to this day he's lived a life
Of joy and sorrow, peace and strife
But since that day he's watched the stars
And can't forget the ancient scars
Try as he might, he can't let go
Of the day so long ago....

That the demon loved an angel
She brought salvation to his pain
The demon loved an angel
She was his white rose in the rain
The demon loved an angel
His heart no longer black
The demon loved an angel
But she could never love him back
I wrote this when I was 16. It' the best thing I wrote at that age.
hazem al jaber Jan 2017
Honestly love...





Loved you...
before i see you...
Loved you...
before i hear your voice...
Loved you...
since first word you wrote to me...
Loved you...
from a first beat i felt with in my heart...
Loved you...
since i wrote a first reply for you...
Loved you...
because my feelings needed you...
Loved you...
and will keep always loving you...
Loved you...
although you did not love me...
Loved you...
although you hurt me...
Loved you...
although you lied to me...
Loved you...
and will keep do...
Loved you...
only you, no one over you...
Loved you...
sweetheart before i see you...
Loved you...
and will never change...
nor to get enough from you...
Loved you...still do...
God only knows how much i do...




hazem al jaber
This remembrance somehow still makest me guilty;
in every minute of it I feelest tangled, I feelest unfree.
I loathest this less genial side of captivity,
but still, 'tis ironically within my heart, and my torpid soul;
ah, I am afraid that it shall somehow becomest foul,
and I wantest very much, to endear my soul to liberty,
but so long as I hath consciously loved thee,
My confidence remaineth always too bold-
But I promisest that this shall becomest my last sonata,
Should thou ever findest, that thou desirest it to be;
whilst my incomplete song shall be our last cantata.
Ah, this series shall but never end,
Should I approachest and befriendest it,
but to confess, more I thinkest of it, the more my heart is pained;
No coldness shall it feelest, nor any beat of which, shall remaineth.

To thee whom I once loved, and now still do,
To thee whom my soul once gratefully honoured,
To thee whom I then endorsed, and magnified,
My heart, ah-my poor heart, is still restricted, and left within thee,
And amongst this dear spring's shuffling leaves, still blooms,
And shall bloomest forever with benevolence,
and even greater benevolence, as spring fliest and leavest
Just like thy sweet temper, and ever ostentatious laughter,
Thy voice and words, that are no longer here for me,
But still as clear, and authentic like a piece of gospel music, to me.

To thee whom I once loved, and now still do,
To thee whom my soul once gratefully honoured,
To thee whom I then endorsed, and magnified,
My pleasurable toils, and consummation still liest in thee-
as forever seemest that I shall trust thee, and thee only,
For the brief moment we had was but grand-and pleasant,
All the way more enigmatic, though frail, and exuberant
than I couldst perhaps rememberest,
But as I rememberest them, I shall also rememberest thee,
For those short nights are always fond and stellar to my memory,
As thou pronounced me lovely-and called myself thy lady,
As thou lingered about and placed thy sheepish fingers on my knee.
Ah, thee, whose heart is so kind and ever gently considerate,
From the moment thou stared at me I knew thou wert my unbinding fate.
And thy scent-o, thy manly scent, too calming but at times, poisonous;
Was more than any treasures I'd once withheld in my hand.

To thee whom I once loved, and now still do,
To thee whom my soul once gratefully honoured,
To thee whom I then endorsed, and magnified,
My enormity liest in thee, and so doth every pore
of my irrevocable, consolable sense;
Thou awakened my pride, thou livened up my tense,
Thou disturbed my mind, thou stole my conscience.
And with thy touch I was burning with bashfulness,
meanwhile my mind couldst stop not
ringing within me, unspeakable thoughts.
Ah, thee, thou made me shriek, thou slapped me awake;
And thou steered me away from any cruel dreams, and lies
these variegated worlds ought to make.
But still I hatest myself now, for leaving all of which unspoken,
Though plenty of time I had, whilst walking with thee, by the red ferns;
And every now and then, their branches ******* terrific sounds-
But not loud; benign and soft as heartfelt murmurs in our hearts.
And those dead leaves were just dead,
Over and under the gusty tears they had shed,
And their surfaces had been closed,
But as we stormed busily with laughter, along their dead roots,
All came back to life, and polished liveliness, and guiltless temperance.
Ah, thy image is still in my mind-for it is my ill mind's antidote,
With all the haste and loveliness and ardour as thou but ever hath,
Thou art loved, by me and my soul, more than I love myself and the earth,
Thou art more handsome even, than the juicy unearthed hearth yonder.
Ah thee, my very own lover and drowsy merriment at times,
Thou who keepest fading and growing-
and fading and growing over my head,
Thy image hauntest my sleep and drivest all of me crazy,
For justice is not justice, and death is not
death, as long as I am not with thee,
And I shall accept not-death as it is,
for I shall die never without thee,
For I am in thy love, as thine in mine,
And dreams shall no longer matterest,
when thy joys are mine-and fiercely mine,
I am blinded by urgent insecurity,
That occurest and tauntest and shadowest me
like a panoramic little ghost,
Massively shall it address me,
Painstakingly and, in the name of justice, ingloriously,
And shall them address my past and destroy me,
For I hath carelessly let thee fade from my life,
And enslavest and burdenest my very own history,
For in which now there is no longer thy name,
ike how mine not in thine.

To thee whom I once loved, and now still do,
To thee whom my soul once gratefully honoured,
To thee whom I then endorsed, and magnified,
Still thou art gentle as summer daffodils,
Thy image slanderest me, and its fangs couldst ****.
Thou owneth that sharpness that threatens me,
Corruptest and stiflest me, without any single stress,
And charming but evil like thy thirsty flesh.
Ah, still, I wishest to be good, and be not a temptress,
though all my love stories be bad, and
endest me and shuttest up in a dire mess.
I feelest empty, and for evermore t'is emptiness
shall proudly tormentest and torturest me,
Stenching me out like I am a little devil,
Who knowest but nothing of love nor goodwill,
I needst thee to make everything better, and shinier,
In my future life, as later-in my advanced years,
As death is getting near, for more and greater
shall my soul hath accordingly stayed here.

To thee whom I once loved, and now still do,
To thee whom my soul once gratefully honoured,
To thee whom I then endorsed, and magnified,
Thou art my summer butterfly and beetle,
I shall cloakest thee with sweet honey and sun,
And engulfest thee safely and warmly
under the angry sickly moon.
I am thankful for thee still, for thou hath changed me,
For thou made me see, and opened my flawed eyes
Thou enabled me to witness the real world;
But everything is still, at times, beyond my fancy,
For they keepest moving and stayest never still,
Sometimes I am, like I used to be, astonished
at the gust of things, and the way they grossly turned
Their malice made my heart wrenched, and my stomach churned
What I seest oftentimes weariest my *****, and disruptest my glee
And still I shall convincest myself, that I but needst thee with me,
Thee to for evermore be my all-day guide and candlelight,
Thee who art so understanding, and everything lovable, to my sight.

To thee whom I once loved, and now still do,
To thee whom my soul once gratefully honoured,
To thee whom I then endorsed, and magnified,
If thou wert a needle then I'd be thy thread,
If thy rain wert dry then I'd makest it wet.
But needst not thou worry about my rain;
For 'tis all enduring and canst bear
even the greatest, most cynical pain.
Ah, and thus I'd be thy umbrella,
Thou, whose abode in my heart
is more superfluous, and graceful-
than my random, fictitious nirvana;
Oh, thee, thou art my lost grace,
And everyone who is not thee-
I keepest calling them by thy name,
How crazy-ah, I am, just like now I am, about thee!
Ah, thou art my air, my sigh, and my comfortable relief,
And in my poetry thou art worth all my sonnets, my charm,
and forever inadequate, affection!
And only in thy eyes I find my dear, effectual temptations,
As under the hungered moonlight by the infuriated sea,
Who standeth strenuously by the peering strand of couples,
Thou evokest within me dangerous eves, and morns of madness,
Thou makest me find my irked melody, and vexed sonnet,
Thou made, even briefly-my latent days gracious,
Thou made me feelest glad and undistant and precious.
Thou art a saint, thou art a saint, though thy being a human
intervenest thee and prohibitest thee from being so;
ah, and whoever thinkest so is worthy of my regrets,
and the worst tactfulness of my weary wrath;
For thou art far precious, more than any trace
of silverness, or even true goldness,
Thou art my holiest source of joy,
and most healing pond of tears;
Thou art my wealth, ****** trust,
and my only sober redemption;
thou art my conscience, pride, and lost self;
Thou art indeed, my eternally irredeemable satisfaction.

To thee whom I once loved, and now still do,
To thee whom my soul once gratefully honoured,
To thee whom I then endorsed, and magnified,
I adorest thee only-my prince, my hero, my pristine knight;
Ah, thee, thou art perfect to my belief and my sight,
Thou who art deserving of all my breath and my poetry;
Thou who understandest what kindness is, and desires are,
Thou who made me seest farther but not too far.
Thou who art an angel to me-a fair, fair angel,
Thou who art beguiling as tasteful tides
among the sea-my courteous summer sea,
Thou who art even more human than
our fellow living souls themselves;
Sometimes I think thou art courage itself-
as thou art even braver than it, the latter, is!
Thou art the sole ripe fruit of my soul,
And my poetic imagination, and due thought;
Thou art the naked notes of my sonata,
And the naughty lyrics of my sonnet,
Thou art everything to nothingness,
As how nothingness deemest thee everything;
Thou makest them shy, and dutifully-
and outstandingly, changest their minds;
Thou art a handsome one to everything,
Just as how everything respectest, and adore thee.

To thee whom I once loved, and now still do,
To thee whom my soul once gratefully honoured,
To thee whom I then endorsed, and magnified,
By whose presence I was delighted, as well my breath-dignified,
Ah, my love, now helpest me define what love itself is;
For I assumest it is more than fits of hysteria, and sweet kisses
Look, now, and dream that if death is not really death
Than what is it aside from unseen rays of breath?
For love is, I thinkest, more handsome than it doth lookest,
For in love flowest blood, and sacrifice, and fate that hearts adorest
But desiccated and mocked as it is, by its very own lovers
That its sweetness hath now turned dark, and far bitter;
Full of hesitations engulfed in the best ways they could muster;
O, my love, like the round-leafed dandellions outside,
I shall glancest and swimest and delvest into thy soul;
I shall bearest and detainest and imprisonest thee in my mind,
But verily shall I care for thee,
ah, and thus I shall become thy everything!
Let me, once more, become obstinate-but delirious in thy arms;
let me my very prince-oh, my very, very own prince!
Doth thou knowest not that I am misguided,
and awfully derogated, without thee!
Ah, thee! My very, very own thee!
Comest back to me, o my sweet,
And let me be painted in thy charms,
o thee, whom I hath so tearfully,
and blushingly missed, ever since!

To thee whom I once loved, and now still do,
To thee whom my soul once gratefully honoured,
To thee whom I then endorsed, and magnified,
I loveth thee adorably, and am fond of thee admirably,
so frequent not outside when all is dark and yon sky is red,
For I hatest justification, and its possibly hidden wrath;
I hatest judging what is to happen when our hearts hath met,
but how canst I ever knowest-when thou choosest to remaineth mute?
Then tearest my heart, and keepest my mouth shut
O thee, should this discomfort ever happenest again;
Please instead slayest me, slaughterest me, and consumest me-
And lastly let me wander around the earth as a ghost.
Let me be all ghastly, deadly, and but penniless;
Let me be breathless, poor, imbecile, and lost-
For in utter death there is only poverty,
And poverty ever after-as no delicacy nor taste,
But I shall still dreamest as though my deadness is not death,
for I am alone; for I am all cursed, without thee.

To thee whom I once loved, and now still do,
To thee whom my soul once gratefully cherished,
To thee whom I endorsed, and magnified,
My heart, ah-my poor heart, is still left within thee,
Just how weepest shall the leafless autumn tree,
Waiting for its lost offspring to return,
and be liberated from its pious mourns;
And as I hearest their shaky, infantile chorus,
I shall but picturest thee again, thus;
Thy cordial left palm entwined in my hand,
Strolling with me about the leafy garden.
A joyed maiden having found her dream man,
a loving man swamped deeply with his love, for his loyal maiden.
Poems about Leaves and Leave Taking (i.e., leaving friends and family, loss, death, parting, separation, divorce, etc.)


Leave Taking
by Michael R. Burch

Brilliant leaves abandon
battered limbs
to waltz upon ecstatic winds
until they die.

But the barren and embittered trees,
lament the frolic of the leaves
and curse the bleak
November sky.

Now, as I watch the leaves'
high flight
before the fading autumn light,
I think that, perhaps, at last I may

have learned what it means to say
"goodbye."

Published by The Lyric, Mindful of Poetry, There is Something in the Autumn (anthology). Keywords/Tags: autumn, leaves, fall, falling, wind, barren, trees, goodbye, leaving, farewell, separation, age, aging, mortality, death, mrbepi, mrbleave

This poem started out as a stanza in a much longer poem, "Jessamyn's Song," which dates to around age 14 or 15, or perhaps a bit later. But I worked on the poem several times over the years until it was largely finished in 1978. I am sure of the completion date because that year the poem was included in my first large poetry submission manuscript for a chapbook contest.



Autumn Conundrum
by Michael R. Burch

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

Originally published by The Neovictorian/Cochlea, this poem has since been translated into Russian, Macedonian, Turkish, Arabic and Romanian.



Something

for the children of the Holocaust and the Nakba

Something inescapable is lost—
lost like a pale vapor curling up into shafts of moonlight,
vanishing in a gust of wind toward an expanse of stars
immeasurable and void.

Something uncapturable is gone—
gone with the spent leaves and illuminations of autumn,
scattered into a haze with the faint rustle of parched grass
and remembrance.

Something unforgettable is past—
blown from a glimmer into nothingness, or less,
which finality swept into a corner... where it lies
in dust and cobwebs and silence.

Published by There is Something in the Autumn, The Eclectic Muse, Setu, FreeXpression, Life and Legends, Poetry Super Highway, Poet's Corner, Promosaik, Better Than Starbucks and The Chained Muse. Also translated into Romanian by Petru Dimofte, into Turkish by Nurgül Yayman, turned into a YouTube video by Lillian Y. Wong, and used by the Windsor Jewish Community Centre during a candle-lighting ceremony



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



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



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)



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 Upand in Potcake Chapbook #7



escape!

for anaïs vionet

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

Published by Andwerve and Bewildering Stories



Love Has a Southern Flavor

Love has a Southern flavor: honeydew,
ripe cantaloupe, the honeysuckle's spout
we tilt to basking faces to breathe out
the ordinary, and inhale perfume...

Love's Dixieland-rambunctious: tangled vines,
wild clematis, the gold-brocaded leaves
that will not keep their order in the trees,
unmentionables that peek from dancing lines...

Love cannot be contained, like Southern nights:
the constellations' dying mysteries,
the fireflies that hum to light, each tree's
resplendent autumn cape, a genteel sight...

Love also is as wild, as sprawling-sweet,
as decadent as the wet leaves at our feet.

Published by The Lyric, Contemporary Sonnet, The Eclectic Muse, Better Than Starbucks, The Chained Muse, Setu (India) , Victorian Violet Press and Trinacria



Daredevil
by Michael R. Burch

There are days that I believe
(and nights that I deny)
love is not mutilation.

Daredevil, dry your eyes.

There are tightropes leaps bereave—
taut wires strumming high
brief songs, infatuations.

Daredevil, dry your eyes.

There were cannon shots’ soirees,
hearts barricaded, wise . . .
and then . . . annihilation.

Daredevil, dry your eyes.

There were nights our hearts conceived
dawns’ indiscriminate sighs.
To dream was our consolation.

Daredevil, dry your eyes.

There were acrobatic leaves
that tumbled down to lie
at our feet, bright trepidations.

Daredevil, dry your eyes.

There were hearts carved into trees—
tall stakes where you and I
left childhood’s salt libations . . .

Daredevil, dry your eyes.

Where once you scraped your knees;
love later bruised your thighs.
Death numbs all, our sedation.

Daredevil, dry your eyes.



Talent
by Michael R. Burch

for Kevin Nicholas Roberts

I liked the first passage
of her poem―where it led
(though not nearly enough
to retract what I said.)
Now the book propped up here
flutters, scarcely half read.
It will keep.
Before sleep,
let me read yours instead.

There's something like love
in the rhythms of night
―in the throb of streets
where the late workers drone,
in the sounds that attend
each day’s sad, squalid end―
that reminds us: till death
we are never alone.

So we write from the hearts
that will fail us anon,
words in red
truly bled
though they cannot reveal
whence they came,
who they're for.
And the tap at the door
goes unanswered. We write,
for there is nothing more
than a verse,
than a song,
than this chant of the blessed:
"If these words
be my sins,
let me die unconfessed!
Unconfessed, unrepentant;
I rescind all my vows!"
Write till sleep:
it’s the leap
only Talent allows.



Davenport Tomorrow
by Michael R. Burch

Davenport tomorrow ...
all the trees stand stark-naked in the sun.

Now it is always summer
and the bees buzz in cesspools,
adapted to a new life.

There are no flowers,
but the weeds, being hardier,
have survived.

The small town has become
a city of millions;
there is no longer a sea,
only a huge sewer,
but the children don't mind.

They still study
rocks and stars,
but biology is a forgotten science ...
after all, what is life?

Davenport tomorrow ...
all the children murmur through vein-streaked gills
whispered wonders of long-ago.



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



At Tintagel
by Michael R. Burch

That night,
at Tintagel,
there was darkness such as man had never seen...
darkness and treachery,
and the unholy thundering of the sea...

In his arms,
who is to say how much she knew?
And if he whispered her name...
"Ygraine"
could she tell above the howling wind and rain?

Could she tell, or did she care,
by the length of his hair
or the heat of his flesh,...
that her faceless companion
was Uther, the dragon,

and Gorlois lay dead?

Originally published by Songs of Innocence, then subsequently by Celtic Twilight, Fables, Fickle Muses and Poetry Life & Times



Isolde's Song
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

Originally published by The Raintown Review



The Wild Hunt
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

Originally published by Celtic Twilight, then by Celtic Lifestyles and Auldwicce



Morgause's Song
by Michael R. Burch

Before he was my brother,
he was my lover,
though certainly not the best.

I found no joy
in that addled boy,
nor he at my breast.

Why him? Why him?
The years grow dim.
Now it's harder and harder to say...

Perhaps girls and boys
are the god's toys
when the skies are gray.

Originally published by Celtic Twilight as "The First Time"



Pellinore's Fancy
by Michael R. Burch

What do you do when your wife is a nag
and has sworn you to hunt neither fish, fowl, nor stag?
When the land is at peace, but at home you have none,
Is that, perchance, when... the Questing Beasts run?



The Last Enchantment
by Michael R. Burch

Oh, Lancelot, my truest friend,
how time has thinned your ragged mane
and pinched your features; still you seem
though, much, much changed—somehow unchanged.

Your sword hand is, as ever, ready,
although the time for swords has passed.
Your eyes are fierce, and yet so steady
meeting mine... you must not ask.

The time is not, nor ever shall be.
Merlyn's words were only words;
and now his last enchantment wanes,
and we must put aside our swords...



Northern Flight: Lancelot's Last Love Letter to Guinevere
by Michael R. Burch

"Get thee to a nunnery..."

Now that the days have lengthened, I assume
the shadows also lengthen where you pause
to watch the sun and comprehend its laws,
or just to shiver in the deepening gloom.

But nothing in your antiquarian eyes
nor anything beyond your failing vision
repeals the night. Religion's circumcision
has left us worlds apart, but who's more wise?

I think I know you better now than then—
and love you all the more, because you are
... so distant. I can love you from afar,
forgiving your flight north, far from brute men,
because your fear's well-founded: God, forbid,
was bound to fail you here, as mortals did.

Originally published by Rotary Dial



Lance-Lot
by Michael R. Burch

Preposterous bird!
Inelegant! Absurd!

Until the great & mighty heron
brandishes his fearsome sword.



Truces
by Michael R. Burch

We must sometimes wonder if all the fighting related to King Arthur and his knights was really necessary. In particular, it seems that Lancelot fought and either captured or killed a fairly large percentage of the population of England. Could it be that Arthur preferred to fight than stay at home and do domestic chores? And, honestly now, if he and his knights were such incredible warriors, who would have been silly enough to do battle with them? Wygar was the name of Arthur's hauberk, or armored tunic, which was supposedly fashioned by one Witege or Widia, quite possibly the son of Wayland Smith. The legends suggest that Excalibur was forged upon the anvil of the smith-god Wayland, who was also known as Volund, which sounds suspiciously like Vulcan...

Artur took Cabal, his hound,
and Carwennan, his knife,
    and his sword forged by Wayland
    and Merlyn, his falcon,
and, saying goodbye to his sons and his wife,
he strode to the Table Rounde.

"Here is my spear, Rhongomyniad,
and here is Wygar that I wear,
    and ready for war,
    an oath I foreswore
to fight for all that is righteous and fair
from Wales to the towers of Gilead."

But none could be found to contest him,
for Lancelot had slewn them, forsooth,
so he hastened back home, for to rest him,
till his wife bade him, "Thatch up the roof! "

Originally published by Neovictorian/Cochlea, then by Celtic Twilight



Midsummer-Eve
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

when a star
appears in heaven
and the raven
cries;

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

if nevermore again.

Originally published by Penny Dreadful



The Pictish Faeries
by Michael R. Burch

Smaller and darker
than their closest kin,
the faeries learned only too well
never to dwell
close to the villages of larger men.

Only to dance in the starlight
when the moon was full
and men were afraid.
Only to worship in the farthest glade,
ever heeding the raven and the gull.



The Kiss of Ceridwen
by Michael R. Burch

The kiss of Ceridwen
I have felt upon my brow,
and the past and the future
have appeared, as though a vapor,
mingling with the here and now.

And Morrigan, the Raven,
the messenger, has come,
to tell me that the gods, unsung,
will not last long
when the druids' harps grow dumb.



Merlyn, on His Birth
by Michael R. Burch

Legend has it that Zephyr was an ancestor of Merlin. In this poem, I suggest that Merlin was an albino, which might have led to claims that he had no father, due to radical physical differences between father and son. This would have also added to his appearance as a mystical figure. The reference to Ursa Major, the bear, ties the birth of Merlin to the future birth of Arthur, whose Welsh name ("Artos" or "Artur") means "bear." Morydd is another possible ancestor of Merlin's. In Welsh names "dd" is pronounced "th."

I was born in Gwynedd,
or not born, as some men claim,
and the Zephyr of Caer Myrrdin
gave me my name.

My father was Madog Morfeyn
but our eyes were never the same,
nor our skin, nor our hair;
for his were dark, dark
—as our people's are—
and mine were fairer than fair.

The night of my birth, the Zephyr
carved of white stone a rune;
and the ringed stars of Ursa Major
outshone the cool pale moon;
and my grandfather, Morydd, the seer
saw wheeling, a-gyre in the sky,
a falcon with terrible yellow-gold eyes
when falcons never fly.



Merlyn's First Prophecy
by Michael R. Burch

Vortigern commanded a tower to be built upon Snowden,
but the earth would churn and within an hour its walls would cave in.

Then his druid said only the virginal blood of a fatherless son,
recently shed, would ever hold the foundation.

"There is, in Caer Myrrdin, a faery lad, a son with no father;
his name is Merlyn, and with his blood you would have your tower."

So Vortigern had them bring the boy, the child of the demon,
and, taciturn and without joy, looked out over Snowden.

"To **** a child brings little praise, but many tears."
Then the mountain slopes rang with the brays of Merlyn's jeers.

"Pure poppycock! You fumble and bumble and heed a fool.
At the base of the rock the foundations crumble into a pool! "

When they drained the pool, two dragons arose, one white and one red,
and since the old druid was blowing his nose, young Merlyn said:

"Vortigern is the white, Ambrosius the red; now, watch, indeed."
Then the former died as the latter fed and Vortigern peed.

Published by Celtic Twilight



It Is Not the Sword!
by Michael R. Burch

This poem illustrates the strong correlation between the names that appear in Welsh and Irish mythology. Much of this lore predates the Arthurian legends, and was assimilated as Arthur's fame (and hyperbole)grew. Caladbolg is the name of a mythical Irish sword, while Caladvwlch is its Welsh equivalent. Caliburn and Excalibur are later variants.

"It is not the sword,
but the man, "
said Merlyn.
But the people demanded a sign—
the sword of Macsen Wledig,
Caladbolg, the "lightning-shard."

"It is not the sword,
but the words men follow."
Still, he set it in the stone
—Caladvwlch, the sword of kings—
and many a man did strive, and swore,
and many a man did moan.

But none could budge it from the stone.

"It is not the sword
or the strength, "
said Merlyn,
"that makes a man a king,
but the truth and the conviction
that ring in his iron word."

"It is NOT the sword! "
cried Merlyn,
crowd-jostled, marveling
as Arthur drew forth Caliburn
with never a gasp,
with never a word,

and so became their king.



Uther's Last Battle
by Michael R. Burch

When Uther, the High King,
unable to walk, borne upon a litter
went to fight Colgrim, the Saxon King,
his legs were weak, and his visage bitter.
"Where is Merlyn, the sage?
For today I truly feel my age."

All day long the battle raged
and the dragon banner was sorely pressed,
but the courage of Uther never waned
till the sun hung low upon the west.
"Oh, where is Merlyn to speak my doom,
for truly I feel the chill of the tomb."

Then, with the battle almost lost
and the king besieged on every side,
a prince appeared, clad all in white,
and threw himself against the tide.
"Oh, where is Merlyn, who stole my son?
For, truly, now my life is done."

Then Merlyn came unto the king
as the Saxons fled before a sword
that flashed like lightning in the hand
of a prince that day become a lord.
"Oh, Merlyn, speak not, for I see
my son has truly come to me.

And today I need no prophecy
to see how bright his days will be."
So Uther, then, the valiant king
met his son, and kissed him twice—
the one, the first, the one, the last—
and smiled, and then his time was past.



Small Tales
by Michael R. Burch

According to legend, Arthur and Kay grew up together in Ector's court, Kay being a few years older than Arthur. Borrowing from Mary Stewart, I am assuming that Bedwyr (later Anglicized to Bedivere)might have befriended Arthur at an early age. By some accounts, Bedwyr was the original Lancelot. In any case, imagine the adventures these young heroes might have pursued (or dreamed up, to excuse tardiness or "lost" homework assignments). Manawydan and Llyr were ancient Welsh gods. Cath Pulag was a monstrous, clawing cat. ("Sorry teach! My theme paper on Homer was torn up by a cat bigger than a dragon! And meaner, too! ")Pen Palach is more or less a mystery, or perhaps just another old drinking buddy with a few good beery-bleary tales of his own. This poem assumes that many of the more outlandish Arthurian legends began more or less as "small tales, " little white lies which simply got larger and larger with each retelling. It also assumes that most of these tales came about just as the lads reached that age when boys fancy themselves men, and spend most of their free time drinking and puking...

When Artur and Cai and Bedwyr
were but scrawny lads
they had many a ***** adventure
in the still glades
of Gwynedd.
When the sun beat down like an oven
upon the kiln-hot hills
and the scorched shores of Carmarthen,
they went searching
and found Manawydan, the son of Llyr.
They fought a day and a night
with Cath Pulag (or a screeching kitten),
rousted Pen Palach, then drank a beer
and told quite a talltale or two,
till thems wasn't so shore which'un's tails wus true.

And these have been passed down to me, and to you.



The Song of Amergin
by Michael R. Burch

Amergin is, in the words of Morgan Llywelyn, "the oldest known western European poet." Robert Graves said: "English poetic education should, really, begin not with The Canterbury Tales, not with the Odyssey, not even with Genesis, but with the Song of Amergin." Amergin was one of the Milesians, or sons of Mil: Gaels who invaded Ireland and defeated the mysterious Tuatha De Danann, thereby establishing a Celtic beachhead, not only on the shores of the Emerald Isle, but also in the annals of Time and Poetry.

He was our first bard
and we feel in his dim-remembered words
the moment when Time blurs...

and he and the Sons of Mil
heave oars as the breakers mill
till at last Ierne—green, brooding—nears,

while Some implore seas cold, fell, dark
to climb and swamp their flimsy bark
... and Time here also spumes, careers...

while the Ban Shee shriek in awed dismay
to see him still the sea, this day,
then seek the dolmen and the gloam.



Stonehenge
by Michael R. Burch

Here where the wind imbues life within stone,
I once stood
and watched as the tempest made monuments groan
as though blood
boiled within them.

Here where the Druids stood charting the stars
I can tell
they longed for the heavens... perhaps because
hell
boiled beneath them?



The Celtic Cross at Île Grosse
by Michael R. Burch

"I actually visited the island and walked across those mass graves of 30, 000 Irish men, women and children, and I played a little tune on me whistle. I found it very peaceful, and there was relief there." - Paddy Maloney of The Chieftans

There was relief there,
and release,
on Île Grosse
in the spreading gorse
and the cry of the wild geese...

There was relief there,
without remorse
when the tin whistle lifted its voice
in a tune of artless grief,
piping achingly high and longingly of an island veiled in myth.
And the Celtic cross that stands here tells us, not of their grief,
but of their faith and belief—
like the last soft breath of evening lifting a fallen leaf.

When ravenous famine set all her demons loose,
driving men to the seas like lemmings,
they sought here the clemency of a better life, or death,
and their belief in God gave them hope, a sense of peace.

These were proud men with only their lives to owe,
who sought the liberation of a strange new land.
Now they lie here, ragged row on ragged row,
with only the shadows of their loved ones close at hand.

And each cross, their ancient burden and their glory,
reflects the death of sunlight on their story.

And their tale is sad—but, O, their faith was grand!



At Cædmon's Grave
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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

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

Originally published by The Lyric



faith(less), a coronavirus poem
by Michael R. Burch

Those who believed
and Those who misled
lie together at last
in the same narrow bed

and if god loved Them more
for Their strange lack of doubt,
he kept it well hidden
till he snuffed Them out.



Habeas Corpus
by Michael R. Burch

from “Songs of the Antinatalist”

I have the results of your DNA analysis.
If you want to have children, this may induce paralysis.
I wish I had good news, but how can I lie?
Any offspring you have are guaranteed to die.
It wouldn’t be fair—I’m sure you’ll agree—
to sentence kids to death, so I’ll waive my fee.



Villanelle: Hangovers
by Michael R. Burch

We forget that, before we were born,
our parents had “lives” of their own,
ran drunk in the streets, or half-******.

Yes, our parents had lives of their own
until we were born; then, undone,
they were buying their parents gravestones

and finding gray hairs of their own
(because we were born lacking some
of their curious habits, but soon

would certainly get them). Half-******,
we watched them dig graves of their own.
Their lives would be over too soon

for their curious habits to bloom
in us (though our children were born
nine months from that night on the town

when, punch-drunk in the streets or half-******,
we first proved we had lives of our own).



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

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



Haunted
by Michael R. Burch

Now I am here
and thoughts of my past mistakes are my brethren.
I am withering
and the sweetness of your memory is like a tear.

Go, if you will,
for the ache in my heart is its hollowness
and the flaw in my soul is its shallowness;
there is nothing to fill.

Take what you can;
I have nothing left.
And when you are gone, I will be bereft,
the husk of a man.

Or stay here awhile.
My heart cannot bear the night, or these dreams.
Your face is a ghost, though paler, it seems
when you smile.

Published by Romantics Quarterly



Have I been too long at the fair?
by Michael R. Burch

Have I been too long at the fair?
The summer has faded,
the leaves have turned brown;
the Ferris wheel teeters ...
not up, yet not down.
Have I been too long at the fair?

This is one of my earliest poems, written around age 14-15 when we were living with my grandfather in his house on Chilton Street, within walking distance of the Nashville fairgrounds. I remember walking to the fairgrounds, stopping at a Dairy Queen along the way, and swimming at a public pool. But I believe the Ferris wheel only operated during the state fair. So my “educated guess” is that this poem was written during the 1973 state fair, or shortly thereafter. I remember watching people hanging suspended in mid-air, waiting for carnies to deposit them safely on terra firma again.



Insurrection
by Michael R. Burch

She has become as the night—listening
for rumors of dawn—while the dew, glistening,
reminds me of her, and the wind, whistling,
lashes my cheeks with its soft chastening.

She has become as the lights—flickering
in the distance—till memories old and troubling
rise up again and demand remembering ...
like peasants rebelling against a mad king.

Originally published by The Chained Muse



Success
by Michael R. Burch

for Jeremy

We need our children to keep us humble
between toast and marmalade;

there is no time for a ticker-tape parade
before bed, no award, no bright statuette

to be delivered for mending skinned knees,
no wild bursts of approval for shoveling snow.

A kiss is the only approval they show;
to leave us―the first great success they achieve.



Sappho's Lullaby
by Michael R. Burch

for Jeremy

Hushed yet melodic, the hills and the valleys
sleep unaware of the nightingale's call,
while the pale calla lilies lie
listening,
glistening . . .
this is their night, the first night of fall.

Son, tonight, a woman awaits you;
she is more vibrant, more lovely than spring.
She'll meet you in moonlight,
soft and warm,
all alone . . .
then you'll know why the nightingale sings.

Just yesterday the stars were afire;
then how desire flashed through my veins!
But now I am older;
night has come,
I’m alone . . .
for you I will sing as the nightingale sings.

NOTE: The calla lily symbolizes beauty, purity, innocence, faithfulness and true devotion. According to Greek mythology, when the Milky Way was formed by the goddess Hera’s breast milk, the drops that fell to earth became calla lilies.



The People Loved What They Had Loved Before
by Michael R. Burch

We did not worship at the shrine of tears;
we knew not to believe, not to confess.
And so, ahemming victors, to false cheers,
we wrote off love, we gave a stern address
to things that we disapproved of, things of yore.
And the people loved what they had loved before.

We did not build stone monuments to stand
six hundred years and grow more strong and arch
like bridges from the people to the Land
beyond their reach. Instead, we played a march,
pale Neros, sparking flames from door to door.
And the people loved what they had loved before.

We could not pipe of cheer, or even woe.
We played a minor air of Ire (in E).
The sheep chose to ignore us, even though,
long destitute, we plied our songs for free.
We wrote, rewrote and warbled one same score.
And the people loved what they had loved before.

At last outlandish wailing, we confess,
ensued, because no listeners were left.
We built a shrine to tears: our goddess less
divine than man, and, like us, long bereft.
We stooped to love too late, too Learned to *****.
And the people loved what they had loved before.



Piercing the Shell
by Michael R. Burch

If we strip away all the accouterments of war,
perhaps we’ll discover what the heart is for.



Premonition
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Survivors
by Michael R. Burch

for the victims and survivors of 9/11 and their families

In truth, we do not feel the horror
of the survivors,
but what passes for horror:

a shiver of “empathy.”

We too are “survivors,”
if to survive is to snap back
from the sight of death

like a turtle retracting its neck.



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.



Day, and Night
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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



To the boy Elis
by Georg Trakl
translation by Michael R. Burch

Elis, when the blackbird cries from the black forest,
it announces your downfall.
Your lips sip the rock-spring's blue coolness.

Your brow sweats blood
recalling ancient myths
and dark interpretations of birds' flight.

Yet you enter the night with soft footfalls;
the ripe purple grapes hang suspended
as you wave your arms more beautifully in the blueness.

A thornbush crackles;
where now are your moonlike eyes?
How long, oh Elis, have you been dead?

A monk dips waxed fingers
into your body's hyacinth;
Our silence is a black abyss

from which sometimes a docile animal emerges
slowly lowering its heavy lids.
A black dew drips from your temples:

the lost gold of vanished stars.

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE: I believe that in the second stanza the blood on Elis's forehead may be a reference to the apprehensive ****** sweat of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. If my interpretation is correct, Elis hears the blackbird's cries, anticipates the danger represented by a harbinger of death, but elects to continue rather than turn back. From what I have been able to gather, the color blue had a special significance for Georg Trakl: it symbolized longing and perhaps a longing for death. The colors blue, purple and black may represent a progression toward death in the poem.



Published as the collection "Leave Taking"
The People Loved What They Had Loved Before
by Michael R. Burch

We did not worship at the shrine of tears;
we knew not to believe, not to confess.
And so, ahemming victors, to false cheers,
we wrote off love, we gave a stern address
to things that we disapproved of, things of yore.
And the people loved what they had loved before.

We did not build stone monuments to stand
six hundred years and grow more strong and arch
like bridges from the people to the Land
beyond their reach. Instead, we played a march,
pale Neros, sparking flames from door to door.
And the people loved what they had loved before.

We could not pipe of cheer, or even woe.
We played a minor air of Ire (in E).
The sheep chose to ignore us, even though,
long destitute, we plied our songs for free.
We wrote, rewrote and warbled one same score.
And the people loved what they had loved before.

At last outlandish wailing, we confess,
ensued, because no listeners were left.
We built a shrine to tears: our goddess less
divine than man, and, like us, long bereft.
We stooped to love too late, too Learned to *****.
And the people loved what they had loved before.

Keywords/Tags: traditional, poetry, meter, rhyme, reason, music, song, form, love, loved, monuments, bridges, unpaid, free, verse, score, classic, classical, Romantic
Randy Mcpeek Jun 2016
I LOVED YOU
                                           
I loved the way I felt with you, I loved it when you called.
I loved it when we talk for hours, like time didn’t matter at all.
I loved it when you said to me, one day, I’d have your name.
I loved the way my heart swelled with pride, believing we felt the same.
I loved it when you called me “babe”, our hearts were intertwined.
I loved feeling like our souls touched; that we were of one body, one mind.

I loved it when, finally, I could think of you and not cry.
I loved the way you looked at me, when we had our last kiss goodbye.
But most of all, I loved the way you loved me, when we were new.
Because I knew the love was real, not surface, or pretend, a ruse.
I love knowing that, I’ll never love as deep, because of you.
I freely gave my heart and soul,not knowing what you’d do.
The hurt and pain will fade, but,I forever I’ll be scarred.
I will love again someday,but that is what’s most hard.
I’ll have to start by loving me,the one I think of least.
And in the process of my healing, I may finally find some peace.

Randy McPeek
Meruem Aug 2019
"You never loved her."
These words are marked on you;
Like a deep wound in your heart,
Like a sad song in your head.

I loved you, and I'll always do.
All the hours that we spent,
And everytime that our hearts skipped
A beat for every sweet nothings.

I loved you, that's why I came back.
I loved you like the moon loves the sun;
I was outshined by your light,
Yet all I wanted was to meet you in the middle.

I loved you,
Because you were my world.
And it really breaks my heart
Because you still think that I only used you.

I loved you;
I returned so I can mend your broken heart
I wanted to be the one to wipe away your tears
I offered you my heart, my soul, and a life we can share together.

But you never loved me.
You only loved how I patiently loved you.
You only loved the idea that I'll still run to you despite our darkest days.
You only loved your old memory of me and discarded the truth that nothing has changed.

You never loved me, but I did.
August 25, 2019 - 12:56
Angel-Grace Jul 2014
I loved you with a slow pulse and aching heart beat

I loved you with broken lungs and sharp breaths

I loved you with bleeding knuckles and burning tears

I loved you with empty words and trembling lips

I loved you with hopeless thoughts and too much ambition

I loved you with open arms and a hollow chest

I loved you with a million promises and screaming vanities

I loved you with caring hands and broken bones

I loved you with a bitter tongue and starry eyes

I loved you with open scars and the thought of forever

I loved you with fear and never giving up
Kas Jan 2015
You told me you loved me that night after track
You told me you loved me & I said it back.
You told me you loved me & we were forever
You told me you loved me no matter the weather.
You told me you loved me, but I didn't believe you
You told me you loved me & 'I'll never leave you'.
You told me you loved me & it was fast and quick
You told me you loved me but my laugh made you sick.
You told me you loved but this was the last
You told me you loved her & our love was the past.
Cat Fiske May 2015
I loved him
because I couldn't love myself,

I loved him
because he was showing me how to love me,

I loved him,
because he knew the me no one else could see,

I loved him
because he saw me, for me, and no one else's reflection

I loved him
because he pulled me out into the sunshine I was missing out on,

I loved him
because he watches me recover and helps me get though,

I loved him
because he remembered my eyes were brown and not blue,

I loved him
because his hair was the long hair I didn't have,

I loved him
because I played with the hair while I sobbed on his shoulders,

I loved him
because I cried and he comforted me, when I upset him and me,

I loved him
because he never got angry with me

I loved him
because he never threatened me for ****** needs,

I loved him
because he took things at my pace,

I loved him,
because he never raised his open or closed hand,

I love him,
because I feel safe.
my baby
Megan Sherman Dec 2016
When I loved, dear, when I loved
My heart was mended in your hands,
You fixed it up with soothing bands,
That stop the ache I had from
When I loved, dear, when I loved

When I loved, dear, when I loved,
I danced resplendent in the sun,
Eternal life had just begun,
As endless as the waltz of time,
When I loved, dear, when I loved

When I loved, dear, when I loved,
There was a song that rung in the air,
All joy and all love soars up there,
There was angel at my stair,
When I loved, dear, when I loved
Roseanna H Feb 2013
I have loved you
through many sleepless nights,
spent crying,
thinking,
holding you.
I have loved you,
through pancakes for breakfast and behind closed bedroom doors blocking out the light.
I have loved you,
on
and on
and
on
forever.
Because although we are not together,
our hearts touched long ago,
and blood does not forgive.
Blood does not forget.

I have loved you,
under shelter from rain under black umbrella,
running to the bus stop where you have kissed me goodbye.
I have loved you,
through laughter and pain and hospital nights.
I have loved you.

I love you,
and I am terrified you will forget me.
Terrified that you will forget all these things I have loved you through,
and all these things you have loved me through.
And though we have loved each other through so many things,
I have also loved you before I was born,
before I was conceived,
before I was pushed out into existence kicking and screaming for love.
I hope with all my heart that I did not love you more than you me,
but I do not know.

I have loved you,
and I will love you,
through not hearing your voice,
through not feeling your hand in mine,
through not witnessing you grow old,
through not sharing wedding vows,
through not dying together.
I will love you,
through and through
Forever.
A Mareship Sep 2014
Daniel, Peter, George and I sat in various stages of drunkenness.  Dee was sober and on the water. It was our annual dinner, the great catch-up, and most of us were drinking champagne. A great bouquet of peach roses sat in the middle of the table dropping petals by the hour.
“She’s got ginger hair.” Peter laughed.
“It’s more auburn.” George defended, pouring himself another drink.
“No.” Said Peter. “She’s ******* ginger.”
Daniel leant back in his chair with his arms behind his head, wearing his face of perpetual amusement.
“Dan. Come on, now. What colour is Melanie’s hair?”
“Oh…I don’t know.” Dan smiled. “A sort of strawberry blonde.”
Peter punched George on the shoulder."See! She’s ******* ginger!”
Boys will always jostle to be top dog. Daniel was the alpha and Peter resented it, but Daniel was everything that Peter would never be: good-natured, strong, calm, in control. Peter was loud and insulting, a bit of a bully but sort of sad with it, prone to fits of melancholy and drunkenness. We all had our role to play. George was fey and funny and got offended easily. I was the madman who did the things they didn’t dare.  The dynamic worked, most of the time.
Dee was quiet and an ‘outsider’, so he didn’t count. He sat with his glass of tonic water which was packed with slowly cracking ice, and he stuck to his usual routine : no food, no alcohol, no cigarettes, no smiling, no chit chat. Any time I laughed or told a joke, his silence would shame me. He reminded me of how desperate I was to fit in, to be one of the boys. He always shamed me just by sitting there, by not joining in, by being so ******* above it all, by being so himself.
“So, what exactly are you doing these days, Art?” Peter asked.
“Teaching. You know that.”
“Yeah but…why? Do they even allow mental patients around kids?”
Daniel leaned forwards in his chair and glanced at me, checking for discomfort.
“God.” I sighed. “******* Peter.”
“And what do you do?” Peter asked, looking at Dee. Dee took a long while to answer, focusing his eyes and adjusting his posture.
“PhD. Physics.”
“Sounds boring.”
“He’s mathematically gifted.” I said proudly.
Peter smiled with one side of his mouth.
“If someone gave me the gift of maths I’d return it and buy a calculator.”
Everyone laughed, including me. Dee started to fold his napkin, and then he unfolded it. Then he folded it again.
“Do you love maths, then?” George asked.
Dee pushed the napkin into his lap and shrugged.
“There’s something wrong with you if you love maths.” George said. “Maths is *******.”
“Do you want another tonic?” I asked Dee, putting my hand on his knee. He pushed it off with force.
“No. In fact - I think I want to go home.”
“Don’t go home!” Daniel said. “Please Dee, stay a while.”
“No, I really think I ought to go home now.”
“Hey.” I grabbed his knee again. “Come on.”
“No.” he stood up, the candlelight winking wildly in the silk wrinkles of his shirt. “I really want to leave.”
“The evening’s just getting started.” Peter said.
“The evening is not the problem.” Dee said quietly. “The problem is you.” He closed his eyes. “The problem is you.”
I felt my skin shrink. Dee stood up to his full height and exhaled.
“In fact, the problem is all of you. You’re all awful human beings. All of you. Awful, awful, awful.” His eyes sparkled as he warmed to his theme. “And you’re all so ******* boring!
Peter and George were speechless. Daniel leant back and laughed beneath praying hands.
“Yes, you’re bores! You’re such ******* bores! Even the waiter is bored! Even the flowers are bored!”
“Dee, love.” I stood up and grabbed his shoulder. I was quite drunk.
“No Arthur, I’m going home, I’m tired. I’ll get a cab, you stay here with your awful, awful, awful, awful bores.”
He stomped off and Daniel blinked at me, his eyes wrinkled and drunk.
“Go on Art, go home. It’s ok.”
“God, Arthur.” Peter said. “What a lunatic. There’s something seriously wrong with him.”
“Oh *******, Pete.” I snapped, for the second time that night.
“Take this.” Dan said, thrusting his bottle of champagne at me. “I don’t want it. Go on, run and catch him. Go and get drunk with him.”
“No use. He doesn’t drink, remember?” I said, putting on my coat.
“Drink some water with him then. Tell him…” Dan grabbed my head and whispered into my ear, “…tell him that he’s right, that we are ******* bores.” He burst out laughing and sank down into his seat, watching me do up my buttons. “Oh my God!” he laughed, grabbing my hand like he was about to kiss it. “We’re so boring! We’re so ******* boring! Look at us! Even I’m bored!”
Daniel winked at me, still laughing. Daniel was one of Dee’s greatest defenders, and he admired Dee because Dee was honest, because he could not fail to be honest, and because Daniel loved the people that I loved, and I loved Dee most of all.
I grabbed the roses from their vase, just in case I needed them. They were wet, and dying, and they had no smell.
I caught up with Dee outside Angel In The Fields. He complained that he had a headache and told me he wanted to go home. He told me that he couldn’t have stayed one second longer.
He took the flowers from me, and buried his face in them until I hailed a cab.
Flowers were a running theme with us. Flowers in buttonholes, wisteria in gardens. Roses in his face. Buttercups in the grass. So terrible, when I think about it now. Perhaps someone was trying to tell me:
Arthur -  this story will start and end with flowers.

Dee had a habit of ruining social occasions. Perhaps the stress got to him, the terror of communicating, the fear of conversation. He became easily overtired and quickly over stimulated, if a conversation was getting too personal or staying at chit-chat level, he would begin to stress and flounder. If someone annoyed him he could not pretend to like them – he had to let them know that they were ****** or boring or dumb. He didn’t fully comprehend how offensive he could be. He didn’t understand that in order to maintain peace, you must suppress yourself a little bit, tailor yourself to fit the rest. It wasn’t that he didn’t believe in suppressing himself, it’s that he simply couldn’t do it.
Most of all, he hated people taking up my attention, whether they were talking to me, amusing me, or even hurting me – he made it very obvious that he did not like to share.
Once, he emptied an entire bottle of red wine into a young woman’s handbag because she had been talking to me all night. He placed broken bottles in front of his mother’s car tires. He sent anonymous emails to my father, threatening disembowelment.  He beheaded ivory chess pieces, snipped the heads off anniversary roses, kicked people's shins under tables.
And he had the worst temper I had ever known.
When people didn’t understand where he was coming from, when he felt isolated and flustered by his own emotional poverty, he would begin to fragment. He would rock back and forth and moan. His voice would change, his face would change, and his anger would be frightening in its desperation, he would tear at his own clothes and hurl himself into walls. A few times I had to physically restrain him, pulling his sweater or shirt over his head to trap his arms, sitting on him, trying to calm him down.
But I could always deal with it, the crazy stuff – it didn’t bother me at all. The rage, the disconnect, the alienation. I knew what it was like to lose control. I knew what it was like to feel different. I used to say to him, “I was with Dee today and I seen hell in his face, Guv’nor. It was all red and blotchy looking.” And then, sometimes, he’d smile.
It was the eating thing that devastated me. It was the eating thing that made me feel useless. That was the one thing that I didn’t understand.

We took a cab from Angel In The Fields and went back to no.23. He went straight upstairs to get undressed, and took a pair of new cashmere socks out of their little beribboned box.
“It’s too warm for cashmere.” I said. He didn’t listen, and put them on anyway.
Dee had never had much of a *** drive, so I knew I was pushing my luck by kissing him – we had made love the night before. He kept his mouth closed and pushed me away.
“No, I don’t want to."
He picked the fluff from his black velvet computer chair.
“I’m not cross.” I said.
“Cross?”
“About…tonight. With the boys.”
“Oh. Ok.”
I went to kiss him again. God, I loved it when he bent his head back and his tongue met mine, his arms relaxing at the elbows, his limpet legs clamping around my own. But his mouth pursed up at me. No entry tonight, sorry.
“Goodnight, then.” I said. “I’m going to bed.”
Something cruel took over me as I opened the door to leave.
“Y’know, Dee – sometimes I think you really hate me.”
He looked at the wall behind me, scrunching his face up, wound up and stuck.
“Forget it.” I said. “Just ******* forget it.”
As I closed the door I heard an animal noise, a miserable animal noise.

Dee was the only thing that had ever made any sense to me. I had no real connection to my parents, I loved my mother but she was silent and neurotic, full of nervous energy that set me on edge. I never felt like I could fully confide in her. I hated my father because he had never loved me, and he had told me so. The only people I loved, my grandparents and my sister, were far away and mostly busy, unavailable, and I caught up with them through letters and telephone calls and occasional rushed visits - holidays, weekends away from school, time away from parents and *******.
I once walked to my grandparent’s house after running away from school, and I fought through a cage of conifers just to ring their bell, turning up at their door wild-eyed and full of pine needles.
I always fought to be with the people that I loved. I fought and fought and fought.
I loved Dee because he was mine and he was never too busy for me. He was as quiet as my mother, as vengeful as my father, but he was mine and I loved him, and he loved me back.
Perhaps that sounds very naïve. But it wasn’t naïve. My love was grown up, full of sacrifice and sleepless nights and heavy talks that left me exhausted. I searched for him when he wasn’t there, I talked to his mother about his health, I took his blood pressure, I poured his fortisip, I calmed him down, I made him laugh and I loved him, ******* hell I loved him, and I watched him like a God and reached out for him in the morning because he reminded me that I was alive, because he made my realness real, because he was my cold fire and he burned by the side of me, coldly, to balance out the crazed orange bonfire of me.

He followed me to bed soon afterwards, brushing his teeth and taking off his clothes, sitting down next to me.
“I hung up my blue.” He said. “Could you fetch it for me?”
His ‘blue’ was an oversized shirt that he slept in sometimes. He put it over his head and it fell around him.
“You know.” He said, “Sometimes I think that you hate me.”
“Please tell me you’re joking.”
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
He got in next to me.
“I don’t hate you, not now, not ever.”
“I’m not one of your friends, though. If you had to choose a friend, you wouldn’t choose me.”
I didn’t reply, because I didn’t understand what he meant.
“Daniel is your best friend, isn’t he? But you’re my best friend. What happens when I have to talk about something, something that I can’t talk to you about? I don’t have any friends because I don't like anyone else. So who am I supposed to talk to?”
“Me! You can talk to me! I tell you everything.”
“Well, what if I wanted to do something, but I knew that you would try to stop me from doing it?”
“I wouldn’t stop you from doing anything you wanted to do. Not ever.”
“Forget it. I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Please Dee, you can’t just start a conversation and then abandon it.”
“I don’t want to talk about it anymore, I’m tired and I want to go to sleep.”
“What is it? Come on, please. What is it?”
He turned away and curled up.  I stayed with my head against the headboard, looking down at him.
‘I love you.” He said, without moving. “I thought I should tell you. I thought you should know.”
“I love you, too.”
And then he went to sleep, leaving me to the house sounds, the clanging inside the walls, the discordant duet of two sets of breathing and the occasional cough.

When I woke up, he was in the shower. His socks were bunched up at the edge of the bed, shrugged off in the night.
Like I said. It was too ******* hot for cashmere.

— The End —