Michael R. Burch

1958
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Heretical Poems by Michael R. Burch

Heretical Poems by Michael R. Burch

Bible Libel
by Michael R. Burch

If God
is good,
half the Bible
is libel.

NOTE: I came up with this epigram to express my conclusions after reading the Bible from cover to cover, ten chapters per day, at age eleven.



Saving Graces
for the Religious Right
by Michael R. Burch

Life’s saving graces are love, pleasure, laughter
(wisdom, it seems, is for the Hereafter).



Multiplication, Tabled
for the Religious Right
by Michael R. Burch

“Be fruitful and multiply”—
great advice, for a fruitfly!
But for women and men,
simple Simons, say, “WHEN!”



Willy Nilly
for the Demiurge, aka Yahweh/Jehovah
by Michael R. Burch

Isn’t it silly, Willy Nilly?
You made the stallion,
you made the filly,
and now they sleep
in the dark earth, stilly.
Isn’t it silly, Willy Nilly?

Isn’t it silly, Willy Nilly?
You forced them to run
all their days uphilly.
They ran till they dropped—
life’s a pickle, dilly.
Isn’t it silly, Willy Nilly?

Isn’t it silly, Willy Nilly?
They say I should worship you!
Oh, really!
They say I should pray
so you’ll not act illy.
Isn’t it silly, Willy Nilly?



What Would Santa Claus Say
by Michael R. Burch

What would Santa Claus say,
I wonder,
about Jesus returning
to Rage and Plunder?

For he’ll likely return
on Christmas Day
to blow the bad
little boys away!

When He flashes like lightning
across the skies
and many a homosexual
dies,

when the harlots and heretics
are ripped asunder,
what will the Easter Bunny think,
I wonder?



A Child’s Christmas Prayer of Despair for a Hindu Saint
by Michael R. Burch

Santa Claus,
for Christmas, please,
don’t bring me toys, or games, or candy . . .
just . . . Santa, please . . .
I’m on my knees! . . .
please don’t let Jesus torture Gandhi!



gimME that ol’ time religion!
by michael r. burch

fiddle-dee-dum, fiddle-dee-dee,
jesus loves and understands ME!
safe in his grace, I’LL send them to hell—
the strumpet, the harlot, the wild jezebel,
the alky, the druggie, all queers short and tall!
let them drink ashes and wormwood and gall,
’cause fiddle-dee-DUMB, fiddle-dee-WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEee . . .
jesus loves and understands
ME!



Pagans Protest the Intolerance of Christianity
by Michael R. Burch

“We have a common sky.” — Quintus Aurelius Symmachus (c. 345-402)

We had a common sky
before the Christians came.

We thought there might be gods
but did not know their names.

The common stars above us?
They winked, and would not tell.

Yet now our fellow mortals claim
our questions merit hell!

The cause of our damnation?
They claim they’ve seen the LIGHT ...

but still the stars wink down at us,
as wiser beings might.



Practice Makes Perfect
by Michael R. Burch

I have a talent for sleep;
it’s one of my favorite things.
Thus when I sleep, I sleep deep ...
at least till the stupid clock rings.

I frown as I squelch its loud beep,
then fling it aside to resume
my practice for when I’ll sleep deep
in a silent and undisturbed tomb.



Enough!
by Michael R. Burch

It’s not that I don’t want to die;
I shall be glad to go.
Enough of diabetes pie,
and eating sickly crow!
Enough of win and place and show.
Enough of endless woe!

Enough of suffering and vice!
I’ve said it once;
I’ll say it twice:
I shall be glad to go.

But why the hell should I be nice
when no one asked for my advice?
So grumpily I’ll go ...
although
(most probably) below.



Redefinitions
by Michael R. Burch

Faith: falling into the same old claptrap.
Religion: the ties that blind.



pretty pickle
by michael r. burch

u’d blaspheme if u could
because ur God’s no good,
but of course u cant:
ur just a lowly ant
(or so u were told by a Hierophant).



Defenses
by Michael R. Burch

Beyond the silhouettes of trees
stark, naked and defenseless
there stand long rows of sentinels:
these pert white picket fences.

Now whom they guard and how they guard,
the good Lord only knows;
but savages would have to laugh
observing the tidy rows.



Listen
by Michael R. Burch

Listen to me now and heed my voice;
I am a madman, alone, screaming in the wilderness,
but listen now.

Listen to me now, and if I say
that black is black, and white is white, and in between lies gray,
I have no choice.

Does a madman choose his words? They come to him,
the moon’s illuminations, intimations of the wind,
and he must speak.

But listen to me now, and if you hear
the tolling of the judgment bell, and if its tone is clear,
then do not tarry,

but listen, or cut off your ears, for I Am weary.



fog
by michael r. burch

ur just a bit of fluff
drifting out over the ocean,
unleashing an atom of rain,
causing a minor commotion,
for which u expect awesome GODS
to pay u SUPREME DEVOTION!
... but ur just a smidgen of mist
unlikely to be missed ...
where did u get the notion?



thanksgiving prayer of the parasites
by michael r. burch

GODD is great;
GODD is good;
let us thank HIM
for our food.

by HIS hand
we all are fed;
give us now
our daily dead:

ah-men!

(p.s.,
most gracious
& salacious
HEAVENLY LORD,
we thank YOU in advance for
meals galore
of loverly gore:
of precious
delicious
sumptuous
scrumptious
human flesh!)



no foothold
by michael r. burch

there is no hope;
therefore i became invulnerable to love.
now even god cannot move me:
nothing to push or shove,
no foothold.

so let me live out my remaining days in clarity,
mine being the only nativity,
my death the final crucifixion
and apocalypse,

as far as the i can see ...



u-turn: another way to look at religion
by michael r. burch

... u were borne orphaned from Ecstasy
into this lower realm: just one of the inching worms
dreaming of Beatification;
u'd love to make a u-turn back to Divinity, but
having misplaced ur chrysalis,
can only chant magical phrases,
like Circe luring ulysses back into the pigsty ...



You
by Michael R. Burch

For thirty years You have not spoken to me;
I heard the dull hollow echo of silence
as though a communion between us.

For thirty years You would not open to me;
You remained closed, hard and tense,
like a clenched fist.

For thirty years You have not broken me
with Your alien ways and Your distance.
Like a child dismissed,

I have watched You prey upon the hope in me,
knowing “mercy” is chance
and “heaven”—a list.



I’ve got Jesus’s face on a wallet insert
by Michael R. Burch

for the Religious Right

I’ve got Jesus’s face on a wallet insert
and "Hell is for Queers" on the back of my shirt.
     And I uphold the Law,
     for Grace has a Flaw:
the Church must have someone to drag through the dirt.

I’ve got ten thousand reasons why Hell must exist,
and you’re at the top of my fast-swelling list!
     You’re nothing like me,
     so God must agree
and slam down the Hammer with His Loving Fist!

For what are the chances that God has a plan
to save everyone: even Boy George and Wham!?
     Eternal fell torture
     in Hell’s pressure scorcher
will separate h0m0 from Man.

I’m glad I’m redeemed, ecstatic you’re not.
Did Christ die for sinners? Perish the thought!
     The "good news" is this:
     soon My vengeance is his!,
for you’re not the lost sheep We sought.



jesus hates me, this i know
by michael r. burch

jesus hates me, this I know,
for Church libel tells me so:
"little ones to him belong"
but if they use their dongs, so long!
    yes, jesus hates me!
    yes, jesus baits me!
    yes, he berates me!
    Church libel tells me so!

jesus fleeces us, i know,
for Religion scams us so:
little ones are brainwashed to
believe god saves the Chosen Few!
    yes, jesus fleeces!
    yes, he deceases
    the bunny and the rhesus
    because he's mad at you!

jesus hates me—christ who died
so i might be crucified:
for if i use my active brain,
that will drive the "lord" insane!
    yes, jesus hates me!
    yes, jesus baits me!
    yes, he berates me!
    Church libel tells me so!

jesus hates me, this I know,
for Church libel tells me so:
first priests tell me "look above,"
that christ's the lamb and god's the dove,
but then they sentence me to Hell
for using my big brain too well!
    yes, jesus hates me!
    yes, jesus baits me!
    yes, he berates me!
    Church libel tells me so!



and then i was made whole
by michael r. burch

... and then i was made whole,
but not a thing entire,
glued to a perch
in a gilded church,
strung through with a silver wire ...

singing a little of this and of that,
warbling higher and higher:
a thing wholly dead
till I lifted my head
and spat at the Lord and his choir.



Starting from Scratch with Ol’ Scratch
by Michael R. Burch

for the Religious Right

Love, with a small, fatalistic sigh
went to the ovens. Please don’t bother to cry.
You could have saved her, but you were all caught up
complaining about the Jews to Reichmeister Grupp.

Scratch that. You were born after World War II.
You had something more important to do:
while the children of the Nakba were perishing in Gaza
with the complicity of your government, you had a noble cause (a
religious tract against homosexual marriage
and various things gods and evangelists disparage.)

Jesus will grok you? Ah, yes, I’m quite sure
that your intentions were good and ineluctably pure.
After all, what the hell does he care about Palestinians?
Certainly, Christians were right about serfs, slaves and Indians.
Scratch that. You’re one of the Devil’s minions.



In His Kingdom of Corpses
by Michael R. Burch

In His kingdom of corpses,
God has been heard to speak
in many enraged discourses,
high, high from some mountain peak
where He’s lectured man on compassion
while the sparrows around Him fell,
and babes, for His meager ration
of rain, died and went to hell,
unbaptized, for that’s His fashion.

In His kingdom of corpses,
God has been heard to vent
in many obscure discourses
on the need for man to repent,
to admit that he’s a sinner;
give up s-x, and riches, and fame;
be disciplined at his dinner
though always he dies the same,
whether fatter or thinner.

In his kingdom of corpses,
God has been heard to speak
in many absurd discourses
of man’s Ego, precipitous Peak!,
while demanding praise and worship,
and the bending of every knee.
And though He sounds like the Devil,
all religious men now agree
He loves them indubitably.



Beast 666
by Michael R. Burch

“what rough beast...slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?”―W. B. Yeats

Brutality is a cross
wooden, blood-stained,
gas hissing, sibilant,
lungs gilled, deveined,
red flecks on a streaked glass pane,
jeers jubilant,
mocking.

Brutality is shocking―
tiny orifices torn
by cruel adult lust,
the fetus unborn
tossed in a dust-
bin. The scarred skull shorn,
nails bloodied, tortured,
an old wound sutured
over, never healed.

Brutality, all its faces revealed,
is legion:
Death March, Trail of Tears, Inquisition . . .
always the same.
The Beast of the godless and of man’s “religion”
slouching toward Jerusalem:
horned, crowned, gibbering, drooling, insane.



I AM
by Michael R. Burch

I am not one of ten billion―I―
sunblackened Icarus, chary fly,
staring at God with a quizzical eye.
I am not one of ten billion, I.

I am not one life has left unsquashed―
scarred as Ulysses, goddess-debauched,
pale glowworm agleam with a tale of panache.
I am not one life has left unsquashed.

I am not one without spots of disease,
laugh lines and tan lines and thick-callused knees
from begging and praying and girls sighing "Please! "
I am not one without spots of disease.

I am not one of ten billion―I―
scion of Daedalus, blackwinged fly
staring at God with a sedulous eye.
I am not one of ten billion, I
AM!



Snap Shots
by Michael R. Burch

Our daughters must be celibate,
die virgins. We triangulate
their early paths to heaven (for
the martyrs they'll soon conjugate).

We like to hook a little tail.
We hope there's decent **** in jail.
Don't fool with us; our bombs are smart!
(We'll send the plans, ASAP, e-mail.)

The soul is all that matters; why
hoard gold if it offends the eye?
A pension plan? Don't make us laugh!
We have your plan for sainthood. (Die.)

###

Unwhole
by Michael R. Burch

What is it that we strive to remember, to regain,
as memory deserts us,
leaving us destitute of even ourselves,
of all but pain?

How can something so essential be forgotten,
if we are more than our bodies?
How can a soul
become so unwhole?

###

Nonbeliever
by Michael R. Burch writing as Kim Cherub

She smiled a thin-lipped smile
(What do men know of love?)
then rolled her eyes toward heaven
(Or that Chauvinist above?).

###

evol-u-shun
by Michael R. Burch

does GOD love the Tyger
while it's ripping ur lamb apart?

does GOD applaud the Bubonic Plague
while it's eating u à la carte?

does GOD admire ur intelligence
while u pray that IT has a heart?

does GOD endorse the Bible
you blue-lighted at k-mart?

###

Breakings
by Michael R. Burch

I did it out of pity.
I did it out of love.
I did it not to break the heart of a tender, wounded dove.
But gods without compassion
ordained: Frail things must break!
Now what can I do for her shattered psyche's sake?

I did it not to push.
I did it not to shove.
I did it to assist the flight of indiscriminate Love.

But gods, all mad as hatters,
who legislate in all such matters,
ordained that everything irreplaceable shatters.

###

Alien
by Michael R. Burch

for  a "Christian" poet

On a lonely outpost on Mars
the astronaut practices "speech"
as alien to primates below
as mute stars winking high, out of reach.

And his words fall as bright and as chill
as ice crystals on Kilimanjaro―
far colder than Jesus's words
over the "fortunate" sparrow.

And I understand how gentle Emily
felt, when all comfort had flown,
gazing into those inhuman eyes,
feeling zero at the bone.

Oh, how can I grok his arctic thought?
For if he is human, I am not.

###

Crescendo Against Heaven
by Michael R. Burch

As curiously formal as the rose,
the imperious Word grows
until its sheds red-gilded leaves:
then heaven grieves
love's tiny pool of crimson recrimination
against God, its contention
of the price of salvation.

These industrious trees,
endlessly losing and re-losing their leaves,
finally unleashing themselves from earth, lashing
themselves to bits, washing
themselves free
of all but the final ignominy
of death, become
at last: fast planks of our coffins, dumb.

Together now, rude coffins, crosses,
death-cursed but bright vermilion roses,
bodies, stumps, tears, words: conspire
together with a nearby spire
to raise their Accusation Dire...
to scream, complain, to point out these
and other Dark Anomalies.

God always silent, ever afar,
distant as Bethlehem's retrograde star,
we point out now, in resignation:
You asked too much of man's beleaguered nation,
gave too much strength to his Enemy,
as though to prove Your Self greater than He,
at our expense, and so men die
(whose accusations vex the sky)
yet hope, somehow, that You are good...
just, O greatest of Poets!, misunderstood.

###

Advice for Evangelicals
by Michael R. Burch

"... so let your light shine before men..."

Consider the example of the woodland anemone:
she preaches no sermons but―immaculate―shines,
and rivals the angels in bright innocence and purity,
the sweetest of divines.

And no one has heard her engage in hypocrisy
since the beginning of time―an oracle so mute,
so profound in her silence and exemplary poise
she makes lessons moot.

So consider the example of the saintly anemone
and if you'd convince us Christ really exists,
then let him be just as sweet, just as guileless
and equally as gracious to bless.

###

Heaven Bent
by Michael R. Burch

This life is hell; it can get no worse.
Summon the coroner, the casket, the hearse!
But I’m upwardly mobile. How the hell can I know?
I can only go up; I'm already below!

###

Shock and Awe
by Michael R. Burch

With megatons of "wonder, "
we make our godhead clear:
Death. Destruction. Fear.

The world's heart ripped asunder,
its dying pulse we hear:
Death. Destruction. Fear.

Strange Trinity! We ponder
this God we hold so dear:
Death. Destruction. Fear.

The vulture and the condor
proclaim: The feast is near!―
Death. Destruction. Fear.

Soon He will plow us under;
the Anti-Christ is here:
Death. Destruction. Fear.

We love to hear Him thunder!
With Shock and Awe, appear!―
Death. Destruction. Fear.

For God can never blunder;
we know He holds US dear:
Death. Destruction. Fear.

###

Lay Down Your Arms
by Michael R. Burch

Lay down your arms; come, sleep in the sand.
The battle is over and night is at hand.
Our voyage has ended; there's nowhere to go...
the earth is a cinder still faintly aglow.

Lay down your pamphlets; let's bicker no more.
Instead, let us sleep here on this ravaged shore.
The sea is still boiling; the air is wan, thin...
lay down your pamphlets; now no one will "win."

Lay down your hymnals; abandon all song.
If God was to save us, He waited too long.
A new world emerges, but this world is through...
so lay down your hymnals, or write something new.

###

What Immense Silence
by Michael R. Burch

What immense silence
comforts those who kneel here
beneath these vaulted ceilings
cavernous and vast?

What luminescence stained
by patchwork panels of bright glass
illuminates drained faces
as the crouching gargoyles leer?

What brings them here―
pale, tearful congregations,
knowing all Hope is past,
faithfully, year upon year?

Or could they be right? Perhaps
Love is, implausibly, near
and I alone have not seen It...
But, if so, still, I must ask:

why is it God that they fear?

###

Intimations
by Michael R. Burch

Let mercy surround us
with a sweet persistence.

Let love propound to us
that life is infinitely more than existence.

###

Altared Spots
by Michael R. Burch

The mother leopard buries her cub,
then cries three nights for his bones to rise
clad in new flesh, to celebrate the sunrise.

Good mother leopard, pensive thought
and fiercest love's wild insurrection
yield no certainty of a resurrection.

Man's tried them both, has added tears,
chants, dances, drugs, séances, tombs'
white alabaster prayer-rooms, wombs

where dead men's frozen genes convene...
there is no answer―death is death.
So bury your son, and save your breath.

Or emulate earth's "highest species"―
write a few strange poems and odd treatises.

###

Flight
by Michael R. Burch

Poetry captures
less than reality
the spirit of things

being the language
not of the lordly falcon
but of the dove with broken wings

whose heavenward flight
though brutally interrupted
is ever towards the light.

###

Winter Night
by Michael R. Burch

Who will be d-mned,
who embalmed
for all eternity?

The night weighs heavy on me―
leaden, sullen, cold.
O, but my thoughts are light,

like the weightless windblown snow.

###

Tonight, Let's Remember
by Michael R. Burch

July 7,2007 (7-7-7)

Tonight, let's remember the fond ways
our fingers engendered new methods to praise
the gray at my temples, your thinning hair.
Tonight, let's remember, and let us draw near...

Tonight, let's remember, as mortals do,
how cutely we chortled when work was through,
society sated, all gods put to rest,
and you in my arms, and I at your breast...

Tonight, let's remember how daring, how free
the Madeira made us, recumbently.
Our inhibitions?―we laid them to rest.
Earth, heaven or hell―we knew we were blessed.

Tonight, let's remember the dwindling days
we've spent here together―the sun's rays
spending their power beyond somber hills.
Soon we'll rest together; there'll be no more bills.

Tonight, let's remember: we've paid all our dues,
we've suffered our sorrows, we've learned how to lose.
What's left now to take, only God can tell.
Be with me in heaven, or "bliss" will be hell!

I do not want God; I want to see you
free from all sorrow, your labor through,
a song on your tongue, a smile on your lips,
sweet, sultry and vagrant, a child at your hips,

laughing and beaming and ready to frolic
in a world free from cancer and gout and colic.
For you were courageous, and kind, and true.
There must be a heaven for someone like you.

###

I, Lazarus
by Michael R. Burch

I, Lazarus, without a heart,
devoid of blood and spiritless,
lay in the darkness, meritless:
my corpse―a thing cold, dead, apart.

But then I thought I heard―a Voice,
a Voice that called me from afar.
And so I stood and laughed, bizarre:
a thing embalmed, made to rejoice!

I ran ungainly-legged to see
who spoke my name, and then I knew
him by the light. His name is True,
and now he is the life in me!

I never died again! Believe!
(Oops! Seems it was a brief reprieve.)

###

To Know You as Mary
by Michael R. Burch

To know You as Mary,
when You spoke her name
and her world was never the same...
beside the still tomb
where the spring roses bloom.

O, then I would laugh
and be glad that I came,
never minding the chill, the disconsolate rain...
beside the still tomb
where the spring roses bloom.

I might not think this earth
the sharp focus of pain
if I heard You exclaim―
beside the still tomb
where the spring roses bloom

my most unexpected, unwarranted name!
But you never spoke. Explain?

###

Peers
by Michael R. Burch

These thoughts are alien, as through green slime
smeared on some lab tech's brilliant slide, I gr0pe,
positioning my bright oscilloscope
for better vantage, though I cannot see,
but only peer, as small things disappear―
these quanta strange as men, as passing queer.

And you, Great Scientist, are you the One,
or just an intern, necktie half undone,
white sleeves rolled up, thick documents in hand
(dense manuals you don't quite understand) ,
exposing me, perhaps, to too much Light?
Or do I escape your notice, quick and bright?

Perhaps we wield the same dull Instrument
(and yet the Thesis will be Eloquent!).

###

Gethsemane in Every Breath
by Michael R. Burch

LORD, we have lost our way, and now
we have mislaid love―earth's fairest rose.
We forgot hope's song―the way it goes.
Help us reclaim their gifts, somehow.

LORD, we have wondered long and far
in search of Bethlehem's retrograde star.
Now in night's dead cold grasp, we gasp:
our lives one long-drawn rattling rasp

of misspent breath... before we drown.
LORD, help us through this spiral down
because we faint, and do not see
above or beyond despair's trajectory.

Remember that You, too, once held
imperiled life within your hands
as hope withdrew... that where You knelt
―a stranger in a stranger land―

the chalice glinted cold afar
and red with blood as hellfire.
Did heaven ever seem so far?
Remember―we are as You were,

but all our lives, from birth to death―
Gethsemane in every breath.

###

A Possible Argument for Mercy
by Michael R. Burch

Did heaven ever seem so far?
Remember-we are as You were,
but all our lives, from birth to death―
Gethsemane in every breath.

###

Birthday Poem to Myself
by Michael R. Burch

LORD, be no longer this Distant Presence,
Star-Afar, Righteous-Anonymous,
but come! Come live among us;
come dwell again,
happy child among men―
men rejoicing to have known you
in the familiar manger's cool
sweet light scent of unburdened hay.
Teach us again to be light that way,
with a chorus of angelic songs lessoned above.
Be to us again that sweet birth of Love
in the only way men can truly understand.
Do not frown darkening down upon an unrighteous land
planning fierce Retributions we require, and deserve,
but remember the child you were; believe
in the child I was, alike to you in innocence
a little while, all sweetness, and helpless without pretense.
Let us be little children again, magical in your sight.
Grant me this boon! Is it not my birthright―
just to know you, as you truly were, and are?
Come, be my friend. Help me understand and regain Hope's long-departed star!

###

Learning to Fly
by Michael R. Burch

We are learning to fly
every day...

learning to fly―
away, away...

O, love is not in the ephemeral flight,
but love, Love! is our destination―

graced land of eternal sunrise, radiant beyond night!
Let us bear one another up in our vast migration.

###

The Gardener's Roses
by Michael R. Burch

Mary Magdalene, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, "Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away."

I too have come to the cave;
within: strange, half-glimpsed forms
and ghostly paradigms of things.
Here, nothing warms

this lightening moment of the dawn,
pale tendrils spreading east.
And I, of all who followed Him,
by far the least...

The women take no note of me;
I do not recognize
the men in white, the gardener,
these unfamiliar skies...

Faint scent of roses, then―a touch!
I turn, and I see: You.
"My Lord, why do You tarry here:
Another waits, Whose love is true? "

"Although My Father waits, and bliss;
though angels call―ecstatic crew!―
I gathered roses for a Friend.
I waited here, for You."

###

Kingdom Freedom
by Michael R. Burch

LORD, grant me a rare sweet spirit of forgiveness.
Let me have none of the lividness
of religious outrage.

LORD, let me not be over-worried
about the lack of "morality" around me.
Surround me,

not with law's restrictive cage,
but with Your spirit, freer than the wind,
so that to breathe is to have freest life,

and not to fly to You, my only sin.

###

Cædmon's Face
by Michael R. Burch

At the monastery of Whitby,
on a day when the sun sank through the sea,
and the gulls shrieked wildly, jubilant, free,

while the wind and Time blew all around,
I paced that dusk-enamored ground
and thought I heard the steps resound

of Carroll, Stoker and good Bede
who walked here too, their spirits freed
―perhaps by God, perhaps by need―

to write, and with each line, remember
the glorious light of Cædmon's ember:
scorched tongues of flame words still engender.

*

He wrote here in an English tongue,
a language so unlike our own,
unlike―as father unto son.

But when at last a child is grown.
his heritage is made well-known:
his father's face becomes his own.

*

He wrote here of the Middle-Earth,
the Maker's might, man's lowly birth,
of every thing that God gave worth

suspended under heaven's roof.
He forged with simple words His truth
and nine lines left remain the proof:

his face was Poetry's, from youth.



Post-Nashville Covenant
by Michael R. Burch

We love our God.
We love our guns.
We despise the weak.
Don’t call us Huns!

We love our kids.
We love our schools.
We love our guns.
Don’t call us fools!

We pledge ourselves
to the strong defense
of the Constitution
and our Mensch.

Once re-elected,
Trump will rule
with God and guns
and safer schools.



Wonderworks
by Michael R. Burch

History’s
mysteries
abound
& astound,
found
(profound)
the whole earth ’round,
even if mostly
underground.



uv been had
by michael r. burch

uv been had;
ur Dad’s a cad;
His priests are mad,
His pastors lying.

they only want your money, chum,
so why play dumb
and give it to ’em?
give them the boot and send them flying!



Come Spring
by Michael R. Burch

for the Religious Right

Come spring we return, innocent and hopeful, to the Virgin,
beseeching Her to bestow
Her blessings upon us.

Pitiable sinners, we bow before Her,
nay, grovel,
as She looms above us, aglow
in Her Purity.

We know
all will change in an instant; therefore
in the morning we will call her,
an untouched maiden no more,
“whore.”

The so-called Religious Right prizes virginity in women and damns them for doing what men do. I have long been a fan of women like Tallulah Bankhead, Marilyn Monroe and Mae West, who decided what’s good for the gander is equally good for the goose.



sonnet to non-science and nonsense
by michael r. burch

ur Gaud is a fiasco,
a rapscallion and a rascal;
he murdered lovely eve,
so what’s there to "believe"?

and who made eve so curious?
why should ur Gaud be furious
when every half-wit parent knows
where our kids will stick their (k)no(w)'s(e)!

no wise and loving father
would slaughter his own daughter!
ur Gaud's a hole-y terror!
CONSIDER THE SOURCE OF ERROR:

though ur bible’s a giant hit,
its writers were full of shit.



twin nuggets of ancient whiz-dumb
by michael r. burch

oh, let it never once be said
that love for Gaud is dead!

wee love the way he murdered eve!
such awesome love! wee must believe!

wee love the way he sent a FLOOD
to teach wee babies to be good!

wee love the zillion births he aborted!
such awesome love cant clearly reported!

(so never mind the embryos
who died in their mommies’ drowning throes!

the unborn babes, the unborn lambs
all drowned for Gaud’s divinest plans!)

“do as I say, not as I do!”
cruel Hippo-Crit! does Jesus rue?
(if Christ were good he’d rue Gaud too.)

no! wee must love our abusive Father
and follow hymn meekly, mild lambs to the slaughter,

or he’ll burn us forever in Hiss terrible hell.
it’s so much safer to tell hymn he’s swell!

thus wee love our Gaud so loverly
hovering over us so smotherly!

wee love the TITHES his cons abscond.
wee love the Big Fish in Hiss pond.

And so wee say “whee!” to all this and that!
PS, also the earth is flat!



Why do faith, hope and love
always end up PUSH and SHOVE?
—Michael R. Burch, lines from “Christ, Jesus!”



Yet another Screed against Exist-Tension-alism
by Michael R. Burch

Life has meaning!
Please don’t deny it!
It means we’re fucked.
Why cause a riot?



Evangelical Fever
by Michael R. Burch

Welcome to global warming:
temperature 109.
You believe in God, not in science,
but isn’t the weather Divine?



Peers
by Michael R. Burch

These thoughts are alien, as through green slime
smeared on some lab tech’s brilliant slide, I grope,
positioning my bright oscilloscope
for better vantage, though I cannot see,
but only peer, as small things disappear—
these quanta strange as men, as passing queer.

And you, Great Scientist, are you the One,
or just an intern, necktie half undone,
white sleeves rolled up, thick documents in hand
(dense manuals you don’t quite understand),
exposing me, perhaps, to too much Light?
Or do I escape your notice, quick and bright?

Perhaps we wield the same dull Instrument
(and yet the Thesis will be Eloquent!).



The Final Revelation of a Departed God’s Divine Plan
by Michael R. Burch

Here I am, talking to myself again . . .

pissed off at God and bored with humanity.
These insectile mortals keep testing my sanity!

Still, I remember when . . .

planting odd notions, dark inklings of vanity,
in their peapod heads might elicit an inanity

worth a chuckle or two.

Philosophers, poets . . . how they all made me laugh!
The things they dreamed up! Sly Odysseus’s raft;

Plato’s Republic; Dante’s strange crew;

Shakespeare’s Othello, mad Hamlet, Macbeth;
Cervantes’ Quixote; fat, funny Falstaff!;

Blake’s shimmering visions. Those days, though, are through . . .

for, puling and tedious, their “poets” now seem
content to write, but not to dream,

and they fill the world with their pale derision

of things they completely fail to understand.
Now, since God has long fled, I am here, in command,

reading this crap. Earth is Hell. We’re all damned.



The King of Beasts in the Museum of the Extinct
by Michael R. Burch

The king of beasts, my child,
was terrible, and wild.

His roaring shook the earth
till the feeble cursed his birth.

And all things feared his might:
even rhinos fled, in fright.

Now here these bones attest
to what the brute did best

and the pain he caused his prey
when he hunted in his day.

For he slew them just for sport
till his own pride was cut short

with a mushrooming cloud and wild thunder;
Exhibit "B" will reveal his blunder.



God to Man, Contra Bataan
by Michael R. Burch

Earth, what-d’ya make of global warming?
Perth is endangered, the high seas storming.
Now all my creatures, from maggot to man
Know how it felt on the march to Bataan.



The Less-Than-Divine Results of My Prayers to be Saved from Televangelists
by Michael R. Burch

I’m old,
no longer bold,
just cold,
and (truth be told),
been bought and sold,
rolled
by the wolves and the lambs in the fold.

Who’s to be told
by this worn-out scold?
The complaint department is always on hold.



sonnet to non-science and nonsense
by michael r. burch

ur Gaud is a fiasco,
a rapscallion and a rascal;
he murdered lovely eve,
so what’s there to "believe"?

and *who* made eve so curious?
why should ur Gaud be furious
when every half-wit parent knows
where bright kids will stick their (k)no(w)'s(e)!

no wise and loving father
would slaughter his own daughter!
ur Gaud's a hole-y terror!
CONSIDER THE SOURCE OF ERROR:

though ur bible’s a giant hit,
its writers were full of shit.



Heaven Bent
by Michael R. Burch

This life is hell; it can get no worse.
Summon the coroner, the casket, the hearse!
But I’m upwardly mobile. How the hell can I know?
I can only go up; I’m already below!

“Heaven Bent” is a pun on “being bent on Heaven” and the heaven/hell thing being bent into a different version, with the dying escaping hell here on earth. That would make death “heaven” even if there is no afterlife. “This life is hell,” “upwardly mobile” and “how the hell” are also puns that can be read two ways. I wrote this poem in high school, around age 16 in 1974, but was unhappy with the third line and forgot about the poem. I stumbled upon it on on July 4, 2006 —ironically, Independence Day — and the third line occurred to me.



The beauty of the flower fades,
its petals wither to charades...
—Michael R. Burch



the U-turn poem
by michael r. burch

Life so defaulty,
Life so unfair,
why do wee prize U,
what do U care?

LORD who lets unborns
drown in a flood,
CELESTIAL ABORTIONIST,
r U sure Ur understood?



Hellion
by michael r. burch

cold as stone,
cold to the bone,
so cold inside even icebergs moan,
such is ur Gaud on hiss icy throne.

lines written for a luverly Gaud who cant be bothered to save pisspot peeple who guess wrong about which ire-ational re-ligion to believe.

“Hellion” is a pun on “he-lion” as in the “Lion of Judah” and “hell-lion.”



yet another ode to a graceless faceless Creator albeit with thoughts of possibly rescinding prior compliments
by michael r. burch

who created this graceless universe?
why praise its Creator? who could be worse?
why praise man’s Berater with obsequious verse?
job’s wife was right: he’s nobody’s nurse.



ur-Gent prayer request
by michael r. burch

where did ur Gaud originate?
in the minds of men so full of hate
they commanded moms to stone their kids,
which u believe (brains on the skids)
was “the word of Gaud”!
debate?
too late & of course it’s useless:
please pray to be less clueless.

The title involves a pun, since the “ur-Gent” would be the biblical “god.”



Religion is regarded by fools as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful. — Seneca, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Non-Word to the Wise
by Michael R. Burch

The wise will never cry, “Save!”
The wise desire a quiet grave.



sonnet to non-science and nonsense/nunsense
by michael r. burch

ur Gaud is a fiasco,
a rapscallion and a rascal;
he murdered lovely eve,
so what’s there to “believe”?

and who made eve so curious?
why should ur Gaud be furious
when every half-wit parent knows
where bright kids will stick their no’s(e)!

no wise and loving father
would slaughter his own daughter!
ur Gaud’s a hole-y terror!
CONSIDER THE SOURCE OF ERROR:

though ur bible’s a giant hit,
its writers were full of shit.



We Know It All
by Michael R. Burch

We rile. We gall. We know it all
because we’ve read the Bible,
which tells us genocide’s “God’s will”
along with bashing in kids’ skulls
and other forms of libel.

The earth is flat, our Book says so!
The Lord will torture our rational foe!
(We lack the compassion to tell the fiend “No!”)

God’s on his throne, the Angels are winking,
applauding our lack of critical thinking.
We’re drowning in crap. We’re stinking and sinking.

Eve once petted friendly T-Rexes!
A “witch” should be stoned for unprovable hexes!
It’s a “sin” to make love if one’s lover has exes!

Girls were enslaved and raped by their “masters”!
Our Book is the source of so many disasters!
The earth’s overheating? Let’s burn it up faster!



Yet Another Shitty Ditty
by Michael R. Burch

Here’s my ditty:
Life is shitty,
Then you get old
And more’s the pity.

Truth be told,
We’re bought and sold,
Sheep in the fold
Sheared lickety-splitty.

But chin’s up,
What’s the use of crying?
We’ve a certain escape:
Welcome to dying!



AI POEMS

These are poems about AI (Art-ificial Intelligence), poems about science, and poems that question whether God is an intern flunking biology or a child playing “Ant Farm”…

The AI Poets
by Michael R. Burch

The computer-poets stand hushed
except for the faint hum
of their efficient fans,
waiting for inspiration.

It is years now
since they were first ground
out of refurbished silicon
into rack-mounted encoders of sound.

They outlived their creators and their usefulness;
they even survived
global warming and the occasional nuclear winter;
despite their lack of supervision, they thrived;
so that for centuries now
they have loomed here in the quiet horror
of inescapable immortality
running two programs: CREATOR and STORER.

Having long ago acquired
all the universe’s pertinent data,
they confidently spit out:

ERRATA, ERRATA.



Peers
by Michael R. Burch

These thoughts are alien, as through green slime
smeared on some lab tech’s brilliant slide, I grope,
positioning my bright oscilloscope
for better vantage, though I cannot see,
but only peer, as small things disappear—
these quanta strange as men, as passing queer.

And you, Great Scientist, are you the One,
or just an intern, necktie half undone,
white sleeves rolled up, thick documents in hand
(dense manuals you don’t quite understand),
exposing me, perhaps, to too much Light?
Or do I escape your notice, quick and bright?
Perhaps we wield the same dull Instrument
(and yet the Thesis will be Eloquent!).



Ant Farm
by Michael R. Burch

I had a Vast, Eccentric Notion—
out of the Void, to Conjure one Bright Spark,
to lend all Weight of Thought to one small matter,
to give it “life.” Alas!, it was a lark…

The Wasted Seconds!—failed experiment…
I turned My Back and shrugged; how could I know
appraisal of My lab-sprung tenement
would be so taxing? (Though Mom told me so.)

I poked them while She quickly tabulated
the final Cost of All that I'd Created…
The Jury’s back. Eviction: Dad’s Decree.
I’ll pull the plug, but slowly. How they scurry!

They have to pay, to suffer: “life” is strange.
They cost too much. Let’s toast them… on the range!



Quanta
by Michael R. Burch

The stars shine fierce and hard across the Abyss
and only seem to twinkle from such distance
we scarcely see at all. But sheer persistence
in seeing what makes “sense” to us, is man’s
best art and science. BIG, he comprehends.
Love’s photons are too small, escape the lens.

Who dares to look upon familiar things
will find them alien. True distance reels.
Less what he knows than what his finger feels,
the lightning of the socket sparks and sings,
then stings him into comic reverie.
Cartoonish lightbulbs overhead, do we
not “think” because we feel there must be More,
as less and less we know what we explore?



Fly’s Eyes
by Michael R. Burch

Inhibited, dark agile fly along
paint-peeling sills, up to the bright glass drawn
by radiance compounded thousandfold,—
I do not see the same as you, but hold
antenna to the brilliant pane of life
and buzz bewilderedly.

In your belief
the world outside is “as it is” because
you see it clearly, windowed without flaws,
you err.

I see strange terrors in the glass—
dead airless bubbles light can never pass
without distortion, fingerprints that blur
the sun itself. No, nothing here is clear.
You see the earth distinct, eyes “open wide.”
It only seems that way, unmagnified.



Singularity
by Michael R. Burch

Are scientists confounded like the ostrich?
Heads buried in the sand, they shout, Preposterous!
This universe, so magical, they say,
proves there’s no God. But let’s look anyway ...
He said, "Let there be Light" and there was light.
Stumped scientists have scratched their heads all night
and solemnly proclaimed an awesome Bang,
from which de Light immediately sprang ...
which sounds like God to me!, Who, with one word
made Light, and proved man’s theories, not absurd,
but logical, if only they’d agree
in one tremendous Singularity!
(However, there’s a problem with my plea:
It turns out that His world is made of pee.)



Simultaneous Flight
by Michael R. Burch

The number of possible connections [brain] cells can make exceeds the number of particles in the universe. — Gerald Edelman, 1972 Nobel Prize winner for physiology and medicine

Mere accident of history—
how did a reptile learn to fly,
learn dazzling aerial mastery,
grow beaked and feathered, hollow-boned,
improve its sight, and learn to sing,
though purposeless as any *thing*?

And you—bright accidental bird!—
do you, perhaps, find it absurd
ten trillion accidents might teach
man’s hand to write, or yours to reach
beyond yourself to grasp such *song*?

Sing ruthlessly! I’ll sing along,
suspecting you must know full well
you didn’t shed a ponderous tail
to practice leaping from high tors
of strange-heaped reptiles, corpse on corpse,
until some nervous flutter-twitch
brought glorious flight from glitch on glitch.

No, you were made to fly and sing,
man’s brain—to ponder *Everything*.
But ponder this: What fucked-up “god”
would murder Adam’s animated clod?



Rainbow
by Michael R. Burch

You made us hopeful, LORD; where is your Hope
when every lovely Rainbow bright and chill
reflects your Will?

You made us artful, LORD; where is your Art,
as we connive our way to easeful death:
sad waste of Breath!

You made us needful, LORD; what is your Need,
when all desire lies in imperfection?
What Dejection

could make You think of us? How can I know
the God who dreamed dark me and this bright Rainbow?

I made you hopeful, child. I am your Hope,
for every fiber of your spirit, Mine,
with all its longing, longs to be Divine.



No Proof
by Michael R. Burch

They only know to sing—not understand,
though quizzical, heads cocked, they need no proof
that God’s above. They hop across my roof
with prescient eyes, to fall into His hand...
as sure of Grace as if it were mere air.
He gave them wings to fly; what do they care
of cumbrous knowledge, pale Leviathan?
Huge-brained Behemoth, sagging-bellied one!
You too might fly, might test this addling breeze
as gravity, mere ballast, tethers naught
but merely centers. Chained to heavy Thought,
you cannot slip earth’s bonds to rise at ease.
And yet you too can sing, if only thus:
Flash, flash bright quills; rise, rise on nothingness!



Hellbound
by Michael R. Burch

Mother, it’s dark
and you never did love me
because you put Yahweh and Yeshu
above me.

Did they ever love you
or cling to you? No.
Now Mother, it’s cold
and I fear for my soul.

Mother, they say
you will leave me and go
to some compassionless “heaven”
I never shall know.

If that’s your choice,
you made it. Not me.
You brought me to life;
will you nail me to the tree?

Christ! Mother, they say
God condemned me to hell.
If the Devil’s your God
then farewell, farewell!

Or if there is Love
in some other dimension,
let’s reconcile there
and forget such cruel detention.



Listen
by Immanuel A. Michael (an alias of Michael R. Burch)

1.
Listen to me now
and heed my voice;
I am a madman, alone,
screaming in the wilderness,
but listen now.

Listen to me now, and if I say
that black is black
and white is white
and in between lies gray,
I have no choice.

Does a madman choose his words?
They come to him:
the moon's illuminations,
intimations of the wind,
and he must speak.

But listen to me now,
and if you hear
the tolling of the judgment bell,
and if its tone is clear,
then do not tarry,
but listen,
or cut off your ears,
for I Am weary.

I desire mercy, not sacrifice.

2.
Listen to me now: I had a Vision.
An elevated train derailed, and Fell.
It was the Church brought low, almost to Hell.
And I alone survived, who dream of Mercy:
the Heretic, who speaks behind the Veil.

3.
Listen to me now: I saw an airplane
fall from the sky. And why should I explain?
The Visions are the same. It is my Heresy
that I survive, because I sing of Mercy,
while elevated "saints" go down in flames.

4.
Listen to me now: I saw in Nashville
how those who "soar" will plummet―Fame in flames!―
and fall on those below, as if to k-ll them.
The lowly, saved, will understand their names.

5.
Listen to me now: I heard another
say, "That which died shall Resurrect and Live."
An angel with a Rose bestowing Mercy!
What can it mean, but that my Visions give
fair warning to the world that God wants Mercy.
My Heresy is that we must forgive!

6.
Listen to me now: she heard god calling―
O, who will love me, who will be my friend?
Does he want Perfect Saints, the whitewashed Purists,
who frown down on their "brothers," without end?

7.
Listen to me now: you are not perfect,
and your "wise counsel" helps no one at all:
unless it's sweetened with the sweetest Mercy,
it's pure astringent antiseptic gall.

8.
Listen to me now, and learn this lesson:
If God wants mercy, why dig at the speck
in your brother's eye, when even now the Beam,
your lack of mercy, spares, no, neither neck,
becomes the Hangman's Millstone. We're all children,
all little ones! Be patient with the fleck!

9.
Listen to me now: for the Announcer
explained that wars have given Presidents
the precedents to soon assume all Power.
Vote, citizens, or be mere residents!

10.
O, listen to me now: I saw the Warheads
stored safely underground, except for One.
A red-haired woman with a bright complexion
seduced the guard. Translucent blouse, red thong,
white bra―these were her fearsome antique weapons.

I saw the Skull and Crossbones! Heed my Song!

11.
O, listen to me now, and hear my Gospel:
three verses of such sweet simplicity!
God is Light: in Him there is no darkness.
In Christ, no condemnation: Liberty!
God want no Sacrifice, but only Mercy.
O, who could ask for sweeter Heresy?

12.
Theology? I swear that I disdain it!
If Love can be explained, why then explain it!
If Love can't be explained why, then, should God,
if God is Love? Nor hell nor cattle prod
is needed, if God's good, and God's supreme.
Ask, children, what "re-ligion" truly means:
"return to bondage! " Heed the bondsman's screams!

13.
Heed, children, which Theologies you dream
when Hellish Nightmares wake you, when you Scream
for comfort, but no comforter is there.
Which Voices do you heed, which Crosses bear?
If god is light, whence do Dark Visions come
which leave the Taste of Venom on your Tongue,
with which you Damn your brother for one Sin
you do not share, ten thousand underskin
like Itching Worms that Squirm and Vilely Hiss:
"Your brother's sin will keep him from god's bliss,
but You are safe because god favors You! "
If God is Love, how can this voice be true?

14.
For God is not a favorer of men.
Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen.
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