BY MICHAEL R. BURCH
WHAT THE POET SEES
What the poet sees,
he sees as a swimmer underwater,
watching the shoreline blur,
sees through his breath's weightless bubbles . . .
Both worlds grow obscure.
Warming Her Pearls
Warming her pearls, her breasts
gleam like anachronisms . . .
her belly is a bit rotund . . .
she might have stepped out of a Rubens.
adulation or sentiment,
left with the pungent darkness
as remembered as the sudden light.
Once, only once,
when the sun caught your hair
in a certain slant of light
and you laughed,
fragrant among violets,
everything had changed . . .
and as you braided your hair
into long bluish plaits
the shadows empurpled,
last darting feints
dissolving mid-air . . .
we watched the sun's long glide
knowing and unknowing . . .
O, how the illusions of love
await us in the commonplace
and frequent even our memorable days.
. . . Among the shadows of the groaning elms,
amid the darkening oaks, we lose ourselves . . .
. . . once there were paths that led to coracles
that clung to piers like loosening barnacles . . .
. . . where we cannot return, because we lost
the pebbles and the playthings, and the moss . . .
. . . hangs weeping gently downward, maidens' hair
who never were enchanted, and the stairs . . .
. . . that led up to the Fortress in the trees
will not support our weight, but on our knees . . .
. . . we still might fit inside those splendid hours
of damsels in distress, of rustic towers . . .
. . . of voices of the wolves' tormented howls
that died, and live in dreams' soft, windy vowels . . .