These are "very early poems" written in my teens, that made me feel like a "real poet."



by Michael R. Burch

Have you tasted the bitterness of tears of despair?
Have you watched the sun sink through such pale, balmless air
that your soul sought its shell like a crab on a beach,
then scuttled inside to be safe, out of reach?

Might I lift you tonight from earth’s wreckage and damage
on these waves gently rising to pay the moon homage?
Or better, perhaps, let me say that I, too,
have dreamed of infinity . . . windswept and blue.

This poem was originally published by TC Broadsheet Verses. I was paid a whopping $10, my first cash payment. It was subsequently published by Piedmont Literary Review, Penny Dreadful, the Net Poetry and Art Competition, Songs of Innocence, Poetry Life & Times, Better Than Starbucks, Borderless Journal (India), and The Chained Muse.


by Michael R. Burch

Here the hills are old, and rolling
casually in their old age;
on the horizon youthful mountains
bathe themselves in windblown fountains . . .

By dying leaves and falling raindrops,
I have traced time's starts and stops,
and I have known the years to pass
almost unnoticed, whispering through treetops . . .

For here the valleys fill with sunlight
to the brim, then empty again,
and it seems that only I notice
how the years flood out, and in . . .

I wrote this poem as a teenager in a McDonald’s break room. It was the first poem that made me feel like a “real poet,” so I will always treasure it. The poem was published as “Reckoning” by Arkansas Tech University in Nebo: A Literary Journal, then by Tucumcari Literary Review. After being renamed "Observance,” it was selected as a top 100 poem in the 1999 Writer’s Digest rhyming poetry contest, out of over 13,000 overall contest entries. It also won 4th place in another large poetry contest sponsored by Iliad Press. It was subsequently published in Piedmont Literary Review, Romantics Quarterly, Poetry Life & Times, Verses, Setu (India), Better Than Starbucks, The Chained Muse and the anthology There is Something in the Autumn. Not too shabby for a teenage poet!


by Michael R. Burch

The hazy, smoke-filled skies of summer I remember well;
farewell was on my mind, and the thoughts that I can't tell
rang bells within (the din was in) my mind, and I can't say
if what we had was good or bad, or where it is today ...
The endless days of summer's haze I still recall today;
she spoke and smoky skies stood still as summer slipped away ...

I wrote this poem as a boy, after seeing an ad for the movie "Summer of ’42," which starred the lovely Jennifer O’Neill and a young male actor who might have been my nebbish twin. I didn’t see the movie: too young, according to my parents! But something about the ad touched me; even thinking about it today makes me feel sad and a bit out of sorts. The movie came out in 1971, so the poem was probably written around 1971-1972 at age 13 or 14. But it could have been a bit later, working from memory. In any case, the poem was published in my high school literary journal, The Lantern, in 1976. It has also been published by Homespun, The Eclectic Muse (Canada), Fullosia Press and Better Than Starbucks, and translated into Romanian and published by Petru Dimofte.

Poetry by Michael R. Burch The PoetBay support member heart!
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Written on 2021-06-03 at 09:56

Tags Early  Young  Youthful 

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Coo & Co The PoetBay support member heart!
Thank-coos for posting these; for early poems they are very accomplished. We particularly like the shell-soul; windswept and also windblown; the smoke-filled skies.

We congratulate you again on your considerable publishing success. At Coo & Co we are poets of private commissions for the post part :>)