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bella May 4
another day is coming by-

i only seem to sit here and waste my time
only wishing i had passed it
doing something that would have felt right

always attempting to motivate myself
as it comes and goes
through different flows

trying to find peace in mind
to only end up doing the next thing right


that its okay to take some time
to sit and let it pass by

as long as i reflect and realign
things happen. you get unmotivated. fix it.

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.

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.


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!

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

I shattered your heart;
now I limp through the shards

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.

by Michael R. Burch

for Dylan Thomas

We feel rather than understand what he meant
as he reveals a shattered firmament
which before him never existed.

Here, there are no images gnarled and twisted
out of too many words,
but only flocks of white birds

wheeling and flying.

Here, as the sun spins, reeling and dying,
the voice of a last gull
or perhaps a lost soul,

echoes its lonely madrigal
and we feel its strange pull
on the astonished soul.

O My Prodigal!

The vents of the sky, ripped asunder,
echo this wild, primal thunder—
now dying into undulations of vanishing wings . . .

and this voice which in haggard bleak rapture still somehow downward sings.

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.

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.

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

My era's obscuring mirror
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.

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
For I have stopped looking out

To the others

For confirmation

For deliberation

I have started looking inwards

I have started investing

In myself

I have started living

For myself

For what I love

For what makes me happy

Living freely, being content

Counting on possibilities

Kissing joys

Unwrapping surprises

and smiling through

as I am filling up I

With the right spirit of being

Here and now
Ivy Dec 2020
I am who’s lying to myself
I am the one deceiving sacred
What are you doing for god’s  sake
Why this pretending
Your weaknesses are falling one by one
Revealing burgeons
Your sins, addictions and the vice
What a delight
What a betrayal
I’m in a fight
But what I’m fighting for?
For whom’s this glory?
For whom’s this vanity?
Is that for you?
Or for your bloated ego only?
I do mistakes
But can I fix them?
Sometimes I think they’re beyond retrieve
I feel I’m sinking and I’m falling
In the dark
Ivy Dec 2020
What is the truth and what is lost
Depends on your perception only
Don’t go against the weather
Go with the wind
Like a free feather
Float on the surface
Float with the grace
Don’t trust the hesitation
Instincts only
What is forbidden
Your decision
What is forbidden
Is that pleasure?
You’re playing games
But do you know the rules?
Of what is hidden underneath
Your clothes, your classy look
Your shallow glamorous temptation
I am who knows
I am the critic
I’m egoistic
And I’m sharing
I am the one who’s feeling blue
And all I know is knowing nothing
I’m indecisive
And precisely knowing
What to do
Or should be doing
I’m concerned of my duty
I am alone among desires
I am the one who’s burning fire
John McCafferty Dec 2020
Distant dreams and memories
Lost opportunities it seems
To the things that could have been
Reflecting on the past at half mast
Easier with hindsight to look at what might
A contestable question mentioned
How far do we plan with conviction
Experience paves the way
Flicking through past sections
Sets direction led astray on a page
Which ways do we cultivate
To lead the order of our day
(@PoeticTetra - instagram/twitter)
Isabella Nov 2020
You know you’re broken
When your own reflection
Won’t even look you in the eyes
Graff1980 Oct 2020
I have sought silent moments of wet grief
to give myself that salty brine relief,
wetted white sheets then fell asleep
to find that time had gifted me
with emotion’s soft reprieve.

I have lived and lost, paid the cost
of all that was depressing,
obsessing over what I was possessing
and what was possessing me,

and in those moments, I have learned
quite a few lessons,

like I cannot get back one spent second
pursuing goals that might not come to fruition,
materials things should not be my mission,
and if I am not enjoying the journey
then this trip is not for me.

I have also realized; I am my own light.  
Even though there is darkness if this life
the greatest victory I can achieve
is acts kindness against the inevitable black
that will swallow and take all of us back.
Shakti Asana Sep 2020
I brought him more than a book
more than words on a page
I brought him
My heart story

An epic series

I brought him the stories of my life
Before, up to, and including him
And he read it all
Each volume
Understanding and translating clearly

The tragedies
the comedies
the sheer terror and beauty of it all

And in the romance section
Our saga
He read of my
Deep and abiding attraction
Ease of being with him
My devotion to caring for his heart
This soulmate connection
Written so clearly
And dearly
Indelibly inked love
On the pages of my heart
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