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Ryan Rylee Dec 2019
Where they came from
I do not know
The caterpillars were first
Squirming up the walls of my stomach
Crawling down the sides of my intestines
Wondering and unsure
With no direction
No place to go
Some had lost hope
Some had given up
Others had simply spun themselves dizzy
They latched onto what they could
Devouring the mindless glances
Consuming the shallow smiles
Ingesting the first hello
Their compass was fogged
But it didn't stop them
They continued
Still unsure
Still lost
Inching towards what they couldn't see

Tired, they became
Stuffed with appetizers
Of floating dreams
And cautious hope
Taking a break from their journey
Resting a second or two
Mindlessly winding themselves with flirty laugher
Tightly stringing themselves with awkward conversations
Around and around
Hanging
Upside-down
Waiting
Hoping
Waiting
For something in return
A wink
A smile
A compliment
Something
Anything

You'll know when it happens
The wink that lets the first one loose
The smile that releases the second
The complement unravels the third
You feel them
They flutter around your organs
Tease your kidneys
Dance on your heart
Swing on your ribs like monkey bars in a jungle gym
They won't stop
Not even for a second

When he calls you on the phone for the first time
You try to contain them
Not let them out all at once
But you can't help it
They shake your insides
Until they get what they want
Until the rest are set free
Hundreds, maybe thousands
Bouncing in your stomach
Like a jumper at a 5 year-old’s birthday party
You want to run
You want to scream
You want to be at that 5 year old’s birthday party
Doing flips in the bounce house
You don't know what to do with yourself
The butterflies gave you energy you didn't know you had
You have to be quiet
You can't make it obvious
You have to be cool
But the butterflies just hit open the piñata to the party in your stomach and you're missing out on all the candy

They plaster a smile on your face
It won't come off
No matter how hard you try
You can't speak
You don't know what to say
You can speak
You say too much
You talk too fast
Your cheeks are rosy
Your face is warm
You're shaking just a little
You feel overwhelmed with emotion

It's because of the butterflies
They have taken over
They dominate your stomach first
Then swarm to your heart
There was a vacancy in your heart you realize
You never noticed it before
Until just now
Because you feel it being filled
Almost up to the brim
With what, you do not know
But there is a loss of emptiness
You're sure you feel it
It's pouring in like lemonade into a pitcher
You try to describe it
But you can't
First hellos
Shallow smiles
Mindless glances
Flirty laughter
Rosy cheeks
The remembrance of the lost caterpillars
The numbness you feel in your body
The happiness you feel in your bones
The butterflies make your heart dance with them

You realize you've never felt this way before
You've had butterflies
But never this many
All at once

But the butterflies
They scare you a little bit
They fuel off of his presence
His jokes
His laughter
You have to nurture the butterflies
Take care of them
Give them what they want
Or they'll starve
You will try to save them
But they will become weak
Frail
Fragile
And die
Taking with them
The rosy cheeks
The sweaty palms
The fluttering heartbeat
Leaving behind hollow wings in the pit of your stomach
Leaving the sorrow feeling of lost hope
Leaving a hole in your heart more vacant than the last
After the butterflies have disintegrated into tears
Before the caterpillars have reappeared
The feeling of emptiness
Saddened loneliness
Like you've never felt it before
You realize the risk you're taking
Allowing the butterflies to play with your emotions
You tell yourself it's worth it
He's worth it

You take a deep breath
And feel them flutter around
Bumping into each other
Knocking into your rib cage
Tumbling across your stomach

These are the butterflies
They control you
Consuming your appetite
Devouring your sleep
Distracting your focus
But you don't mind
You like them
They make you happy
Thrilled
Overjoyed
Intoxicated

You can't blame yourself for these butterflies in your stomach
It's him
He directed the unsighted caterpillars
He confused them until they couldn't take it
And he released the alluring butterflies that took over your body

So I blame him for the butterflies that are bouncing in my stomach

And he can blame me for the butterflies that are tickling his heart
Written 5/3/16
Ian Beckett Jan 2012
Butterflies before you sit the final exam,
Butterflies before you go for a job interview,
Butterflies before you ask her out on a date,
Butterflies before you kiss her for the first time,
Butterflies before you propose two will be one,
Butterflies before you meet her family,
Butterflies before you see her all in white,
Butterflies before you make that big speech,
Butterflies before you see that your baby is OK,
Butterflies before you get news from the doctor,
Butterflies before you lose your job again,
Butterflies before you face any little crisis,

But -                                          

No butterflies for breakfast.
Marian May 2013
When butterflies kiss the Dawn
God paints a sunrise in the east
When butterflies kiss the Dawn
Dewdrops kiss the flowers
And last Night's raindrops
Drench the fresh earth
When butterflies kiss the Dawn
The veil of Heaven lifts
And shows fluffy white clouds
Drifting lazily by
When butterflies kiss the Dawn
Buds unfurl their soft sweet petals
And the smell of honeysuckles
And millions of other flowers
Fill the air of Dawn
With a heavenly fragrance
When butterflies kiss the Dawn
Flowers waltz in the meadows and fields
When butterflies kiss the Dawn
Sunrays dance through my window
Filling my room full of light
When butterflies kiss the Dawn
All is beautiful

*~Marian~
Emma Sawyer Nov 2013
There is a time after busy schedules, warm hugs, cold tears and brave encounters my sweet.
This is the final gift I wish to share with you.
This is called the time of the butterflies.

When we pass from this world; when we can do no more on this plain of existence, we turn into silver butterflies
Who dance in the sky, swirling above everyone’s head, flittering and flying.
It looks like, when you see them, that they don’t have a purpose, mindless but beautiful.
But you cannot judge them, until you know what important role they play for us.

At night, these butterflies will glow and guide those who are lost
Offering a path that only a few dare tread.
For this path is usually filled with struggles and triumphs.
But for those who are lost, realise, they are never alone.
And when the butterflies cannot glow, they explode, elegantly; they become shards of light, so all may experience
Togetherness.

During the day, butterflies disguise themselves in the natural world as normal butterflies.
Their bright colours let us appreciate beauty, but remind us that like you and me, butterflies are born, they live as we do. But their magic keeps them alive for however long we need them.
There sole role is to keep us believing, believing that there is something better, always something better.
They restore the faith that society and the world have crushed out of us.

You do not have to call a butterfly when you need them my sweet, they will be there whenever you need them.
They will know when you need someone to hug or someone to talk too.
Or even if you want someone to play games with.

I will be there.

My sweet, I am your silver butterfly.
I will always be there when you need me.
You are never alone, because I will always glow.
Glow for you.

So during the day, on your way to school watch for the butterflies,
And before you go to bed, watch out the window.
I will be sat on your windowsill until you fall asleep.

Rest my sweet, I will see you tomorrow.

Love your silver butterfly (Daddy)
εїз
Pauline Morris Apr 2016
Late one evening on a stroll
I was feeling mighty droll
I came to the big open meadow
And decided to sit down and mellow

There was nothing but grass for miles to see
Nothing at all but this one tiny bee
He looked in a great hurry
He's wing's buzzed with a mighty flurry

So me being me
I decided to fallow and see
He ziged and he zaged
I tried hard not to lag
At the top of a small hill crest
Is when I seen all the rest

On one side the bees, the other side the butterflies
And right in the middle their prize

It was the only one left
Frost had taken all the rest
It was tattered and torn
But it's beauty none could scorn
For it had stood times test
It had been stronger than the rest

It had been pearly white
Such a beautifully gourges sight
Now a dingy gray
It's nectar still as sweet as that very first day

And that's what started the war
That one little flower is what they where all here for
The big strong bees
Thought they could bring the butterflies to their knees
The fragile brightly painted butterflies
Behind their backs had a big surprise

The bees flew in first, stingers at the ready
Their stingers polished and sharp, flight was steady
The butterflies spread wide their colored wings
Hiding behind them their evil means

The first bee to the flower was shot down
I watched it spiral and hit the ground
That was it, all out war
All those flying fighting insects shook me the core

The bees had brought knifes to the butterflies gun battle
All I could hear was buzzing and tiny gun fire crackle
The air was a sea of colorful wings
And the yellow and black with the wings that sings

The bees were out powered
With the guns the butterflies advanced on the flower
The bodies of bees soon littered the ground
And when it was all over, it was sad what was found

The poor flower had been beaten down
It was laying with the dead bees on the ground
The butterflies realized the war had been for naught
For neither side would get what they want

But the butterflies had tasted power
They forgot about that little flower
So if in your town the bees are despairing
Then know the butterfly revolution is nearing
Simone Mar 2010
Butterflies
Flutter around my stomach
Butterflies
Float around my head
Butterflies
Swarm around my heart
Butterflies
Flap and make me smile
Butterflies
Slow when he comes over to talk to me
Butterflies
Make me shiver when he touches my hand
Butterflies
Teach happiness
Butterflies
Fly for love
        Worlds greatest gift
Pauline Morris Jun 2016
Late one evening on a stroll
I was feeling mighty droll
I came to the big open meadow
And decided to sit down and mellow

There was nothing but grass for miles to see
Nothing at all but this one tiny bee
He looked in a great hurry
He's wing's buzzed with a mighty flurry

So me being me
I decided to fallow and see
He ziged and he zaged
I tried hard not to lag
At the top of a small hill crest
Is when I seen all the rest

On one side the bees, the other side the butterflies
And right in the middle their prize

It was the only one left
Frost had taken all the rest
It was tattered and torn
But it's beauty none could scorn
For it had stood times test
It had been stronger than the rest

It had been pearly white
Such a beautifully gourges sight
Now a dingy gray
It's nectar still as sweet as that very first day

And that's what started the war
That one little flower is what they where all here for
The big strong bees
Thought they could bring the butterflies to their knees
The fragile brightly painted butterflies
Behind their backs had a big surprise

The bees flew in first, stingers at the ready
Their stingers polished and sharp, flight was steady
The butterflies spread wide their colored wings
Hiding behind them their evil means

The first bee to the flower was shot down
I watched it spiral and hit the ground
That was it, all out war
All those flying fighting insects shook me the core

The bees had brought knifes to the butterflies gun battle
All I could hear was buzzing and tiny gun fire crackle
The air was a sea of colorful wings
And the yellow and black with the wings that sings

The bees were out powered
With the guns the butterflies advanced on the flower
The bodies of bees soon littered the ground
And when it was all over, it was sad what was found

The poor flower had been beaten down
It was laying with the dead bees on the ground
The butterflies realized the war had been for naught
For neither side would get what they want

But the butterflies had tasted power
They forgot about that little flower
So if in your town the bees are despairing
Then know the butterfly revolution is nearing
Andie Sep 2016
the butterflies

they fly around me, swirling fast, blocking out the sun,
they swarm through me, taking my breath away, leaving me speechless
they burst out of me, my every pore, all of me

the butterflies

they will never leave me, they will always follow me, keeping me company with their bright wings and large eyes, never questioning me, yet keeping me silent and compliant

the butterflies

I'm used to them, following me, keeping me from speaking, making me hold my tongue and agree, to just agree and smile and let you do it,
but yet

the butterflies

I've always loved them, they loved me, and slowly we became something entirely new, something to revel in for all the ages, a new metamorphosis, something beautiful and perfect

the butterflies

they're gone now, they have left me alone, I will never seem them again, I used to think they loved me but they left me all by myself in this world, they have abandoned me

the butterflies

they are gone forever, I can never see them and they will never return, this cruel world we live in has rid itself of them, and they are no longer, the butterflies have fallen

but

the butterflies

left you behind for me

*and you love me back
I've always loved butterflies. For her
Amy Ross Nov 2020
People always call anxiety
Butterflies
in your stomach.

but my anxiety,
feels like a million butterflies in my chest
all trying at once to fly out
when I open my mouth

or, my anxiety
feels like being surrounded by butterflies
all pushing, flapping against me
the wind of all their wings enough to wound
and I can't breathe
because when I open my mouth,
it's only butterflies.

and Butterflies,
Butterflies can see colors we can't
peer into the ultraviolet
to the letters written on the leaves
in the shades we can't comprehend
and things we can't begin to see
you could say,
they live in a whole different reality

kind of like my anxiety
they see things that aren't there
things that other people tell me,
them,
aren't there
but like the butterflies
I can see the the ultraviolet rays
and they're coming down on top of me and,
(isn't UV bad for you?
isn't UV how people get cancer??
isn't that how people die???)

but you tell me,
I'm afraid of things that aren't there
but like the butterflies
I can see it  
I can see the other colors
only,
when I open my mouth to tell you
to say I live in a different reality,
only butterflies come out
Jenni Littzi May 2019
And all that’s left are black butterflies
Fluttering all about, surrounding me
All that’s left is deadness in my eyes
Dust to dust, everything falls apart
It has been so long, I can’t even cry
Lost spinning in a full room all alone
I contemplate if I should still fight
As black butterflies fly in my mind

The darkness takes over and lasts
I keep having to mend the pieces back
As falling apart seems to be my knack
Ashes to ashes, everything falls apart
It seems like there are no new starts
Black butterflies have taken their flight
I ask to the dear heavens above, “why”
I’m seeing the world with black butterflies

Because all that’s left are black butterflies
Those black butterflies fly in my mind
The black butterflies have taken their flight
I’m seeing the world with black butterflies
Sunshine Girl Nov 2012
Butterflies?
I still get Butterflies?
My phone goes off, Butterflies.
I open Hello Poetry, Butterflies.
Read your texts, Butterflies.
Hadn't thought I could still get them, Butterflies.
I thank you for bringing back my,
Butterflies.
Dedicated to someone that truly gives me butterflies, he knows who he is :)
Michael R Burch Oct 2020
Matsuo Basho Translations



My Personal Favorites

The first soft snow:
leaves of the awed jonquil
bow low
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Come, investigate loneliness!
a solitary leaf
clings to the Kiri tree
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

The cheerful-chirping cricket
contends gray autumn's gay,
contemptuous of frost
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Whistle on, twilight whippoorwill,
solemn evangelist
of loneliness
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

The sea darkening,
the voices of the wild geese:
my mysterious companions!
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

The first chill rain:
poor monkey, you too could use
a woven cape of straw
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

This snowy morning:
cries of the crow I despise
(ah, but so beautiful!)
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

I wish I could wash
this perishing earth
in its shimmering dew
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Dabbed with morning dew
and splashed with mud,
the melon looks wonderfully cool.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch



Basho's Butterflies

The butterfly
perfuming its wings
fans the orchid
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Will we remain parted forever?
Here at your grave:
two flowerlike butterflies!
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Air ballet:
twin butterflies, twice white,
meet, match & mate.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Ballet in the air! ―
two butterflies, twice white,
meet, mate, unite.
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

A spring wind
stirs willow leaves
as a butterfly hovers unsteadily.
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

As autumn deepens,
a butterfly sips
chrysanthemum dew.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch
aki o hete / cho mo nameru ya / kiku no tsuyu

Come, butterfly,
it's late
and we've a long way to go!
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Dusk-gliding swallow,
please spare my small friends
flitting among the flowers!
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch



Basho's Famous Frog Poem

An ancient pond,
the frog leaps:
the silver plop and gurgle of water
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

An ancient pond sleeps...
untroubled by sound or movement...until...
suddenly a frog leaps!
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Explosion!
The frog returns
to its lily pad.
—Michael R. Burch original haiku



Basho's Heron

Lightning
shatters the darkness—
the night heron's shriek
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Lightning―
the night heron's shriek
severs the darkness
― Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

A flash of lightning―
the night heron's shriek
splits the void
― Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch



Basho's Flowers

Let us arrange
these lovely flowers in the bowl
since there's no rice
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Like a heavy fragrance
snowflakes settle:
lilies on rocks
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

High-altitude rose petals
falling
falling
falling:
the melody of a waterfall.
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Revered figure!
I bow low
to the rabbit-eared Iris.
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Cold white azalea—
a lone nun
in her thatched straw hut.
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Glimpsed on this high mountain trail,
delighting my heart—
wild violets
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Disdaining grass,
the firefly nibbles nettles—
this is who I am.
—Takarai Kikaku translation by Michael R. Burch

A simple man,
content to breakfast with the morning glories—
this is who I am.
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch
This is Basho's response to the Takarai Kikaku haiku above
asagao ni / ware wa meshi kû / otoko kana

Ah me,
I waste my meager breakfast
morning glory gazing!
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Morning glories blossom,
reinforcing the old fence gate.
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

The morning glories, alas,
also turned out
not to embrace me
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Morning glories bloom,
mending chinks
in the old fence
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Morning glories,
however poorly painted,
still engage us
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch
asagao wa / heta no kaku sae / aware nari

I too
have been accused
of morning glory gazing...
—original haiku by by Michael R. Burch

Curious flower,
watching us approach:
meet Death, our famished donkey.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch



Basho's Poems about Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter

Spring has come:
the nameless hill
lies shrouded in mist
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Spring!
A nameless hill
stands shrouded in mist.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

The legs of the cranes
have been shortened
by the summer rains.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

These brown summer grasses?
The only remains
of "invincible" warriors...
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

An empty road
lonelier than abandonment:
this autumn evening
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Autumn darkness
descends
on this road I travel alone
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Taming the rage
of an unrelenting sun—
autumn breeze.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch
aka aka to / hi wa tsurenaku mo / aki no kaze

The sun sets,
relentlessly red,
yet autumn's in the wind.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch
aka aka to / hi wa tsurenaku mo / aki no kaze

As autumn draws near,
so too our hearts
in this small tea room.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch
aki chikaki / kokoro no yoru ya / yo jo han

Late autumn:
my neighbor,
how does he continue?
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Winter in the air:
my neighbor,
how does he fare?
― Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Winter solitude:
a world awash in white,
the sound of the wind
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

The year's first day...
thoughts come, and with them, loneliness;
dusk approaches.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch



Basho's Temple Poems

Graven images of long-departed gods,
dry spiritless leaves:
companions of the temple porch
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

The temple bells grow silent
but the blossoms provide their incense―
A perfect evening!
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

See: whose surviving sons
visit the ancestral graves
white-bearded, with trembling canes?
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Like a glorious shrine—
on these green, budding leaves,
the sun's intense radiance.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch
ara toto / aoba wakaba no / hi no hikar



Basho's Birds

A raven settles
on a leafless branch:
autumn nightfall
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

A crow has settled
on a naked branch—
autumn nightfall
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

A solitary crow
clings to a leafless branch:
autumn twilight
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

A solitary crow
clings to a leafless branch:
phantom autumn
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

A crow roosts
on a leafless branch:
autumn nightmare
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

NOTE: There has been a debate about the meaning of aki-no kure, which may mean one of the following: autumn evening, autumn dusk, the end of autumn. Or it seems possible that Basho may have intentionally invoked the ideas of both the end of an autumn day and the end of the season as well. In my translations I have tried to create an image of solitary crow clinging to a branch that seems like a harbinger of approaching winter and death. In the first translation I went with the least light possible: autumn twilight. In the second translation, I attempted something more ghostly. Phrases I considered include: spectral autumn, skeletal autumn, autumnal skeleton, phantom autumn, autumn nocturne, autumn nightfall, autumn nightmare, dismal autumn. In the third and fourth translations I focused on the color of the bird and its resemblance to night falling. While literalists will no doubt object, my goal is to create an image and a feeling that convey in English what I take Basho to have been trying to convey in Japanese. Readers will have to decide whether they prefer my translations to the many others that exist, but mine are trying to convey the eeriness of the scene in English.

Except for a woodpecker
tapping at a post,
the house is silent.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Swallow flitting in the dusk,
please spare my small friends
buzzing among the flowers!
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch




Basho's Insects

A bee emerging
from deep within the peony's hairy recesses
flies off heavily, sated
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

That dying cricket,
how he goes on about his life!
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

The cicada's cry
contains no hint
of how soon it must die.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Nothing in the cicada's cry
hints that it knows
how soon it must die.
—Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

The cicada's cry
contains no hint
of how soon it must die.
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch




Basho's Moon and Stars

Pausing between clouds
the moon rests
in the eyes of its beholders
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

The moon: glorious its illumination!
Therefore, we give thanks.
Dark clouds cast their shadows on our necks.
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

The surging sea crests around Sado...
and above her?
An ocean of stars.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch
ara umi ya / Sado ni yokotau / Ama-no-gawa



Basho's Companions

Fire levitating ashes:
my companion's shadow
animates the wall...
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Among the graffiti
one illuminated name:
Yours.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Scrawny tomcat!
Are you starving for fish and mice
or pining away for love?
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch



Basho's End of Life and Death Poems

Nothing happened!
Yesterday simply vanished
like the blowfish soup.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch
ara nantomo na ya / kino wa sugite / fukuto-jiru

Fever-felled mid-path
my dreams resurrect, to trek
into a hollow land
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Sick of its autumn migration
my spirit drifts
over wilted fields...
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Sick of this autumn migration
in dreams I drift
over flowerless fields...
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

NOTE: While literalists will no doubt object to "flowerless" in the translation above ― along with other word choices in my other translations ― this is my preferred version. I think Basho's meaning still comes through. But "wilted" is probably closer to what he meant. If only we could consult him, to ask whether he preferred strictly literal prose translations of his poems, or more poetic interpretations! My guess is that most poets would prefer for their poems to remain poetry in the second language. In my opinion the differences are minor and astute readers will grok both Basho's meaning and his emotion.

Too ill to travel,
now only my autumn dreams
survey these withering fields
― Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch



New Haiku Translations, Added 10/6/2020

Air ballet:
twin butterflies, twice white,
meet, match & mate
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Denied transformation
into a butterfly,
autumn worsens for the worm
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Dusk-gliding swallow,
please spare my small friends
flitting among the flowers!
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Up and at ’em! The sky goes bright!
Let’***** the road again,
Companion Butterfly!
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Higher than a skylark,
resting on the breast of heaven:
mountain pass.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Farewell,
my cloud-parting friend!
Wild goose migrating.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

A crow settles
on a leafless branch:
autumn nightfall.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

An exciting struggle
with such a sad ending:
cormorant fishing.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Secretly,
by the light of the moon,
a worm bores into a chestnut.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

This strange flower
investigated by butterflies and birds:
the autumn sky
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Where’s the moon tonight?
Like the temple bell:
lost at sea.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Spring departs;
birds wail;
the pale eyes of fish moisten.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The moon still appears,
though far from home:
summer vagrant.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Cooling the pitiless sun’s
bright red flames:
autumn wind.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Saying farewell to others
while being told farewell:
departing autumn.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  
Traveling this road alone:
autumn evening.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Thin from its journey
and not yet recovered:
late harvest moon.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Occasional clouds
bless tired eyes with rest
from moon-viewing.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The farmboy
rests from husking rice
to reach for the moon.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The moon aside,
no one here
has such a lovely face.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The moon having set,
all that remains
are the four corners of his desk.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The moon so bright
a wandering monk carries it
lightly on his shoulder.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The Festival of Souls
is obscured
by smoke from the crematory.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The Festival of Souls!
Smoke from the crematory?
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Family reunion:
those with white hair and canes
visiting graves.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

One who is no more
left embroidered clothes
for a summer airing.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

What am I doing,
writing haiku on the threshold of death?
Hush, a bird’s song!
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Fallen ill on a final tour,
in dreams I go roving
earth’s flowerless moor.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Striken ill on a senseless tour,
still in dreams I go roving
earth’s withered moor.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Stricken ill on a journey,
in dreams I go wandering
withered moors.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch


New Haiku Translations, Added 10/6/2020

Air ballet:
twin butterflies, twice white,
meet, match & mate
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Denied transformation
into a butterfly,
autumn worsens for the worm
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Dusk-gliding swallow,
please spare my small friends
flitting among the flowers!
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Up and at ’em! The sky goes bright!
Let’***** the road again,
Companion Butterfly!
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Higher than a skylark,
resting on the breast of heaven:
mountain pass.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Farewell,
my cloud-parting friend!
Wild goose migrating.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

A crow settles
on a leafless branch:
autumn nightfall.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

An exciting struggle
with such a sad ending:
cormorant fishing.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Secretly,
by the light of the moon,
a worm bores into a chestnut.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

This strange flower
investigated by butterflies and birds:
the autumn sky
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Where’s the moon tonight?
Like the temple bell:
lost at sea.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Spring departs;
birds wail;
the pale eyes of fish moisten.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The moon still appears,
though far from home:
summer vagrant.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Cooling the pitiless sun’s
bright red flames:
autumn wind.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Saying farewell to others
while being told farewell:
departing autumn.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  
Traveling this road alone:
autumn evening.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Thin from its journey
and not yet recovered:
late harvest moon.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Occasional clouds
bless tired eyes with rest
from moon-viewing.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The farmboy
rests from husking rice
to reach for the moon.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The moon aside,
no one here
has such a lovely face.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The moon having set,
all that remains
are the four corners of his desk.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The moon so bright
a wandering monk carries it
lightly on his shoulder.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The Festival of Souls
is obscured
by smoke from the crematory.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The Festival of Souls!
Smoke from the crematory?
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Family reunion:
those with white hair and canes
visiting graves.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

One who is no more
left embroidered clothes
for a summer airing.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

What am I doing,
writing haiku on the threshold of death?
Hush, a bird’s song!
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Fallen ill on a final tour,
in dreams I go roving
earth’s flowerless moor.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Striken ill on a senseless tour,
still in dreams I go roving
earth’s withered moor.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Stricken ill on a journey,
in dreams I go wandering
withered moors.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch



Keywords/Tags: Basho, haiku, translation, Japan, Japanese, Oriental, Orient Occident, nature, season, seasons, waka, tanka, life and death, compassion, empathy, mrbhaiku, mrbbasho
Isabella Soledad Apr 2017
One brisk spring afternoon, a boy found himself adventuring down a local forested path. The sun beamed down through the trees, creating golden stips of light that fought their way through the newly grown greenery. The crunch of the earth beneath his feet could be heard from a distance as unimportant thoughts drifted through his mind.
He paused and set himself down on a large rock by a bubbling stream. The water created an ambiance that made a rush of calm flow over his mind. His eyes drifted around a bit, taking in his surroundings when suddenly a butterfly flittered down and flew around his face. A smile spread wide across his features as he lifted up his hand to try to catch it.
The butterfly grazed his hand, but then flew away as fast as it could, as it was afraid of the boy. He frowned in disappointment, wanting nothing more than the butterfly itself to flutter down onto his hand so he could admire it once more; But he was left in despair.
Two more butterflies of the same pattern found themselves drifting along the face of the boy, and he tried to catch them as well, for maybe they would fill in the gap that the first had left. He caught them both, but only briefly, as all butterflies were beautiful, but fleeting.
The boy tilted his head in disappointment, and sat there alone for some time, an array of butterflies coming and going, none of them filling the void left by the first.
Suddenly, a pure white moth came into view.
The boy scowled, unsure of what to make of the moth as it was nothing like the other butterflies that he had encountered before. The moth flittered around his face, and he raised his hands slightly, prepared to swipe the creature away.
The moth found itself landing softly on the nose of the boy, its fuzzy little wings tickling his skin upon contact.
He couldn’t help but smile, but felt a little uneasy, as he was only used to butterflies.
The boy lifted the moth gently from his nose, and perched it on a nearby branch. It’s little wings lifted its body from the perch, and tried to fly back toward the boy, but he gently shood the creature away. Finally, it gave up and landed itself back onto the branch in which the boy had placed it. There the moth stayed, watching the boy chase butterflies endlessly until he could chase no more.
kiss me like Saturday
give me butterflies baby
shocked out of shyness by a single kiss
yes, i expected it to be electric
but i never expected this
intense
we let our passions flow
from our lips and fingertips
our vision is blurry and we're losing our grip
on reality
we're loving blindly
with our eyes closed
and when they're open
when we catch our breath
when i am above you staring down into your eyes
and you are below me gazing into mine
even though it's been hours
it's still like that first moment
when you kiss me like Saturday
i get
butterflies baby

butterflies,
butterflies baby
i need you
i love you insanely
you give me
butterflies,
butterflies baby
I’m still waiting for comfort with butterflies
I’ve had comfort, complete comfort with someone
And comfort with stomach flips
Comfort with stomach flips usually means something is wrong
The comfort with butterflies lasts for a short time
And the butterflies turn to stomach flips
I want the butterflies to stay
I want the comfort to stay
I want comfort with butterflies
From: Talk *****/Breathe Easy
Gemma Davies Oct 2018
Snowflakes are the butterflies of winter...
Floating around, pretty and light.
The more of them that drift around...
The more beautiful the sight.

Snowflakes are the butterflies of winter...
They make even the messiest garden, shine.
No matter if the flakes are thick and heavy...
Or just a light dusting that's small and fine.

Snowflakes are the butterflies of winter...
Gliding through the skies, uncaged and free.
Only resting when the winds conclude...
Gently resting on every roof, hill or tree.

Snowflakes are the butterflies of winter...
Only present for such a short while.
A flying visit, and then they're gone...
But they sure do leave a smile.

Snowflakes are the butterflies of winter...
Making your garden glisten and glow.
They go wherever they please...
And please wherever they go.
My poem was lovingly made into a 'Me to You Bear' video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GulINtYWOpQ
Emelia Ruth Jul 2012
You give me butterflies

I've never understood that phrase.
Butterflies are
majestic
beautiful
colorful floating snow flakes
in the summer breeze.

You don't give me *butterflies
.

My butterflies
aren't light little fingers tickling me.
They are strong hands
wringing my insides
squeezing them out of me
like I'm a tube of tooth paste.

But what comes out is an unruly passion for you.

It seeps through my pores
and comes as zits on my nose,
but they don't bother you.
My passion
trickles
from my eyes
as tears at night
wishing I could be held
in your strong
yet graceful arms.
It arrives in words,
that I eventually stutter out as
"Hi"
when I'm next to you.

I sit on a porch swing at a friend's party one night.

You sit next to me
and smile
so bright in my darkness.
You whisper to me,
your lips wisp against my cheek
like delicate wings
and take my hand.
You pull a pen out of
your khakis pocket
and draw a
small
simple
butterfly.

And as cheesy as it was you whispered to me

"You give me butterflies"
A huge smile came across my face
glowing with yours in the night.
I took the pen in my hand
and drew another
butterfly
but on your palm
and replied,
*"So do you."
This was a poem I wrote really quickly, it was more like an idea that I thought should be more like a poem.
Corey May 2016
-butterflies caged by ribs,
a life begging to be lived
red heart beats in time
with the thoughts of my mind

but thoughts can fit through cracks
like the butterflies that are trapped
from mind to lips that part
but not passing through my heart

lips set the butterflies free
along with the feelings inside of me
yet I still feel lost
when I collide with my thoughts

my head is desensitized
perhaps my thoughts are the butterflies
their wings coated with beauty
but they can still come out rudely

although my thoughts are broke
when the words reach my throat
i long to fly too
like the butterflies that broke through

i won't hold my tongue anymore
butterflies free to explore
these thoughts begging to exist
a life begging to be live—
Collab!!!! with Victoria :)
check her out!
http://hellopoetry.com/ultravioletsx/
Shanath Apr 2017
People have butterflies  
In their stomach they say, 
When something tickles their heart away. 
They say something dances in there, 
That something gets them all red . 
That is how they know  
When something is good for their heart, 
The butterflies, I suppose is a sign of love 
-captured in their heart, 
Making their way around, 
The butterflies dances to someone else's songs 
And the world they live in  
Gets brighter. 
 
People say  
They have butterflies  
In their stomach, 
When someone tickles their heart 
But all I feel is a burn 
As if acid churns up my soul. 
It rises in my guts to my heart  
Perhaps to burn the love  
Or the fingers perhaps that tickles it, 
Perhaps because  
the butterflies in my stomach 
are dead! 
In others they remain dormant  
In mine they just died for living too long  
In hope but no fingers to carve their world. 
Maybe they died in their pupas 
Suffocated by all the strangling hands, 
Or maybe they flew away  
In search of someone in the past. 
But the acid I feel 
Is their ashes still ablaze, 
I guess that is what is most probable 
That they died long ago,
Been stuck there for too long 
Held hostage by my fear 
And burnt by the matches
People unknowingly rubbed along. 
And so every time something, 
Every time you tickle my heart, 
I guess it is good for it, 
Fire burns in my stomach, 
Rises up my guts  
And I run to throw up, 
To throw it all away. 
I don't think I am made to tickle. 
I have fire in my heart, 
It burns everything away  
And I have carcasses of wings to clean up!
Sherri Harder Oct 2014
Chasing butterflies around and around.
Chasing butterflies that don't hit the ground.
Chasing butterflies into the light.
Chasing butterflies  while they are in flight.
Chasing butterflies I do no more or see,
since that I got stung by a bee.
JayceeJellies Oct 2014
That silly feeling inside,
Bubbly or fluttery?
I can't decide.
It's as if a million butterflies are just there,
Underneath your skin tickling you without a care,
They want you to know that these feelings are rare.
Embrace them don't push them.
Just let them happen.
Felicia Diana Sep 2016
'The butterflies you gave me
have found their way to get inside my head.
They keep pounding on my skull
with their delicate wings.
My own thoughts are being bitten,
failing to see all the colors they wear.
You gave me these poisoned butterflies,
did you even noticed to who you gave them?
They keep spinning around my brain,
whispering melanchonic words.
As I grow, they start to die,
death butterflies laying around my mind.
Others filling me with new colors to look upon
and beautiful sounds to listen to.
As I keep closing my eyes, I see those empty
butterflies, as lost memories just being there.
And I realized I always blamed you,
for leaving me with this sight.
But the blame was not on you, mother, I know.
You gave me these pretty butterflies not knowing you
were poisoned by the life you had to live.
And as I learned to accept the you is me,
I'll blame myself for hearing that echo of those
pounding wings some days still.'
-- F.D. Prenger
Marian Apr 2013
Butterflies everywhere
In the sink and in the air
Stinging my fair-sensitive skin
They always seem to win
Butterflies everywhere
Butterflies landing in my hair
Making sream because I'm scared
Of these huge butterflies that are weird
I scream for help
Yet no one hears my yelp
Someone save me from these butterflies
And since no one hears my cries
I cry harder
Scared, and crying even harder
They sting my skin
And bite me and I can't fight back
Because I'm too scared and weak
And so, they win.

*~Marian~
I think I used to have nightmares about huge butterflies or moths that would hurt me.
PAD
Jay Singh Sep 2014
Butterflies, with psychedelic wings
Moving gracefully in a kaleidoscope
Sparkling waves of life and light

Butterflies in thousands (and more)
Rising, like a deep breath
O’er the valley of flowers
Dancing playfully, with the lilies
Swinging to strange tunes

Butterflies, in the brown palm
Of a young farm boy
Swaying around him
Lifting him into the air by the wind in their wings
The colors sparkling in the eyes of the young boy
As he lifts his trident
And bursts into a million butterflies
Reaching for the source.

Butterflies, moving across the dark void
Giving color to the arms, to the sheer expanse
Of the Milky Way
Reaching for a source
Where it all began
Where the wings were spread,
And love was known
Raj Arumugam Mar 2011
Yes, I have tried,
Sir Butterflies
O Butter Smooth and Red Samurai
I have tried to be carefree
like you both
like your eminent selves
flitting from one plant to another
not attached or fond of one
but coming and going as in necessity
I have tried
Sir Butter Smooth and Red Samurai
to be free of time
like you both
like your eminent selves
careless of the past
or what is to come
but still my mind wanders
into the inadequacies of the past
and the promises of the future
so that
O Sir Butterflies
Butter Smooth and Red Samurai
I am weighed down by attachment
and am pained by time
unlike you happy butterflies
merry and free
your life always in the moment…
Perhaps
Sir Butterflies
O Butter Smooth and Red Samurai
you should teach me…
Poem based on “A Philosopher watching a pair of butterflies,”  from Pictures after Nature an album by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) Japan 1814/19. (Japanese colored woodblock)
Donall Dempsey Nov 2016
"...féileacán...féileacán! "

baby on one ******
butterfly on the other
your laughter

butterfly frolics
... amongst
your kimono butterflies

silken-stitch butterflies
play
with the cabbage white

autumn morning
butterfly sits
on a swing

two butterflies
chatting on a swing
waiting for a push

my hands create
shadow butterflies
that fly into daughter's mind

"Make hands
make butlerflies!"
she pleads

her first
real butterfly
sheer awe

her butlerflies
buttle
serving the flowers

butterflies
little bits of coloured thought
flit from mind to mind

she adopts
the butterflies
"My flying flowers!"

she chases them
in Irish
"...féileacán...féileacán! "

refusing to come in
until all the butterflies
have gone to bed
I think you may have guessed that .féileacán is the Irish for butterfly....to her they were her butlerflies....her flying flowers....but she like to chase them with the Irish....so she would "...féileacán...féileacán! " them around the garden.
Snehith Kumbla Dec 2017
she grazes
the soul,
tumult in
her coming,

the pang
of proximity,
dew heavy
over exotic petal,

her absence
bullet-riddled
over umpteen
male faces,

a gnawing
melancholy,
restlessly at
high tide,  

a massacre
of butterflies,
a massacre
of butterflies,

crushed torn
powdered
ash dust
in flight  

a massacre
of butterflies,
a massacre
of butterflies,
Janet Li Nov 2010
I don't have butterflies fluttering about my tummy.
It's more like
a large mass of dead butterflies
rolling around,
smacking and tearing my stomach walls.
The butterflies start out happy and well,
flitting about, jostling merrily,
wings glimmering, flying wondrously.
Then,
they lose their energy,
collapse and die,
Their fragile bodies crumpling
like bits of sticks
as each leg and antennae snaps off and falls
to the bottom.
They decay and collect
as more and more butterflies give up,
give in, and drop.

I am left with nothing but
this heaving mess of dead insects in my stomach.

I feel sick.
11.13.10
Every day you play with the light of the universe.
Subtle visitor, you arrive in the flower and the water,
You are more than this white head that I hold tightly
as a bunch of flowers, every day, between my hands.

You are like nobody since I love you.
Let me spread you out among yellow garlands.
Who writes your name in letters of smoke among the stars of the south?
Oh let me remember you as you were before you existed.

Suddenly the wind howls and bangs at my shut window.
The sky is a net crammed with shadowy fish.
Here all the winds let go sooner or later, all of them.
The rain takes off her clothes.

The birds go by, fleeing.
The wind.  The wind.
I alone can contend against the power of men.
The storm whirls dark leaves
and turns loose all the boats that were moored last night to the sky.

You are here.  Oh, you do not run away.
You will answer me to the last cry.
Curl round me as though you were frightened.
Even so, a strange shadow once ran through your eyes.

Now, now too, little one, you bring me honeysuckle,
and even your ******* smell of it.
While the sad wind goes slaughtering butterflies
I love you, and my happiness bites the plum of your mouth.

How you must have suffered getting accustomed to me,
my savage, solitary soul, my name that sends them all running.
So many times we have seen the morning star burn, kissing our eyes,
and over our heads the grey light unwinds in turning fans.

My words rained over you, stroking you.
A long time I have loved the sunned mother-of-pearl of your body.
Until I even believe that you own the universe.
I will bring you happy flowers from the mountains, bluebells, dark hazels, and rustic baskets of kisses.
I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.
Bird Oct 2016
Scene: You were standing in a field with lots of lovely wildflowers.
There was blood everywhere,
A gallon and a half,
(to be almost exact)
And she was pale-
Like the moon,
If you want to be cliché, if not
maybe a piece of mozzarella
Ha! (What a cheesy metaphor!)
She was Still
Still
Still
But she was not Still breathing
Her lungs were ice, you can't
Catch your breath with a frozen chest.
So there she was lying in the sun,
Absolutely and totally covered in blood
And here they come-
the butterflies.
Growing up you saw pictures
of butterflies, sitting on flowers,
you probably even learned about their life cycle.
And when you got older someone told you

Hey! Did you know butterflies drink blood too?

And maybe you did know that and maybe you didn't, but the important part is that it's true and you probably haven't put much thought into it. I mean why would you?

anyway, my point.

The butterflies come and they perch on her arms, and chest, and eyes.
They rest, and they drink, and they live just a little bit longer and soon she is absolutely covered head to toe and you can't see her pale moon face, you just have to imagine that her body is under this chaotic blob, and more of them are coming and now all of them are fighting, and you never even thought that this was possible,
and now they're hitting each other and falling and dying and you, the luckiest soul gets to watch the battle of the butterflies.

The terrible grace of beauty under pressure.
No one ever said that butterflies were nice. Beauty does not equate kindness.
Shae Jun 2014
I hate the way your eyes used to twinkle
When I finally looked up at you from my books
I wish I had stuck to my plan;
    To pretend like I didn't care about you
I hate the way your hair was so soft
And I hate that stupid scruff,
It used to make me crumble in your hands
I hate the way your lips would quirk up
   on the left side first,
Then slowly on the right
I hate that I know how your lips feel
When they were against mine
or the way that you couldn't stop smiling long enough,
to meet the demands of my own mouth
I hate that I didn't hate that at all

I hate that the way you look at me now,
It isn't at all like the way you looked at me before;
Like I meant something,
like I was something you were determined to discover
And make your own
I hate that when you look at me now,
My face pales and tears immediately spring to my eyes
I hate that I used to have butterflies at the sight of you,
Now, it’s like the butterflies are there,
But they’re dead and make me want to hurl

I hate that when you see me,
Your face,
It’s like I physically punched you
   Again
I’d be lying if I said that I still didn't see the way your eyes get darker,
But it’s not like before, when they were happy
  So happy
Now, they darken with sadness and pity,
I’m sure there’s disappointment mixed in there,
But you and I both know, I run as soon as I see you,
And I’ll never get to see how far the disappointment goes
   Does it make your eyes flame like when you’re mad or make them dull like when you’re sad?

I hate that when you see me in the halls,
You stop
And I hate that I ruin your conversations just with my presence
I hate that you don’t look at me with anger
   Because that would be easy
I hate that I have to force myself to look at you with anger
I hate that you finally listened to me
    For once
You finally believed me when I said that I hated you

I hate the way that your side looks empty without me
I hate that I notice how you’re constantly looking around,
Like you used to for me,
  Because you know I don’t like crowds
I hate that I like to think that you’re looking for me,
And not just looking at your surroundings
I hate how I still order extra fries because you’d eat mine
  And the extras
I hate how you share that stupid smirk,
The one I thought was solely reserved for me,
And I’ll admit,
I miss how it’s not directed at me
And that I never get to hear your smart-*** remarks
   Ones that always left my cheeks red

I hate how your voice carries when you talk,
And how it could put babies to sleep or used for *******,
Depending on your mood
I hate that I have to force myself to walk in the opposite direction
When I hear you talking to someone else
I hate how our persistent bickering doesn't even exist anymore
I hate that my mother still asks about you

I hate how I hate myself when I see you talking to girls
  Talking to her
I hate that I don’t have the right to be jealous anymore
   If I ever did, for that matter

I hate that I’m writing this because I couldn't sleep
Because I kept remember when you’d chase me around your house
Because you wanted to “check my vitals and see if I had suspicious lumps”
I hate that I wrote this because it made me smile
I hate that I chopped off my long hair,
  Because you always told me you loved it
I hate that I left a permanent mark on your perfect face
I hate that you know what I did at my lowest times
I hate that you still check my wrists, even from across the room
I hate that I hit you
I hate how you've moved on,
  but you still look lost

I hate that I’m probably making all of this up in my head;
Imagining that you might not hate me,
Even when I see the way you look at her now
It’s not how I remember you looking at me,
But it’s different,
Because that was me and this is her
I hate that I hate her for being my replacement
   Even though I was never really there to qualify as yours
I hate that I hate so much now
   I used to be Switzerland
      Now I’m more like Idaho
       It’s known for one thing and no one really wants to be there

I get it though,
Why you hate me,
  After all, I told you to
But for some reason,
I can’t make myself forget you
   Because I hate you
I don’t know,
Maybe it was the way you looked, like I'd put the marks on you,
Or maybe it was the way I keep hearing your voice crack in my ear,
           Why did you do this to yourself?
Maybe it was because I woke up shaking
And you were there to hold my hand,
And offer coffee at 4:30 in the morning
It was probably the way a tear rolled down your cheek
And your eyes filled with something that looked like fear and horror

I hate that I keep telling myself all these things to hate about you,
Just to keep myself from banging on your door on nights like these,
And beg for your smile to be turned in my direction,
Just once more
But I can’t do that
Because I can’t promise that my lowest point in life is over
I can’t promise that there won’t be more marks to make you cry
I can’t promise anything
I hate that you didn't get mad at me for hitting you  
    Repeatedly
In my sleep
I hate that you lied and said it was from your brother
I hate that I did that;
   Made you do things that’s not you
     Like lying

Look at me,
I’m writing this,
And it’s the biggest lie I've ever told
I keep writing though,
Trying to put reason behind me pushing you away,
And I guess the reason is that you, not only deserve better,
But you need to be with someone who knows how to love
And doesn't hate hugs
Or someone who likes movies

I can’t take it;
Your eyes not shining
I can’t take that from you,
Because that’s you, and what people love about you
Not just the way your eyes shine,
But what that means
    That— that shine—lets everyone that’s seen it , know that you care
I don't have that,
My eyes have dimmed because of this ****** hand that I was dealt
     And that's okay
      I've accepted it, but I can't trade cards with you anymore

So I will continue to ignore you in the hallways
I will continue to tell myself to hate you
I will continue to tell my heart to stop playing dead,
    because it still works around you
And I will continue to pretend like I don’t know you’re staring at me
Because you should be looking at her
   She’s like you
   Her eyes shine too
     They shine for you

I hate myself for doing things to make you hate me too,
But I can’t love you
  I know she does

Tell your her that I’m sorry,
Because she told me that in the middle of the night,
You reach for her,
But you say my name
Tell her I’m sorry
I unwillingly made her second place
Tell her, that even though I want to rip her perfect hair out,
She’s perfect for someone like you
She's perfect like you

I am not for you
And I'm sorry
The butterflies in my stomach are dead,
and I'm folding
I give up
There's no point in trying to force myself to hate you,
because I don't
I am the polar opposite of hating you
I can't keep playing,
You know my poker face,
And I can't let you see my cards ever again
     Never again
I am not for you
And this card game isn't for me either
     -{ksf}
Kerri Apr 2018
Tell me why I have to stare at every driver
In every white SUV to see if it’s you
I used to keep count of how many there were
But I stopped at 152
It’s been 152 days since the first time I laid eyes on you
WOW, jaw drops, time stops, did he say his name was Corey?
Argyle socks, blue jacket, oh **** we made eye contact
Butterflies. You gave me butterflies.
And I knew from the second you muttered, “Ms. Yates” under your breath
That I needed to know what it felt like under my skin.
That’s where it all began.

I’ve heard that ‘feeling is healing’
But I’m wondering when the pain is going to cease
And leave something hopeful in its place
I’m not sure how much more I can take
I’m tired
I got tired of running stop lights chasing you
To only be re-routed
I doubted that you even knew I was behind you
Apologies have to be a two-way street

It’s always my fault
You are incapable of taking responsibility
Letting jealousy take reign
Of what little remains between us
I used to count the hours until I got to see you
Down a few beers to ease my nerves
Change my shirt half a dozen times
Thinking you were too good for me
But you see, I was wrong
I wish it wouldn’t have taken me so long
To figure out that I’m not the bad guy
I wish it wouldn’t have taken me so long
To understand that selfishness and flattery
Often look the same
Too distracted by the butterflies to see
That you ripped them from their cocoon too soon

I won’t miss wishing I was something that I’m not
Making myself believe that I could be who you need
I won’t miss you making me feel uncomfortable in my own skin
As though my stretch marks and soft curves were not deserving of your affection
I won’t miss the way you never answered my calls
Leaving me guessing if you’re going to show
Like some sort of twisted game that you always win

I stopped getting butterflies
I stopped looking at the clock when we made plans
I stopped checking my reflection for perfection in the mirror
I stopped enjoying the tequila that you kept pouring when I told you I had enough
I stopped enjoying you when you were no longer a safe place
When I could no longer trust you
When I could no longer believe the words coming out of your mouth

You do not deserve my sympathy
You do not deserve my apologies
You do not deserve the tears that I have cried because of you
The sleepless nights wondering if you love me too
The forgiveness that I have given so freely
You do not deserve me

What doesn’t **** you only makes you stronger so
Thank you for making me a stronger person
For showing your true colors
For proving to me that I deserve so much better
For walking away when I was too selfish to do the right thing
It began with butterflies and it ends with goodbye.
Kristi D Sep 2013
Love, the real kind, is never simple.
It is the one thing that makes life worth it in the end,
and something that wonderful and sought-after is never going to be easy to get.
You have to work for it.
Blood, sweat, and tears.
So if it’s easy, yeah maybe you won’t get broken.
But you won’t be truly happy, either.
You’ll be settling.
Don’t get me wrong,
There are lots of things in life that are totally acceptable to settle on.
Sure, Harvard was your dream school.
But you know what?
Going to your state school because its more affordable
Will still get you where you want to be in life.
And I know the hairdresser couldn't match the color you showed her,
But you are beautiful and can rock it anyway, so don’t worry.
But love?
Settling in love is like buying a pair of shoes that are a size too small,
Just because you thought they were pretty.
They may look nice,
But you are dying on the inside. I
f you had just held out a bit longer,
You would have found a pair just as beautiful that fit well, too.
Maybe that nice guy looks good on paper,
But if he doesn’t give you butterflies whenever he looks at you,
Don’t be with him.
You want someone who makes you fall for them every day,
Not just once.
Madison Jul 2013
There comes a day in your life where you meet someone special…
You try so hard not to admit it but you just can’t hold back the way you feel…
I like you.
You get all those feelings…
Those butterflies you can’t stomach,
That heart rate you can’t put at ease,
So baby …
Sweetheart with the beautiful smile. Sure, I loved sleep
But dreams couldn't compare
Not to talking to you until my mind screamed for rest
And the butterflies in my stomach settled
Darling with the endless amount of love…
your love could fill the oceans and climb the tallest trees,
but could your love belong to me someday?
Be given to me?
Can you feel the way I do for you?
& Boy, sometimes I tangle my own fingers
Closing my eyes, losing myself in a daydream
Where your voice is more than an echo in my mind
And I even believe for a few seconds you're still here
Lover, who writes me poems,
You should know I write you too.
I write about you until my fingers ache
And still after that I keep writing
Because there's just some people you could write about forever
And baby, you're one of them.
And boy who played me a song,
Sweet sounds bow down to my ears,
And the way you play your guitar…
& the way I daydream about kissing your lips...
I can’t wait until the sparks of your tongue burn my mouth
send electric shocks through my body
Cutie… with the funny jokes,
You make me laugh.
Today you made me laugh,
like you always do,
you’re the only one who can now a days.
Baby, with those sparkling eyes,
Your eyes haunt me whether I'm dreaming or not
And what haunts me more is the fact that
I can’t have you now
because you ruined it
It hurts to think about it,
So I have to block you out.
Play your songs to someone else,
Read your silly lines of heartache to someone else,
And go find… someone else.
norris rolle May 2013
When I look into your eyes
I get full of butterflies
They fill up all of my insides
And it takes me by surprise.
And when your lips are close to mines
You know that I get hypnotized
And I just want to get the prize,
That's when I get more butterflies
You're so ****, just my size,
There's extra beauty in your smiles
Your presence simply glorifies,
That's why you give me butterflies.
When you hold my hands sometimes
I get weak in both my thighs
My temperature begins to rise,
Because you give me butterflies.
Quiet May 2014
I doodled butterflies on my arms, and pretended
they could fly into my veins, and they were named after
celebrities and friends and family, no not family
I let my butterflies
live, and they lived real lives while I,
I lived a life already dead i n s i d e
and I let the butterflies soar back onto my skin
after every shower scared them away.
I was a flower and they were perched on me,
they were pollinating my strength with kind words
and you're going to be okay
okay
because we love you
you're our flower and we are your butterflies
And you will be okay. So thank you,
Dear butterflies,
thank you for living.


r.c.
Shofi Ahmed Aug 2017
Come bask in the summer sun
     let’s slip out fly with the butterflies!
         While white fluffy cloud-swans  
              dip in and rise, surge and fly
                 up the rainbow arc sway away
                    come down the blue harbour
                       ambling along shady lanes
                           cast your glance treat your eyes!
Jack Feb 2014
Beyond the chipped paint and tarnished handle
of this old screen door once waited a garden,
a winding path of stone and dirt
I had walked many times in my life,
led to a place of wondrous beauty,
poetic blooms and intoxicating fragrances

Merely stepping beneath the Jasmine covered arbor
lifted spirits and illumined hope that all was right,
and the butterflies, oh the butterflies, winged effervescence in
sapphire, indigo, tangerine and lemon butter yellows
floated from flower to flower creating
the most wonderful dancing rainbow for the eye

I still smile when I hear those old rusted hinges squeak
and I feel that fresh air meet my face
For those memories linger in my mind,
as now I find the path overgrown, the arbor splintered and fallen
the vibrant garden a mass of **** and vine
strangling the beauty that once flourished

And I understand, life changes…slowly,
each of us deteriorate within time’s grasp,  returning
to where we began, covered in lawn and dew
beginning anew or to be forgotten…
an occasional thought that passes
down another path of another life

Now as I stand gazing at what once was,
a tear finds my cheek, meandering over these wrinkles
gathering in the corner of my mouth…salty
yet it is not the garden nor the whimsical path
that collects in my mind…it is the butterflies,
oh how I miss the butterflies…

— The End —