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The Foody One May 2020
I feel entrapped
in this shell
wrapping me around

It covers
- envelops -
every part of me;

But, inside
I still
Shiver.
© 04/05/20
Michael R Burch Mar 2020
Frail Envelope of Flesh
by Michael R. Burch

for the mothers and children of Gaza

Frail envelope of flesh,
lying cold on the surgeon’s table
with anguished eyes
like your mother’s eyes
and a heartbeat weak, unstable ...

Frail crucible of dust,
brief flower come to this—
your tiny hand
in your mother’s hand
for a last bewildered kiss ...

Brief mayfly of a child,
to live two artless years!
Now your mother’s lips
seal up your lips
from the Deluge of her Tears ...

Note: The phrase "frail envelope of flesh" was one of my first encounters with the power of poetry, although I read it in a superhero comic book as a young boy (I forget which one). More than thirty years later, the line kept popping into my head, so I wrote this poem. I have dedicated it to the mothers and children of Gaza and the Nakba. The word Nakba is Arabic for "Catastrophe."

Epitaph for a Palestinian Child
by Michael R. Burch

I lived as best I could, and then I died.
Be careful where you step: the grave is wide.

For a Palestinian Child, with Butterflies
by Michael R. Burch

Where does the butterfly go
when lightning rails,
when thunder howls,
when hailstones scream,
when winter scowls,
when nights compound dark frosts with snow ...
Where does the butterfly go?

Where does the rose hide its bloom
when night descends oblique and chill
beyond the capacity of moonlight to fill?
When the only relief's a banked fire's glow,
where does the butterfly go?

And where shall the spirit flee
when life is harsh, too harsh to face,
and hope is lost without a trace?
Oh, when the light of life runs low,
where does the butterfly go?

Such Tenderness
by Michael R. Burch

for the mothers of Gaza

There was, in your touch, such tenderness—as
only the dove on her mildest day has,
when she shelters downed fledglings beneath a warm wing
and coos to them softly, unable to sing.

What songs long forgotten occur to you now—
a babe at each breast? What terrible vow
ripped from your throat like the thunder that day
can never hold severing lightnings at bay?

Time taught you tenderness—time, oh, and love.
But love in the end is seldom enough ...
and time?—insufficient to life’s brief task.
I can only admire, unable to ask—

what is the source, whence comes the desire
of a woman to love as no God may require?

Keywords/Tags: Frail, envelope, flesh, Gaza, Palestinian, children, mothers, tiny, hand, kiss, mayfly, deluge, tears, epitaph, grave, butterflies
jacob charles Jun 2019
she
She's weird, different. She can make more with less. She can be more focused on the finer detail. More enveloped in the abstract. She is more involved in being involved. She is more with you when she's with you. The shadow to your light. The inverse thought. The reflected passion. The parts belonging to each side being and finally meeting. Two created. Two in their own path unaware. Two-who's path intertwined in a beautiful thing of many flavors- one being a flavor. Senses and beauty and to make it real- love.
Amarie Jun 2019
There is an envelope of sadness surrounding me. Too bad I can never open a letter without tearing it and leaving gashes in its paper walls.
Ilya Krivonosov Mar 2019
Paper endures everything – it is not silk.
A piece of paper in an envelope with a poem on it.
Diligent, handwritten,
Keeping simple thoughts.

Fourteen lines about the city,
Fourteen points back and forth.
Fourteen lines about ships,
Dashes, commas, crosses, zeros.
annh Jan 2019
I’m wearing your old jacket. Remember? The one you used to fish in. The one with the tear in the silk of the right-hand pocket. You used to tease me. You used to say that this jacket kept your loose change safe from my chocolate addiction. You being left-handed; me being right.

I bury my face in the nap of the moleskin collar. My nostrils fill with your scent - stale cologne, a hint of woodsmoke, and...fish. More disconcerting than unpleasant, it’s all I can do not to choke on my memories of you. Of me and you. Together.

'Tell me, how can I be, now that you alone are gone and I am left behind?'

I feel like I’ve been abandoned in a foreign capital with nothing more than the clothes I stand up in and a wallet full of the wrong kind of currency. The day is drawing to a close. My luggage has disappeared with the exhaust from the bus which took off before I could catch my breath and explain my dilemma - that I’m not sure where I’m going or even where I’ve been. Lately.

Maybe a kindness will point me in the right direction. An open-all-hours diner on an inner-city corner, snuggled in between the high-rise office blocks. Maybe I’ll have enough cash for a meal and a trail of hot, sweet tea to lead me into tomorrow. Maybe I’ll close my eyes and remember where I’m supposed to be and what I should be doing.

And just maybe, as the rhythm of the traffic slows and the night progresses, I’ll find some peace in the ever-changing cityscape. A time-lapse production of late revellers, harried shift workers, the dispossessed and restless; until finally the earliest commuters and exercise fanatics emerge from the riverside neighbourhoods to face the new dawn.

‘Hey, lady.’ A disgruntled voice shatters my reverie. 'I ain’t got all day, y’know.' Scrambling for cash, I reach deep into your left-hand pocket and find...***...a limp fifty-dollar bill...and a battered envelope. There’s a note scrawled on the outside in your familiar hand:

'How can you be, now that I alone have gone and you are left behind? The short answer is: you will be. For you are as singular and complete today as you were before 'mine' became 'yours' and 'I' became 'we'. My darling, I’m no tourist. You know how impatient I can get - always taking the most direct route. I’m just out of sight around the next corner. You take your time and meet me when you’re ready. Sometime...later. Whenever. I’ll be waiting.'

Stunned, I mutter an apology to the waitress and step out from the warm fug of the café into a bright, fresh New York morning. The doorbell tings shut behind me and I realise with new-found clarity that I know exactly where I am. I’m home. It’s not going to be a great day but it’ll be a better one, which is a start. Besides I have things to do - chocolate to buy, a jacket to launder, and a needle to thread.
This started out as a haiku...and turned into 500 words of I’m not sure what. Probably not poetry. I’ve seen a smattering of very long pieces on HePo - about this length - and thought I’d post it anyway. Otherwise it will just gather dust. :)
'uP'
Prayers are wing's to envelope our thoughts spoken or not to God's ear,
Every word He does indeed hear,
It can be a plea, a question, or just a statement or two, So lets lift one another up to God's loving ear's,
A prayer can erase your every fear, help us carry one another's burden with care,
So let's lift those uP feeling defeated because of these floods. In Your Holy Name I Pray, amen
I wrote this during Hurricane Florence along with several others. Let's lift one another up! © an hour ago, Venjencie Arnold ~SacredInkedBlood
I wrote this during Hurricane Florence along with several others. Let's lift one another up! © an hour ago, Venjencie Arnold   spiritual • friendship • society • hope • love
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