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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"
James LR Nov 2018
Dedicate heart and hope
And then abandon both
No dark without light
No hope gives no grief
No owner means no thief

And with your back against this wall
Don't be afraid to fight
Swim all you can
With strength that you lack
Save nothing for the way back
AD Mullin Nov 2017
Delusions of
Futures untold
Created for
Us, you know: the un-bold

Braying our compulsions
To the big ear in the
Sky
As we seek:

Glor if i ca tion
Being meek likely won’t bring
Gra tif i ca tion
Dulling my senses points to
Stu pif i ca tion
But don’t I deserve it, I am a
Hall u cin a tion

So why put in the work?
I’ll wait

<<<PAUSE>>>

The avalanche will find me in perpetuity
Coming in time cause I been shirking duty
Oh, here it is - time for me to be:
Aggrieved

I should’ve known better but I was:
Deceived

I just wanted to tell my truth, I wanted to be:
Believed

Wish I woulda kept something up my:
Sleeve

So how do you rise above?

Do you got what it takes?
Could you climb your
Kilamanjaro?
With a little training maybe
Gut check: find your bravado
Wouldn’t it be nice to have your own number,
Like Avogadro

And I ask again,
How do you rise above?

You breathe it in
Seethe it in
Find a vessel to
Conceive it in
Now that it’s full
And maybe even overflowing

Let it go

Trying to find answers in a bottle
Could point you toward
A 12 step mis-step

Getting back on the right track:

Use a compass
That’s internal
Realign it, maybe
Through a vernal
Equinox, the universe speaks a language
We are untaught
It’s of the Earth and Sky and
Can’t be bought
Maybe it’s me and
Maybe it’s not
I want to commune with my god
Through thought and
Heartfelt overtures that aren’t constrained
By limitations of my brain
Or systems based on economics
My value is not gleaned from
Gross Domestic Products

Answers are found as you expand past the vessel
You may become part of the trestle
Follow the false path long enough
And you get trod under
The false pathfinder becomes the path,
Did you make a few to many navigational errors
Cause you didn’t do the math
And now, as a part of the foundation of which the unending wayfarers
Can use to go a little further and a little longer in the wrong direction
Your hard work has become a bridge to nowhere
But let’s not dwell, cause

Scrupulosity
Will never guide you to the golden city

Maybe its the meat suit that you’re wearing
The overcomplexity of your eyes
That won’t let you see
The unending nerve endings that make you feel so much
You can’t feel, you won’t feel
You could pay heed to Seneca
Consider giving the suit a slip
Taking a trip
Through the underworld
With everybody’s favourite sidekick: Virgil
Kickin’ it, workin’ it
Trying not to let the lost souls hold you down
Throw you down
Now it’s time, let’s start coming around

On my journey, seems
I can’t shake em’
Me, myself, and my shadow-self
Guess I’ll try and integrate em’

Time for a va ca tion
From thoughts that won’t un-
wind, in breezes

Gonna get around to it, to
Writing my treatise
Maybe I can elucidate this false peace
Via an army of one, en masse
Slipping through the bars of false
Beliefs
As the trees
Lose their leaves

Maybe for the last time

I'm working on the unwind
From a labyrinth that is unkind
So sorry:
Guess I'm playing up the sublime

Ah, never mind - it’s
Navel gazing
Self hazing
I ain’t done razing

Roofs and
Telling truths
Or drinking
Vermouth
Cause at my very root I am
Uncouth

Razing?
Or raising!
Roofs
Finding proofs
Telling truths

Ever listen to Ruf-
Us or Martha
The Wainrights
Canadian brain-trust
Listen too hard make your brain bust

Let’s get back to navels, or
Oranges
But nothing rhymes with oranges
Maybe not
Gotta flip it
Tryna strip it
This noose is so tight
Can I slip it?

It’s geometrical
Said Euclides
We got the Greeks
Or do the Greeks got us
Squeezing us into this euro-centric
Box
Can it be un-wrapped?
Can you un-rap this poem?

Busting brains
And taking names
No one to blame, I
Don’t feel ashamed
When I win
Just means I can take it
In my shin
It’s got nothing to do with my
D N A, eh
Nor the choice piece of geography
I made the conscious choice to arrive on,
genetically

But remembering brevity
It’s time to cut the rambling for the sake of levity
Speaking of sake, I wouldn’t mind some saké

Oh, what’s that:
~~~ boom ~~~
Pulled another one out of my medicine bag

Just sitting here

Shifting gears
Confronting fears
Yesterday I was

Bleak
Er

Meek
Er

Should have been a
Streak
Er

Laying out the facts that are
untold
Thanks for listening to me
Another one of the
un-bold
I've got rambling. I've got rambling on my mind
Kagey Sage Oct 2015
The beast in the valley
wants more skulls for his cave
He's very very patient
He'll get them eventually
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gaasyendietha, according to Seneca mythology, is a dragon that dwells in the deep areas of rivers and lakes of Canada, especially Lake Ontario. This dragon could fly on a trail of fire, and it could also spew fire.

It is also known as the 'meteor dragon', in reference to its supposed origin from a meteoroid that had impacted the Earth. It is also capable of crossing the heavens on a trail of fire.

— The End —