Year: 
2022

These are poems about the supernatural and magical things, like love. 

1-800-HOT-LINE
by Michael R. Burch

“I don’t believe in psychics,” he said, “so convince me.”

When you were a child, the earth was a joy,
the sun a bright plaything, the moon a lit toy.
Now life’s small distractions irk, frazzle, annoy.
When the crooked finger beckons, scythe-talons destroy.

“You’ll have to do better than that, to convince me.”

As you grew older, bright things lost their meaning.
You invested your hours in commodities, leaning
to things easily fleeced, to the convenient gleaning.
I see a pittance of dirt—untended, demeaning.

“Everyone knows that!” he said, “so convince me.”

Your first and last wives traded in golden bands
to escape the abuses of your cruel hands.
Where unwatered blooms litter a small plot of land,
the two come together, waving fans.

“Everyone knows that. Convince me.”

As your father left you, you left those you brought
to the doorstep of life as an afterthought.
Two sons and a daughter tap shoes, undistraught.
Their tears are contrived, their condolences bought.

“Everyone knows that. CONVINCE me.”

A moment, an instant ... a life flashes by,
a tunnel appears, but not to the sky.
There is brightness, such brightness it sears the eye.
When a life grows too dull, it seems better to die.

“I could have told you that!” he shrieked, “I think I’ll kill myself!”

Originally published by Penny Dreadful

***

Your Pull
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

You were like sunshine and rain—
begetting rainbows,
full of contradictions, like the intervals
between light and shadow.

That within you which I most opposed
drew me closer still,
as a magnet exerts its unyielding pull
on insensate steel.

Originally published by The Lyric

***

You
by Michael R. Burch

For forty years You have not spoken to me;
I heard the dull hollow echo of silence
as though strange communion between us.

For forty years You would not open to me;
You remained closed, hard and tense,
like a clenched fist.

For forty years You have not broken me
with Your alien ways, prevarications and distance.
Like a child dismissed,

I have watched You prey upon the hope in me,
knowing “mercy” is chance
and “heaven”—a list.

***

The Wonder Boys
by Michael R. Burch

(for Leslie Mellichamp, the late editor of The Lyric,
who was a friend and mentor to many poets, and
a fine poet in his own right)

The stars were always there, too-bright cliches:
scintillant truths the jaded world outgrew
as baffled poets winged keyed kites, amazed,
in dream of shocks that suddenly came true...

but came almost as static: background noise,
a song out of the cosmos no one hears,
or cares to hear. The poets, starstruck boys,
lay tuned in to their kite strings, saucer-eared.

They thought to feel the lightning’s brilliant sparks
electrify their nerves, their brains; the smoke
of words poured from their overheated hearts.
The kite string, knotted, made a nifty rope...

You will not find them here; they blew away
in tumbling flight beyond nights’ stars. They clung
by fingertips to satellites. They strayed
too far to remain mortal. Elfin, young,

their words are with us still. Devout and fey,
they wink at us whenever skies are gray.

***

The Singer
by Michael R. Burch

for Leslie Mellichamp

The sun that swoons at dusk
and seems a vanished grace
breaks over distant shores
as a child’s uplifted face
takes up a song like yours.
We listen, and embrace
its warmth with dawning trust.

***

Dawn, to the Singer
by Michael R. Burch

for Leslie Mellichamp

“O singer, sing to me—
I know the world’s awry—
I know how piteously
the hungry children cry.”

We hear you even now—
your voice is with us yet.
Your song did not desert us,
nor can our hearts forget.

“But I bleed warm and near,
And come another dawn
The world will still be here
When home and hearth are gone.”

Although the world seems colder,
your words will warm it yet.
Lie untroubled, still its compass
and guiding instrument.

***

Yasna 28, Verse 6
by Zarathustra (Zoroaster)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Lead us to pure thought and truth
by your sacred word and long-enduring assistance,
O, eternal Giver of the gifts of righteousness.

O, wise Lord, grant us spiritual strength and joy;
help us overcome our enemies’ enmity!

Translator’s Note: The Gathas consist of 17 hymns believed to have been composed by Zoroaster, also known as Zarathustra, Zarathushtra Spitama or Ashu Zarathushtra. Zoroaster was an ancient Iranian prophet who founded what is now known as Zoroastrianism. Zoroaster’s compositions may date as far back as 1700 BC, although there is no scholarly consensus as to when he lived. These hymns form the core of the Zoroastrian liturgy called the Yasna. The language employed, Gathic or Old Avestan, is related to the proto-Indo-Iranian and proto-Iranian languages and to Vedic Sanskrit. The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy deems Zoroaster to have been the first philosopher. Zoroaster has also been called the father of ethics, the first rationalist and the first monotheist. In the original texts, Ahura Mazda means “wise Lord” or “Lord of Wisdom” while Vohuman/Vohu Manah represents pure thought and righteousness and Asha represents truth. Angra Mainyu was the chief evil entity, a precursor of Satan.

Keywords/Tags: poem, poems, poetry, supernatural, magic, magical, love, psychic, psychics, Leslie Mellichamp

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