Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Andrew Rueter Jul 2022
I am charcoal cooking out for the summer
loading boxes into a freight truck
like coals into the furnace
powering America's materialist engine
the boxes rising like greed
until I've filled that truck's needs
exiting the trailer smoldering
like a coal in the furnace
powering corporate production
steam is all that rises as I melt into the ground
trucks leave like emissions into the air
obstructing my vision as I gaze down the street
through the haze of summer streaks
another truck approaches for repeat
a microwave set to reheat.
GaryFairy Mar 2022
Remember, it takes a hell of a lot of coal, trees, and gasoline to produce and move electricity. It also takes a hell of a lot of electricity, trees, and coal to produce gasoline. Same can be said about coal. It takes a lot of trees, electricity and gasoline to produce coal. Hello? Knock knock. Anyone home? Add in helium and other gases too.
Don Bouchard Jan 2022
Eastern Montana Badlands
1930s....

Coal where one found it,
Scoria hills,
Layered lignite
Waiting near the surface.

Burning lignite beds,
Smoldering centuries old,
Scarring and turning clay to scoria,
Crumbling rock,
Testimony to lightning fires
Beneath the hills.

Crude mines backed into cliffs,
Pick and shoveled coal
Free for the risky taking
Heated homes.

Coal caves,
Low and gaping,
Horizontal shafts.
Wagons first, then
Trucks backed in.

Crowbars and picks
Brought lignite ceilings
Crashing in rotten shatters
Mounding, sometimes burying
Trucks below.

My father told me
How he helped
Chris Ginther,
Deaf coal miner,
Hammer holes,
Insert charges,
Long fuses, trailing.

Old Chris packing holes,
Tamping,
Tamping,
Tamping...
Lighting fuses,
Tamping,
Tamping,
Tamping.

My father said he'd yell
"We need to go!"

Old Chris
Seemed never to hear,
Tamping,
Tamping,
Tamping,
Until finally...
Sauntering out
Before the rumbling Thump.

I can see the two,
Chris and my father,
Just a boy,
Lost in lignite clouds,
Coughing.
Funny how even 10 years gone, I can hear my father's voice.... He told us this story many times while we were growing up.
MuseumofSoph Dec 2021
Little lump of coal

In my stocking

I must’ve forgotten
how to be human

Santa saw me crying on the floor
Screaming and rocking
Back and forth

I forgot how to feel Christmas cheer
My reflection looks so tired
surrounded by my own fears

My mind is crippled
Shaken so hard
I malfunction
Too often

I suppose I’ve strayed too far
Away from god? Too far for Santa’s reindeer?

Nose bleeds and therapy
At least we have a Christmas tree?

I don’t mind coal
I can use it for my sketches

Maybe I’ll light a fire
Watch the flame flicker
Until it settles
And my eyes tire

This little light of mine
I guess I’ll let it shine
With my little lump of coal

My heart finds it’s own way
To feel full
I used to be so afraid to wake up and see coal in my stocking, now I expect it.
Maria Mitea Jul 2021
sunrise promised to wait for us
the dawn did not rise over the village,
in the eyes of the muses
the dawn promised to wait for us

muses are not like poets,
not even like the sun
that
burns its rays on the cascades moved by lazy waves,

- the dawn did not rise over the village,
the down promised to wait for us,
swore to the muses,
swore that the water would comb at the rising sun
  smoothly
it will burn in his eyes like the star of the night while planting a garden
where
the muses smolder all year round like flowers, or
like coal extracted from the hearts of poets,
Jay M Apr 2021
I am not coal to be pressured
And form into a diamond
I am human,
Under enough crushing pressure
For ever so long
Never to let up
I will break
For I am flesh and bone
Not of rot and stone

If I am to break
My dear little bones
The pieces must be put back together
Held in tender care behind walls
Before they can heal again
To become stronger than before

So, mind the walls
For I am healing
They will come down when I am ready
When my bones have mended
Strengthened anew.

- Jay M
April 20th, 2021
Please don't break my walls yet- I'll take them down when I'm ready.
Savio Fonseca Jun 2020
He once saw the Universe,
in Her pretty Blue Eyes.
But now Her Tears  keep falling,
like Rain from the Skies.
Tears all around Her,
splashed across the Floor.
When Her Mentor and Guide,
walked out of the Door.
Words, Stories, Memories
ran down from Her Eyes.
The promises He made Her,
we're nothing but Lies.
Never play with a Woman,
who Loves U and your Soul.
Have the Feelings of a Human,
U ain't a piece of Coal.
Michael R Burch Feb 2020
Le Primtemps (“Spring” or “Springtime”)
by Charles d’Orleans (c. 1394-1465)
loose translation/interpretation/modernization by Michael R. Burch

Young lovers,
greeting the spring
fling themselves downhill,
making cobblestones ring
with their wild leaps and arcs,
like ecstatic sparks
drawn from coal.

What is their brazen goal?

They grab at whatever passes,
so we can only hazard guesses.
But they rear like prancing steeds
raked by brilliant spurs of need,
Young lovers.

Original French text:

Jeunes amoureux nouveaulx
En la nouvelle saison,
Par les rues, sans raison,
Chevauchent, faisans les saulx.
Et font saillir des carreaulx
Le feu, comme de cherbon,
     Jeunes amoureux nouveaulx.
Je ne sçay se leurs travaulx
Ilz emploient bien ou non,
Mais piqués de l’esperon
Sont autant que leurs chevaulx
     Jeunes amoureux nouveaulx.



The First Valentine Poem

Charles d’Orleans (1394-1465), a French royal, the grandchild of Charles V, and the Duke of Orleans, has been credited with writing the first Valentine card, in the form of a poem for his wife. Charles wrote the poem in 1415 at age 21, in the first year of his captivity while being held prisoner in the Tower of London after having been captured by the British at the Battle of Agincourt.

My Very Gentle Valentine
by Charles d’Orleans (c. 1394-1465)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My very gentle Valentine,
Alas, for me you were born too soon,
As I was born too late for you!
May God forgive my jailer
Who has kept me from you this entire year.
I am sick without your love, my dear,
My very gentle Valentine.



Ballade: Oft in My Thought
by Charles d'Orleans (c. 1394-1465)
loose translation/interpretation/modernization by Michael R. Burch

So often in my busy mind I sought,
    Around the advent of the fledgling year,
For something pretty that I really ought
    To give my lady dear;
    But that sweet thought's been wrested from me, clear,
        Since death, alas, has sealed her under clay
    And robbed the world of all that's precious here—
        God keep her soul, I can no better say.

For me to keep my manner and my thought
    Acceptable, as suits my age's hour?
While proving that I never once forgot
    Her worth? It tests my power!
    I serve her now with masses and with prayer;
        For it would be a shame for me to stray
    Far from my faith, when my time's drawing near—
        God keep her soul, I can no better say.

Now earthly profits fail, since all is lost
and the cost of everything became so dear;
Therefore, O Lord, who rules the higher host,
    Take my good deeds, as many as there are,
    And crown her, Lord, above in your bright sphere,
        As heaven's truest maid! And may I say:
    Most good, most fair, most likely to bring cheer—
        God keep her soul, I can no better say.

When I praise her, or hear her praises raised,
I recall how recently she brought me pleasure;
    Then my heart floods like an overflowing bay
And makes me wish to dress for my own bier—
    God keep her soul, I can no better say.



Rondel: Your Smiling Mouth
by Charles d'Orleans (c. 1394-1465)
loose translation/interpretation/modernization by Michael R. Burch

Your smiling mouth and laughing eyes, bright gray,
Your ample ******* and slender arms’ twin chains,
Your hands so smooth, each finger straight and plain,
Your little feet—please, what more can I say?

It is my fetish when you’re far away
To muse on these and thus to soothe my pain—
Your smiling mouth and laughing eyes, bright gray,
Your ample ******* and slender arms’ twin chains.

So would I beg you, if I only may,
To see such sights as I before have seen,
Because my fetish pleases me. Obscene?
I’ll be obsessed until my dying day
By your sweet smiling mouth and eyes, bright gray,
Your ample ******* and slender arms’ twin chains!

The original Middle English text:

Rondel: The Smiling Mouth

The smiling mouth and laughing eyen gray
The breastes round and long small armes twain,
The handes smooth, the sides straight and plain,
Your feetes lit —what should I further say?
It is my craft when ye are far away
To muse thereon in stinting of my pain— (stinting=soothing)
The smiling mouth and laughing eyen gray,
The breastes round and long small armes twain.
So would I pray you, if I durst or may,
The sight to see as I have seen,
For why that craft me is most fain, (For why=because/fain=pleasing)
And will be to the hour in which I day—(day=die)
The smiling mouth and laughing eyen gray,
The breastes round and long small armes twain.



Confession of a Stolen Kiss
by Charles d’Orleans (c. 1394-1465)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My ghostly father, I confess,
First to God and then to you,
That at a window (you know how)
I stole a kiss of great sweetness,
Which was done out of avidness—
But it is done, not undone, now.

My ghostly father, I confess,
First to God and then to you.

But I shall restore it, doubtless,
Again, if it may be that I know how;
And thus to God I make a vow,
And always I ask forgiveness.

My ghostly father, I confess,
First to God and then to you.

Translator note: By "ghostly father" I take Charles d’Orleans to be confessing to a priest. If so, it's ironic that the kiss was "stolen" at a window and the confession is being made at the window of a confession booth. But it also seems possible that Charles could be confessing to his human father, murdered in his youth and now a ghost. There is wicked humor in the poem, as Charles is apparently vowing to keep asking for forgiveness because he intends to keep stealing kisses at every opportunity!

Original Middle English text:

My ghostly fader, I me confess,
First to God and then to you,
That at a window, wot ye how,
I stale a kosse of gret swetness,
Which don was out avisiness
But it is doon, not undoon, now.

My ghostly fader, I me confess,
First to God and then to you.

But I restore it shall, doutless,
Agein, if so be that I mow;
And that to God I make a vow,
And elles I axe foryefness.

My ghostly fader, I me confesse,
First to God and then to you.



In My Imagined Book
by Charles d’Orleans (c. 1394-1465)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

In my imagined Book
my heart endeavored to explain
its history of grief, and pain,
illuminated by the tears
that welled to blur those well-loved years
of former happiness's gains,
in my imagined Book.

Alas, where should the reader look
beyond these drops of sweat, their stains,
all the effort & pain it took
& which I recorded night and day
in my imagined Book?

The original French poem:

Dedens mon Livre de Pensee,
J'ay trouvé escripvant mon cueur
La vraye histoire de douleur
De larmes toute enluminee,
En deffassant la tresamée
Ymage de plaisant doulceur,
Dedens mon Livre de Pensee.

Hélas! ou l'a mon cueur trouvee?
Les grosses gouttes de sueur
Lui saillent, de peinne et labeur
Qu'il y prent, et nuit et journee,
Dedens mon Livre de Pensee.



Charles d’Orleans (1394-1465) was a French royal born into an aristocratic family: his grandfather was Charles V of France and his uncle was Charles VI. His father, Louis I, Duke of Orleans, was a patron of poets and artists. The poet Christine de Pizan dedicated poems to his mother, Valentina Visconti. He became the Duke of Orleans at age 13 after his father was murdered by John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy. He was captured at age 21 in the battle of Agincourt and taken to England, where he remained a prisoner for the next quarter century. While imprisoned there he learned English and wrote poetry of a high order in his second language. A master of poetic forms, he wrote primarily ballades, chansons, complaints and rondeaux. He has been called the “father of French lyric poetry” and has also been credited with writing the first Valentine’s Day poem.

Keywords/Tags: France, French, translation, Charles, Orleans, Duke, first Valentine, rondeau, chanson, rondel, roundel, ballade, ballad, lyric, Middle English, Medieval English, rondeaus, rondeaux, rondels, roundels, ballades, ballads, chansons, royal, noble, prisoner, hostage, ransom, Valentine
Orchid T Aspen Dec 2019
To you, I return coal-dull
and as embers,
smoldering as their petals,
soft as their roots,
but rough as their stones
and to you, I become
gray.

Go back.
Next page