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Spring blossom as old willow rejuvenate.
Our cup of wine has wilt since last autumn,
leaving behind only dried wine-cup.
Old feathered red moon grazed past fog,
I sat by the cold dreary stone.
Like last summer, I held a wine-cup in hand.
Kneeled, a splatter of bitter taste splash your grave,
I still remember our vow last autumn.
The two cup were filled last autumn,
this spring, I can only pour one.
Bhill Oct 9
im tired of the conflicts erupting between us all
let's get our act together and answer the needed call
the politics and policies are in grave need of revision
why can't we get together to avoid the mad collision
throw away all the so call facts and see what's going on
quit throwing your temper into the fray and creating a nation that's gone...

Brian Hill - 2020 # 278
Henry Oct 5
I crackle through dead leaves
Layered over dry, green grass
Hands in my pockets
Making sure not to trip
I crouch in front of a stranger's grave
A rough, stone reminder
Of a soul lost in time
I read their name aloud
And I let them know they're not forgotten
October 5, 2020
ON LOOKING AT SCHILLER’S SKULL
by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Here in this charnel-house full of bleaching bones,
like yesteryear’s
fading souvenirs,
I see the skulls arranged in strange ordered rows.

Who knows whose owners might have beheaded peers,
packed tightly here
despite once repellent hate?
Here weaponless, they stand, in this gentled state.

These arms and hands, they once were so delicate!
How articulately
they moved! Ah me!
What athletes once paced about on these padded feet?

Still there’s no hope of rest for you, lost souls!
Deprived of graves,
forced here like slaves
to occupy this overworld, unlamented ghouls!

Now who’s to know who loved one orb here detained?
Except for me;
reader, hear my plea:
I know the grandeur of the mind it contained!

Yes, and I know the impulse true love would stir
here, where I stand
in this alien land
surrounded by these husks, like a treasurer!

Even in this cold,
in this dust and mould
I am startled by an a strange, ancient reverie, …
as if this shrine to death could quicken me!

One shape out of the past keeps calling me
with its mystery!
Still retaining its former angelic grace!
And at that ecstatic sight, I am back at sea ...

Swept by that current to where immortals race.
O secret vessel, you
gave Life its truth.
It falls on me now to recall your expressive face.

I turn away, abashed here by what I see:
this mould was worth
more than all the earth.
Let me breathe fresh air and let my wild thoughts run free!

What is there better in this dark Life than he
who gives us a sense of man’s divinity,
of his place in the universe?
A man who’s both flesh and spirit—living verse!

Keywords/Tags: Goethe, Schiller, skull, bones, charnel, house, grave, souls, ghosts, spirit, flesh, death, shrine, divinity, universe
Mehmet Akif Ersoy: Modern English Translations of Turkish Poems

Mehmet Âkif Ersoy (1873-1936) was a Turkish poet, author, writer, academic, member of parliament, and the composer of the Turkish National Anthem.

Snapshot
by Mehmet Akif Ersoy
loose English translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Earth’s least trace of life cannot be erased;
even when you lie underground, it encompasses you.
So, those of you who anticipate the shadows,
how long will the darkness remember you?



Zulmü Alkislayamam
"I Can’t Applaud Tyranny"
by Mehmet Akif Ersoy
loose English translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I can't condone cruelty; I will never applaud the oppressor;
Yet I can't renounce the past for the sake of deluded newcomers.
When someone curses my ancestors, I want to strangle them,
Even if you don’t.
But while I harbor my elders,
I refuse to praise their injustices.
Above all, I will never glorify evil, by calling injustice “justice.”
From the day of my birth, I've loved freedom;
The golden tulip never deceived me.
If I am nonviolent, does that make me a docile sheep?
The blade may slice, but my neck resists!
When I see someone else's wound, I suffer a great hardship;
To end it, I'll be whipped, I'll be beaten.
I can't say, “Never mind, just forget it!” I'll mind,
I'll crush, I'll be crushed, I'll uphold justice.
I'm the foe of the oppressor, the friend of the oppressed.
What the hell do you mean, with your backwardness?



Çanakkale Sehitlerine
"For the Çanakkale Martyrs"
by Mehmet Akif Ersoy
loose English translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Was there ever anything like the Bosphorus war?―
The earth’s mightiest armies pressing Marmara,
Forcing entry between her mountain passes
To a triangle of land besieged by countless vessels.
Oh, what dishonorable assemblages!
Who are these Europeans, come as rapists?
Who, these braying hyenas, released from their reeking cages?
Why do the Old World, the New World, and all the nations of men
now storm her beaches? Is it Armageddon? Truly, the whole world rages!
Seven nations marching in unison!
Australia goose-stepping with Canada!
Different faces, languages, skin tones!
Everything so different, but the mindless bludgeons!
Some warriors Hindu, some African, some nameless, unknown!
This disgraceful invasion, baser than the Black Death!
Ah, the 20th century, so noble in its own estimation,
But all its favored ones nothing but a parade of worthless wretches!
For months now Turkish soldiers have been vomited up
Like stomachs’ retched contents regarded with shame.
If the masks had not been torn away, the faces would still be admired,
But the ***** called civilization is far from blameless.
Now the ****** demand the destruction of the doomed
And thus bring destruction down on their own heads.
Lightning severs horizons!
Earthquakes regurgitate the bodies of the dead!
Bombs’ thunderbolts explode brains,
rupture the ******* of brave soldiers.
Underground tunnels writhe like hell
Full of the bodies of burn victims.
The sky rains down death, the earth swallows the living.
A terrible blizzard heaves men violently into the air.
Heads, eyes, torsos, legs, arms, chins, fingers, hands, feet...
Body parts rain down everywhere.
Coward hands encased in armor callously scatter
Floods of thunderbolts, torrents of fire.
Men’s chests gape open,
Beneath the high, circling vulture-like packs of the air.
Cannonballs fly as frequently as bullets
Yet the heroic army laughs at the hail.
Who needs steel fortresses? Who fears the enemy?
How can the shield of faith not prevail?
What power can make religious men bow down to their oppressors
When their stronghold is established by God?
The mountains and the rocks are the bodies of martyrs!...
For the sake of a crescent, oh God, many suns set, undone!
Dear soldier, who fell for the sake of this land,
How great you are, your blood saves the Muslims!
Only the lions of Bedr rival your glory!
Who then can dig the grave wide enough to hold you. and your story?
If we try to consign you to history, you will not fit!
No book can contain the eras you shook!
Only eternities can encompass you!...
Oh martyr, son of the martyr, do not ask me about the grave:
The prophet awaits you now, his arms flung wide open, to save!

Keywords/Tags: Ersoy, Turk, Turkish, translation, earth, world, life, death, grave, underground, shadows, darkness, remember, remembrance, memory, tyranny, cruelty, oppressor, oppressed, ancestors, elders, injustice, injustices, evil, justice, martyrs, mrbtran
Alicia Moore Sep 9
This house is made of ice.
A gelid, brass interior awaits me with wicked vice.

Stepping through the frozen doors,
I fall into my own homely grave.
A familiar capsule with silky floors.

Paintings hang upon each wall,
Lifeless and disturbed.
Although, the images do utter one final whisper before tightening the noose—
“Beware of the abominable master of abuse.”

I wish to float,
As with each step the rivers of blood in my feet howl.
Icicles pierce through my soles;
Daggers with a bright smile...

I am only ever welcomed into this house of ice
With a vast iniquitous price.
“You know why am I always scared? It's because when you feel happy at the exact moment, that is when empty endings occur.” He breathlessly spoke in the air.

Endings, happiness, and emptiness. Those three words I hated. It haunted me. I was gazing upon it, and the next words written on the wall was, "I must survive it." It was a familiar one. I traced every letter written on it, and it was like remembering how he wrote it, and how he fell upon it.

He could've survived it.
If it wasn't for me.

Scattered petals were surrounding me. The wheezing winds from the windowsills embracing my already gnawing body—my eyes wandered the old house. My eyes fixated, on the dried drops of blood, on the empty sofa he always sits in. Where we always tell each other's carpe diem.

If I didn't leave, will I make a difference?
If I didn't let the monsters win, will I be able to stay?

“Do you want to know the answer?” An old lady patted me on the back.
It sent chills down my spine. Her voice sounded as cold and barren.

“Who are you?” My voice began to shake. I took two steps backward, but she keeps drawing nigh. Who is she?

“Do you want to know the answer? She repeated. How did she found out?
“I don't know what you are talking about!” Then, I ran in the other direction.

I woke up and it was on the 5th of May when mornings are cold and gray. I flinched when I saw his back, asleep. “I was just dreaming,” I whispered. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Just when I was about to open it, he groaned and stood.

“J-Jack?” I called him. My raspy voice echoed throughout the room, but he didn't even budge and walked out of the room. I followed him and my hands reached him, yet it passed through him. Just what in the world is happening?

I tried several times to touch him and even cupped his face, but I was a ghost passing through his body, and the sudden thought flashed through my mind that I remembered the old lady.
“What did you do?!” I called her, but no one is answering. What am I suppose to do?

The rush of waters coming from the faucet overwhelmed my ears and I saw him lying in the bathtub—his eyes were bloodshot red and his wrist was full of scars; his body weight fell and his face's swollen.

I sat beside him and rummaged his hair, even though I could not hold him, yet my coldness reached through him that he flinched and met my eyes.

“Shh... I am here, I am here.” I whispered. He closed his eyes and dipped his face in the bathtub. Adrenaline rushed through me, and my screams were almost a whisper. I threw out the chair, and that caught his attention.

I ran and found a marker lying in the table. I went back and wrote “Helen is here” on the wall. I peered at his direction and saw his stunned expression.

“He-Helen?” His hoarse voice sent chills down my spine. I wrote “Yes” on the wall and sat beside him.  “Don't do it again, Jack” I wrote again.

Then, I woke up.

The first thing I saw was the old lady sitting at the edge of my bed. She was intently staring that it pierced through my core. Then, her expression changed—it was now a soft one, and she flashed a genuine smile.

“You did great, Helen. You must find the answer, yourself.” She said and vanished.

I looked up and it was on the 5th of May again. And Jack was walking up to the door—I followed him until he passed by the Bridge of Adelaine. If I stopped Jack when he was drowning himself, then I must find a way to stop his death.

The old lady may be giving me chances to change the course of Jack's past. To save him from dying on the 5th of May.
But the problem was, there were no walls or things I can use to stop him. How will I save Jack?

“His mind...” The old lady's voice echoed through my mind.

His mind... What about that? I asked her again, but she didn't answer.

Yes, his mind! Panic registered through me when he already was standing on the other side of the bridge and I closed my eyes and found his still mind—yet so dangerous.

“Jack, stop it!” I screamed. But he wasn't listening.
“I said stop it!” I repeated but he wasn't listening.
Then I remembered something—something in the past we both held on to whenever we have bad days.

“You know why am I always scared? It is because when you feel happy at the exact moment, that is when empty endings occur.” I spoke, my voice cracking.

His face flashed a hint of surprise and looked around. Then he saw me, he saw through me.

“Helen?”

It was on the 5th of May again. I immediately roamed around and saw myself passing through the walls of this empty hospital. I found myself looking for his room, and I opened the door.
He was lying there with IV fluids inserted into one of his veins.

“Helen...” He called out.

“I'm here,” I whispered, and cupped his face. He smiled and looked at me.

“You can see me?” I added.

“Yes.” He replied.

“You know, I will always be your hero. Remember that. I will always save you, Jack.” Then I kissed his forehead.

“This is why I don't want to be happy, I know you will leave me again, Helen.” He spoke in silence.

“Then I will always come out of the grave, to save you then.” I grinned, and we both laughed.
I accidentally wrote this story, and guess what? I enjoyed writing for the first time. Also, for the first time, I wasn't insecure.
Happy reading
Pockets Aug 28
Will the people I get ****** with
Put stones on my grave
When the masses decide to stone me
Will they laugh or turn away
When there’s roaches in the kitchen
And not in the ash try
Will they look for someone better
Or will they stick with me till it’s okay
Bhill Aug 5
I must confess, that the world is a mess
but it's not to gone to save
it will take time, but with that in mind
how did it get so ”grave”
the people concerned, are the people who learned
what's wrong and will help make it right
it will be rather stark, as the mess is quite dark
but together, we can turn it to bright.....

Brian Hill - 2020 # 214
Knut Kalmund Aug 1
all my blackbirds sing for me
and all my friends arrived
roses bloom above my head
a fine place to reside

lacrimal gush under vails will remedy
promises always lie
pain will tell the journey
trenched the soil to reach the sky

all my blackbirds stopped to sing
for they are no more
all my friends left the same
and all the roses wilt in dirt

I've been reckoned as a coward
they will never see what I saw
and all my songs will stay unsung
and all my songs will stay unsung
Thank you for reading.
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