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May 2020
Stormfront
by Michael R. Burch

Our distance is frightening:
a distance like the abyss between heaven and earth
interrupted by bizarre and terrible lightning.

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Childless
by Michael R. Burch

How can she bear her grief?
Mightier than Atlas, she shoulders the weight
of one fallen star.

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Laughter’s Cry
by Michael R. Burch

Because life is a mystery, we laugh
and do not know the half.
Because death is a mystery, we cry
when one is gone, our numbering thrown awry.

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Long Division
by Michael R. Burch

All things become one
Through death’s long division
And perfect precision.

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Autumn Conundrum
by Michael R. Burch

It’s not that every leaf must finally fall,
it’s just that we can never catch them all.

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Piercing the Shell
by Michael R. Burch

If we strip away all the accouterments of war,
perhaps we’ll discover what the heart is for.

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Here and Hereafter
by Michael R. Burch

Life’s saving graces are love, pleasure, laughter ...
wisdom, it seems, is for the Hereafter.

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Epitaph for a Palestinian Child
by Michael R. Burch

I lived as best I could, and then I died.
Be careful where you step: the grave is wide.

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Styx
by Michael R. Burch

Black waters,
deep and dark and still . . .
all men have passed this way,
or will.

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honeybee
by Michael R. Burch

love is a little treble thing—
prone to sing
and (sometimes) to sting

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The Shrinking Season
by Michael R. Burch

With every wearying year
the weight of the winter grows
and while the schoolgirl outgrows
her clothes,
the widow disappears
in hers.

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brrExit
by Michael R. Burch

what would u give
to simply not exist—
for a painless exit?
he asked himself, uncertain.
then from behind
the hospital room curtain
a patient screamed—
"my life!"

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briefling
by Michael R. Burch

manishatched,hopsintotheMix,
cavorts,hassex(quick!,spawnanewBro­od!);
then,likeamayfly,he’ssuddenlygone:
plantfood

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Stage Fright
by Michael R. Burch

To be or not to be?
In the end Hamlet
opted for naught.

###

Housman was right ...
by Michael R. Burch

It's true that life’s not much to lose,
so why not hang out on a cloud?
It’s just the "bon voyage" is hard
and the objections loud.

###

Athenian Epitaphs
by Michael R. Burch

Here he lies in state tonight: great is his Monument!
Yet Ares cares not, neither does War relent.
—Michael R. Burch, after Anacreon

Blame not the gale, or the inhospitable sea-gulf, or friends’ tardiness,
mariner! Just man’s foolhardiness.
—Michael R. Burch, after Leonidas of Tarentum

Mariner, do not ask whose tomb this may be,
but go with good fortune: I wish you a kinder sea.
—Michael R. Burch, after Plato

Does my soul abide in heaven, or hell?
Only the sea gulls in their high, lonely circuits may tell.
—Michael R. Burch, after Glaucus

Passerby,
tell the Spartans we lie
here, dead at their word,
obedient to their command.
Have they heard?
Do they understand?
—Michael R. Burch, after Simonides

Now that I am dead sea-enclosed Cyzicus shrouds my bones.
Faretheewell, O my adoptive land that nurtured me, that held me;
I take rest at your breast.
—Michael R. Burch, after Erycius

Keywords/Tags: epigram, epigrams, epitaph, epitaphs, Greek, translation, Greece, life, life and death, grief, mother, mother and child, eulogy, dirge
Written by
Michael R Burch  62/M/Nashville, Tennessee
(62/M/Nashville, Tennessee)   
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