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What Good Are Our Tears

What Good Are Our Tears? by Michael R. Burch What good are our tears? They will not spare the dying their anguish. What good is our concern to a child sick of living, waiting to perish? What good, the warm benevolence of tears without action? What help, the eloquence of prayers, or a pleasant benediction? Before this day is gone, how many more will die with bellies swollen, wasted limbs, and eyes too parched to cry? I fear for our souls as I hear the faint lament of their souls departing ... mournful, and distant. How pitiful our "effort," yet how fatal its effect. If they died, then surely we killed them, if only with neglect. I wrote this poem for children who are suffering from starvation, malnourishment, and neglect in places like Afghanistan, The Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Gaza, Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Sudan, Timor Leste, Yemen and Zambia. Keywords/Tags: Child, Child Abuse, Children, Youth, Neglect, Poverty, Malnourishment, Starvation, Illness, Disease, Sick, Death, Lament, Tears, Prayers, Action Shadowselves by Michael R. Burch In our hearts, knowing fewer days—and milder—beckon, how now are we to measure that wick by which we reckon the time we have remaining? We are shadows spawned by a blue spurt of candlelight. Darkly, we watch ourselves flicker. Where shall we go when the flame burns less bright? When chill night steals our vigor? Why are we less than ourselves? We are shadows. Where is the fire of our youth? We grow cold. Why does our future loom dark? We are old. And why do we shiver? In our hearts, seeing fewer days—and briefer—breaking, now, even more, we treasure this brittle leaf-like aching that tells us we are living. Dust (II) by Michael R. Burch We are dust and to dust we must return ... but why, then, life’s pointless sojourn? Leave Taking (II) by Michael R. Burch Although the earth renews itself, and spring is lovelier for all the rot of fall, I think of yellow leaves that cling and hang by fingertips to life, let go . . . and all men see is one bright instance of departure, the flame that, at least height, warms nothing. I, have never liked to think the ants that march here will deem them useless, grimly tramping by, and so I gather leaves’ dry hopeless brilliance, to feel their prickly edges, like my own, to understand their incurled worn resilience— youth’s tenderness long, callously, outgrown. I even feel the pleasure of their sting, the stab of life. I do not think—at all— to be renewed, as earth is every spring. I do not hope words cluster where they fall. I only hope one leaf, wild-spiraling, illuminates the void, till glad hearts sing. It's not that every leaf must finally fall ... it's just that we can never catch them all. Originally published by Silver Stork Less Heroic Couplets: Funding Fundamentals by Michael R. Burch "I found out that I was a Christian for revenue only and I could not bear the thought of that, it was so ignoble."—Mark Twain Making sense from nonsense is quite sensible! Suppose you’re running low on moolah, need some cash to paint your toes ... Just invent a new religion; claim it saves lost souls from hell; have the converts write you checks; take major debit cards as well; take MasterCard and Visa and good-as-gold Amex; hell, lend and charge them interest, whether payday loan or flex. Thus out of perfect nonsense, glittery ores of this great mine, you’ll earn an easy living and your toes will truly shine! Originally published by Lighten Up Online Marsh Song by Michael R. Burch Here there is only the great sad song of the reeds and the silent herons, wraithlike in the mist, and a few drab sunken stones, unblessed by the sunlight these late sixteen thousand years, and the beaded dews that drench strange ferns, like tears collected against an overwhelming sadness. Here the marsh exposes its dejectedness, its gutted rotting belly, and its roots rise out of the earth’s distended heaviness, to claw hard at existence, till the scars remind us that we all have wounds, and I have learned again that living is despair as the herons cleave the placid, dreamless air. Originally published by The Lyric Moon Lake by Michael R. Burch Starlit recorder of summer nights, what magic spell bewitches you? They say that all lovers love first in the dark... Is it true? Is it true? Is it true? Starry-eyed seer of all that appears and all that has appeared— What sights have you seen? What dreams have you dreamed? What rhetoric have you heard? Is love an oration, or is it a word? Have you heard? Have you heard? Have you heard? Originally published by Romantics Quarterly Tomb Lake by Michael R. Burch Go down to the valley where mockingbirds cry, alone, ever lonely... yes, go down to die. And dream in your dying you never shall wake. Go down to the valley; go down to Tomb Lake. Tomb Lake is a cauldron of souls such as yours— mad souls without meaning, frail souls without force. Tomb Lake is a graveyard reserved for the dead. They lie in her shallows and sleep in her bed. I believe this poem and "Moon Lake" were companion poems, written around my senior year of high school. Mother of Cowards by Michael R. Burch aka "The Loyal Opposition" So unlike the brazen giant of Greek fame With conquering limbs astride from land to land, Spread-eagled, showering gold, a strumpet stands: A much-used trollop with a torch, whose flame Has long since been extinguished. And her name? "Mother of Cowards!" From her enervate hand Soft ash descends. Her furtive eyes demand Allegiance to her Pimp's repulsive game. "Keep, ancient lands, your wretched poor!" cries she With scarlet lips. "Give me your hale, your whole, Your huddled tycoons, yearning to be pleased! The wretched refuse of your toilet hole? Oh, never send one unwashed child to me! I await Trump's pleasure by the gilded bowl!" Keywords/Tags: child, child abuse, children, poverty, youth, neglect, sick, sickness, malnourishment, lament

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020




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