Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Michael R Burch Apr 2020
El Dorado
by Michael R. Burch

It's a fine town, a fine town,
though its alleys recede into shadow;
it's a very fine town for those who are searching
for an El Dorado.

Because the lighting is poor and the streets are bare
and the welfare line is long,
there must be something of value somewhere
to keep us hanging on
to our El Dorado.

Though the children are skinny, their parents are fat
from years of gorging on bleached white bread,
yet neither will leave
because all believe
in the vague things that are said
of El Dorado.

The young men with the outlandish hairstyles
who saunter in and out of the turnstiles
with a song on their lips and an aimless shuffle,
scuffing their shoes, avoiding the bustle,
certainly feel no need to join the crowd
of those who work to earn their bread;
they must know that the rainbow's end
conceals a *** of gold
near El Dorado.

And the painted “actress” who roams the streets,
smiling at every man she meets,
must smile because, after years of running,
no man can match her in cruelty or cunning.
She must see the satire of “defeats”
and “triumphs” on the ambivalent streets
of El Dorado.

Yes, it's a fine town, a very fine town
for those who can leave when they tire
of chasing after rainbows and dreams
and living on nothing but fire.

But for those of us who cling to our dreams
and cannot let them go,
like the sad-eyed ladies who wander the streets
and the junkies high on snow,
the dream has become a reality
—the reality of hope
that grew too strong
not to linger on—
and so this is our home.

We chew the apple, spit it out,
then eat it "just once more."
For this is the big, big apple,
though it is rotten to the core,
and we are its worm
in the night when we squirm
in our El Dorado.

This is an early poem of mine. I believe I wrote the first version during my “Romantic phase” around age 16 or perhaps a bit later. It was definitely written in my teens because it appears in a poetry contest folder that I put together and submitted during my sophomore year in college. Keywords/Tags: El Dorado, big apple, worms, New York City, junkies, streetwalkers, hookers, prostitutes, actors, actresses, hustlers, conmen


He Lived: Excerpts from “Gilgamesh”
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I.
He who visited hell, his country’s foundation,
Was well-versed in mysteries’ unseemly dark places.
He deeply explored many underworld realms
Where he learned of the Deluge and why Death erases.

II.
He built the great ramparts of Uruk-the-Sheepfold
And of holy Eanna. Then weary, alone,
He recorded his thoughts in frail scratchings called “words”:
But words made immortal, once chiseled in stone.

III.
These walls he erected are ever-enduring:
Vast walls where the widows of dead warriors weep.
Stand by them. O, feel their immovable presence!
For no other walls are as strong as this keep’s.

IV.
Come, climb Uruk’s tower on a starless night—
Ascend its steep stairway to escape modern error.
Cross its ancient threshold. You are close to Ishtar,
The Goddess of Ecstasy and of Terror!

V.
Find the cedar box with its hinges of bronze;
Lift the lid of its secrets; remove its dark slate;
Read of the travails of our friend Gilgamesh—
Of his descent into hell and man’s terrible fate!

VI.
Surpassing all kings, heroic in stature,
Wild bull of the mountains, the Goddess his dam
—Bedding no other man; he was her sole rapture—
Who else can claim fame, as he thundered, “I am!”



Enkidu Enters the House of Dust
an original poem by Michael R. Burch

I entered the house of dust and grief.
Where the pale dead weep there is no relief,
for there night descends like a final leaf
to shiver forever, unstirred.

There is no hope left when the tree’s stripped bare,
for the leaf lies forever dormant there
and each man cloaks himself in strange darkness, where
all company’s unheard.

No light’s ever pierced that oppressive night
so men close their eyes on their neighbors’ plight
or stare into darkness, lacking sight ...
each a crippled, blind bat-bird.

Were these not once eagles, gallant men?
Who sits here—pale, wretched and cowering—then?
O, surely they shall, they must rise again,
gaining new wings? “Absurd!

For this is the House of Dust and Grief
where men made of clay, eat clay. Relief
to them’s to become a mere windless leaf,
lying forever unstirred.”

“Anu and Enlil, hear my plea!
Ereshkigal, they all must go free!
Beletseri, dread scribe of this Hell, hear me!”
But all my shrill cries, obscured

by vast eons of dust, at last fell mute
as I took my place in the ash and soot.



Reclamation
an original poem by Michael R. Burch

after Robert Graves, with a nod to Mary Shelley

I have come to the dark side of things
where the bat sings
its evasive radar
and Want is a crooked forefinger
attached to a gelatinous wing.

I have grown animate here, a stitched corpse
hooked to electrodes.
And night
moves upon me—progenitor of life
with its foul breath.

Blind eyes have their second sight
and still are deceived. Now my nature
is softly to moan
as Desire carries me
swooningly across her threshold.

Stone
is less infinite than her crone’s
gargantuan hooked nose, her driveling lips.
I eye her ecstatically—her dowager figure,
and there is something about her that my words transfigure

to a consuming emptiness.
We are at peace
with each other; this is our venture—
swaying, the strings tautening, as tightropes
tauten, as love tightens, constricts

to the first note.
Lyre of our hearts’ pits,
orchestration of nothing, adits
of emptiness! We have come to the last of our hopes,
sweet as congealed blood sweetens for flies.

Need is reborn; love dies.

Keywords/Tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, epic, epical, orient occident, oriental, ancient, ancestors, ancestry, primal
blazing soul Mar 2020
THE POWER OF BELIEVE..
drowning he was
Falling he was..
Losing sanity he was..
Derailed he was..
Frustrated he was..
Confused he was.
Lost he was.
Deserted he was..
Buried he was...
And the slanderers rejoiced..
Thinketh they..
Never will he rise again...
Then he felt a paradigm shift..
A shift like none other..
A shift accompanied by everything benevolent...
It is,  the slanderers whispered, a phantom bone disease..
Let they wander and dawdle for they are steeped in a quagmire of visibility lest a veil is upon all their sensory nerves, depriving them the beauty and the quintessence of the invisible...
But he is/has...
No more drowning, but drinks from the fountain of knowledge,
Spiced with milk and honey..
No more falling but floating in void..
No more losing sanity but unravelled the mystery of true sanity..
No more derailed but dandified...
No more frustrated but ferociously inspired..
No more confused but concentrated..
No more lost in darkness but guided by light..
No more deserted..
No more Buried but sprouted..
Now..
El magnifico... He is..
The power of believe...
Zywa Mar 2019
It was great
to be king
but I don't have the power

to stop the end
they undress me completely
and smear me with grease

with pipes, they blow dust gold
on me, they cover me
with years of envy

The procession leads me
to the throne on the raft
it is a ruthless play

Shining in the light
of my father, the sun
I float across the lake

to lurking eyes
on the other side
that would come to skin me

if I didn't have a wash
and hastily gave the sun
to the greedy water
Collection “Mosaic virus”
El
a seven-seven-seven freighter lands down at a runway
as I watched it unleash its landing gear
touching the ground after a long airtime.

I waited in forlorn as I sat at a nearby Starbucks
with my mocha and several granola bars
that I’ve been eating since I started
to distrust the image
I see in front of the mirror.

you caught my eye; with badges cladding
your tight suit, and the way you fiddle
that hat of yours while looking sharp.

the café was empty; as was my heart, as I sit along
the table that spreads across the center
you came inside, alone, dazzling
but your eyes are saying
that you've come a long way from here.

I was drowning myself with thoughts
as I wait for someone whom I didn't know
I would miss this much
when suddenly a tray landed
near the vicinity of my rented
personal space; it was you
smiling, along with your thick brows
and tired, sad eyes, asking me
if I would mind sitting with you.

I said no.

your voice; raspy yet pleasant
as if you've fought in countless rallies
but still manages to fight on for
another day
as if it echoes your masculinity
yet wanting some company.

you offered me your bread in which
I gladly refused, then you take a hearty bite
while asking, "what are you doing here alone?"

two a.m. it was, when we started talking.

I can't hide the fact that it was
charming, the way you talk
as if you were listening to someone
endearing but in reality
I looked like a *******, sitting at Starbucks
drinking coffee at two a.m.

I told you I was waiting for someone
and you told me that someone is that lucky
to have me waiting.
I let a soft laugh because it was funny
funny to a point that I didn't even knew
why I was here in the first place.

you told me you fly planes.
that flying was your dream; but you never
thought that it was that tiring; that flying
was meant to be off that repetitive and tiresome
place called land, and touching the skies and
gliding along the horizon was the reason
for dreams.

but you told me you were a bit, wrong.
you told me that however eager you are
with reaching heights, you'll always come back
for land; that landing makes you humble
that landing makes you believe that the sky
is not the limit; that yourself is the key
and travelling is not always the way
in finding one's self.

then you told me I was beautiful
no matter how I call myself a *******
sitting in Starbucks, with my mocha and
granola bars.

you told me that I have passion for love;
that you see sacrifice in me

as if you knew every inch, as if
I’m a ghost that you can see through.

"what are you looking for, in life?"
I asked, trying to comprehend you.

"someone who interests me, every day
someone who understands why I fly
and that not all the time I wanted to"

I gave you a heartfelt grin
you gave me a granola bar.

his phone rang. it was time for him to go.

"it was very nice meeting you. I hope I see you again"

I hope I’ll see me too, I guess.
from my first book entitled, "encounters".
Karol Jun 2018
"Siempre lo supe, y aun así fue muy cruel cuando ya no estabas y percatarme que en efecto; ya no eras la persona de la  cual escribí en 10 tonos de amarillo y 100 cartas, tal vez nunca lo fuiste.
Pero para tu suerte (y mi desgracia) siempre serás eterno entre hojas de papiro y tinta purpura, te convertirás en algo inefable, y si tengo suerte, te marchitaras con el tiempo y solo serás el recuerdo de una sonrisa curveada atrás del humo de un cigarrillo a las  12 am.

Si tengo suerte, te quedaras en una repisa bajo mi nueva vida, pero no pienses por un segundo que no recordare el honor de haber conocido...el arte de ser tu"
-Fragmento de la carta que no llegara a tus manos...
Vexren4000 May 2017
Places of glittering gold,
Long disappeared into jungle vines,
And underbrush,
Whispers of natives and the trees themselves,
Shown signs of cities,
Of great glittering gold,
Towering over the cliff faces and jungle trees,
The mightiest of Man-made wonders,
The Final wonder of the world,
Just waiting somewhere,
Already found by plants and animals,
Yet perpetually forgotten by man,
A testament to say,
That man can never own,
The land he lays claim too.

©BAS
Alienpoet Jan 2017
EL
I begin where you end
I end where you begin

Mitosis of hearts
Joined from the start
God is a rainbow
and the white light
We are him and her
Every shade
together white and pure
in dreams and memories
In happy thoughts we pray for
Love and light is in us all.
Guido Orifice Oct 2016
To all bone fragments of Galeria Del Osario*

1.
I want to place you in the depths of forgetting.

Place you like a butterfly in a frame, looking alive but dead of course. Place you like how numbers are arranged from 1 to infinity (but who cares to count?) Place you like how chaos displaced darkness. Place you in the tip of a glacier knowing that the entire block will just disappear in a decade or two.

Like how climate tries to displace us. Our trace will soon be forgotten.

2.
Surely, the climate is too rigid between us;  two beings who found separation in all degrees of telekinetic attractions. For two beings who found shelter in the anonymity of chance. Chance to meet. Chance to declare once and for all the unfolding of luck.

Did luck really unfold or it was just me who hoped?

3.
Time is the bare witness to all tragedies, say two lovers who never found the consolations of fate. Time is the curse of the flesh, the rotting wisdom of conscience.

Time flees. Time forgets. Time remembers.

4.
By all means, the world is too small. Sometimes we wage war to small dimensions seemingly large. Where are we by the time that the world collapses into a small room? Where are we when the room pretended to be small but the gap between us is a year, light years perhaps.

Nomads, we are not. We cannot call any cave a home.

After all, what sort of space would cater us?

5.
A massacre happened 43,000 years ago. No one cares to remember. Nine of them were killed by new comers. El Sidron witnessed the coldest crime. If only tears can shed their fate, can we cry for them?

Who cares to write their memories? Who cares to paint their thoughts? Who cares to count their broken bone fragments in the caves?

I want to place you in the depths of forgetting.
Next page