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Michael R Burch Sep 2020
Sonnets

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




Auschwitz Rose
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

Originally published by The Neovictorian/Cochlea



In Praise of Meter
by Michael R. Burch

The earth is full of rhythms so precise
the octave of the crystal can produce
a trillion oscillations, yet not lose
a second's beat. The ear needs no device
to hear the unsprung rhythms of the couch
drown out the mouth's; the lips can be debauched
by kisses, should the heart put back its watch
and find the pulse of love, and sing, devout.

If moons and tides in interlocking dance
obey their numbers, what's been left to chance?
Should poets be more lax―their circumstance
as humble as it is?―or readers wince
to see their ragged numbers thin, to hear
the moans of drones drown out the Chanticleer?

Originally published by The Eclectic Muse and in The Best of the Eclectic Muse 1989-2003



Discrimination
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

Originally published by The Chariton Review



The Forge
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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

Originally published by The Chariton Review



For All That I Remembered
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

Originally published by The Raintown Review



Leaf Fall
by Michael R. Burch

Whatever winds encountered soon resolved
to swirling fragments, till chaotic heaps
of leaves lay pulsing by the backyard wall.
In lieu of rakes, our fingers sorted each
dry leaf into its place and built a high,
soft bastion against earth's gravitron―
a patchwork quilt, a trampoline, a bright
impediment to fling ourselves upon.

And nothing in our laughter as we fell
into those leaves was like the autumn's cry
of also falling. Nothing meant to die
could be so bright as we, so colorful―
clad in our plaids, oblivious to pain
we'd feel today, should we leaf-fall again.

Originally published by The Neovictorian/Cochlea



Isolde's Song
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

Originally published by The Raintown Review



See
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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



In the Whispering Night
by Michael R. Burch

for George King

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

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



The Toast
by Michael R. Burch

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



Second Sight (II)
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

(bookmark XXIV)



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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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



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

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



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

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

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

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



Ebb Tide
by Michael R. Burch

Massive, gray, these leaden waves
bear their unchanging burden―
the sameness of each day to day

while the wind seems to struggle to say
something half-submerged planks at the mouth of the bay
might nuzzle limp seaweed to understand.

Now collapsing dull waves drain away
from the unenticing land;
shrieking gulls shadow fish through salt spray―
whitish streaks on a fogged silver mirror.

Sizzling lightning impresses its brand.
Unseen fingers scribble something in the wet sand.

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



Water and Gold
by Michael R. Burch

You came to me as rain breaks on the desert
when every flower springs to life at once,
but joy's a wan illusion to the expert:
the Bedouin has learned how not to want.

You came to me as riches to a miser
when all is gold, or so his heart believes,
until he dies much thinner and much wiser,
his gleaming bones hauled off by chortling thieves.

You gave your heart too soon, too dear, too vastly;
I could not take it in; it was too much.
I pledged to meet your price, but promised rashly.
I died of thirst, of your bright Midas touch.

I dreamed you gave me water of your lips,
then sealed my tomb with golden hieroglyphs.

Originally published by The Lyric



The City Is a Garment
by Michael R. Burch

A rhinestone skein, a jeweled brocade of light,―
the city is a garment stretched so thin
her festive colors bleed into the night,
and everywhere bright seams, unraveling,

cascade their brilliant contents out like coins
on motorways and esplanades; bead cars
come tumbling down long highways; at her groin
a railtrack like a zipper flashes sparks;

her hills are haired with brush like cashmere wool
and from their cleavage winking lights enlarge
and travel, slender fingers ... softly pull
themselves into the semblance of a barge.

When night becomes too chill, she softly dons
great overcoats of warmest-colored dawn.

Originally published by The Lyric



The Folly of Wisdom
by Michael R. Burch

She is wise in the way that children are wise,
looking at me with such knowing, grave eyes
I must bend down to her to understand.
But she only smiles, and takes my hand.

We are walking somewhere that her feet know to go,
so I smile, and I follow ...

And the years are dark creatures concealed in bright leaves
that flutter above us, and what she believes―
I can almost remember―goes something like this:
the prince is a horned toad, awaiting her kiss.

She wiggles and giggles, and all will be well
if only we find him! The woodpecker’s knell
as he hammers the coffin of some dying tree
that once was a fortress to someone like me

rings wildly above us. Some things that we know
we are meant to forget. Life is a bloodletting, maple-syrup-slow.

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



The Communion of Sighs
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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



Abide
by Michael R. Burch

after Philip Larkin's "Aubade"

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

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

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

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



Free Fall
by Michael R. Burch

These cloudless nights, the sky becomes a wheel
where suns revolve around an axle star ...
Look there, and choose. Decide which moon is yours.
Sink Lethe-ward, held only by a heel.

Advantage. Disadvantage. Who can tell?
To see is not to know, but you can feel
the tug sometimes―the gravity, the shell
as lustrous as damp pearl. You sink, you reel

toward some draining revelation. Air―
too thin to grasp, to breath. Such pressure. Gasp.
The stars invert, electric, everywhere.
And so we fall, down-tumbling through night’s fissure ...

two beings pale, intent to fall forever
around each other―fumbling at love’s tether ...
now separate, now distant, now together.

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



Once
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

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

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

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

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

Originally published by The Lyric



At Once
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

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

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

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

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

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

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

Originally published by The Lyric



Twice
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

Originally published by The Lyric



Moments
by Michael R. Burch

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

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



The Harvest of Roses
by Michael R. Burch

I have not come for the harvest of roses―
the poets' mad visions,
their railing at rhyme ...
for I have discerned what their writing discloses:
weak words wanting meaning,
beat torsioning time.

Nor have I come for the reaping of gossamer―
images weak,
too forced not to fail;
gathered by poets who worship their luster,
they shimmer, impendent,
resplendently pale.

Originally published by The Raintown Review



Distances
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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



A Surfeit of Light
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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

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



Songstress
by Michael R. Burch

for Nadia Anjuman

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

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

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



Come Down
by Michael R. Burch

for Harold Bloom

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

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

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

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

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



Such Tenderness
by Michael R. Burch

for the mothers of Gaza and loving, compassionate mothers everywhere

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

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

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

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



In this Ordinary Swoon
by Michael R. Burch

In this ordinary swoon
as I pass from life to death,
I feel no heat from the cold, pale moon;
I feel no sympathy for breath.

Who I am and why I came,
I do not know; nor does it matter.
The end of every man’s the same
and every god’s as mad as a hatter.

I do not fear the letting go;
I only fear the clinging on
to hope when there’s no hope, although
I lift my face to the blazing sun

and feel the greater intensity
of the wilder inferno within me.

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


Mare Clausum
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

why it is named:
Mare Clausum.

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



Redolence
by Michael R. Burch

Now darkness ponds upon the violet hills;
cicadas sing; the tall elms gently sway;
and night bends near, a deepening shade of gray;
the bass concerto of a bullfrog fills
what silence there once was; globed searchlights play.

Green hanging ferns adorn dark window sills,
all drooping fronds, awaiting morning’s flares;
mosquitoes whine; the lissome moth again
flits like a veiled oud-dancer, and endures
the fumblings of night’s enervate gray rain.

And now the pact of night is made complete;
the air is fresh and cool, washed of the grime
of the city’s ashen breath; and, for a time,
the fragrance of her clings, obscure and sweet.

Published by The Eclectic Muse and The Best of the Eclectic Muse 1989-2003



Fountainhead
by Michael R. Burch

I did not delight in love so much
as in a kiss like linnets' wings,
the flutterings of a pulse so soft
the heart remembers, as it sings:
to bathe there was its transport, brushed
by marble lips, or porcelain,―
one liquid kiss, one cool outburst
from pale rosettes. What did it mean ...

to float awhirl on minute tides
within the compass of your eyes,
to feel your alabaster bust
grow cold within? Ecstatic sighs
seem hisses now; your eyes, serene,
reflect the sun's pale tourmaline.

Originally published by Romantics Quarterly



Pan
by Michael R. Burch

... Among the shadows of the groaning elms,
amid the darkening oaks, we fled ourselves ...

... Once there were paths that led to coracles
that clung to piers like loosening barnacles ...

... where we cannot return, because we lost
the pebbles and the playthings, and the moss ...

... hangs weeping gently downward, maidens’ hair
who never were enchanted, and the stairs ...

... that led up to the Fortress in the trees
will not support our weight, but on our knees ...

... we still might fit inside those splendid hours
of damsels in distress, of rustic towers ...

... of voices of the wolves’ tormented howls
that died, and live in dreams’ soft, windy vowels ...

Originally published by Sonnet Scroll



The Endeavors of Lips
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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



Loose Knit
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

that a little more darning may gather loose seams.

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

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



If You Come to San Miguel
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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



A Vain Word
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

Published by Chrysanthemum and Tucumcari Literary Review



Chloe
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

Originally published by Romantics Quarterly as “A Dying Fall”



Aflutter
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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



To Flower
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

Originally published by The Neovictorian/Cochlea



Flight 93
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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

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



Oasis
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

in the heart of a desert.

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

to a nomad who
has only known drought.

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



Melting
by Michael R. Burch

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



Afterglow
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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



All Afterglow
by Michael R. Burch

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



These Hallowed Halls
by Michael R. Burch

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

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



Come!
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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



Erin
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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



The Composition of Shadows
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



To Please The Poet
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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



The First Christmas
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

it now was Christmas day!

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



The Lingering and the Unconsoled Heart
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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

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



Lozenge
by Michael R. Burch

When I was closest to love, it did not seem
real at all, but a thing of such tenuous sweetness
it might dissolve in my mouth
like a lozenge of sugar.

When I held you in my arms, I did not feel
our lack of completeness,
knowing how easy it was
for us to cling to each other.

And there were nights when the clouds
sped across the moon’s face,
exposing such rarified brightness
we did not witness

so much as embrace
love’s human appearance.

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



The Princess and the Pauper
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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



Album
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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



Because You Came to Me
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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



Break Time
by Michael R. Burch

for those who lost loved ones on 9-11

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



911 Carousel
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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



At Cædmon’s Grave
by Michael R. Burch

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


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

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

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

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

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

Originally published by The Lyric



Radiance
by Michael R. Burch

for Dylan Thomas

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

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

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



Huntress
by Michael R. Burch

after Baudelaire

Lynx-eyed, cat-like and cruel, you creep
across a crevice dropping deep
into a dark and doomed domain.
Your claws are sheathed. You smile, insane.
Rain falls upon your path, and pain
pours down. Your paws are pierced. You pause
and heed the oft-lamented laws
which bid you not begin again
till night returns. You wail like wind,
the sighing of a soul for sin,
and give up hunting for a heart.
Till sunset falls again, depart,
though hate and hunger urge you―"On!"

Heed, hearts, your hope―the break of dawn.

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



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

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



Because She Craved the Very Best
by Michael R. Burch

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

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



Caveat
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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

Originally published by Clementine Unbound



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


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

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

Originally published by Ironwood



Wonderland
by Michael R. Burch

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



Day, and Night
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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



130 Refuted
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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

Originally published by Romantics Quarterly



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



Imperfect Sonnet
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

Originally published by Sonnet Scroll



Mayflies
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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

Originally published by Clementine Unbound



Artificial Smile
by Michael R. Burch

I’m waiting for my artificial teeth
to stretch belief, to hollow out the cob
of zealous righteousness, to grasp life’s stub
between clenched molars, and yank out the grief.

Mine must be art-official―zenlike Art―
a disembodied, white-enameled grin
of Cheshire manufacture. Part by part,
the human smile becomes mock porcelain.

Till in the end, the smile alone remains:
titanium-based alloys undestroyed
with graves’ worm-eaten contents, all the pains
of bridgework unrecalled, and what annoyed

us most about the corpses rectified
to quaintest dust. The Smile winks, deified.



Modern Appetite
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Originally published by Light



Premonition
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Your e-Verse
by Michael R. Burch

for the posters and posers on www.fillintheblank.com

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

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

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

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



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

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

Published by: Ironwood, Triplopia and Nisqually Delta Review

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



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

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

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

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



Plastic Art or Night Stand
by Michael R. Burch

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

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



Alien Nation
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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



Keywords/Tags: sonnet, sonnets, meter, rhythm, music, musical, rhyme, form, formal verse, formalist, tradition, traditional, romantic, romanticism, rose, fire, passion, desire, love, heart, number, numbers, mrbson
Paul d'Aubin Nov 2015
Sonnets pour treize  amis Toulousains  

Sonnet pour l’ami Alain  

Il est malin et combatif,
Autant qu’un malin chat rétif,
C’est Alain le beau mécano,
Exilé par la poste au tri.

Avec Nicole, quel beau tapage,
Car il provoque non sans ravages
Quand il en a marre du trop plein
A naviguer il est enclin.

Alain, Alain, tu aimes le filin
Toi qui es un fier mécano,  
A la conscience écolo.

Alain, Alain, tu vas finir  
Par les faire devenir «cabourds [1]»,  
Aux petits chefs à l’esprit lourd.
Paul     Aubin


Sonnet pour l’ami Bernard
  
Cheveux cendrés, yeux noirs profonds
Bernard, surplombe de son balcon.
Son esprit vif est aiguisé
Comme silex entrechoqués.

Sous son sérieux luit un grand cœur
D’humaniste chassant le malheur.
Très attentif à ses amis,
Il rayonne par son l’esprit.

Bernard, Bernard, tu es si sérieux,
Mais c’est aussi ton talisman
Qui pour tes amis est précieux.

Bernard, Bernard, tu es généreux,
Avec ce zeste de passion,  
Qui réchauffe comme un brandon.
Paul     Aubin

Sonnet pour l’ami Christian  

Sous l’apparence de sérieux  
Par ses lunettes un peu masqué.
C’est un poète inspiré,
Et un conférencier prisé.

Dans Toulouse il se promène  
Aventurier en son domaine.
Comme perdu dans la pampa
Des lettres,   il a la maestria

Christian, Christian, tu es poète,
Et ta poésie tu la vis.
Cette qualité est si rare.

Christian, Christian, tu es lunaire.
Dans les planètes tu sais aller
En parcourant Toulouse à pied.
Paul d’   Aubin

Sonnet pour l’ami José
  
Le crâne un peu dégarni
Dans son regard, un incendie.
Vif, mobile et électrisé,
Il semble toujours aux aguets.

Des « hidalgos » des temps jadis
Il a le verbe et l’allure.
Il donne parfois le tournis,
Mais il possède un cœur pur.

José, José, tu as horreur,
De l’injustice et du mépris,
C’est aussi ce qui fait ton prix.

José, José, tu es un roc
Un mousquetaire en Languedoc
Un homme qui sait résister.
Paul  d’   Aubin

Sonnet pour l’ami  Jean-Pierre  

Subtil et sage, jamais hautain,
C’est Jean-Pierre,  le Toulousain,
qui de son quartier, Roseraie
apparaît détenir les clefs.

Pensée précise d’analyste,  
Il  est savant et optimiste,
Épicurien en liberté,
magie d’  intellectualité.

Jean-Pierre, Jean-Pierre, tu es plus subtil,
Que l’écureuil au frais babil,  
Et pour cela tu nous fascines.

Jean-Pierre, Jean-Pierre, tu es trop sage,
C’est pour cela que tu es mon ami
A cavalcader mes folies.
Paul  d’   Aubin

Sonnet pour l’ami Henry  

Henry  est un fougueux audois  
de la variété qui combat.
Dans ses yeux flamboie l’âpre alcool,
du tempérament espagnol.

Henry est un fidèle  ami
Mais en «section» comme «Aramits».
dans tous  les  recoins,  il frétille,
comme dans les torrents l’anguille.

Henry,  Henry, tu es bouillant
Et  te moques  des cheveux gris,
Sans toi même être prémuni.

Henry,  Henry, tu t’ingénies  
A transformer  ce monde gris
dans notre   époque de clinquant.
Paul   d’  Aubin

Sonnet pour l’ami Olivier  

Olivier l’informaticien    
à   un viking me fait penser.
Il aime d’ailleurs les fest noz,
Et  boit la bière autant qu’on ose

Olivier, roux comme  un flamand  
arpente Toulouse, à grand pas
avec cet  air énigmatique
qui nous le rend si sympathique

Olivier, tu es bretteur
dans le monde informatique,  
Tu gardes  un côté sorcier.

Olivier, tu as un grand cœur,
Tu réponds toujours, je suis là,  
Pour nous tirer de l’embarras.
Paul  d’   Aubin


Sonnet pour l’ami  Philippe  

Cheveux  de geai, les yeux luisants
Voici, Philippe le toulousain.
de l’ «Arsenal» à «Saint Sernin»
Il vous  salut de son allant.

Il est cordial et enjoué,
mais son esprit est aux aguets.
C’est en fait un vrai militant,
traçant sa   vie en se battant.

Philippe, Philippe, tu es partout,
Avec tes gestes du Midi
qui te valent  bien   des  amis.

Philippe, Philippe, tu es batailleur,
Et  ta voix chaude est ton atout,  
Dans notre  Toulouse frondeur.
Paul   d’  Aubin


Sonnet pour l’ami Pierre
  
Pierre est un juriste fin
Qui ne se prend pas au sérieux.
Et sait garder  la tête froide,
Face aux embûches et aux fâcheux.

Surtout, Pierre est humaniste
Et sait d’un sourire allumer.
le cœur  humains et rigoler,
Il doit être un peu artiste.

Pierre,  Pierre, tu es indulgent,
Mais tu as aussi un grand talent,
De convaincre et puis d’enseigner.

Pierre,  Pierre, tu manquerais
A l’ambiance du Tribunal
Quittant le «vaisseau amiral».
Paul  d’   Aubin

Sonnet pour l’ami Pierre-Yves    

Pierre-Yves est fin comme un lapin
mais c’est un si  gentil goupil,
à l’œil vif,  au regard malin;
en plus pense  européen.

Pierre-Yves est un fils d’historien,  
qui goûte  à la philosophe,
usant des plaisirs de la vie
en prisant le bon vin, aussi.

Pierre-Yves,   tu les connais bien,
tous nos notables toulousains,

Pierre-Yves,   tu nous as fait tant rire,
En parlant gaiement  des «pingouins»,
du Capitole,  avec ses  oies.
Paul  d’   Aubin


Sonnet pour l’ami  Rémy    
De son haut front, il bat le vent,
Son bras pointé, comme l’espoir,
C’est notre, Rémy, l’occitan,
Vigoureux comme un « coup à boire ».

De sa chemise rouge vêtue,
Il harangue tel un  Jaurès,
dans les amphis et dans les rues,
pour la belle Clio, sa déesse.

Olivier, Olivier,  ami  
Dans un bagad tu as ta place,  
Mais à Toulouse, on ne connait pas.

Rémy, Rémy, ils ne t’ont pas
Car tout Président  qu’ils t’ont fait,  
Tu gardes en toi, ta liberté.
Paul  d’   Aubin

Sonnet pour l’ami Sylvain    

Sylvain est un perpignanais
mais plutôt secret qu’enjoué.
N’allez pas croire cependant,
qu’il  vous serait indifférent.

Sylvain,   a aussi le talent  
de savoir diriger les gens,
simple, précis et amical,
il pourrait être cardinal.

Sylvain,   Sylvain,    tu es très fin
et dans la «com..» est ton destin,
sans être en rien superficiel.

Sylvain,   Sylvain,    tu es en  recherche
d’une excellence  que tu as.
Il faut que tu la prennes en toi.
Paul  d’   Aubin

Sonnet pour l’ami Toinou    

Tonnerre et bruits, rires et paris,
«Toinou » est fils de l’Oranie,
Quand sur Toulouse, il mit le cap,
On le vit,   entre houle et ressacs.

Dans la cité «Deromedi»
Au Mirail ou à Jolimont,
Emporté par un hourvari
On le connaît tel le « loup gris ».  

Toinou, Toinou, à la rescousse !
Dans la ville, y’a de la secousse!
Chez les «archis», dans les «amphis.»

Toinou, Toinou, encore un verre   !
Tu as oublié de te taire,
Et tes amis viennent tantôt.
Paul d’   Aubin
A sonnet that only you and I know.
A sonnet that could heal my broken soul.
A sonnet that its rhyme and melody flow,
Missing thee with evey inch of my soul.

Its beat must go with the one of my heart.
A sonnet that when I listen to makes me cry,
And paint the feelings of your heart.
A sonnet that will save my soul not to die.

A sonnet that will make us stay true.
A sonnet that will be umbiquitous
And make me smile when I feel blue.
Sing me a sonnet with a message for us.

A sonnet that will be gentle with my feelings.
A sonnet that will bring my life deeper meanings.
Notes (optional)
jake aller Apr 2020
Saturday April 17

You are my Lode Star

in the morning dawning light
you are always there
you are my lode star
my sunshine, my moonshine
the love of my life, my wife
with your endless love
I will face the evil corrupted world
even walk through the shadow of death
as long as you by my side
I will fear no evil for you are with me
and I will love you
until death takes me
from your your loving embrace


another Nigerian spam found poem

the Nigerians keep sending me
and millions of others
delightedly creative spam messages
this is one of the nicer ones
I have received

Enjoy
but don’t send her any money!!!!!

Good day Child of God,

Calvary Greetings
in the name of the LORD Almighty
and Our LORD JESUS CHRIST
the giver of every good thing.

Good day and compliments of the seasons,
i know this letter
will definitely come to you
as a huge surprise,

I humbly
ask you to give me
your attention
and hear me,

i am writing this mail
to you
with heavy sorrow
in my heart,


but I implore you
to take the time
to go through it  carefully
as the decision you make


will go off a long way
to determine
my future
and continued existence.

I am Mrs. Esther Heidi
aging widow of 61 years old
suffering from long time illness.

I have some funds
I inherited from my late husband
, the sum of ($17 Million Dollars) a

And I needed a very honest
and God fearing  
who can withdraw this money
then use the funds for Charity works

I WISH TO GIVE THIS FUNDS
TO YOU FOR CHARITY WORKS.
I found your email address
from the internet

after honest prayers  
to the LORD
to bring me a helper

and i decided to contact you
if you may be willing
and interested to handle
these trust funds in good faith
before anything happens to me.

I accept this decision
because I do not have any child
who will inherit this money
after I die.

I want your urgent reply
to me so that I will give you
the deposit receipt
which the bank issued to me
as next of kin
for immediate transfer of the money

to your account in your country,
to start the good work of God,
I want you to use the 30/percent
of the total amount to help
yourself in doing the project.

I am desperately
in keen need of assistance
and I have summoned
up courage to contact you

for this task,
you must not fail me
and the millions of the poor people
in our todays WORLD.

This is no stolen money
and there are no dangers involved,
100% RISK FREE
with full legal proof.


Please if you would be able
to use the funds for the Charity
(Note: I would use the money
to invest in the Church of Jake)

I want you to
take 30 percent of the total money
for your personal use
while 70% of the money
will go to charity.

I will appreciate your utmost confidentiality
and trust in this matter to accomplish
my heart desire, as I don't want anything
that will jeopardize my last wish.

Please kindly
respond for further details.

Thanks and God bless you,

Regards

Mrs. Esther Heidi

comment: the sad reality
is that 10 percent
of people fall for these scams
and loose lots of money

whole towns in Nigeria
exist to exploit the world
they call themselves
the 404 army

if it is too good to be true
it is probably not true

end comment


Last Day of America

the last day of America
was the day we last voted
the last election we ever had

for on that day
a month before
the corona virus re-emerged

as the great re-opening
of the US economy
failed to stop the relentless spread
of the virus from hell

causing panic and mass confusion
fear kept Americans home

and Donald Trump
was re-elected

because his voters
believed that God
had told them to vote
for their new found king

the newly energized President Trump
declared a national emergency
martial law
and suspension of the constitution

Promising to restore democracy
when the time was right

he promised his followers
that he would restore Christian values
renaming the United States
the Christian States of America

on that date
we met our fate

Christian fascism
was here to stay
on the last day
of American

writers digest prompt - last blank




the Conqueror Worm Corona Sonnet

Lo, t’s a galla night
within the lonesome later years
when around the world
the dreaded corona virus showed its might
spending fear to those in their later years
that it might take them in the night
that before the sun came up
their time on earth would end up
DEATH IS COMING
TO US ALL
NONE CAN ESCAPE?WE?AWAIT
FATE

# content tracing: the Conqueror Worm By Edgar Allan Poe

writing.com corona sonnet form challenge



my Mother’s secret life as a mad poet   Not for publication - remove from Poetry soup etc



one day I discovered
an unpublished poem
that my mother
had written

when she was in the midst
of her madness
before dementia silenced
the voices in her head

she had typed it out
and hid it among her papers
I read it while going through her stuff
decided to kept it

and reflected up it
over the years

my mother was born
perhaps 40 years too soon
for she was a true free spirit
a truly original thinker

and I wished
she had published
her writings

in her story
she talked about
the endless blame
that she felt

besieged on all sides
by the demands
of her children
and her cold unfeeling husband
who just did not get her

her poem speaks for itself

A Mother's Blues

How much longer can I live
With the thin edge of hysteria
And constant paranoia?

The slightest misstep on my part
Unleashes a tirade of my past sins, real and imagined--because I am the enemy.

I can't be true to myself
Since if I disagree

Even in the friendliest manner
The 16-mm. guns are revved up for a full-scale counter attack.

I wonder that I am still functioning.
By now almost anyone known to me

Has been subjected to the most agonizing kind of torture
And my humiliation is almost complete.

The phone calls I have gotten
Asking if that is my real position?

Or even worse asking
What am I doing
To cause such unprecedented allegations
Of provoking suicide
Are almost unbelievable.

And yet I have to listen,
In no way say or do anything that would even suggest
That anyone else than myself is the cause

And that the correction must come from me.

The reason is that when I am able
I do not want to let anyone else think differently

Since I persist
In the notion
That this is private
And there should be no intrusions.

But then late at night
When I am exhausted
And with no more defenses
My vulnerability is so effectively exploited.

I turn the other cheek, I change the subject
But then I get cornered

Because there is the screaming insult,
The statement of fact that is not fact

The bitter charges, the assertion of a position
That is they condemned
In the non-stop monologue,

The immediate challenge to get out,
And the endless litany
Of the deepest kind of hatred.

Am I the one to run--I have to no avail.

Am I the one to fight back

I have but to no consequence.

Can I ask for the common decency?
Of being able to sleep for a few hours

So that I can stumble
Through the routine of earning some money
Which goes to support my continued torture.

Do I have the option of fighting all night,
Sleeping all day and then returning to the fray?

Do I even have the right of insisting
The ledger is not all that one-sided?

No, I'm there to assault.

Money in unimportant
And so I don't need to work.
Because when it is all lost the avenger
Will then ride to the rescue
By taking in the laundry.

Do my dreams matter?
No, they are false and of no consequence.
Or, worse they are wrong.
Or, even worse they should be stamped out.

And now my final abjection.  Exhausted, desperately striving for the moment of quiet that precedes a restful sleep a son arrives asking for a chat. I try but I don't want to give advice, as I have none really to give. But my avenging angel swoops in saying why listen to that creep--he's a two-time loser. Did you know all the crimes he has committed?  Once again I could not remain detached and listen to the skill of the assault or the spilling of the hatred so long denied its vengeance.

I fight back and my humiliation is now complete.  Do I have any person left with whom I can feel whole? I am being reduced to a hunted animal.

If I have a kind word for anyone that person is at risk.  Can I fight back?  No, because there is the ultimate blackmail of the constant threat of suicide--I live daily with the fear that my reactions will trigger this.  After all, when the world is tired of hearing how bad I am what can prove it.

Should I finally admit this inevitability and take the only step that can forestall it and that is to move first.  What do I have to lose? NOTHING.  The anguish and hopelessness would finally be at an end.

My twenty-year struggle to do right would be at the end.

My god, how I have suffered but no one has asked since it was the suffering of others that was all that mattered.

How much larger must my burden of guilt become?  When, on when, can I have a reprieve?  Can my debts, real or imagined, ever be paid?


the poem spoke to me
for I was perhaps
her favorite son

for of her children
perhaps I was the only one
that ever got her

and I miss her
every day

and wished
I had told her
that before
dementia took her from us
and took her life

poetry superhighway prompt to write a letter based on your mother’s writings


Plane, Train or Automobile - none of us can escape our fate


in these dark and dire times
we find ourselves living
we often fear that the times
are infected with death

and so we are afraid
deathly afraid
that if we take a plane
we will find  General Corona
among the passengers

and we afraid
deadly afraid
that the subways
are incubators
of death and destruction

the virus spreads
fear and death
in its wake

many of us
retreating to our homes
and venturing out
in our cars

only to find
death is stalking us
as traffic piles up
traffic accidents
still killing more people
that the dreaded General Corona

the grim reaper smiles
his work is done
Satan thanks General. Corona
for a job well done

writing com daily dew drop in prompt


packages

they say
that God works in mysterious ways
his wonders to perform

every day it seems
that more and more
of what we buy
and consume

comes in packages
sent from here and there
as people
continue to practice
social distancing

and going to the store
becomes an exercise
fraught with peril
and danger

so we order
on line
and we get our packages
sent from here and there

one day we received
a gift package
of clams
delicious fresh clams

as I ate them
I thought of the workers
who had labored unseen
for me to enjoy
this bounty from the sea

and I gave thanks
to the gods
for making it happen

in this day and age
we should thank
those who are still
laboring to feed the world

they are the unsung heroes
of this war fought by nature
under the direction
of General Corona


tweeter speak poetry prompt April 16 Packages



computer madness sonnet


computer madness infects my soul
every day when I turn on my PC
and encounter endless  haiku error messages
constant crashing, constant eating my files
at times like this it seems to me
that my mad as a hatter crazed computer
is plotting against me and only me
it wants to drive me quite insane
sending me right around the bend
as I scream at my machine
it beeps at me this **** machine
smiling as I threaten once again
to shoot the hell bound machine

sonnet all poetry computer frustration contest
You have always been my sunshine

You have always been my sunshine
my moonshine, my load star
that guides me in the night
for your sunshine kissed my soul
the day that you walked
out of my dreams
into my life
and became my wife
for 38 years and counting
every morning I see you sleeping
your smile is like the sunshine
that wakes my soul
and banishes the nightmares
back to the dark corners of my mind

love sonnet for all poetry contest on prompt line Sunshine Kissed


Saturday April 18, 2020

Korean Blues Crown of Sonnets

I have been dealing with Things Korean
for almost 40 years now
dealing with a once exotic land
’now my second homeland?
first came to Korea?
in the Peace Corps in Korea?
went to Korea to find the woman
in search of the woman
who haunted my dreams
met the woman
Fell in love with the woman
From Korea who walked out my dreams
In an land still exotic

In a land still exotic
It was a very exotic different land
and even now decades later a new land
remains for most Americans
still a strange land exotic
but much more known land
in the US
due to K drama, K Pop,
Koreans have become globally cool but still exotic
Many of my fellow Americans
may know a few people from Korea
and some have served or lived in Korea
but to most of the us Americans
it remains over there still exotic
a strange Asian exotic land
A strange Asian Exotic land
I fell in love with that exotic land
now I spend half my time living Korean time
half in the U.S. time
and due to the corona time
will be here for some time
and well Korea
no longer an exotic land
as I am now just living in Korea
my thoughts half Korean
and even dream in Korean
so be it near the end of my time
I am back where I began
Writer digest prompt write an exotic poem wrote my first crown of sonnet form too, and it mostly rhymes! go figure




Cosmic Debris  Corona Sonnet


use as sample for remaining corona sonnet

the Conqueror Worm Corona Sonnet

Lo, t’s a galla night
within the lonesome later years
when around the world
the dreaded corona virus showed its might
spending fear to those in their later years
that it might take them in the night
that before the sun came up
their time on earth would end up
DEATH IS COMING
TO US ALL
WE  
WAIT
LATE
FATE


# content tracing: the Conqueror Worm By Edgar Allan Poe

writing.com corona sonnet form challenge



for Posting 2.  Cosmic Debris Corona sonnet 2

I received a mysterious email package
followed by a phone call offering me a magical mask
a mask that they claim would prevent me
from the dreaded General Corona
hey there
who you jiving with that cosmic debris
a mask that they did not want me
me to know about
TOP SECRET CODE 2 LEVEL  STUFF
MUST    ACT   NOW
SEND MONEY  ASAP
BUY
IT
NOW

# content tracing-  “Cosmic Debris by Frank Zappa”
with apologies to Frank Zappa




No More Ties for Me!

When I retired
I made three vows
to myself

first, I would spend
my remaining life
loving my wife

second, i would never wear a tie again
unless it was a real special occasion
as I hated wearing ties and suits

wore a suit and tie
almost every day
of my life

as a teacher
later as a foreign service officer
all over the world

last year of my job
I only wore a tie
on "tie worthy occasions"

since then I have been
tie free
except for a wedding

and I love it
hated suits and ties
just not Berkeley enough

for my free spirit
too **** corporate
and I don’t care anymore

and in Oregon, where I lived
no one wore a tie,
not the Oregon way

oh the last thing
I shave twice a month now
used to hate shaving

but I also don't like
a full shaggy itchy beard

and I shaved every day

for years and years
except when I was in the hospital
for a year

and I grew to love
having a beard
back then

back to the office
started shaving again
every **** day

now I do my thing
no office for me
and no more daily shaving

and a beard is also
very Northern Cal/Northwest
Oregonian Chic

so once every two weeks
is a good compromise
my beard is now a poet’s face

and so I hope to keep
these three vows
until my time is done

writing com Daily Dew Drop Inn prompt to write a poem about a piece of clothing





Corona Consumes Me  Corona Sonnet  3

I am consumed by the corona virus
and I am slowly being taken over
as the virus infects my mind
taking me over turning me
into a wild raving zombie man
Let there be light
will I become the first
ZOMBIE APOLYCAPASE LOOMS
WILL WE ALL DIE
CORONA
KILLS
ME

content tracing - Let there be light from Bible and the entire Zombie Apocalypse genre where the Zombie flu started usually in China as a flu and then morphs into the zombie disease



Sunday April 19, 2020

for posting General Corona Leads His Troops Into Battle, crown of sonnets

General Corona leads his forces across the world
riding on a black horse
from out of the Apocalypse  ride the four horsemen
which are let loose upon the world
He leads his forces across the world
into battle as the leader of his evil forces
The enemy of humanity
General Corona he does not care
nor does his virus minions care
about your nationality he does not care
about your politics he does not care
or your wealth or who you are
for all you are nothing but humanity
the corona general sees humanity
the corona general sees humanity
as nothing but hosts for his virus army

as nothing but hosts for his virus army
chanting death to humanity
until his evil army
sweeps throughout the world
throughout the world
and millions must die
it is the will of the general all must die
and it is the end of the world
or perhaps the beginning of a new world
filled with hope and love through out the world
humanity comes alive throughout the world
fighting back against the virus army
peace, love and compassion defeats the army
and general corona will finally himself die




Voice Message for God

dialing 202-346-5666  Beep
You have reached GOD
Press 1 for English, Press 2 for Spanish
leave a message or prayer
and maybe an angel will call you
will get back to you Beep
Hey GOD someone sent me your number
and well I hope I’ve reached your number
I don’t know where to start that’s the point
GOD I am scared of you
all the time is my point
I am so afraid, so scared
of the dreaded General Corona
and his invisible army is my point

and his invisible army is my point
forcing me to stay at home
and I am sacred
that you anointed the wrong man  
to be our leader, that makes me sacred
not to second guess you man
your will be done and all of that man
but GOD, can’t you do better job my man
of anointing our leaders to serve under GOD
of all the people in the U.S. dear God
this is the best you can do?, man?
I mean you picked perhaps the one man
in the world who could be the anti-chris, God
Seriously GOD what is wrong with you? man

Seriously, GOD, what is wrong with you? man
was this all sort of a cosmic joke?
well it ain’t funny any more ain’t no joke
Please GOD make it all go away, man
Please GOD for the love of GOD
and all that is holly and good, man
just make it all go away, GOD
and anoint someone else, man
a real leader for a change, GOD
and let him lead us to the promised land  
this I pray in Jesus’s name, my man
and if I don’t make it, GOD
We have a lot to talk about GOD
See you on the other side, my man

writer digest prompt write a “message Poem” so this is a voice mail to GOD




Every Day I go Back in Time to when she came to Me

every day I go back in time
to the two events that changed my life
to the dream that haunted my life
and the day she walked into my life
and became my wife
I can never forget the dream
falling asleep in the physics class
as the teacher was going on and on
and as I nodded off
I saw here there
standing there
speaking to me
the most beautiful woman
in the entire world

in the entire world
she was speaking to me
and disappeared from my dreams
and I knew that i would be
meeting her some day she would come to me
and so I eventually went to Korea other side of the world
in the Peace corps hoping she would come to me
then one day i had the last and final dream
she said don’t worry she would soon come to me
and then she walked out of my dreams
and there she was she came to me
and so she walked out of my dreams
into my life, became my wife
when she came to me

Poetry Superhighway prompt to write a poem about time travel to your past or your future
poems for April 17 to April 19
31 | 31 Poems for August

(Written with Naledi Tshikota)

Write me a sonnet, point dozens of Cupid’s arrows to my heart if you dare to awaken it.
Tune into your inner Shakespeare, fantasize us as Bonnie and Clyde if you care to spend time in it.
Recreate the Titanic, recreate it with the ending of The Notebook if you can bear to believe in it.
And if that doesn’t work, cast me to sleep like the Romeo you are and let me awake next to your lifeless flesh and dagger as I pierce my soul with it.

Write me a sonnet, let every single one of those fourteen lines bleed with emotion.
Leave The Notebook next to my notebook and become the protagonist of my dreams.
Think like the wind and attain the kind of power that’ll allow you to ******* away on any given day.
Your presence keeps transforming our thoughts into beautiful poetic paintings, Basquiat and Picasso would’ve been proud.

Write me a sonnet, silence every impurity that does awaken my love.
Summon the essence of my soul for the taking of your unforsaken hands and make Mona Lisa cry sacred tears of joy.
Create simplistic glimpses that only our superior beings can understand, only then can I unleash my undying emotion towards your uncontested universe.

Write me a sonnet, the kind that will make me realise that your heart isn’t filled with any doubt.
The day I realised that words could touch you, I wanted to become a poem.
The kind of poem that Maya Angelou’s ink always dreamt about.
The taste of your smile still lingers on the edges of my lips.
I see galaxies in your eyes, it must be in the way I love you like I do.
I could’ve settled for less but I don’t want anyone else but you.

Write me a sonnet that speaks to the heart of my mind.
Because I always hear your heartbeat when I think about you.
Write me a sonnet that intertwines our inner intuitions.
A sonnet that makes you believe in shooting stars if you’re into wishing.
And finally that captures the very essence of the unknown soul that’s unspoken of.
Because it’s within your golden silence that I hear the loudest cry.
I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.

I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.
And how could I ever pen a sonnet?
So cried a lad's voice tinged in despair
At his mother who smiled in a Bonnet.
Dear child, 'tis as easy as flys birds of air:
First, always think about the poem's theme,
And let it echoe throughout three qautrains,
Like as a sweet dream in thy mind doth chime.
Always write freely as falls Summer rains,
Each line in iambic pentameter,
Ressolve the poem's theme by the couplet,
A tough but easy rule thou must remember,
For that pays off thou must never forget.
   Now go pick up thy quill, poetry ink,
   Let thy hand in a Well of sonnets sink.


#Decasyllabic
#Shakespearean sonnet
#Hints of penning a Shakespearean sonnet.


*Kikodinho Edward Alexandros,
Jumeirah, Dubai, 1st Jan 2018.
Dedicated to so dear a friend—"Kim Johanna Baker."
Dear Kim, though well I know thou art aware of the rules of a shakespearean sonnet, just wanted to add some infinitesmal ash of garnish... for after much pondering, i thought myriads of Bards who dwell  'neath clouds of curiosity on penning a Shakespearean Sonnet might find it a gem.
Thank thee for reading! Hope thou hast enjoyed such a gift from a lowly Bard. Please allow me take use of this golden happenstance to once again wish thee a blissful new year pervaded with timeless joy none canst ever destroy. And hey, just cant wait feasting about a sonnet penned by thee.
Sarah-Jane Platt May 2010
I cannot write a sonnet; it's too hard
To put such barriers around my brain
And thus I find my efforts often marred
Although I rephrase again and again
I cannot write a sonnet though I try
Through day and night; through winter, into spring
And even though I have no reason why
A ten-syllable line my thoughts won't bring
But now I wonder just what is so great
About this iambic pentameter?
And am almost resigned that it's my fate
That from the sonnet form I should defer
Yet, having spent so long in search of one
'Twould be a shame if it should not be done
Written as an "up yours" to an English teacher who said he bet none of us could write a proper sonnet that worked the way a sonnet should.
I have read a sonnet of tragedy
I have read about melancholy too
I know what that means if you have that love
Appreciate if he be God above
tragedy-melancholy be the same
a sonnet of drama disappointment
full of autumnal rustling leaves actions
the finest tinges down in the abyss
the sonnet of my tender love my bliss
I address this only to my darling
sweetheart, honey, how can I call you now?
regard this sonnet as my purest vow

you know that this sonnet is meant for you
my precious truest vow for you, darling



© SYLVIA FRANCES CHAN
Friday, 5th December 2014
A Sonnet for My Truest Loce
Tryst Jul 2014
Da Dum Da Dum - melodic sonnet beat,
Ten syllables on each and ev'ry line;
Enough to put the reader fast asleep,
And don't forget the **** thing has to rhyme.
Just fourteen lines exact, no more - no less,
To revel in some tantalising plot;
Two short quatrains endeavour to address,
And introduce the who, the where, the what.
Then just four lines to tell a second tale,
That wends and weaves on some tangential route,
To set the scene that leads to the unveil
As if the reader gives a flaming hoot!
       A rhyming couplet finishes the tryst,
       To hit them with that all important twist!
AUGUST Nov 2018
Sitting on the corner while Starring
At the glances of your smile all over
Cover the room by your face unveiling
Up to this moment, I want to be near,
(you were a mile from here)

Thinking It was cloudy on my mind,
But when you are here by my side
You are making my day as bright
Showing the beauty behind,
(They have nothing to hide,
nothing to hide.)

How deep is the ocean trenches?
How far is the stars throughout the abyss?
How much warm is your embraces?
How much cold Is your lips to kiss?

l don’t much care about counting all of these,
As long as you are with me, you are my bliss

(I could tell,) heaven’s gate is not the place of happiest
And angels are not those prettiest,
Indeed, God is always be the wisest,
For sending me a fallen angel, I’ve caught the brightest, the brightest

Lately, You stole what between these lungs
You open my chest, You let it pour, my bleeding heart
I cant deny, how i feel, you are my crush
I have been stunned on Your eye lashes, (glances, perfume scents, and blushes)

How deep is the ocean trenches?
How far is the stars throughout the abyss?
How much warm is your embraces?
How much cold Is your lips to kiss?

Do I have to care about all of that anymore,
As long as you are with me, what should I have to ask for?

Emerald, jade, diamond, gold and silver,
I guess nothing is forever, unless me and you
In this world of deception, anyone can be a liar
Just remember, Nothing is to fear, I am always here.
.......I am always here.
Honestly, I did not know what is sonnet and how to make one, but I did it unconsciously. It is true that poets have a universal language in terms of making thier poems.

This was Dedicated for Margaret
Grace Jordan May 2015
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Basically I'm saying, babe, you're hot.  You know its funny, I adore Shakespeare but i could not handle writing like him. All proper and British and modern... I'm too old fashioned for his tastes.

Let's think about it. Shakespeare was a progressive of his days; making words, analogies, that are timeless to this day.

What am I using?

Old tricks of the old writers to quell my taste for old art. Gods knows I describe everything as if I were Dickens, all elongated and profoundly bloated in the most beautiful and adoring way.

But back to where I was. You.

This sonnet is for you. I did promise one this night, did I not? In my head I did, at least. Oh dear, this'll be a surprise in the morning. But at least it is a surprise just for you.

I at least hinted of a sonnet, a sonnet for you, telling of you and our love and how it makes me feel. So here we must go.

You are the moonshine to my midnight, the angel to my demons.

Too much? I dare say, it must be, you have simply gone giddy with giggles. Perhaps a different route should be approached.

If I were a murderess, which in all heart-related actuality I am, I will give this fair promise that in all my running around and cutting out hearts, that yours will simply be those one I keep closest to mine.

Alas, too dark? Oh, my love, but there must be some way to express my doting! Be in not in a dark sonnet, or an adoring sonnet, perhaps a comedic one?

There were two things I was certain of. One, that he was a vampire, and two, that I was irrevocably attracted to him.

Oh, perhaps too comedic. Perhaps too unkind. Perhaps a bit too much paraphrasing. But I digress. Anything I can do to please you, my dearest one? Anyway I can express how I feel without making you laugh, or giggle, or simply chuckle at me?

It cannot be as simple, as you say. It cannot be as easy as holding you close and whispering in your ear how much I love you. Can it?

Well I promise, then, that I will spend my nights whispering towards you my affections, and holding you tight until you can stand my embrace no more. Will that suffice?

Oh, I love you.

And I suppose that's the best way to put it.
Alyssa Underwood Aug 2018
We're forced, each man, to walk a trialed path—
resisted trek, uphill through blinding daze
that shrouds with crucible's perplexing haze
till fog-white skies yield quick to black clouds' wrath.
Affliction brims a thorny pack to bear
whilst dewy darkness drenches in the night,
but where is calming lamp to lend us sight?
And who will come to give us saving care?
Here through veil is heard a whisper certain,
then o'er the mountain creeps the dawning day
and with clear eyes we see the brume give way
as God retracts His theatre's curtain,
unsheathing velvet waves whose morning sheen
beyond grey mist splays vast and wondrous green.
~~~

"I will exalt You, LORD,
    for You lifted me out of the depths
    and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
LORD my God, I called to You for help,
    and You healed me.
You, LORD, brought me up from the realm of the dead;
    You spared me from going down to the pit.
Sing the praises of the LORD, you His faithful people;
    praise His holy name.
For His anger lasts only a moment,
    but His favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
    but rejoicing comes in the morning.
When I felt secure, I said,
    'I will never be shaken.'
LORD, when You favored me,
    You made my royal mountain stand firm;
but when You hid Your face,
    I was dismayed.
To You, LORD, I called;
    to the Lord I cried for mercy:
'What is gained if I am silenced,
    if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise You?
    Will it proclaim Your faithfulness?
Hear, LORD, and be merciful to me;
    LORD, be my help.'
You turned my wailing into dancing;
    You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing Your praises and not be silent.
    LORD my God, I will praise You forever."

~ Psalm 30

https://hellopoetry.com/poem/1464179/the-beauty-behind-the-fog/
That which I discovered a Beat Squire
A Potential who I Trust can be Friend
As sincere as the News he respires
Giving you Updates which does make us Bend
Kaibigan, should you show the Numb Male
Which Ingredients we are truly made of
He chose you. That alone should just prevail
And Rice the Staple makes your Friendship oft
I mean this Good Thing. Being at your Best
And Youth such Buddy could ever provide
Live out this Stage well. Far from what the Least
Full-Cupped Elders think they could just Advise.
My Part is done. Decisions are your own
This Future is yours; Make it well-known.
#jancarlo717
PoserPersona Jul 2018
Idly stationed in the bucolic hills,
sits a stone well; unknown when abandoned.
Though her people foregone, water yet fills
as much as you can want for. In tandem,
are high trees less old than she; occluding
the view from pathless and naive strangers.
As their wish in well is to keep obtuse,
those that siren would otherwise capture.
Her drink, one thinks they'll constantly receive.
In reality, they'll only be taken.
Youth will fade as the heart minutely bleeds.
Their hollow, dried corpse will be forsaken.
And though her hole but a tall dark crevice,
I see my reflection on the surface.
Traci Sims May 2017
To write a sonnet doth Juana press me,
I've never found me in such stress or pain;
A sonnet numbers fourteen lines, 'tis plain,
And three are gone, ere I can say, God bless me!
I thought that spinning rhymes might sore oppress me,
Yet here I'm midway in the last quatrain;
And if the foremost tercet I can gain,
The quatrains need not any more distress me.
To the first tercet I have got at last,
And travel through it with such right good will,
That with this line I've finished it, I ween;
I'm in the second now, and see how fast
The thirteenth line runs tripping from my quill;
Hurrah, 'tis done! Count if there be fourteen!
From Lope de Vega's "Nina de Plata".

One of my all-time favourite sonnets from a prolific Spanish poet/playwright.
I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom and carries
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don't know any other way of loving

but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.
Naked you are simple as one of your hands;
Smooth, earthy, small, transparent, round.
You've moon-lines, apple pathways
Naked you are slender as a naked grain of wheat.

Naked you are blue as a night in Cuba;
You've vines and stars in your hair.
Naked you are spacious and yellow
As summer in a golden church.

Naked you are tiny as one of your nails;
Curved, subtle, rosy, till the day is born
And you withdraw to the underground world.

As if down a long tunnel of clothing and of chores;
Your clear light dims, gets dressed, drops its leaves,
And becomes a naked hand again.
Yoni Sav May 2014
Now is the time
unlike the other days
to write a phrase
time for a rhyme

Why? do you ask?
I'll get right on it
to write a sonnet
is my task

It might go
something like this
or like that
will it flow
like a good kiss?
I hope it won't fall flat
RA, I tried :P
PoserPersona Jul 2018
Leaves, sticks, and seeds make up this six foot stalk.
Oh, how she blooms before the flashing lights!
Leaving men and women with a stunned gawk.
Oh, you cause the seeds of your kind at night,
to dream of heights they won't reach; how sadly
try the delusional. But in all kin,
is imprinted least a scar on their psyches.
Sacrificial offer in porcelain
is ritually performed by some daily.
If not for fame, glory, or money, then
to mirror fashion people's ideal beauty.
A cyclic mental disease that won't end.
Shhh.. Here she comes! The first, but not the least.
An appetizer for the famine feast!
Bo Burnham Mar 2015
I saw the morning dew betwixt thine thighs
as I removed my source of Grecian power,
as if King Midas dared to touch the skies,
upon thy body fell a *******.

Thy body's temples, two church bells had rung
upon thy chest, a row of pearls bestowed.
The sun had set, thy set with wary hung
I thought, "How black a night, and blue a lode!"

I said, "What light through yonder ****** breaks?
It is the yeast!" And now my belly's yellow.
My pole gives cause to storms and earthy quakes,
but 'tis not massive, I am no Othello.

And when that final moment came to pass,
like Christ I came a-riding on an ***.
Marian Dec 2012
I see the sunlight dappled on the hill,
A balmy afternoon in the late Spring,
I hear the sweet beautiful birdsong still;
It's a time when all the birds sweetly sing!
And the meadows of flowers sweetly blow,
They perfume the air with fragrance so sweet,
Sometimes at evening when I walk slow;
I stop to see those flowers at my feet.
I stop and stoop to smell their dear sweetness,
For they are filled with everlasting grace,
For sometimes they will my fair cheeks caress;
And brush their petals up against my face.
I admire they're so very sweet beauty,
They are a very fond treasure to see!

*~Marian~
This is my first Sonnet! It makes me happy to write one!!
she wrote a sonnet but she got it wrong
proper syllable count her lines ne'er had
twas a most shocking sight really quite bad
her shabby work had a distinct kind of pong
she put it out there for all to peruse
the skilled sonnet writers had a look
her display they rated as verily crook
the format of it did of her confuse
she had not a spruce quill like the bard Bill
her specimen would have disgusted him
particular was he about his form
she produced a sonnet which didn't thrill
its appearance was so exceedingly grim
her syllable patterns were not uniform
PoserPersona Aug 2018
During youth I was quite the collector
of ocean ******'s annealed sandcastles
Though the hosts inside could not be cheaper,
their fleshy coats were worth all the hassles

Content I was amassing worn seashells;
monthly did this fine collection accrue
Though furnished, barren felt those wooden shelves,
as even pearls are lesser than a jewel

Still, the sand was warm; the waves were soothful
and regardless of what hollowness struck,
the beach granted a chance to feel fruitful
so long as one had either skill or luck

Alone was I, but daresay not lonely,
but I was not merry until married.
Life Sep 2014
Life: Noun: Uncountable: Plural: Lives
The ability to have: Abilities
Period of time filled with: Adjectives
With many opportunities to seize

Life as punishment: Contract/prison/love
Life as enjoyment: Contact/comfort/love
Love: Meaning: Affection. Also used above
Love: For idiom see also: Turtledove

Life: Antonym: Death: What comes after life
The leading cause of death on Earth: Neglect
Example: None cared the child had a knife
The leading cause of life on Earth: V-necks

Cheat: Suicide: Lessons on life not learned
Antidote: No cure has yet been confirmed
Sonnet
my sonnet is A light goes on in
the toiletwindow,that’s straightacross from
my window,night air bothered with a rustling din

sort of sublimated tom-tom
which quite outdoes the mandolin-

man’s tiny racket.  The horses sleep upstairs.
And you can see their ears.  Ears win-

k,funny stable.  In the morning they go out in pairs:
amazingly,one pair is white
(but you know that)they look at each other.  Nudge.

(if they love each other,who cares?)
They pull the morning out of the night.

I am living with a mouse who shares

my meals with him,which is fair as i judge.
Marian Jan 2013
Cicadas and katydids are calling
Breezes blow in from my open window
Roses are blooming and leaves are falling
The moon's rays hitting my lawn look like snow
Owls are singing from majestic trees
While sweet Bluebirds are sleeping in bushes
Night dances through the softly blowing breeze
And Midnight silently the world hushes
Dewdrops like jewels shine on roses sweet
And the stars twinkle all through the calm night
While the Fairies dance on enchanted feet
And the moon happily shines very bright
And I under my warm covers doth sleep
Until pretty morning brightly doth peep.

*~Marian~
Liz Oct 2014
My words, becoming literal.
I'm losing grip on deeper thoughts,
I wish I could find something more
But darkness fills my deepest caves.

I cannot mask my blunt remorse,
Unsatiated hungry thoughts.
I try so hard but I am weak,
My dusty bones can't hold my weight.

I am a force to all I love,
A burden they cannot hold up.
I'm sorry I am much too frail,
But you don't have to keep me safe.

There's something wrong inside my head,
I keep on wishing I was dead
She wrote a sonnet but she got it wrong
Proper syllable count her lines ne'er had
Twas a shocking sight really rather bad
Her shoddy work should have been given the gong
She put it out there for all to peruse
The skilled sonnet writers had a look
Her display they rated as verily crook
The format of it did of her confuse
She had not a deft quill like the bard Bill
Her specimen would have disgusted him
Particular twas he about his form
She produced a sonnet which didn't thrill
Its appearance twas definitely grim
Her syllable structure twas not uniform
A Sonnet is a moment’s monument,—
Memorial from the Soul’s eternity
To one dead deathless hour. Look that it be,
Whether for lustral rite or dire portent,
Of its own arduous fulness reverent:
Carve it in ivory or in ebony,
As Day or Night may rule; and let Time see
Its flowering crest impearled and orient.

A Sonnet is a coin: its face reveals
The soul,—its converse, to what Power ’tis due:—
Whether for tribute to the august appeals
Of Life, or dower in Love’s high retinue,
It serve; or, ’mid the dark wharf’s cavernous breath,
In Charon’s palm it pay the toll to Death.
A Robin said: The Spring will never come,
  And I shall never care to build again.
A Rosebush said: These frosts are wearisome,
  My sap will never stir for sun or rain.
The half Moon said: These nights are fogged and slow,
I neither care to wax nor care to wane.
The Ocean said: I thirst from long ago,
  Because earth's rivers cannot fill the main.--
When Springtime came, red Robin built a nest,
  And trilled a lover's song in sheer delight.
  Grey hoarfrost vanished, and the Rose with might
  Clothed her in leaves and buds of crimson core.
The dim Moon brightened. Ocean sunned his crest,
  Dimpled his blue, yet thirsted evermore.
Of which I promised this Forthcoming Gift
That Low-Resolved Program you often play
Mine of Sum's Direct robbed my Basics shift
Could make my Allowance afford one day
Till then, master those Memes and Squarish Crew
And ask your Score teemed to accumulate
I know you can do it, Technocrat Blue
And rake those Creepers down confusticate
Or shall I, along the mean, Journal's Writ
Ask for more Hints over Direction rough
You, Controlling-E, fly Normal's out-of-it
Conclude my Patience to nearly enough.
I'll trust the Swede with his Awards advance
Then I'll Trust you; With those Talents enhance.
A sonnet's what this is, that much is plain
There really isn't any need to stare
Its introduction's made in this quatrain
Two more will follow, then a rhyming pair

It is iambic, so it goes “dot dash”
Two syllables a foot, five feet a line
The rhythm takes you onward in a flash
The sense of structure's reinforced by rhyme

After the first octet, a change of mood
The sonnet's true intentions are revealed
Its themes are love and essence, nothing crude
Hard hearts begin to melt and ******* to yield

Then closure as it slowly slips away
A soft exit – a pyrrhic fall – spondee.
Mercury Chap Apr 2015
The dark (k)night,
Cold and dreary,
The silver spot of light,
Soothing but scary,
Draping the shadows beneath the (k)night'sky
Running away from a reproachful eye,
Wolfs cry and leaves rustle
Sprinting feet quickly hustle,
(K)night's dark but the dawn breaks,
(K)Night sleeps deeper and deeper, it's insatiable,
Mother doesn't but son wakes,
The dystopian slumber doesn't quiver,
He's only one left awake in this rubble
He's only one left alone to flow away in his dreamy river.
My first sonnet.
So in this Month your Heart begins to press
For Good October promises your Due
Thinking of Delight and Travel Costs less,
And finally meeting her through and through
Her arm must have healed, given Time's duty
No more must such Fortress wall you apart
Her, Blessed Pronoun who cheers you truly
On her own Springboard she performs her Part
As you guide Witness to her own Unique Craft,
That Guideline which does greatly Inspire
Now look! Her Swan whips the Air; And the Draft
Begs humbly deep its legs to retire.
Your Hug was her Reward; Then the Flannel
Covers your Cheers on the Upper Panel.
#tomdaleytv #tomdaley1994
Being your slave, what should I do but tend
Upon the hours and times of your desire?
I have no precious time at all to spend,
Nor services to do, till you require.
Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour,
Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you,
Nor think the bitterness of absence sour
When you have bid your servant once adieu.
Nor dare I question with my jealous thought
Where you may be, or your affairs suppose,
But, like a sad slave, stay and think of naught
Save where you are, how happy you make those.
    So true a fool is love that in your will,
    Though you do any thing, he thinks no ill.
Spencer Dennison Sep 2014
The truest bliss you impart upon me
sends a shiver down each column of my spine,
etching track marks over all my body,
a drug no-one can perfect or refine.
Your visage leaves lightning bolts on my eyes
and a heart palpitating in my chest.
Your body silhouetted in night skies
melts my deepest poetry to mere jest.
When we touch, it smashes my composure
into oblivion and far beyond.
When we lock eyes, I'm chilled from exposure
but for certain, only I feel this bond.
Although I strive for a day we would meet,
with the others, I could never compete.
Sonnets are my newest fascination, even in Iambic Pentameter. I'll try to post more than one daily.
Scorn not the Sonnet; Critic, you have frowned,
Mindless of its just honours; with this key
Shakespeare unlocked his heart; the melody
Of this small lute gave ease to Petrarch’s wound;
A thousand times this pipe did Tasso sound;
With it Camöens soothed an exile’s grief;
The Sonnet glittered a gay myrtle leaf
Amid the cypress with which Dante crowned
His visionary brow: a glow-worm lamp,
It cheered mild Spenser, called from Faery-land
To struggle through dark ways; and, when a damp
Fell round the path of Milton, in his hand
The Thing became a trumpet; whence he blew
Soul-animating strains—alas, too few!
we live in times when words have lost their meaning
they only serve to fill some soundbite gaps between
faces of popstars, politicians, presidential candidates,
maybe some refugees, victims of crimes and natural catastrophes

and more sensational media creations flooding our lives
with unrelenting hype unless you push the button
that brings quiet to your life   and you find time to reconsider
what it might be  exactly you desire to achieve

in the short time we are allotted in this world
you will discover it is not the senseless media blather
but some coherent thoughts turned into words becoming deeds
enacting change leading to bold decisions

think for yourself and don’t let others think for you
then speak your thoughts in words like others cannot do

— The End —