Memory Poem by Michael Burch

Memory

Rating: 5.0


Memory
by Michael R. Burch

A black ringlet
curls to lie
at the nape of her neck,
glistening with sweat
in the evaporate moonlight...
This is what I remember

now that I cannot forget.

And tonight,
if I have forgotten her name,
I remember:
rigid wire and white lace
half-impressed in her flesh...

our soft cries, like regret,

... the enameled white clips
of her bra strap
still inscribe dimpled marks
that my kisses erase...

now that I have forgotten her face.

Published by Poetry Magazine, La luce che non muore (Italy) , Kritya (India) , The Eclectic Muse (Canada) , Carnelian, Triplopia, the Net Poetry and Art Competition, Poetry Life & Times, Strange Road, Inspirational Stories, Centrifugal Eye, Candlelight Reading Series




For All That I Remembered
by Michael R. Burch

For all that I remembered, I forgot
her name, her face, the reason that we loved...
and yet I hold her close within my thought.
I feel the burnished weight of auburn hair
that fell across her face, the apricot
clean scent of her shampoo, the way she glowed
so palely in the moonlight, angel-wan.

The memory of her gathers like a flood
and bears me to that night, that only night,
when she and I were one, and if I could...
I'd reach to her this time and, smiling, brush
the hair out of her eyes, and hold intact
each feature, each impression. Love is such
a threadbare sort of magic, it is gone
before we recognize it. I would crush
my lips to hers to hold their memory,
if not more tightly, less elusively.

Originally published by The Raintown Review



Roses for a Lover, Idealized
by Michael R. Burch

When you have become to me
as roses bloom, in memory,
exquisite, each sharp thorn forgot,
will I recall—yours made me bleed?

When winter makes me think of you—
whorls petrified in frozen dew,
bright promises blithe spring forsook,
will I recall your words—barbed, cruel?

Originally published by The Lyric



The Peripheries of Love
by Michael R. Burch

Through waning afternoons we glide
the watery peripheries of love.
A silence, a quietude falls.

Above us—the darkening pavilions of clouds.
Below us—rough pebbles slowly worn smooth
grate in the gentle turbulence
of yesterday's forgotten rains.

Later, the moon like a virgin
lifts her stricken white face
and the waters rise
toward some unfathomable shore.

We sway gently in the wake
of what stirs beneath us,
yet leaves us unmoved...
curiously motionless,

as though twilight might blur
the effects of proximity and distance,
as though love might be near—

as near
as a single cupped tear of resilient dew
or a long-awaited face.

Published by Romantics Quarterly, Poetry Magazine, Boston Poetry Magazine, Triplopia, Shadows Ink, E Mobius Pi, Underground Poets, Emotions Literary Magazine, Grassroots Poetry, Poetry Webring, Poetically Speaking, The Poetic Muse, Poet's Haven, Poetic Voices, Nutty Stories (South Africa) and Gostinaya (in a Russian translation by Yelena Dubrovin)



Violets
by Michael R. Burch

Once, only once,
when the wind flicked your skirt
to an indiscreet height

and you laughed,
abruptly demure,
outblushing shocked violets:

suddenly,
I knew:
everything had changed.

Later, as you braided your hair
into long bluish plaits
the shadows empurpled

—the dragonflies'
last darting feints
dissolving mid-air—

we watched the sun's long glide
into evening,
knowing and unknowing...

O, how the illusions of love
await us in the commonplace
and rare

then haunt our small remainder of hours.

Published by Romantics Quarterly, Muse Apprentice Guild, Victorian Violet Press, Boston Poetry Magazine, and Poetry on Demand



Hymn for Fallen Soldiers
by Michael R. Burch

Sound the awesome cannons.
Pin medals to each breast.
Attention, honor guard!
Give them a hero's rest.

Recite their names to the heavens
Till the stars acknowledge their kin.
Then let the land they defended
Gather them in again.

When I learned there's an American military organization, the DPAA (Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency) , that is still finding and bringing home the bodies of soldiers who died serving their country in World War II, after blubbering like a baby, I managed to eke out this poem.



The Shrinking Season
by Michael R. Burch

With every wearying year
the weight of the winter grows
and while the schoolgirl outgrows
her clothes,
the widow disappears
in hers.



Safe Harbor
by Michael R. Burch

for Kevin Nicholas Roberts

The sea at night seems
an alembic of dreams—
the moans of the gulls,
the foghorns' bawlings.

A century late
to be melancholy,
I watch the last shrimp boat as it steams
to safe harbor again.

In the twilight she gleams
with a festive light,
done with her trawlings,
ready to sleep...

Deep, deep, in delight
glide the creatures of night,
elusive and bright
as the poet's dreams.

Published by The Lyric, Grassroots Poetry, Romantics Quarterly, Angle, Poetry Porch, Poetry Life & Times



Distances
by Michael R. Burch

Moonbeams on water —
the reflected light
of a halcyon star
now drowning in night...
So your memories are.

Footprints on beaches
now flooding with water;
the small, broken ribcage
of some primitive slaughter...
So near, yet so far.

Originally published by The Poetry Porch/Sonnet Scroll



Fountainhead
by Michael R. Burch

I did not delight in love so much
as in a kiss like linnets' wings,
the flutterings of a pulse so soft
the heart remembers, as it sings:
to bathe there was its transport, brushed
by marble lips, or porcelain, —
one liquid kiss, one cool outburst
from pale rosettes. What did it mean...
to float awhirl on minute tides
within the compass of your eyes,
to feel your alabaster bust
grow cold within? Ecstatic sighs
seem hisses now; your eyes, serene,
reflect the sun's pale tourmaline.

Published by Romantics Quarterly, Poetica Victorian, PW Review, Nutty Stories (South Africa) , Inspirational Stories, Poetry Life & Times



Ivy
by Michael R. Burch

'Van trepando en mi viejo dolor como las yedras.'—Pablo Neruda
'They climb on my old suffering like ivy.'

Ivy winds around these sagging structures
from the flagstones
to the eave heights,
and, clinging, holds intact
what cannot be saved of their loose entrails.

Through long, blustery nights of dripping condensation,
cured in the humidors of innumerable forgotten summers,
waxy, unguent,
palely, indifferently fragrant, it climbs,
pausing at last to see
the alien sparkle of dew
beading delicate sparrowgrass.

Coarse saw grass, thin skunk grass, clumped mildewed yellow gorse
grow all around, and here remorse, things past,
watch ivy climb and bend,
and, in the end, we ask
if grief is worth the gaps it leaps to mend.

Originally published by Nisqually Delta Review



Vacuum
by Michael R. Burch

Over hushed quadrants
forever landlocked in snow,
time's senseless winds blow...

leaving odd relics of lives half-revealed,
if still mostly concealed...
such are the things we are unable to know

that once intrigued us so.

Come then, let us quickly repent
of whatever truths we'd once determined to learn
but lost in these drifts at each unexpected turn.

There's nothing left of us here; it's time to go.



briefling
by Michael R. Burch

manishatched, hopsintotheMix,
cavorts, hassex(quick! , spawnanewBrood!) ;
then, likeamayfly, he'ssuddenlygone:
plantfood



After the Deluge
by Michael R. Burch

She was kinder than light
to an up-reaching flower
and sweeter than rain
to the bees in their bower
where anemones blush
at the affections they shower,
and love's shocking power.

She shocked me to life,
but soon left me to wither.
I was listless without her,
nor could I be with her.
I fell under the spell
of her absence's power.
in that calamitous hour.

Like blithe showers that fled
repealing spring's sweetness;
like suns' warming rays sped
away, with such fleetness...
she has taken my heart—
alas, our completeness!
I now wilt in pale beams
of her occult remembrance.



Polish
by Michael R. Burch

Your fingers end in talons—
the ones you trim to hide
the predator inside.

Ten thousand creatures sacrificed;
but really, what's the loss?
Apply a splash of gloss.

You picked the perfect color
to mirror nature's law:
red, like tooth and claw.



Incommunicado
by Michael R. Burch

All I need to know of life I learned
in the slap of a moment,
as my outward eye turned
toward a gauntlet of overhanging lights
which coldly burned, hissing—
'There is no way back! '

As the ironic bright blood
trickled down my face,
I watched strange albino creatures twisting
my flesh into tight knots of separation
while tediously insisting—
'He's doing just fine! '



Published as the collection 'Memory'

Keywords/Tags: memory, memories, remember, remembrance, memoir, memoirs, memorial, forget, forgot, forgetting, forgotten love, time

Friday, January 16, 2015
Topic(s) of this poem: forgotten love,memoir,memoirs,memorial,memory,remember,remembrance,time,forget
COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Jane Campion 20 July 2019

That memory has now been eroded by time. Some inkling of what went on.

1 0 Reply
Michael Burch 20 July 2019

Yes, a hazy memory. " Eroded by time" is a good description.

0 0 Reply
Assefa A. 29 November 2018

Interesting poem. I like how the poet dealt with subject -Memory. and how memery can be tricky and paradoxical sometimes. it surprises when we remember things of less significant about a person or place, etc-forgetting the 'most obvious-a shouldn't be facts. nothing you can do about it-selective memory.

0 0 Reply
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