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Bret White Mar 13
My mind...

It must be empty.

It must be sharp.

Hard like diamond

Flexible like water

And cut...

Like a sword I wield in my hands
I thought of this poem while practicing Iaido. It is fitting due to the decisive action of the stroke of the sword. You can't second guess, and your mind has to be focused on the task, but open to possibilities of attack and defense. I am still working on the zen of the martial art.
Henrie Diosa Dec 2020
they stormed out the corners, the screamers, the signs,
all black. but no longer occult.
i tried to walk past all the mourners in lines,
but my heart was my pillar of salt.
can heaven forgive me that i could not come?
please carry my soul to your flame!
i’ll tend to my garden and pray you reach home —
but i know that it isn’t the same.
though clouds round you gather, each knight noble stands;
the rain is the least of the cost.
o sable crusaders, my hand in your hands,
i will march with the ghosts of the lost.
Note: This was written on the anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines in 1972. There was a demonstration at my university, so that we may never forget: Marcos is not a hero.
Michael R Burch Apr 2020
Martial "Erotion" translation

Erotion (I)
by Martial
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

To you, my departed parents, dear mother and father,
I commend my little lost angel, Erotion, love’s daughter.
who died six days short of completing her sixth frigid winter.
Protect her now, I pray, should the chilling dark shades appear;
muzzle hell’s three-headed hound, less her heart be dismayed!
Lead her to romp in some sunny Elysian glade,
her devoted patrons. Watch her play childish games
as she excitedly babbles and lisps my name.
Let no hard turf smother her softening bones; and do
rest lightly upon her, earth, she was surely no burden to you!

Erotion (II)
by Martial
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

To you, my departed parents, with much emotion,
I commend my little lost darling, my much-kissed Erotion,
who died six days short of completing her sixth bitter winter.
Protect her, I pray, from hell’s hound and its dark shades a-flitter;
and please don’t let fiends leave her maiden heart dismayed!
But lead her to romp in some happy Elysian glade
with her cherished friends, excitedly lispingly my name.
Let no hard turf smother her softening bones; and do
rest lightly upon her, earth, she was such a slight burden to you!
—Martial, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

NOTES: Martial wrote this touching elegy for a little slave girl, Erotion, who died six days before her sixth birthday. The poem has been nominated as Martial’s masterpiece by L. J. Lloyd and others. Erotion means “little love” and may correspond to our term “love child.” It has been suggested that Erotion may have been Martial’s child by a female slave. That could explain why Martial is asking  his parents’ spirits to welcome, guide and watch over  spirit. Martial uses the terms patronos (patrons) and commendo (commend); in Rome a freed slave would be commended to a patron. A girl freed from slavery by death might need patrons as protectors on the “other side,” according to Greek and Roman views of the afterlife, where the afterworld houses evil shades and is guarded by a monstrous three-headed dog, Cerebus. Martial is apparently asking his parents to guide the girl’s spirit away from Cerebus and the dark spirits to the heavenly Elysian fields where she can play and laugh without fear. If I am correct, Martial’s poem is not just an elegy, but a prayer-poem for protection, perhaps of his own daughter. Albert A. Bell supports this hypothesis with the following arguments: (1) Martial had Erotion cremated, a practice preferred by the upper classes, (2) “he buried her with the full rites befitting the child of a Roman citizen,” (3) he entrusted her [poetically] to his parents, and (4) he maintained her grave for years.

Keywords/Tags: Martial, translation, Latin, Erotion, daughter, slave, six years old, turf, bones, earth, burden, patrons, shades
Michael R Burch Apr 2020
Martial Epigrams

You ask me why I've sent you no new verses?
There might be reverses.
—Martial, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

You ask me to recite my poems to you?
I know how you'll "recite" them, if I do.
—Martial, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

You ask me why I choose to live elsewhere?
You're not there.
—Martial, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

You ask me why I love fresh country air?
You're not befouling it there.
—Martial, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

You never wrote a poem,
yet criticize mine?
Stop abusing me or write something fine
of your own!
—Martial, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

He starts everything but finishes nothing;
thus I suspect there's no end to his *******.
—Martial, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

You alone own prime land, dandy!
Gold, money, the finest porcelain—you alone!
The best wines of the most famous vintages—you alone!
Discrimination and wit—you alone!
You have it all—who can deny that you alone are set for life?
But everyone has had your wife—
she is never alone!
—Martial, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

You dine in great magnificence
while offering guests a pittance.
Sextus, did you invite
friends to dinner tonight
to impress us with your enormous appetite?
—Martial, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Keywords/Tags: Martial, translation, Latin, epigram, verse, recite, wit, discrimination, country, air, dandy, wine, wife, dinner, appetite
Toxic yeti Feb 2019
As the artist
Kicks and punches
And strikes the air
With fierce creativity
Their moves
And body
Create a beautiful
Image
Only seen
But the imagination.
Toxic yeti Feb 2019
Art
I am able to
Digitally
Make images

Art
Am able
Draw
To make images
With a pencil

Art
With I kick or punch
I form patterns
And images
With my moves
Yet protecting my self
Alas my back.
Toxic yeti Dec 2018
In New York
In the Bronx
There was a street fighting
Punk rocker of a young men
Who was attracted
And eyed
An female martial artist
No older
Nor younger than him
When she was walking home she
Noticed him
Not afraid
She approached him
And took his hand
And the two went into an
Alley where they make out
When they kissed
The street punk
Soon realized
That he was in something he never
Knew existed
In love
Her as well.
Ari Oct 2018
These are my people
And these mats are our home.
We connected through the passion
Embedded in our bones.

Everyday we’re here
We’re renewed on our mats.
Theres sweat, tears, and blood on our Gis,
On our rash guards and spats.

We strive to train hard
And always remember
This family we’ve created
We’ll never surrender.

-ARI
Haruharu Oct 2018
So much work and determination for that moment.

Weeks of training, to predict all the opponent's moves.

Tears of frustration, blisters and bruises all over your body.

Looking at others enjoying food you're not allowed to touch.

Running, with a burning feeling in your chest.

All for that moment, those 4 minutes that can change everything.

Judges lined up, blue and red flags in their hands.

The fear of them not raising your color in the end.

The surrounding sounds go away.

Fighting gear on, nodding to you coach's distant words.

The sweat starts running under your helmet, heart's racing fast, the adrenaline kicks in.

The sign is given, it's time.

The mat feels bigger than it looks.

With shaky legs you walk out, to bow for your opponent.

Facing each other, you'll never forget the eyes of your enemy.

The whistle blows, the moment has arrived. It's time to put the weeks of training into action.

One final deep breath.

Fight. Fight for the time you've sacrificed.

Fight with all your might, to earn that medal around your neck.

Cause in that moment it's worth everything.
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