Tagged: Canadian poetry

God, the concept


If there is a God, that
Supreme Being would
have to endure every
unkindness, every injury,
the abuse and mistreatment
of innocents, the unspeakable
acts we inflict on each
other, pain and torment from
time immemorial.

God would bleed and die
and scream and whimper
and plead for one more
breath of life, while expert
torturers worked their wiles,
wringing false confessions,
betrayals, a crown of thorns
carefully arranged just prior
to execution.


(All Rights Reserved)

Viewing the world through wary eyes (verse)

Rio picThe Taxonomy of Passing Faces

None of them seem capable of it.
They all appear so innocent.
Smiling, engaged in conversation.
You’d never suspect them of wrongdoing.
The terrorist they conceal within.


© 2016  Cliff Burns (All Rights Reserved)

Photo by Liam Burns

For those who suffer through sleepless nights…


like that dreaded midnight call
confirming what you already knew

a harbor or sheltering cove
to deflect the tempest—
absorbing the hours like blows

© 2015  Cliff Burns (All Rights Reserved)
Photo: Sherron Burns

Date of my book launch

The official launch of my two latest efforts, New & Selected Poems and Stromata: Prose Works, is October 4th, 2012. Sherron created a wonderful event poster. Hope to see you there:

(Click on the poster in order to view it full size)

Twitter verse

Yes, I am on Twitter.  It’s easy, it’s fast…what the heck.  I’ve even managed to accumulate a few “followers” (love that).

And I try to make it worth their while by occasionally posting some pithy quotes, words of wisdom or original doggerel.

It’s a challenge to fit that 140-character limit but it also helps focus the mind and creates a very worthwhile writing exercise. Here are a couple of my recent efforts:


Winter subsides, withdraws
receding and uncovering
a shivering bareness
raised gooseflesh, a slow blush
spreading to every horizon

That Noir Moment

does it matter how far you fall
once you’ve fallen?
one small step or giant leap
a precipice or merely a pause


this typical paucity
as I try to compel the right words
communicating abject faith
simultaneously making my case for clemency

“National Poetry Month (II)”: Another new poem

One more bit o’ verse in honor of “National Poetry Month”:


21st Century Blessing


To a future effulgent:

tall trees and new flowers;

give us our daily bread

and save us from the blight


Thine and thy kingdom

withheld from us ’til death;

keep them close, our sons and daughters

and protect us from the blight


Have faith in the miraculous

harbingers of grace;

conjure us sweet loaves and fishes

and save us from the blight


© Copyright, 2011  Cliff Burns (All Rights Reserved)

Poem for Sherron

A little ditty I wrote—almost like a gesture sketch—as I watched my wife catching the rays in Jasper National Park, one day after our 20th anniversary:

Pyramid Lake,

Jasper National Park

(July 29, 2010; 3:15 p.m.)

Cupped in a bowl

of rust-colored fingers

sun-glazed and cedar-breathed

becalmed by a lake

that can’t make up its mind

if it’s blue or green…

And there’s you, at the end of the dock,

slow-rocked by the intrauterine tide

skin pinkening

in the magnified light

despite my frequent reminders,

the way I fret over

your unchangeable ways.