Ides of March

Poetry by Michael R. Burch

 “When you are old and grey and full of sleep...”  — W.  B.  Yeats
 For all that we professed of love, we knew
 this night would come, that we would bend alone
 to tend wan fires’ dimming barsthe moan
 of wind cruel as the Trumpet, gelid dew
 an eerie presence on encrusted logs
 we hoard like jewels, embrittled so ourselves.
 The books that line these close, familiar shelves
 loom down like dreary chaperones. Wild dogs,
 too old for mates, cringe furtive in the park,
 as, toothless now, I frame this parchment kiss.
 I do not know the words for easy bliss
 and so my shrivelled fingers clutch this stark,
 long-unenamoured pen and will it: Move.
 I loved you more than words, so let words prove.

(Originally published by Sonnet Writers)
 Love Has a Southern Flavour
 Love has a Southern flavour: 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.

(Published by The Lyric, Contemporary Sonnet, The Eclectic Muse (Canada), Better Than Starbucks, The Chained Muse, Setu (India), Victorian Violet Press, A Long Story Short, Glass Facets of Poetry, Docster, Trinacria, PS: It’s Poetry (anthology), Borderless Journal (India), and in a Czech translation by Vaclav ZJ Pinkava)

 for Beth
 Have you tasted the bitterness of tears of despair?
 Have you watched the sun sink through such pale, balmless air
 that your soul sought its shell like a crab on a beach,
 then scuttled inside to be safe, out of reach?
 Might I lift you tonight from earth’s wreckage and damage
 on these waves gently rising to pay the moon homage?
 Or better, perhaps, let me say that I, too,
 have dreamed of infinity . . . windswept and blue.

(Originally published in broadsheets by TC Broadsheet Verses then subsequently published by Piedmont Literary Review, Penny Dreadful, the Net Poetry and Art Competition, Songs of Innocence, Poetry Life & Times, Better Than Starbucks and The Chained Muse)
 Autumn Conundrum
 It’s not that every leaf must finally fall,
 it’s just that Spring can never catch them all.

(Published by The Neovictorian/Cochlea, Deronda Review, Jewish Letter (Russia), Verse Weekly, Brief Poems, Deviant Art, Setu (India), Stremez (Macedonia), and translated into Russian, Macedonian, Turkish, Arabic and Romanian)
 Piercing the Shell
 If we strip away all the accoutrements of war,
 perhaps we’ll discover what the heart is for.
(Published by The Neovictorian/Cochlea, Deronda Review, Art in Society (Germany), Jewish Letter (Russia), Brief Poems, Poem Today, Complete Classics, Deviant Art, Setu (India), Stremez (Macedonia), Fullosia Press, and translated into Russian, Macedonian, Turkish, Arabic and Romanian)

 Not Elves, Exactly
 (after Robert Frost's "Mending Wall")
 Something there is that likes a wall,
 that likes it spiked and likes it tall,
 that likes its pikes’ sharp rows of teeth
 and doesn’t mind its victims’ grief
 (wherever they come from, far or wide)
 as long as they fall on the other side.

   (Originally published by The HyperTexts)


Michael R. Burch has over 6,000 publications, including poems that have gone viral. His poems have been translated into fourteen languages and set to music by eleven composers. He also edits The HyperTexts (online at



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