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  • By Michael R. Burch

Southern Icarus and other Poems

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus - Peter Bruegel the Elder

Southern Icarus

Windborne, lover of heights, unspooled from the truck’s wildly lurching embrace, you climb, skittish kite . . .

What do you know of the world’s despair, gliding in vast solitariness there, so that all that remains is to


Only a little longer the wind invests its sighs; you


spread-eagled, as the canvas snaps

and flaps

its white rebellious wings,

and all

the houses watch with baffled eyes.

What Works

for David Gosselin

What works― hewn stone; the blush the iris shows the sun; the lilac’s pale-remembered bloom.

The frenzied fly: mad-lively, gay, as seconds tick his time away, his sentence―one brief day in May,

a period. And then decay.

A frenzied rhyme’s mad tip-toed time, a ballad’s languid as the sea, seek, striving―"immortality.

When gloss peels off, what works will shine. When polish fades, what works will gleam. When intellectual prattle pales, the dying buzzing in the hive of tedious incessant bees, what works will soar and wheel and dive and milk all honey, leap and thrive,

and teach the pallid poem to seethe.

Michael R. Burch is the editor of The HyperTexts, on-line at, where he has published hundreds of poets over the past twenty years. His poetry has been translated into eleven languages and set to music by three composers. A five-time Pushcart nominee, his poems, translations and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary journals, including Light Quarterly, The Lyric, Measure, Iambs & Trochees, Blue Unicorn, The Chariton Review, The Chimaera, Able Muse, Lucid Rhythms, Poem Today, Asses of Parnassus, Writer’s Digest—The Year’s Best Writing and The Best of the Eclectic Muse.

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