Linda Joy Burke

Of Thee I Sing III – America You Deserve

you deserve a love poem
not a sword,
you deserve to be elevated
by luminous utterances
rather than colored coded security alerts,

and even though I know
you don’t really trust
true declarations of love anymore

too many weak repetitions
of the greedy old words
have tainted your receptors

and too much making time
in the precincts of pretense
have stunted your growth,

…..I swear, I can see
what a good love poem
…..could do for you,
… it could make you over,
not artificially retouched,

I’m talking total transformation here,
transported into a pristine
wilderness for months or more,
with no mirror to check of your progress,

I want to help you open your big heart old again
under a canopy of undiscovered constellations,
wrap you in a grandmother’s
hand-pieced, heirloom quilt,

away from 24/7 instant alert TV for hire,
or e-mail’s urgently begging attention,
and mega srip-malls hungry for plastic,
and mileage calculations tracking gallons of gas,
and strangers yelling into invisible cell phones.

I want to sweep you off your agenda,
help you remember old cravings for
rich, un-retouched food, sparkling,
sewage- and lead-free water.

I want you to marvel over well-placed words,
wonder at the abundance of natural art,
live in the bliss of elastic time,
away from your necessary things.

America, you deserve a
… poem that rocks you
from the inside,

a big LOVE poem
that streams – but
doesn’t drown you,

You deserve
to have your well of
sweetness opened
so that truth can
return to your voice.

America, are You hearing me?

Hearing me
Hearing me
Hearing me

Breathing you in

Exhaling you – Dreaming you out?


Linda Joy Burke is a performance poet and published writer residing in Maryland. She grew up in the Nation's capital during the 1960s, went to Mt. Vernon College in DC for poetry and Loyola College of Baltimore for not long enough. She's done a number of labor intensive jobs where she learned service and patience. She's been writing for over 40 years and reads everything she can get her hands on except horror, computer manuals, and most contemporary science fiction. She listens to PBS, watches a lot of documentary TV, and listens to everything in music from hip hop to classical, country to world beat--and she values silence. She says, "I believe there's always a little more room in the old brain for something new."