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lillie Nov 16
she watches over
those who
plan carefully
and strategically
for the battle
that they
are about to
face within
and about.

overseer of
those pursuing
knowledge,
wit, and wisdom
scattered among
books or
in your everyday
life.

a goddess of
thorough thinking who
has always been
enabling victory
now influences the worthy
abundantly.
Dedicated to my goddess, Pallas Athena, goddess of wisdom and war. ♡
HTR Stevens Jul 5
Peeping out from my rabbit hole,
I cannot see a single soul.
The virus is floating about,
But is it okay to go out?
The economy is going down the drain...
Some say that to ‘stay in’ will be double pain.
Play Russian Roulette: just roll the dice...
If you know not what to do is wise!
Tryniti Jun 3
Abandoned under the guise of self-sacrifice
How many times have you told these lies

A wonder to behold in your own right
Latching on, holding tight
I was lost the moment I got in your sights

A silver tongue with unmatched wit
Even the most dominant would submit
To your linguistic lashings

Skilled in verbal maneuvers and molding minds
You reveled in being one of a kind

Sly, and slick, smooth and quick
Your trick was finding what made me tick

You made me yours, then slipped away
I was your toy, begging to play

But then you were done; tired I suppose
You disappeared, to where..god only knows

You played the martyr, a victim, a pawn
Suddenly all of your power was gone

I know better, but I still feel incomplete
The flavor of erasure is so bittersweet
05.31.2020
HTR Stevens May 26
One rule for you, another for me
That is how it is going to be.
Born to rule,
Know who's who,
Born to rule, and not to obey -
Breaking my own rules is okay.
Austerity in any shape or form,
For common folks should be the perfect norm.
I do not need to mind my 'p's and 'q's;
I need a laugh while collecting my dues.
I am above, you are below;
Stop moaning, your position know.
Rules are for the likes of you, not me;
At least you live in a 'free' country.
I can get away with ******, you can't get away with theft;
The law will take from you your last scrap, when you have nothing left.
If you are poor, you'll be poorer still
When fat cats move in for the ****.
Love of money makes the world go round -
Work and no play when I wear the crown.
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
Epigrams IV



Nun Fun Undone
by Michael R. Burch

Abbesses’
recesses
are not for excesses!



*** Hex
by Michael R. Burch

Love’s full of cute paradoxes
(and highly acute poxes).



Saving Graces
for the Religious Right
by Michael R. Burch

Life’s saving graces are love, pleasure, laughter
(wisdom, it seems, is for the Hereafter).



Conformists of a feather
flock together.
—Michael R. Burch

Winner of the National Poetry Month Couplet Competition



Feathered Fiends
by Michael R. Burch

Fascists of a feather
flock together.



The Whole of Wit
for Richard Moore
by Michael R. Burch

If brevity is the soul of wit
then brevity and levity
are the whole of it.



Laughter’s Cry
by Michael R. Burch

Because life is a mystery, we laugh
and do not know the half.

Because death is a mystery, we cry
when one is gone, our numbering thrown awry.



If every witty thing that’s said were true,
Oscar Wilde, the world would worship You!
—Michael R. Burch



Multiplication, Tabled
for the Religious Right
by Michael R. Burch

“Be fruitful and multiply”—
great advice, for a fruitfly!
But for women and men,
simple Simons, say, “WHEN!”



Not Elves, Exactly
by Michael R. Burch

Something there is that likes a wall,
that likes it spiked and likes it tall,

that likes its pikes’ sharp rows of teeth
and doesn’t mind its victims’ grief

(wherever they come from, far or wide)
as long as they fall on the other side.



Fierce ancient skalds summoned verse from their guts;
today’s genteel poets prefer modern ruts.
—Michael R. Burch



Long Division
by Kim Cherub
after Laura Riding Jackson

All things become one
Through death’s long division
And perfect precision.



Meal Deal
by Michael R. Burch

Love is a splendid ideal
(at least till it costs us a meal).



Vice Grip
by Michael R. Burch

There’s no need to rant about Al-Qaeda and ISIS.
The cruelty of “civilization” suffices:
our ordinary vices.



Self-ish
by Kim Cherub

Let’s not pretend we “understand” other elves
As long as we remain mysteries to ourselves.



Piecemeal
by Kim Cherub

And so it begins—the ending.
The narrowing veins, the soft tissues rending.
Your final solution is pending.



Lance-Lot
by Michael R. Burch

Preposterous bird!
Inelegant! Absurd!

Until the great & mighty heron
brandishes his fearsome sword.



Fleet Tweet: Apologies to Shakespeare
@mikerburch (Michael R. Burch)

A tweet
by any other name
would be as fleet.



Fleet Tweet II: Further Apologies to Shakespeare
@mikerburch (Michael R. Burch)

Remember, doggonit,
heroic verse crowns the Shakespearean sonnet!
So if you intend to write a couplet,
please do it on the doublet!



15 Seconds
by Michael R. Burch

Our president’s *** life—atrocious!
Asian markets are all hocus-pocus.
Politics—a shell game.
My brief moment of fame
flashed by before Oprah could notice.



Death
by Michael R. Burch

Death is the ultimate finality
and banality
of reality.



Translations

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

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

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!

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



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.



The Least of These...

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



The Church Gets the Burch Rod

How can the Bible be "infallible" when from Genesis to Revelation slavery is commanded and condoned, but never condemned? —Michael R. Burch

If God
is good
half the Bible
is libel.
—Michael R. Burch

I have my doubts about your God and his "love":
If one screams below, what the hell is "Above"?
—Michael R. Burch

If God has the cattle on a thousand hills,
why does he need my tithes to pay his bills?
—Michael R. Burch

The best tonic for other people's bad ideas is to think for oneself.—Michael R. Burch

Hell hath no fury like a fundamentalist whose God condemned him for having "impure thoughts."—Michael R. Burch

Religion is the difficult process of choosing the least malevolent invisible friends.—Michael R. Burch

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

An ideal that cannot be realized is, in the end, just wishful thinking.—Michael R. Burch

God and his "profits" could never agree
on any gospel acceptable to an intelligent flea.
—Michael R. Burch

To fall an inch short of infinity is to fall infinitely short.—Michael R. Burch

Most Christians make God seem like the Devil. Atheists and agnostics at least give him the "benefit of the doubt."—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.)



If every witty thing that's said were true,
Oscar Wilde, the world would worship You!
—Michael R. Burch
HTR Stevens Feb 15
If you are a shooting star
On which you wish from afar,
You'll grant all your wishes true;
Every thought returns to you.
Remember that soon or late,
You are Master of your fate...
Like a "matching game" you play,
Each "move" goes part of the way
To "Victory", or"Try again"...
Life is fraught with joy and pain!
Nought done is ever in vain...
Tho' you creak under the strain!
Nought is ever forgotten...
All regrets are forgiven.
We tell our children not to wander in the woods,
never to stop or enter the cottage with
the peppermint scent and gingerbread façade
for a naked witch is sleeping inside.

Beware the milk weeping from an axe handle outside,
the tingling inside that stretches from heart to toes
that neither sinks nor swims if tied with heavy stones,
the ointment on your back that makes you feel flight.

If you are sickened by the scent of roasting meat
kissing your nostrils, we tell them, do not enter there.
If she gazes at you and you see her reflection in the frosted panes,
hear her voice sweetly echo in the glittering fireflies of night, turn away.

Better to crush her bones to paste and use them to mason your new house
less you close your eyes and she be on top in your dream bed,
her pointed ******* caressing down, her black familiar nearby,
we tell them, never noticing the rancid butter on the neighbor’s sill.

If she smiles and you dream the image of a child inside her,
especially after barren decades of hope, many more watching her
tying knots at the end of your bed, muttering an unknown language,
do not ever let her in, we repeatedly tell them.

If she smiles and you see a frown, cast her out, we tell them.
If she marries you in heart and soul and never gets engaged,
If she weeps at the sight of every child in ambulation,
If she takes on the face of Norma Desmond, she is an evil thing.

If she lives in air, fire, ice and water, sees planets in the day;
Insists on walking when old and frail and fragile with age;
looks intently at every small thing, do not let her hair
touch your cross lest she curse you with an unhappy life.

Check your children’s hair lest there be witch powder there.
Beware their nightmares lest they be witch’s dreams.
They may be be-spelled if they struggle with things
greater than themselves, especially those you believe.

if they have contrary opinions, want to tour strange cities,
plea for mercy for the poor soul exiled on death row,
give a drink to a thirsty man, cry for the forever war,
they are surely bewitched and need to feel the switch.

Watch your children lest they slip the things they want
but can not afford into their gloves and pockets
for they are part of her infernal coven and it is time
to collect them together, find the matches and burn the wood.
FloydBrandon Dec 2019
There once was a goof
Who sat on a stoop
And everyone called him a ******,
For when they would pass
He’d laugh and quack,
“I am the King of the Gooses!”

They said he’d never be a man
of intellect or wit,
But then the ****** met a dork
who fell in love with him,
And they made inedible cakes together,
And both got stupidly famous.

Never underestimate
a loser at his lamest.
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