Beverly Burch's work appears in The Antioch Review, Barrow Street, North American Review, Poetry International, Southern Poetry Review, Nimrod, Tar River Poetry, Many Mountains Review, and Red Rock Review and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her book, Sweet to Burn, won the Gival Poetry Prize for 2004 and a Lambda Literary Award. It is available through She has published two collections of nonfiction: On Intimate Terms (U. of Ill. Press) and Other Women (Columbia University Press). She is also a psychotherapist in Berkeley, California.

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Such Feverish Trees

The opened room leaves me cornered.
Months I knelt in the cramped cell

of winter, the chill never really dispelled,
came to love that pallid circle

of sun, chaste sky, bare limbs.
Satisfied, I felt clean. Then this sudden

brightness, this plenty—
such feverish trees, exorbitant bloom,

the old plum stunned into whiteness,
a soft feathered thing, and stark strips

of quince torched, turned to flame.
How could it not bait me, not chafe?

Even the air’s a risk—silk, it stings.
And sings. Sure, it sings as it whips.




First published in Poetry Northwest.   Copyright © Beverly Burch


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This site designed and composed by Diane Kirsten Martin. Technical and graphics assistance from Nathaniel Martin. Copyright © 2005 Diane K. Martin. All poems the properties of the original authors. Blackbird graphic scanned from a woodcut by Thomas Bewick (1752-1828), source: 1800 Woodcuts by Thomas Bewick and his School, Dover Publications, Inc. This site last updated: October 4, 2011