I’ve been going through a notebook I’ve been keeping since 2010—kind of a “scratch” book, to horse around in. Poems, lyrics, essays and short stories, in very raw form.
Found the following two poems, which may or may not make it into my next compilation, slated for release Spring, 2018:
We emulate our gods
by turns jealous and paranoid
desirous of silver and gold
hiding our indifference
behind impassive masks
reluctantly doling out favours
callow, prone to deceit
* * * *
Nothing to do with rockets
miles off course
spiralling out of control
threatening civilian populations
programmed for self-destruction
to prevent serious harm
© 2017 Cliff Burns (All Rights Reserved)
Maybe you were a subversive.
Part of a cell.
Or you ordered some questionable books.
Matching some profile.
Compromised by a friend.
Betrayed by a rival.
Brought in for routine questioning.
Vehemently denying all charges.
Tragically expiring while in custody.
The official inquiry tactfully deflecting blame.
A closed casket, to spare your poor mother.
© 2016 Cliff Burns (All Rights Reserved)
Photo credit: Liam Burns
The Forgiveness of God
you have so much to answer for
your immunity hereby revoked
escorted to the dock
subjected to a brutal cross-examination
where were you?
when were you aware?
what did you do?
complicit or negligent?
your answers unsatisfactory
throwing yourself on the mercy of the court
contrition the last refuge
once all other appeals are exhausted
© 2016 by Cliff Burns (All Rights Reserved)
(for Crad Kilodney)
“Sic transit something something”
like glory, memory fades
Don’t let us be bashful:
I came, I’ll stay awhile
and I shall die
The narcissist is dismayed,
the absolutist justified
© Cliff Burns (All Rights Reserved)
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