Poetry by Michael Burch
An Illusion The sky was as hushed as the breath of a bee and the world was bathed in shades of palest gold when I awoke. She came to me with the sound of falling leaves and the scent of new-mown grass; I held out my arms to her and she passed into oblivion ... Leaf Fall Whatever winds encountered soon resolved to swirling fragments, till chaotic heaps of leaves lay pulsing by the backyard wall. In lieu of rakes, our fingers sorted each dry leaf into its place and built a high, soft bastion against earth’s gravitron— a patchwork quilt, a trampoline, a bright impediment to fling ourselves upon. And nothing in our laughter as we fell into those leaves was like the autumn’s cry of also falling. Nothing meant to die could be so bright as we, so colourful— clad in our plaids, oblivious to pain we’d feel today, should we leaf-fall again. Childhood's End How well I remember those fiery Septembers: dry leaves, dying embers of summers aflame lay trampled before me and fluttered, imploring the bright, dancing rain to descend once again. Now often I’ve thought on the meaning of autumn, how pale moons eerie mornings enchanted dark clouds while robins repeated gay songs sagely heeded so wisely when winters before they’d flown south ... And still, in remembrance, I’ve conjured a semblance of childhood and how the world seemed to me then; but early this morning, when, rising and yawning, I found a grey hair ... it was all beyond my ken. A Vain Word Oleanders at dawn preen extravagant whorls as I read in leaves’ Sanskrit brief moments remaining till sunset implodes, till the moon strands grey pearls under moss-stubbled oaks, full of whispers, complaining to the darkening autumn, how swiftly life goes— as I fled before love ... Now, through leaves trodden black, shivering, I wander as winter’s first throes of cool listless snow drench my cheeks, back and neck. I discerned in one season all eternities of grief, the spectre of death sprawled out under the rose, the last consequence of faith in the flight of one leaf, the incontinence of age, as life’s bright torrent slows. O, where are you now?—I was timid, absurd. I would find comfort again in a vain word.
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 www.thehypertexts.com).
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