In Praise of Meter by Michael Burch
The earth is full of rhythms so precise
the octave of the crystal can produce
a trillion oscillations, yet not lose
a second’s beat. The ear needs no device
to hear the unsprung rhythms of the couch
drown out the mouth’s; the lips can be debauched
by kisses, should the heart put back its watch
and find the pulse of love, and sing, devout.
If moons and tides in interlocking dance
obey their numbers, what is left to chance?
Should poets be more lax–their circumstance
as humble as it is?–or readers wince
to see their ragged numbers thin, to hear
of Nero’s death, yet mourn the Cavalier?
Originally published by The Eclectic Muse and included in The Best of the Eclectic Muse 1989-2003