Michael Burns Oil Painting on hard board 30 X 15 inches

Pity them…

The air is thick with their moist chemicals,

and atmospheric rivers fill their parch beds of stone dust.

Grey ribbons of cloud sink down and crash together, on top of us.

This brave new place of techno-crop.

The light is stilted and in a stutter, to begin

hesitant to shine, at all.

it doesn’t seem natural.

I am reminded of a line, spoken by wisdom,

“With the passing of youth, life’s rainbow glitter soon wears off; one by one the

shining bubbles burst and the ‘shades of the prison house’ close in.”

The old guard is leaving.

And though they do not understand, they understand.

They are ancient now, and bound for their graves.

And they have not bleed, like you.

And they have not sang songs like you.

And they have not known, loves sweet tender caress… like you.


Pencil and graphite on 75 lb rag paper Michael Burns

They have…bathed themselves in a false quality.

A whole life long.

And known not the pleasure,

of a conflict of conscience, or dark night.

They have not struggl’d with their soul, like you.

They are corporeal strangers, you see.

Of flighting things of no importance;

paper, stick and glue.

They are truly the fallen ones, and spite the dark against the light;

and know no reason for it…

their hearts fill with the words of their ignorant shame.

Having failed the simply lesson

“Primum scire te..”

And in their desperation and last hours,

to squeeze loose the last and final drops of their material  life;

and then in that terrible anger, turn on the world,

and make it putrid ash.

So the future can not know of it.

Pity them,

for they have no soul.

Pity them for they are not immortal like you…

Pity them for they will not leave this place.


Weak cult driven men,

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Michael Burns Painting- Oil and acrylic on canvas 24 X 24 inches

feeble hearted things, a shame on the race of all men.

They took his young head…accused a child.

They placed him, proud and with his fearless courage,

in front of a mad world.

Taunted him and crucified his valour, like a Christ…

as example of their only dark talents…terror.

Too whom do you think you are speaking…

to cowards…to false men like yourself.


You are not of the brotherhood of men.

You who worship an idolize a pedophile.

You think you talk to other men who enslave like you…

soulless things with no purpose but the paymasters toil.

Servants of a cruel Arab King, who shits on gold.

Terrorism of the weak… in sin you are..

persecutors of innocence..

You are hate filled bastards, you will be paid in cold and hungry darkness.

Your weak bodied fear of women…your theft of their beauty,

your trembling horror filled and wet pants stance against reality’s men, in the end.

A child who still defied weakness in adversity of his own pain.

To fight for his own country…Syria.

Beautiful Syria.

He did not cry out when you cut his head,

did that not make you wonder?

How could he bear such pain?

A poor child who stood and shook of,

what you yourselves could not endure.

An ambush of cowards,

on a boy no less…

an “individual mistake”…you say.

Nour al-Din al-Zenki…you will remember Abdullah Issa, forever…

his  young spirit like the Baptist will convert a billion and it will tear down what you


and make it all waste, and tasteless, and barren of all that is life.

You want HELL…now welcome it.

A hate filled place lost of any love, were each preys and eats cannibal,

standing there in each others failed and toxic light.

And ten-thousand lifetimes you will live war,

until your black soul, exhausted arrives,

and heaven will deny you entrance.

You will not transcend this…there are no virgins,

your cruel god turns his back even now and pestilence and disease of spirit invade

you ranks.

It will choke the ones you place your lust on,

with hatred for you,

it will corrupt the very joy of your own life.

It will take all pleasure away from you…all that you prize here on this earthly plain,

that false kings gold, that will not turn to coins,

and turn it, to a bitterness and ash in old age.

You end here.


Poem: The Dream

And gold leaf, on guilded aluminum…

the rot deep, in the body of the thing.

“Tear nee not, and sommelcore,

and afreezan too sheck ne gree”.

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Michael Burns Photograph.

The crowd grew on the stair, and flowed up and slithered down.

Round ornate newel and spread through the arteries of the building,

like it was a thing alive and pumping blood, onto…

Hidden places tucked in and separate and without an escape…

back there behind the rustle.

One way in, and one way out.


And massive tools lay on the truck, and I slipped away in secret.

On by it and around I go, and

the ocean, I saw, and the wall behind it.

I felt closed in and held in that place,

they watch my dream like a movie on a screen.

They are visual and need my images,

caught in something they will…

Never ascendible from there.



Michael Burns Silver point drawing on specially prepared ground 16 X 20 inches (Unfinished)

Never leave it, but they found us in our vision.

And they are forever voyeurs now the ones who watch,

and I feed them life, defined in pictures.

And early I heard them on my roof

the soft footstep and creak of my timbers.

They are so curious those little ones…

they were made and we were not.

They are to be pitied, poor things locked here forever,

just looking, just watching…

always watching, the dream.

Always watching the dreamer.



Russia has now become the enemy

If ISIS, Daesh, Al-Zenki, Al-Nusra exists in Syria…who is Assad fighting?

Russia, Iran, North Korea and Syria have become the new axis of evil now for the Trump administration.

If there is a 60% decrease in immigration and the refugees, entering America. How does this, American $100 million airstrike aid that success and relate to those numbers?…

MAGA= is this a slogan, a pep talk, an empty…

He is picking up on the Obama policy to remove Assad. “Regime change”…now is necessary for peace in to reign in Syria.

Assad equals war….

New “Red line” established…all of Syria is a red line

Trump is thinking for himself, now…what was he doing before?

Sean Spicer states that 59 missiles reached their targets, 20% of his “fixed wing’ capability to war is gone now, radar taken out, fueling capabilities taken out.

How is that, none of the runways were damaged, such little lost of Syrian military life, and more civilians killed by the American Tomahawk assault? Why were the Migs, old and antiquated?

He is willing to work with Russia on removal of ISIS, but feels the Russian Federation are part of the problem…they are blind and incompetent. But, didn’t he say…?

The position of an American president does not exist anymore…

Bannon and Kushner infighting…

Waited 72 hour period before deciding on airstrike? But that is not true…

The war hawks rally around him, which means what?

Mitch McConnell likes Trump.

Now Gorsuch is approved. Why?

Mitch McConnell, “This is not just a little pin-prick”.

This is certainly more than a pin-prick…

Just a little pin-prick, there’ll be no more…..

America is back..

Iran, North Korea, Russian Federation, Syria; the message; we are back and we will lead the world to the goodness of American hegemony…

We have a real president now!


Poem: Occulted man, waits.

20151006_125834A thousand years inside a stone, at the bottom of a frozen…lake.

Glacier slow the earth reactors warmed it,

the sun dried up the lake.

New green showed it’s tender leaves.

And crowding in around, and thought it theirs.

Years flicker in time, as bubbles in a clear glass.

Images from one brief life, onto the next.

I’ve lived a life of just one day, and lived also a hundred years.

And love has held me many times, in repetitious followings;

and I have known her many times.

She has no memory, too,…hiding like me, and I wait for her to wake.

Dust collects around my feet, and blind and surely mad…I’ll think; I’ll wait.

And asked a different way, the same-old-question.

Why must I be reminded of it all?

I’m bored with it…

Cur faciem tuam abscondis homo occulted


Oil and acrylic on canvas. (Unfinished) 16 X 20 inches.

Occulted man.

Veiled man.

Why…why do you hide?

This game you play, and in the end, the truth you cannot deny

And wake from dreams that tell you secrets of yourself…

and forget them quickly upon your rising.

And again in eager bound, you race to day’s end, and sleep the sleep, and dream again the answer.

What sin do you think you carry?

Have you already paid for it?

A thousand times a thousand?

Debt, will always be… debt.

They taught you well these August men…

You are known by all but yourself.

A piece of gold refusing to be precious.

And in so hiding…becomes your choice.

Occulted man.

Poem: Diary of A Dead Man


There’s a hole in sun,

and all that was given will fall back there someday.

The life we live here is measured it seems, by the sins from some past life.

The closer you get to the end,

the more you remember from the very beginning, and…just before it.

It takes a lifetime to scratch away that veil of forgetting.

This preset to be a man, has disturbed me from the start.

I’m not sure I know what a man is, and I can’t find a reason why I should listen to your answer?

In fact the whole world, the whole universe is preset by your reckoning.

So many have said, “I love my life, and this is the way it should be; this is the best.”

And I say,

20151006_132443“Like a mousetrap set with cheese,

this world was set to catch me and you,

and bring us down here into this heavy thing.

Amongst fools, who would run the damned ship into the rocks.”

This morning creeps on slow, on thin grey legs,

and my heart is heavy with its tyranny.

I think of Thomas More, with his head in a basket for his troubles.

Failed to a kings fealty;

and now dust to it all.

And now between the ages of a stale book.

I will wait on death, and that being my fine and oldest friend;

will move me and break this connection.

And newly me discovered,

one I have not known for a long time;

one with all that’s possibility existing in the same moment.

One with all the sins removed.



Michael Burns – drawing

There I was in the center of the tomatoes, my face turned towards the sun. Yellow like me. The green fruit looked at me and said “You are intruding…we were here first, and now your in here. We don’t like you.
This is our piece of ground and we need it, all of it. Your are too big, you take up too much space.
Your so fat, and cause a cold shadow. We like it warm.”

Me, well I am a late bloomer, I fell out of a ducks ass and here I am, I landed here. Did I ask to start here…no, I didn’t. And so, it not my fault. I am just doing what I am supposed to…grow and blossom and then get heavy, so very heavy with my seeds and stoop over when I get old, get that slouch because of the weight of it…that is what I am to do.
I don’t know how I know that, but I do, know that. It’s what I am. I don’t have a choice.

People like me…I think. Why shouldn’t they…I’m bright and yellow and big…friendly.
Even the birds like me. Bees like me…butterflies, even those crows, like me.
I am named after the sun. What an honour, how many can say that about themselves.
I am named after god.

It gets boring sometimes, here in this exact spot. I mean, lately its worst, these whining little green-fucking-tomatoes. I’m not crowding them out. I am, “Taking up their space and drinking in their water.” Fuck…I did’nt get the start like they did. Grown in greenhouse. Planted by a human, fertilized and watered in…nooo, I was shit here.
So I am making the best of what could have been a bad situation. I mean do any of us own anything, here…the ground we grow in. Who owns it. Definitely not the tomatoes.
Maybe that little bird. Maybe the sun owns it…there would be nobody here if he didn’t shine. It would be terribly cold and so dark…and lonely.
It would be so lonely.

I daydream a lot…I put my face into the sun and then follow it all day until the dark time, and then do it all over again, the next day. I like daydreaming. I like daydreaming…
All the time listening to those assholes whine.
Sometimes bees come along and walk all over the face of me and pick up my yellowness and stick it in little bags on the hind legs and carry it off, and I make more of it. I don’t know were they take it, I don’t even know why they take it. It’s not a big deal though…they don’t take much; it is easy to make more.

Oh, I do like that!

That little bird that comes along…it flys really fast and has a very long beak, and that flicking tiny tongue. The sound it makes, similar but a lot louder than the bees. No, it’s different, it’s quite different.
It likes the water that collects at the bottom of my face, my yellow dissolves in that water, and that tiny little thing drinks it up. I would like to be one of those little birds, I would want to be one of those little birds, but for now, I am this.
They can move so fast…and I have to stay here in this one place. I’m so slow.


Michael Burns Cell Phone drawing

I look out on the water and the ducks, and the wetland. This a good place to grow. I have dreams here…of next year, or the year after, and then there will be many more like me in this spot. Maybe even hundreds. There would no place here, no room left for dam tomatoes…bastards… I like that. Many around here have said they don’t like the tomatoes. There would be just hundreds of yellow faces. No tomatoes, tomatoes are angry, and their hard to get along with… yes I can see it now, hundreds of yellow faces, everywhere…smiling yellow.

I wouldn’t be here, then… I would be gone, to were I don’t know.
Maybe I would be like one of those little birds that like to drink yellow water. That would be good, that would be great. That’s a good thing. I wouldn’t want to be a tomato, they don’t seem like they are happy. I am supposed to be happy…I mean I am happy…actually I am not sure if I am happy. Now I am confused about it. I am not sure I know completely what happy is…maybe I am the happiest, and don’t know it. So in that case. I’m happy.

I know I don’t want to be grass. I listen to grass all night, that, ohhhh ooh sound, that reaching, stretching noise it makes.
I am not sure if it is happy. I doesn’t talk to me. I’ll bet it heard the racket from the fucking tomatoes, and thinks I am not very nice. It seems to be in a hurry all the time. And oh does it like the rain. I like the sun. I love the sun.

It has been getting cooler at the dark time. It is quiet then, and I can’t hear the ducks. Even the tomatoes are quiet, rustling away, mumbling very quietly to themselves. I like them at night…well maybe not like.  Maybe I should tell them that. Maybe that would stop them bitching at me, if I told them I liked them.

There is an owl that lives behind me, back there, I can’t see there. It is behind my face.  He makes hooting sounds at dark time and I hear him flying. I saw him once, late, when all was quiet. It was very dark. He was so big.

Every so often I hear squeaking down at the bottom of me. Some little animal lives down there. He is always moving around in the strawberry patch. Those guys, the strawberries have been here a long time, and nobody bothers them. Ever.

I hear some birds, quietly having intimate conversations at the dark time, in those spruce trees to my right. Whispering; low voices; quiet giggles. I listen, it’s not like I am nosy, I am just curious. Sometimes the ones sleeping near by, get upset, stir squawk and jump to another tree and huff and settle back down.

Sometimes I see the sun’s wife and she shines so bright. Only at the dark time does she come out. And not very often. I can see clear across the water. I like her, everything is silver when she comes by. I feel really good about myself at that time. Kind of energized in a different way.

It is getting darker earlier every day and I don’t get much information were I stand, I always feel like an intruder…the tomatoes make sure of it. They are such assholes.

I am bigger than everybody else here, I take up more space. I don’t do it on purpose. It is just who I am. I’m big. I get so upset about it, and so…I write poetry at night… in my head, about myself, my condition here, what I think of myself. What I think about being… alive, a living thing. It is quite unusual…

I think I am having an existential moment?


Painting acrylic and charcoal on canvas. 16 X 20 inches.

I like poetry…a lot… that little bird makes me think of poems, I could write a dozen poems about him. Actually I could write a poem about the tomatoes, how much grief they give me. That is a good Idea, I think I will write one…

The intruder pushes up and out

and past green fruit       envious         seven heads     and late to a season.

an invitation        lost or forgotten in a translation

and in an eagerness supplant             the expected ones

those who were invited

shiny faced open

I am

the slave is aglow in musty yellow

and a wing’d friend flits and rushes round me        I think he is my friend

racing on towards conclusion

and the many obstacles that block


the late bloom in Autumn’s cool glow, before winters glass

after a false start

some bear their greatness near the end rather than at the start

I would care to say…

the grass grows and I can hear it

praying to God

ohhhh       ohhhhhh                       ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh

prayers silently unrelenting

moving up

reaching in quiet unison

for a fading summer light of their God

not enough time

melancholy setting in

for the season of the frozen

lines will rule the sky

and blot out

the light

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Michael Burns Painting – Oil and acrylic on hardboard. 18 X 24 inches

I saw my father face in a dream once

I’d never met him and told him so

one     second     here

now there…

a different place

felt        shifted

And then I am in the other,

the non ordinary and confused sometimes

but mainly never understood

they tell me that I’m mad

and running circles

round and round and round

the sky…

I am not mad

I am an artist out-standing in his field


I was painting ten paintings the other day. In the music studio and lost an idea among a pile of dead poems sitting on a shelf,

it was a good idea!


Michael Burns Pencil and eraser 11 inches X 17 inches 75 lb rag paper

It was something about the sound a bird makes after a terrible storm;

for the world is stilled and made over completely in that single solitary second.

This is not the only world…by far.

A thousand million universes compel the worst to be imagined…and the very best.

And yet, there is still more.

All round and threaded on a string around my lovers neck..

like pearls

This fake world stops as it does, at my ceiling, the real thing above it all, collides with it itself endlessly…and I am safe in this false cave.

It all ended I feel, before I was born.

A subversives poetry sung by his ghost…

from another dimension.

A message in a lonely dream…a warning to the future ones “Beware all, pay attention. For the cancer of the universe draws near.”

If not closed off and in a box…

in hope that the future is not shut then forever, and exalted for the good, as good.

Barred off, and running round, a fence, a paint peeled sign; for sale.

Shutters closed, the door nailed shut. The weeds are long and the house is dressed in a veil of dust.

Old newspapers cling to past-time walls, the monthly bills under a foot…heaped up flyers collect to a barbed wire fence around its heart.

And echos fall back and to the boulevard of unleafed trees.

Long shadows cast, and the sun is low, red and in that last day.

There will be no tomorrow.

A cat walks past that mouseless place, on the street were no one lives.

Were, no one a has ever lived. A dream with no one dreaming it.

I’ve seen this place within, and wake from it in…exhausted hurry.

The last one again…time will move on slowly. At it own pace; and I will sleep it through another aeon


Michael Burns Charcoal, Gesso, Naples yellow 24 ins X 30 ins Cotton canvas


Looking up, and I see the grey imitation, and come to worry why I had not noticed this, long before.

Or had pretended that I had not noticed.

I watch the watchers watching, and they, unaware, that I am not really here, but in the other.

I will always be safe now…I know that,

for I have come to the end of that long journey of fear, and there is none here but me.

A tall woman, the most beautiful woman in the world; her breasts rose and slightly fell saying, “Summer is quick here, and we are cheated, like unrequited lovers…hours are stolen from us…and in the fall, a war for the soul continues and still the heart of a man beats on.”

And then she sang it in a song.

I looked out this morning and turned a deaf ear

At the coldness, the din of a harvest assaulting my flowers.

Wooden ducks gather at my back door, waiting for their messenger to return and say its time for them to leave; and the once great migration will begin.

And the few that are ancestral to those millions that once leapt into a granite sky,

leave on time and in an orderly fashion, bit players in that grand play.

A storm starting…rains that blocks the sky with clouds as thick as oily smoke, lightening moves through them like, yellow fish in barrel of dirty water.

The thunder yells to my ears about its power…and then it wanes and waits for his brothers reply.

I was painting ten paintings the other day. In the music studio and lost an idea among a pile of dead poems sitting on a shelf,

it was a good idea!

It was something about the sound a bird makes after a terrible storm,

for the world is stilled and made over completely in that single solitary second.

Poem: Poets Hospital

There’s a hospital for poets

End of the road for a broken dreamer, and an artist with tarnish on his soul.
There’s no line up there, you just walk right in and get into a bed.
Dead dreamers are wheeled by on gurneys on their way to reincarnations.
The place is filled with unspoken words, and half filled remnants of…those angry hearts
Ghosts walk the halls of the unpublished, asking you for a word…ah, “Please will you listen.”

The great Dylan Thomas died here and the place reeks now of a writing shed. Corso walks by holding an antiquated toaster and speaks to him in tongues about the substance of a symbol
“I was born here and I will die here.” He exclaims in the accent of an Italian Hamlet, on passing.

A water drenched rat from the Titanic, hugs the wall on its way to the basement to fornicate with its American cousin.

2015-10-16 10.30.57

Michael Burns Drawing, charcoal and red Conte on 75 lb rag paper. 11 X 14 inches

Scribbled notes on latin edges, and pencilled words on back pages, of dog-eared books about etiquette, written by a Vanderbilt.
And scratched last lines onto the walls grasped, and gasped out by those on their way to the other side for recycling.

And the ‘wall of hope’ remembers.

And so I check my pulse and found I had the prerequisites …to be in this place.
I was definitely a card-carrying member. And my poems were sick.

The nurse arrives and asks to take my temperature.
I tell her “I am minus thirty and dropping…my heart is frozen. Can you help? There’s an ice age comin, don’t ya know!”
“Aw” she says, “Would you like a hot drink, what seems to be your trouble Micko, and can you bend over dear.”
She reminds me of a poem about another woman.
An Irish woman named love. Who lives under a hill. And the words fall out of my mouth, “Come away O’human child…”
I tell her I am suffering from double entendre
“Aw” she says “There’s a lot of that going round these days.”, as she pulls the thermometer from its hold.”
Nursey leaves swishin; I love that sound. And  I wait, on my little cot for doctor Big Fingers to arrive.

“And how are we today.” he says, on entering the clutter. He walks over and closes a cupboard door to staunch the bleeding words from the top shelf.
I ask to borrow his pen and clipboard with a page. And scribble down quickly the words to my next ode.
‘I have a bug in my ear and I am tone-deaf to bullshit’
I return his clipboard, pens are hard to get here.

“So what are my chances doc…will I live?..is this fatal?
Will I need an operation…maybe a transfusion. To rid myself of the parasites in my thoughts.
Am I using my words well,?..am I color blind to context.
Is my sense of semantics charged, and pure to the meaning.
C’mon Doc, don’t hold back. Tell me the truth.
Am I…a dead poet?”

He looks at me and sighs, ” Poets are born with broken thoughts. And use words as pills to heal themselves.”
Write a couple more lines, and I will see you in the morning…

2015-10-14 15.21.22

Michael Burns – Charcoal and red Conte on cartridge paper. 22 X 30 inches

I returned to my room and there was Corso and that fucking toaster…he was chewin the fat with Larry Ferlinghetti…about spaghetti, al dente. And something about publishing his next book.
They turned and looked at me and Larry said…”So you want to be part of the club, is that right kid. Are you a sick poet?”
“No.” I sez…”but I wouldn’t mind a chit-chat about Fluxus, I sometimes get on my drums and start with my heartbeat.
Bom bom..bom bom…bombom bombom and the blood gurgles glickly and falls through the holes at end of my veins.
Larry leaves in disgust, hands in the air, exclaiming “Wannabee, couldhadbeen, mightdahad.”

I am content now I have found my own…I don’t feel as fatal. Not nearly as fatal.
My poems are better …and fellow madmen arrive every morning with new lines.
And my fake Irish nurse arrives for late night checks of my vitals.
I think… I’m ok.

Poem: The Cave

I was not different than you are now,

I was, not blessed or cursed anymore than you now.

I called myself what I am, I love no less, but I did reach,

for the highest ground possible.


Graffiti in a barn Digital photo Michael Burns

The mystic drove me on, sometimes, the artist born in me, the imaginer.

Drafts an image, an idea caught frozen as a symbol,

and the symbol was now born into the world.

Man begins to record himself, that fierce yell coming through to us in time.

I am.

His thoughts and ideas…

And eat the god, and he bares his visions,

and then moving into that hole,

and ever back towards the place where time and history would remember me…

Nothing will touch it here,

couched safe and locked back in, the dark.

 Here, separate from all but the brave, and purer heart.

Moving in amongst stone and much…

that smell of old dark wet,

ancient long away from the light

and discovered…


and so I beat down the ochre and spit the rough stuff between my hands.

2015-10-14 15.21.22

Michael Burns – Charcoal and red Conte on cartridge paper. 22 X 30 inches

And scratched with burned blak the lines imagined…

fat muscle and bone, the ever elusive edge,

and beast claw and prey tooth

and stone lay down and in and of it all…

a cathedral of my mind.

Bulls run…and bulls thunder above my head…

visions like lifetimes led,

layered, lap on lap and endless natural.

The garden…it’s beauty, oh it remained that same,

same living for 100,000 years.

Tawny antelope and grey cat, and also hungry men,

deep in dark darkness,

oil lamps kept lit by child.

Quick and nimble finger, the oily pale orange and yellow glow,

and sounds echo and amplify through that black…

sound of the imagined.

Shhh..earth mother stirs and everyone listens in her womb together,

deep in there and not born yet.

Everything so still and waiting to begin.

And then, rub the fat into the stone


Pencil and graphite on 75 lb rag paper Michael Burns

the beast moves and ungulates,

and glisten slick and slippery wet,

the wall becomes like liquid vision.

Another man moves into the hole,

and ever back towards the place where time and

history would remember it… 

and the holy becomes the hidden in plain sight.

In sensed, and incensed air the message to the mind,


God now is born inside man’s mind.

Nothing will ever be that free again, and ownership and control become the need,

religion clued the temperance and obedience of us all…

and foot by step, and miles gone by on stacked millennium.

And so, a remembrance of that time,

and something felt of  that kindred soul


man has fallen now.