"Salat Days” is a poem I wrote about a barely edible weed called — take your pick — pokeweed, poke salad, poke sallet and poke salat. The poem “Salat Days” is followed by a prose version that might be called a short story, a personal essay or flash fiction or micro fiction.
by Michael R. Burch
Dedicated to the memory of my grandfather, Paul Ray Burch, Sr.
Our efforts are those of the unfortunate;
our efforts are like those of the Trojans.
Somewhat we succeed; somewhat
we regain confidence; and we start
to have courage and high hopes.
But something always happens and stops us.
Achilles in the trench before us
emerges and with loud cries terrifies us.--
Our efforts are like those of the Trojans.
We believe that with resolution and daring
we will alter the blows of destiny,
and we stand outside to do battle.
But when the great crisis comes,
Trilogy Of Passion 02 Elegy
When man had ceased to utter his lament,
A god then let me tell my tale of sorrow.
What hope of once more meeting is there now
In the still-closed blossoms of this day?
Both heaven and hell thrown open seest thou;
What wav'ring thoughts within the bosom play
No longer doubt! Descending from the sky,
She lifts thee in her arms to realms on high.
And thus thou into Paradise wert brought,
As worthy of a pure and endless life;
Nothing was left, no wish, no hope, no thought,
Mysterious death! who in a single hour
Life's gold can so refine
And by thy art divine
Change mortal weakness to immortal power!
Bending beneath the weight of eighty years
Spent with the noble strife
of a victorious life
We watched her fading heavenward, through our tears.
But ere the sense of loss our hearts had wrung
A miracle was wrought;
And swift as happy thought
She lived again -- brave, beautiful, and young.
Age, pain, and sorrow dropped the veils they wore
Touched by an Angel
We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.
We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love's light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
To the Same
I WOULD I had thy courage, dear, to face
This bankruptcy of love, and greet despair
With smiling eyes and unconcerned embrace,
And these few words of banter at “dull care.”
I would that I could sing and comb my hair
Like thee the morning through, and choose my dress,
And gravely argue what I best should wear,
A shade of ribbon or a fold of lace.
I would I had thy courage and thy peace,
Peace passing understanding; that mine eyes
Could find forgetfulness like thine in sleep;
To The Royal Society excerpts
Philosophy the great and only heir
Of all that human knowledge which has bin
Unforfeited by man's rebellious sin,
Though full of years he do appear,
(Philosophy, I say, and call it, he,
For whatso'ere the painter's fancy be,
It a male-virtue seems to me)
Has still been kept in nonage till of late,
Nor manag'd or enjoy'd his vast estate:
Three or four thousand years one would have thought,
To ripeness and perfection might have brought
A science so well bred and nurst,
To the King
[Upon His Majesty's Happy Return.]
The rising sun complies with our weak sight,
First gilds the clouds, then shows his globe of light
At such a distance from our eyes, as though
He knew what harm his hasty beams would do.
But your full majesty at once breaks forth
In the meridian of your reign. Your worth,
Your youth, and all the splendour of your state,
(Wrapped up, till now, in clouds of adverse fate!)
With such a flood of light invade our eyes,
And our spread hearts with so great joy surprise,
To Songs At the Marriage Of The Lord Fauconberg And The Lady Mary Cromwell
[Chorus. Endymion. Luna.]
Th' Astrologers own Eyes are set,
And even Wolves the Sheep forget;
Only this Shepherd, late and soon,
Upon this Hill outwakes the Moon.
Heark how he sings, with sad delight,
Thorough the clear and silent Night.
Cynthia, O Cynthia, turn thine Ear,
nor scorn Endymions plaints to hear.
As we our Flocks, so you command
The fleecy Clouds with silver wand.
You know what I mean
I’VE noticed this happen, when everything is black,
When I’m down below zero and cannot get back,
When I feel like a sort of a National Debt,
That will go on for ages and never be met,
When my will is all bagged at the knees and dead beat,
It is then, don’t you know, that., I’m certain to meet
With some prodigal lifeless dejected old bean,
Who is worse off than I you know what I mean.
Someone or other who’s entered the race,
With a sense of intention but can’t stay the pace,
He tells all his troubles and heaven knows what,