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Sonnets XLII-LI
Sonnets XLII-LI Distances by Michael R. Burch Moonbeams on water? the reflected light of a halcyon star now drowning in night... So your memories are. Footprints on beaches now flooding with water; the small, broken ribcage of some primitive slaughter... So near, yet so far. A Surfeit of Light by Michael R. Burch There was always a surfeit of light in your presence. You stood distinctly apart, not of the humdrum world? a chariot of gold in a procession of plywood. We were all pioneers of the modern expedient race, raising the ante: Home Depot to Lowe’s. Yours was an antique grace?Thrace’s or Mesopotamia’s. We were never quite sure of your silver allure, of your trillium-and-platinum diadem, of your utter lack of flatware-like utility. You told us that night?your wound would not scar. The black moment passed, then you were no more. The darker the sky, how much brighter the Star! The day of your funeral, I ripped out the crown mold. You were this fool’s gold. Songstress by Michael R. Burch for Nadia Anjuman Within its starkwhite ribcage, how the heart must flutter wildly, O, and always sing against the pressing darkness: all it knows until at last it feels the numbing sting of death. Then life's brief vision swiftly passes, imposing night on one who clearly saw. Death held your bright heart tightly, till its maw? envenomed, fanged?could swallow, whole, your Awe. And yet it was not death so much as you who sealed your doom; you could not help but sing and not be silenced. Here, behold your tomb's white alabaster cage: pale, wretched thing! But you'll not be imprisoned here, wise wren! Your words soar free; rise, sing, fly, live again. Come Down by Michael R. Burch for Harold Bloom Come down, O, come down from your high mountain tower. How coldly the wind blows, how late this chill hour... and I cannot wait for a meteor shower to show you the time must be now, or not ever. Come down, O, come down from the high mountain heather now brittle and brown as fierce northern gales sever. Come down, or your heart will grow cold as the weather when winter devours and spring returns never. Such Tenderness by Michael R. Burch There was, in your touch, such tenderness?as only the dove on her mildest day has, when she shelters downed fledglings beneath a warm wing and coos to them softly, unable to sing. What songs long forgotten occur to you now? a babe at each breast? What terrible vow ripped from your throat like the thunder that day can never hold severing lightnings at bay? Time taught you tenderness?time, oh, and love. But love in the end is seldom enough... and time??insufficient to life’s brief task. I can only admire, unable to ask? what is the source, whence comes the desire of a woman to love as no God may require? In this Ordinary Swoon by Michael R. Burch In this ordinary swoon as I pass from life to death, I feel no heat from the cold, pale moon; I feel no sympathy for breath. Who I am and why I came, I do not know; nor does it matter. The end of every man’s the same and every god’s as mad as a hatter. I do not fear the letting go; I only fear the clinging on to hope when there’s no hope, although I lift my face to the blazing sun and feel the greater intensity of the wilder inferno within me. Mare Clausum by Michael R. Burch These are the narrows of my soul? dark waters pierced by eerie, haunting screams. And these uncharted islands bleakly home wild nightmares and deep, strange, forbidding dreams. Please don’t think to find pearls’ pale, unearthly glow within its shoals, nor corals in its reefs. For, though you seek to salvage Love, I know that vessel lists, and night brings no relief. Pause here, and look, and know that all is lost; then turn, and go; let salt consume, and rust. This sea is not for sailors, but the damned who lingered long past morning, till they learned why it is named: Mare Clausum. Mare Clausum is Latin for "Closed Sea." I wrote this poem as a teenager. Redolence by Michael R. Burch Now darkness ponds upon the violet hills; cicadas sing; the tall elms gently sway; and night bends near, a deepening shade of gray; the bass concerto of a bullfrog fills what silence there once was; globed searchlights play. Green hanging ferns adorn dark window sills, all drooping fronds, awaiting morning’s flares; mosquitoes whine; the lissome moth again flits like a veiled oud-dancer, and endures the fumblings of night’s enervate gray rain. And now the pact of night is made complete; the air is fresh and cool, washed of the grime of the city’s ashen breath; and, for a time, the fragrance of her clings, obscure and sweet. Sonnet published by The Eclectic Muse Fountainhead by Michael R. Burch I did not delight in love so much as in a kiss like linnets' wings, the flutterings of a pulse so soft the heart remembers, as it sings: to bathe there was its transport, brushed by marble lips, or porcelain,? one liquid kiss, one cool outburst from pale rosettes. What did it mean... to float awhirl on minute tides within the compass of your eyes, to feel your alabaster bust grow cold within? Ecstatic sighs seem hisses now; your eyes, serene, reflect the sun's pale tourmaline. Sonnet published by Romantics Quarterly Pan by Michael R. Burch ... Among the shadows of the groaning elms, amid the darkening oaks, we fled ourselves... ... Once there were paths that led to coracles that clung to piers like loosening barnacles... ... where we cannot return, because we lost the pebbles and the playthings, and the moss... ... hangs weeping gently downward, maidens’ hair who never were enchanted, and the stairs... ... that led up to the Fortress in the trees will not support our weight, but on our knees... ... we still might fit inside those splendid hours of damsels in distress, of rustic towers... ... of voices of the wolves’ tormented howls that died, and live in dreams’ soft, windy vowels... Published by Sonnet Scroll
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