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Michael R Burch Apr 2020
The Celtic Cross at Île Grosse
by Michael R. Burch

“I actually visited the island and walked across those mass graves [of 30,000 Irish men, women and children], and I played a little tune on me whistle. I found it very peaceful, and there was relief there.” – Paddy Maloney of The Chieftans

There was relief there,
and release,
on Île Grosse
in the spreading gorse
and the cry of the wild geese . . .

There was relief there,
without remorse
when the tin whistle lifted its voice
in a tune of artless grief,
piping achingly high and longingly of an island veiled in myth.
And the Celtic cross that stands here tells us, not of their grief,
but of their faith and belief—
like the last soft breath of evening lifting a fallen leaf.

When ravenous famine set all her demons loose,
driving men to the seas like lemmings,
they sought here the clemency of a better life, or death,
and their belief in God gave them hope, a sense of peace.

These were proud men with only their lives to owe,
who sought the liberation of a strange new land.
Now they lie here, ragged row on ragged row,
with only the shadows of their loved ones close at hand.

And each cross, their ancient burden and their glory,
reflects the death of sunlight on their story.

And their tale is sad—but, O, their faith was grand!

Keywords/Tags: Ile Grosse, Celtic, Cross, faith, belief, grief, Ireland, potato, famine
Michael R Burch Apr 2020
Poems about Leaves and Leave Taking (i.e., leaving friends and family, loss, death, parting, separation, divorce, etc.)


Leave Taking
by Michael R. Burch

Brilliant leaves abandon
battered limbs
to waltz upon ecstatic winds
until they die.

But the barren and embittered trees,
lament the frolic of the leaves
and curse the bleak
November sky.

Now, as I watch the leaves'
high flight
before the fading autumn light,
I think that, perhaps, at last I may

have learned what it means to say
"goodbye."

Published by The Lyric, Mindful of Poetry, There is Something in the Autumn (anthology). Keywords/Tags: autumn, leaves, fall, falling, wind, barren, trees, goodbye, leaving, farewell, separation, age, aging, mortality, death, mrbepi, mrbleave

This poem started out as a stanza in a much longer poem, "Jessamyn's Song," which dates to around age 14 or 15, or perhaps a bit later. But I worked on the poem several times over the years until it was largely finished in 1978. I am sure of the completion date because that year the poem was included in my first large poetry submission manuscript for a chapbook contest.



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.

Originally published by The Neovictorian/Cochlea, this poem has since been translated into Russian, Macedonian, Turkish, Arabic and Romanian.



Something

for the children of the Holocaust and the Nakba

Something inescapable is lost—
lost like a pale vapor curling up into shafts of moonlight,
vanishing in a gust of wind toward an expanse of stars
immeasurable and void.

Something uncapturable is gone—
gone with the spent leaves and illuminations of autumn,
scattered into a haze with the faint rustle of parched grass
and remembrance.

Something unforgettable is past—
blown from a glimmer into nothingness, or less,
which finality swept into a corner... where it lies
in dust and cobwebs and silence.

Published by There is Something in the Autumn, The Eclectic Muse, Setu, FreeXpression, Life and Legends, Poetry Super Highway, Poet's Corner, Promosaik, Better Than Starbucks and The Chained Muse. Also translated into Romanian by Petru Dimofte, into Turkish by Nurgül Yayman, turned into a YouTube video by Lillian Y. Wong, and used by the Windsor Jewish Community Centre during a candle-lighting ceremony



Leaf Fall
by Michael R. Burch

Whatever winds encountered soon resolved
to swirling fragments, till chaotic heaps
of leaves lay pulsing by the backyard wall.
In lieu of rakes, our fingers sorted each
dry leaf into its place and built a high,
soft bastion against earth's gravitron―
a patchwork quilt, a trampoline, a bright
impediment to fling ourselves upon.

And nothing in our laughter as we fell
into those leaves was like the autumn's cry
of also falling. Nothing meant to die
could be so bright as we, so colorful―
clad in our plaids, oblivious to pain
we'd feel today, should we leaf-fall again.

Originally published by The Neovictorian/Cochlea



Herbsttag ("Autumn Day")
by Rainer Maria Rilke
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Lord, it is time. Let the immense summer go.
Lay your long shadows over the sundials
and over the meadows, let the free winds blow.
Command the late fruits to fatten and shine;
O, grant them another Mediterranean hour!
Urge them to completion, and with power
convey final sweetness to the heavy wine.
Who has no house now, never will build one.
Who's alone now, shall continue alone;
he'll wake, read, write long letters to friends,
and pace the tree-lined pathways up and down,
restlessly, as autumn leaves drift and descend.

Originally published by Measure



Flight
by Michael R. Burch

It is the nature of loveliness to vanish
as butterfly wings, batting against nothingness
seek transcendence...

Originally published by Hibiscus (India)



Less Heroic Couplets: ****** Most Fowl!
by Michael R. Burch

"****** most foul! "
cried the mouse to the owl.

"Friend, I'm no sinner;
you're merely my dinner! "
the wise owl replied
as the tasty snack died.

Published by Lighten Upand in Potcake Chapbook #7



escape!

for anaïs vionet

to live among the daffodil folk...
slip down the rainslickened drainpipe...
suddenly pop out
the GARGANTUAN SPOUT...
minuscule as alice, shout
yippee-yi-yee!
in wee exultant glee
to be leaving behind the
LARGE
THREE-DENALI GARAGE.

Published by Andwerve and Bewildering Stories



Love Has a Southern Flavor

Love has a Southern flavor: honeydew,
ripe cantaloupe, the honeysuckle's spout
we tilt to basking faces to breathe out
the ordinary, and inhale perfume...

Love's Dixieland-rambunctious: tangled vines,
wild clematis, the gold-brocaded leaves
that will not keep their order in the trees,
unmentionables that peek from dancing lines...

Love cannot be contained, like Southern nights:
the constellations' dying mysteries,
the fireflies that hum to light, each tree's
resplendent autumn cape, a genteel sight...

Love also is as wild, as sprawling-sweet,
as decadent as the wet leaves at our feet.

Published by The Lyric, Contemporary Sonnet, The Eclectic Muse, Better Than Starbucks, The Chained Muse, Setu (India) , Victorian Violet Press and Trinacria



Daredevil
by Michael R. Burch

There are days that I believe
(and nights that I deny)
love is not mutilation.

Daredevil, dry your eyes.

There are tightropes leaps bereave—
taut wires strumming high
brief songs, infatuations.

Daredevil, dry your eyes.

There were cannon shots’ soirees,
hearts barricaded, wise . . .
and then . . . annihilation.

Daredevil, dry your eyes.

There were nights our hearts conceived
dawns’ indiscriminate sighs.
To dream was our consolation.

Daredevil, dry your eyes.

There were acrobatic leaves
that tumbled down to lie
at our feet, bright trepidations.

Daredevil, dry your eyes.

There were hearts carved into trees—
tall stakes where you and I
left childhood’s salt libations . . .

Daredevil, dry your eyes.

Where once you scraped your knees;
love later bruised your thighs.
Death numbs all, our sedation.

Daredevil, dry your eyes.



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.



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.



Desdemona
by Michael R. Burch

Though you possessed the moon and stars,
you are bound to fate and wed to chance.
Your lips deny they crave a kiss;
your feet deny they ache to dance.
Your heart imagines wild romance.

Though you cupped fire in your hands
and molded incandescent forms,
you are barren now, and―spent of flame―
the ashes that remain are borne
toward the sun upon a storm.

You, who demanded more, have less,
your heart within its cells of sighs
held fast by chains of misery,
confined till death for peddling lies―
imprisonment your sense denies.

You, who collected hearts like leaves
and pressed each once within your book,
forgot. None―winsome, bright or rare―
not one was worth a second look.
My heart, as others, you forsook.

But I, though I loved you from afar
through silent dawns, and gathered rue
from gardens where your footsteps left
cold paths among the asters, knew―
each moonless night the nettles grew

and strangled hope, where love dies too.

Published by Penny Dreadful, Carnelian, Romantics Quarterly, Grassroots Poetry and Poetry Life & Times



Ordinary Love
by Michael R. Burch

Indescribable—our love—and still we say
with eyes averted, turning out the light,
"I love you," in the ordinary way

and tug the coverlet where once we lay,
all suntanned limbs entangled, shivering, white ...
indescribably in love. Or so we say.

Your hair's blonde thicket now is tangle-gray;
you turn your back; you murmur to the night,
"I love you," in the ordinary way.

Beneath the sheets our hands and feet would stray
to warm ourselves. We do not touch despite
a love so indescribable. We say

we're older now, that "love" has had its day.
But that which Love once countenanced, delight,
still makes you indescribable. I say,
"I love you," in the ordinary way.

Winner of the 2001 Algernon Charles Swinburne poetry contest; published by The Lyric, Romantics Quarterly, Mandrake Poetry Review, Carnelian, Poem Kingdom, Net Poetry and Art Competition, Famous Poets and Poems, FreeXpression, PW Review, Poetic Voices, Poetry Renewal and Poetry Life & Times



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



At Tintagel
by Michael R. Burch

That night,
at Tintagel,
there was darkness such as man had never seen...
darkness and treachery,
and the unholy thundering of the sea...

In his arms,
who is to say how much she knew?
And if he whispered her name...
"Ygraine"
could she tell above the howling wind and rain?

Could she tell, or did she care,
by the length of his hair
or the heat of his flesh,...
that her faceless companion
was Uther, the dragon,

and Gorlois lay dead?

Originally published by Songs of Innocence, then subsequently by Celtic Twilight, Fables, Fickle Muses and Poetry Life & Times



Isolde's Song
by Michael R. Burch

Through our long years of dreaming to be one
we grew toward an enigmatic light
that gently warmed our tendrils. Was it sun?
We had no eyes to tell; we loved despite
the lack of all sensation—all but one:
we felt the night's deep chill, the air so bright
at dawn we quivered limply, overcome.

To touch was all we knew, and how to bask.
We knew to touch; we grew to touch; we felt
spring's urgency, midsummer's heat, fall's lash,
wild winter's ice and thaw and fervent melt.
We felt returning light and could not ask
its meaning, or if something was withheld
more glorious. To touch seemed life's great task.

At last the petal of me learned: unfold
and you were there, surrounding me. We touched.
The curious golden pollens! Ah, we touched,
and learned to cling and, finally, to hold.

Originally published by The Raintown Review



The Wild Hunt
by Michael R. Burch

Near Devon, the hunters appear in the sky
with Artur and Bedwyr sounding the call;
and the others, laughing, go dashing by.
They only appear when the moon is full:

Valerin, the King of the Tangled Wood,
and Valynt, the goodly King of Wales,
Gawain and Owain and the hearty men
who live on in many minstrels' tales.

They seek the white stag on a moonlit moor,
or Torc Triath, the fabled boar,
or Ysgithyrwyn, or Twrch Trwyth,
the other mighty boars of myth.

They appear, sometimes, on Halloween
to chase the moon across the green,
then fade into the shadowed hills
where memory alone prevails.

Originally published by Celtic Twilight, then by Celtic Lifestyles and Auldwicce



Morgause's Song
by Michael R. Burch

Before he was my brother,
he was my lover,
though certainly not the best.

I found no joy
in that addled boy,
nor he at my breast.

Why him? Why him?
The years grow dim.
Now it's harder and harder to say...

Perhaps girls and boys
are the god's toys
when the skies are gray.

Originally published by Celtic Twilight as "The First Time"



Pellinore's Fancy
by Michael R. Burch

What do you do when your wife is a nag
and has sworn you to hunt neither fish, fowl, nor stag?
When the land is at peace, but at home you have none,
Is that, perchance, when... the Questing Beasts run?



The Last Enchantment
by Michael R. Burch

Oh, Lancelot, my truest friend,
how time has thinned your ragged mane
and pinched your features; still you seem
though, much, much changed—somehow unchanged.

Your sword hand is, as ever, ready,
although the time for swords has passed.
Your eyes are fierce, and yet so steady
meeting mine... you must not ask.

The time is not, nor ever shall be.
Merlyn's words were only words;
and now his last enchantment wanes,
and we must put aside our swords...



Northern Flight: Lancelot's Last Love Letter to Guinevere
by Michael R. Burch

"Get thee to a nunnery..."

Now that the days have lengthened, I assume
the shadows also lengthen where you pause
to watch the sun and comprehend its laws,
or just to shiver in the deepening gloom.

But nothing in your antiquarian eyes
nor anything beyond your failing vision
repeals the night. Religion's circumcision
has left us worlds apart, but who's more wise?

I think I know you better now than then—
and love you all the more, because you are
... so distant. I can love you from afar,
forgiving your flight north, far from brute men,
because your fear's well-founded: God, forbid,
was bound to fail you here, as mortals did.

Originally published by Rotary Dial



Lance-Lot
by Michael R. Burch

Preposterous bird!
Inelegant! Absurd!

Until the great & mighty heron
brandishes his fearsome sword.



Truces
by Michael R. Burch

We must sometimes wonder if all the fighting related to King Arthur and his knights was really necessary. In particular, it seems that Lancelot fought and either captured or killed a fairly large percentage of the population of England. Could it be that Arthur preferred to fight than stay at home and do domestic chores? And, honestly now, if he and his knights were such incredible warriors, who would have been silly enough to do battle with them? Wygar was the name of Arthur's hauberk, or armored tunic, which was supposedly fashioned by one Witege or Widia, quite possibly the son of Wayland Smith. The legends suggest that Excalibur was forged upon the anvil of the smith-god Wayland, who was also known as Volund, which sounds suspiciously like Vulcan...

Artur took Cabal, his hound,
and Carwennan, his knife,
    and his sword forged by Wayland
    and Merlyn, his falcon,
and, saying goodbye to his sons and his wife,
he strode to the Table Rounde.

"Here is my spear, Rhongomyniad,
and here is Wygar that I wear,
    and ready for war,
    an oath I foreswore
to fight for all that is righteous and fair
from Wales to the towers of Gilead."

But none could be found to contest him,
for Lancelot had slewn them, forsooth,
so he hastened back home, for to rest him,
till his wife bade him, "Thatch up the roof! "

Originally published by Neovictorian/Cochlea, then by Celtic Twilight



Midsummer-Eve
by Michael R. Burch

What happened to the mysterious Tuatha De Danann, to the Ban Shee (from which we get the term "banshee") and, eventually, to the druids? One might assume that with the passing of Merlyn, Morgause and their ilk, the time of myths and magic ended. This poem is an epitaph of sorts.

In the ruins
of the dreams
and the schemes
of men;

when the moon
begets the tide
and the wide
sea sighs;

when a star
appears in heaven
and the raven
cries;

we will dance
and we will revel
in the devil's
fen...

if nevermore again.

Originally published by Penny Dreadful



The Pictish Faeries
by Michael R. Burch

Smaller and darker
than their closest kin,
the faeries learned only too well
never to dwell
close to the villages of larger men.

Only to dance in the starlight
when the moon was full
and men were afraid.
Only to worship in the farthest glade,
ever heeding the raven and the gull.



The Kiss of Ceridwen
by Michael R. Burch

The kiss of Ceridwen
I have felt upon my brow,
and the past and the future
have appeared, as though a vapor,
mingling with the here and now.

And Morrigan, the Raven,
the messenger, has come,
to tell me that the gods, unsung,
will not last long
when the druids' harps grow dumb.



Merlyn, on His Birth
by Michael R. Burch

Legend has it that Zephyr was an ancestor of Merlin. In this poem, I suggest that Merlin was an albino, which might have led to claims that he had no father, due to radical physical differences between father and son. This would have also added to his appearance as a mystical figure. The reference to Ursa Major, the bear, ties the birth of Merlin to the future birth of Arthur, whose Welsh name ("Artos" or "Artur") means "bear." Morydd is another possible ancestor of Merlin's. In Welsh names "dd" is pronounced "th."

I was born in Gwynedd,
or not born, as some men claim,
and the Zephyr of Caer Myrrdin
gave me my name.

My father was Madog Morfeyn
but our eyes were never the same,
nor our skin, nor our hair;
for his were dark, dark
—as our people's are—
and mine were fairer than fair.

The night of my birth, the Zephyr
carved of white stone a rune;
and the ringed stars of Ursa Major
outshone the cool pale moon;
and my grandfather, Morydd, the seer
saw wheeling, a-gyre in the sky,
a falcon with terrible yellow-gold eyes
when falcons never fly.



Merlyn's First Prophecy
by Michael R. Burch

Vortigern commanded a tower to be built upon Snowden,
but the earth would churn and within an hour its walls would cave in.

Then his druid said only the virginal blood of a fatherless son,
recently shed, would ever hold the foundation.

"There is, in Caer Myrrdin, a faery lad, a son with no father;
his name is Merlyn, and with his blood you would have your tower."

So Vortigern had them bring the boy, the child of the demon,
and, taciturn and without joy, looked out over Snowden.

"To **** a child brings little praise, but many tears."
Then the mountain slopes rang with the brays of Merlyn's jeers.

"Pure poppycock! You fumble and bumble and heed a fool.
At the base of the rock the foundations crumble into a pool! "

When they drained the pool, two dragons arose, one white and one red,
and since the old druid was blowing his nose, young Merlyn said:

"Vortigern is the white, Ambrosius the red; now, watch, indeed."
Then the former died as the latter fed and Vortigern peed.

Published by Celtic Twilight



It Is Not the Sword!
by Michael R. Burch

This poem illustrates the strong correlation between the names that appear in Welsh and Irish mythology. Much of this lore predates the Arthurian legends, and was assimilated as Arthur's fame (and hyperbole)grew. Caladbolg is the name of a mythical Irish sword, while Caladvwlch is its Welsh equivalent. Caliburn and Excalibur are later variants.

"It is not the sword,
but the man, "
said Merlyn.
But the people demanded a sign—
the sword of Macsen Wledig,
Caladbolg, the "lightning-shard."

"It is not the sword,
but the words men follow."
Still, he set it in the stone
—Caladvwlch, the sword of kings—
and many a man did strive, and swore,
and many a man did moan.

But none could budge it from the stone.

"It is not the sword
or the strength, "
said Merlyn,
"that makes a man a king,
but the truth and the conviction
that ring in his iron word."

"It is NOT the sword! "
cried Merlyn,
crowd-jostled, marveling
as Arthur drew forth Caliburn
with never a gasp,
with never a word,

and so became their king.



Uther's Last Battle
by Michael R. Burch

When Uther, the High King,
unable to walk, borne upon a litter
went to fight Colgrim, the Saxon King,
his legs were weak, and his visage bitter.
"Where is Merlyn, the sage?
For today I truly feel my age."

All day long the battle raged
and the dragon banner was sorely pressed,
but the courage of Uther never waned
till the sun hung low upon the west.
"Oh, where is Merlyn to speak my doom,
for truly I feel the chill of the tomb."

Then, with the battle almost lost
and the king besieged on every side,
a prince appeared, clad all in white,
and threw himself against the tide.
"Oh, where is Merlyn, who stole my son?
For, truly, now my life is done."

Then Merlyn came unto the king
as the Saxons fled before a sword
that flashed like lightning in the hand
of a prince that day become a lord.
"Oh, Merlyn, speak not, for I see
my son has truly come to me.

And today I need no prophecy
to see how bright his days will be."
So Uther, then, the valiant king
met his son, and kissed him twice—
the one, the first, the one, the last—
and smiled, and then his time was past.



Small Tales
by Michael R. Burch

According to legend, Arthur and Kay grew up together in Ector's court, Kay being a few years older than Arthur. Borrowing from Mary Stewart, I am assuming that Bedwyr (later Anglicized to Bedivere)might have befriended Arthur at an early age. By some accounts, Bedwyr was the original Lancelot. In any case, imagine the adventures these young heroes might have pursued (or dreamed up, to excuse tardiness or "lost" homework assignments). Manawydan and Llyr were ancient Welsh gods. Cath Pulag was a monstrous, clawing cat. ("Sorry teach! My theme paper on Homer was torn up by a cat bigger than a dragon! And meaner, too! ")Pen Palach is more or less a mystery, or perhaps just another old drinking buddy with a few good beery-bleary tales of his own. This poem assumes that many of the more outlandish Arthurian legends began more or less as "small tales, " little white lies which simply got larger and larger with each retelling. It also assumes that most of these tales came about just as the lads reached that age when boys fancy themselves men, and spend most of their free time drinking and puking...

When Artur and Cai and Bedwyr
were but scrawny lads
they had many a ***** adventure
in the still glades
of Gwynedd.
When the sun beat down like an oven
upon the kiln-hot hills
and the scorched shores of Carmarthen,
they went searching
and found Manawydan, the son of Llyr.
They fought a day and a night
with Cath Pulag (or a screeching kitten),
rousted Pen Palach, then drank a beer
and told quite a talltale or two,
till thems wasn't so shore which'un's tails wus true.

And these have been passed down to me, and to you.



The Song of Amergin
by Michael R. Burch

Amergin is, in the words of Morgan Llywelyn, "the oldest known western European poet." Robert Graves said: "English poetic education should, really, begin not with The Canterbury Tales, not with the Odyssey, not even with Genesis, but with the Song of Amergin." Amergin was one of the Milesians, or sons of Mil: Gaels who invaded Ireland and defeated the mysterious Tuatha De Danann, thereby establishing a Celtic beachhead, not only on the shores of the Emerald Isle, but also in the annals of Time and Poetry.

He was our first bard
and we feel in his dim-remembered words
the moment when Time blurs...

and he and the Sons of Mil
heave oars as the breakers mill
till at last Ierne—green, brooding—nears,

while Some implore seas cold, fell, dark
to climb and swamp their flimsy bark
... and Time here also spumes, careers...

while the Ban Shee shriek in awed dismay
to see him still the sea, this day,
then seek the dolmen and the gloam.



Stonehenge
by Michael R. Burch

Here where the wind imbues life within stone,
I once stood
and watched as the tempest made monuments groan
as though blood
boiled within them.

Here where the Druids stood charting the stars
I can tell
they longed for the heavens... perhaps because
hell
boiled beneath them?



The Celtic Cross at Île Grosse
by Michael R. Burch

"I actually visited the island and walked across those mass graves of 30, 000 Irish men, women and children, and I played a little tune on me whistle. I found it very peaceful, and there was relief there." - Paddy Maloney of The Chieftans

There was relief there,
and release,
on Île Grosse
in the spreading gorse
and the cry of the wild geese...

There was relief there,
without remorse
when the tin whistle lifted its voice
in a tune of artless grief,
piping achingly high and longingly of an island veiled in myth.
And the Celtic cross that stands here tells us, not of their grief,
but of their faith and belief—
like the last soft breath of evening lifting a fallen leaf.

When ravenous famine set all her demons loose,
driving men to the seas like lemmings,
they sought here the clemency of a better life, or death,
and their belief in God gave them hope, a sense of peace.

These were proud men with only their lives to owe,
who sought the liberation of a strange new land.
Now they lie here, ragged row on ragged row,
with only the shadows of their loved ones close at hand.

And each cross, their ancient burden and their glory,
reflects the death of sunlight on their story.

And their tale is sad—but, O, their faith was grand!



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



faith(less), a coronavirus poem
by Michael R. Burch

Those who believed
and Those who misled
lie together at last
in the same narrow bed

and if god loved Them more
for Their strange lack of doubt,
he kept it well hidden
till he snuffed Them out.



Habeas Corpus
by Michael R. Burch

from “Songs of the Antinatalist”

I have the results of your DNA analysis.
If you want to have children, this may induce paralysis.
I wish I had good news, but how can I lie?
Any offspring you have are guaranteed to die.
It wouldn’t be fair—I’m sure you’ll agree—
to sentence kids to death, so I’ll waive my fee.



Villanelle: Hangovers
by Michael R. Burch

We forget that, before we were born,
our parents had “lives” of their own,
ran drunk in the streets, or half-******.

Yes, our parents had lives of their own
until we were born; then, undone,
they were buying their parents gravestones

and finding gray hairs of their own
(because we were born lacking some
of their curious habits, but soon

would certainly get them). Half-******,
we watched them dig graves of their own.
Their lives would be over too soon

for their curious habits to bloom
in us (though our children were born
nine months from that night on the town

when, punch-drunk in the streets or half-******,
we first proved we had lives of our own).



Happily Never After (the Second Curse of the ***** Toad)
by Michael R. Burch

He did not think of love of Her at all
frog-plangent nights, as moons engoldened roads
through crumbling stonewalled provinces, where toads
(nee princes) ruled in chinks and grew so small
at last to be invisible. He smiled
(the fables erred so curiously), and thought
bemusedly of being reconciled
to human flesh, because his heart was not
incapable of love, but, being cursed
a second time, could only love a toad’s . . .
and listened as inflated frogs rehearsed
cheekbulging tales of anguish from green moats . . .
and thought of her soft croak, her skin fine-warted,
his anemic flesh, and how true love was thwarted.



Haunted
by Michael R. Burch

Now I am here
and thoughts of my past mistakes are my brethren.
I am withering
and the sweetness of your memory is like a tear.

Go, if you will,
for the ache in my heart is its hollowness
and the flaw in my soul is its shallowness;
there is nothing to fill.

Take what you can;
I have nothing left.
And when you are gone, I will be bereft,
the husk of a man.

Or stay here awhile.
My heart cannot bear the night, or these dreams.
Your face is a ghost, though paler, it seems
when you smile.

Published by Romantics Quarterly



Have I been too long at the fair?
by Michael R. Burch

Have I been too long at the fair?
The summer has faded,
the leaves have turned brown;
the Ferris wheel teeters ...
not up, yet not down.
Have I been too long at the fair?

This is one of my earliest poems, written around age 14-15 when we were living with my grandfather in his house on Chilton Street, within walking distance of the Nashville fairgrounds. I remember walking to the fairgrounds, stopping at a Dairy Queen along the way, and swimming at a public pool. But I believe the Ferris wheel only operated during the state fair. So my “educated guess” is that this poem was written during the 1973 state fair, or shortly thereafter. I remember watching people hanging suspended in mid-air, waiting for carnies to deposit them safely on terra firma again.



Insurrection
by Michael R. Burch

She has become as the night—listening
for rumors of dawn—while the dew, glistening,
reminds me of her, and the wind, whistling,
lashes my cheeks with its soft chastening.

She has become as the lights—flickering
in the distance—till memories old and troubling
rise up again and demand remembering ...
like peasants rebelling against a mad king.

Originally published by The Chained Muse



Success
by Michael R. Burch

for Jeremy

We need our children to keep us humble
between toast and marmalade;

there is no time for a ticker-tape parade
before bed, no award, no bright statuette

to be delivered for mending skinned knees,
no wild bursts of approval for shoveling snow.

A kiss is the only approval they show;
to leave us―the first great success they achieve.



Sappho's Lullaby
by Michael R. Burch

for Jeremy

Hushed yet melodic, the hills and the valleys
sleep unaware of the nightingale's call,
while the pale calla lilies lie
listening,
glistening . . .
this is their night, the first night of fall.

Son, tonight, a woman awaits you;
she is more vibrant, more lovely than spring.
She'll meet you in moonlight,
soft and warm,
all alone . . .
then you'll know why the nightingale sings.

Just yesterday the stars were afire;
then how desire flashed through my veins!
But now I am older;
night has come,
I’m alone . . .
for you I will sing as the nightingale sings.

NOTE: The calla lily symbolizes beauty, purity, innocence, faithfulness and true devotion. According to Greek mythology, when the Milky Way was formed by the goddess Hera’s breast milk, the drops that fell to earth became calla lilies.



The People Loved What They Had Loved Before
by Michael R. Burch

We did not worship at the shrine of tears;
we knew not to believe, not to confess.
And so, ahemming victors, to false cheers,
we wrote off love, we gave a stern address
to things that we disapproved of, things of yore.
And the people loved what they had loved before.

We did not build stone monuments to stand
six hundred years and grow more strong and arch
like bridges from the people to the Land
beyond their reach. Instead, we played a march,
pale Neros, sparking flames from door to door.
And the people loved what they had loved before.

We could not pipe of cheer, or even woe.
We played a minor air of Ire (in E).
The sheep chose to ignore us, even though,
long destitute, we plied our songs for free.
We wrote, rewrote and warbled one same score.
And the people loved what they had loved before.

At last outlandish wailing, we confess,
ensued, because no listeners were left.
We built a shrine to tears: our goddess less
divine than man, and, like us, long bereft.
We stooped to love too late, too Learned to *****.
And the people loved what they had loved before.



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.



Premonition
by Michael R. Burch

Now the evening has come to a close and the party is over ...
we stand in the doorway and watch as they go—
each stranger, each acquaintance, each unembraceable lover.

They walk to their cars and they laugh as they go,
though we know their forced laughter’s the wine ...
then they pause at the road where the dark asphalt flows
endlessly on toward Zion ...

and they kiss one another as though they were friends,
and they promise to meet again “soon” ...
but the rivers of Jordan roll on without end,
and the mockingbird calls to the moon ...

and the katydids climb up the cropped hanging vines,
and the crickets chirp on out of tune ...
and their shadows, defined by the cryptic starlight,
seem spirits torn loose from their tombs.

And I know their brief lives are just eddies in time,
that their hearts are unreadable runes
to be wiped clean, like slate, by the Eraser, Fate,
when their corpses lie ravaged and ruined ...

You take my clenched fist and you give it a kiss
as though it were something you loved,
and the tears fill your eyes, brimming with the soft light
of the stars winking sagely above ...

Then you whisper, "It's time that we went back inside;
if you'd like, we can sit and just talk for a while."
And the hope in your eyes burns too deep, so I lie
and I say, "Yes, I would," to your small, troubled smile.

I vividly remember writing this poem after an office party the year I co-oped with AT&T (at that time the largest company in the world, with presumably a lot of office parties). This would have been after my sophomore year in college, making me around 20 years old. The poem is “true” except that I was not the host because the party was at the house of one of the upper-level managers. Nor was I dating anyone seriously at the time. Keywords/Tags: premonition, office, party, parting, eve, evening, stranger, strangers, wine, laughter, moon, shadows



Survivors
by Michael R. Burch

for the victims and survivors of 9/11 and their families

In truth, we do not feel the horror
of the survivors,
but what passes for horror:

a shiver of “empathy.”

We too are “survivors,”
if to survive is to snap back
from the sight of death

like a turtle retracting its neck.



Child of 9-11
by Michael R. Burch

a poem for Christina-Taylor Green, who
was born on September 11, 2001 and who
died at age nine, shot to death ...

Child of 9-11, beloved,
I bring this lily, lay it down
here at your feet, and eiderdown,
and all soft things, for your gentle spirit.
I bring this psalm ― I hope you hear it.

Much love I bring ― I lay it down
here by your form, which is not you,
but what you left this shell-shocked world
to help us learn what we must do
to save another child like you.

Child of 9-11, I know
you are not here, but watch, afar
from distant stars, where angels rue
the evil things some mortals do.
I also watch; I also rue.

And so I make this pledge and vow:
though I may weep, I will not rest
nor will my pen fail heaven's test
till guns and wars and hate are banned
from every shore, from every land.

Child of 9-11, I grieve
your tender life, cut short ... bereaved,
what can I do, but pledge my life
to saving lives like yours? Belief
in your sweet worth has led me here ...

I give my all: my pen, this tear,
this lily and this eiderdown,
and all soft things my heart can bear;
I bring them to your final bier,
and leave them with my promise, here.



The Locker
by Michael R. Burch

All the dull hollow clamor has died
and what was contained,
removed,

reproved
adulation or sentiment,
left with the pungent darkness

as remembered as the sudden light.



Tremble
by Michael R. Burch

Her predatory eye,
the single feral iris,
scans.

Her raptor beak,
all jagged sharp-edged ******,
juts.

Her hard talon,
clenched in pinched expectation,
waits.

Her clipped wings,
preened against reality,
tremble.



Day, and Night
by Michael R. Burch

The moon exposes pockmarked scars of craters;
her visage, veiled by willows, palely looms.
And we who rise each day to grind a living,
dream each scented night of such perfumes
as drew us to the window, to the moonlight,
when all the earth was steeped in cobalt blue―
an eerie vase of achromatic flowers
bled silver by pale starlight, losing hue.

The night begins her waltz to waiting sunrise―
adagio, the music she now hears;
and we who in the sunlight slave for succor,
dreaming, seek communion with the spheres.
And all around the night is in crescendo,
and everywhere the stars’ bright legions form,
and here we hear the sweet incriminations
of lovers we had once to keep us warm.

And also here we find, like bled carnations,
red lips that whitened, kisses drawn to lies,
that touched us once with fierce incantations
and taught us love was prettier than wise.



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.



Komm, Du ("Come, You")
by Rainer Maria Rilke
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

This was Rilke’s last poem, written ten days before his death. He died open-eyed in the arms of his doctor on December 29, 1926, in the Valmont Sanatorium, of leukemia and its complications. I had a friend who died of leukemia and he was burning up with fever in the end. I believe that is what Rilke was describing here: he was literally burning alive.

Come, you—the last one I acknowledge; return—
incurable pain searing this physical mesh.
As I burned in the spirit once, so now I burn
with you; meanwhile, you consume my flesh.

This wood that long resisted your embrace
now nourishes you; I surrender to your fury
as my gentleness mutates to hellish rage—
uncaged, wild, primal, mindless, outré.

Completely free, no longer future’s pawn,
I clambered up this crazy pyre of pain,
certain I’d never return—my heart’s reserves gone—
to become death’s nameless victim, purged by flame.

Now all I ever was must be denied.
I left my memories of my past elsewhere.
That life—my former life—remains outside.
Inside, I’m lost. Nobody knows me here.



This is my translation of the first of Rilke’s Duino Elegies. Rilke began the first Duino Elegy in 1912, as a guest of Princess Marie von Thurn und Taxis, at Duino Castle, near Trieste on the Adriatic Sea.

First Elegy
by Rainer Maria Rilke
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Who, if I objected, would hear me among the angelic orders?
For if the least One pressed me intimately against its breast,
I would be lost in its infinite Immensity!
Because beauty, which we mortals can barely endure, is the beginning of terror;
we stand awed when it benignly declines to annihilate us.
Every Angel is terrifying!

And so I restrain myself, swallowing the sound of my pitiful sobbing.
For whom may we turn to, in our desire?
Not to Angels, nor to men, and already the sentient animals are aware
that we are all aliens in this metaphorical existence.
Perhaps some tree still stands on a hillside, which we can study with our ordinary vision.
Perhaps the commonplace street still remains amid man’s fealty to materiality—
the concrete items that never destabilize.
Oh, and of course there is the night: her dark currents caress our faces ...

But whom, then, do we live for?
That longed-for but mildly disappointing presence the lonely heart so desperately desires?
Is life any less difficult for lovers?
They only use each other to avoid their appointed fates!
How can you fail to comprehend?
Fling your arms’ emptiness into this space we occupy and inhale:
may birds fill the expanded air with more intimate flying!

Yes, the springtime still requires you.
Perpetually a star waits for you to recognize it.
A wave recedes toward you from the distant past,
or as you walk beneath an open window, a violin yields virginally to your ears.
All this was preordained. But how can you incorporate it? ...
Weren't you always distracted by expectations, as if every event presaged some new beloved?
(Where can you harbor, when all these enormous strange thoughts surging within you keep
you up all night, restlessly rising and falling?)

When you are full of yearning, sing of loving women, because their passions are finite;
sing of forsaken women (and how you almost envy them)
because they could love you more purely than the ones you left gratified.

Resume the unattainable exaltation; remember: the hero survives;
even his demise was merely a stepping stone toward his latest rebirth.

But spent and exhausted Nature withdraws lovers back into herself,
as if lacking the energy to recreate them.
Have you remembered Gaspara Stampa with sufficient focus—
how any abandoned girl might be inspired by her fierce example
and might ask herself, "How can I be like her?"

Shouldn't these ancient sufferings become fruitful for us?

Shouldn’t we free ourselves from the beloved,
quivering, as the arrow endures the bowstring's tension,
so that in the snap of release it soars beyond itself?
For there is nowhere else where we can remain.

Voices! Voices!

Listen, heart, as levitating saints once listened,
until the elevating call soared them heavenward;
and yet they continued kneeling, unaware, so complete was their concentration.

Not that you could endure God's voice—far from it!

But heed the wind’s voice and the ceaseless formless message of silence:
It murmurs now of the martyred young.

Whenever you attended a church in Naples or Rome,
didn't they come quietly to address you?
And didn’t an exalted inscription impress its mission upon you
recently, on the plaque in Santa Maria Formosa?
What they require of me is that I gently remove any appearance of injustice—
which at times slightly hinders their souls from advancing.

Of course, it is endlessly strange to no longer inhabit the earth;
to relinquish customs one barely had the time to acquire;
not to see in roses and other tokens a hopeful human future;
no longer to be oneself, cradled in infinitely caring hands;
to set aside even one's own name,
forgotten as easily as a child’s broken plaything.

How strange to no longer desire one's desires!
How strange to see meanings no longer cohere, drifting off into space.
Dying is difficult and requires retrieval before one can gradually decipher eternity.

The living all err in believing the too-sharp distinctions they create themselves.

Angels (men say) don't know whether they move among the living or the dead.
The eternal current merges all ages in its maelstrom
until the voices of both realms are drowned out in its thunderous roar.

In the end, the early-departed no longer need us:
they are weaned gently from earth's agonies and ecstasies,
as children outgrow their mothers’ *******.

But we, who need such immense mysteries,
and for whom grief is so often the source of our spirit's progress—
how can we exist without them?

Is the legend of the lament for Linos meaningless—
the daring first notes of the song pierce our apathy;
then, in the interlude, when the youth, lovely as a god, has suddenly departed forever,
we experience the emptiness of the Void for the first time—
that harmony which now enraptures and comforts and aids us?



Precipice
by Michael R. Burch

for Jeremy

They will teach you to scoff at love
from the highest, windiest precipice of reason.

Do not believe them.

There is no place safe for you to fall
save into the arms of love.
save into the arms of love.



Love’s Extreme Unction
by Michael R. Burch

Lines composed during Jeremy’s first Nashville Christian football game (he played tuba), while I watched Beth watch him.

Within the intimate chapels of her eyes—
devotions, meditations, reverence.
I find in them Love’s very residence
and hearing the ardent rapture of her sighs
I prophesy beatitudes to come,
when Love like hers commands us, “All be One!”



Keywords/Tags: Rilke, elegy, elegies, angels, beauty, terror, terrifying, desire, vision, reality, heart, love, lovers, beloved, rose, saints, spirits, souls, ghosts, voices, torso, Apollo, Rodin, panther, autumn, beggar

Published as the collection "Leave Taking"
Edna Sweetlove May 2015
A Tale of ****** Excitement by Herr Barty Maulwurf

Often **** tales of my past I am writing and sometimes they are a little rude and porny but now I will try to be only slightly profane at request of new friends I am making everywhere. This tale very sensual story is, told by master storyteller (which is me). Filthy bits included. *Danke sehr.


Although I so much hate repetitive to be, Barty Mole must as always apologise for his occasionally slight errors in English-writing as he writes the English language not so very top-class (but he ***** English girls' tongues lots and likes them his tonsils to wipe so good). I (me, Barty) am German person but special type of that because as I are half-and-half black/white (not striped or even top half white, bottom half black, but mixed-up goldene-brun colouring), by this I must explain mein Papa was black US soldier in Germany who did enormous number of bouncy-bouncies with various ladies including meine Mutti (note to monoglots: this means my Mummy) - who was part-time Lili Marlen type tarty number, great **** and much-used **** - for tinned milk, coffee, ciggies, silk stockings and comfy underwear with soft non-scratchy gussets for once instead of unlined which tickle *****-*****, also she was a major sort of a ****** in her day so combined business with pleasure, and why not, we got these bits under our ******* so use them or they dry up (so thinks der Barty.). Also please you will remember black market utterly rampant in post-war period because the kind ****** Allies smashed my beautiful homeland (Germany) to little bits and then guess what even worse Russkies came and stole anything leftovers and did mass rapings of anyone with two legs (or less, in fact easier as poor tarts can't run away), but my Mutti ran and avoided Ivans, she not any kind of idiot, not going to give it away for free, and not liking cheap rotgut ***** anyway. Also Russkies never wash bottoms-hole so not much fun in the sack with smelly-bummed Ivans.

Nowadays Barty (that's me) am not so young, indeed now out of work living in Hamburg (home of inventor of hamburgers, Herr Wendi McDonald-Burgerkoenig) but I remember some super **** going-ons from mine mis-spended youth and middle age, my God I was a right goer, make no mistake about that, I had more lady friends than most people have hot luncheons mainly because I inheritated huge lovepole (23 centimetres, well over 9 inches in UK/US measurement style) from my dear Poppa, God rest his swindling soul. And ladies like the big bronzed stick as ramrod lovepole, you bet your fat wobbly ***, dear reader, 100% sure.

As often I say to my multitudinous readers, I never accept that it is only top-class ***-event to make love-humpings between male person who is in all one piece (full complementing legs, arms, naughty pieces etc etc) and lady who in similar state of repair (2 legs, 2 arms, 2 boobos, back and front naughty areas also) so I shall now recall romantic interlude with one-legged groupie I am meeting at rocking Konzert in Berlin with famous German group DIE TOTEN HOSEN (this means "The Dead Trousers" look them up on Google you think I am joking? no, German musicians have great sense of humour and also almost for free get to **** a lot of birds).

This story are total true, swear it on Mummy's honour (big joke, what honour I hear you said out of side of mouth, but watch your manners please or I smash you one in your effing gob) this not so explicit as usual so much apologies to filthy pervies wanting cheap smuttings, you come in wrong place (*******).

So now here we go with telling of how I got on good and ***** with one-legged lady I meet in bar of Grosse Konzerthalle in Berlin after we go from Konzert by Toten Hosen - noise so fickende loud we not able to hear each other talk as we total deafened for at least 1 hour, so just wink over bar to each other and Robert is dein Onkel.

I digressed - when I saw really pretty girl at bar with **** three-inch bolt through her lips and I think, WOW, if she got so much metal in her face, what the Fick she got in her *******!!!!  I notice she leaning against wall, I think she a bit drunk but I find out she only got one leg and it's because she has only one leg she would go falling over if not lean on walls. Never mind, I think to myself, I'll try this out for size, in for a pfenning (penny), in for a pfund (pound), except now it's in for a cent, in for a euro which sounds naffs. So we have several dozen beers and a couple of schnapplis and she is good fun, laugh at all Barty's filthy jokes and innuendos and then, out of blue, she says with naughty giggling, "The night is young but we're not so effing young and when you have any more beers you don't stand up, fall flat on handsome face, and not able to get great big ****** up me to shove it", WOW I thought, this is some forward one-legged piece of work. So no more further ado and we jump in taxi (pay 50:50 as Barty is gent and refuse to allow her pay whole fare) and go to her place.

Hildegard is her name and she was pretty good looking bird, great booboes, narrow very **** waistlines, very cute botty sticking out like great big pair of rubber footballs, but let's be frank, liebe Freunde, her main claim to eternal fame in Barty's immense ***-memory bank was the leg-stump, only one of them she had. She tells me missing limb result of accident with vicious bacon-slicing machineries at LIDL and I not like to probe too deeply, because I leave the probing up to my 23cm (9 inch) lovepole instead.

Thus we had many love-makes that night and I got to find her stumpy-thing quite **** in weird kind of way, very smooth skin on it and odd colour (purplish) too. Only problem of was hard to do it Alsatian-style as she topple off bed and me with her, especially since we have many more beers down hatches by that time. Never mind, make up for this with very high class (FIVE STAR!) "neunundsechzig" (German for 69 just in case you not understand)! WOW she utter hot stuff in oral department store. Her tongue like starving St Bernard guzzling the bowl of nice fresh spring water on hottest summer day in century! Swallow everything, stray hairs and all.

Also Hildegard very noisy lady when she does the comings, which Barty likes very much indeed. Like demented demon being bashed around her head with three-metre long metal crowbar every single time she gets one off, she screamed. "Ooooooh, ich komme, ich komme, ach, ja, ja, ja, ja," she shrieks GOOD & LOUD like fat Wagnerian heroine with immensely red hot poker up backside-hole (which not far off the truth when Barty gets stuck into his fabbo ***-rhythm, like whirring up and down piston on Mitsubishi motor tricycle). Even allowing for drunken prematured senilities lapse, I happy to recall seven times for me that night and maybe twenty for her, WOW, what a filthy one-leg hornbag!

We meet a few more time for repeat bonky session but never so good as first time round, but that's because Barty sober next times, nothing new in the history of love there which is very philophical pensée. Also Barty's interest in the leggy-stump waned a bit after a couple of weeks.  But Barty has good live-action photos to keep his memories warm, WOW, they are some totally hot ones! I know Hildegard must have the equal happy memories of old Barty, bet she never saw such a big ***** as his ever again (NB: 23 cm lovepole)!

Mit freundlichen Gruessen
von Ihre
Bartholomew Mole (=Maulwurf)
(23 cm brown lovepole)
Wee falsely think it due unto our friends,
That we should grieve for their too early ends:
He that surveys the world with serious eys,
And stripps Her from her grosse and weak disguise,
Shall find 'tis injury to mourn their fate;
He only dy's untimely who dy's Late.
For if 'twere told to children in the womb,
To what a stage of mischief they must come
Could they foresee with how much toile and sweat
Men court that Guilded nothing, being Great;
What paines they take not to be what they seem,
Rating their blisse by others false esteem,
And sacrificing their content, to be
Guilty of grave and serious Vanity;
How each condition hath its proper Thorns,
And what one man admires, another Scorns;
How frequently their happiness they misse,
And so farre from agreeing what it is,
That the same Person we can hardly find,
Who is an houre together in a mind;
Sure they would beg a period of their breath,
And what we call their birth would count their Death.
Mankind is mad; for none can live alone
Because their joys stand by comparison:
And yet they quarrell at Society,
And strive to **** they know not whom, nor why,
We all live by mistake, delight in Dreames,
Lost to ourselves, and dwelling in extreames;
Rejecting what we have, though ne're so good,
And prizing what we never understood.
compar'd to our boystrous inconstancy
Tempests are calme, and discords harmony.
Hence we reverse the world, and yet do find
The God that made can hardly please our mind.
We live by chance, and slip into Events;
Have all of Beasts except their Innocence.
The soule, which no man's pow'r can reach, a thing
That makes each women Man, each man a King.
Doth so much loose, and from its height so fall,
That some content to have no Soule at all.
"Tis either not observ'd, or at the best
By passion fought withall, by sin deprest.
Freedome of will (god's image) is forgot;
And if we know it, we improve it not.
Our thoughts, thou nothing can be more our own,
Are still unguided, verry seldom known.
Time 'scapes our hands as water in a Sieve,
We come to dy ere we begin to Live.
Truth, the most suitable and noble Prize,
Food of our spirits, yet neglected ly's.
Errours and shaddows ar our choice, and we
Ow our perdition to our Own decree.
If we search Truth, we make it more obscure;
And when it shines, we can't the Light endure;
For most men who plod on, and eat, and drink,
Have nothing less their business then to think;
And those few that enquire, how small a share
Of Truth they fine! how dark their notions are!
That serious evenness that calmes the Brest,
And in a Tempest can bestow a rest,
We either not attempt, or elce [sic] decline,
By every triffle ******'d from our design.
(Others he must in his deceits involve,
Who is not true unto his own resolve.)
We govern not our selves, but loose the reins,
Courting our ******* to a thousand chains;
And with as man slaverys content,
As there are Tyrants ready to Torment,
We live upon a Rack, extended still
To one extreme, or both, but always ill.
For since our fortune is not understood,
We suffer less from bad then from the good.
The sting is better drest and longer lasts,
As surfeits are more dangerous than fasts.
And to compleat the misery to us,
We see extreames are still contiguous.
And as we run so fast from what we hate,
Like Squibs on ropes, to know no middle state;
So (outward storms strengthen'd by us) we find
Our fortune as disordred as our mind.
But that's excus'd by this, it doth its part;
A treacherous world befits a treacherous heart.
All ill's our own; the outward storms we loath
Receive from us their birth, or sting, or both;
And that our Vanity be past a doubt,
'Tis one new vanity to find it out.
Happy are they to whom god gives a Grave,
And from themselves as from his wrath doeth save.
'Tis good not to be born; but if we must,
The next good is, soone to return to Dust:
When th'uncag'd soule, fled to Eternity,
Shall rest and live, and sing, and love, and See.
Here we but crawle and *****, and play and cry;
Are first our own, then others Enemy:
But there shall be defac'd both stain and score,
For time, and Death, and sin shall be no more.
Huit millisecondes
Huit infimes millisecondes
Voici tout ce que Muse
M'a laissé entrevoir
De sa vulve.
Etait-ce par inadvertance
Par bravade ou en toute innocence
Qu'elle m'a autorisé ce jour-là
A me rincer l 'oeil
A travers le trou de la serrure
De mon portable
Alors qu'elle finissait son bain
Et allait se sécher?
Huit millisecondes
De peep show
Qui ont effacé tous les nu non niet
Nee nein não no
Huit millisecondes
Que depuis j'essaie de visualiser à nouveau au ralenti.

En vain.
Rien n'y fait
Muse est de marbre de Carrare.
Inflexible. Intransigeante.
Décidément Muse n 'est pas exhibitionniste.

J 'ai pourtant tout fait pour l 'amadouer.
Je lui dis je veux j 'exige
je la supplie, je lui joue de ma cornemuse
je me mets à genoux, je boude
je lui promets l'enfer et le paradis
Je fais ma grosse voix
je suis saint Thomas
je ne crois que ce que je vois
J 'ai tout fait pour la convaincre.
C'est une chatte comme toutes les chattes, me dit-elle
et moi je lui réponds : non c'est une sainte chatte diablesse
Elle me parle de foi et me jure qu'on ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur.
et pas avec la queue.
Fort bien. J 'ai donc décidé
De regarder la chatte de Muse avec le coeur
Aveugle et scientifique
Au ralenti de mon télescope électronique .
Et savez-vous ce que j 'ai découvert ?
Je vous le donne en mille.
La vulve de ma muse est un vrai diaporama !
La vulve de ma muse est écomorphe !
En un mot pour faire court
La vulve de ma muse a 88 nuances de vulve !
Du mons ***** aux ***** minora
Des ***** majora au *******
des glandes de Bartholin à l 'introïtus
Ma muse c'est quatre-vingt-huit vulves en une !
Toutes de la même espèce rare de vulvae anolis
Mais aux niches, couleurs, mucus et formes fort différents
En fonction de leur environnement et de leurs prédateurs.

Quand je fais l 'iguane
et que je m'approche trop d'elle
La vulve de Muse se perche
Dans les hautes sphères de la canopée
elle est verte alors et se confond avec le feuillage
Tel un zandoli vert
bien malin qui pourrait la voir.

Lors des grosses canicules elle devient marron
elle a soif , se faufile dans le tronc des arbres
A la recherche de la fraîcheur
et s'alimente de la maigre pitance
Du latex des sapotilliers

Et quand elle fait sa sieste
Elle est blanche et noire à la fois
fantomatique et phosphorescente
et elle se pend aux branches
Et est si vulnérable
offerte à tous vents
qu'on peut la capturer
l 'identifier
la mesurer la peser la baguer
et la photographier sous toutes les coutures
avant de la relâcher dans le flot de ses rêves.

Huit millisecondes
C 'est peu pour satisfaire
Même avec les yeux du coeur
Le désir du ******
Mais c'est assez pour alimenter
Les constellations de l 'écriture
Et n 'est-ce pas cela en fait la raison d'être des Muses :
Alimenter , nourrir, susciter l 'envie...d'avoir envie ?
John Milton  Jul 2009
Arcades
Part of an entertainment presented to the Countess Dowager of
Darby at Harefield, by som Noble persons of her Family, who
appear on the Scene in pastoral habit, moving toward the seat
of State with this Song.

I. SONG.

Look Nymphs, and Shepherds look,
What sudden blaze of majesty
Is that which we from hence descry
Too divine to be mistook:
This this is she
To whom our vows and wishes bend,
Heer our solemn search hath end.

Fame that her high worth to raise,
Seem’d erst so lavish and profuse,
We may justly now accuse
Of detraction from her praise,
Less then half we find exprest,
Envy bid conceal the rest.

Mark what radiant state she spreds,
In circle round her shining throne,
Shooting her beams like silver threds,
This this is she alone,
Sitting like a Goddes bright,
In the center of her light.
Might she the wise Latona be,
Or the towred Cybele,
Mother of a hunderd gods;
Juno dare’s not give her odds;
Who had thought this clime had held
A deity so unparalel’d?

As they com forward, the genius of the Wood appears, and
turning toward them, speaks.

GEN. Stay gentle Swains, for though in this disguise,
I see bright honour sparkle through your eyes,
Of famous Arcady ye are, and sprung
Of that renowned flood, so often sung,
Divine Alpheus, who by secret sluse,
Stole under Seas to meet his Arethuse;
And ye the breathing Roses of the Wood,
Fair silver-buskind Nymphs as great and good,
I know this quest of yours, and free intent
Was all in honour and devotion ment
To the great Mistres of yon princely shrine,
Whom with low reverence I adore as mine,
And with all helpful service will comply
To further this nights glad solemnity;
And lead ye where ye may more neer behold
What shallow-searching Fame hath left untold;
Which I full oft amidst these shades alone
Have sate to wonder at, and gaze upon:
For know by lot from Jove I am the powr
Of this fair wood, and live in Oak’n bowr,
To nurse the Saplings tall, and curl the grove
With Ringlets quaint, and wanton windings wove.
And all my Plants I save from nightly ill,
Of noisom winds, and blasting vapours chill.
And from the Boughs brush off the evil dew,
And heal the harms of thwarting thunder blew,
Or what the cross dire-looking Planet smites,
Or hurtfull Worm with canker’d venom bites.
When Eev’ning gray doth rise, I fetch my round
Over the mount, and all this hallow’d ground,
And early ere the odorous breath of morn
Awakes the slumbring leaves, or tasseld horn
Shakes the high thicket, haste I all about,
Number my ranks, and visit every sprout
With puissant words, and murmurs made to bless,
But els in deep of night when drowsines
Hath lockt up mortal sense, then listen I
To the celestial Sirens harmony,
That sit upon the nine enfolded Sphears,
And sing to those that hold the vital shears,
And turn the Adamantine spindle round,
On which the fate of gods and men is wound.
Such sweet compulsion doth in musick ly,
To lull the daughters of Necessity,
And keep unsteddy Nature to her law,
And the low world in measur’d motion draw
After the heavenly tune, which none can hear
Of human mould with grosse unpurged ear;
And yet such musick worthiest were to blaze
The peerles height of her immortal praise,
Whose lustre leads us, and for her most fit,
If my inferior hand or voice could hit
Inimitable sounds, yet as we go,
What ere the skill of lesser gods can show,
I will assay, her worth to celebrate,
And so attend ye toward her glittering state;
Where ye may all that are of noble stemm
Approach, and kiss her sacred vestures hemm.


2. SONG.

O’re the smooth enameld green
Where no print of step hath been,
Follow me as I sing,
And touch the warbled string.
Under the shady roof
Of branching Elm Star-proof,
Follow me,
I will bring you where she sits
Clad in splendor as befits
Her deity.
Such a rural Queen
All Arcadia hath not seen.


3. SONG.

Nymphs and Shepherds dance no more
By sandy Ladons Lillied banks.
On old Lycaeus or Cyllene ****,
Trip no more in twilight ranks,
Though Erynanth your loss deplore,
A better soyl shall give ye thanks.
From the stony Maenalus,
Bring your Flocks, and live with us,
Here ye shall have greater grace,
To serve the Lady of this place.
Though Syrinx your Pans Mistres were,
Yet Syrinx well might wait on her.
Such a rural Queen
All Arcadia hath not seen.
katewinslet Sep 2015
Keine Eindeutige Regel may well to your Genaue Anteil der ende Flüssigkeit sowie Mehl, other bei der Brotherstellung verwendet Werden, gegeben Werden, Weil einige arten von Mehl zu absorbieren viel mehr ende Flüssigkeit als weitere. Realmente es wurde jedoch festgestellt that will About three cupfuls Mehl Wird i'm Allgemeinen für JEDE Brotlaibchen notwendig.

Mit on this Bekannt ist, Kann sterben Mehlmenge ium home Betrag von Brot, sterben vorgenommen Werden soll, manages Werden. Pass on Menge der erforderlichen ende Flüssigkeit hangt von der Menge sowie Artwork von Mehl Ausgewählt ist, Aber in der Regel sollte ations ungefähr Ein drittel which means that viel ende Flüssigkeit Wie Mehl sein. Das spezielle Elle Verfahren, das für sterben herstellung von Brot Ausgewählt ist, Wie Später Erläutert Wird, sets Menge der Hefe verwendet Werden sterben. Wenn Ations Nicht erwünscht ist, das Brot anstieg schnell zu Haben, Eine geringe Menge, ETWA Ein Achtel Kuchen Presshefe oder Couple of Esslöffel ende Flüssigkeit Hefe, genügt Für jeden Laib; Jedoch, perfect für schnelle ansteigen gewünscht Wird, Müssen zwei, drei oder vier Douleur and so viel Hefe verwendet Werden, um Eine ausreichende Menge von kohlendioxid around kürzerer Zeit herzustellen. Ations sollte Daran Erinnert Werden in that ,

typically the weitere Hefe verwendet Wird, Desto schneller Wird sterben Notwendige Petrol Erzeugt Werden sowie, Wie gezeigt BEREITS Wurde, ist sterben Bildung von Fuel, das Brot leicht sowie porös macht. NEBEN Mehl, ende Flüssigkeit und Hefe, A Teelöffel Salz, 1 Esslöffel Zucker sowie A single Esslöffel Fett Sind Die Bestandteile inside der Regel Für jeden Laib Brot verwendet. Utensilien for any Brotherstellung Notwendige Ausrüstung .-- Nicht zahlreiche Utensilien for the Brotherstellung erforderlich Wir, Aber sterben, sterben Erforderlich Sindh, Müssen von der Richtigen Kunst, Wenn Die-off Besten Ergebnisse erzielt Werden Sollen. Es umfasst Eine Schüssel und Deckel, Ein Mehl Sieb Messbecher h Der Standard-Größe, Eine für feuchte and also a dog's hair kick the bucket Trockenen Zutaten, Messlöffel, including a Crash, Messer und Spachtel Einer zu messen; a fabulous langstieligen Löffel zum mischen; sowie Backen und Brot, Pfannen. Es sei denn, sterben Tabelle, to make certain that sie als Formplatte verwendet Werden, Wird realmente es notwendig sein, zu der genannten addition Geräte, Eine Formplatte von geeigneter Größe zu schaffen. sterben Rührschüssel Kann Ein irdenes Ein oder Ein Metall sein. Perish Größe der verwendeten Pfannen sowie das Product Günstige Samsung Galaxy S4, aus dems sterben Schalen gemacht Werden sollten Gleichsam sterben aufmerksamkeit. Pass on Laibe Werden gefunden, schneller sowie gründlicher,, ideal Nicht zu groß gemacht Werden gebacken Werden, und Jeder ist throughout Einem separaten Formular gebacken. Pfannen, sterben Eight Zoll lang, Several 1/2 Zoll breit und A variety of Zoll tief Sindh, Sind von Einer praktischen Größe. It is possible to aus Zinn, Eisenblech, Alloy und Einem wärmebeständigen Glas, sterben Einzige voraussetzung ist, Dass alle Any einem Backen Pfannen aus dems Gleichen Werkstoff sein, weil, Wie Wärme dringt schnell einige Materialien als weitere, sterben Zurück Erfolgen Dann mehr einheitlich sein.

Komfortable Ausstattung .-- Während sterben Utensilien during Abb. Step 2 Sind alle sterben tatsächlich bei der herstellung von Brot, Brot Mischer, von Denen Eine Craft ist for Requirements certains Kochens, Teil 2 beschrieben erforderlich Wir Sind, Werden sehr bequem Durch Depart this life Hausfrau, Pass on Grosse Mengen von Brot auf einmal backen Müssen sowie gefunden Werden wer sun hat Nicht viel Zeit, ium zur Arbeit zu widmen. This specific arbeitssparende vorrichtung verwendet Werden Kann und Natürlich Ebenso oft Durch Die-off Hausfrau, sterben Nur eine geringe Menge eines Brot macht verwendet, Wie zum beispiel Zwei bis vier Brote; Jedoch puede ser ist eigentlich nicht von ihr Benötigt Werden Samsung galaxy s6 edge 64GB, wie sie can easily Eine solche Menge leicht und schnell zu Handhaben. Ein Kühler, der Aus einem Rahmen durch Drahtnetz bedeckt sowie von Kurzen Beinen Unterstützt Besteht, is likewise to choose from Eine Bequeme Appliance Samsung galaxy s6 edge+, nr ations als ein guter Ort, Auf dem Brot legte abkühlen dient. WENN EINES about this Geräte Nicht verfügbar ist, Ersetzt Jedoch leicht Durch Strecken Eines Drahtgeflecht Über Einem Holzrahmen Hergestellt Werden.
Keine Eindeutige Regel may well to your Genaue Anteil der ende Flüssigkeit sowie Mehl, other bei der Brotherstellung verwendet Werden, gegeben Werden,
Quenouille, de Pallas la compagne et l'amie,
Cher présent que je porte à ma chère Marie,
Afin de soulager l'ennui qu'elle a de moi,
Disant quelque chanson en filant dessur toi,
Faisant pirouetter, à son huys amusée,
Tout le jour son rouet et sa grosse fusée.

Quenouille, je te mène où je suis arrêté,
Je voudrais racheter par toi ma liberté.
Tu ne viendras és mains d'une mignonne oisive,
Qui ne fait qu'attifer sa perruque lascive.
Et qui perd tout son temps à mirer et farder
Sa face, à celle fin qu'en l'aille regarder ;
Mais bien entre les mains d'une dispote fille,
Qui dévide, qui coud, qui ménage et qui file
Avecque ses deux sœurs pour tromper ses ennuis,
L'hiver devant le feu, l'été devant son huis.

Aussi je ne voudrais que toi, Quenouille, faite
En notre Vendomois (eu le peuple regrette
Le jour qui passe en vain) allasses en Anjou
Pour demeurer oisive et te rouiller au clou.
Je te puis assurer que sa main délicate
Filera doucement quelque drap d'escarlate,
Qui si fin et si doux en sa laine sera,
Que pour un jour de fête un roi le vêtira.

Suis-moi donc, tu seras la plus que bienvenue,
Quenouille, des deux bouts et greslette et menue
Un peu grosse au milieu où la filasse tient,
Etreinte d'un ruban qui de Montoire vient,
Aime-laine, aime-fil, aime-estaim maisonière,
Longue, palladienne, enflée, chansonnière ;
Suis-moi, laisse Cousture, et allons à Bourgueil,
Où, Quenouille, on te doit recevoir d'un bon œil :
Car le petit présent qu'un loyal ami donne,
Passe des puissants rois le sceptre et la couronne.
Parce que, jargonnant vêpres, jeûne et vigile,
Exploitant Dieu qui rêve au fond du firmament,
Vous avez, au milieu du divin évangile,
Ouvert boutique effrontément ;

Parce que vous feriez prendre à Jésus la verge,
Cyniques brocanteurs sortis on ne sait d'où ;
Parce que vous allez vendant la sainte vierge
Dix sous avec miracle, et sans miracle un sou ;

Parce que vous contez d'effroyables sornettes
Qui font des temples saints trembler les vieux piliers ;
Parce que votre style éblouit les lunettes
Des duègnes et des marguilliers ;

Parce que la soutane est sous vos redingotes,
Parce que vous sentez la crasse et non l'œillet,
Parce que vous bâclez un journal de bigotes
Pensé par Escobar, écrit par Patouillet ;

Parce qu'en balayant leurs portes, les concierges
Poussent dans le ruisseau ce pamphlet méprisé ;
Parce que vous mêlez à la cire des cierges
Votre affreux suif vert-de-grisé ;

Parce qu'à vous tout seuls vous faites une espèce
Parce qu'enfin, blanchis dehors et noirs dedans,
Criant mea culpa, battant la grosse caisse,
La boue au cœur, la larme à l'œil, le fifre aux dents,

Pour attirer les sots qui donnent tête-bêche
Dans tous les vils panneaux du mensonge immortel,
Vous avez adossé le tréteau de Bobèche
Aux saintes pierres de l'autel,

Vous vous croyez le droit, trempant dans l'eau bénite
Cette griffe qui sort de votre abject pourpoint,
De dire : Je suis saint, ange, vierge et jésuite,
J'insulte les passants et je ne me bats point !

Ô pieds plats ! votre plume au fond de vos masures
Griffonne, va, vient, court, boit l'encre, rend du fiel,
Bave, égratigne et crache, et ses éclaboussures
Font des taches jusques au ciel !

Votre immonde journal est une charretée
De masques déguisés en prédicants camus,
Qui passent en prêchant la cohue ameutée
Et qui parlent argot entre deux oremus.

Vous insultez l'esprit, l'écrivain dans ses veilles,
Et le penseur rêvant sur les libres sommets ;
Et quand on va chez vous pour chercher vos oreilles,
Vos oreilles n'y sont jamais.

Après avoir lancé l'affront et le mensonge,
Vous fuyez, vous courez, vous échappez aux yeux.
Chacun a ses instincts, et s'enfonce et se plonge,
Le hibou dans les trous et l'aigle dans les cieux !

Vous, où vous cachez-vous ? dans quel hideux repaire ?
Ô Dieu ! l'ombre où l'on sent tous les crimes passer
S'y fait autour de vous plus noire, et la vipère
S'y glisse et vient vous y baiser.

Là vous pouvez, dragons qui rampez sous les presses,
Vous vautrer dans la fange où vous jettent vos goûts.
Le sort qui dans vos cœurs mit toutes les bassesses
Doit faire en vos taudis passer tous les égouts.

Bateleurs de l'autel, voilà quels sont vos rôles.
Et quand un galant homme à de tels compagnons
Fait cet immense honneur de leur dire : Mes drôles,
Je suis votre homme ; dégaînons !

- Un duel ! nous ! des chrétiens ! jamais ! - Et ces crapules
Font des signes de croix et jurent par les saints.
Lâches gueux, leur terreur se déguise en scrupules,
Et ces empoisonneurs ont peur d'être assassins.

Bien, écoutez : la trique est là, fraîche coupée.
On vous fera cogner le pavé du menton ;
Car sachez-le, coquins, on n'esquive l'épée
Que pour rencontrer le bâton.

Vous conquîtes la Seine et le Rhin et le Tage.
L'esprit humain rogné subit votre compas.
Sur les publicains juifs vous avez l'avantage,
Maudits ! Judas est mort, Tartuffe ne meurt pas.

Iago n'est qu'un fat près de votre Basile.
La bible en vos greniers pourrit mangée aux vers.
Le jour où le mensonge aurait besoin d'asile,
Vos cœurs sont là, tout grands ouverts.

Vous insultez le juste abreuvé d'amertumes.
Tous les vices, quittant veste, cape et manteau,
Vont se masquer chez vous et trouvent des costumes.
On entre Lacenaire, on sort Contrafatto.

Les âmes sont pour vous des bourses et des banques.
Quiconque vous accueille a d'affreux repentirs.
Vous vous faites chasser, et par vos saltimbanques
Vous parodiez les martyrs.

L'église du bon Dieu n'est que votre buvette.
Vous offrez l'alliance à tous les inhumains.
On trouvera du sang au fond de la cuvette
Si jamais, par hasard, vous vous lavez les mains.

Vous seriez des bourreaux si vous n'étiez des cuistres.
Pour vous le glaive est saint et le supplice est beau.
Ô monstres ! vous chantez dans vos hymnes sinistres
Le bûcher, votre seul flambeau !

Depuis dix-huit cents ans Jésus, le doux pontife,
Veut sortir du tombeau qui lentement se rompt,
Mais vous faites effort, ô valets de Caïphe,
Pour faire retomber la pierre sur son front !

Ô cafards ! votre échine appelle l'étrivière.
Le sort juste et railleur fait chasser Loyola
De France par le fouet d'un pape, et de Bavière
Par la cravache de Lola.

Allez, continuez, tournez la manivelle
De votre impur journal, vils grimauds dépravés ;
Avec vos ongles noirs grattez votre cervelle
Calomniez, hurlez, mordez, mentez, vivez !

Dieu prédestine aux dents des chevreaux les brins d'herbes
La mer aux coups de vent, les donjons aux boulets,
Aux rayons du soleil les parthénons superbes,
Vos faces aux larges soufflets.

Sus donc ! cherchez les trous, les recoins, les cavernes !
Cachez-vous, plats vendeurs d'un fade orviétan,
Pitres dévots, marchands d'infâmes balivernes,
Vierges comme l'eunuque, anges comme Satan !

Ô saints du ciel ! est-il, sous l'œil de Dieu qui règne,
Charlatans plus hideux et d'un plus lâche esprit,
Que ceux qui, sans frémir, accrochent leur enseigne
Aux clous saignants de Jésus-Christ !

Septembre 1850.
Erstens:

Muss ich denn?
Du musst.

Soll ich denn?
Du sollst.

Willst ich denn?
Du willst.  

Zweitens:

Liebst du?
Ein Bischen.

Lebst du?
Ein Bischen.  

Schlafst du?  
Wenn es klingelt, schlafe ich -  
wenn der Himmel brennt, und die grosse Götter lacheln.  
Funken und Hörner, sozusagen.  

Ich schlafe meistens nicht.

Verwundert?
Anyone here speak German?
Jonny Angel Sep 2014
The streets were not as mean as history
said they would be,
especially after a night out
at the bier haus,
where we filled our grosse steins
with litres of hops
& barley
& natural carbonation.
It really wasn't a nation full of crazies,
but rather
one full of serious frunken fun
& frolicking amoungst the bauchnabels
with liebe.

— The End —