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Author: BURNS, RALPH
Matches Found: 110


Burns, Ralph    Poet's Biography
110 poems available by this author


A BOAT IS A LEVER    Poem Text    
First Line: After my student went to the doctor to
Subject(s): Cancer (disease)


ADAM'S BIRTHDAY       
First Line: The boy whose father made him make
Last Line: Like a thousand separations


AERIAL IN THE PINES    Poem Text    
First Line: To cut off the top branches
Subject(s): Pine Trees


AGAIN, FATHER       
First Line: You are like the man who drove off a dirt road


AND LEAVE SHOW BUSINESS       
First Line: This elephant keeper shoved a hose up


AND LEAVE SHOW BUSINESS?    Poem Text    
First Line: This elephant keeper shoved a hose up


ANNIVERSARY OF WOOD       
First Line: We have the corners to ourselves


ANXIETY OF INFLUENCE       
First Line: I've been dying to repeat that corny maxim
Last Line: You make my love muscle grow


AUCTION       
First Line: An owl muttered himself to sleep


AUNT       
First Line: You don't have to do that, and as
Last Line: Assent effacing a moment's breeze


BACK       
First Line: I can hear the even clicking %of a bluejean button as it tumbles
Last Line: The dwellings are real. %I am who I think


BARBED WIRE    Poem Text    
First Line: Two or more strands twisted together


BARBED WIRE       
First Line: Two or more strands twisted together
Last Line: Keeping cattle in, or the enemies of sheep %out


BARRENS OF WASHINGTON COUNTY       
First Line: See it on thick days they told me


BIG MONEY       
First Line: I'm watching superman iii on my 19 sony trinitron


BOAT IS A LEVER       
First Line: After my student went to the doctor to
Last Line: There is nothing more beautiful %than a boat


BOYISH       
First Line: I knocked three teeth down
Last Line: My plunder, though I never %was there, or anywhere
Subject(s): Boys


CATATONIC       
First Line: Her foot has gone to sleep


COLLECTION       
First Line: Her friends left them one by one


COMFORT INN       
First Line: Last night through the motel room %wall I heard a woman's
Last Line: Land in yellow grass, lend an efflorescence %to the surface tension of water


COMFORT OF A WOMAN       
First Line: Last night I woke to the smell of furnace gas
Last Line: As a sunfish, small-boned as a sparrow


COMING OUT       
First Line: Yesterday at the t-mart I saw


CREEPING DETERMINISM       
First Line: The way I marshall detail, no, fact
Last Line: Like fingerprints of certitude and chance


CROCODILES       
First Line: Have you heard


DEAR SUE       
First Line: Do the rivers whistle when you go away


DEBRIS    Poem Text    
First Line: By 10:30 the trash truck has digested


DEBRIS       
First Line: By 10:30 the trash truck has digested our
Last Line: Drizzling outside and the phone rings %and we're sleeping


DECEMBER TWENTIETH       
First Line: A cold morning in december, five days


DEE DEE       
First Line: On sundays when late afternoon led me
Last Line: And what do we do which is wrong?


DISTANCE       
First Line: William has emptied his toy box; he stands amid his work
Last Line: One thought with the other, %gravity with grace


DONKEY       
First Line: Even though I hate to run


EASTER WATER       
First Line: My two year old son runs the faucet
Last Line: That now is fallen rise to life again


FIRST FLIGHT       
First Line: I shucked my lucky clothes and jumped in
Last Line: Just as I broke into the open, just %as I busted through the trees


FISHING IN WINTER    Poem Text    
First Line: A man staring at a small lake sees
Last Line: Two songs, two breaths on the water
Subject(s): Sports


FISHING IN WINTER       
First Line: A man staring at a small lake sees
Last Line: Two songs, two breaths on the water
Subject(s): Sports


FOOD FOR DEATH       
First Line: Come ham and cake, deviled eggs, %pickled beets like blood to the brain
Last Line: The laughter of their parts, the touch, the old association, %shines


FOR LUCK       
First Line: One of us threw an empty soup can out
Last Line: Sycamore, ash, and magnolia


FOR MY FATHER-IN-LAW, WITH A LAST LINE FROM DANTE       
First Line: You don't know what lovin is the old man said
Last Line: But never got that close. For then, would the feet %be filled with good desire


FOR MY WIFE, ON OUR SON'S THIRD BIRTHDAY    Poem Text    
First Line: This time he claims he's hitting a lion drive
Last Line: Beyond the bounds of the world
Subject(s): Children


FOR MY WIFE, ON OUR SON'S THIRD BIRTHDAY       
First Line: This time he claims he's hitting a lion drive
Last Line: Beyond the bounds of the world


FORCE       
First Line: He turns his shirt collar up and feels
Last Line: Of shame and desire, driving and driving %into the second world


FORMS OF CONVERSATION    Poem Text    
First Line: Measured in miles or kilometers


GHOST NOTES: 1. CALL AND RESPONSE       
First Line: Plumbline of disaster, shadow storage %of the way thought travels, the opinion
Last Line: Into the lens. Of light and song


GHOST NOTES: 2. SHOUT TRUMPET       
First Line: When passing the trumpet in zion church
Last Line: Waits for a future. Slap-tongue's gone. The mouth %meets and notches the music


GHOST NOTES: 3. BODY AND SOUL       
First Line: In summer all desires are known. Events %lie everywhere. Time and measure
Last Line: A ghost note leans into an echo, %for all we know


GIFT       
First Line: When my father-in-law gave me the knife
Subject(s): Fathers-in-law; Gifts And Giving


HAPPY STORY       
First Line: My father's eyelids drooped as he
Last Line: A sweet harmonic takes itself away


HOPE OF MISSISSIPPI       
First Line: Lady luck. Just over the river and east
Last Line: Of stars in the air


HOUSE FOR SALE ACROSS THE STREET       
First Line: That house across the stret is perfectly abandoned


I HAD NO IDEA       
First Line: The queen was wearing white chiffon


IN THE BATHROOM MIRROR    Poem Text    
Subject(s): Love - Erotic


IN THE BATHROOM MIRROR       
First Line: He continues to ponder
Last Line: Themselves awake again %at four o'clock mid shade and sun


INFLUENCE       
First Line: I remember ken bottoms leaning
Last Line: Which doesn't care if we listen


JAY       
First Line: My wife says he simply flew before


JOEY       
First Line: Because the plane is almost empty


LACKING SYMPATHY       
First Line: My father fishes the red sun down


LAMENTATIONS       
First Line: You dang near pulled my finger off says %my neighbor to her dog
Last Line: Over the shoulder %like a scarf on an airman?


LEAST CIRCUMFERENCE       
First Line: I will stop talking about my father
Last Line: Is the most consecrated ecstasy of the will


LIKE A VOICE BEHIND A VOICE       
First Line: I asked her what's wrong


LUCK       
First Line: Scrub oak and tumbleweed
Last Line: Because we seem to care, and caring, %brighten and disappear
Subject(s): Luck


LULLABY    Poem Text    
First Line: The upland falls behind the house


LULLABY       
First Line: The upland falls behind the house
Last Line: So sleep and smile, %sleep deep


MAN IN THE BOY'S STORM       
First Line: I'm opening the cellar door which doesn't
Last Line: And the noise she sings is powerful, is song


MAN WHO PATCHED THE FLOOR       
First Line: A lot of people say they're baptized
Last Line: Who sicken in the hot urban shade


MARCH 14-20, 1982, YEAR OF THE EAGLE       
First Line: The claws of an eagle are called talons


MEMORY    Poem Text    
First Line: Didn't I think of the clasp
Last Line: Out of the wild time unseen, sweet flower of improvisation
Subject(s): Golf; Aging


MEMORY       
First Line: Didn't I think of the clasp
Last Line: Out of the wild time unseen, sweet flower %of improvisation
Subject(s): Sports


MOZART'S STARLING       
First Line: We can't be sure. Did mozart
Last Line: It says try and tell the truth, %if it's interesting


OIL WELL, OKLAHOMA       
First Line: I remember watching my father taste rock
Last Line: On clay and felt my feet %disappear


ONE WHO STAYS HOME       
First Line: The plump girl in the dark green chair


ONLY ONE-AFTER A PAINTING BY GEORGIAN O'KEEFFE       
First Line: A dried blowfish crumbling now, a pocket
Subject(s): Art And Artists


ORPHANS EATING SUGAR       
First Line: You'd think they'd rot from inside out
Last Line: Who grind enamel down to know the bite, the ache, %to lie down in the hole they make


PAUL'S SENTENCE       
First Line: There's the one about how you and your
Last Line: Kindly refer to as office politics


PERSISTENCE OF INFLUENCE       
First Line: As I pack our son for the ride across town
Last Line: Like breakers in the salt immortal sea


REAL TIME       
First Line: When the thought of a thought
Last Line: And what we have not thought all these years


RECIDIVIST       
First Line: The same pictures find her and leave her


REMEMBERING MY FATHER       
First Line: How it was I guess


RID OF HOGS    Poem Text    
First Line: Your hogs have taken part in the great conversation
Subject(s): Pigs; Boars; Hogs


SCHOOL DREAM       
First Line: You have on new clothes. Today


SHETLAND ISLANDS       
First Line: She was so impressed with the shetland islands


SHIMMER OF INFLUENCE       
First Line: Last night my wife brought my son into bed
Last Line: I feel the spooky silk of his palm


SHOCK TREATMENT       
First Line: The other night I dreamed of the impulse


SLUG CATERPILLAR       
First Line: Yellow stinging hair extending, mostly
Last Line: We watch it darken and deepen and rain


SON, WHEN I HOLD YOU TIGHTLY       
First Line: To me on the divan in the meditative
Last Line: I remember light and dark in my mother's eyes


STARS       
First Line: I sit and rock my son to sleep. It rains
Last Line: That falls with any particle of light.


STELLA    Poem Text    
First Line: Flap, flap went the mind of the bird


STELLA       
First Line: Flap, flap went the mind the the bird
Last Line: Against the cool adobe wall


STRINGS       
First Line: Too thin to see, so thread-like they
Last Line: That is, a longing to see across the dark


SUBNORMAL GIRL WITH A CAT       
First Line: Hangs on the fence, just up itself


SUBURB OF LIGHT AND DAZZLE       
First Line: June comes on flirtingly like a high soprano
Last Line: When flagstone burns the feet but night chills


SURPRISE LILIES OF PLURAL, ARKANSAS       
First Line: This special alignment of sympathy
Last Line: Trumpet of sky, lilium convallium, %massing the ravine


SWAMP GAS       
First Line: Green as my hatred layered in fathoms, %lowered in shallow graves
Last Line: To live from the heart %with the heart in mind


SWIMMING POOL    Poem Text    
First Line: We dropped rubber bricks to the bottom
Last Line: To his scalp but finned at top
Subject(s): Swimming & Swimmers; Fathers & Sons


SWIMMING POOL       
First Line: We dropped rubber bricks to the bottom
Last Line: To his scalp but finned on top


TALL TALE       
First Line: In bradford woods


TESTING THE CURRENT       
First Line: Don't say, things happen


TEXAS AUBADE       
First Line: The bluebonnets, paintbrushes, evening primrose
Last Line: How each leaf is less, each pull of the grass


THE COMFORT OF A WOMAN    Poem Text    
First Line: Last night I woke to the smell of furnace gas
Subject(s): Women; Hunting


THEN SOMEONE CALLED, OFFERING ME A JOB       
First Line: But I don't believe it


TO MY FATHER IN HEAVEN       
First Line: There you are you son of a bitch
Last Line: Is old, unsupernatural, impossible %to swallow


TOTSIE       
First Line: The neighbor's niece is marching outside


TRY       
First Line: Twelve gongs of the becker clock and I am back
Last Line: The way the beloved %speaks my name in sleep, %name I can't conceive, there %and there


TWO BIRDS       
First Line: He leaving flew
Last Line: In cold fall air


WE ARE SEVEN       
First Line: A woman in mexico thought she was having septuplets
Last Line: In darkness on a wall, heads bowed, knives %and forks at ready, impatient for grace


WILD WALKING: AFTER THE GULF WAR       
First Line: When they drove to the crappie lake on those
Last Line: But that was morning and evening of the first day


WILDFLOWERS OF THE WESTERN WORLD       
First Line: What pops up out of space from thin green %stalks soothes the eye
Last Line: Wildflowers are too direct- %something in their disposition %smiles at the earnest truth


WILL       
First Line: That's what we'll call you, william o'neil
Last Line: The small heart of the neighborhood blinks out


WINDY TUESDAY NIGHTS       
First Line: Wasn't there a dark-eyed moribund crow


YES NO DAYS    Poem Text    
First Line: Every day he thought before he went outside


YO       
First Line: I'm not just in a brown recliner