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The mirror they covered
Pain they've infected themselves with
Pulling back the curtain for them to see
Reflecting with more ugliness than before
SELF REFLECTIONS

These are poems about mirrors, images, self-image, reflections and self-reflection. How do we see ourselves differently than other people see us? Why do our impressions of ourselves sometimes end up like so much shattered glass?

Self Reflection
by Michael R. Burch

for anyone struggling with self-image

She has a comely form
and a smile that brightens her dorm ...
but she's grossly unthin
when seen from within;
soon a griefstricken campus will mourn.

Yet she'd never once criticize
a friend for the size of her thighs.
Do unto others—
sisters and brothers?
Yes, but also ourselves, likewise.

Reflections
by Michael R. Burch

I am her mirror.
I say she is kind,
lovely, breathtaking.
She screams that I’m blind.

I show her her beauty,
her brilliance and compassion.
She refuses to believe me,
for that’s the latest fashion.

She storms and she rages;
she dissolves into tears
while envious Angels
are, by God, her only Peers.



Is the mirror unkind
by Michael R. Burch

To your lovely brown eyes is the mirror unkind,
revealing far more than reflections defined
in superficial glass, so lacking in depth?
Is the mirror unkind, at times, darling Beth?

What you see my dear, I see different by far,
as our sun from Centauri is just a “small” star,
but here it brings life and warms each day’s start.
Oh, and a mirror can never reveal a true heart.



On Looking into Curious George’s Mirrors
by Michael R. Burch

for Maya McManmon, granddaughter of the poet Jim McManmon aka Seamus Cassidy

Maya was made in the image of God;
may the reflections she sees in those curious mirrors
always echo back Love.

Amen



The Mistake
by Mirza Ghalib
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

All your life, O Ghalib,
You kept repeating the same mistake:
Your face was *****
But you were obsessed with cleaning the mirror!



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

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



Radiance
by Michael R. Burch

for Dylan Thomas

The poet delves earth’s detritus—hard toil—
for raw-edged nouns, barbed verbs, vowels’ lush bouquet;
each syllable his pen excretes—dense soil,
dark images impacted, rooted clay.

The poet sees the sea but feels its meaning—
the teeming brine, the mirrored oval flame
that leashes and excites its turgid surface ...
then squanders years imagining love’s the same.

Belatedly he turns to what lies broken—
the scarred and furrowed plot he fiercely sifts,
among death’s sicksweet dungs and composts seeking
one element that scorches and uplifts.



Resemblance
by Michael R. Burch

Take this geode with its rough exterior—
crude-skinned, brilliant-hearted ...
a diode of amethyst—wild, electric;
its sequined cavity—parted, revealing.
Find in its fire all brittle passion,
each jagged shard relentlessly aching.
Each spire inward—a fission startled;
in its shattered entrails—fractured light,
the heart ice breaking.



Wonderland
by Michael R. Burch

We stood, kids of the Lamb, to put to test
the beatific anthems of the blessed,
the sentence of the martyr, and the pen’s
sincere religion. Magnified, the lens
shot back absurd reflections of each face—
a carnival-like mirror. In the space
between the silver backing and the glass,
we caught a glimpse of Joan, a frumpy lass
who never brushed her hair or teeth, and failed
to pass on GO, and frequently was jailed
for awe’s beliefs. Like Alice, she grew wee
to fit the door, then couldn’t lift the key.
We failed the test, and so the jury’s hung.
In Oz, “The Witch is Dead” ranks number one.



Mirror
by Kajal Ahmad, a Kurdish poet
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My era's obscuring mirror
shattered
because it magnified the small
and made the great seem insignificant.
Dictators and monsters filled its contours.
Now when I breathe
its jagged shards pierce my heart
and instead of sweat
I exude glass.



Polish
by Michael R. Burch

Your fingers end in talons—
the ones you trim to hide
the predator inside.
Ten thousand creatures sacrificed;
but really, what’s the loss?
Apply a splash of gloss.
You picked the perfect color
to mirror nature’s law:
red, like tooth and claw.



Mending Glass
by Michael R. Burch

In the cobwebbed house—
lost in shadows
by the jagged mirror,
in the intricate silver face
cracked ten thousand times,
silently he watches,
and in the twisted light
sometimes he catches there
a familiar glimpse of revealing lace,
white stockings and garters,
a pale face pressed indiscreetly near
with a predatory leer,
the sheer flash of nylon,
an embrace, or a sharp slap,
. . . a sudden lurch of terror.

He finds bright slivers
—the hard sharp brittle shards,
the silver jags of memory
starkly impressed there—
and mends his error.



The Poet
by Michael R. Burch

He walks to the sink,
takes out his teeth,
rubs his gums.
He tries not to think.

In the mirror, on the mantle,
Time—the silver measure—
does not stare or blink,
but in a wrinkle flutters,
in a hand upon the brink
of a second, hovers.

Through a mousehole,
something scuttles
on restless incessant feet.

There is no link
between life and death
or from a fading past
to a more tenuous present
that a word uncovers
in the great wink.

The white foam lathers
at his thin pink
stretched neck
like a tightening noose.
He tries not to think.

Keywords/Tags: mirror, image, images, imagery, self, self-image, self discovery, fear of self, self control, self harm, reflection, reflections, reflecting, glass, mrbref
Payton Feb 24
You look in the mirror and see nothing but remorse, I look at you
and see bones and stardust.
This isn't really a poem. It's more like a pretty thought and was written in 2016.
Shofi Ahmed Feb 20
Something is missing
since a long ago.
When I remembered
before me, I could not
see my mirror.
Haruharu Feb 19
Dimples, creations of joy and laugher.

My wrinkles tell stories of childish fun and games.

A forced smile, a see-through facade.

My cold eyes tell a different story.
That shimmer
That glisten of my heart
Can't you see it's a mirror?
Oh, love, where do I start?
sadnspicy0 Feb 11
ЯR
Miss Peggy was so young and sweet
That nobody would love her,
She strolled contented down the street
Although her heart was broken.

She sticks the needles into hearts,
She's dancing with the demons,
She turns her hurt into an art,
In the February season.

She's eating liver after eight.
She's drinking blood for dinner.

Miss Peggy is my soulmate.

I see her in the mirror.
Love her
Renie Simone Feb 11
I kept staring;
She stared in return.
When I blinked, she blinked right back --
delayed, but twice as hard;
the same, but different.
Stood slouched —
almost hunched over.
She wore the same outfit as I,
but it didn't seem to fit her the same.
I tucked my shirt into my trousers,
she did the same. It looked better on me
than it did her.
Her hair was tangled.
I could tell because it looked just like
mine used to. Hers was more voluptuous than
mine ever was. I could almost hear her speaking,
like telepathy. But her voice sounded different,
deeper, more pronounced --
I couldn't put a finger on where I recognized it.
She didn't say anything in particular;
it was as if she didn't say words at all.
The way she mumbled sounded different --
almost foreign.
It was soothing, almost refreshing to hear,
because somehow I understood her.
Her face was pointed like a soft mountain top.
She looked almost...
disappointed when I noticed. Nose fairly flat —
Mine had a small bump. Her lips were uneven,
showing gums when she faked a smile;
I never opened my mouth to grin, it was unbecoming.
Her forehead was long and wide,
big enough for two brains --
I bet she's smarter than I am.
I noticed she was tired — I was tired, too.
My eyes are blue. Hers were grey,
similar to the sky when it rained —
almost like it was waiting for a rainbow.
I lifted my hand to touch hers,
she did the same right after. I could feel
the warmth of her hand on mine. It felt as if
she was a long-lost sister, someone
I hadn't seen in a long time.
An instant connection.
I don't remember ever meeting her, but
it was like I knew everything about her.
We let go at the same time.
She became a stranger again.
Previewed in The Voices Project
Brian Turner Feb 2
We all need a need a haircut but..
with the daily news and gloom
we're stuck looking at ourselves on Zoom

Zoom has replaced the mirror
and it isn't getting clearer
The bits and the bytes
seek to hide the rights
the rights of my face
the rights of grace

Shall I 'leave' the meeting or stay?
Shall I use the backlighting ring today?
Time to dial up this mace
Time to learn to own my own face
Funny how Zoom is now our new mirror :)
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