Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Michael R Burch Apr 2020
Kurds are Birds
by Kajal Ahmad, a Kurdish poet
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Per the latest scientific classification, Kurds
now belong to a species of bird!
This is why,
traveling across the torn, fraying pages of history,
they are nomads recognized by their caravans.
Yes, Kurds are birds! And,
even worse, when
there’s nowhere left to nest, no refuge for their pain,
they turn to the illusion of traveling again
between the warm and arctic sectors of their homeland.
So I don’t think it strange Kurds can fly but not land.
They wander from region to region
never realizing their dreams
of settling,
of forming a colony, of nesting.
No, they never settle down long enough
to visit Rumi and inquire about his health,
or to bow down deeply in the gust-
stirred dust,
like Nali.

And because Kajal mentioned Rumi, here are my translations of Rumi:

Raise your words, not their volume.
Rain grows flowers, not thunder.
—Rumi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Birdsong
by Rumi
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Birdsong relieves
my deepest griefs:
now I'm just as ecstatic as they,
but with nothing to say!
Please universe,
rehearse
your poetry
through me!

Keywords/Tags: Kajal Ahmad, Kurdish, translation, Kurds, birds, nomads, caravans, refuge, homeland, fly, land, flying, landing, colony, nest, nesting, Rumi, Nali
Jeremie Jun 2020
Trust me when I say to you,
That you are closer to Love,
Than the fish are to the sea.
Closer than the clouds are to the sky.
Closer than the trees are to the Earth.

“How can this be”
I asked

Why don’t you look
inside and tell me ...
Love is your very being, in your beautiful pursuit towards love, what you were in search for was and always has been with you, as you. It is so close that it exists as both “you“ and “I”
Michael R Burch Apr 2020
Birdsong
by Rumi
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Birdsong relieves
my deepest griefs:
now I'm just as ecstatic as they,
but with nothing to say!
Please universe,
rehearse
your poetry
through me!

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (1207–1273) was a 13th-century Persian poet, faqih, Islamic scholar, theologian and Sufi mystic. Rumi's influence transcends national borders and ethnic divisions. He is held in high regard by Iranians, Tajiks, Turks, Greeks, Pashtuns, and in the West and around the world. Rumi has been called the "most popular poet" and the "best selling poet" in the United States. Keywords/Tags: Rumi, translation, birdsong, bird, song, grief, ecstasy, joy, happiness, universe, poetry, birds, songs, singing, songbirds


This is my favorite Rumi epigram and quote ...

Raise your words, not their volume.
Rain grows flowers, not thunder.
—Rumi, translation by Michael R. Burch



The imbecile constructs cages for everyone he knows,
while the sage (who has to duck his head whenever the moon glows)
keeps dispensing keys all night long
to the beautiful, rowdy, prison gang.
—Hafiz loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

An unbending tree
breaks easily.
—Lao Tzu, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Little sparks ignite great flames.—Dante, translation by Michael R. Burch

Once fanaticism has gangrened brains
the incurable malady invariably remains.
—Voltaire, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Booksellers laud authors for novel editions
as pimps praise their ****** for exotic positions.
—Thomas Campion, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

No wind is favorable to the man who lacks direction.
—Seneca the Younger, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Hypocrisy may deceive the most perceptive adult, but the dullest child recognizes and is revolted by it, however ingeniously disguised.
—Leo Tolstoy translation by Michael R. Burch

Just as I select a ship when it's time to travel,
or a house when it's time to change residences,
even so I will choose when it's time to depart from life.
—Seneca, speaking about the right to euthanasia in the first century AD, translation by Michael R. Burch

Improve yourself through others' writings, thus attaining more easily what they acquired through great difficulty.
—Socrates, translation by Michael R. Burch

Fools call wisdom foolishness.
―Euripides, translation by Michael R. Burch

One true friend is worth ten thousand kin.
―Euripides, translation by Michael R. Burch

Not to speak one’s mind is slavery.
―Euripides, translation by Michael R. Burch

I would rather die standing than kneel, a slave.
―Euripides, translation by Michael R. Burch

Fresh tears are wasted on old griefs.
―Euripides, translation by Michael R. Burch
Michael R Burch Feb 2020
Epigrams I - Translations

Religion is the ****** of the people.—Karl Marx
Religion is the dopiate of the sheeple.—Michael R. Burch

Raise your words, not their volume.
Rain grows flowers, not thunder.
—Rumi, translation by Michael R. Burch

To write an epigram, cram.
If you lack wit, scram!
—Michael R. Burch, original epigram

Once fanaticism has gangrened brains
the incurable malady invariably remains.
—Voltaire, translation by Michael R. Burch

Little sparks ignite great flames.
—Dante, translation by Michael R. Burch

Hypocrisy may deceive the most perceptive adult, but the dullest child recognizes and is revolted by it, however ingeniously disguised.
—Leo Tolstoy, translation by Michael R. Burch

Just as I select a ship when it's time to travel,
or a house when it's time to change residences,
even so I will choose when it's time to depart from life.
—Seneca, speaking about the right to euthanasia in the first century AD, translation by Michael R. Burch

The imbecile constructs cages for everyone he knows,
while the sage (who has to duck his head whenever the moon glows)
keeps dispensing keys all night long
to the beautiful, rowdy, prison gang.
—Hafiz loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

An unbending tree
breaks easily.
—Lao Tzu, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Booksellers laud authors for novel editions
as pimps praise their ****** for exotic positions.
—Thomas Campion, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

No wind is favorable to the man who lacks direction.
—Seneca the Younger, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Improve yourself through others' writings, thus attaining more easily what they acquired through great difficulty.
—Socrates, translation by Michael R. Burch

Fools call wisdom foolishness.
―Euripides, translation by Michael R. Burch

One true friend is worth ten thousand kin.
―Euripides, translation by Michael R. Burch

Not to speak one’s mind is slavery.
―Euripides, translation by Michael R. Burch

I would rather die standing than kneel, a slave.
―Euripides, translation by Michael R. Burch

Fresh tears are wasted on old griefs.
―Euripides, translation by Michael R. Burch



Birdsong
by Rumi
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Birdsong relieves
my deepest griefs:
now I'm just as ecstatic as they,
but with nothing to say!
Please universe,
rehearse
your poetry
through me!



Native American Proverb
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Before you judge
a man for his sins
be sure to trudge
many moons in his moccasins.



Native American Proverb
by Crazy Horse, Oglala Lakota Sioux (circa 1840-1877)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A man must pursue his Vision
as the eagle explores
the sky's deepest blues.



Native American Proverb
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Let us walk respectfully here
among earth's creatures, great and small,
remembering, our footsteps light,
that one wise God created all.



Cherokee Travelers' Blessing I
translation by Michael R. Burch

I will extract the thorns from your feet.
For yet a little while, we will walk life's sunlit paths together.
I will love you like my own brother, my own blood.
When you are disconsolate, I will wipe the tears from your eyes.
And when you are too sad to live, I will put your aching heart to rest.



Cherokee Travelers' Blessing II
translation by Michael R. Burch

Happily may you walk
in the paths of the Rainbow.
Oh,
and may it always be beautiful before you,
beautiful behind you,
beautiful below you,
beautiful above you,
and beautiful all around you
where in Perfection beauty is finished.



Cherokee Travelers' Blessing III
translation by Michael R. Burch

May Heaven’s warming winds blow gently there,
where you reside,
and may the Great Spirit bless all those you love,
this side of the farthest tide.
And wherever you go,
whether the journey is fast or slow,
may your moccasins leave many cunning footprints in the snow.
And when you look over your shoulder, may you always find the Rainbow.



The Least of These...

What you
do
to
the refugee
(the least of these)
you
do
unto
Me!
—Jesus Christ, translation/paraphrase by Michael R. Burch



Hell has been hellishly overdone
since Jehovah and his prophets never mentioned it once.
—Michael R. Burch

(Bible scholars agree: the word "hell" has been removed from the Old Testaments of the more accurate modern Bible translations. And the few New Testament verses that mention "hell" are obvious mistranslations.)



Earthbound
by Michael R. Burch

Tashunka Witko, better known as Crazy Horse, had a vision of a red-tailed hawk at Sylvan Lake, South Dakota. In his vision he saw himself riding a spirit horse, flying through a storm, as the hawk flew above him, shrieking. When he awoke, a red-tailed hawk was perched near his horse.

Earthbound,
and yet I now fly
through the clouds that are aimlessly drifting ...
so high
that no sound
echoing by
below where the mountains are lifting
the sky
can be heard.

Like a bird,
but not meek,
like a hawk from a distance regarding its prey,
I will shriek,
not a word,
but a screech,
and my terrible clamor will turn them to clay—
the sheep,
the earthbound.



In October 1838 the Cherokees began to walk the "Trail of Tears." Most of them made the thousand mile journey west to Oklahoma on foot. An estimated 4,000 people, or a quarter of the tribe, died en route. The soldiers "escorting" the Cherokees at bayonet point refused permission for the dead to be buried, threatening to shoot anyone who disobeyed. So the living were forced to carry the corpses of the dead until camp was made for the night.

When Pigs Fly
by Michael R. Burch

On the Trail of Tears,
my Cherokee brothers,
why hang your heads?
Why shame your mothers?
Laugh wildly instead!
We will soon be dead.

When we lie in our graves,
let the white-eyes take
the woodlands we loved
for the *** and the rake.
It is better to die
than to live out a lie
in so narrow a sty.

Years after the Cherokees had been rounded up and driven down the Trail of Tears, John G. Burnett reflected on what he and his fellow soldiers had done, saying, "Schoolchildren of today do not know that we are living on lands that were taken from a helpless race at the bayonet point, to satisfy the white man's greed ... ****** is ****** and somebody must answer, somebody must explain the streams of blood that flowed in the Indian country ... Somebody must explain the four thousand silent graves that mark the trail of the Cherokees to their exile."

In the same year, 1830, that Stonewall Jackson consigned Native Americans to the ash-heap of history, Georgia Governor George Gilmer said, "Treaties are expedients by which ignorant, intractable, and savage people are induced ... to yield up what civilized people have the right to possess." By "civilized" he apparently meant people willing to brutally dispossess and **** women and children in order to derive economic benefits for themselves.

These nights bring dreams of Cherokee shamans
whose names are bright verbs and impacted dark nouns,
whose memories are indictments of my pallid flesh . . .
and I hear, as from a great distance,
the cries tortured from their guileless lips, proclaiming
the nature of my mutation.
―Michael R. Burch, from "Mongrel Dreams"

After Jackson was re-elected with an overwhelming majority in 1832, he strenuously pursued his policy of removing Native Americans, even refusing to accept a Supreme Court ruling which invalidated Georgia's planned annexation of Cherokee land. But in the double-dealing logic of the white supremacists, they had to make the illegal resettlement of the Indians appear to be "legal," so a small group of Cherokees were persuaded to sign the "Treaty of New Echota," which swapped Cherokee land for land in the Oklahoma territory. The Cherokee ringleaders of this infamous plot were later assassinated as traitors. (****** was similarly obsessed with the "legalities" of the **** Holocaust; isn't it strange how mass murderers of women and children can seek to justify their crimes?)



Native Americans understood the "circle of life" better than their white oppressors ...

When we sit in the Circle of the People,
we must be responsible because all Creation is related
and the suffering of one is the suffering of all
and the joy of one is the joy of all
and whatever we do affects everything in the universe.

—"Lakota Instructions for Living" by White Buffalo Calf Woman, translated by Michael R. Burch



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

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



Keywords/Tags: epigram, epigrams, translation, marx, rumi, voltaire, dante, tolstoy, seneca, pavlova, religion, words, mrbepi, mrbepig, mrbepigram

Published as the collection "Epigrams I"
Tenant Dec 2019
Rumi
The moth to its candle
Love measured in the grandeur of the other
Moth to its candle.
Me,
The beetle to its dung.
Bryce Nov 2019
Rumi was a great man,

But as the fire that burns in but one hearth,

The Gala Hall remains damp and cold.
Sara Rumi Nov 2019
I’ve reached a stage in my life where I only want people around me who believe in God and higher powers
People whose stench reek of spirituality and enlightenment
Everything else just seems like a distraction
Temporary pleasure
An environment where I’m constantly reminded that I’m powerless by myself,
an insignificant being
That I’m at my most powerful when I’m connected to the universe’s frequency and surrender myself to Him.
I’m trying to be the love child of Rumi and Ibn Arabi
Aisha Zakhael Aug 2019
Who are you?

I am not a vessel;
woman, poet, coloured,
they are only covers.

Who are you?

I am not any of those titles.
You force me to knit a name
from parts of worn clothes
to avoid your own face
in the mirror.

Who are you?

The love in your veins.
The liquour of life -
like water I mold
into shapes, but
I am without form.

Who are you?

You.
A soul.
Next page