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Privilege by Michael R. Burch This poem is dedicated to Harvey Stanbrough, an ex-marine who has written eloquently about the horror and absurdity of war in "Lessons for a Barren Population." No, I will never know what you saw or what you felt, thrust into the maw of Eternity, watching the mortars nightly greedily making their rounds, hearing the soft damp hiss of men’s souls like helium escaping their collapsing torn bodies, or lying alone, feeling the great roar of your own heart. But I know: there is a bitter knowledge of death I have not achieved, and in thankful ignorance, and especially for my son and for all who benefit so easily at so unthinkable a price, I thank you. Published by Romantics Quarterly, Poetic Reflections and Poetry SuperHighway *** Recursion by Michael R. Burch In a dream I saw boys lying under banners gaily flying and I heard their mothers sighing from some dark distant shore. For I saw their sons essaying into fields—gleeful, braying— their bright armaments displaying; such manly oaths they swore! From their playfields, boys returning full of honor’s white-hot burning and desire’s restless yearning sired new kids for the corps. In a dream I saw boys dying under banners gaily lying and I heard their mothers crying from some dark distant shore. *** An Ecstasy of Fumbling by Michael R. Burch The poets believe everything resolves to metaphor— a distillation, a vapor beyond filtration, though perhaps not quite as volatile as before. The poets conceive of death in the trenches as the price of art, not war, fumbling with their masque-like dissertations to describe the Hollywood-like gore as something beyond belief, abstracting concrete bunkers to Achaemenid bas-relief. *** DPAA Hymn for Fallen Soldiers by Michael R. Burch Sound the awesome cannons. Pin medals to each breast. Attention, honor guard! Give them a hero’s rest. Recite their names to the heavens Till the stars acknowledge their kin. Then let the land they defended Gather them in again. When I learned there’s an American military organization, the DPAA, that is still bringing home the bodies of soldiers who died in World War II, after blubbering like a baby, I managed to eke out this poem. Keywords/Tags: war, recursion, recurring, repetition, cycle, banners, guns, oaths, mothers, tears, sighs, Vietnam War, maw, mortars, rounds, souls, escaping, bodies, corpses, death, heart, roar, bitter, knowledge, thanks, service, honor, duty, bravery

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020

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Date: 3/31/2021 7:09:00 AM
Hello Michael, you are such a gifted poet. I especially love your poems on this page. Fair Winds & Smooth Seas. ~
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