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MODERN SONNETS I I prefer the original definition of the sonnet as a “little song” of indeterminate form and length. These modern sonnets vary from more-or-less traditional to free verse. Maker, Fakir, Curer by Michael R. Burch A poem should be a wild, unearthly cry against the thought of lying in the dark, doomed?never having seen bright sparks leap high, without a word for flame, none for the mark an ember might emblaze on lesioned skin. A poet is no crafty artisan? the maker of some crock. He dreams of flame he never touched, but?fakir’s courtesan? must dance obedience, once called by name. Thin wand, divine!, this world is too the same? all watery ooze and flesh. Let fire cure and quickly harden here what can endure. Originally published by The Lyric The ancient English scops were considered to be makers: for instance, in William Dunbar’s “Lament for the Makiris.” But in some modern literary circles poets are considered to be fakers, with lies being as good as the truth where art is concerned. Hence, this poem puns on “fakirs” and dancing snakes. But according to Shakespeare the object is to leave something lasting, that will stand test of time. Hence, the idea of poems being cured in order to endure. The “thin wand” is the poet’s pen, divining the elixir?the magical fountain of youth?that makes poems live forever. That is, of course, if he/she can pull it off, which is easier said than done. Ebb Tide by Michael R. Burch Massive, gray, these leaden waves bear their unchanging burden? the sameness of each day to day while the wind seems to struggle to say something half-submerged planks at the mouth of the bay might nuzzle limp seaweed to understand. Now collapsing dull waves drain away from the unenticing land; shrieking gulls shadow fish through salt spray? whitish streaks on a fogged silver mirror. Sizzling lightning impresses its brand. Unseen fingers scribble something in the wet sand. Originally published by Southwest Review The City Is a Garment by Michael R. Burch A rhinestone skein, a jeweled brocade of light,? the city is a garment stretched so thin her festive colors bleed into the night, and everywhere bright seams, unraveling, cascade their brilliant contents out like coins on motorways and esplanades; bead cars come tumbling down long highways; at her groin a railtrack like a zipper flashes sparks; her hills are haired with brush like cashmere wool and from their cleavage winking lights enlarge and travel, slender fingers ... softly pull themselves into the semblance of a barge. When night becomes too chill, she softly dons great overcoats of warmest-colored dawn. Originally published by The Lyric Discrimination by Michael R. Burch The meter I had sought to find, perplexed, was ripped from books of "verse" that read like prose. I found it in sheet music, in long rows of hologramic CDs, in sad wrecks of long-forgotten volumes undisturbed half-centuries by archivists, unscanned. I read their fading numbers, frowned, perturbed? why should such tattered artistry be banned? I heard the sleigh bells’ jingles, vampish ads, the supermodels’ babble, Seuss’s books extolled in major movies, blurbs for abs ... A few poor thinnish journals crammed in nooks are all I’ve found this late to sell to those who’d classify free verse "expensive prose." Originally published by The Chariton Review The Harvest of Roses by Michael R. Burch I have not come for the harvest of roses? the poets' mad visions, their railing at rhyme ... for I have discerned what their writing discloses: weak words wanting meaning, beat torsioning time. Nor have I come for the reaping of gossamer? images weak, too forced not to fail; gathered by poets who worship their luster, they shimmer, impendent, resplendently pale. Originally published by The Raintown Review Love Has a Southern Flavor by Michael R. Burch Love has a Southern flavor: honeydew, ripe cantaloupe, the honeysuckle’s spout we tilt to basking faces to breathe out the ordinary, and inhale perfume ... Love’s Dixieland-rambunctious: tangled vines, wild clematis, the gold-brocaded leaves that will not keep their order in the trees, unmentionables that peek from dancing lines ... Love cannot be contained, like Southern nights: the constellations’ dying mysteries, the fireflies that hum to light, each tree’s resplendent autumn cape, a genteel sight ... Love also is as wild, as sprawling-sweet, as decadent as the wet leaves at our feet. Originally published by The Lyric Redolence by Michael R. Burch Now darkness ponds upon the violet hills; cicadas sing; the tall elms gently sway; and night bends near, a deepening shade of gray; the bass concerto of a bullfrog fills what silence there once was; globed searchlights play. Green hanging ferns adorn dark window sills, all drooping fronds, awaiting morning’s flares; mosquitoes whine; the lissome moth again flits like a veiled oud-dancer, and endures the fumblings of night’s enervate gray rain. And now the pact of night is made complete; the air is fresh and cool, washed of the grime of the city’s ashen breath; and, for a time, the fragrance of her clings, obscure and sweet. Published by The Eclectic Muse 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. Keywords/Tags: modern, sonnet, sonnets, free, verse, song, traditional, romantic, romanticism, art, artisan, freedom, write, writing, song, romantic, romantic love

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Date: 3/28/2021 7:53:00 PM
"Ebb Tide" particularly appealed to me. Michael, thanks so much for sharing your fine work. I have enjoyed reading the sonnets.
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