check yourself

check yourself fool
check your judgement
check yourself by judging yourself
pride yourself by judging yourself
pride yourself by judging your judgement
respect yourself is by judging yourself
respect your pride is by judging your pride

to fool yourself is to check yourself
to fool yourself is to respect yourself
respect is to honor yourself
to honor yourself is to honor your respect
judgement is a pride of honor
judgement is a pride of checking yourself
to fool yourself is to pride yourself

talk is cheap

you talk the talk can,
you walk the walk
talk is a manner’s talk of manner
you talk the manner can you walk the manner
a man’s manner is a man’s moral
you talk the moral can you walk the moral
talking is a cheap moral

talking is a cheap manner
moral is a cheap talk
moral is a cheap manner
talking is cheap,walking is highly
talking is cheap,walking is highly walking
talking is highly talking
talking is highly a manner of talking

Peace Prayer

Peace Prayer
by Michael R. Burch

Be calm.
Be still.
Be silent, content.

Be one with the buffalo cropping the grass to a safer height.

Seek the composure of the great depths, barely moved by exterior storms.

Lift your face to the dawning light; feel how it warms.

And be calm.
Be still.
Be silent, content.

Published by Hibiscus (India), Ethos Literary Journal, The Peacemaker, Lullabies Behind My Eyelids, The Episcopal Church of St. Matthew (San Mateo, CA) and Mad Hatter

The Best Sports Poems by Michael R. Burch

These are the best sports poems by Michael R. Burch ...

The Locker
by Michael R. Burch

All the dull hollow clamor has died
       and what was contained,  
                   removed,
                   reproved
         adulation or sentiment,
   left with the pungent darkness
as remembered as the sudden light.

Originally published by The Raintown Review

Ali’s Song
by Michael R. Burch

Prose Poems

These are prose poems and experimental poems.

Prose Poem: The Trouble with Poets
by Michael R. Burch

This morning the neighborhood girls were helping their mothers with chores, but one odd little girl went out picking roses by herself, looking very small and lonely. Suddenly the odd one refused to pick roses anymore because it occurred to her that being plucked might “hurt” them. Now she just sits beside the bushes, rocking gently back and forth, weeping and consoling the vegetation!

Erin

This is a poem inspired by an Irish cousin of mine who was a bit of a "wild child" in her youth. 

Erin
by Michael R. Burch

All that’s left of Ireland is her hair—
bright carrot—and her milkmaid-pallid skin,
her brilliant air of cavalier despair,
her train of children—some conceived in sin,
the others to avoid it. For nowhere
is evidence of thought. Devout, pale, thin,
gay, nonchalant, all radiance. So fair!

Lullabies

These are lullabies I have written over the years, as poems. Some of my poems have been set to music and thus have become actual songs and lullabies.

For a Ukrainian Child, with Butterflies
by Michael R. Burch

Where does the butterfly go ...
when lightning rails ...
when thunder howls ...
when hailstones scream ...
when winter scowls ...
when nights compound dark frosts with snow ...
where does the butterfly go?

Chixiao (“The Owl”) translation from the ancient Chinese by Duke Zhou

Chixiao (“The Owl”)
by Duke Zhou (c. 1100-1000 BC)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Owl!
You've stolen my offspring,
Don't shatter my nest!
When with labors of love
I nurtured my fledglings.

Before the skies darkened
And the dark rains fell,
I gathered mulberry twigs
To thatch my nest,
Yet scoundrels now dare
Impugn my enterprise.

With fingers chafed rough
By the reeds I plucked
And the straw I threshed,
I now write these words,
Too hoarse to speak:
I am homeless!

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