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Villanelles

Villanelles The villanelle is a poetic form based on repetition, with a double refrain. Villanelle: The Divide by Michael R. Burch The sea was not salt the first tide... was man born to sorrow that first day, with the moon?a pale beacon across the Divide, the brighter for longing, an object denied? the tug at his heart's pink, bourgeoning clay? The sea was not salt the first tide... but grew bitter, bitter?man's torrents supplied. The bride of their longing?forever astray, her shield a cold beacon across the Divide, flashing pale signals: Decide. Decide. Choose me, or His Brightness, I will not stay. The sea was not salt the first tide... imploring her, ebbing: Abide, abide. The silver fish flash there, the manatees gray. The moon, a pale beacon across the Divide, has taught us to seek Love's concealed side: the dark face of longing, the poets say. The sea was not salt the first tide... the moon a pale beacon across the Divide. Villanelle: Ordinary Love by Michael R. Burch Indescribable?our love?and still we say with eyes averted, turning out the light, "I love you, " in the ordinary way and tug the coverlet where once we lay, all suntanned limbs entangled, shivering, white... indescribably in love. Or so we say. Your hair's blonde thicket now is tangle-gray; you turn your back; you murmur to the night, "I love you, " in the ordinary way. Beneath the sheets our hands and feet would stray to warm ourselves. We do not touch despite a love so indescribable. We say we're older now, that "love" has had its day. But that which Love once countenanced, delight, still makes you indescribable. I say, "I love you, " in the ordinary way. Villanelle: Because Her Heart Is Tender by Michael R. Burch for Beth She scrawled soft words in soap: "Never Forget, " Dove-white on her car's window, and the wren, because her heart is tender, might regret it called the sun to wake her. As I slept, she heard lost names recounted, one by one. She wrote in sidewalk chalk: "Never Forget, " and kept her heart's own counsel. No rain swept away those words, no tear leaves them undone. Because her heart is tender with regret, bruised by razed towers' glass and steel and stone that shatter on and on and on and on, she stitches in wet linen: "NEVER FORGET, " and listens to her heart's emphatic song. The wren might tilt its head and sing along because its heart once understood regret when fledglings fell beyond, beyond, beyond... its reach, and still the boot-heeled world strode on. She writes in adamant: "NEVER FORGET" because her heart is tender with regret. Villanelle: Hangovers by Michael R. Burch We forget that, before we were born, our parents had "lives" of their own, ran drunk in the streets, or half-stoned. Yes, our parents had lives of their own until we were born; then, undone, they were buying their parents gravestones and finding gray hairs of their own (because we were born lacking some of their curious habits, but soon would certainly get them) . Half-stoned, we watched them dig graves of their own. Their lives would be over too soon for their curious habits to bloom in us (though our children were born nine months from that night on the town when, punch-drunk in the streets or half-stoned, we first proved we had lives of our own) . Villanelle Sequence: Clandestine But Gentle by Michael R. Burch I. Clandestine but gentle, wrapped in night, she eavesdropped on morose codes of my heart. She was the secret agent of delight. The blue spurt of her match, our signal light, announced her presence in the shadowed court: clandestine but gentle, cloaked in night. Her cigarette was waved, a casual sleight, to bid me "Come! " or tell me to depart. She was the secret agent of delight, like Ingrid Bergman in a trench coat, white as death, and yet more fair and pale (but short with me, whenever I grew wan with fright!) . II. Clandestine but gentle, veiled in night, she was the secret agent of delight; she coaxed the tumblers in some cryptic rite to make me spill my spirit. Lovely tart! Clandestine but gentle, veiled in night ?she waited till my tongue, untied, sang bright but damning strange confessions in the dark... III. She was the secret agent of delight; so I became her paramour. Tonight I await her in my exile, worlds apart... IV. For clandestine but gentle, wrapped in night, she is the secret agent of delight. Villanelle: Hang Together, or Separately by Michael R. Burch "The first shall be last, and the last first." Be careful whom you don't befriend When hyenas mark their prey: The odds will get even in the end. Some "deplorables" may yet ascend And since all dogs must have their day, Be careful whom you don't befriend. When pallid elitists condescend What does the Good Book say? The odds will get even in the end. Since the LORD advised us to attend To each other along the way, Be careful whom you don't befriend. But He was deserted. Friends, comprehend! Though revilers mock and flay, The odds will get even in the end. Now infidels have loot to spend: As bloody as Judas's that day. Be careful whom you don't befriend: The odds will get even in the end. Villanelle: The Sad Refrain by Michael R. Burch O, let us not repeat the sad refrain that Christ is cruel because some innocent dies. No, pain is good, for character comes from pain! There'd be no growth without the hammering rain that tests each petal's worth. Omnipotent skies peal, "Let us not repeat the sad refrain, but separate burnt chaff from bountiful grain. According to God's plan, the weakling dies and pain is good, for character comes from pain! A God who's perfect cannot bear the blame of flawed creations, just because one dies! So let us not repeat the sad refrain or think to shame or stain His awesome name! Let lightning strike the devious source of lies that pain is bad, for character comes from pain! Oh, let us not repeat the sad refrain!

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020




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