Three Poems By William C. Burns, Jr.

Son of the Maple Tree

Your son
More you than I could ever be
Looks out the window in a dream
His breath clouds the glass

Mists boil up over the river bank
And move across the yard
Hiding everything
His eyes are not silent

In the coming darkness
I put my hand on his shoulder
I want to hear his question
Perhaps that would be a start

He stands without looking at me
And moves to the empty table
We eat in silence


       Potter's Wheel

Smeared across your cheek
And over chocolate-amber eyes
Integrating you
Into the scenery
You laughed when I asked
Just how to throw a pot
"Overhanded" your reply

Your hands stained to the elbow
Deep inside your latest undertaking
A thing of soft geometry
Taking shape in your palms
Defying gravity
Defying the Earth that bore it
This thing swims up to meet you hand

Unwilling to steal you
From this place of mind
That you love so, so much
I orbit
Out of reach scratching paper
With pen
Cartographer of the moment


Bare Foot Lover

Bare foot lover
Framed in a square of sunlight

The cross
       demanded by the window's pane
Across your left shoulder
Spilling onto the floor
       in front of your azure eyes

A small Universe
       of glittering
       twinkling motes
Around you
A nimbus of astral energy

I see you
Like the first time I saw you
I am transfixed in the moment
Awash in terror

You glance up
      eyes flashing in the Light
What is it?
What is this shapeless
      question you ask?


William C. Burns, Jr. tells is he "was born in Washington DC, circa the early Fifties, which puts him on the trailing edge of the beautiful generation (remember the Hippies? OK for those of you too young to remember, how bout Shaggy from Scooby Doo?).

"Raised in West Virginia in and around the rolling hills and glens of Charleston.

"Moved to South Carolina in 1984 with his wife and three children.

"Lots of degrees (mostly Celsius, some Fahrenheit some Kelvin) in areas such as electrical engineering, biomedical engineering and education.

"Keeps the hounds of starvation at bay by teaching engineering and technology courses at various colleges."

Poems Copyright Summer 1999 William C. Burns, Jr.

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