Poetry from Sam Burks

Back to what matters (and what doesn’t)

Even the rocks
and the dirt
on our feet
have worries.
There is wonder even
in the dusty webs
of leaves and moss
the cold and lonely side
of the mountain

Out here
this bubbling, smokey,
sun-baked empire
of stone and cedar walls
the winds of Babylon
sneak in
and dance
in the curtains

Out here
the building blocks
of our eyes
we too
are cold
and lonely
the whole thing

And even the trees
and the clouds
and the glaciers
are melting
and drying
there is warmth
even in the lost
of our bed
strewn about
over the rocks and dirt

The Longest Night

I was wasting my time

in those sleepless nights

holding a ghost,

who appeared to me lost,


and alone

and in a different body

every night

And when the sun

would sneak up

she would

be gone

Those nights

were the longest

and the embrace

was so so sweet


she held me

in substitution

of the body

that she missed

and I held her

for the lost warmth,

the skipped beat,

for everything that

had been taken from me

even though I knew

she would never

be able to

give it back


the embrace

was so so sweet

I would just have

to accept

that my body

was the night

and my soul

was lost

in the dark

The Texture Of Stones

Much like stones
we toss ourselves about
with hostility
landing and meeting
in a neutral wasteland
silent collisions
followed by
blank expressions
the who’s
and the what’s
and the why’s
fleeing like the fulfillment sustained
right as the waking eye
the rising sun

When I look at people
on the bus
under neon street lights
on the avenues that ache
with sleep deprivation
I see pain-
I see the letters of rejection
the missed connections
the failing grades
the unpaid bills
all the broken things
the two sets of lonely eyes
never meeting, never understanding
always bleeding
salt and water and life

I see the waking up
without appreciation
for the painless eternity
borrowed for the hours
exchanged for the drudgery
and forced time

And I see
so much potential
in the stones
flying around
my head

The Last Ten Blocks

With only ten blocks left to walk, the brutality of every step becomes
more apparent.  I’m walking you home, but I want to pull you in the
opposite direction.  You’re real busy, and I’m very lost.  My thoughts
scramble to release themselves without being diminished.  There are so
many things I want to tell you, but won’t.  I struggle to put things
in order, I want to make you understand but I’m too afraid to tell you
directly.  Out of fear of rejection, or abandonment, I keep these
emotions subdued for now.  We are strangers, but we’re not.  There is
still so much to learn about you, and I’m afraid that you don’t
understand me as much as I want you to.  It’s rare to find a person
who makes me feel appreciated and accepted, but when it happens I fall
quickly.  I hardly know you, but I know enough to desire your company
over anything else.  And in my delusional mind, I try to find clues
that tell me that this feeling is mutual.  For now, I hope and pray
for a reunion where I will be much braver.

I can’t tell you how much I love you in just ten blocks.  I hope one
day we can take a much longer route.

Sam Burks is from the San Francisco Bay Area, in California, and can be reached at srburks@gmail.com