Call joy a liquid detergent, washing
the worst away, and it becomes
my soul’s iodine, deterring a dark night.
Of all the emotions, it’s the ruby
that can’t be bought, the jam that’s
passed, spreading over my daily bread.
Call it love’s lava, as bold as a smear
of lipstick on a cheek, and it’s the wax
that seals us together, like an envelope its letter.
Call it a river, and it’s as necessary as blood,
branching from my heart into the body
of the world.
This is an older ekphrastic poem, inspired by the late artist Lenore Conacher’s painting “Joy Is A Liquid” and has now found a home in the 2019 Joan Ramseyer Memorial Poetry Anthology, edited by Brett Ramseyer, the theme of which was joy.
Let us grant that the pulsing rain wells
from a cavernous heart. Now the tulips
peering redly through my basement window
stoop slowly, nodding amid the blades of grass
as I curve to red yawns and the green stretch
of a lip, artfully shaping soundless appeals
to these guardian sentinels, this crimson grail
from which I drink and dream. Let us believe
there are upheavals in the dark: a bell ringing,
tears gathered in the urgent arch of my heart,
the congregation, at last, rising to sing.
I’m thrilled to share that this poem has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by editor Robert L. Penick of the print journal “Ristau: A Journal Of Being” where it first appeared in January of 2019! Oh happy day! Here’s what the Pushcart Prize is about.
Look how the moon hangs
its luminous sign outside
the bedroom window: the man
with a grin is open for business!
But in your private dark, nothing
so grand – only the chest-warming
glow of a night-light never turned off:
being able to take one good deep
breath after another, and feel
your own durable heart pumping
steadily in unsteady times,
its rivers, rich with blessing,
coursing through a world
that knows the fierce
need of it.
Another older poem which first appeared in North Shore Magazine and then my chapbook “Stealing Eternity”.
“Lynne Burnett is astonishing. I cannot think of another poet who writes with more humanity. Wisdom is a word we seldom associate with poetry, but she reminds us that simply seeing the world the way it is can be a profoundly moral and life affirming act. It’s what happens when compassion marries irony. The love child is this wondrous little book.” —D.G Geis, author Fire Sale (Tupelo Press/Leapfolio) and Mockumentary (Main Street Rag).
The poems inside Lynne Burnett’s chapbook live up to the collection title. Irresistible. Here is a poet demonstrating her considerable talents. There is much music and rhythm in these pages, and keen insight to the ebb and flow of relationships and heartbreak. I was particularly taken by the deft handling of the near miss in “Mute with Thanks.” And I was moved by the poignant stories in the title poem, “Irreplaceable” and “On Hearing That a Friend’s Husband Has Died in His Sleep.” Even the table of contents in this lovely book is a form of call and response. Her imagery and language resonated with me long after I finished reading. –Devi S. Laskar, Author of “Gas & Food, No Lodging” (Finishing Line Press, 2017) and “Anastasia Maps” (Finishing Line Press, 2018)
Lynne Burnett takes us deep into the world of what is, what isn’t and what might have been, of accidents and unplanned incidents “where we fall without falling,” and death rings “a bell that won’t stop singing of loss.” Love is coupled with death here, and life is “an unfinished dream.” Burnett pulls us into the flow of the inevitable, where we feel the unheard and hear the unmentioned in the in-between, with powerfully rendered, beautifully phrased and sonically perfect observations. Irresistible is just that – an irresistible, stunning debut. –Robert Okaji, author of From Every Moment a Second (Finishing Line Press, 2017)
Here is a sample poem from the book, with an audio recording:
across the dewy lawn,
the grass riotous with light
that began its journey toward her
over four billion years ago,
light that will burn five billion
years more after she’s gone,
like candle to candle lit
my pixie daughter’s a thirsty wick
for joy, sure any life glad to be
is all that matters,
and I want to tell her yes
while light is leading her heart
out its small window
of time, and blade by blade
from beaded grass her
own glass slippers made,
before gravity weighs in.
Over the next couple of months I will continue to post samples. Thank you to all who find my happy news “irresistible”!