Flame in my ear
swift as the barber’s
a fragment of mirror—
bright and short-lived, descending
with equal magic
on the couple from Iran
and our wide-eyed one year old.
—From The Salesman’s Shoes (Modern English Tanka Press, 2007);
appears here with author’s permission
Small brown leaf
unfurls its wings, flits
back to the branch
—From The Worksongs of the Worms (Cyberwit, 2018); appears here with
is the author of a chapbook of short fiction, A Bunch of Fives (Mudfog Press), and four short-form collections of poetry: Height of Arrows (forthcoming from Duck Lake Books in 2020); The Worksongs of the Worms (haiku); The Salesman’s Shoes (tanka); and Greetings from Luna Park (narrative sedoka sequences), which explores love and commerce in turn-of-the-century Coney Island. His writing has appeared in The Guardian, The North, and The Scotsman, among others.
Burns was born and raised in England, completed a PhD in 1999 at the State University of New York (USA), and graduated with distinction from Oxford University’s MSt in Creative Writing programme in 2009. He now lives in Edinburgh and serves as Deputy Registrar General for Scotland.
Author’s website: www.jamesroderickburns.com