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William Zanzinger killed poor Hattie Carroll
With a cane that he twirled around his diamond ring finger
At a Baltimore hotel society gath'rin'
And the cops were called in and his weapon took from him
As they rode him in custody down to the station
And booked William Zanzinger for first-degree ******
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Take the rag away from your face
Now ain't the time for your tears

William Zanzinger, who at twenty-four years
Owns a tobacco farm of six hundred acres
With rich wealthy parents who provide and protect him
And high office relations in the politics of Maryland
Reacted to his deed with a shrug of his shoulders
And swear words and sneering, and his tongue it was snarling
In a matter of minutes on bail was out walking  
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Take the rag away from your face
Now ain't the time for your tears

Hattie Carroll was a maid of the kitchen
She was fifty-one years old and gave birth to ten children
Who carried the dishes and took out the garbage
And never sat once at the head of the table
And didn't even talk to the people at the table
Who just cleaned up all the food from the table
And emptied the ashtrays on a whole other level
Got killed by a blow, lay slain by a cane
That sailed through the air and came down through the room
Doomed and determined to destroy all the gentle
And she never done nothing to William Zanzinger
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Take the rag away from your face
Now ain't the time for your tears

In the courtroom of honor, the judge pounded his gavel
To show that all's equal and that the courts are on the level
And that the strings in the books ain't pulled and persuaded
And that even the nobles get properly handled
Once that the cops have chased after and caught 'em
And that the ladder of the law has no top and no bottom
Stared at the person who killed for no reason
Who just happened to be feelin' that way without warnin'
And he spoke through his cloak, most deep and distinguished
And handed out strongly, for penalty and repentance
William Zanzinger with a six-month sentence
Oh, but you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Bury the rag deep in your face
For now's the time for your tears
Ye learnèd sisters, which have oftentimes
Beene to me ayding, others to adorne,
Whom ye thought worthy of your gracefull rymes,
That even the greatest did not greatly scorne
To heare theyr names sung in your simple layes,
But joyèd in theyr praise;
And when ye list your owne mishaps to mourne,
Which death, or love, or fortunes wreck did rayse,
Your string could soone to sadder tenor turne,
And teach the woods and waters to lament
Your dolefull dreriment:
Now lay those sorrowfull complaints aside;
And, having all your heads with girlands crownd,
Helpe me mine owne loves prayses to resound;
Ne let the same of any be envide:
So Orpheus did for his owne bride!
So I unto my selfe alone will sing;
The woods shall to me answer, and my Eccho ring.

Early, before the worlds light-giving lampe
His golden beame upon the hils doth spred,
Having disperst the nights unchearefull dampe,
Doe ye awake; and, with fresh *****-hed,
Go to the bowre of my belovèd love,
My truest turtle dove;
Bid her awake; for ***** is awake,
And long since ready forth his maske to move,
With his bright Tead that flames with many a flake,
And many a bachelor to waite on him,
In theyr fresh garments trim.
Bid her awake therefore, and soone her dight,
For lo! the wishèd day is come at last,
That shall, for all the paynes and sorrowes past,
Pay to her usury of long delight:
And, whylest she doth her dight,
Doe ye to her of joy and solace sing,
That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring.

Bring with you all the Nymphes that you can heare
Both of the rivers and the forrests greene,
And of the sea that neighbours to her neare:
Al with gay girlands goodly wel beseene.
And let them also with them bring in hand
Another gay girland
For my fayre love, of lillyes and of roses,
Bound truelove wize, with a blew silke riband.
And let them make great store of bridale poses,
And let them eeke bring store of other flowers,
To deck the bridale bowers.
And let the ground whereas her foot shall tread,
For feare the stones her tender foot should wrong,
Be strewed with fragrant flowers all along,
And diapred lyke the discolored mead.
Which done, doe at her chamber dore awayt,
For she will waken strayt;
The whiles doe ye this song unto her sing,
The woods shall to you answer, and your Eccho ring.

Ye Nymphes of Mulla, which with carefull heed
The silver scaly trouts doe tend full well,
And greedy pikes which use therein to feed;
(Those trouts and pikes all others doo excell;)
And ye likewise, which keepe the rushy lake,
Where none doo fishes take;
Bynd up the locks the which hang scatterd light,
And in his waters, which your mirror make,
Behold your faces as the christall bright,
That when you come whereas my love doth lie,
No blemish she may spie.
And eke, ye lightfoot mayds, which keepe the deere,
That on the hoary mountayne used to towre;
And the wylde wolves, which seeke them to devoure,
With your steele darts doo chace from comming neer;
Be also present heere,
To helpe to decke her, and to help to sing,
That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring.

Wake now, my love, awake! for it is time;
The Rosy Morne long since left Tithones bed,
All ready to her silver coche to clyme;
And Phoebus gins to shew his glorious hed.
Hark! how the cheerefull birds do chaunt theyr laies
And carroll of Loves praise.
The merry Larke hir mattins sings aloft;
The Thrush replyes; the Mavis descant playes;
The Ouzell shrills; the Ruddock warbles soft;
So goodly all agree, with sweet consent,
To this dayes merriment.
Ah! my deere love, why doe ye sleepe thus long?
When meeter were that ye should now awake,
T’ awayt the comming of your joyous make,
And hearken to the birds love-learnèd song,
The deawy leaves among!
Nor they of joy and pleasance to you sing,
That all the woods them answer, and theyr eccho ring.

My love is now awake out of her dreames,
And her fayre eyes, like stars that dimmèd were
With darksome cloud, now shew theyr goodly beams
More bright then Hesperus his head doth rere.
Come now, ye damzels, daughters of delight,
Helpe quickly her to dight:
But first come ye fayre houres, which were begot
In Joves sweet paradice of Day and Night;
Which doe the seasons of the yeare allot,
And al, that ever in this world is fayre,
Doe make and still repayre:
And ye three handmayds of the Cyprian Queene,
The which doe still adorne her beauties pride,
Helpe to addorne my beautifullest bride:
And, as ye her array, still throw betweene
Some graces to be seene;
And, as ye use to Venus, to her sing,
The whiles the woods shal answer, and your eccho ring.

Now is my love all ready forth to come:
Let all the virgins therefore well awayt:
And ye fresh boyes, that tend upon her groome,
Prepare your selves; for he is comming strayt.
Set all your things in seemely good aray,
Fit for so joyfull day:
The joyfulst day that ever sunne did see.
Faire Sun! shew forth thy favourable ray,
And let thy lifull heat not fervent be,
For feare of burning her sunshyny face,
Her beauty to disgrace.
O fayrest Phoebus! father of the Muse!
If ever I did honour thee aright,
Or sing the thing that mote thy mind delight,
Doe not thy servants simple boone refuse;
But let this day, let this one day, be myne;
Let all the rest be thine.
Then I thy soverayne prayses loud wil sing,
That all the woods shal answer, and theyr eccho ring.

Harke! how the Minstrils gin to shrill aloud
Their merry Musick that resounds from far,
The pipe, the tabor, and the trembling Croud,
That well agree withouten breach or jar.
But, most of all, the Damzels doe delite
When they their tymbrels smyte,
And thereunto doe daunce and carrol sweet,
That all the sences they doe ravish quite;
The whyles the boyes run up and downe the street,
Crying aloud with strong confusèd noyce,
As if it were one voyce,
*****, iö *****, *****, they do shout;
That even to the heavens theyr shouting shrill
Doth reach, and all the firmament doth fill;
To which the people standing all about,
As in approvance, doe thereto applaud,
And loud advaunce her laud;
And evermore they *****, ***** sing,
That al the woods them answer, and theyr eccho ring.

Loe! where she comes along with portly pace,
Lyke Phoebe, from her chamber of the East,
Arysing forth to run her mighty race,
Clad all in white, that seemes a ****** best.
So well it her beseemes, that ye would weene
Some angell she had beene.
Her long loose yellow locks lyke golden wyre,
Sprinckled with perle, and perling flowres atweene,
Doe lyke a golden mantle her attyre;
And, being crownèd with a girland greene,
Seeme lyke some mayden Queene.
Her modest eyes, abashèd to behold
So many gazers as on her do stare,
Upon the lowly ground affixèd are;
Ne dare lift up her countenance too bold,
But blush to heare her prayses sung so loud,
So farre from being proud.
Nathlesse doe ye still loud her prayses sing,
That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring.

Tell me, ye merchants daughters, did ye see
So fayre a creature in your towne before;
So sweet, so lovely, and so mild as she,
Adornd with beautyes grace and vertues store?
Her goodly eyes lyke Saphyres shining bright,
Her forehead yvory white,
Her cheekes lyke apples which the sun hath rudded,
Her lips lyke cherryes charming men to byte,
Her brest like to a bowle of creame uncrudded,
Her paps lyke lyllies budded,
Her snowie necke lyke to a marble towre;
And all her body like a pallace fayre,
Ascending up, with many a stately stayre,
To honors seat and chastities sweet bowre.
Why stand ye still ye virgins in amaze,
Upon her so to gaze,
Whiles ye forget your former lay to sing,
To which the woods did answer, and your eccho ring?

But if ye saw that which no eyes can see,
The inward beauty of her lively spright,
Garnisht with heavenly guifts of high degree,
Much more then would ye wonder at that sight,
And stand astonisht lyke to those which red
Medusaes mazeful hed.
There dwels sweet love, and constant chastity,
Unspotted fayth, and comely womanhood,
Regard of honour, and mild modesty;
There vertue raynes as Queene in royal throne,
And giveth lawes alone,
The which the base affections doe obay,
And yeeld theyr services unto her will;
Ne thought of thing uncomely ever may
Thereto approch to tempt her mind to ill.
Had ye once seene these her celestial threasures,
And unrevealèd pleasures,
Then would ye wonder, and her prayses sing,
That al the woods should answer, and your echo ring.

Open the temple gates unto my love,
Open them wide that she may enter in,
And all the postes adorne as doth behove,
And all the pillours deck with girlands trim,
For to receyve this Saynt with honour dew,
That commeth in to you.
With trembling steps, and humble reverence,
She commeth in, before th’ Almighties view;
Of her ye virgins learne obedience,
When so ye come into those holy places,
To humble your proud faces:
Bring her up to th’ high altar, that she may
The sacred ceremonies there partake,
The which do endlesse matrimony make;
And let the roring Organs loudly play
The praises of the Lord in lively notes;
The whiles, with hollow throates,
The Choristers the joyous Antheme sing,
That al the woods may answere, and their eccho ring.

Behold, whiles she before the altar stands,
Hearing the holy priest that to her speakes,
And blesseth her with his two happy hands,
How the red roses flush up in her cheekes,
And the pure snow, with goodly vermill stayne
Like crimsin dyde in grayne:
That even th’ Angels, which continually
About the sacred Altare doe remaine,
Forget their service and about her fly,
Ofte peeping in her face, that seems more fayre,
The more they on it stare.
But her sad eyes, still fastened on the ground,
Are governèd with goodly modesty,
That suffers not one looke to glaunce awry,
Which may let in a little thought unsownd.
Why blush ye, love, to give to me your hand,
The pledge of all our band!
Sing, ye sweet Angels, Alleluya sing,
That all the woods may answere, and your eccho ring.

Now al is done: bring home the bride againe;
Bring home the triumph of our victory:
Bring home with you the glory of her gaine;
With joyance bring her and with jollity.
Never had man more joyfull day then this,
Whom heaven would heape with blis,
Make feast therefore now all this live-long day;
This day for ever to me holy is.
Poure out the wine without restraint or stay,
Poure not by cups, but by the belly full,
Poure out to all that wull,
And sprinkle all the postes and wals with wine,
That they may sweat, and drunken be withall.
Crowne ye God Bacchus with a coronall,
And ***** also crowne with wreathes of vine;
And let the Graces daunce unto the rest,
For they can doo it best:
The whiles the maydens doe theyr carroll sing,
To which the woods shall answer, and theyr eccho ring.

Ring ye the bels, ye yong men of the towne,
And leave your wonted labors for this day:
This day is holy; doe ye write it downe,
That ye for ever it remember may.
This day the sunne is in his chiefest hight,
With Barnaby the bright,
From whence declining daily by degrees,
He somewhat loseth of his heat and light,
When once the Crab behind his back he sees.
But for this time it ill ordainèd was,
To chose the longest day in all the yeare,
And shortest night, when longest fitter weare:
Yet never day so long, but late would passe.
Ring ye the bels, to make it weare away,
And bonefiers make all day;
And daunce about them, and about them sing,
That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring.

Ah! when will this long weary day have end,
And lende me leave to come unto my love?
How slowly do the houres theyr numbers spend?
How slowly does sad Time his feathers move?
Hast thee, O fayrest Planet, to thy home,
Within the Westerne fome:
Thy tyrèd steedes long since have need of rest.
Long though it be, at last I see it gloome,
And the bright evening-star with golden creast
Appeare out of the East.
Fayre childe of beauty! glorious lampe of love!
That all the host of heaven in rankes doost lead,
And guydest lovers through the nights sad dread,
How chearefully thou lookest from above,
And seemst to laugh atweene thy twinkling light,
As joying in the sight
Of these glad many, which for joy doe sing,
That all the woods them answer, and their echo ring!

Now ceasse, ye damsels, your delights fore-past;
Enough it is that all the day was youres:
Now day is doen, and night is nighing fast,
Now bring the Bryde into the brydall boures.
The night is come, now soon her disaray,
And in her bed her lay;
Lay her in lillies and in violets,
And silken courteins over her display,
And odourd sheetes, and Arras coverlets.
Behold how goodly my faire love does ly,
In proud humility!
Like unto Maia, when as Jove her took
In Tempe, lying on the flowry gras,
Twixt sleepe and wake, after she weary was,
With bathing in the Acidalian brooke.
Now it is night, ye damsels may be gon,
And leave my love alone,
And leave likewise your former lay to sing:
The woods no more shall answere, nor your echo ring.

Now welcome, night! thou night so long expected,
That long daies labour doest at last defray,
And all my cares, which cruell Love collected,
Hast sumd in one, and cancellèd for aye:
Spread thy broad wing over my love and me,
That no man may us see;
And in thy sable mantle us enwrap,
From feare of perrill and foule horror free.
Let no false treason seeke us to entrap,
Nor any dread disquiet once annoy
The safety of our joy;
But let the night be calme, and quietsome,
Without tempestuous storms or sad afray:
Lyke as when Jove with fayre Alcmena lay,
When he begot the great Tirynthian groome:
Or lyke as when he with thy selfe did lie
And begot Majesty.
And let the mayds and yong men cease to sing;
Ne let the woods them answer nor theyr eccho ring.

Let no lamenting cryes, nor dolefull teares,
Be heard all night within, nor yet without:
Ne let false whispers, breeding hidden feares,
Breake gentle sleepe with misconceivèd dout.
Let no deluding dreames, nor dreadfull sights,
Make sudden sad affrights;
Ne let house-fyres, nor lightnings helpelesse harmes,
Ne let the Pouke, nor other evill sprights,
Ne let mischivous witches with theyr charmes,
Ne let hob Goblins, names whose sence we see not,
Fray us with things that be not:
Let not the shriech Oule nor the Storke be heard,
Nor the night Raven, that still deadly yels;
Nor damnèd ghosts, cald up with mighty spels,
Nor griesly vultures, make us once affeard:
Ne let th’ unpleasant Quyre of Frogs still croking
Make us to wish theyr choking.
Let none of these theyr drery accents sing;
Ne let the woods them answer, nor theyr eccho ring.

But let stil Silence trew night-watches keepe,
That sacred Peace may in assurance rayne,
And tymely Sleep, when it is tyme to sleepe,
May poure his limbs forth on your pleasant playne;
The whiles an hundred little wingèd loves,
Like divers-fethered doves,
Shall fly and flutter round about your bed,
And in the secret darke, that none reproves,
Their prety stealthes shal worke, and snares shal spread
To filch away sweet snatches of delight,
Conceald through covert night.
Ye sonnes of Venus, play your sports at will!
For greedy pleasure, carelesse of your toyes,
Thinks more upon her paradise of joyes,
Then what ye do, albe it good or ill.
All night therefore attend your merry play,
For it will soone be day:
Now none doth hinder you, that say or sing;
Ne will the woods now answer, nor your Eccho ring.

Who is the same, which at my window peepes?
Or whose is that faire face that shines so bright?
Is it not Cinthia, she that never sleepes,
But walkes about high heaven al the night?
O! fayrest goddesse, do thou not envy
My love with me to spy:
For thou likewise didst love, though now unthought,
And for a fleece of wooll, which privily
The Latmian shepherd once unto thee brought,
His pleasures with thee wrought.
Therefore to us be favorable now;
And sith of wemens labours thou hast charge,
And generation goodly dost enlarge,
Encline thy will t’effect our wishfull vow,
And the chast wombe informe with timely seed
That may our comfort breed:
Till which we cease our hopefull hap to sing;
Ne let the woods us answere, nor our Eccho ring.

And thou, great Juno! which with awful might
The lawes of wedlock still dost patronize;
And the religion of the faith first plight
With sacred rites hast taught to solemnize;
And eeke for comfort often callèd art
Of women in their smart;
Eternally bind thou this lovely band,
And all thy blessings unto us impart.
And thou, glad
Timmy Shanti Jul 2013
If Lewis Carroll
Were my friend,
I'd take him
to my Wonderland.

There'd be no Alice,
Nor a Queen.
Still, the Mad Hatter
With his spleen.

He'd tell us
How all things went wrong,
How nuts and bolts just don't belong.
How screws and cork and neck and wine,
They don't add up to make a rhyme.

How cows ate humans who gave milk,
How worms went mad
And ate all silk.

How gold got rusty,
Dust turned gold
Not even Carroll could have foretold.

Well, I shan't bother
With the ending.
To each their own -
My understanding.

You paint sky blue,
I paint mine red.
Now go get lost -
I paid my rent.

On a hot June day, 2013.
RAJ NANDY Nov 2014
Friends, in the Introductory portion we have seen how Herodotus
gave birth to the subject of 'History'. Now I conclude this true story
by quoting a poem by the English poet Edgar O' Shaughnessy, which
is very appropriate for my Story! Please take your time to read, there is no hurry! Thanks, -Raj Nandy.

        HISTORIANS  AFTER  HERODOTUS
Herodotus became the trail blazer with his narration
of History,
Inspiring several Greek and Roman chroniclers as  
we subsequently get to see!
There was Thucydides, Livy, Sallust, Xenophon, and
Polybius,
Not forgetting chroniclers like Julius Caesar, Tacitus,
and the oft quoted Plutarch!
The Roman scholar Cicero had called Herodotus the
‘Father of History’;
But later the Greek historian Plutarch criticized him
for his many hearsay inaccuracies!
Even though Herodotus had cautioned his readers in
his Historical narrations, -
About those hearsay accounts and doubtful portions!
Greek historian Thucydides, who was a junior and a
contemporary of Herodotus,
For his accurate historical rendering of ‘The
Peloponnesian War’ between Athens and Sparta, -
Was praised by later scholars very much!

CYCLIC AND LINEAR PATTERNS OF HISTORY:
Herodotus believed in Nemesis and a repetitive
pattern of History.
While Thucydides with his strict investigation drew
a line between myth and reality!
Thucydides viewed history as a political struggle
based on the nature of man;
And felt that since human nature does not change
often, -
The past events would reoccur once again !
The Greeks believed in this cyclic notion of History,
Also developed a prose style to narrate their stories!
Unlike the Greeks, Roman History did not begin in an
oral Homeric tradition,
But they had a ready-made Greek model for their
historical narrations!
Roman historiography began after the Second Punic
War against Hannibal of Carthage,
When Quintus Flavius Pictor wrote Rome’s History
in Greek, instead of Latin!     (around 200BC)
Cato the Elder, was the first to write in Latin Rome’s
History,
While the Roman Livy born in Padua in 59 BC, was
praised for introducing a ‘milky richness’ of style  
for narrating these true stories !
From Julius Caesar’s accounts we learn about the
Gallic Wars and events of those ancient days;
But he Romans had used History for propaganda
and self-praise !
Also to make the conquered world to look up to them
with wonder and admiration;
For the Romans were creating History with their
conquests in a steady progression!

CYCLIC VIEW OF TIME AND HISTORY
Perhaps the cyclic view of Time has influenced the
cyclic concept of History to a great extent,
Since this cyclic view was held by many of those
Ancients !
Ancient doctrine of 'eternal return' like the seasons
of Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring, existed
in old Egypt, and the Hindu religion;
Also with the Greek Pythagoreans and Stoic
conceptions;
As well as in the Mayans and the Aztec Civilizations!
In the East, cyclic theory of History as succession of
dynastic rule developed in China,
While the Vedic Hindus developed their theory of
Cycles of Yugas!    (epoch or era)
Writing of Indian History had commenced with
the Colonial British initially,
Who had criticized India for its lack of a sense of
History and Historiography!
The ancient Hindus were more concerned with
religious philosophy, and the essence of existence,
Rather than getting absorbed with historical details!
The Hindus divide cosmic time into cyclic eras of
Satya, Tretra, Dwapara, and Kali Yugas;
With each era covering many thousands of our
human eras!
These Yugas or Cyclic segments of time is said to
repeat itself in a cyclic motion, -
Which had perhaps mystified their early views
of a clear Historical perception.
However, later Indian historians have corrected
the earlier British interpretations, -
By dividing Indian History into Ancient, Medieval
and Modern Periods,
Replacing the earlier Hindu, Muslim, and British
Periods as Colonial segregation!
And also by correcting the British Aryan Invasion
Theory as Aryan Migration;
Based on more accurate historical research and
better perception!

CHRISTIAN AND LATER VIEWS OF HISTORY:
St. Augustine during the 4th century AD, systematized
the Christian view of History, -
As a struggle between the City of God and the City
of Man, where the City of God gains victory, -
Establishing peace and prosperity!
The Christian view is therefore Linear with a
positive beginning and an end;
A providential view from the Creation of Adam
till the Day of Last Judgment!

THE RENAISSANCE: (14TH - 17TH CENTURIES):
During this period the theological view gradually
begun to fade, giving rise to the Cyclic concept of
History,
As illustrated by the decline and fall of the mighty
Roman Empire, immortalized by Edward Gibbons
in his narrated story!
This cyclic view was also maintained by Oswald
Spengler, Nikolai Danilevsky, and Paul Kennedy,
during the 19th and the 20th Centuries.

AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT : THE 18TH CENTURY
This period advocated the use of reason to obtain
objective truth, when human beings made all the
difference freed from superstition and bigotry;
Which led to favoring a Linear and a progressive
view of History.
Voltaire symbolizing the spirit of this age had
supported human wit and education, -
Since only enlightened people could give History
a positive direction !
For Karl Marx Feudalism was followed by Capitalism,
and Capitalism by Communism.
History of existing Society as the History of Class
Struggle - was Karl Marx’s new concept!
For social material forces drove History, and this
‘historical materialism’ as a revolutionary view, -
many later Scholars did accept!

SOME MODERN CONCEPTS ABOUT HISTORY
Now I share the views of three of our renowned
Historians; the German Oswald Spengler, the
British Arnold Toynbee, and the American
Carroll Quigley,
To provide you with three different concepts
of History.
Oswald Spengler (1880-1936):
Spengler’s reputation rests on his work titled
‘Decline of the West’, considered as a major
contribution to social theory;
Where he rejects the ‘Linear’ view in favor of
definite, observable, and unrelated cycles of
History!
Rejecting the Eurocentric view of History and its
Linear division into ‘Ancient-Medieval-Modern’
Eras,
Spengler recognizes eight ‘high cultures’ which
evolve as organism, following the cycles of
growth, development, and decline;
And his views astonished the Western mind!
These high cultures were the Babylonian,
Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Mexican ( Mayan&
Aztec), Classical (Greece& Rome), Arabian,
and Western or Euro-American!
Cultures have a life span of about a thousand
years each,
So the Western Civilization too shall decline one
day, - Spengler did teach!

Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975):
Toynbee’s 12 volumes on ‘A Study of History’
covers a wider spectrum of 23 Civilizations,
Where he rejects Spengler’s cynical theory of
growth and decline of Western Nations!
“Civilization is a movement and not a condition,
a voyage not a harbor”, Arnold said;
Like human beings Civilizations were free to chart
their own course with the capacity to ‘consciously’
choose its destiny, he had felt!
Arnold moves on to formulate his Theory of
‘Challenge and Response’, since by responding to
such challenges Civilizations could move on !
These challenges could be social or environmental
he had said;
The Greeks responded to their growing population
by taking to the seas and maritime trade,
And also prospered as their overseas colonies had
begun to spread!
Toynbee’s Civilization start to decay when they lose
their moral fiber,
He perhaps over emphasized the religious and
cultural aspects, ignoring those economic factors!
But his views were certainly more popular than
the cynical Spengler!

Carroll Quigley (1910-1977):
Quigley’s scientific trained mind could not accept
either of the above views,
So he created a synthesis of Spengler and Toynbee,
while paying History its dues!
Quigley laid down seven stages for the evolution
of Civilization;
Commencing with Mixture, Gestation, Expansion,
Conflict, Universal Empire, Decay, and Invasion!
His Civilizations are neither groups nor individuals,
But each is a system which share some common
traits.
In Quigley’s model each system come into being
adapted to their environment;
But since environment always changes, Quigley
states with some relish, -
Systems which cannot adapt themselves, must
necessarily perish!

WE ARE ALL LIVING PARTICIPANTS IN THE
  LONG UNFOLDING HUMAN STORY!
“Know Thy Self” said Socrates, and the Delphic
Oracle had pronounced that he was wisest of
the Greeks!
To know ourselves truly we must know about
our past,
For this evolutionary process shall continue as
long as the Human species last!
Today we remain as a living monument to the
past,
We continue to make History as long as humans
on this planet shall last!
Our planet earth is around 4.5 billion years old;
While the first ****-erectus emerged around
two million years hence - we are told!
By walking ***** the two hands became free to
develop,
With flexible fingers and the rotating thumb;
Which was crucial for shaping the destiny of
the Human species on earth!
Our Civilization proper dates back to about
five thousand BC,
Thus an emerging pattern we can easily see!
With the development of human consciousness
we have learned to delve inwards, -
To discovered within a vast macro world!
Now, I would love to conclude this narration by
quoting from the English poet Arthur William
Edgar O’Shaughnessy’s book ‘Music and
Moonlight’;       (1874)
Do try to follow the philosophical content relevant
to the Cyclic History of Mankind!

“We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-brakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World losers and world forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams;
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties,
We build up the world’s great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire’s glory.
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And there with a new song’s measure
Can trample an empire down.

We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And overthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world’s worth;
For Each Age Is a Dream That’s Dying,
Or One That Is Coming To Birth.”

Thanks my readers and poet friends,
Sincerely hope you will now appreciate
History better, and love its contents!
**ALL COPYRIGHTS ARE WITH THE AUTHOR
RAJ NANDY OF NEW DELHI
Friends, those who have read part one will find the concluding portion in this narration of mine, which I tried my best to simplify! Mentioned the two basic views of History, the Linear & the Cyclic views in my narrated Story! Hope you liked the poem quoted at the end by me ! Thanks, -Raj
murielle lemaire May 2014
coffee.
we meet at starbucks and i can almost pretend nothing changed until i feel the distance in your voice.
i am calm and quiet. i did not expect this
yet here i am sitting in front of you as you explain how you feel (a rarity).
and you and i are alike in more ways than i realized before.

cantalope.
flying through the young night air
i feel alive and free and happy again.
i meet theresa j hanson. dancer, 19, long thin hair and long thin body.
she says she's heard a lot about me and i am surprised and i like her very much (or my first impression anyways) even though you told me that one time that you had *** with her and other girls would probably instinctively hate her. but i can't. she's just so nice and anyways that *** had nothing to do with me.
she gives us cantalope and me ice water.

cigar smoke.
we go out on the little apartament porch and you smoke the cheap cigar, the kind your grandfather smokes. get a red solo cup for the ashes and i found an old ***** butter knife out here. and we sit. and unexpectedly you say can we start over. and im shocked(you've suprisde me so much tonight) but so grateful and of course we can. you blow smoke rings and when you say whooo are youuu i cannot help but think of alice in wonderland and you are the smoking catepillar who asks life's hard questions and am i alice or the queen or the mad hatter or lewis carroll

coming back.
we reinact a a scene as if we just met and i kiss you as if it's the first time and that is how you will remember me and my lips are cold and your mouth is full of smoke and the kiss is fire and ice it's a wonder we did not steam. something so you'll remember me{i will never forget} and i guess we'll figure out on the way.
Which is better, a clock that is right only once a year, or a clock that is right twice every day?
"The latter," you reply, "unquestionably." Very good, now attend.
I have two clocks: one doesn't go at all, and the other loses a minute a day: which would you prefer? "The losing one," you answer, "without a doubt."
Now observe: the one which loses a minute a day has to lose twelve hours, or seven hundred and twenty minutes before it is right again, consequently it is only right once in two years, whereas the other is evidently right as often as the time it points to comes round, which happens twice a day.
So you've contradicted yourself once.
"Ah, but," you say, "what's the use of its being right twice a day, if I ca'n't tell when the time comes?"
Why, suppose the clock points to eight o'clock, don't you see that the clock is right at eight o'clock? Consequently, when eight o'clock comes round your clock is right.
"Yes, I see that," you reply.
Very good, then you've contradicted yourself twice: now get out of the difficulty as best you can, and don't contradict yourself again if you can help it.
You might go on to ask, "How am I to know when eight o'clock does come? My clock will not tell me." Be patient: you know that when eight o'clock comes your clock is right, very good; then your rule is this: keep your eye fixed on your clock, and the very moment it is right it will be eight o'clock.
"But--," you say.
There, that'll do; the more you argue the further you get from the point, so it will be as well to stop.
Timmy Shanti  Mar 2018
Paddy
Timmy Shanti Mar 2018
Some Jamie snugly in me hand,
A cause for celebration,
Today, I found me promised land:
The home of Irish nation.

I dyed me hair shamrock green,
I made me teeth look orange,
(A spliff of Carroll's in between)
A sliver of Dutch courage.

I mingle with the leprechauns
(A shamrock on me chest)
Not in a thousand years gone,
I’m messing with the best.

Atop the jolly rainbow,
In hand – a *** of gold,
Revering, till I find me rest,
The stories I’ve been told.
17-3-18
Happy St. Patrick's!
Michael R Burch  Apr 2020
iou
Michael R Burch Apr 2020
iou
iou
by michael r. burch

i might have said it
but i didn’t

u might have noticed
but u wouldn’t

we might have been us
but we couldn’t

u might respond
but probably shouldn’t

Keywords/Tags: iou, chit, debenture, bill, debt, relationship, lovers, impasse, silence, golden, I, owe, you, borrower, lender, Polonius, collectible, mrbiou



Passionate One
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

Love of my life,
light of my morning―
arise, brightly dawning,
for you are my sun.

Give me of heaven
both manna and leaven―
desirous Presence,
Passionate One.



Talent
by Michael R. Burch

for Kevin Nicholas Roberts

I liked the first passage
of her poem―where it led

(though not nearly enough
to retract what I said.)
Now the book propped up here
flutters, scarcely half read.
It will keep.
Before sleep,
let me read yours instead.

There's something like love
in the rhythms of night
―in the throb of streets
where the late workers drone,
in the sounds that attend
each day’s sad, squalid end―
that reminds us: till death
we are never alone.

So we write from the hearts
that will fail us anon,
words in red
truly bled
though they cannot reveal
whence they came,
who they're for.
And the tap at the door
goes unanswered. We write,
for there is nothing more
than a verse,
than a song,
than this chant of the blessed:
"If these words
be my sins,
let me die unconfessed!
Unconfessed, unrepentant;
I rescind all my vows!"
Write till sleep:
it’s the leap
only Talent allows.



Burn
by Michael R. Burch

for Trump

Sunbathe,
ozone baby,
till your parched skin cracks
in the white-hot flash
of radiation.

Incantation
from your pale parched lips
shall not avail;
you made this hell.
Now burn.



Burn, Ovid
by Michael R. Burch

“Burn Ovid”—Austin Clarke

Sunday School,
Faith Free Will Baptist, 1973:
I sat imagining watery folds
of pale silk encircling her waist.

Explicit *** was the day’s “hot” topic
(how breathlessly I imagined hers)
as she taught us the perils of lust
fraught with inhibition.

I found her unaccountably beautiful,
rolling implausible nouns off the edge of her tongue:
adultery, fornication, *******, ******.
Acts made suddenly plausible by the faint blush
of her unrouged cheeks,
by her pale lips
accented only by a slight quiver,
a trepidation.

What did those lustrous folds foretell
of our uncommon desire?
Why did she cross and uncross her legs
lovely and long in their taupe sheaths?
Why did her ******* rise pointedly,
as if indicating a direction?

“Come unto me,
(unto me),”
together, we sang,

cheek to breast,
lips on lips,
devout, afire,

my hands
up her skirt,
her pants at her knees:

all night long,
all night long,
in the heavenly choir.

This poem is set at Faith Christian Academy, which I attended for a year during the ninth grade. Another poem, "*** 101," was also written about my experiences at FCA that year.



*** 101
by Michael R. Burch

That day the late spring heat
steamed through the windows of a Crayola-yellow schoolbus
crawling its way up the backwards slopes
of Nowheresville, North Carolina ...

Where we sat exhausted
from the day’s skulldrudgery
and the unexpected waves of muggy,
summer-like humidity ...

Giggly first graders sat two abreast
behind senior high students
sprouting their first sparse beards,
their implausible bosoms, their stranger affections ...

The most unlikely coupling—

Lambert, 18, the only college prospect
on the varsity basketball team,
the proverbial talldarkhandsome
swashbuckling cocksman, grinning ...

Beside him, Wanda, 13,
bespectacled, in her primproper attire
and pigtails, staring up at him,
fawneyed, disbelieving ...

And as the bus filled with the improbable musk of her,
as she twitched impaled on his finger
like a dead frog jarred to life by electrodes,
I knew ...

that love is a forlorn enterprise,
that I would never understand it.



Styx
by Michael R. Burch

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

I wrote the poem above as a teenager in high school. The lines started out as part of a longer poem, but I thought these were the two best lines and decided to let them stand alone on the principle that "discretion is the better part of valor."



Medusa
by Michael R. Burch

Friends, beware
of her iniquitous hair:
long, ravenblack & melancholy.

Many suitors drowned there:
lost, unaware
of the length & extent of their folly.

Originally published by Grand Little Things



At Cædmon’s Grave
by Michael R. Burch

“Cædmon’s Hymn,” composed at the Monastery of Whitby (a North Yorkshire fishing village), is one of the oldest known poems written in the English language, dating back to around 680 A.D. According to legend, Cædmon, an illiterate Anglo-Saxon cowherd, received the gift of poetic composition from an angel; he subsequently founded a school of Christian poets. Unfortunately, only nine lines of Cædmon’s verse survive, in the writings of the Venerable Bede. Whitby, tiny as it is, reappears later in the history of English literature, having been visited, in diametric contrast, by Lewis Carroll and Bram Stoker’s ghoulish yet evocative Dracula.

At the monastery of Whitby,
on a day when the sun sank through the sea,
and the gulls shrieked wildly, jubilant, free,

while the wind and time blew all around,
I paced those dusk-enamored grounds
and thought I heard the steps resound

of Carroll, Stoker and of Bede
who walked there, too, their spirits freed
—perhaps by God, perhaps by need—

to write, and with each line, remember
the glorious light of Cædmon’s ember,
scorched tongues of flame words still engender.

Here, as darkness falls, at last we meet.
I lay this pale garland of words at his feet.

Originally published by The Lyric



Cædmon's Hymn (circa 658-680 AD)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Humbly now we honour heaven-kingdom's Guardian,
the Measurer's might and his mind-plans,
the goals of the Glory-Father. First he, the Everlasting Lord,
established earth's fearful foundations.
Then he, the First Scop, hoisted heaven as a roof
for the sons of men: Holy Creator,
mankind's great Maker! Then he, the Ever-Living Lord,
afterwards made men middle-earth: Master Almighty!



Cædmon’s Face
by Michael R. Burch

At the monastery of Whitby,
on a day when the sun sank through the sea,
and the gulls shrieked wildly, jubilant, free,

while the wind and Time blew all around,
I paced that dusk-enamored ground
and thought I heard the steps resound

of Carroll, Stoker and good Bede
who walked here too, their spirits freed
—perhaps by God, perhaps by need—

to write, and with each line, remember
the glorious light of Cædmon’s ember:
scorched tongues of flame words still engender.



He wrote here in an English tongue,
a language so unlike our own,
unlike—as father unto son.

But when at last a child is grown.
his heritage is made well-known:
his father’s face becomes his own.



He wrote here of the Middle-Earth,
the Maker’s might, man’s lowly birth,
of every thing that God gave worth

suspended under heaven’s roof.
He forged with simple words His truth
and nine lines left remain the proof:

his face was Poetry’s, from youth.



Song from Ælla: Under the Willow Tree, or, Minstrel's Song
by Thomas Chatterton, age 17 or younger
modernization/translation by Michael R. Burch

O! sing unto my roundelay,
O! drop the briny tear with me,
Dance no more at holy-day,
Like a running river be:
My love is dead,
Gone to his death-bed
All under the willow tree.

Black his crown as the winter night,
White his skin as the summer snow,
Red his face as the morning light,
Cold he lies in the grave below:
My love is dead,
Gone to his death-bed
All under the willow tree.

Sweet his tongue as the throstle's note,
Quick in dance as thought can be,
Deft his tabor, cudgel stout;
O! he lies by the willow tree!
My love is dead,
Gone to his death-bed
All under the willow tree.

Hark! the raven ***** his wing
In the briar'd dell below;
Hark! the death-owl loudly sings
To the nightmares, as they go:
My love is dead,
Gone to his death-bed
All under the willow-tree.

See! the white moon shines on high;
Whiter is my true love's shroud:
Whiter than the morning sky,
Whiter than the evening cloud:
My love is dead,
Gone to his death-bed
All under the willow tree.

Here upon my true love's grave
Shall the barren flowers be laid;
Not one holy saint to save
All the coolness of a maid:
My love is dead,
Gone to his death-bed
All under the willow tree.

With my hands I'll frame the briars
Round his holy corpse to grow:
Elf and fairy, light your fires,
Here my body, stilled, shall go:
My love is dead,
Gone to his death-bed
All under the willow tree.

Come, with acorn-cup and thorn,
Drain my heart’s red blood away;
Life and all its good I scorn,
Dance by night, or feast by day:
My love is dead,
Gone to his death-bed
All under the willow-tree.

Water witches, crowned with plaits,
Bear me to your lethal tide.
I die; I come; my true love waits.
Thus the damsel spoke, and died.

The song above is, in my opinion, competitive with Shakespeare's songs in his plays, and may be the best of Thomas Chatterton's so-called "Rowley" poems. The fact that Chatterton wrote it in his teens is astounding.



An Excelente Balade of Charitie (“An Excellent Ballad of Charity”)
by Thomas Chatterton, age 17
modernization/translation by Michael R. Burch

As wroten bie the goode Prieste
Thomas Rowley 1464

In Virgynë the swelt'ring sun grew keen,
Then hot upon the meadows cast his ray;
The apple ruddied from its pallid green
And the fat pear did extend its leafy spray;
The pied goldfinches sang the livelong day;
'Twas now the pride, the manhood of the year,
And the ground was mantled in fine green cashmere.

The sun was gleaming in the bright mid-day,
Dead-still the air, and likewise the heavens blue,
When from the sea arose, in drear array,
A heap of clouds of sullen sable hue,
Which full and fast unto the woodlands drew,
Hiding at once the sun's fair festive face,
As the black tempest swelled and gathered up apace.

Beneath a holly tree, by a pathway's side,
Which did unto Saint Godwin's convent lead,
A hapless pilgrim moaning did abide.
Poor in his sight, ungentle in his ****,
Long brimful of the miseries of need,
Where from the hailstones could the beggar fly?
He had no shelter there, nor any convent nigh.

Look in his gloomy face; his sprite there scan;
How woebegone, how withered, dried-up, dead!
Haste to thy parsonage, accursèd man!
Haste to thy crypt, thy only restful bed.
Cold, as the clay which will grow on thy head,
Is Charity and Love among high elves;
Knights and Barons live for pleasure and themselves.

The gathered storm is ripe; the huge drops fall;
The sunburnt meadows smoke and drink the rain;
The coming aghastness makes the cattle pale;
And the full flocks are driving o'er the plain;
Dashed from the clouds, the waters float again;
The heavens gape; the yellow lightning flies;
And the hot fiery steam in the wide flamepot dies.

Hark! now the thunder's rattling, clamoring sound
Heaves slowly on, and then enswollen clangs,
Shakes the high spire, and lost, dispended, drown'd,
Still on the coward ear of terror hangs;
The winds are up; the lofty elm-tree swings;
Again the lightning―then the thunder pours,
And the full clouds are burst at once in stormy showers.

Spurring his palfrey o'er the watery plain,
The Abbot of Saint Godwin's convent came;
His chapournette was drenchèd with the rain,
And his pinched girdle met with enormous shame;
He cursing backwards gave his hymns the same;
The storm increasing, and he drew aside
With the poor alms-craver, near the holly tree to bide.

His cape was all of Lincoln-cloth so fine,
With a gold button fasten'd near his chin;
His ermine robe was edged with golden twine,
And his high-heeled shoes a Baron's might have been;
Full well it proved he considered cost no sin;
The trammels of the palfrey pleased his sight
For the horse-milliner loved rosy ribbons bright.

"An alms, Sir Priest!" the drooping pilgrim said,
"Oh, let me wait within your convent door,
Till the sun shineth high above our head,
And the loud tempest of the air is o'er;
Helpless and old am I, alas!, and poor;
No house, no friend, no money in my purse;
All that I call my own is this―my silver cross.

"Varlet," replied the Abbott, "cease your din;
This is no season alms and prayers to give;
My porter never lets a beggar in;
None touch my ring who in dishonor live."
And now the sun with the blackened clouds did strive,
And shed upon the ground his glaring ray;
The Abbot spurred his steed, and swiftly rode away.

Once more the sky grew black; the thunder rolled;
Fast running o'er the plain a priest was seen;
Not full of pride, not buttoned up in gold;
His cape and jape were gray, and also clean;
A Limitour he was, his order serene;
And from the pathway side he turned to see
Where the poor almer lay beneath the holly tree.

"An alms, Sir Priest!" the drooping pilgrim said,
"For sweet Saint Mary and your order's sake."
The Limitour then loosen'd his purse's thread,
And from it did a groat of silver take;
The needy pilgrim did for happiness shake.
"Here, take this silver, it may ease thy care;
"We are God's stewards all, naught of our own we bear."

"But ah! unhappy pilgrim, learn of me,
Scarce any give a rentroll to their Lord.
Here, take my cloak, as thou are bare, I see;
'Tis thine; the Saints will give me my reward."
He left the pilgrim, went his way abroad.
****** and happy Saints, in glory showered,
Let the mighty bend, or the good man be empowered!

TRANSLATOR'S NOTES: It is possible that some words used by Chatterton were his own coinages; some of them apparently cannot be found in medieval literature. In a few places I have used similar-sounding words that seem to not overly disturb the meaning of the poem. ― Michael R. Burch



***** Nilly
by Michael R. Burch

Isn’t it silly, ***** Nilly?
You made the stallion,
you made the filly,
and now they sleep
in the dark earth, stilly.
Isn’t it silly, ***** Nilly?

Isn’t it silly, ***** Nilly?
You forced them to run
all their days uphilly.
They ran till they dropped—
life’s a pickle, dilly.
Isn’t it silly, ***** Nilly?

Isn’t it silly, ***** Nilly?
They say I should worship you!
Oh, really!
They say I should pray
so you’ll not act illy.
Isn’t it silly, ***** Nilly?



Are You the Thief
by Michael R. Burch

When I touch you now,
O sweet lover,
full of fire,
melting like ice
in my embrace,

when I part the delicate white lace,
baring pale flesh,
and your face
is so close
that I breathe your breath
and your hair surrounds me like a wreath...

tell me now,
O sweet, sweet lover,
in good faith:
are you the thief
who has stolen my heart?

Originally published as “Baring Pale Flesh” by Poetic License/Monumental Moments



Children
by Michael R. Burch

There was a moment
suspended in time like a swelling drop of dew about to fall,
impendent, pregnant with possibility ...

when we might have made ...
anything,
anything we dreamed,
almost anything at all,
coalescing dreams into reality.

Oh, the love we might have fashioned
out of a fine mist and the nightly sparkle of the cosmos
and the rhythms of evening!

But we were young,
and what might have been is now a dark abyss of loss
and what is left is not worth saving.

But, oh, you were lovely,
child of the wild moonlight, attendant tides and doting stars,
and for a day,

what little we partook
of all that lay before us seemed so much,
and passion but a force
with which to play.



Davenport Tomorrow
by Michael R. Burch

Davenport tomorrow ...
all the trees stand stark-naked in the sun.

Now it is always summer
and the bees buzz in cesspools,
adapted to a new life.

There are no flowers,
but the weeds, being hardier,
have survived.

The small town has become
a city of millions;
there is no longer a sea,
only a huge sewer,
but the children don't mind.

They still study
rocks and stars,
but biology is a forgotten science ...
after all, what is life?

Davenport tomorrow ...
all the children murmur through vein-streaked gills
whispered wonders of long-ago.



Dawn
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth, Laura, and all good mothers

Bring your peculiar strength
to the strange nightmarish fray:
wrap up your cherished ones
in the golden light of day.

Amen

Originally published by The Lyric



Twice
by Michael R. Burch

Now twice she has left me
and twice I have listened
and taken her back, remembering days

when love lay upon us
and sparkled and glistened
with the brightness of dew through a gathering haze.

But twice she has left me
to start my life over,
and twice I have gathered up embers, to learn:

rekindle a fire
from ash, soot and cinder
and softly it sputters, refusing to burn.

Originally published by The Lyric



Pale Though Her Eyes
by Michael R. Burch

Pale though her eyes,
her lips are scarlet
from drinking of blood,
this child, this harlot

born of the night
and her heart, of darkness,
evil incarnate
to dance so reckless,

dreaming of blood,
her fangs―white―baring,
revealing her lust,
and her eyes, pale, staring ...



Vampires
by Michael R. Burch

Vampires are such fragile creatures;
we dread the dark, but the light destroys them ...
sunlight, or a stake, or a cross―such common things.
Still, late at night, when the bat-like vampire sings,
we shrink from his voice.

Centuries have taught us:
in shadows danger lurks for those who stray,
and there the vampire bares his yellow fangs
and feels the ancient soul-tormenting pangs.
He has no choice.

We are his prey, plump and fragrant,
and if we pray to avoid him, the more he prays to find us ...
prays to some despotic hooded God
whose benediction is the humid blood
he lusts to taste.

Published by Monumental Moments (Eye Scry Publications), Weirdbook, Gothic Fairy, Dracula and His Kin, NawaZone and Raiders’ Digest



The Vampire's Spa Day Dream
by Michael R. Burch

O, to swim in vats of blood!
I wish I could, I wish I could!
O, 'twould be
so heavenly
to swim in lovely vats of blood!

This poem was inspired by a Josh Parkinson depiction of Elizabeth Bathory up to her nostrils in the blood of her victims, with their skulls floating in the background.



For All That I Remembered
by Michael R. Burch

For all that I remembered, I forgot
her name, her face, the reason that we loved ...
and yet I hold her close within my thought.
I feel the burnished weight of auburn hair
that fell across her face, the apricot
clean scent of her shampoo, the way she glowed
so palely in the moonlight, angel-wan.

The memory of her gathers like a flood
and bears me to that night, that only night,
when she and I were one, and if I could ...
I'd reach to her this time and, smiling, brush
the hair out of her eyes, and hold intact
each feature, each impression. Love is such
a threadbare sort of magic, it is gone
before we recognize it. I would crush
my lips to hers to hold their memory,
if not more tightly, less elusively.

Originally published by The Raintown Review



Ode to the Sun
by Michael R. Burch

Day is done...
on, swift sun.
Follow still your silent course.
Follow your unyielding course.
On, swift sun.

Leave no trace of where you've been;
give no hint of what you've seen.
But, ever as you onward flee,
touch me, O sun,
touch me.

Now day is done...
on, swift sun.
Go touch my love about her face
and warm her now for my embrace,
for though she sleeps so far away,
where she is not, I shall not stay.
Go tell her now I, too, shall come.
Go on, swift sun,
go on.

Published by The Tucumcari Literary Review. I believe I wrote this poem toward the end of my senior year in high school, around age 18, during my early Romantic Period. Keywords/Tags: Ode, Romantic, Love, Lover, Sun, Time, Night, Sleep, Dreams, mrbiou



To the boy Elis
by Georg Trakl
translation by Michael R. Burch

Elis, when the blackbird cries from the black forest,
it announces your downfall.
Your lips sip the rock-spring's blue coolness.

Your brow sweats blood
recalling ancient myths
and dark interpretations of birds' flight.

Yet you enter the night with soft footfalls;
the ripe purple grapes hang suspended
as you wave your arms more beautifully in the blueness.

A thornbush crackles;
where now are your moonlike eyes?
How long, oh Elis, have you been dead?

A monk dips waxed fingers
into your body's hyacinth;
Our silence is a black abyss

from which sometimes a docile animal emerges
slowly lowering its heavy lids.
A black dew drips from your temples:

the lost gold of vanished stars.

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE: I believe that in the second stanza the blood on Elis's forehead may be a reference to the apprehensive ****** sweat of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. If my interpretation is correct, Elis hears the blackbird's cries, anticipates the danger represented by a harbinger of death, but elects to continue rather than turn back. From what I have been able to gather, the color blue had a special significance for Georg Trakl: it symbolized longing and perhaps a longing for death. The colors blue, purple and black may represent a progression toward death in the poem.



Resemblance
by Michael R. Burch

Take this geode with its rough exterior—
crude-skinned, brilliant-hearted ...

a diode of amethyst—wild, electric;
its sequined cavity—parted, revealing.

Find in its fire all brittle passion,
each jagged shard relentlessly aching.

Each spire inward—a fission startled;
in its shattered entrails—fractured light,

the heart ice breaking.

Originally published by Poet Lore as “Geode”



Geode
by Michael R. Burch

Love—less than eternal, not quite true—
is still the best emotion man can muster.
Through folds of peeling rind—rough, scarred, crude-skinned—
she shines, all limpid brightness, coolly pale.

Crude-skinned though she may seem, still, brilliant-hearted,
in her uneven fissures, glistening, glows
that pale rose: like a flame, yet strangely brittle;
dew-lustrous pearl streaks gaping mossback shell.

And yet, despite the raggedness of her luster,
as she hints and shimmers, touching those who see,
she is not without her uses or her meanings;
in all her avid gleamings, Love bestows

the rare spark of her beauty to her bearer,
till nothing flung to earth seems half so fair.



What Goes Around, Comes
by Michael R. Burch

This is a poem about loss
so why do you toss your dark hair—
unaccountably glowing?
How can you be sure of my heart
when it’s beyond my own knowing?
Or is it love’s pheromones you trust,
my eyes magnetized by your bust
and the mysterious alchemies of lust?
Now I am truly lost!



PLATO TRANSLATIONS

These epitaphs and other epigrams have been ascribed to Plato...

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

We left the thunderous Aegean
to sleep peacefully here on the plains of Ecbatan.
Farewell, renowned Eretria, our homeland!
Farewell, Athens, Euboea's neighbor!
Farewell, dear Sea!
—Michael R. Burch, after Plato

We who navigated the Aegean's thunderous storm-surge
now sleep peacefully here on the mid-plains of Ecbatan:
Farewell, renowned Eretria, our homeland!
Farewell, Athens, nigh to Euboea!
Farewell, dear Sea!
—Michael R. Burch, after Plato

This poet was pleasing to foreigners
and even more delightful to his countrymen:
Pindar, beloved of the melodious Muses.
—Michael R. Burch, after Plato

Some say the Muses are nine.
Foolish critics, count again!
Sappho of ****** makes ten.
—Michael R. Burch, after Plato

Even as you once shone, the Star of Morning, above our heads,
even so you now shine, the Star of Evening, among the dead.
—Michael R. Burch, after Plato

Why do you gaze up at the stars?
Oh, my Star, that I were Heaven,
to gaze at you with many eyes!
—Michael R. Burch, after Plato

Every heart sings an incomplete song,
until another heart sings along.
Those who would love long to join in the chorus.
At a lover's touch, everyone becomes a poet.
—Michael R. Burch, after Plato

NOTE: I take this Plato epigram to be an epithalamium, with the two voices joining in a complete song being the bride and groom, and the rest of the chorus being the remainder of the wedding ceremony.

The Apple
ascribed to Plato
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Here's an apple; if you're able to love me,
catch it and chuck me your cherry in exchange.
But if you hesitate, as I hope you won't,
take the apple, examine it carefully,
and consider how briefly its beauty will last.



Bubble
by Michael R. Burch

...…..….........Love
..…......fragile elusive
.......if held ... too closely
....cannot............withstand
..the inter..................ruption
of its............................…bright
..unmalleable.............­tension
....and breaks disintegrates
..…...at the............touch of
....…....an undiscerning
.....................hand.



Breakings
by Michael R. Burch

I did it out of pity.
I did it out of love.
I did it not to break the heart of a tender, wounded dove.

But gods without compassion
ordained: "Frail things must break!"
Now what can I do for her shattered psyche’s sake?

I did it not to push.
I did it not to shove.
I did it to assist the flight of indiscriminate Love.

But gods, all mad as hatters,
who legislate in all such matters,
ordained that everything irreplaceable shatters.



Break Time
by Michael R. Burch

for those who lost loved ones on 9-11

Intrude upon my grief; sit; take a spot
of milk to cloud the blackness that you feel;
add artificial sweeteners to conceal
the bitter aftertaste of loss. You’ll heal
if I do not. The coffee’s hot. You speak:
of bundt cakes, polls, the price of eggs. You glance
twice at your watch, cough, look at me askance.
The TV drones oeuvres of high romance
in syncopated lip-synch. Should I feel
the underbelly of Love’s warm Ideal,
its fuzzy-wuzzy tummy, and not reel
toward some dark conclusion? Disappear
to pale, dissolving atoms. Were you here?
I brush you off: like saccharine, like a tear.



Dream House
by Michael R. Burch

I have come to the house of my fondest dreams,
but the shutters are boarded; the front door is locked;
the mail box leans over; and where we once walked,
the path is grown over with crabgrass and clover.

I kick the trash can; it screams, topples over.
The yard, weeded over, blooms white fluff, and green.
The elm we once swung from leans over the stream.
In the twilight I cling with both hands to the swing.

Inside, perhaps, I hear the telephone ring
or watch once again as the bleary-eyed mover
takes down your picture. Dejected, I hover,
asking over and over, “Why didn’t you love her?”



“Was gesagt werden muss” (“What must be said”)
by Günter Grass
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Why have I remained silent, so long,
failing to mention something openly practiced
in war games which now threaten to leave us
merely meaningless footnotes?

Someone’s alleged “right” to strike first
might annihilate a beleaguered nation
whose people march to a martinet’s tune,
compelled to pageants of orchestrated obedience.
Why? Merely because of the suspicion
that a bomb might be built by Iranians.

But why do I hesitate, forbidding myself
to name that other nation, where, for years
―shrouded in secrecy―
a formidable nuclear capability has existed
beyond all control, simply because
no inspections were ever allowed?

The universal concealment of this fact
abetted by my own incriminating silence
now feels like a heavy, enforced lie,
an oppressive inhibition, a vice,
a strong constraint, which, if dismissed,
immediately incurs the verdict “anti-Semitism.”

But now my own country,
guilty of its unprecedented crimes
which continually demand remembrance,
once again seeking financial gain
(although with glib lips we call it “reparations”)
has delivered yet another submarine to Israel―
this one designed to deliver annihilating warheads
capable of exterminating all life
where the existence of even a single nuclear weapon remains unproven,
but where suspicion now serves as a substitute for evidence.
So now I will say what must be said.

Why did I remain silent so long?
Because I thought my origins,
tarred by an ineradicable stain,
forbade me to declare the truth to Israel,
a country to which I am and will always remain attached.

Why is it only now that I say,
in my advancing age,
and with my last drop of ink
on the final page
that Israel’s nuclear weapons endanger
an already fragile world peace?

Because tomorrow might be too late,
and so the truth must be heard today.
And because we Germans,
already burdened with many weighty crimes,
could become enablers of yet another,
one easily foreseen,
and thus no excuse could ever erase our complicity.

Furthermore, I’ve broken my silence
because I’m sick of the West’s hypocrisy
and because I hope many others too
will free themselves from the shackles of silence,
and speak out to renounce violence
by insisting on permanent supervision
of Israel’s atomic power and Iran’s
by an international agency
accepted by both governments.

Only thus can we find the path to peace
for Israelis and Palestinians and everyone else
living in a region currently consumed by madness
―and ultimately, for ourselves.

Published in Süddeutschen Zeitung (April 4, 2012). Günter Wilhelm Grass (1927-) is a German-Kashubian novelist, poet, playwright, illustrator, graphic artist, sculptor and recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature. He is widely regarded as Germany's most famous living writer. Grass is best known for his first novel, The Tin Drum (1959), a key text in European magic realism. The Tin Drum was adapted into a film that won both the Palme d'Or and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The Swedish Academy, upon awarding Grass the Nobel Prize in Literature, noted him as a writer "whose frolicsome black fables portray the forgotten face of history."



Starting from Scratch with Ol’ Scratch
by Michael R. Burch

for the Religious Right

Love, with a small, fatalistic sigh
went to the ovens. Please don’t bother to cry.
You could have saved her, but you were all *******
complaining about the Jews to Reichmeister Grupp.

Scratch that. You were born after World War II.
You had something more important to do:
while the children of the Nakba were perishing in Gaza
with the complicity of your government, you had a noble cause (a
religious tract against homosexual marriage
and various things gods and evangelists disparage.)

Jesus will grok you? Ah, yes, I’m quite sure
that your intentions were good and ineluctably pure.
After all, what the hell does he care about Palestinians?
Certainly, Christians were right about serfs, slaves and Indians.
Scratch that. You’re one of the Devil’s minions.



Love Unfolded Like a Flower
by Michael R. Burch

Love unfolded
like a flower;
Pale petals pinked and blushed to see the sky.
I came to know you
and to trust you
in moments lost to springtime slipping by.

Then love burst outward,
leaping skyward,
and untamed blossoms danced against the wind.
All I wanted
was to hold you;
though passion tempted once, we never sinned.

Now love's gay petals
fade and wither,
and winter beckons, whispering a lie.
We were friends,
but friendships end . . .
yes, friendships end and even roses die.



Orpheus
by Michael R. Burch

for and after William Blake

I.
Many a sun
and many a moon
I walked the earth
and whistled a tune.

I did not whistle
as I worked:
the whistle was my work.
I shirked

nothing I saw
and made a rhyme
to children at play
and hard time.

II.
Among the prisoners
I saw
the leaden manacles
of Law,

the heavy ball and chain,
the quirt.
And yet I whistled
at my work.

III.
Among the children’s
daisy faces
and in the women’s
frowsy laces,

I saw redemption,
and I smiled.
Satanic millers,
unbeguiled,

were swayed by neither girl,
nor child,
nor any God of Love.
Yet mild

I whistled at my work,
and Song
broke out,
ere long.



The Quickening
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

I never meant to love you
when I held you in my arms
promising you sagely
wise, noncommittal charms.

And I never meant to need you
when I touched your tender lips
with kisses that intrigued my own—
such kisses I had never known,
nor a heartbeat in my fingertips!



Ah! Sunflower
by Michael R. Burch

after William Blake

O little yellow flower
like a star ...
how beautiful,
how wonderful
we are!



Published as the collection "IOU"
Tommy Carroll May 2015
The hour is slim!
This is the tangled time,
the time that heavy
with want
becomes the jaws
for open thighs.
Her tasty flesh renders
the cleft of wet truth.
Persephone can slake,
can shatter my ache,
when,
enthralled against
the serpent earth
with
legs knotted,
we
lay tangled in ancient ruin.

re-edit
words  Tommy Carroll
Don Bouchard Jan 2012
I remember reading
Martin Luther King, Jr's
Letter from Birmingham Jail
Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom
Mark Twain's Huck Finn
DuBois' Souls of Black Folk
For the first time

The words of Chief Joseph
Sitting Bull
Tecumseh
James Welch
and Alexie Sherman
And others of indigenous kind
Linger like arrows in my mind.

Of course, there's
Gilgamesh's forlorn quest for Enkidu;
Osiris, Amun, Ra, and Seth,
Homer's Illiad and Odyssey,
And Virgil's Roman treatment -
(For whom the gods destroy
We all must learn bereavement).

I remember reading
Milton's Paradises (lost and found)
And Dante's Infernal quest for Heaven
Through the bowels of Hell with Virgil's spritely guide
And up the Devil's staircase with Beatrice by his side.
John's Revelation of Times' End;
And LaHaye's money-making Left Behind
Apocalypses here to chill my mind.

I have surveyed Dead Presidents
Washington,
Jefferson,
Lincoln
Both Roosevelts, Ted and Frank,
And Reagan
And smatterings of others...
Then hopped the bookish pond to read
Sir Winston and some others,
Not the least of whom is Gandhi G,
Taught by the Queen to free his brothers.

I have studied
Moses
Job
David
Ruth
Esther
Isaiah
Jeremiah
The Disciples
Paul
and James
(Ironically,
Though Jesus is the "Word"
He never penned one).

British poets's thoughts,
Tale tellers long-dead
Have found their way
Into my head:
Beowulf and Chaucer
Old moral plays
Shelley and Keats
Cavalier Poets
Scott and Brownings
Burns and (not) Allen
Spenser and Shakespeare
Dylan and Tolkien
Lewis and Auden
And so many more
That I leave on the floor

Western Americana I have loved
Hemingway and Steinbeck, all worth the time,
Mari Sandoz' Old Jules, and
Rolvaag's Giants in the Earth,
Keroac went on the road, while
Joseph Kinsey Howard showed us the West
Lewis & Clark in journals scribed
Their journey west and back again

I can't forget psychology
And so I will digress
Or Sigmund's accusation stays
That I have but suppressed:
Ellis, Freud, and Eric Berne,
Pavlov, Skinner, Thorndike, Watson,
Wundt, and Wm James, Piaget and Chomsky
Then Vygotsky and Bandura put a social spin
on cognitive psychology, and Everybody's in.
Diverging and Converging, psychic students, all
Could never make transaction
'Til Rogers tried to make some peace
But Ellis wouldn't have 'im.

And then, of course,
The lighter stuff,
The popcorn of the mind:
Clancy, Rankin, Carole Keene
L'Amour and Will James
Stephen King and Poe,
Cruz Smith and Leon Uris,
Grisham, Deaver, Cornwall,
Asimov, Bradbury and Herbert,
Carroll and Baum...
Written Words change us.... I use the term "poem" as Louise Rosenblatt did, namely, a poem is the creation each reader makes to describe the connection between the Text and his or her own life experience, opinion, knowledge, beliefs, feelings, etc. Those "poems" affect and change us in our wanderings on this earth. I am, indeed, changed by the texts I have read and continue to read....
In haphazard fashion, I am starting a collection of writers who give me an understanding of the world's color and shape. This is just the beginning.... If readers have suggestions or reminders, I will add the ones I have read....

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