Autumnal Poems by Michael Burch

Wind in Autumn by Ferdynand Ruszczyc (1870–1936). Courtesy: Creative Commons
Come down, O, come down
from your high mountain tower.
How coldly the wind blows,
how late this chill hour ...
and I cannot wait
for a meteor shower
to show you the time
must be now, or not ever.
Come down, O, come down
from the high mountain heather
blown far to the lees
as fierce northern gales sever.         
Come down, or your hearts will grow cold as the weather
when winter devours and spring returns never.
These standing stones have stood the test of time
but who are you
               and what are you
                                and why?
As brief as mist, as transient, as pale ...
Inconsequential mayfly!
Perhaps the thought of love inspired hope?
Do midges love? Do stars bend down to see?
Do gods commend the kindnesses of ants
to aphids? Does one eel impress the sea?
Are mayflies missed by mountains? Do the stars
regret the glow worm’s stellar mimicry
the day it dies? Does not the world grind on
as if it’s no great matter, not to be?
Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose.
And yet somehow you’re everything to me.
(Originally published by Clementine Unbound)
My forty-ninth year
and the dew remembers
how brightly it glistened
encrusting September:
one frozen September
when hawks ruled the sky
and death fell on wings
with a shrill, keening cry.
My forty-ninth year,
and still I recall
the weavings and windings
of childhood, of fall:
of fall enigmatic,
resplendent, yet sere*...
though vibrant the herald
of death drawing near.
My forty-ninth year
and now often I've thought on
the course of a lifetime,
the meaning of autumn:
the cycle of autumn
with winter to come,
of aging and death
and rebirth ... on and on.

* Dry or withered

Autumn: Painting in Acrylic by Sybil Pretious

Michael R. Burch’s poems have been published by hundreds of literary journals, taught in high schools and colleges, translated into fourteen languages, incorporated into three plays and two operas, and set to music by seventeen composers.



2 replies on “Autumnal Poems by Michael Burch”

Sir, I liked your “Come Down” and “Mayflies” very much. You are very prolific and almost all your poems are beautiful.

Sometimes, you make me rush to Google for meaning of some words. I willingly do so, for a poem has to be understood fully for true appreciation.

Liked by 1 person

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