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Pia V May 9
He peeled away time, like dead skin on fingertips
An irritant needing of disposal like all wasted things
Each layer increasingly painful to touch, but demanding an attention too strong to protest
Not knowing what exactly lies at the end, but tightly grasping the edges of his mind’s ferry as it lurched deeper in
Scraping into the recesses of inferno, past showy flames
Stopping only at the bottom, hitting solid ground, still and cold
A modest ghost land, non-boasting
Completely justified by its own barrenness
Indisputably, the first instance
There he laid himself to rest a while
Coddled in the dirt
A sense of security reminiscent of the womb where it started, back to the beginning
And while lying there, seeking comfort through this fever chill of a journey, looking up he saw it
What it must have been all along
A childhood memory, living only in the mind, but living all the same
A defining moment
Something simple, whose significance couldn’t be challenged, but whose existence was something uncertain
A mystery only partially figured out
But enough to know when to stop
Just a reverie, he reassured himself
And with that piled on each layer again and again until he reached the surface once more
Back to a familiar setting, cool and breathable
Maybe suggestive of a lower level
But probably not.
Matt Nov 2020
Demons build their nest in your throat

Strangulating

Led by a black eyed goat

Baphomet

You sin then renounce your sins

Hypocrisy

And lay down your arms to the battle within

Damnation
Rhys Hebbs Oct 2020
Why is it,
the best of mankind’s minds all dwell
on the tortured side of hell?
For those within their high ivory towers,
far from the tortured toiling
of the boiling broth below
hold the keys to change
but fail to unlock that
which the doors of hope bestow.
Granted,
not all those that survive the swell of the Devils ****** spell
become patron Saints
through their pain,
but the very act of survival
means that their miraculous revival
can put life into those long dead
with that earned wisdom
birthed from the dungeons within their heads.
For Dantes rocky road
is for those alone
whose abodes
are bestowed
within the land of no mans code,
who bare the weight of tomorrow’s load,
until they don’t
Anthony Pierre May 2020
Love borne in briers of a lonely heart
May bloom eternally on heaven's stage
So sweet the lustre that lovers impart
Like ink from a poet's pen on a page

When eternity comes bouquets decay
And letters of love fade into the night
Then mourning comes like a worn out cliche
Uncertainty grow to strangle you tight

Shudder not now my friend the end of love
When its curtains fall; take your final bow
free it of corpus chains to fly above
the empty trails of bards feet left on snow

When the last sonnet can't mend love's sorrow
Toss in Dante's burning heart your arrow
For lovers and haters alike
Samara May 2020
Quiet in my velvet dreams
gleaming with beauty queens
ultraviolet veneers
under crystal clear chandeliers

Awake. Never quite getting the reckoning.
Instead you're beckoning
me to your charade of promise
but I'm stuck in the forest
where you're my Charon
following me to the limestone,
dragging me back to the gates
and I know you mean well, but it doesn't resonate.

I've abandoned all hope and entered
Feeling like I've surrendered
What is it I will remember
when we get to November?
Biting my arm
in moments of harm
or
braiding my hair
with you just being unaware?

It all seems silly
like a grand facade really
where I can't see why anyone
can buy into becoming a chameleon.
Why take it so serious
when it just feels delirious?
What is it we're racing to
at the end, it's the same view.
Who is it for?
I really must make sure.

Waiting for my Virgil
To guide me through the hurdles.
He's no where to be seen
as I choke on my amphetamines.
Michael R Burch Feb 2020
Epigrams I - Translations

Religion is the ****** of the people.—Karl Marx
Religion is the dopiate of the sheeple.—Michael R. Burch

Raise your words, not their volume.
Rain grows flowers, not thunder.
—Rumi, translation by Michael R. Burch

To write an epigram, cram.
If you lack wit, scram!
—Michael R. Burch, original epigram

Once fanaticism has gangrened brains
the incurable malady invariably remains.
—Voltaire, translation by Michael R. Burch

Little sparks ignite great flames.
—Dante, translation by Michael R. Burch

Hypocrisy may deceive the most perceptive adult, but the dullest child recognizes and is revolted by it, however ingeniously disguised.
—Leo Tolstoy, translation by Michael R. Burch

Just as I select a ship when it's time to travel,
or a house when it's time to change residences,
even so I will choose when it's time to depart from life.
—Seneca, speaking about the right to euthanasia in the first century AD, translation by Michael R. Burch

The imbecile constructs cages for everyone he knows,
while the sage (who has to duck his head whenever the moon glows)
keeps dispensing keys all night long
to the beautiful, rowdy, prison gang.
—Hafiz loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

An unbending tree
breaks easily.
—Lao Tzu, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Booksellers laud authors for novel editions
as pimps praise their ****** for exotic positions.
—Thomas Campion, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

No wind is favorable to the man who lacks direction.
—Seneca the Younger, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Improve yourself through others' writings, thus attaining more easily what they acquired through great difficulty.
—Socrates, translation by Michael R. Burch

Fools call wisdom foolishness.
―Euripides, translation by Michael R. Burch

One true friend is worth ten thousand kin.
―Euripides, translation by Michael R. Burch

Not to speak one’s mind is slavery.
―Euripides, translation by Michael R. Burch

I would rather die standing than kneel, a slave.
―Euripides, translation by Michael R. Burch

Fresh tears are wasted on old griefs.
―Euripides, translation by Michael R. Burch



Birdsong
by Rumi
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Birdsong relieves
my deepest griefs:
now I'm just as ecstatic as they,
but with nothing to say!
Please universe,
rehearse
your poetry
through me!



Native American Proverb
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Before you judge
a man for his sins
be sure to trudge
many moons in his moccasins.



Native American Proverb
by Crazy Horse, Oglala Lakota Sioux (circa 1840-1877)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A man must pursue his Vision
as the eagle explores
the sky's deepest blues.



Native American Proverb
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Let us walk respectfully here
among earth's creatures, great and small,
remembering, our footsteps light,
that one wise God created all.



Cherokee Travelers' Blessing I
translation by Michael R. Burch

I will extract the thorns from your feet.
For yet a little while, we will walk life's sunlit paths together.
I will love you like my own brother, my own blood.
When you are disconsolate, I will wipe the tears from your eyes.
And when you are too sad to live, I will put your aching heart to rest.



Cherokee Travelers' Blessing II
translation by Michael R. Burch

Happily may you walk
in the paths of the Rainbow.
Oh,
and may it always be beautiful before you,
beautiful behind you,
beautiful below you,
beautiful above you,
and beautiful all around you
where in Perfection beauty is finished.



Cherokee Travelers' Blessing III
translation by Michael R. Burch

May Heaven’s warming winds blow gently there,
where you reside,
and may the Great Spirit bless all those you love,
this side of the farthest tide.
And wherever you go,
whether the journey is fast or slow,
may your moccasins leave many cunning footprints in the snow.
And when you look over your shoulder, may you always find the Rainbow.



The Least of These...

What you
do
to
the refugee
(the least of these)
you
do
unto
Me!
—Jesus Christ, translation/paraphrase by Michael R. Burch



Hell has been hellishly overdone
since Jehovah and his prophets never mentioned it once.
—Michael R. Burch

(Bible scholars agree: the word "hell" has been removed from the Old Testaments of the more accurate modern Bible translations. And the few New Testament verses that mention "hell" are obvious mistranslations.)



Earthbound
by Michael R. Burch

Tashunka Witko, better known as Crazy Horse, had a vision of a red-tailed hawk at Sylvan Lake, South Dakota. In his vision he saw himself riding a spirit horse, flying through a storm, as the hawk flew above him, shrieking. When he awoke, a red-tailed hawk was perched near his horse.

Earthbound,
and yet I now fly
through the clouds that are aimlessly drifting ...
so high
that no sound
echoing by
below where the mountains are lifting
the sky
can be heard.

Like a bird,
but not meek,
like a hawk from a distance regarding its prey,
I will shriek,
not a word,
but a screech,
and my terrible clamor will turn them to clay—
the sheep,
the earthbound.



In October 1838 the Cherokees began to walk the "Trail of Tears." Most of them made the thousand mile journey west to Oklahoma on foot. An estimated 4,000 people, or a quarter of the tribe, died en route. The soldiers "escorting" the Cherokees at bayonet point refused permission for the dead to be buried, threatening to shoot anyone who disobeyed. So the living were forced to carry the corpses of the dead until camp was made for the night.

When Pigs Fly
by Michael R. Burch

On the Trail of Tears,
my Cherokee brothers,
why hang your heads?
Why shame your mothers?
Laugh wildly instead!
We will soon be dead.

When we lie in our graves,
let the white-eyes take
the woodlands we loved
for the *** and the rake.
It is better to die
than to live out a lie
in so narrow a sty.

Years after the Cherokees had been rounded up and driven down the Trail of Tears, John G. Burnett reflected on what he and his fellow soldiers had done, saying, "Schoolchildren of today do not know that we are living on lands that were taken from a helpless race at the bayonet point, to satisfy the white man's greed ... ****** is ****** and somebody must answer, somebody must explain the streams of blood that flowed in the Indian country ... Somebody must explain the four thousand silent graves that mark the trail of the Cherokees to their exile."

In the same year, 1830, that Stonewall Jackson consigned Native Americans to the ash-heap of history, Georgia Governor George Gilmer said, "Treaties are expedients by which ignorant, intractable, and savage people are induced ... to yield up what civilized people have the right to possess." By "civilized" he apparently meant people willing to brutally dispossess and **** women and children in order to derive economic benefits for themselves.

These nights bring dreams of Cherokee shamans
whose names are bright verbs and impacted dark nouns,
whose memories are indictments of my pallid flesh . . .
and I hear, as from a great distance,
the cries tortured from their guileless lips, proclaiming
the nature of my mutation.
―Michael R. Burch, from "Mongrel Dreams"

After Jackson was re-elected with an overwhelming majority in 1832, he strenuously pursued his policy of removing Native Americans, even refusing to accept a Supreme Court ruling which invalidated Georgia's planned annexation of Cherokee land. But in the double-dealing logic of the white supremacists, they had to make the illegal resettlement of the Indians appear to be "legal," so a small group of Cherokees were persuaded to sign the "Treaty of New Echota," which swapped Cherokee land for land in the Oklahoma territory. The Cherokee ringleaders of this infamous plot were later assassinated as traitors. (****** was similarly obsessed with the "legalities" of the **** Holocaust; isn't it strange how mass murderers of women and children can seek to justify their crimes?)



Native Americans understood the "circle of life" better than their white oppressors ...

When we sit in the Circle of the People,
we must be responsible because all Creation is related
and the suffering of one is the suffering of all
and the joy of one is the joy of all
and whatever we do affects everything in the universe.

—"Lakota Instructions for Living" by White Buffalo Calf Woman, translated by Michael R. Burch



Shattered
by Vera Pavlova
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I shattered your heart;
now I limp through the shards
barefoot.



Keywords/Tags: epigram, epigrams, translation, marx, rumi, voltaire, dante, tolstoy, seneca, pavlova, religion, words, mrbepi, mrbepig, mrbepigram

Published as the collection "Epigrams I"
Em MacKenzie Oct 2019
Please don’t mind me,
I’m just a splinter of the past.
Wandering blindly,
and hands are tied so I can’t grasp.
Just like the thought,
of giving up after giving all I’ve got,
I admit that it wasn’t a lot.

Now it’s too late to pretend
that I’m not broken; could be so easy to mend,
I’ll hide the shatter point where you made me bend.
I’ll return to my other fix,
it succeeds in dulling my heart with it’s mind tricks,
a perfect combination just mix and blend.

Nightly I lay awake
sketching scenarios involving us,
where you give and I take,
I return equal amounts; a benefit of respect & trust.
When it’s time to fill in each word,
I admit I’m aware I’m not what she deserves,
someone better who won’t lose their nerve.

‘Cause it’s too late to pretend
that it’s not plagued in every thought I spend,
should be thankful that I’m important enough to still be called friend.
And there’ll always be somebody else,
completely oblivious to a heart’s wealth,
and too focused on their self to ever expend.

We can’t fix the mistake
but we can make a new one;
drain each ocean and lake,
and completely block out the sun.

Yes it’s too late too pretend
that you’re not draped in every word I’ve penned,
even with the lowest odds I’ll still contend.
And do you see each blow and broken bone,
wishing that I’d just leave and find a home?
On me you can depend to not be alone,
do you think the same you could lend?
Starry Sep 2019
Gharsheeelish to hell
Where everything is dark
And seems like an endless halloween
The flames are everywhere
Making candles out of pots and trees talk
This will be emotional young Dante
Qharsheeeiilesh means welcome in uyger
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