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Dr Zik Mar 2015
One, Two, Three
One, Two, Three
One two three now turn of four
Learn more, learn more, many more
Less, more, less, more, many more
Five and Six
Five and Six
Five, Six and look Seven, Eight
Come in time and don’t be late
Work hard, work hard it's the fate
Nine and Ten
Nine and Ten
Nine, Ten and Nine, Ten, Nine, Ten
Say the counting one to Ten
Eat your daily egg of hen
Two, Four, Six
Two, Four, Six
Two, Four, Six and Six, Eight, Ten
Check your books and pencil, pen
Ten, Ten, Ten and Ten, Ten, Ten
Ten, Nine, Eight
Ten, Nine, Eight
Ten, Nine, Eight and Seven, Six
Five, Four, Two, First One is Fix
Birds are chirping, chirping chicks
One your Bag
One your Bag
One bag, many books and bun
Eat bun when you free my son
close your bag when work is done
One to Ten
Two to Ten
Ten, Ten, Ten and Ten, Ten, Ten
Dr ZIK Poetry...............A poem for children
Ally Gottesman Aug 2020
Say every year is a step away
From who you once were
And is a step closer
To who you will be

Ten years is ten steps
Ten steps and ten lessons
Ten lessons that shape
Who you will become

In ten years you will be
Ten steps away from now
And ten steps
Closer to then

Say ten years ago you liked fiction
And now, ten years later,
You only read memoirs

Say ten years ago you were angry
An now, ten years later,
You can’t remember why

Say ten years ago your hair was brown
And now, ten years later
Your hair is blonde

Say ten years from now you live
In a big city with loud noises
But now, ten years before,
You live at home and are uncertain

Say ten years ago you
Would never do that
And now, ten years later,
It is all you ever do

Ten years full of growth
Ten years full of lessons
Ten years full of discovering
You and what makes you whole

Say ten years ago you felt alone
And now, ten years later,
You have comfort
In solitude
Inspired by “You Are Jeff” by Richard Siken
s Apr 2015
ten
When I was five my mom taught me how to count to ten.
I liked the number ten
I thought that I could rule the world cause I knew how to count to ten.
I could play hide and seek now
I could make a hopscotch
I could be like my older sister
The number ten made me so happy.
When I was six I went to kindergarten
Counting to ten was baby stuff
But I still liked ten
My kindergarten teacher taught me that counting to ten ten times makes one hundred.
I cried to my mom when I got home
It seemed too complicated
So I kept counting to ten
Life was easier when only numbers one through ten existed.
When I was twelve there was a group of mean girls
Ten of them
I didn't like the number ten
that much anymore.
Cause according to them it was
How much weight I needed to lose (10lbs)
How many of my friends hate me (10)
How high I would score on a test (10%)
I could always hear them coming
all their ten steps in sync
Walking in a V
They were a flock of birds
Getting ready to attack a poor penguin who couldn't fly like them.
When I was sixteen all of the mean girls went to a different school.
I didn't have to be with the ten anymore.
I had to be with myself
I lost 10 lbs
Plus extra
I have no friends now, turns out the ten friends I had really didn't like me.
When I was sixteen boys would line up one through ten
One and two would make me cry
I told three and four that they were a waste of time, they would just hurt me
I gave five a chance
He broke me
The other five didn't get to know me
Even though they tried
They could never really know me
The me who liked only the numbers one through ten.
The me who cries at night remembering the monsters
The me who hates myself
I fake it so well
I put up a wall
Ten bricks up
Ten bricks across
My second grade teacher would have asked me how many bricks I used
But it doesn't really matter anymore
Cause behind that wall I'm self destructing
I wish I only had to count 1-10
This is sloppy but it was shoved in my head had to get it out.
Moushumi Sinha Feb 2020
If you own place to live
Life is ten on ten
If night rocks you to sleep
Life is ten on ten
If the food is hot and ready
Life is ten on ten
If your work is going steady
Life is ten on ten
If you have a loving parent
Life is ten on ten
If you have a true friend
Life is ten on ten
If you can go on a vacation
Life is ten on ten
If you are without medication
Life is ten on ten

So why complain my dear?
Lets all live life without fear
When blessings are in focus
It is ten on ten for all of us..
Laura Ingram Mar 2012
Ten
I was ten, an award, angular ten, my body full of edges not unlike the one I was always on.  
He was ten, too, a canny, cow licked ten, a spine deemed not straight enough to stand up, which he would have preferred to having to stand around, to not being able to stand it. Bound up in library paste, gagging, suffocating under the scent of glue that was said to have none.
I was ten, the number my mother counts to when trying to calm herself.  I was ten, deemed the statistically safest age by some book Smoke read.  I was ten, but of course a girl at odds with the world would beat them.
Even so, I still lost.
I was ten, a too sweet song composed of passed notes that the other girls sang on the swings, and even though the words were always something about love and marriage and babies, all of the supposed components in the infallible equation of happiness, they made me sad.
I was ten, a candle wick, on-the-cusp-of ten, being consumed by flames because I refused to feed myself with fire. Because I refused to feed the fire with myself, a twig surely the same as the smoldering ember, which I liked the idea of living beside.
I was ten, soaring past the play ground on the new found wings I had shouldered, on the new found wing I had created, constructed from mine.
I was ten, he was ten, we were ten, dry humor, ironic punch lines that we didn’t understand, but laughed at all the same.
We were ten, dry humor, ironic punch lines that they didn’t understand, but laughed at all the same.  That laughed at us because we, no matter how hard we tried, couldn’t be.
josh nunn Dec 2013
He was on his way to school.
He was only ten.
He was kidnapped and taken away from his home.
He was only ten.
He was beaten, abused, threatened and starved.
He was only ten.
He was handed a gun and taught how to shoot.
He was only ten.
He was forced into a war he never even knew.
He was only ten.
He killed people - women, children; he killed them because he was scared, scared of what would happen do to him if he didn't.
He was only ten.
He was only ten when his pen was replaced with a rifle, only ten.
Only ten when his rights became a fairy tale.
Only ten when survival was his lifeline.
Only ten when his soul died, and all that was left was only ten, ten years of empty nothingness.
A few years ago I did a History project about child soldiers in the DRC and other central African countries who were ina state of conflict. I investigated many shocking stories of boys, kidnapped from their home towns and forced into a war where they'd have to commit the most horrific atrocities. The boy's story which I have told in my poem at least has a happy ending, at the age of 12 he escaped forced slavery and is now a child activist for the United Nations against the practice of child soldiers. I still think their voices needed to be heard...
I woke up in a stranger's bed
I'm not quite sure whose
I just know it was a woman
By looking at her shoes

When I woke up she was long gone
Her note said "Thank you for the night"
But, hell, I don't remember getting here
Something ain't quite right

How did I get so messed up
What the hell did I consume?
What made this girl...a 2 at ten
Into a ten at 2
I gotta know what did I drink
What the hell did I consume
What made this girl...a 2 at ten
Into a ten at two

I went out to the kitchen
grabbed a coffee and some toast
I couldn't quite remember her
Though I do remember most

I left after a shower
Saw no pictures round the place
As hard as I tried thinking
I could not recall her face

How did I get so messed up
What the hell did I consume?
What made this girl...a 2 at ten
Into a ten at 2
I gotta know what did I drink
What the hell did I consume
What made this girl...a 2 at ten
Into a ten at two



I felt just like a hound dog
When I left through her front door
I just didn't like the feeling
I don't want to feel like that no more

Tonight I'll pick another bar
So I don't see you know who
Just what the hell was this boy drinking
And what exactly did I do?


How did I get so messed up
What the hell did I consume?
What made this girl...a 2 at ten
Into a ten at 2
I gotta know what did I drink
What the hell did I consume
What made this girl...a 2 at ten
Into a ten at two
Chris Dionisio Nov 2013
Ten minutes
Ten minutes till my shift starts
Ten minutes to think of the hours spent thinking of you
Ten minutes to try and figure out how this, we will work
Ten minutes to think of the tens of thousands of reasons I want you
Ten minutes to dread the millions of reason why we can't be
Ten minutes to try to forget briefly how I feel about you
Ten minutes to pull myself together
Ten minutes to tell you for the billionth and last time, "I love you"
Ten minutes
Martin Narrod Feb 2014
The Checkout Line

I wish to speak with you
ten years from now, you'll be ten years behind.

The words and meanings you carry in your pants, the pick-pocket steals your hopes from time.
and the visions of empty trash receptacles
with their late evening drunken lovers' bouts, at restless end tables. And the bums with their ******* attitudes **** covered clothes, and soiled minds

the clarity of the curbside drunk, picking up shades of filtered cigarettes of twilight scandalous
pickup lovers in their evening best.

And to talk with you ten years from now, you'll be ten years behind.

They're Green Beret head ornaments
detailing the porcelain platforms of Delft
Lining up for one last line to carry them into another faded sunrise at dawn's forgotten memory of yester night
and they walk their gallows holding pride fully their flags of exalted countrymen.

The republic of teacups of literary proficiency.
Wearing the necklaces of paid tolls to an afterlife they find in the miniscule car crashes of engagement with a grinless driving mate in a neighboring car in its pass into the forethought of turned corners.
Where they befell the great disappointment of failure in the frosted eyes of their fathers' expectations.

Who carried the shame of their mother's incessant discontent through short skirts, and high heels.

Who disapproved of the **** whom wore the sneak-out-of-the-house-wear clothing line, and traveled by night over turbulent asphalt by way of sidecar through turn and turnabout hand-over-hand contracts of lover's affection, and slept in tall grasses of wet nightfall with views of San Francisco, and were trapped in the inescapable Alcatraz and Statesville of unconsenting parents and their curfews,

through trials and trails of Skittles leading to after school Doctor visits in the basement of a doting mother, whilst she sits quietly in her exclusive quilting parties with noble equities of partners in knowledge, listening to Edith Piaf and the like,

All the while condemned to time, trapped in the second hand, hand me downs of the 21st century, decades of decadent introverts with their table top unread notebooks, and old forgotten score cards, and the numbers of scholars of years past,

and to talk with you ten years from now will be my greatest pleasure, for you will be....ten year's behind.


They push the sterile elevator buttons, and descend upon the floor of scents flourishing from their crowded family rooms, only aware of distinctive flavors, in their middle eastern shades of desert gumbo,

Who speak ribbit and alfalfa until midnight of the afternoon, sharing fables of slaughtered giraffes and camels that walked from Kiev to Baghdad in a fortnight,

Who are aware the power is out, but continue to scour for candles in a dark room where candles once burned, where candle wax seals the drawers of where candles can be found. Where once sat gluttonous kings and queens in Sunday attire waiting for words of freedom from the North.

of Florence, Sochi,Shanghai
of Dempster, Foster, Lincoln
of Dodge, Ford, Shelby

Of concrete fortune tellers in 2nd story tenement blocks with hairy legs, and head lice, wearing beautiful sachets of India speaking ribbit and alfalfa.

On their unbirthdays they walk the fish tanks wearing their birthday suits to remind them who serves the food on the floors of the family room fish mongers tactics.

The old men wear gargoyles on their shoulders.

Lo! Fear has crept the glass marbles of their wisdom and fortune, blearing rocket ships and kazoos on the sidewalks of their Portuguese forefathers.

Where ancestry burns cigarette holes in the short-haired blue carpet, where Hoover breaks flood waters of insignificance across hard headed Evangelical trinities.

Who share construction techniques one early morning at four, where questions of Hammer and **** build intelligence in secondary faces of nameless twilight lovers, who possess bear blankets, and upheavals, finely wired bushes of ***** maturity. Eating *** and check, tongue and pen.

Where police caress emergency flame retardants over the fire between their legs, wielding the chauvinistic blade of comfort in the backseat of a Yellow faced driving patron.

With their innocent daughters with their nubile thighs, and malleable personalities, which require elite words and jewelry. Wearing wheat buns, Longfellow, and squire.

Holding postmarked cellular structure within their mobile anguish.

Who go curling in their showers, pushing afternoon naps and pretentious frou-frou hats over tainted friendships with their girlfriend's brothers with minimum paychecks'.

Through their narcissus and narcosis, their mirrored perceptions of medicinal scripture of Methamphetamine and elegant five-star meat.

Who amend their words with constitutional forgiveness, in their fascist cloth rampages through groves of learning strategies. And the closets, cupboards, and coins
with rubber hearts, steel *****, and gold *****,

Tall-tales of sock puppet hands with friendly sharing ******* techniques, dry with envy, colorful scabs, and coagulation of eccentric ****** endeavors, With their social lubricants and their tile feet wardrobes with B-quality Adidas and Reeboks gods of the souls of us. Who possess piceous syndromes of Ouiji boards in their parent’s basements.

When will fire burn another Bush? Spread the fire walls of Chicago, and part grocery store fields of food. Wrapping towels under the doors of smoke filled lungs, on the fingernails of a sleepover between business executives with the neoprene finish of their sons and daughters who attend finishing school, with resumes of oak furnishings,

And I long to talk with you ten years from now,
For you'll be talking ten years behind.

Who profligate their padded inventories breaking Mohammed and Hearst,
laying the pillows of cirrus minor
waiting for the rain to paint the eyes of the scriptures which waft through concrete corridors,
and scent the air with their exalted personas,

With the different channels of confusions, watching dimple past freckle, eating the palms of our tropical mental vocations to achieve purity from the indignation of those whom are contemptuous for lack of innocence in America,
this America, of lack of peace,
of America hold me,
Let me be.

Whom read the letters off music, blearing Sinatra and Krall, Manson where is your contempt?

Manson where is your manipulation of place settings?, you deserve fork and knife, the wounded commandments that regretfully fall like timber in an abandoned sanctuary of Yellowstone,
Manson, with your claws of the heart.
Manson, with your sheik vulgarity of **** cloaks exposing your ladies undercarriage,

Those who take their pets to walk the aisles of famished eyes,
allowing the dorsals of their backsides to wonder aimlessly through Vietnam and Chinaman,
holding peace of mind aware of their chemical leashes and fifteen calorie mental meals, holding hands, unaware of repercussion,

With their vivid recollections of sprinkler and slide, through dew and beyond,
Holding citrus drinks to themselves, apart from pleasure, trapped with excite from sunsets, and in-between.

Withholding reservation of tongue to lung.
Flowing ribbit and alfalfa, in the corridors of expected fragrance.

and to speak with you of ten years from now, will be a pleasure all my own, for you will be talking ten years behind.

They walked outside climbing over mountains of shrapnel, popped collars
and endless buffets of emotion,
driving Claremont all the way to art gallery premiers
and forever waited for plane crash landings
and the phone calls that never came

Glowing black and white cameras
giving modelesque perceptions to all-you-can-eat eyes
giving cigarettes endless chasms of light

Colored pavement trenches and divots
cliff note alibis
and surgery that lasted until the seamstress had gone into an
endless rest
and
empty cupboards

Classic stools painted with sleepless white smoke and bleached canvas rolling tobacco with the stained yellow window panes of feral tapestry and overindulgent vernacular

Like a satiated cheeseburger weeping smile simple emotion
on November the 18th celebrations
and Wisconsin out of business sales

Too much comfort, stealing switchboards from the the elderly, constantly putting gibberish into
effortless conversation.

Dormant doormats, with the greetings that never
reached as far as coffee table favelas,
arriving to homes of famished
furniture, awaiting temperate lifestyles and the window sill arguments from pedantic literacy

Silver shillings and corporate discovery clogged the persuasive
push and shove
to and from

Killing enterprise
loquacious attempt at too soon
much too soon
too soon for forever

Wall to wall post-card collages
happy reminders of the places never visited by drinks in the hands of
those received

Registered to the clouded skies of clip board artists
this arthritis of envy
of bathtub old age
wrinkled matted faces
logged with quick-fixes, anemia, and heart-break

disposed of off the streets
of youth, wheeling and wailing
rolling down striped stairs
of shock and arraignment
holding the hand rails of a wheelchair
suitcase
packed away in a life

Down I-37
into the ochre autumn fallen down leaves
and left memories behind
their green Syphilis eyeglasses

weeping tumuli
recalcitrant
mulish, furrow of beast and beyond

yelling, screaming, howling
at the prurient puerile tilling
of sheets

****** the voices of words
and vomiting the mind into the pockets of the turbulent perambulations
expelled from meat-packing
whispering condescension
and coercing adolescent obsessions
with fame, glamour, and *****

Creeping out into the naked
light of the Darger scale janitorial
closets, carrying the notorious gowns
of red wine spells, backpacks, and pins

henchmen, plaintiff, and youth

All the while
ripping at the incantations of the soul
whispering ribbit and alfalfa
in the guard-rail scars
of the dawns decadent forgotten
Cassandra Leigh Jun 2014
Two halves of a whole
That's what they always said we were

Ten minutes** after me you were born
I made it to shore
you were Ten minutes out to sea

Ten weeks you spent in incubators
The doctors didn't think you would ever go home
Ten weeks Later you pulled through

Ten years you've been in and out of hospital beds
The surgeons always swore this was the last time, the tumor was gone
Ten years later they were wrong

Ten times You have called me and told me you wanted out
Being in this world was too painful and you couldn't do it anymore
Ten times I have told you if you go I will follow

Twenty years I have watched you drowning
Twenty years I have prayed I could take your pain and make it mine
Twenty years I would rather swallow razor blades than see you hurt
Twenty years I have wanted to save you but know I cannot swim

Ten minutes

I will drown instead
This is a re-write of a previous poem. I hope you all enjoy getting a look at my naked soul
Eli Smith Jun 2014
A little girl,
Ten years old,
Who knew nothing of *** or ****
But that didn’t matter
When he picked her out.
It wasn’t because of her nonexistent figure,
Or her my little pony tank tops,
It was because of what he saw in her eyes,
The first time he touched her.
As she winced and couldn’t meet his eyes,
He knew right then and there she would never be strong enough to stand up for herself
So that boy,
Two years older,
Thought it was okay
To steal her innocence.
A ten year old girl
Buying a pregnancy test from the gas station,
Paying the clerk a little extra,
So that he doesn’t tell her mom,
Burying it deep in her pocket,
Until she gets home.
Feeling criminal for her deceitfulness,
Paying with the money,
She had saved in her piggy bank for an American Girl Doll.
The one she would never get,
Because she was more worried about being touched again,
Than being a little girl.
She sold all of her toys,
To buy those bras that hook in the front,
Hoping that he would be too stupid to figure out what had happened
And stop doing it.
A ten year old girl,
So afraid of love,
That she beats up on the other kids
So that they will stay away
And won’t hurt her.
A ten year old girl,
Coming home from school with bruises on her chest,
Because his friends helped him grab her.
Terrified that her mother will see,
And that she will get in trouble,
So she spends all the money she has left,
On makeup,
So that nothing looks wrong.
A ten year old girl,
In fifth grade,
Stapling her bras for the sense of security,
Until she realizes she is only helping his game.
And she can’t understand why he laughs when she cries.
She cannot understand why he laughs when she begs him to stop.
A ten year old girl,
Thanking God she wasn’t pregnant.
A ten year old girl,
With cuts on her wrists,
Because she didn’t have anyone to go to.
The brightness and curiosity of her eyes drained,
Resembling an ocean without water.
Shaking as her father touches her,
Hugs her,
But she can’t tell him why
So he blames it on himself.
She can’t explain why she turns up the music,
To drown out her heart wrenching sobs as she gives up her last piece of life.
A ten year old girl,
With a suicide note in one hand,
A bottle of pills in the other.
A ten year old girl,
With nowhere to go,
Because of what he saw in her eyes.
When. I say I was ten my life started wrong, I had no life
When I was ten I lost my mind
When I was ten my life was taken away from me
When I was ten I lost my virginity
When I was ten I wished to die but killed a man
When I was ten my childhood was taken away from me
When I was ten I became a woman but never understood the word
Now I have passed being ten
But when I was ten I was stupid to let them take away my childhood
Jack Jenkins May 2016
Ten words to capture you
Ten words little to read

Ten words to express feelings
Ten words to break hearts

Ten words not so easy
Ten words carry heavy weights

Ten words lay me down
Ten words express my life

Ten words in a stanza
Not enough words in life
Ten thoughts to ten more,
One leads to another,

Ten thoughts to a hundred more,
I wage this anxious war,

One falls for a thousand to rise,
Hundreds break rank and spawn ten thousand more,

Ten thoughts to ten more.

~Robert van Lingen
RAJ NANDY Jul 2017
THE LEGEND OF HOLLYWOOD IN VERSE
Dear Readers, I have tried to cover the salient features of this True Story in free flowing verse mainly with end rhymes. If you read it loud, you can hear the chimes! Due to the short attention span of my readers I had to cut short this long story, and conclude with the
Golden Era of Hollywood by stretching it up to the 1950's only. When TV began to challenge the Big Screen Cinema seriously! I have used only a part of my notes here. Kindly read the entire poem and don't hesitate to know many interesting facts - which I also did not know! I wish there was a provision for posting a few interesting photographs for you here. Best wishes, - Raj Nandy, New Delhi.  

                 THE LEGEND OF HOLLYWOOD :
                        THE AMERICAN  DREAM
                             BY RAJ NANDY

           A SHORT  HISTORICAL  BACKGROUND
Since the earliest days, optical toys, shadow shows, and ‘magic
lanterns’, had created the illusion of motion.
This concept was first described by Mark Roget in 1824 as  
the 'persistent of vision'.
Giving impetus to the development of big screen cinema with its
close-ups, capturing all controlled and subtle expressions!
The actors were no longer required to shout out their parts with
exaggerated actions as on the Elizabethan Stage.
Now even a single tear drop could get noticed easily by the entire
movie audience!
With the best scene being included and edited after a few retakes.
To Thomas Edison and his able assistant William Rogers we owe the invention of Kinetoscope, the first movie camera.
On the grounds of his West Orange, New Jersey laboratory, Edison
built his first movie studio called the ‘Black Maria’.   (1893)
He also purchased a string of patents related to motion picture
Camera; forming the Edison Trust, - a cartel that took control of
the Film Industry entire!

Fort Lee, New Jersey:
On a small borough on the opposite bank of the Hudson River lay
the deserted Fort Lee.
Here scores of film production crews descended armed with picture Cameras, on this isolated part of New Jersey!
In 1907 Edison’s company came there to shoot a short silent film –
‘Rescue From an Eagle’s Nest’,
Which featured for the first time the actor and director DW Griffith.
The independent Chaplin Film Company built the first permanent
movie studio in 1910 in Fort Lee.
While some of the biggest Hollywood studios like the Universal,
MGM, and 20th Century Fox, had their roots in Fort Lee.
Some of the famous stars of the silent movie era included ‘Fatty’
Arbuckle, Will Rogers, Mary Pickford, Dorothy and Lillian Gish,
Lionel Barrymore, Rudolph Valentine and Pearl White.
In those days there were no reflectors and electric arch lights.
So movies were made on rooftops to capture the bright sunlight!
During unpredictable bad weather days, filming had to be stopped
despite the revolving stage which was made, -
To rotate and capture the sunlight before the lights atarted to fade!

Shift from New Jersey to West Coast California:
Now Edison who held the patents for the bulb, phonograph, and the Camera, had exhibited a near monopoly;
On the production, distribution, and exhibition of the movies which made this budding industry to shift to California from
New Jersey!
California with its natural scenery, its open range, mountains, desert, and snow country, had the basic ingredients for the movie industry.
But most importantly, California had bright Sunshine for almost
365 days of the year!
While eight miles away from Hollywood lay the port city of Los Angeles with its cheap labour.

                        THE RISE  OF  HOLLYWOOD
It was a real estate tycoon Harvey Wilcox and his wife Daeida from
Kansas, who during the 1880s founded ‘Hollywood’ as a community for like-minded temperate followers.
It is generally said that Daeida gave the name Hollywood perhaps
due to the areas abundant red-berried shrubs also known as
California Holly.
Spring blossoms around and above the Hollywood Hills with its rich variety,  gave it a touch of paradise for all to see !
Hollywood was incorporated as a municipality in 1903, and during
1910 unified with the city of Los Angeles.
While a year later, the first film studio had moved in from New
Jersey, to escape Thomas Edison’s monopoly!    (1911)

In 1913 Cecil B. De Mille and Jesse Lasky, had leased a barn with
studio facilities.
And directed the first feature length film ‘Squaw Man’ in 1914.
Today this studio is home to Hollywood Heritage Museum as we get to see.
The timeless symbol of Hollywood film industry that famous sign on top of Mount Lee, was put up by a real estate developer in 1923.  
This sign had read as ‘’HOLLY WOOD LAND’’ initially.
Despite decades of run-ins with vandals and pranksters, it managed to hang on to its prime location near the summit of the Hollywood Hills.
The last restoration work was carried out in 1978 initiated by Hugh
Hefner of the ******* Magazine.
Those nine white letters 45 feet tall now read ‘HOLLYWOOD’, and has become a landmark and America’s cultural icon, and an evocative symbol for ambition, glamour, and dream.
Forever enticing aspiring actors to flock to Hollywood, hypnotised
by lure of the big screen!

                     GOLDEN AGE OF HOLLYWOOD
The Silent Movie Era which began in 1895, ended in 1935 with the
production of ‘Dance of Virgins’, filmed entirely in the island of Bali.
The first Sound film ‘The Jazz Singer’ by Warner Bros. was made with a Vitaphone sound-on-disc technology.  (October 1927)
Despite the Great Depression of the 1930s, this decade along with the 1940s have been regarded by some as Hollywood’s Golden Age.
However, I think that this Golden Age includes the decades of the
1940s and the 1950s instead.
When the advent of Television began to challenge the Film Industry
itself !

First Academy Award:
On 16th May 1929 in the Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard,
the First Academy Award presentation was held.
Around 270 people were in attendance, and tickets were priced at
$5 per head.
When the best films of 1927 & 1928 were honored by the Academy
of Motion Production and Sciences, or the AMPS.
Emil Jennings became the best actor, and Janet Gaynor the best actress.
Special Award went to Charlie Chaplin for his contribution to the
silent movie era and for his silent film ‘The Circus’.
While Warren Brothers was commended for making the first talking picture ‘The Jazz Singer’, - also receiving a Special Award!
Now, the origin of the term ‘OSCAR’ has remained disputed.
The Academy adopted this name from 1939 onwards it is stated.
OSCAR award has now become “the stuff dreams are made of”!
It is a gold-plated statuette of a knight 13.5 inches in height, weighing 8.5 pounds, was designed by MGM’s art director Cedric Gibbons.
Annually awarded for honouring and encouraging excellence in all
facets of motion picture production.

Movies During the Great Depression Era (1929-1941):
Musicals and dance movies starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers provided escapism and good entertainment during this age.
“Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did. She just did it
backwards and in high heels,” - the Critics had said.
This compatible pair entertained the viewers for almost one and
a half decade.
During the ‘30s, gangster movies were popular starring James Cagey, Humphrey Bogart, and Edward G. Robinson.
While family movies had their popular child artist Shirley Temple.
Swashbuckler films of the Golden Age saw the sword fighting scenes of Douglas Fairbanks and Errol Flynn.
Flynn got idolized playing ‘Robin Hood’, this film got released in
1938 on the big screen!
Story of the American Civil War got presented in the epic ‘Gone With The Wind’ (1939) with Clarke Gable and Vivian Leigh.
This movie received 8 Oscars including the award for the Best Film, - creating a landmark in motion picture’s history!
More serious movies like John Steinbeck’s ‘Grapes of Wrath’ and
John Ford’s  ‘How Green Was My Valley’, were released in 1940 and 1941 respectively.
While the viewers escaped that depressive age to the magical world
of  ‘Wizard of Oz’ with its actress Judy Garland most eagerly!
Let us not forget John Wayne the King of the Westerns, who began
his acting career in the 1930s with his movie ‘The Big Trail’;
He went on to complete 84 films before his career came to an end.
Beginning of the 40s also saw Bob Hope and the crooner Bing Crosby, who entertained the public and also the fighting troops.
For the Second World War (1939-45) had interrupted the Golden Age of Hollywood.
When actors like Henry Fonda, Clarke Gable, James Stewart and
Douglas Fairbanks joined the armed forces temporarily leaving
Hollywood.
Few propaganda movies supporting the war efforts were also made.
While landmark movies like ‘Philadelphia Story’, ‘Casablanca’, ‘Citizen Kane’,
‘The Best Years of Our Lives’, were some of the most successful movies of that decade.  (The 1940s)
Now I come towards the end of my Hollywood Story with the decade  of the 1950s, thereby extending the period of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Since having past the Great Depression and the Second World War,  the Hollywood movie industry truly matured and came of age.

                        HOLLYWOOD  OF  THE  1950s

BACKGROU­ND:
The decade of the ‘50s was known for its post-war affluence and
choice of leisure time activities.
It was a decade of middle-class values, fast-food restaurants, and
drive-in- movies;
Of ‘baby-boom’, all-electric home, the first credit cards, and new fast moving cars like the Ford, Plymouth, Buick, Hudson, and Chevrolet.
But not forgetting the white racist terrorism in the Southern States!
This era saw the beginning of Cold War, with Eisenhower
succeeding Harry S. Truman as the American President.
But for the film industry, most importantly, what really mattered  
was the advent of the Domestic TV.
When the older viewers preferred to stay at home instead of going
out to the movies.
By 1950, 10.5 million US homes had a television set, and on the
30th December 1953, the first Color TV went on sale!
Film industries used techniques such as Cinemascope, Vista Vision,
and gimmicks like 3-D techniques,
To get back their former movie audience back on their seats!
However, the big scene spectacle films did retain its charm and
fantasy.
Since fantasy epics like ‘The Story of Robin Hood’, and Biblical epics like ‘The Robe’, ‘Quo Vadis’, ‘The Ten Commandments’ and ‘Ben-Hur’, did retain its big screen visual appeal.
‘The Robe’ released on 16th September 1953, was the first film shot
and projected in Cinema Scope;
In which special lenses were used to compress a wide image into a
standard frame and then expanded it again during projection;
Resulting in an image almost two and a half times as high and also as wide, - captivating the viewers imagination!

DEMAND FOR NEW THEMES DURING THE 1950s :
The idealized portrayal of men and women since the Second World War,
Now failed to satisfy the youth who sought exciting symbols for rebellion.
So Hollywood responded with anti-heroes with stars like James Dean, Marlon Brando, and Paul Newman.
They replaced conventional actors like Tyron Power, Van Johnson, and Robert Taylor to a great extent, to meet the requirement of the age.
Anti-heroines included Ava Gardner, Kim Novak, and Marilyn Monroe with her vibrant *** appeal;
She provided excitement for the new generation with a change of scene.
Themes of rebellion against established authority was present in many Rock and Roll songs,
Including the 1954 Bill Hailey and His Comets’ ‘Rock Around the Clock’.
The era also saw rise to stardom of Elvis Presley the teen heartthrob.
Meeting the youthful aspirations with his songs like ‘Jailhouse Rock’!
I recall the lyrics of this 1957 film ‘Jailhouse Rock’ of my school days, which had featured the youth icon Elvis:
   “The Warden threw a party in the county jail,
     The prison band was there and they began to wail.
     The band was jumping and the joint began to sing,
     You should’ve heard them knocked-out jail bird sing.
     Let’s rock, everybody in the whole cell block……………
     Spider Murphy played the tenor saxophone,
     Little Joe was blowing the slide trombone.
     The drummer boy from Illinois went crash, boom, bang!
     The whole rhythm section was the Purple Gang,
      Let's rock,.................... (Lyrics of the song.)

Rock and Roll music began to tear down color barriers, and Afro-
American musicians like Chuck Berry and Little Richard became
very popular!
Now I must caution my readers that thousands of feature films got  released during this eventful decade in Hollywood.
To cover them all within this limited space becomes an impossible
task, which may kindly be understood !
However, I shall try to do so in a summarized form as best as I could.

BOX OFFICE HITS YEAR-WISE FROM 1950 To 1959 :
Top Ten Year-Wise hit films chronologically are: Cinderella (1950),
Quo Vadis, The Greatest Show on Earth, Peter Pan, Rear Window,
Lady and the *****, Ten Commandments, Bridge on the River
Kwai, South Pacific, and Ben-Hur of 1959.

However Taking The Entire Decade Of 1950s Collectively,
The Top Films Get Rated As Follows Respectively:
The Ten Commandments, followed by Lady and the *****, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, Bridge on the River Kwai, Around the World in Eighty Days, This is Cinerama, The Greatest Show on Earth, Rear Window, South Pacific, The Robe, Giant, Seven Wonders of the World, White Christmas, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Sayonara, Demetrius and the Gladiator, Peyton Place, Some Like It Hot, Quo Vadis, and Auntie Mame.

Film Debuts By Rising Stars During The 1950s :
The decade of the ‘50s saw a number of famous film stars making
their first appearance.
There was Peter Sellers in ‘The Black Rose’, Marlon Brando in
‘The Men’, and actress Sophia Loren in ‘Toto Tarzan’.
Following year saw Charles Bronson in ‘You Are in the Navy Now’,
Audrey Hepburn in ‘Our Wild Oats’, and Grace Kelly, the future
Princess of Monaco, in her first film ‘Fourteen Hours’. (1951)
While **** Brigitte Bardot appeared in 1952 movie ‘Crazy for Love’; and 1953 saw Steve Mc Queen in ‘******* The Run’.
Jack Lemon, Paul Newman, and Omar Sharif featured in films
during 1954.
The following year saw Clint Eastwood, Shirley Mc Lean, Walter
Matthau, and Jane Mansfield, all of whom the audience adored.
The British actor Michael Cain appeared in 1956; also Elvis Presley
the youth icon in ‘Love Me Tender’ and as the future Rock and Roll
King!
In 1957 came Sean Connery, followed by Jack Nicholson, Christopher Plummer, and Vanessa Redgrave.
While the closing decade of the ‘50s saw James Coburn, along with
director, script writer, and producer Steven Spielberg, make their
debut appearance.

Deaths During The 1950s: This decade also saw the death of actors
like Humphrey Bogart, Tyron Power and Errol Flynn.
Including the death of producer and director of epic movies the
renowned Cecil B. De Mille!
Though I have conclude the Golden Age of Hollywood with the 50’s Decade,
The glitz and glamour of its Oscar Awards continue even to this day.
With its red carpet and lighted marquee appeal and fashion display!

CONTINUING THE HOLLYWOOD STORY WITH FEW TITBITS :
From Fort Lee of New Jersey we have travelled west to Hollywood,
California.
From the silent movie days to the first ‘talking picture’ with Warren
Bros’ film ‘The Jazz Singer’.  (06 Oct 1927)
On 31st July 1928 for the first time the audience heard the MGM’s
mascot Leo’s mighty roar!
While in July 1929 Warren Bros’ first all-talking and all- Technicolor
Film appeared titled - ‘On With The Show’.
Austrian born Hedy Lamarr shocked the audience appearing **** in a Czechoslovak film ‘Ecstasy’!  (1933)
She fled from her husband to join MGM, becoming a star of the
‘40s and the ‘50s.
The ‘Private Life of Henry VII’ became the first British film to win the  American Academy Award.  (1933)
On 11Dec 1934, FOX released ‘Bright Eyes’ with Shirley Temple,
who became the first Child artist to win this Award!
While in 1937 Walt Disney released the first full animated feature
film titled - ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarf ‘.
The British film director Alfred Hitchcock who came to
Hollywood later;
Between 1940 and 1947, made great thrillers like 'Rebecca', ‘Notorious’, ‘Rear Window’, and ‘Dial M for ******’.
But he never won an Oscar as a Director!

THE GOLDEN GLOBE AWARD:
This award began in 1944 by the Foreign Correspondence Association at
the 20th Century Fox Studio.
To award critically acclaimed films and television shows, by awarding a
Scroll initially.
Later a Golden Globe was made on a pedestal, with a film strip around it.
In 1955 the Cecil B. De Mille Award was created, with De Mille as its first
recipient.

THE GRAMMY AWARD:
In 1959 The National Academy of Recording and Sciences sponsored the
First Grammy Award for music recorded during 1958.
When Frank Sinatra won for his album cover ‘Only The Lonely’, but he
did not sing.
Among the 28 other categories there was Ella Fitzgerald, and Count Basie
for his musical Dance Band Performance.
There was Kingston Trio’s song ‘Tom Dooly’, and the ‘Chipmunk Song’,
which brings back nostalgic memories of my school days!

CONCLUDING HOLLYWOOD STORY  WITH STUDIOS OF THE 1950s

Challenge Faced by the Movie Industry:
Now the challenge before the Movie Industry was how to adjust to the
rapidly changing conditions created by the growing TV Industry.
Resulting in loss of revenue, with viewers getting addicted to
their Domestic TV screen most conveniently!

The late 1950s saw two studios REPUBLIC and the RKO go out of business!
REPUBLIC from 1935- ‘59 based in Los Angeles, developed the careers of
John Wayne and Roy Rogers, and specializing in the Westerns.
RKO was one of the Big Five Studios of Hollywood along with Paramount,
MGM, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Brothers in those days.

RKO Studio which begun with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the ‘30s,
included actress Katherine Hepburn who holds the record for four Oscars
even to this day;
And later had Robert Mitchum and Carry Grant under an agreement.
But in 1948, RKO Studio came under the control Howard Hughes the
temperamental Industrialist.
Soon the scandal drive and litigation prone RKO Studio closed, while
other Big Four Studios had managed to remain afloat!


PARAMOUNT STUDIO:
Paramount Studio split into two separate companies in 1950.
Its Theatre chain later merged with ABC Radio & Television Network;
And they created an independent Production/Distribution Network.
Bing Crosby and Bob Hope had been Paramount’s two biggest stars.
Followed by actors like Alan Ladd, William Holden, Jerry Lewis, Dean
Martin, Charlton Heston, and Dorothy Lamour.
They also had the producer/director Cecil B. De Mille producing high-
grossing Epics like ‘Samson & Delilah’ and ‘The Ten Commandments’.
Also the movie maker Hal Wallis, who discovered Burt Lancaster and
Elvis Presley - two great talents!

20th CENTURY FOX:
Cinema Scope became FOX’s most successful technological innovation
with its hit film ‘The Robe’. (1953)
Its Darryl Zanuck had observed during the early ‘50s, that audience  
were more interested in escapist entertainments mainly.
So he turned to FOX to musicals, comedies, and adventure stories.
Biggest stars of FOX were Gregory Peck & Susan Hayward; also
stars like Victor Mature, Anne Baxter, and Richard Wind Mark.
Not forgetting Marilyn Monroe in her Cinema Scope Box Office hit
movie - ‘How to Marry a Millionaire’, which was also shown on
prime time TV, as a romantic comedy film of 1953.

WARREN BROTHERS:
During 1950 the studio was mainly a family managed company with
three brothers Harry, Albert, and Jack Warren.
To meet the challenges of that period, Warren Bros. released most of
its actors like James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Oliver de Havilland, -
Along with few others from their long-term contractual commitments;
Retaining only Errol Flynn, and Ronald Regan who went on to become
the future President.
Like 20th Century Fox, Warren Bros switched to musicals, comedies,
and adventure movies, with Doris Day as its biggest musical star.
The studio also entered into short term agreements with Gary Copper,
John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Patricia Neal, and Random Scott.
Warren Bros also became the first major studio to invest in 3-D
production of films, scoring a big hit with its 3-D  suspense thriller
‘House of Wax’ in 1953.

MINOR STUDIOS were mainly three, - United Artists, Columbia, and
The Universal.
They did not own any theatre chain, and specialized in low-budgeted
‘B’ Movies those days.
Now to cut a long story short it must be said, that Hollywood finally
did participate in the evolution of Television industry, which led to
their integration eventually.
Though strategies involving hardware development and ownership of
broadcast outlets remained unsuccessful unfortunately.
However, Hollywood did succeed through program supply like prime-
time series, and made-for-TV films for the growing TV market making
things more colorful!
Thus it could be said that the TV industry provided the film industry
with new opportunities,  laying the groundwork for its diversification
and concentration;
That characterized the entertainment industry during the latter half  
of our previous century.
I must now confess that I have not visited the movie theatre over the last
two decades!
I watch movies on my big screen TV and my Computer screen these days.
Old classical movies are all available on ‘You Tube’ for me, and I can watch
them any time whenever I am free!
Thanks for reading patiently, - Raj Nandy.
**ALL COPYRIGHTS ARE WITH THE AUTHOR RAJ NANDY OF NEW DELHI
Woke up late
Day's shot to hell
But, hey it's Friday
So, I guess it's just as well

Called in,
booked the day off
I figured what the hell
Had a coffee and ten cigarettes
But, it's Friday...can't you tell

It never fails to come around
The Friday morning curse
There's nothing you can say or do
That will fix or make it worse
By six a.m the day is shot
And it hasn't started yet
Breakfast is a coffee...cold
And at least ten cigarettes

Figured since
I'm staying home
I'll watch some tv shows
Cable bill got missed this month
I guess that's how it goes

It's Friday
so, I'm going
To head down to the bar
But, I find out in my driveway
That someone stole my car

It never fails to come around
The Friday morning curse
There's nothing you can say or do
That will fix or make it worse
By six a.m the day is shot
And it hasn't started yet
Breakfast is a coffee...cold
And at least ten cigarettes

I think
I'll call a taxi
That'll get me to the bar
Then I think
You *****
You left your wallet in the car

The day
is going nowhere
And it seems, I am too
But, hey
At least it's Friday
And to me...it's nothing new

It never fails to come around
The Friday morning curse
There's nothing you can say or do
That will fix or make it worse
By six a.m the day is shot
And it hasn't started yet
Breakfast is a coffee...cold
And at least ten cigarettes


No wife
No car, a day off too
No tv shows to see
There's nothing
more can happen
That can make this worse for me

Breakfast, it's
cold coffee and
at least ten cigarettes
But, hell
It's frickin' Friday
And the day ain't started yet...

It never fails to come around
The Friday morning curse
There's nothing you can say or do
That will fix or make it worse
By six a.m the day is shot
And it hasn't started yet
Breakfast is a coffee...cold
And at least ten cigarettes
It's been ten days since I've written.
Ten days I've been an uninspired mess.
Ten days I've had the little dizzies after standing up too quickly.
Ten days I've felt rug burn in my cheeks and cotton mouth in my eyes.
Ten days I've felt the grease ooze from my hair down my back.
Ten days I've found a home in the unswept floorboards by the door.
Ten days I've bathed in crumpled, ink infected papers.
Ten days I've drawn blood from dry lips no longer able to whistle.
Ten days I've doubted tomorrow.
Ten days I've...just...
...the hair grease part wasn't about not showering...just so we're clear...I'm clean...bye.
By the end of the tenth month,
I’d have cut myself at least ten times
On ten different nights.
Ten mornings I’d wake up and put
On a long sleeved shirt
And not because I was cold.
Ten bracelets would line my wrist
And I’d say that they matched my outfit.
Ten nights I’d cry myself to sleep
And wish that I was dead.
Ten mornings I’d wake up with my eyes
So red and swollen that ten people
Might’ve asked if I was okay
And ten times to those ten people
I’d say that I was just tired.
Ten Band-Aids would be laid to rest
Over my wounded skin.

And after the tenth month,
It would be November.
wordvango Jun 2016
Ten years after or
ten minutes late
for my own funeral
and my wake;
ten too soons ago
and one sun too late
and ten to be a'comin'
and ten more
in a row I live
not ten seconds before
anticipating
or ten seconds afters
regret....
Just now and then
and ten more;
just like that.
MAKE war songs out of these;
Make chants that repeat and weave.
Make rhythms up to the ragtime chatter of the machine guns;
Make slow-booming psalms up to the boom of the big guns.
Make a marching song of swinging arms and swinging legs,
        Going along,
        Going along,
On the roads from San Antonio to Athens, from Seattle to Bagdad-
The boys and men in winding lines of khaki, the circling squares of bayonet points.

Cowpunchers, cornhuskers, shopmen, ready in khaki;
Ballplayers, lumberjacks, ironworkers, ready in khaki;
A million, ten million, singing, "I am ready."
This the sun looks on between two seaboards,
In the land of Lincoln, in the land of Grant and Lee.

I heard one say, "I am ready to be killed."
I heard another say, "I am ready to be killed."
O sunburned clear-eyed boys!
I stand on sidewalks and you go by with drums and guns and bugles,
        You-and the flag!
And my heart tightens, a fist of something feels my throat
        When you go by,
You on the kaiser hunt, you and your faces saying, "I am ready to be killed."

They are hunting death,
Death for the one-armed mastoid kaiser.
They are after a Hohenzollern head:
There is no man-hunt of men remembered like this.

The four big brothers are out to ****.
France, Russia, Britain, America-
The four republics are sworn brothers to **** the kaiser.

Yes, this is the great man-hunt;
And the sun has never seen till now
Such a line of toothed and tusked man-killers,
In the blue of the upper sky,
In the green of the undersea,
In the red of winter dawns.
Eating to ****,
Sleeping to ****,
Asked by their mothers to ****,
Wished by four-fifths of the world to ****-
To cut the kaiser's throat,
To hack the kaiser's head,
To hang the kaiser on a high-horizon gibbet.

And is it nothing else than this?
Three times ten million men thirsting the blood
Of a half-cracked one-armed child of the German kings?
Three times ten million men asking the blood
Of a child born with his head wrong-shaped,
The blood of rotted kings in his veins?
If this were all, O God,
I would go to the far timbers
And look on the gray wolves
Tearing the throats of moose:
I would ask a wilder drunk of blood.

Look! It is four brothers in joined hands together.
        The people of bleeding France,
        The people of bleeding Russia,
        The people of Britain, the people of America-
These are the four brothers, these are the four republics.

At first I said it in anger as one who clenches his fist in wrath to fling his knuckles into the face of some one taunting;
Now I say it calmly as one who has thought it over and over again at night, among the mountains, by the seacombers in storm.
I say now, by God, only fighters to-day will save the world, nothing but fighters will keep alive the names of those who left red prints of bleeding feet at Valley Forge in Christmas snow.
On the cross of Jesus, the sword of Napoleon, the skull of Shakespeare, the pen of Tom Jefferson, the ashes of Abraham Lincoln, or any sign of the red and running life poured out by the mothers of the world,
By the God of morning glories climbing blue the doors of quiet homes, by the God of tall hollyhocks laughing glad to children in peaceful valleys, by the God of new mothers wishing peace to sit at windows nursing babies,
I swear only reckless men, ready to throw away their lives by hunger, deprivation, desperate clinging to a single purpose imperturbable and undaunted, men with the primitive guts of rebellion,
Only fighters gaunt with the red brand of labor's sorrow on their brows and labor's terrible pride in their blood, men with souls asking danger-only these will save and keep the four big brothers.

Good-night is the word, good-night to the kings, to the czars,
        Good-night to the kaiser.
The breakdown and the fade-away begins.
The shadow of a great broom, ready to sweep out the trash, is here.

One finger is raised that counts the czar,
The ghost who beckoned men who come no more-
The czar gone to the winds on God's great dustpan,
The czar a pinch of nothing,
The last of the gibbering Romanoffs.

Out and good-night-
The ghosts of the summer palaces
And the ghosts of the winter palaces!
Out and out, good-night to the kings, the czars, the kaisers.

Another finger will speak,
And the kaiser, the ghost who gestures a hundred million sleeping-waking ghosts,
The kaiser will go onto God's great dustpan-
The last of the gibbering Hohenzollerns.
Look! God pities this trash, God waits with a broom and a dustpan,
God knows a finger will speak and count them out.

It is written in the stars;
It is spoken on the walls;
It clicks in the fire-white zigzag of the Atlantic wireless;
It mutters in the bastions of thousand-mile continents;
It sings in a whistle on the midnight winds from Walla Walla to Mesopotamia:
Out and good-night.

The millions slow in khaki,
The millions learning Turkey in the Straw and John Brown's Body,
The millions remembering windrows of dead at Gettysburg, Chickamauga, and Spottsylvania Court House,
The millions dreaming of the morning star of Appomattox,
The millions easy and calm with guns and steel, planes and prows:
        There is a hammering, drumming hell to come.
        The killing gangs are on the way.

God takes one year for a job.
God takes ten years or a million.
God knows when a doom is written.
God knows this job will be done and the words spoken:
Out and good-night.
        The red tubes will run,
        And the great price be paid,
        And the homes empty,
        And the wives wishing,
        And the mothers wishing.

There is only one way now, only the way of the red tubes and the great price.

        Well...
Maybe the morning sun is a five-cent yellow balloon,
And the evening stars the joke of a God gone crazy.
Maybe the mothers of the world,
And the life that pours from their torsal folds-
Maybe it's all a lie sworn by liars,
And a God with a cackling laughter says:
"I, the Almighty God,
I have made all this,
I have made it for kaisers, czars, and kings."

Three times ten million men say: No.
Three times ten million men say:
        God is a God of the People.
And the God who made the world
        And fixed the morning sun,
        And flung the evening stars,
        And shaped the baby hands of life,
This is the God of the Four Brothers;
This is the God of bleeding France and bleeding Russia;
This is the God of the people of Britain and America.

The graves from the Irish Sea to the Caucasus peaks are ten times a million.
The stubs and stumps of arms and legs, the eyesockets empty, the cripples, ten times a million.
The crimson thumb-print of this anathema is on the door panels of a hundred million homes.
Cows gone, mothers on sick-beds, children cry a hunger and no milk comes in the noon-time or at night.
The death-yells of it all, the torn throats of men in ditches calling for water, the shadows and the hacking lungs in dugouts, the steel paws that clutch and squeeze a scarlet drain day by day-the storm of it is hell.
But look! child! the storm is blowing for a clean air.

Look! the four brothers march
And hurl their big shoulders
And swear the job shall be done.

Out of the wild finger-writing north and south, east and west, over the blood-crossed, blood-dusty ball of earth,
Out of it all a God who knows is sweeping clean,
Out of it all a God who sees and pierces through, is breaking and cleaning out an old thousand years, is making ready for a new thousand years.
The four brothers shall be five and more.

Under the chimneys of the winter time the children of the world shall sing new songs.
Among the rocking restless cradles the mothers of the world shall sing new sleepy-time songs.
Tony Anderson May 2019
Ten thousand soldiers
Upon the hill
Ten thousand bodies
Now lay still
Ten thousand souls
Cry in pain
For freedom’s light
For freedom’s gain

Ten thousand wounded
Battle scared
Ten thousand soldiers
Fighting hard
Ten thousand feel the strain
Through the heat
Though the rain

For freedom
They came to fight
For freedom
They sparked a light

Ten thousand soldiers
Upon the hill
Ten thousand bodies
Now lay still

Freedom is not free
Mia Apr 2014
Scars

One. If I could, I would nail these hands to the edges of sky. I would sacrifice this body to the earth, hoping to resurrect someone that doesnt have the heart to  care about you anymore.

Two. Staple me to a table. Pierce my side with your broken promises and I will bleed all the pathetic reasons why you deserve one more chance.

Three. Loving you was the last thing that I put my all into.

Four. You wanna know how I got so bitter? Well, I ripped every last piece of you in my heart and soul and all that remained was regrets that you didn't care.

Five, I whispered you into my dreams.

Six, I spoke you into my heart.

Seven, I dipped my hands in a future that didnt exist, I touched you until you were imprinted on my very soul, treated you as if you were the only molecule of oxygen I needed ; I was good to you.

Eight. You wanna know how I got these scars? Well, I cut out my pride and then it crawled it’s way out of my mouth and I begged you to make me happy.

Nine, I realized that I was never really your girlfriend, I was just your ******* convenient-temp.

Ten, I hope your next girlfriend gets stds.

Ten, Yes I said stds.

Ten, I really hate you.

ten, I never want to see you again.

ten, I still love you. Wish I didn't.

ten, it’s hard for me to keep count when I get emotional.

Ten I heard that over 90% of human interaction is not verbal..so.. I guess the signs were right. You don't want me. You don't need me.

Ten, if I could, I would tie your arms to a wish and then auction you off to my best and worst memories. To the random girl who will start dating my ex boyfriend two days after we broke up (yes, I know you're going to move on real fast.)
When I realized that you were in a relationship with the one guy that I thought I would someday spend the rest of my life with, I broke into a million pieces. I said to myself, “Kevin Hart would say he wasn't man enough for you. Or you weren't good enough for him."
I swore I would never love again, it was all a joke to you. Some twisted game you won.

One: Everytime I see you with girls in a picture, I want to take my entire arm, shove it inside your phone and smack the happiness right off of your face.

Two, if I ever see you around me, I’m probably going to punch you in the throat. Or forget I ever knew you.

Three, I apologize in advance. And I know, I know that it makes no sense to have this much anger toward a man that I love with every bit of me,but my definition of love isnt being stabbed in the heart over and over as you watch me bleed out and hope that this time it won't hurt. There is nothing
logical about putting the most important parts of yourself inside hands that can't support you and shake, tremble, and drop you.

Four, there is nothing rational about love. Love freaking hurts. It lies. It leaves you wishing you had never met the person who makes you fall over and over and breaks you till you are a mess that can't be fixed.

Five, you're ******* irresponsible, and I’m tired of you using me for target practice.

Six, I was told that time heals all wounds. But what exactly should I do on days when it feels like my clock stopped cause you're gone?

Seven, you always said I loved you too much. My mistake.

Eight, I think I’ve seen you somewhere in her dreams. Like I’ve heard you talking to her and being happy together in her laughter. I’ve smelled your cologne on her thighs. Cause am sure you will be all over her like you can't be for me. I bet if we dusted your heart for fingerprints, we would only find hers. I wasnt the love of your life.Nine, you see I have this envelope in my head and heart.it’s full of all the butterflies I felt the first time you touched me, kissed me, admitted you loved me. It's full of memories for when I thought we had a future. Most of them are still alive. I can still feel their wings through the paper. Guess it's my hope. Here, am giving them back to you. I suppose they belong to you, too.
Michael R Burch Nov 2020
Poems about Icarus

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



Southern Icarus
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

the houses watch with baffled eyes.



Flight 93
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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



I AM!
by Michael R. Burch

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

I am not one of ten billion, I.

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

I am not one life has left unsquashed.

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

I am not one without spots of disease.

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

I am not one of ten billion, I
AM!



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

Athena takes me
sometimes by the hand

and we go levitating
through strange Dreamlands

where Apollo sleeps
in his dark forgetting

and Passion seems
like a wise bloodletting

and all I remember
, upon awaking,

is: to Love sometimes
is like forsaking

one’s Being―to glide

heroically beyond thought,

forsaking the here
for the There and the Not.



O, finally to Burn,
gravity beyond escaping!

To plummet is Bliss
when the blisters breaking

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

Feathers and wax
and the watchers huddle...

Flocculent sheep,
O, and innocent lambs!,

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



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

for the Night has Wings
gentler than Moonbeams―

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

fluttering off
to quarry the Sphinx.



Riddlemethis,
riddlemethat,

Rynosseross,
throw out the Welcome Mat.

Quixotic, I seek Love
amid the tarnished

rusted-out steel
when to live is varnish.

To Dream―that’s the thing!

Aye, that Genie I’ll rub,

soak by the candle,
aflame in the tub.



Riddlemethis,
riddlemethat,

Rynosseross,
throw out the Welcome Mat.

Somewhither, somewhither
aglitter and strange,

we must moult off all knowledge
or perish caged.

*

I am reconciled to Life
somewhere beyond thought―

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

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

so fatten the oxen;
make a nice baste.

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

though we injure noone,
ourselves wildaglow.

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



Free Fall (II)
by Michael R. Burch

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

But since I touched you, fire consumes each wing!

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



Fledglings
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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



The Higher Atmospheres
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

what then?

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

what then?

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

what then?

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

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

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

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

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



Icarus Bickerous
by Michael R. Burch

for the Religious Right

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

They look up amazed
and seem rather dazed―

was it heaven’s or hell’s furious smelting

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

the higher you “rise,” the more halting?



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

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

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

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

Published by American Indian Pride and Boston Poetry Magazine



Flight
by Michael R. Burch

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

Originally published by Hibiscus (India)



The Wonder Boys
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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

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

Originally published by The Lyric



American Eagle, Grounded
by Michael R. Burch

Her predatory eye,
the single feral iris,
scans.

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

Her hard talon,
clenched in pinched expectation,
waits.

Her clipped wings,
preened against reality,
tremble.

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



Album
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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



Springtime Prayer
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

Originally published by The HyperTexts



Learning to Fly
by Michael R. Burch

We are learning to fly
every day...

learning to fly―
away, away...

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

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



In the Whispering Night
by Michael R. Burch

for George King

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

Published by Better Than Starbucks, A Hundred Voices



in-flight convergence
by Michael R. Burch

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

here the streetlights that flicker
and those blazing steadfast
seem one: from a distance;
descend,
they abruptly
part ―――――― ways,

so that nothing is one
which at times does not suddenly blend
into garish insignificance
in the familiar alleyways,
in the white neon flash
and the billboards of Convenience

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

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



Squall
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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



Flight
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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



Flying
by Michael R. Burch

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

and then I'll sleep
and waste ten thousand nights
before I dream;
but when at last...

I soar the distant heights of undreamt skies
where never hawks nor eagles dared to go,
as I laugh among the meteors flashing by
somewhere beyond the bluest earth-bound seas...

if I'm not told
I’m just a man,
then I shall know
just what I am.

This is one of my early poems, written around age 16-17. According to my notes, I may have revised the poem later, in 1978, but if so the changes were minor because the poem remains very close to the original.



Stage Craft-y
by Michael R. Burch

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



Clyde Lied!
by Michael R. Burch

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



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

“****** most foul!”
cried the mouse to the owl.

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

Published by Lighten Up Online and in Potcake Chapbook #7

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



Lance-Lot
by Michael R. Burch

Preposterous bird!
Inelegant! Absurd!

Until the great & mighty heron
brandishes his fearsome sword.



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

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



Delicacy
by Michael R. Burch

for all good mothers

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



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

The abandoned goose refuses food and drink;
he cries querulously for his companions.

Who feels kinship for that strange wraith
as he vanishes eerily into the heavens?

You watch it as it disappears;
its plaintive calls cut through you.

The indignant crows ignore you both:
the bickering, bantering multitudes.

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



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

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

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

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



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

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



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

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



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

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



Untitled Translations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Critical Mass
by Michael R. Burch

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

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



Ultimate Sunset
by Michael R. Burch

for my father, Paul Ray Burch, Jr.

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



Free Fall
by Michael R. Burch

for my father, Paul Ray Burch, Jr.

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



Leaf Fall
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

Originally published by The Neovictorian/Cochlea



The Folly of Wisdom
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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

Originally published by Romantics Quarterly



Kin
by Michael R. Burch

for Richard Moore

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

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

3.
Disgruntledly you ***** dirt shores for orts
you pull like mucous ropes
from shells’ bright forts...
You eye the teeming world
with nervous darts―
this way and that...

Contentious, shrewd, you scan―
the sky, in hope,
the earth, distrusting man.



Songstress
by Michael R. Burch

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

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



Performing Art
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

What instinctual memories
lend stunning brightness
to the strange dreams

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

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

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



Lean Harvests
by Michael R. Burch

for T.M.

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

Published by The Rotary Dial and Angle



My Forty-Ninth Year
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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



Myth
by Michael R. Burch

Here the recalcitrant wind
sighs with grievance and remorse
over fields of wayward gorse
and thistle-throttled lanes.

And she is the myth of the scythed wheat
hewn and sighing, complete,
waiting, lain in a low sheaf―
full of faith, full of grief.

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



What Works
by Michael R. Burch

for David Gosselin

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

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

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

When gloss peels off, what works will shine.
When polish fades, what works will gleam.
When intellectual prattle pales,
the dying buzzing in the hive
of tedious incessant bees,
what works will soar and wheel and dive
and milk all honey, leap and thrive,

and teach the pallid poem to seethe.



Desdemona
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

But I, though I loved you from afar
through silent dawns, and gathered rue
from gardens where your footsteps left
cold paths among the asters, knew―
each moonless night the nettles grew

and strangled hope, where love dies too.

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



Transplant
by Michael R. Burch

You float, unearthly angel, clad in flesh
as strange to us who briefly knew your flame
as laughter to disease. And yet you laugh.
Behind your smile, the sun forfeits its claim
to earth, and floats forever now the same―
light captured at its moment of least height.

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



Prodigal
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Breakings
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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



An Illusion
by Michael R. Burch

The sky was as hushed as the breath of a bee
and the world was bathed in shades of palest gold
when I awoke.

She came to me with the sound of falling leaves
and the scent of new-mown grass;
I held out my arms to her and she passed

into oblivion...

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



Lines for My Ascension
by Michael R. Burch

I.

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

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

II.

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

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

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

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

III.

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

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

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

IV.

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

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

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

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



The Locker
by Michael R. Burch

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

reproved
adulation or sentiment,
left with the pungent darkness

as remembered as the sudden light.

Originally published by The Raintown Review



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


Keywords/Tags: Icarus, Daedalus, flight, fly, flying, wind, wings, sun, height, heights, fall, falling, ascent, descent, imagination, bird, birds, butterfly, butterflies, hawk, eagle, geese, plane, kite, kites, mrbfly, mrbflight, mrbicarus
Ten years from now, when eveyone has left me, I hope you're still by my side.

Ten years from now, when these years are just a memory, I hope you won't be faded with them.

Ten years from now, when I look back on my highschool years, I hope you'll be looking back with me.

Ten years from now, when our friends have moved away, I hope you'll be here to stay.

Ten years from now, when I wonder what happened to this small town, I hope you wonder with me.

Ten years from now, when we are all at the reunion, I hope I won't look at you from a distance thinking where it all went wrong.

Ten years from now, when I have my kids, I hope you're the one they call daddy.
Cass was the youngest and most beautiful of 5 sisters. Cass was the most beautiful girl
in town. 1/2 Indian with a supple and strange body, a snake-like and fiery body with eyes
to go with it. Cass was fluid moving fire. She was like a spirit stuck into a form that
would not hold her. Her hair was black and long and silken and whirled about as did her
body. Her spirit was either very high or very low. There was no in between for Cass. Some
said she was crazy. The dull ones said that. The dull ones would never understand Cass. To
the men she was simply a *** machine and they didn't care whether she was crazy or not.
And Cass danced and flirted, kissed the men, but except for an instance or two, when it
came time to make it with Cass, Cass had somehow slipped away, eluded the men.
Her sisters accused her of misusing her beauty, of not using her mind enough, but Cass
had mind and spirit; she painted, she danced, she sang, she made things of clay, and when
people were hurt either in the spirit or the flesh, Cass felt a deep grieving for them.
Her mind was simply different; her mind was simply not practical. Her sisters were jealous
of her because she attracted their men, and they were angry because they felt she didn't
make the best use of them. She had a habit of being kind to the uglier ones; the so-called
handsome men revolted her- "No guts," she said, "no zap. They are riding on
their perfect little earlobes and well- shaped nostrils...all surface and no
insides..." She had a temper that came close to insanity, she had a temper that some
call insanity. Her father had died of alcohol and her mother had run off leaving the
girls alone. The girls went to a relative who placed them in a convent. The convent had
been an unhappy place, more for Cass than the sisters. The girls were jealous of Cass and
Cass fought most of them. She had razor marks all along her left arm from defending
herself in two fights. There was also a permanent scar along the left cheek but the scar
rather than lessening her beauty only seemed to highlight it. I met her at the West End
Bar several nights after her release from the convent. Being youngest, she was the last of
the sisters to be released. She simply came in and sat next to me. I was probably the
ugliest man in town and this might have had something to do with it.
"Drink?" I asked.
"Sure, why not?"
I don't suppose there was anything unusual in our conversation that night, it was
simply in the feeling Cass gave. She had chosen me and it was as simple as that. No
pressure. She liked her drinks and had a great number of them. She didn't seem quite of
age but they served he anyhow. Perhaps she had forged i.d., I don't know. Anyhow, each
time she came back from the restroom and sat down next to me, I did feel some pride. She
was not only the most beautiful woman in town but also one of the most beautiful I had
ever seen. I placed my arm about her waist and kissed her once.
"Do you think I'm pretty?" she asked.
"Yes, of course, but there's something else... there's more than your
looks..."
"People are always accusing me of being pretty. Do you really think I'm
pretty?"
"Pretty isn't the word, it hardly does you fair."
Cass reached into her handbag. I thought she was reaching for her handkerchief. She
came out with a long hatpin. Before I could stop her she had run this long hatpin through
her nose, sideways, just above the nostrils. I felt disgust and horror. She looked at me
and laughed, "Now do you think me pretty? What do you think now, man?" I pulled
the hatpin out and held my handkerchief over the bleeding. Several people, including the
bartender, had seen the act. The bartender came down:
"Look," he said to Cass, "you act up again and you're out. We don't need
your dramatics here."
"Oh, *******, man!" she said.
"Better keep her straight," the bartender said to me.
"She'll be all right," I said.
"It's my nose, I can do what I want with my nose."
"No," I said, "it hurts me."
"You mean it hurts you when I stick a pin in my nose?"
"Yes, it does, I mean it."
"All right, I won't do it again. Cheer up."
She kissed me, rather grinning through the kiss and holding the handkerchief to her
nose. We left for my place at closing time. I had some beer and we sat there talking. It
was then that I got the perception of her as a person full of kindness and caring. She
gave herself away without knowing it. At the same time she would leap back into areas of
wildness and incoherence. Schitzi. A beautiful and spiritual schitzi. Perhaps some man,
something, would ruin her forever. I hoped that it wouldn't be me. We went to bed and
after I turned out the lights Cass asked me,
"When do you want it? Now or in the morning?"
"In the morning," I said and turned my back.
In the morning I got up and made a couple of coffees, brought her one in bed. She
laughed.
"You're the first man who has turned it down at night."
"It's o.k.," I said, "we needn't do it at all."
"No, wait, I want to now. Let me freshen up a bit."
Cass went into the bathroom. She came out shortly, looking quite wonderful, her long
black hair glistening, her eyes and lips glistening, her glistening... She displayed her
body calmly, as a good thing. She got under the sheet.
"Come on, lover man."
I got in. She kissed with abandon but without haste. I let my hands run over her body,
through her hair. I mounted. It was hot, and tight. I began to stroke slowly, wanting to
make it last. Her eyes looked directly into mine.
"What's your name?" I asked.
"What the hell difference does it make?" she asked.
I laughed and went on ahead. Afterwards she dressed and I drove her back to the bar but
she was difficult to forget. I wasn't working and I slept until 2 p.m. then got up and
read the paper. I was in the bathtub when she came in with a large leaf- an elephant ear.
"I knew you'd be in the bathtub," she said, "so I brought you something
to cover that thing with, nature boy."
She threw the elephant leaf down on me in the bathtub.
"How did you know I'd be in the tub?"
"I knew."
Almost every day Cass arrived when I was in the tub. The times were different but she
seldom missed, and there was the elephant leaf. And then we'd make love. One or two nights
she phoned and I had to bail her out of jail for drunkenness and fighting.
"These sons of *******," she said, "just because they buy you a few
drinks they think they can get into your pants."
"Once you accept a drink you create your own trouble."
"I thought they were interested in me, not just my body."
"I'm interested in you and your body. I doubt, though, that most men can see
beyond your body."
I left town for 6 months, bummed around, came back. I had never forgotten Cass, but
we'd had some type of argument and I felt like moving anyhow, and when I got back i
figured she'd be gone, but I had been sitting in the West End Bar about 30 minutes when
she walked in and sat down next to me.
"Well, *******, I see you've come back."
I ordered her a drink. Then I looked at her. She had on a high- necked dress. I had
never seen her in one of those. And under each eye, driven in, were 2 pins with glass
heads. All you could see were the heads of the pins, but the pins were driven down into
her face.
"******* you, still trying to destroy your beauty, eh?"
"No, it's the fad, you fool."
"You're crazy."
"I've missed you," she said.
"Is there anybody else?"
"No there isn't anybody else. Just you. But I'm hustling. It costs ten bucks. But
you get it free."
"Pull those pins out."
"No, it's the fad."
"It's making me very unhappy."
"Are you sure?"
"Hell yes, I'm sure."
Cass slowly pulled the pins out and put them back in her purse.
"Why do you haggle your beauty?" I asked. "Why don't you just live with
it?"
"Because people think it's all I have. Beauty is nothing, beauty won't stay. You
don't know how lucky you are to be ugly, because if people like you you know it's for
something else."
"O.k.," I said, "I'm lucky."
"I don't mean you're ugly. People just think you're ugly. You have a fascinating
face."
"Thanks."
We had another drink.
"What are you doing?" she asked.
"Nothing. I can't get on to anything. No interest."
"Me neither. If you were a woman you could hustle."
"I don't think I could ever make contact with that many strangers, it's
wearing."
"You're right, it's wearing, everything is wearing."
We left together. People still stared at Cass on the streets. She was a beautiful
woman, perhaps more beautiful than ever. We made it to my place and I opened a bottle of
wine and we talked. With Cass and I, it always came easy. She talked a while and I would
listen and then i would talk. Our conversation simply went along without strain. We seemed
to discover secrets together. When we discovered a good one Cass would laugh that laugh-
only the way she could. It was like joy out of fire. Through the talking we kissed and
moved closer together. We became quite heated and decided to go to bed. It was then that
Cass took off her high -necked dress and I saw it- the ugly jagged scar across her throat.
It was large and thick.
"******* you, woman," I said from the bed, "******* you, what have you
done?
"I tried it with a broken bottle one night. Don't you like me any more? Am I still
beautiful?"
I pulled her down on the bed and kissed her. She pushed away and laughed, "Some
men pay me ten and I undress and they don't want to do it. I keep the ten. It's very
funny."
"Yes," I said, "I can't stop laughing... Cass, *****, I love you...stop
destroying yourself; you're the most alive woman I've ever met."
We kissed again. Cass was crying without sound. I could feel the tears. The long black
hair lay beside me like a flag of death. We enjoined and made slow and somber and
wonderful love. In the morning Cass was up making breakfast. She seemed quite calm and
happy. She was singing. I stayed in bed and enjoyed her happiness. Finally she came over
and shook me,
"Up, *******! Throw some cold water on your face and pecker and come enjoy the
feast!"
I drove her to the beach that day. It was a weekday and not yet summer so things were
splendidly deserted. Beach bums in rags slept on the lawns above the sand. Others sat on
stone benches sharing a lone bottle. The gulls whirled about, mindless yet distracted. Old
ladies in their 70's and 80's sat on the benches and discussed selling real estate left
behind by husbands long ago killed by the pace and stupidity of survival. For it all,
there was peace in the air and we walked about and stretched on the lawns and didn't say
much. It simply felt good being together. I bought a couple of sandwiches, some chips and
drinks and we sat on the sand eating. Then I held Cass and we slept together about an
hour. It was somehow better than *******. There was flowing together without tension.
When we awakened we drove back to my place and I cooked a dinner. After dinner I suggested
to Cass that we shack together. She waited a long time, looking at me, then she slowly
said, "No." I drove her back to the bar, bought her a drink and walked out. I
found a job as a parker in a factory the next day and the rest of the week went to
working. I was too tired to get about much but that Friday night I did get to the West End
Bar. I sat and waited for Cass. Hours went by . After I was fairly drunk the bartender
said to me, "I'm sorry about your girlfriend."
"What is it?" I asked.
"I'm sorry, didn't you know?"
"No."
"Suicide. She was buried yesterday."
"Buried?" I asked. It seemed as though she would walk through the doorway at
any moment. How could she be gone?
"Her sisters buried her."
"A suicide? Mind telling me how?"
"She cut her throat."
"I see. Give me another drink."
I drank until closing time. Cass was the most beautiful of 5 sisters, the most
beautiful in town. I managed to drive to my place and I kept thinking, I should have
insisted she stay with me instead of accepting that "no." Everything about her
had indicated that she had cared. I simply had been too offhand about it, lazy, too
unconcerned. I deserved my death and hers. I was a dog. No, why blame the dogs? I got up
and found a bottle of wine and drank from it heavily. Cass the most beautiful girl in town
was dead at 20. Outside somebody honked their automobile horn. They were very loud and
persistent. I sat the bottle down and screamed out: "******* YOU, YOU *******
,SHUT UP!" The night kept coming and there was nothing I could do.
Dix
I remember counting pennies
with the wrinkled hands of my grandfather,

gnawed fingernails and cracks full of antiseptic,

hands that had once held a gun steady now shake with effort

bronze circles of currency stacked in piles of ten,

ten fingers to wrap around a hot mug of coffee

black, four sugars, as milk has started to curdle in his age wrecked stomach

we count, we stack, we wait,
we laugh as the pounds pile up,

ten,

ten fingers to fret the instrument his protruding ribs have become

ten fingers to hold as the IV goes down

ten fingers to mould dough and break bread, like his wife did before she

stopped

ten fingers for doctors to tap on
blue, collapsed veins

ten seconds to share his strung out last breath

ten fingers, ten toes, keep moving
C P X Oct 2017
I knew a girl, mm
She was richer than the world, mm
And how did she say she wonders if she'll do it all day
Cause a man is gonna come and take it all away
Oh how did she say
She'll worry anyway
She's not ever going to rule the world
She bought a ten dollar balloon
Thought she had room to move
Oh she was wrong, yeah she was wrong because
She's gonna hit that ceiling real soon
Bought a ten dollar balloon
Thought she had room to move
Woman's always wrong, yeah that woman's never right because
She's gonna hit that ceiling real soon
Ten-dollar balloon
Oh girl look at me wouldya
Ten dollar balloon
All the money left to use
He spent his winnings and got the job
She wore a dress put her hair in a bob
And how did she say she'll do it all day
Cause a man is gonna come and take it all away
He got a ball and chain he drags around
A ten dollar balloon tethers him to the ground
And it ain't right
For a man to hold than shame in his back
But hear about this woman, maybe you'll change your mind
She a girl in the wind who writes songs for a livin
Nobody gonna take seriously a girl in a thong
That's why she won't be around very long
She got worries that she'll never ever say
Cause a man is gonna come and take it all away
Oh how did she say
She'll worry anyway
She's not ever going to rule the world
She bought a ten dollar balloon
Thought she had room to move
Oh she was wrong, oh yeah she was wrong because
She's gonna hit that ceiling real soon
(No music)
Social commentary? Absolutely.
Hiraeth Jun 2019
Ten
I measure time in intervals of ten
Ten seconds;
The amount of time it takes for words to leave your lips and hit my ears like they were wrapped up in anthrax, poisonous.
Ten minutes;
The amount of time It took me to convince myself that everything you conditioned me to believe is your truth, not mine.
Ten months;
The amount of time it will take me to feel like you no longer have a hold on me, free.
Ten years;
The amount of time before All of the cracks and pieces you took from me all fine their way back, complete.
I measure time in intervals of ten,
Because ten is a hell of a lot easier than forever.
Frisk Apr 2014
when i'm sitting in a cheap plastic chair, trying to
explain to the doctor how bad the pain feels on a
scale of one through ten, i will tell him that it is a
nine. i have experienced what a ten feels like.
1. ten is when you told me to *******, to go ahead
and **** myself because nobody could miss me.
2. ten is having someone you love convince you
that you are only a hurricane, tearing everything
down into rubble and obliterating everything.
3. ten is believing that i am a hurricane, i am a
tsunami, i am a wildfire, i am a natural disaster
4. ten is seeing a part of you in every part of my
small society. you are an omnipresent spirit that
tends to enjoy haunting my nightmares.
5. ten is seeing you happy without me.
and the worst part is, doctors are only able to do
so much right now. all they can do is numb me
out with percocet and hear me talk about how
i miss the way you smiled because of me and
how i don't do enough to make you happy.

- kra
Tark Wain Jul 2014
There were ten boys in a room
numbered one through ten
they all lived peacefully
until the moment when
number ten took a liking to
number seven's suede shoes
three defended ten while
six and seven made a truce

ten shot a rocket
with questionable aim
after which we find
number two had been slain
eight and nine shot back
with a sling shot blast
while ten used four
to cover his ***

four perished, as one
came to his aid
spraying blindly
over where four laid
when it was over
only seven and ten remained
while one fell over exhausted
his resources drained

seven looked down at his shoes
which after the fighting were no longer new
he took them off one by one
and handed them to ten
deciding the war was no longer needed
ten thanked seven and walked away
to the corner and turned around
he'd fight again another day
Jerry Howarth Feb 2018
The ten speed biker was coasting down hill
about 20 MPH when he took a spill,
He's moving on, He's moving on!
He hit the brake a little too late, He's moving on!

The ten speed biker was do'n ok,
Till he an old Tom Cat got in his way,
He's mov'n on, he's a mov'n on.
He tried it to miss, but the ground he kissed,
He's mov'n on!

The 10 speed biker broke down in tears,
climbing up a hill he ran out of gears,
He's a-moving on, he's moving on.
He had to call his nurse, when he went in reverse,
He mov'n on, he's mov'n on!

The ten speed biker was a do'n  ok, till he saw a pretty girl,
and he looked her way, he's mov'n on, he's mov'n on.
His bike is a wreck and so is his neck, he's mov'n on.
                (She wasn't worth look'n at  any way)

Welll, the ten speed biker was hav'n no trouble,
Till he tried to ride through a big mud puddle,
He's a mov'n on,
Now he's filthy sight, and so is his bike
But he'll soon be mov'n on, be a mov'n on.

The 10 speed biker hit a serious cog,
When he got chased by a mangy ol' dog,
He tried mov'n (faster) on,
But he ran of of luck, 'n got bit in the ****,
He's mov'n (a little slower) but he's still mov'n on.

[This next stanza was written by my 7 yr. old Grandson.)
The ten speed biker do'n 'bout 25  and didn't see
the  big hornet hive, he's moving on, he's mov'n on.
You could him cry'n "I think Im dy'n!
He's mov'n on, yeah mov'n on!

(This last stanza is a true experience when I was 65 yrs old)
The ten speed biker had good control, till he waved at a friend,
and ran off the road, he stopped mov'n on,  stopped mov'n on.
Now he's sett'n home with  broken ribs and a collar bone ,
He' NOT  mov'n on! yeah he's NOT NO LONGER MOV'N ON!

[I didn't have all these experiences, but wrote this poem to
  an old country western song tune.   by G.E.Parson
Nazrana Kalil May 2018
One-be prepared to gamble away everything that belongs to you

Two-you will need to feel the depths of his soul
without receiving a simple' thank you'

three-you shouldn't feel bad oh hungry soul,
he just does not know.

four- he does not know the quality love he's been served free of charge
the amount to fill him up to the second galaxy and so much more
he does not know
but let .
It.
Go

five-never let 'him' go
make him stay
there's so much more you need to entice him with,
to make him feel...
to make him see.

six- let him see you naked.
show him the space no one has ever seen of you.
Show him your naked soul.

seven-the scarred soul
show him how your mind always sees the sorry side of everything
show him how the light gleams from within your mouth following the scars of love trailing down your throat
and moving into your heart.

eight- show him your heart.
the place he should be calling home.
the place that has no place for names but his.
a name that was bitten into the flesh by his teeth.

nine- show him your teeth.
show him the smile that captured hearts but never his
show him the smile that took you places,
scenery and destinations

Ten- find destination in his heart

Ten-never lose hope when there's no room

Ten- make reservation for another day

Ten-try not to look at his residents inside.

Ten-never put up a fight.

Ten- my fears and hopes start to collide

Ten-my fears and hopes start to collide

Ten-my fears and hopes start to collide

Ten-my teacher taught me repetition increases memory and success in reaching your goal
but I'm sorry
its time to just
let him
go...
Michael R Burch Mar 2020
Heretical Poems by Michael R. Burch

Bible Libel
by Michael R. Burch

If God
is good,
half the Bible
is libel.

NOTE: I came up with this epigram to express my conclusions after reading the Bible from cover to cover, ten chapters per day, at age eleven.



Saving Graces
for the Religious Right
by Michael R. Burch

Life’s saving graces are love, pleasure, laughter
(wisdom, it seems, is for the Hereafter).



Multiplication, Tabled
for the Religious Right
by Michael R. Burch

“Be fruitful and multiply”—
great advice, for a fruitfly!
But for women and men,
simple Simons, say, “WHEN!”



***** Nilly
for the Demiurge, aka Yahweh/Jehovah
by Michael R. Burch

Isn’t it silly, ***** Nilly?
You made the stallion,
you made the filly,
and now they sleep
in the dark earth, stilly.
Isn’t it silly, ***** Nilly?

Isn’t it silly, ***** Nilly?
You forced them to run
all their days uphilly.
They ran till they dropped—
life’s a pickle, dilly.
Isn’t it silly, ***** Nilly?

Isn’t it silly, ***** Nilly?
They say I should worship you!
Oh, really!
They say I should pray
so you’ll not act illy.
Isn’t it silly, ***** Nilly?



What Would Santa Claus Say
by Michael R. Burch

What would Santa Claus say,
I wonder,
about Jesus returning
to **** and Plunder?

For he’ll likely return
on Christmas Day
to blow the bad
little boys away!

When He flashes like lightning
across the skies
and many a homosexual
dies,

when the harlots and heretics
are ripped asunder,
what will the Easter Bunny think,
I wonder?



A Child’s Christmas Prayer of Despair for a Hindu Saint
by Michael R. Burch

Santa Claus,
for Christmas, please,
don’t bring me toys, or games, or candy . . .
just . . . Santa, please . . .
I’m on my knees! . . .
please don’t let Jesus torture Gandhi!



gimME that ol’ time religion!
by michael r. burch

fiddle-dee-dum, fiddle-dee-dee,
jesus loves and understands ME!
safe in his grace, I’LL **** them to hell—
the strumpet, the harlot, the wild jezebel,
the alky, the druggie, all queers short and tall!
let them drink ashes and wormwood and gall,
’cause fiddle-dee-DUMB, fiddle-dee-WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEee . . .
jesus loves and understands
ME!



Practice Makes Perfect
by Michael R. Burch

I have a talent for sleep;
it’s one of my favorite things.
Thus when I sleep, I sleep deep ...
at least till the stupid clock rings.

I frown as I squelch its **** beep,
then fling it aside to resume
my practice for when I’ll sleep deep
in a silent and undisturbed tomb.



Enough!
by Michael R. Burch

It’s not that I don’t want to die;
I shall be glad to go.
Enough of diabetes pie,
and eating sickly crow!
Enough of win and place and show.
Enough of endless woe!

Enough of suffering and vice!
I’ve said it once;
I’ll say it twice:
I shall be glad to go.

But why the hell should I be nice
when no one asked for my advice?
So grumpily I’ll go ...
although
(most probably) below.



Redefinitions
by Michael R. Burch

Faith: falling into the same old claptrap.
Religion: the ties that blind.



pretty pickle
by michael r. burch

u’d blaspheme if u could
because ur God’s no good,
but of course u cant:
ur just a lowly ant
(or so u were told by a Hierophant).



Defenses
by Michael R. Burch

Beyond the silhouettes of trees
stark, naked and defenseless
there stand long rows of sentinels:
these pert white picket fences.

Now whom they guard and how they guard,
the good Lord only knows;
but savages would have to laugh
observing the tidy rows.



Listen
by Michael R. Burch

Listen to me now and heed my voice;
I am a madman, alone, screaming in the wilderness,
but listen now.

Listen to me now, and if I say
that black is black, and white is white, and in between lies gray,
I have no choice.

Does a madman choose his words? They come to him,
the moon’s illuminations, intimations of the wind,
and he must speak.

But listen to me now, and if you hear
the tolling of the judgment bell, and if its tone is clear,
then do not tarry,

but listen, or cut off your ears, for I Am weary.



fog
by michael r. burch

ur just a bit of fluff
drifting out over the ocean,
unleashing an atom of rain,
causing a minor commotion,
for which u expect awesome GODS
to pay u SUPREME DEVOTION!
... but ur just a smidgen of mist
unlikely to be missed ...
where did u get the notion?



thanksgiving prayer of the parasites
by michael r. burch

GODD is great;
GODD is good;
let us thank HIM
for our food.

by HIS hand
we all are fed;
give us now
our daily dead:

ah-men!

(p.s.,
most gracious
& salacious
HEAVENLY LORD,
we thank YOU in advance for
meals galore
of loverly gore:
of precious
delicious
sumptuous
scrumptious
human flesh!)



no foothold
by michael r. burch

there is no hope;
therefore i became invulnerable to love.
now even god cannot move me:
nothing to push or shove,
no foothold.

so let me live out my remaining days in clarity,
mine being the only nativity,
my death the final crucifixion
and apocalypse,

as far as the i can see ...



u-turn: another way to look at religion
by michael r. burch

... u were borne orphaned from Ecstasy
into this lower realm: just one of the inching worms
dreaming of Beatification;
u'd love to make a u-turn back to Divinity, but
having misplaced ur chrysalis,
can only chant magical phrases,
like Circe luring ulysses back into the pigsty ...



You
by Michael R. Burch

For thirty years You have not spoken to me;
I heard the dull hollow echo of silence
as though a communion between us.

For thirty years You would not open to me;
You remained closed, hard and tense,
like a clenched fist.

For thirty years You have not broken me
with Your alien ways and Your distance.
Like a child dismissed,

I have watched You prey upon the hope in me,
knowing “mercy” is chance
and “heaven”—a list.



I’ve got Jesus’s face on a wallet insert
by Michael R. Burch

for the Religious Right

I’ve got Jesus’s face on a wallet insert
and "Hell is for Queers" on the back of my shirt.
     And I uphold the Law,
     for Grace has a Flaw:
the Church must have someone to drag through the dirt.

I’ve got ten thousand reasons why Hell must exist,
and you’re at the top of my fast-swelling list!
     You’re nothing like me,
     so God must agree
and slam down the Hammer with His Loving Fist!

For what are the chances that God has a plan
to save everyone: even Boy George and Wham!?
     Eternal fell torture
     in Hell’s pressure scorcher
will separate **** from Man.

I’m glad I’m redeemed, ecstatic you’re not.
Did Christ die for sinners? Perish the thought!
     The "good news" is this:
     soon My vengeance is his!,
for you’re not the lost sheep We sought.



Pagans Protest the Intolerance of Christianity
by Michael R. Burch

“We have a common sky.” — Quintus Aurelius Symmachus (c. 345-402)

We had a common sky
before the Christians came.

We thought there might be gods
but did not know their names.

The common stars above us?
They winked, and would not tell.

Yet now our fellow mortals claim
our questions merit hell!

The cause of our damnation?
They claim they’ve seen the LIGHT ...

but still the stars wink down at us,
as wiser beings might.



jesus hates me, this i know
by michael r. burch

jesus hates me, this I know,
for Church libel tells me so:
"little ones to him belong"
but if they use their dongs, so long!
    yes, jesus hates me!
    yes, jesus baits me!
    yes, he berates me!
    Church libel tells me so!

jesus fleeces us, i know,
for Religion scams us so:
little ones are brainwashed to
believe god saves the Chosen Few!
    yes, jesus fleeces!
    yes, he deceases
    the bunny and the rhesus
    because he's mad at you!

jesus hates me—christ who died
so i might be crucified:
for if i use my active brain,
that will drive the "lord" insane!
    yes, jesus hates me!
    yes, jesus baits me!
    yes, he berates me!
    Church libel tells me so!

jesus hates me, this I know,
for Church libel tells me so:
first priests tell me "look above,"
that christ's the lamb and god's the dove,
but then they sentence me to Hell
for using my big brain too well!
    yes, jesus hates me!
    yes, jesus baits me!
    yes, he berates me!
    Church libel tells me so!



and then i was made whole
by michael r. burch

... and then i was made whole,
but not a thing entire,
glued to a perch
in a gilded church,
strung through with a silver wire ...

singing a little of this and of that,
warbling higher and higher:
a thing wholly dead
till I lifted my head
and spat at the Lord and his choir.



Starting from Scratch with Ol’ Scratch
by Michael R. Burch

for the Religious Right

Love, with a small, fatalistic sigh
went to the ovens. Please don’t bother to cry.
You could have saved her, but you were all *******
complaining about the Jews to Reichmeister Grupp.

Scratch that. You were born after World War II.
You had something more important to do:
while the children of the Nakba were perishing in Gaza
with the complicity of your government, you had a noble cause (a
religious tract against homosexual marriage
and various things gods and evangelists disparage.)

Jesus will grok you? Ah, yes, I’m quite sure
that your intentions were good and ineluctably pure.
After all, what the hell does he care about Palestinians?
Certainly, Christians were right about serfs, slaves and Indians.
Scratch that. You’re one of the Devil’s minions.



In His Kingdom of Corpses
by Michael R. Burch

In His kingdom of corpses,
God has been heard to speak
in many enraged discourses,
high, high from some mountain peak
where He’s lectured man on compassion
while the sparrows around Him fell,
and babes, for His meager ration
of rain, died and went to hell,
unbaptized, for that’s His fashion.

In His kingdom of corpses,
God has been heard to vent
in many obscure discourses
on the need for man to repent,
to admit that he’s a sinner;
give up ***, and riches, and fame;
be disciplined at his dinner
though always he dies the same,
whether fatter or thinner.

In his kingdom of corpses,
God has been heard to speak
in many absurd discourses
of man’s Ego, precipitous Peak!,
while demanding praise and worship,
and the bending of every knee.
And though He sounds like the Devil,
all religious men now agree
He loves them indubitably.



Beast 666
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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



I AM
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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



Snap Shots
by Michael R. Burch

Our daughters must be celibate,
die virgins. We triangulate
their early paths to heaven (for
the martyrs they'll soon conjugate).

We like to hook a little tail.
We hope there's decent ** in jail.
Don't fool with us; our bombs are smart!
(We'll send the plans, ASAP, e-mail.)

The soul is all that matters; why
hoard gold if it offends the eye?
A pension plan? Don't make us laugh!
We have your plan for sainthood. (Die.)



Unwhole
by Michael R. Burch

What is it that we strive to remember, to regain,
as memory deserts us,
leaving us destitute of even ourselves,
of all but pain?

How can something so essential be forgotten,
if we are more than our bodies?
How can a soul
become so unwhole?



Nonbeliever
by Michael R. Burch writing as Kim Cherub

She smiled a thin-lipped smile
(What do men know of love?)
then rolled her eyes toward heaven
(Or that Chauvinist above?).



evol-u-shun
by Michael R. Burch

does GOD love the Tyger
while it's ripping ur lamb apart?

does GOD applaud the Bubonic Plague
while it's eating u à la carte?

does GOD admire ur intelligence
while u pray that IT has a heart?

does GOD endorse the Bible
you blue-lighted at k-mart?



Breakings
by Michael R. Burch

I did it out of pity.
I did it out of love.
I did it not to break the heart of a tender, wounded dove.
But gods without compassion
ordained: Frail things must break!
Now what can I do for her shattered psyche's sake?

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

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



Alien
by Michael R. Burch

for  a "Christian" poet

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.



Crescendo Against Heaven
by Michael R. Burch

As curiously formal as the rose,
the imperious Word grows
until its sheds red-gilded leaves:
then heaven grieves
love's tiny pool of crimson recrimination
against God, its contention
of the price of salvation.

These industrious trees,
endlessly losing and re-losing their leaves,
finally unleashing themselves from earth, lashing
themselves to bits, washing
themselves free
of all but the final ignominy
of death, become
at last: fast planks of our coffins, dumb.

Together now, rude coffins, crosses,
death-cursed but bright vermilion roses,
bodies, stumps, tears, words: conspire
together with a nearby spire
to raise their Accusation Dire...
to scream, complain, to point out these
and other Dark Anomalies.

God always silent, ever afar,
distant as Bethlehem's retrograde star,
we point out now, in resignation:
You asked too much of man's beleaguered nation,
gave too much strength to his Enemy,
as though to prove Your Self greater than He,
at our expense, and so men die
(whose accusations vex the sky)
yet hope, somehow, that You are good...
just, O greatest of Poets!, misunderstood.



Advice for Evangelicals
by Michael R. Burch

"... so let your light shine before men..."

Consider the example of the woodland anemone:
she preaches no sermons but―immaculate―shines,
and rivals the angels in bright innocence and purity,
the sweetest of divines.

And no one has heard her engage in hypocrisy
since the beginning of time―an oracle so mute,
so profound in her silence and exemplary poise
she makes lessons moot.

So consider the example of the saintly anemone
and if you'd convince us Christ really exists,
then let him be just as sweet, just as guileless
and equally as gracious to bless.



Heaven Bent
by Michael R. Burch

This life is hell; it can get no worse.
Summon the coroner, the casket, the hearse!
I'm upwardly mobile; this one thing I know:
I can only go up; I'm already below!



Shock and Awe
by Michael R. Burch

With megatons of "wonder, "
we make our godhead clear:
Death. Destruction. Fear.

The world's heart ripped asunder,
its dying pulse we hear:
Death. Destruction. Fear.

Strange Trinity! We ponder
this God we hold so dear:
Death. Destruction. Fear.

The vulture and the condor
proclaim: The feast is near!―
Death. Destruction. Fear.

Soon He will plow us under;
the Anti-Christ is here:
Death. Destruction. Fear.

We love to hear Him thunder!
With Shock and Awe, appear!―
Death. Destruction. Fear.

For God can never blunder;
we know He holds US dear:
Death. Destruction. Fear.



Lay Down Your Arms
by Michael R. Burch

Lay down your arms; come, sleep in the sand.
The battle is over and night is at hand.
Our voyage has ended; there's nowhere to go...
the earth is a cinder still faintly aglow.

Lay down your pamphlets; let's bicker no more.
Instead, let us sleep here on this ravaged shore.
The sea is still boiling; the air is wan, thin...
lay down your pamphlets; now no one will "win."

Lay down your hymnals; abandon all song.
If God was to save us, He waited too long.
A new world emerges, but this world is through...
so lay down your hymnals, or write something new.



What Immense Silence
by Michael R. Burch

What immense silence
comforts those who kneel here
beneath these vaulted ceilings
cavernous and vast?

What luminescence stained
by patchwork panels of bright glass
illuminates drained faces
as the crouching gargoyles leer?

What brings them here―
pale, tearful congregations,
knowing all Hope is past,
faithfully, year upon year?

Or could they be right? Perhaps
Love is, implausibly, near
and I alone have not seen It...
But, if so, still, I must ask:

why is it God that they fear?



Intimations
by Michael R. Burch

Let mercy surround us
with a sweet persistence.

Let love propound to us
that life is infinitely more than existence.



Altared Spots
by Michael R. Burch

The mother leopard buries her cub,
then cries three nights for his bones to rise
clad in new flesh, to celebrate the sunrise.

Good mother leopard, pensive thought
and fiercest love's wild insurrection
yield no certainty of a resurrection.

Man's tried them both, has added tears,
chants, dances, drugs, séances, tombs'
white alabaster prayer-rooms, wombs

where dead men's frozen genes convene...
there is no answer―death is death.
So bury your son, and save your breath.

Or emulate earth's "highest species"―
write a few strange poems and odd treatises.



Flight
by Michael R. Burch

Poetry captures
less than reality
the spirit of things

being the language
not of the lordly falcon
but of the dove with broken wings

whose heavenward flight
though brutally interrupted
is ever towards the light.



Winter Night
by Michael R. Burch

Who will be ******,
who embalmed
for all eternity?

The night weighs heavy on me―
leaden, sullen, cold.
O, but my thoughts are light,

like the weightless windblown snow.



Tonight, Let's Remember
by Michael R. Burch

July 7,2007 (7-7-7)

Tonight, let's remember the fond ways
our fingers engendered new methods to praise
the gray at my temples, your thinning hair.
Tonight, let's remember, and let us draw near...

Tonight, let's remember, as mortals do,
how cutely we chortled when work was through,
society sated, all gods put to rest,
and you in my arms, and I at your breast...

Tonight, let's remember how daring, how free
the Madeira made us, recumbently.
Our inhibitions?―we laid them to rest.
Earth, heaven or hell―we knew we were blessed.

Tonight, let's remember the dwindling days
we've spent here together―the sun's rays
spending their power beyond somber hills.
Soon we'll rest together; there'll be no more bills.

Tonight, let's remember: we've paid all our dues,
we've suffered our sorrows, we've learned how to lose.
What's left now to take, only God can tell.
Be with me in heaven, or "bliss" will be hell!

I do not want God; I want to see you
free from all sorrow, your labor through,
a song on your tongue, a smile on your lips,
sweet, sultry and vagrant, a child at your hips,

laughing and beaming and ready to frolic
in a world free from cancer and gout and colic.
For you were courageous, and kind, and true.
There must be a heaven for someone like you.



I, Lazarus
by Michael R. Burch

I, Lazarus, without a heart,
devoid of blood and spiritless,
lay in the darkness, meritless:
my corpse―a thing cold, dead, apart.

But then I thought I heard―a Voice,
a Voice that called me from afar.
And so I stood and laughed, bizarre:
a thing embalmed, made to rejoice!

I ran ungainly-legged to see
who spoke my name, and then I knew
him by the light. His name is True,
and now he is the life in me!

I never died again! Believe!
(Oops! Seems it was a brief reprieve.)



To Know You as Mary
by Michael R. Burch

To know You as Mary,
when You spoke her name
and her world was never the same...
beside the still tomb
where the spring roses bloom.

O, then I would laugh
and be glad that I came,
never minding the chill, the disconsolate rain...
beside the still tomb
where the spring roses bloom.

I might not think this earth
the sharp focus of pain
if I heard You exclaim―
beside the still tomb
where the spring roses bloom

my most unexpected, unwarranted name!
But you never spoke. Explain?



Peers
by Michael R. Burch

These thoughts are alien, as through green slime
smeared on some lab tech's brilliant slide, I *****,
positioning my bright oscilloscope
for better vantage, though I cannot see,
but only peer, as small things disappear―
these quanta strange as men, as passing queer.

And you, Great Scientist, are you the One,
or just an intern, necktie half undone,
white sleeves rolled up, thick documents in hand
(dense manuals you don't quite understand) ,
exposing me, perhaps, to too much Light?
Or do I escape your notice, quick and bright?

Perhaps we wield the same dull Instrument
(and yet the Thesis will be Eloquent!).



Gethsemane in Every Breath
by Michael R. Burch

LORD, we have lost our way, and now
we have mislaid love―earth's fairest rose.
We forgot hope's song―the way it goes.
Help us reclaim their gifts, somehow.

LORD, we have wondered long and far
in search of Bethlehem's retrograde star.
Now in night's dead cold grasp, we gasp:
our lives one long-drawn rattling rasp

of misspent breath... before we drown.
LORD, help us through this spiral down
because we faint, and do not see
above or beyond despair's trajectory.

Remember that You, too, once held
imperiled life within your hands
as hope withdrew... that where You knelt
―a stranger in a stranger land―

the chalice glinted cold afar
and red with blood as hellfire.
Did heaven ever seem so far?
Remember―we are as You were,

but all our lives, from birth to death―
Gethsemane in every breath.



A Possible Argument for Mercy
by Michael R. Burch

Did heaven ever seem so far?
Remember-we are as You were,
but all our lives, from birth to death―
Gethsemane in every breath.



Birthday Poem to Myself
by Michael R. Burch

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



Learning to Fly
by Michael R. Burch

We are learning to fly
every day...

learning to fly―
away, away...

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

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



The Gardener's Roses
by Michael R. Burch

Mary Magdalene, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, "Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away."

I too have come to the cave;
within: strange, half-glimpsed forms
and ghostly paradigms of things.
Here, nothing warms

this lightening moment of the dawn,
pale tendrils spreading east.
And I, of all who followed Him,
by far the least...

The women take no note of me;
I do not recognize
the men in white, the gardener,
these unfamiliar skies...

Faint scent of roses, then―a touch!
I turn, and I see: You.
"My Lord, why do You tarry here:
Another waits, Whose love is true? "

"Although My Father waits, and bliss;
though angels call―ecstatic crew!―
I gathered roses for a Friend.
I waited here, for You."



Kingdom Freedom
by Michael R. Burch

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

LORD, let me not be over-worried
about the lack of "morality" around me.
Surround me,

not with law's restrictive cage,
but with Your spirit, freer than the wind,
so that to breathe is to have freest life,

and not to fly to You, my only sin.



Cædmon's Face
by Michael R. Burch

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

while the wind and Time blew all around,
I paced that dusk-enamored ground
and thought I heard the steps resound

of Carroll, Stoker and good Bede
who walked here 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.



He wrote here in an English tongue,
a language so unlike our own,
unlike―as father unto son.

But when at last a child is grown.
his heritage is made well-known:
his father's face becomes his own.



He wrote here of the Middle-Earth,
the Maker's might, man's lowly birth,
of every thing that God gave worth

suspended under heaven's roof.
He forged with simple words His truth
and nine lines left remain the proof:

his face was Poetry's, from youth.



Prayer for a Merciful, Compassionate, etc., God to ****** His Creations Quickly & Painlessly, Rather than Slowly & Painfully
by Michael R. Burch

Lord, **** me fast and please do it quickly!
Please don’t leave me gassed, archaic and sickly!
Why render me mean, rude, wrinkly and prickly?
Lord, why procrastinate?

Lord, we all know you’re an expert killer!
Please, don’t leave me aging like Phyllis Diller!
Why torture me like some poor sap in a thriller?
God, grant me a gentler fate!

Lord, we all know you’re an expert at ******
like Abram—the wild-eyed demonic goat-herder
who’d slit his son’s throat without thought at your order.
Lord, why procrastinate?

Lord, we all know you’re a terrible sinner!
What did dull Japheth eat for his 300th dinner
after a year on the ark, growing thinner and thinner?
God, grant me a gentler fate!

Dear Lord, did the lion and tiger compete
for the last of the lambkin’s sweet, tender meat?
How did Noah preserve his fast-rotting wheat?
God, grant me a gentler fate!

Lord, why not be a merciful Prelate?
Do you really want me to detest, loathe and hate
the Father, the Son and their Ghostly Mate?
Lord, why procrastinate?



Is there any Light left?
by Michael R. Burch

Is there any light left?
Must we die bereft
of love and a reason for being?
Blind and unseeing,
rejecting and fleeing
our humanity, goat-hooved and cleft?

Is there any light left?
Must we die bereft
of love and a reason for living?
Blind, unforgiving,
unworthy of heaven
or this planet red, reeking and reft?

NOTE: While “hoofed” is the more common spelling, I preferred “hooved” for this poem. Perhaps because of the contrast created by “love” and “hooved.”



Modern Dreams
by Michael R. Burch

after David B. Gosselin

I dreamed that God was good, but then I woke
and all his goodness vanished—****!—
like smoke.

I dreamed his Word was good, but then I heard
commandments evil, awful, weird,
absurd.

I dreamed of Heaven where cruel Angels flew
above my head and screamed, the Chosen Few,
“We’re not like you!”

I dreamed of Hell below, where prostitutes
adored by Jesus, played on lovely lutes
“True Love Commutes.”

I dreamed of Earth then woke to hear a Gong’s
repellent echoes in Religion’s song
of right gone wrong.



Star Crossed
by Michael R. Burch

Remember—
night is not like day;
the stars are closer than they seem ...
now, bending near, they seem to say
the morning sun was merely a dream
ember.



Pagans Protest the Intolerance of Christianity
by Michael R. Burch

“We have a common sky.” — Quintus Aurelius Symmachus (c. 345-402)

We had a common sky
before the Christians came.

We thought there might be gods
but did not know their names.

The common stars above us?
They winked, and would not tell.

Yet now our fellow mortals claim
our questions merit hell!

The cause of our damnation?
They claim they’ve seen the LIGHT ...

but still the stars wink down at us,
as wiser beings might.



Well, Almost
by Michael R. Burch

All Christians say “Never again!”
to the inhumanity of men
(except when the object of phlegm
is a Palestinian).



O, My Redeeming Angel
by Michael R. Burch

O my Redeeming Angel, after we
have fought till death (and soon the night is done) ...
then let us rest awhile, await the sun,
and let us put aside all enmity.

I might have been the “victor”—who can tell?—
so many wounds abound. All out of joint,
my groin, my thigh ... and nothing to anoint
but sunsplit, shattered stone, as pillars hell.

Light, easy flight to heaven, Your return!
How hard, how dark, this path I, limping, walk.
I only ask Your blessing; no more talk!

Withhold Your name, and yet my ears still burn
and so my heart. You asked me, to my shame:
for Jacob—trickster, shyster, sham—’s my name.



To Know You as Mary
by Michael R. Burch

To know you as Mary,
when you spoke her name
and her world was never the same ...
beside the still tomb
where the spring roses bloom.

O, then I would laugh
and be glad that I came,
never minding the chill, the disconsolate rain ...
beside the still tomb
where the spring roses bloom.

I might not think this earth
the sharp focus of pain
if I heard you exclaim—
beside the still tomb
where the spring roses bloom

my most unexpected, unwarranted name!
But you never spoke. Explain?



ur-gent
by Michael R. Burch

if u would be a good father to us all,
revoke the Curse,
extract the Gall;

but if the abuse continues,
look within
into ur Mindless Soulless Emptiness Grim,

& admit ur sin,
heartless jehovah,
slayer of widows and orphans ...

quick, begin!



Bible libel (ii)
by Michael R. Burch

ur savior’s a cad
—he’s as bad as his dad—
according to your strange Bible.

demanding belief
or he’ll bring u to grief?
he’s worse than his horn-sprouting rival!

was the man ever good
before made a “god”?
if so, half your Bible is libel!



stock-home sin-drone
by Michael R. Burch

ur GAUD created this hellish earth;
thus u FANTAsize heaven
(an escape from rebirth).

ur GUAD is a monster,
**** ur RELIGION lied
and called u his frankensteinian bride!

now, like so many others cruelly abused,
u look for salve-a-shun
to the AUTHOR of ur pain’s selfish creation.

cons preach the “TRUE GOSPEL”
and proudly shout it,
but if ur GAUD were good
he would have to doubt it.



un-i-verse-all love
by Michael R. Burch

there is a Gaud, it’s true!
and furthermore, tHeSh(e)It loves u!
unfortunately
the
He
Sh(e)
It
,even more adorably,
loves cancer, aids and leprosy.



One of the Flown
by Michael R. Burch

Forgive me for not having known
you were one of the flown—
flown from the distant haunts
of someone else’s enlightenment,
alighting here to a darkness all your own . . .

I imagine you perched,
pretty warbler, in your starched
dress, before you grew bellicose . . .
singing quaint love’s highest falsetto notes,
brightening the pew of some dilapidated church . . .

But that was before autumn’s
messianic dark hymns . . .
Deepening on the landscape—winter’s inevitable shadows.
Love came too late; hope flocked to bare meadows,
preparing to leave. Then even the thought of life became grim,

thinking of Him . . .
To flee, finally,—that was no whim,
no adventure, but purpose.
I see you now a-wing: pale-eyed, intent, serious:
always, always at the horizon’s broadening rim . . .

How long have you flown now, pretty voyager?
I keep watch from afar: pale lover and ******.



what the “Chosen Few” really pray for
by Michael R. Burch

We are ready to be robed in light,
angel-bright

despite
Our intolerance;

ready to enter Heaven and never return
(dark, this sojourn);

ready to worse-ship any gaud
able to deliver Us from this flawed

existence;
We pray with the persistence

of actual saints
to be delivered from all earthly constraints:

just kiss each uplifted Face
with lips of gentlest grace,

cooing the sweetest harmonies
while brutally crushing Our enemies!

ah-Men!



wild wild west-east-north-south-up-down
by Michael R. Burch

each day it resumes—the great struggle for survival.

the fiercer and more perilous the wrath,
the wilder and wickeder the weaponry,
the better the daily odds
(just don’t bet on the long term, or revival).

so ur luvable Gaud decreed, Theo-retically,
if indeed He exists
as ur Bible insists—
the Wildest and the Wickedest of all
with the brightest of creatures in thrall
(unless u
somehow got that bleary
Theo-ry
wrong too).



The Strangest Rain
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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



Note to a Chick on a Religious Kick
by Michael R. Burch

Daisy,
when you smile, my life gets sunny;
you make me want to spend all my ****** money;
but honey,
you can be a bit ... um ... hazy,
perhaps mentally lazy?,
okay, downright crazy,
praying to the Easter Bunny!



lust!
by michael r. burch

i was only a child
in a world dark and wild
seeking affection
in eyes mild

and in all my bright dreams
sweet love shimmered, beguiled ...

but the black-robed Priest
who called me the least
of all god’s creation
then spoke for the Beast:

He called my great passion a thing base, defiled!

He condemned me to hell,
the foul Ne’er-Do-Well,
for the sake of the copper
His Pig-Snout could smell
in the purse of my mother,
“the ***** jezebel.”

my sweet passions condemned
by degenerate men?
and she so devout
she exclaimed, “yay, aye-men!” ...

together we learned why Religion is hell.

Published by Lucid Rhythms, The HyperTexts and Black Waters of Melancholy


A coming day
by Michael R. Burch

for my mother, due to her hellish religion

There will be a day,
a day when the lightning strikes from a rainbowed mist
when it will be too late, too late for me to say
that I found your faith unblessed.

There will be a day,
a day when the storm clouds gather, ominous,
when it will be too late, too late to put away
this darkness that came between us.



Hellbound
by Michael R. Burch

Mother, it’s dark
and you never did love me
because you put Yahweh and Yeshu
above me.

Did they ever love you
or cling to you? No.
Now Mother, it’s cold
and I fear for my soul.

Mother, they say
you will leave me and go
to some distant “heaven”
I never shall know.

If that’s your choice,
you made it. Not me.
You brought me to life;
will you nail me to the tree?

Christ! Mother, they say
God condemned me to hell.
If the Devil’s your God
then farewell, farewell!

Or if there is Love
in some other dimension,
let’s reconcile there
and forget such cruel detention.

Keywords/Tags: god, Jesus, Christ, Christian, prayer, Bible, angel, atheist, faith, blasphemy, heresy, heresies, heretic, heretic, heretical, pagan, pagans, god, gods, mrbhere



He Lived: Excerpts from “Gilgamesh”
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I.
He who visited hell, his country’s foundation,
Was well-versed in mysteries’ unseemly dark places.
He deeply explored many underworld realms
Where he learned of the Deluge and why Death erases.

II.
He built the great ramparts of Uruk-the-Sheepfold
And of holy Eanna. Then weary, alone,
He recorded his thoughts in frail scratchings called “words”:
But words made immortal, once chiseled in stone.

III.
These walls he erected are ever-enduring:
Vast walls where the widows of dead warriors weep.
Stand by them. O, feel their immovable presence!
For no other walls are as strong as this keep’s.

IV.
Come, climb Uruk’s tower on a starless night—
Ascend its steep stairway to escape modern error.
Cross its ancient threshold. You are close to Ishtar,
The Goddess of Ecstasy and of Terror!

V.
Find the cedar box with its hinges of bronze;
Lift the lid of its secrets; remove its dark slate;
Read of the travails of our friend Gilgamesh—
Of his descent into hell and man’s terrible fate!

VI.
Surpassing all kings, heroic in stature,
Wild bull of the mountains, the Goddess his dam
—Bedding no other man; he was her sole rapture—
Who else can claim fame, as he thundered, “I am!”



Enkidu Enters the House of Dust
an original poem by Michael R. Burch

I entered the house of dust and grief.
Where the pale dead weep there is no relief,
for there night descends like a final leaf
to shiver forever, unstirred.

There is no hope left when the tree’s stripped bare,
for the leaf lies forever dormant there
and each man cloaks himself in strange darkness, where
all company’s unheard.

No light’s ever pierced that oppressive night
so men close their eyes on their neighbors’ plight
or stare into darkness, lacking sight ...
each a crippled, blind bat-bird.

Were these not once eagles, gallant men?
Who sits here—pale, wretched and cowering—then?
O, surely they shall, they must rise again,
gaining new wings? “Absurd!

For this is the House of Dust and Grief
where men made of clay, eat clay. Relief
to them’s to become a mere windless leaf,
lying forever unstirred.”

“Anu and Enlil, hear my plea!
Ereshkigal, they all must go free!
Beletseri, dread scribe of this Hell, hear me!”
But all my shrill cries, obscured

by vast eons of dust, at last fell mute
as I took my place in the ash and soot.



Reclamation
an original poem by Michael R. Burch

after Robert Graves, with a nod to Mary Shelley

I have come to the dark side of things
where the bat sings
its evasive radar
and Want is a crooked forefinger
attached to a gelatinous wing.

I have grown animate here, a stitched corpse
hooked to electrodes.
And night
moves upon me—progenitor of life
with its foul breath.

Blind eyes have their second sight
and still are deceived. Now my nature
is softly to moan
as Desire carries me
swooningly across her threshold.

Stone
is less infinite than her crone’s
gargantuan hooked nose, her driveling lips.
I eye her ecstatically—her dowager figure,
and there is something about her that my words transfigure

to a consuming emptiness.
We are at peace
with each other; this is our venture—
swaying, the strings tautening, as tightropes
tauten, as love tightens, constricts

to the first note.
Lyre of our hearts’ pits,
orchestration of nothing, adits
of emptiness! We have come to the last of our hopes,
sweet as congealed blood sweetens for flies.

Need is reborn; love dies.

Keywords/Tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, epic, epical, orient occident, oriental, ancient, ancestors, ancestry, primal


Listen
by Immanuel A. Michael (an alias of Michael R. Burch)

1.
Listen to me now
and heed my voice;
I am a madman, alone,
screaming in the wilderness,
but listen now.

Listen to me now, and if I say
that black is black
and white is white
and in between lies gray,
I have no choice.

Does a madman choose his words?
They come to him:
the moon's illuminations,
intimations of the wind,
and he must speak.

But listen to me now,
and if you hear
the tolling of the judgment bell,
and if its tone is clear,
then do not tarry,
but listen,
or cut off your ears,
for I Am weary.

I desire mercy, not sacrifice.

2.
Listen to me now: I had a Vision.
An elevated train derailed, and Fell.
It was the Church brought low, almost to Hell.
And I alone survived, who dream of Mercy:
the Heretic, who speaks behind the Veil.

3.
Listen to me now: I saw an airplane
fall from the sky. And why should I explain?
The Visions are the same. It is my Heresy
that I survive, because I sing of Mercy,
while elevated "saints" go down in flames.

4.
Listen to me now: I saw in Nashville
how those who "soar" will plummet―Fame in flames!―
and fall on those below, as if to **** them.
The lowly, saved, will understand their names.

5.
Listen to me now: I heard another
say, "That which died shall Resurrect and Live."
An angel with a Rose bestowing Mercy!
What can it mean, but that my Visions give
fair warning to the world that God wants Mercy.
My Heresy is that we must forgive!

6.
Listen to me now: she heard god calling―
O, who will love me, who will be my friend?
Does he want Perfect Saints, the whitewashed Purists,
who frown down on their "brothers," without end?

7.
Listen to me now: you are not perfect,
and your "wise counsel" helps no one at all:
unless it's sweetened with the sweetest Mercy,
it's pure astringent antiseptic gall.

8.
Listen to me now, and learn this lesson:
If God wants mercy, why dig at the speck
in your brother's eye, when even now the Beam,
your lack of mercy, spares, no, neither neck,
becomes the Hangman's Millstone. We're all children,
all little ones! Be patient with the fleck!

9.
Listen to me now: for the Announcer
explained that wars have given Presidents
the precedents to soon assume all Power.
Vote, citizens, or be mere residents!

10.
O, listen to me now: I saw the Warheads
stored safely underground, except for One.
A red-haired woman with a bright complexion
seduced the guard. Translucent blouse, red thong,
white bra―these were her fearsome antique weapons.

I saw the Skull and Crossbones! Heed my Song!

11.
O, listen to me now, and hear my Gospel:
three verses of such sweet simplicity!
God is Light: in Him there is no darkness.
In Christ, no condemnation: Liberty!
God want no Sacrifice, but only Mercy.
O, who could ask for sweeter Heresy?

12.
Theology? I swear that I disdain it!
If Love can be explained, why then explain it!
If Love can't be explained why, then, should God,
if God is Love? Nor hell nor cattle ****
is needed, if God's good, and God's supreme.
Ask, children, what "re-ligion" truly means:
"return to *******! " Heed the bondsman's screams!

13.
Heed, children, which Theologies you dream
when Hellish Nightmares wake you, when you Scream
for comfort, but no comforter is there.
Which Voices do you heed, which Crosses bear?
If god is light, whence do Dark Visions come
which leave the Taste of Venom on your Tongue,
with which you **** your brother for one Sin
you do not share, ten thousand underskin
like Itching Worms that Squirm and Vilely Hiss:
"Your brother's sin will keep him from god's bliss,
but You are safe because god favors You! "
If God is Love, how can this voice be true?

14.
For God is not a favorer of men.
Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen.
Do you see the guns rising from the ground?
Do you hear the sound?
Do you see the guns all around?
Firing off rounds.

Do you see the ten ton war machines?
Painted tan and green.
Do you hear the ten ton war machines?
Driving through the streets.

Mega metal, ten ton war machines,
making the people scream.
The president laughs, as we spend more money,
as he slowly creams.

War is a *****,
the more money you put into it,
the more intense it gets,
the more violent.

**** war,
we want no more.
**** war,
we want no more.

******* congress,
make progress.
America is falling,
and we are calling.

Do you see the guns rising from the ground?
Do you hear the sound?
Do you see the guns all around?
Firing off rounds.

Do you see the ten ton war machines?
Painted tan and green.
Do you hear the ten ton war machines?
Driving through the streets.

Mega metal, ten ton war machines,
making the people scream.
The president laughs, as we spend more money,
as he slowly creams.
Copyright Barry Pietrantonio

— The End —