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I S A A C Dec 2020
I am amorphous like water
Bond to whatever environment I am in
Mutable and lovely like your daughter
with the faintest tint of red in my hair and cheeks
Who am I?
simply a chameleon coat changing colors to match the vibe
Who am I?
A polished diamond to reflect back all the lies
Every pair of eyes, I reflect back on their biggest insecurities
Blame me for being a mirrorball, wish I could be a fly on the wall.
It is scary how daring I have become
It is scary how I am scared of no one
Not even the flames of my mother's rage can melt my icy disposition
Not even the endless cycle of nights and days can fray my imagination
Who am I?
Simply a passing moment entrenched in your brain
Who am I?
Just a chameleon coat
The true essence unknown
KHY Oct 2020
rain bends leafs to their depths
they ring out colour that fills the earths chest
a coat of white on a heap of life
unto death
Michael R Burch Feb 2020
Le temps a laissé son manteau ("The season has cast its coat aside")
by Charles d'Orleans (c. 1394-1465)
loose translation/interpretation/modernization by Michael R. Burch

The season has cast its coat aside
of wind and cold and rain,
to dress in embroidered light again:
bright sunlight, fit for a bride!

There isn't a bird or beast astride
that fails to sing this sweet refrain:
"The season has cast its coat aside!"

Now rivers, fountains, springs and tides
dressed in their summer best
with silver beads impressed
in a fine display now glide:
the season has cast its coat aside!



The year lays down his mantle cold
by Charles d'Orleans (c. 1394-1465)
loose translation/interpretation/modernization by Michael R. Burch

The year lays down his mantle cold
of wind, chill rain and bitter air,
and now goes clad in clothes of gold
of smiling suns and seasons fair,
while birds and beasts of wood and fold
now with each cry and song declare:
“The year lays down his mantle cold!”
All brooks, springs, rivers, seaward rolled,
now pleasant summer livery wear
with silver beads embroidered where
the world puts off its raiment old.
The year lays down his mantle cold.



Winter has cast his cloak away
by Charles d'Orleans (c. 1394-1465)
loose translation/interpretation/modernization by Michael R. Burch

Winter has cast his cloak away
of wind and cold and chilling rain
to dress in embroidered light again:
the light of day—bright, festive, gay!
Each bird and beast, without delay,
in its own tongue, sings this refrain:
“Winter has cast his cloak away!”
Brooks, fountains, rivers, streams at play,
wear, with their summer livery,
bright beads of silver jewelry.
All the Earth has a new and fresh display:
Winter has cast his cloak away!

Note: This rondeau was set to music by Debussy in his “Trois chansons de France.”

The original French rondeau:

Le temps a laissé son manteau
De vent, de froidure et de pluie,
Et s’est vêtu de broderie,
De soleil luisant, clair et beau.

Il n’y a bête, ni oiseau
Qu’en son jargon ne chante ou crie :
"Le temps a laissé son manteau."

Rivière, fontaine et ruisseau
Portent en livrée jolie,
Gouttes d’argent d’orfèvrerie,
Chacun s’habille de nouveau :
Le temps a laissé son manteau.



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.

The original French poem:

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.



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.



Charles d’Orleans has been credited with writing the first Valentine card, in the form of a poem for his wife. He 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. The Battle of Agincourt was the centerpiece of William Shakespeare’s historical play Henry V, in which Charles appears as a character.

At age 16, Charles had married the 11-year-old Bonne of Armagnac in a political alliance, which explains the age difference he mentions in his poem. (Coincidentally, I share his wife’s birthday, the 19th of February.) Unfortunately, Charles would be held prisoner for a quarter century and would never see his wife again, as she died before he was released.

Why did Charles call his wife “Valentine”? Well, his mother’s name was Valentina Visconti ...

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.



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, season, seasons, winter, cold, snow, rain, summer, light, clothes, embroidered, embroidery, birds, beasts, sing, singing, song, refrain, rivers, springs, brooks, fountains, silver, beads
Liz Jan 2020
He was the aura of autumn
With a beard of falling leaves
He was guarded from the cold
With his long orange sleeves

He was the aura of autumn
With a brisk walk into battle
He was alone in the cafe
I heard the doorbell rattle

He was the aura of autumn
With a hand on his case,
Coffee in the other
And fogged glasses on his face.
11/7/19
Anastasia Nov 2019
Lucy was a girl
With a bright red coat
Dark obsidian curls
You should note
Laughter like bubbles
Floating in the air
Innocent
And unaware
Her kindness sweet
She was never alone
She had the sweetest dreams
Where she and Lucifer would meet
He would whisper in her ear
And welcomed her to his land of heat
But sweet young Lucy
Didn't know
Her left from right from wrong
Sweet young Lucy
Didn't know the Devil's song
So our sweet young Lucy
When her coat was spattered with red
Didn't know when it happened
That her parents were dead
She bubbled with joy
And giggled so sweet
When Lucifer said her name
"Someday you will be my queen," He said
"After you play the Orphan's Game."
"I will see that if you win
You will be the ruler of sin."
So Lucy laughed and said of course
"Sweet dreams!"
She said,
To her parents while they bled
Now clueless Lucy played his game
And lied the homeless to sleep
To the blind man, she said
"It's safe to cross the street."
Feeding starving cats
Poison made for rats
Shattered glass
In the elderly’s food
Helping in the nursing home
Going straight down
Not even chewed
Puppies in wells
Where darkness dwells
Blooms in the water
Scarlet red
Bits and pieces floating up
The sweetest bit is the head
The joyous sound
Of high pitched screams
An infant lost
Purposely
Watch their mouths
Cut off their tongue
Jump from the top
The highest rung
Anyone will listen to
That sweet soft voice
Just a few words
Then they’re her toys
“Please, sir,”
She said
“Do this for me”
Immune to any sense of dread
She played his game
And told his lies
And the game had been won
But even then
When she was done
The chaos had
Just begun
She didn't know
What she had wrought
And pain and lashings
The devil man brought
But not to his queen
For she was his Lady in Red
Sweet young Lucy
Would never be dead
Lucy played
His Orphan's Game
Eventually sweet young Lucy
Soon grew up
And Lucy one day
Fell in love
Of course, it was Satan's luck
The Lady in Red with the softest touch
It was a gory romance
The Queen of Sin
Let the devil man's
Emotions in
And since dear Lucy
Was all grown up
She gave in
To Lucifer's lust
And when I say
That blood was shed
Trust me
And Lucy's sweetness
Was not dead
Some call her darling
Or his Queen of Sin
Some call her Lucy
Or God, even
God was a woman
With a blood-stained coat
The devil man's wife
Swimming in her blood moat
Where the bodies of her parents
Would slowly float
And sometimes scratched
The bottom of the boat
Lucy has won
The Orphan's Game
Lucy had played
without shame
Lucy had let
The devil in
And she became
The Queen of Sin
He spoke to her
Voice sweet and soft
“You are my queen,”
A rotting stench his breath would waft
Hard polished lips
On a baby soft cheek
A twisted smile
A giggle at a shriek
“Oh, Lucifer,”
She would say
Dancing to the screams
She would sway
She’d sing him pretty songs
Tales of gore she would spin
Everyone in his land of flames
Would bow down to the Queen of Sin
I changed it up a bit and added about a page more here and there for an assignment :)
Merinda Nov 2019
Man behind the coat
Breaking through the rain and killing the cold
Crossing the sea of tears riding a boat
The whole story's still untold
Nigdaw Jul 2019
The cow wore this skin better than I,
A little baggy round the udder, maybe
But with a tail to keep off the flies.

I paid three hundred quid for a jacket;

With a smell that really attracts flies,
A little baggy round the shoulders, definitely
The cow wore this skin better than I.
Anastasia Jul 2019
Lucy was a girl
With a bright red coat
Her kindness sweet
She was never alone
But sweet young Lucy
Didn't know
Her left from right from wrong
Sweet young Lucy
Didn't know the Devil's song
So our sweet young Lucy
When her cost was spattered with red
Didn't know when it happened
That her parents were dead
She bubbled with joy
And giggled so sweet
When Lucifer said her name
"Some day you will be my queen," He said
"After you play the Orphan's Game."
"I will see that if you win
You will be the ruler of sin."
So Lucy laughed and said of course
"Sweet dreams!"
She said,
To her parents while they bled
Now clueless Lucy played his game
And lied the homeless to sleep
To the blind man, the she said
"It's safe to cross the street."
She played his game
And told his lies
And the game had been won
But even then
When she was done
The chaos had
Just begun
She didn't know
What she had wrought
And pain and lashings
The devil man brought
But not to his queen
For she was his Lady in Red
Sweet young Lucy
Would never be dead
Lucy played
His Orphan's Game
Eventually sweet young Lucy
Soon grew up
And Lucy one day
Fell in love
Of course it was Satan's luck
The Lady in Red with the softest touch
It was a gory romance
The Queen of Sin
Let the devil man's
Emotions in
And since dear Lucy
Was all grown up
She gave in
To Lucifer's lust
And when I say
That blood was shed
Trust me
And Lucy's sweetness
Was not dead
Some call her darling
Or his Queen of Sin
Some call her Lucy
Or God, even
God was a woman
With a blood-stained coat
The devil man's wife
Swimming in her blood moat
Where the bodies of her parents
Would slowly float
And sometimes scratched
The bottom of the boat
Lucy has won
The Orphan's Game
Lucy had played
without shame
Lucy had had let
The devil in
And she became
The Queen of Sin
Just a story ❤
Salmabanu Hatim May 2019
I am back from work darling,
My wife looks happy today,
Something I am missing,
What say......
Today's a great day.
Here,love some pink and red roses,
With some hugs and kisses,
And some tulips too,
To say I love you.
Oh!Mama is here,
For you some pink and white carnations,
Before I forget to mention,
I got them on sale,
Your coat you asked for you will get by mail.
I love both my women,
Amen,
Can I have my dinner please.
24/5/2019
My wife and mum are used to my funny ways.I am lucky both of them get on well.Sometimes they gang up on me. Fun poem
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