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Ayad Gharbawi Feb 2010
ANOTHER LETTER TO YOU AMERICANS: WHY DO YOU BLINDLY SUPPORT THE CANCEROUS, RACIST REGIME OF ISRAEL? AND DO YOU SIMPLY NOT SEE THE CONSEQUENCES?


Ayad Gharbawi

February 4, 2010 – Damascus, Syria


I am writing you from a Third World country. I am trying through my letters to connect with you Americans. I am trying to communicate with you so an understanding can arise between us.
I do not feel in any way optimistic. Why? Because you Americans live in plastic, fake, unreal ‘reality’ that your mass media feeds you that is fundamentally pro-Zionist and pro-Israel. It is precisely this blindness of your slavish poodle behaviour towards this Apartheid state that renders you so much hated by every nation and by every religion and by every race on earth.
It is no secret that US foreign policy in the Middle East is heavily influenced by Zionist lobbies. This is a fact that has acres of literature written upon it. What do the Zionists do whenever any human ‘dares’ to critique Israel? Well, of course, you declare him to be a ****, or a Self-Hating Jew or an Anti-Semite.
In other words: no human can ever critique Israel, and should he critique Israel, in any way, then that means he is a genocidal, mass murdering ****.
Did you see that typical Zionist, Dr. Dershowitz, who has recently labelled the author of the indictment of Israel’s atrocities in the Gaza War as an ‘anti-Semite? Well, Mr. Goldstone is, of course, a Jew himself.
That should point out to you all, the basic law: anyone who even thinks of daring to criticize Israel is a **** or an Anti-Semite.
Therefore, no respectable human can ever critique Israel.
And that means that: Anyone in the civilized, respectable West, who ‘dares’ to critique Israel in any way, shall be expelled from his/her job and shall be an outcast.
That is the Zionism in action in the West.
Fine. So, if no respectable, sane human can critique Israel, does that mean that Israel is the only nation on this planet that must be beyond any critique?
And if so, why are you, the people of the State of Israel, supposed to be beyond any critique?
Obviously, this Zionist twaddle is *******. The Zionists greatest fear is being compared to the Apartheid South African regime.
Why?
Precisely because Israel is an Apartheid state, where any non-Jew is an inferior-class.
Look at Israel.
Look at that cancer, all of you who love Israel. Look at all those American politicians who are paid by Israel to go and visit that land. Do they see the shanty towns where non-Jews live? Do they see the ghettoes where non-Jews live? No, of course not. This ‘tours’ show American tourists and politicians what a great land Israel is for the Jews, while they simply, forget to show these ‘visitors’ how the other half lives.
So what Israel look like?
Israel is a great land for the Jews. No one is going to deny that.
But what is Israel like for non-Jews?
Israel is a land where, because, you are not Jewish, the government, has the right to demolish your home and your land if they so wish and you can do nothing about that.
Israel is a land where they can expel and deport any non-Jew from your home at any time they like.
Israel is a land which has the right to expel any non-Jew from its soil.
Israel is a land that does not allow a non-Jew to marry a Jew.
So what kind of country do you Americans call that?
And then you Americans wonder why do these non-Jewish inhabitants hate poor, democratic Israel so much?
We, the non-Jewish inhabitants of Israel – we the Moslems, the Chaldeans, the Druze, the Armenians, the Russian Orthodox – hate Israel precisely because Israel, under its Zionist ideology, is simply determined to create a Goyim-free land that is only for the Jews. (‘Goyim’ = non Jew). So, we are all to be expelled or murdered in order to make the land of Israel only for the Jews?
Do you Americans think that the entire Goyim (non-Jewish people) are going to accept that?
Did the blacks accept the White Man rule in South Africa?
Did the Albanians accept Milosevic’s Serb-only Yugoslavia?
Israel is one of the few remaining countries where the Racist Supremacist ideology functions fully and is alive.
And yet, the West, cannot even dare, to speak the Truth that everyone knows about.
Israel is a state that was created by:
1. Ethnically cleansing as many Goyim as they can during 1947-48.
2. Israel is a nation that has a Constitution that is based on the sick fact that the land of Israel ‘must only be for the Jews’. Any non-Jews (or Goyims) must be removed.
Now everybody knows these facts, Jews, Zionists, Goyims and everyone else.
But what is so sickening, is why is Israel allowed to practice these Racist rules, whereby other leaders, and other nations were; punished for being racist – such as Milosevic’s drive to expel Albanians and Saddam Hussein’s efforts to expel Kurds?
Why are Zionists immune to any criticism?
Why is it that the Goyim world cannot critique Israel?
What are you Americans unable to realize what a cancer Israel really is?
Americans, well, at least in the media believe that the way to change behaviors is to punish either criminally, civilly or socially anyone who doesn't fit the societal norm.

Think about that for a minute,

...when someone is emotionally conflicted to the point that their behavior is no longer considered within a range of acceptance and THEN society decides, or any group, movement, political ideology or party to shun or expel, to incarcerate, admonish and thereby torture an, "emotionally conflicted," soul what you have accomplished by society's response is to create permanent anger and hatred.

Permanent anger and hatred.

American society therefore can be said to relish hatred and permanent anger as a way of life for all of it's citizens since every single person whom is inflicted with pain upon suffering will be assured to continue inflicting whatever pain and suffering they can on everyone else the rest of their life. So your only solution is to remove these souls from society permanently.

Was that the intent?

Is that the goal?

Do we need law, rules and fantasy crimes for every single thing a person says or does?

Is the endgame to remove these from society or to reform them?


Imagine now,

America arrests or imprisons one million people per year for using drugs,

...there are forty million felons alive today.

Wow! Lot of bad guys off the streets huh? Let's put that another way shall we?

America ruins a million people a year.
America creates a million 'soon-to-be' violent felons every year.
"Felons," who were nonviolent before being tortured by society and tortured in prison...forty million angry people live around you right now.

Forty million people!

America must want the nation to fail for every year we destroy a million people just because we want to be able to say at least I am not as bad as that person and point your finger while knowing there is no reason, no civil crime, that warrants bankruptcy, imprisonment, violence, ****, abuse, belittling, shame and banishment just because you personally don't like video games.

...or you don't like gambling,
...or you don't enjoy ***.
...or you don't smoke marijuana,
...or you hate Hollywood liberalism.
...you can't stand alcoholics,
...or you're afraid of the mentally ill.
...or your jealous of the *** you perceive someone having,
...angry because you think you work harder than someone else,
...because you deserve a better life so why not destroy others right?

Hatred as a virtue.

I wonder what our economy would be like if the 'fifty-plus' MILLION alleged criminals had jobs instead of listing away producing the smallest amount of productivity possible because YOU THINK they deserve to have a worse life for acting in a manner you do not agree with PERSONALLY.

That is one out of every seven people in The United States.

Hatred perpetuated.

That is American culture and that is why Black Lives Matter.
Nothing has to be done
Open that door and run

Stress is staying behind
Today be no more blind
Run in the direction of your heart
Expel the nonsense and be smart
Stress is a curse when nearby
Say to stress forever goodbye
Amada May 2013
I no longer feel alone
For when my feet are submerged in the ocean
I feel the pulse of millions of beings
As I expel a breath from my lungs
I know it will be inhaled by someone like me
Someone who once felt alone
And has now shared life with a stranger.
Perplexed and troubled at his bad success
The Tempter stood, nor had what to reply,
Discovered in his fraud, thrown from his hope
So oft, and the persuasive rhetoric
That sleeked his tongue, and won so much on Eve,
So little here, nay lost.  But Eve was Eve;
This far his over-match, who, self-deceived
And rash, beforehand had no better weighed
The strength he was to cope with, or his own.
But—as a man who had been matchless held
In cunning, over-reached where least he thought,
To salve his credit, and for very spite,
Still will be tempting him who foils him still,
And never cease, though to his shame the more;
Or as a swarm of flies in vintage-time,
About the wine-press where sweet must is poured,
Beat off, returns as oft with humming sound;
Or surging waves against a solid rock,
Though all to shivers dashed, the assault renew,
(Vain battery!) and in froth or bubbles end—
So Satan, whom repulse upon repulse
Met ever, and to shameful silence brought,
Yet gives not o’er, though desperate of success,
And his vain importunity pursues.
He brought our Saviour to the western side
Of that high mountain, whence he might behold
Another plain, long, but in breadth not wide,
Washed by the southern sea, and on the north
To equal length backed with a ridge of hills
That screened the fruits of the earth and seats of men
From cold Septentrion blasts; thence in the midst
Divided by a river, off whose banks
On each side an Imperial City stood,
With towers and temples proudly elevate
On seven small hills, with palaces adorned,
Porches and theatres, baths, aqueducts,
Statues and trophies, and triumphal arcs,
Gardens and groves, presented to his eyes
Above the highth of mountains interposed—
By what strange parallax, or optic skill
Of vision, multiplied through air, or glass
Of telescope, were curious to enquire.
And now the Tempter thus his silence broke:—
  “The city which thou seest no other deem
Than great and glorious Rome, Queen of the Earth
So far renowned, and with the spoils enriched
Of nations.  There the Capitol thou seest,
Above the rest lifting his stately head
On the Tarpeian rock, her citadel
Impregnable; and there Mount Palatine,
The imperial palace, compass huge, and high
The structure, skill of noblest architects,
With gilded battlements, conspicuous far,
Turrets, and terraces, and glittering spires.
Many a fair edifice besides, more like
Houses of gods—so well I have disposed
My aerie microscope—thou may’st behold,
Outside and inside both, pillars and roofs
Carved work, the hand of famed artificers
In cedar, marble, ivory, or gold.
Thence to the gates cast round thine eye, and see
What conflux issuing forth, or entering in:
Praetors, proconsuls to their provinces
Hasting, or on return, in robes of state;
Lictors and rods, the ensigns of their power;
Legions and cohorts, turms of horse and wings;
Or embassies from regions far remote,
In various habits, on the Appian road,
Or on the AEmilian—some from farthest south,
Syene, and where the shadow both way falls,
Meroe, Nilotic isle, and, more to west,
The realm of Bocchus to the Blackmoor sea;
From the Asian kings (and Parthian among these),
From India and the Golden Chersoness,
And utmost Indian isle Taprobane,
Dusk faces with white silken turbants wreathed;
From Gallia, Gades, and the British west;
Germans, and Scythians, and Sarmatians north
Beyond Danubius to the Tauric pool.
All nations now to Rome obedience pay—
To Rome’s great Emperor, whose wide domain,
In ample territory, wealth and power,
Civility of manners, arts and arms,
And long renown, thou justly may’st prefer
Before the Parthian.  These two thrones except,
The rest are barbarous, and scarce worth the sight,
Shared among petty kings too far removed;
These having shewn thee, I have shewn thee all
The kingdoms of the world, and all their glory.
This Emperor hath no son, and now is old,
Old and lascivious, and from Rome retired
To Capreae, an island small but strong
On the Campanian shore, with purpose there
His horrid lusts in private to enjoy;
Committing to a wicked favourite
All public cares, and yet of him suspicious;
Hated of all, and hating.  With what ease,
Endued with regal virtues as thou art,
Appearing, and beginning noble deeds,
Might’st thou expel this monster from his throne,
Now made a sty, and, in his place ascending,
A victor-people free from servile yoke!
And with my help thou may’st; to me the power
Is given, and by that right I give it thee.
Aim, therefore, at no less than all the world;
Aim at the highest; without the highest attained,
Will be for thee no sitting, or not long,
On David’s throne, be prophesied what will.”
  To whom the Son of God, unmoved, replied:—
“Nor doth this grandeur and majestic shew
Of luxury, though called magnificence,
More than of arms before, allure mine eye,
Much less my mind; though thou should’st add to tell
Their sumptuous gluttonies, and gorgeous feasts
On citron tables or Atlantic stone
(For I have also heard, perhaps have read),
Their wines of Setia, Cales, and Falerne,
Chios and Crete, and how they quaff in gold,
Crystal, and myrrhine cups, imbossed with gems
And studs of pearl—to me should’st tell, who thirst
And hunger still.  Then embassies thou shew’st
From nations far and nigh!  What honour that,
But tedious waste of time, to sit and hear
So many hollow compliments and lies,
Outlandish flatteries?  Then proceed’st to talk
Of the Emperor, how easily subdued,
How gloriously.  I shall, thou say’st, expel
A brutish monster: what if I withal
Expel a Devil who first made him such?
Let his tormentor, Conscience, find him out;
For him I was not sent, nor yet to free
That people, victor once, now vile and base,
Deservedly made vassal—who, once just,
Frugal, and mild, and temperate, conquered well,
But govern ill the nations under yoke,
Peeling their provinces, exhausted all
By lust and rapine; first ambitious grown
Of triumph, that insulting vanity;
Then cruel, by their sports to blood inured
Of fighting beasts, and men to beasts exposed;
Luxurious by their wealth, and greedier still,
And from the daily Scene effeminate.
What wise and valiant man would seek to free
These, thus degenerate, by themselves enslaved,
Or could of inward slaves make outward free?
Know, therefore, when my season comes to sit
On David’s throne, it shall be like a tree
Spreading and overshadowing all the earth,
Or as a stone that shall to pieces dash
All monarchies besides throughout the world;
And of my Kingdom there shall be no end.
Means there shall be to this; but what the means
Is not for thee to know, nor me to tell.”
  To whom the Tempter, impudent, replied:—
“I see all offers made by me how slight
Thou valuest, because offered, and reject’st.
Nothing will please the difficult and nice,
Or nothing more than still to contradict.
On the other side know also thou that I
On what I offer set as high esteem,
Nor what I part with mean to give for naught,
All these, which in a moment thou behold’st,
The kingdoms of the world, to thee I give
(For, given to me, I give to whom I please),
No trifle; yet with this reserve, not else—
On this condition, if thou wilt fall down,
And worship me as thy superior Lord
(Easily done), and hold them all of me;
For what can less so great a gift deserve?”
  Whom thus our Saviour answered with disdain:—
“I never liked thy talk, thy offers less;
Now both abhor, since thou hast dared to utter
The abominable terms, impious condition.
But I endure the time, till which expired
Thou hast permission on me.  It is written,
The first of all commandments, ‘Thou shalt worship
The Lord thy God, and only Him shalt serve.’
And dar’st thou to the Son of God propound
To worship thee, accursed? now more accursed
For this attempt, bolder than that on Eve,
And more blasphemous; which expect to rue.
The kingdoms of the world to thee were given!
Permitted rather, and by thee usurped;
Other donation none thou canst produce.
If given, by whom but by the King of kings,
God over all supreme?  If given to thee,
By thee how fairly is the Giver now
Repaid!  But gratitude in thee is lost
Long since.  Wert thou so void of fear or shame
As offer them to me, the Son of God—
To me my own, on such abhorred pact,
That I fall down and worship thee as God?
Get thee behind me!  Plain thou now appear’st
That Evil One, Satan for ever ******.”
  To whom the Fiend, with fear abashed, replied:—
“Be not so sore offended, Son of God—
Though Sons of God both Angels are and Men—
If I, to try whether in higher sort
Than these thou bear’st that title, have proposed
What both from Men and Angels I receive,
Tetrarchs of Fire, Air, Flood, and on the Earth
Nations besides from all the quartered winds—
God of this World invoked, and World beneath.
Who then thou art, whose coming is foretold
To me most fatal, me it most concerns.
The trial hath indamaged thee no way,
Rather more honour left and more esteem;
Me naught advantaged, missing what I aimed.
Therefore let pass, as they are transitory,
The kingdoms of this world; I shall no more
Advise thee; gain them as thou canst, or not.
And thou thyself seem’st otherwise inclined
Than to a worldly crown, addicted more
To contemplation and profound dispute;
As by that early action may be judged,
When, slipping from thy mother’s eye, thou went’st
Alone into the Temple, there wast found
Among the gravest Rabbies, disputant
On points and questions fitting Moses’ chair,
Teaching, not taught.  The childhood shews the man,
As morning shews the day.  Be famous, then,
By wisdom; as thy empire must extend,
So let extend thy mind o’er all the world
In knowledge; all things in it comprehend.
All knowledge is not couched in Moses’ law,
The Pentateuch, or what the Prophets wrote;
The Gentiles also know, and write, and teach
To admiration, led by Nature’s light;
And with the Gentiles much thou must converse,
Ruling them by persuasion, as thou mean’st.
Without their learning, how wilt thou with them,
Or they with thee, hold conversation meet?
How wilt thou reason with them, how refute
Their idolisms, traditions, paradoxes?
Error by his own arms is best evinced.
Look once more, ere we leave this specular mount,
Westward, much nearer by south-west; behold
Where on the AEgean shore a city stands,
Built nobly, pure the air and light the soil—
Athens, the eye of Greece, mother of arts
And Eloquence, native to famous wits
Or hospitable, in her sweet recess,
City or suburban, studious walks and shades.
See there the olive-grove of Academe,
Plato’s retirement, where the Attic bird
Trills her thick-warbled notes the summer long;
There, flowery hill, Hymettus, with the sound
Of bees’ industrious murmur, oft invites
To studious musing; there Ilissus rowls
His whispering stream.  Within the walls then view
The schools of ancient sages—his who bred
Great Alexander to subdue the world,
Lyceum there; and painted Stoa next.
There thou shalt hear and learn the secret power
Of harmony, in tones and numbers hit
By voice or hand, and various-measured verse,
AEolian charms and Dorian lyric odes,
And his who gave them breath, but higher sung,
Blind Melesigenes, thence Homer called,
Whose poem Phoebus challenged for his own.
Thence what the lofty grave Tragedians taught
In chorus or iambic, teachers best
Of moral prudence, with delight received
In brief sententious precepts, while they treat
Of fate, and chance, and change in human life,
High actions and high passions best describing.
Thence to the famous Orators repair,
Those ancient whose resistless eloquence
Wielded at will that fierce democraty,
Shook the Arsenal, and fulmined over Greece
To Macedon and Artaxerxes’ throne.
To sage Philosophy next lend thine ear,
From heaven descended to the low-roofed house
Of Socrates—see there his tenement—
Whom, well inspired, the Oracle pronounced
Wisest of men; from whose mouth issued forth
Mellifluous streams, that watered all the schools
Of Academics old and new, with those
Surnamed Peripatetics, and the sect
Epicurean, and the Stoic severe.
These here revolve, or, as thou likest, at home,
Till time mature thee to a kingdom’s weight;
These rules will render thee a king complete
Within thyself, much more with empire joined.”
  To whom our Saviour sagely thus replied:—
“Think not but that I know these things; or, think
I know them not, not therefore am I short
Of knowing what I ought.  He who receives
Light from above, from the Fountain of Light,
No other doctrine needs, though granted true;
But these are false, or little else but dreams,
Conjectures, fancies, built on nothing firm.
The first and wisest of them all professed
To know this only, that he nothing knew;
The next to fabling fell and smooth conceits;
A third sort doubted all things, though plain sense;
Others in virtue placed felicity,
But virtue joined with riches and long life;
In corporal pleasure he, and careless ease;
The Stoic last in philosophic pride,
By him called virtue, and his virtuous man,
Wise, perfect in himself, and all possessing,
Equal to God, oft shames not to prefer,
As fearing God nor man, contemning all
Wealth, pleasure, pain or torment, death and life—
Which, when he lists, he leaves, or boasts he can;
For all his tedious talk is but vain boast,
Or subtle shifts conviction to evade.
Alas! what can they teach, and not mislead,
Ignorant of themselves, of God much more,
And how the World began, and how Man fell,
Degraded by himself, on grace depending?
Much of the Soul they talk, but all awry;
And in themselves seek virtue; and to themselves
All glory arrogate, to God give none;
Rather accuse him under usual names,
Fortune and Fate, as one regardless quite
Of mortal things.  Who, therefore, seeks in these
True wisdom finds her not, or, by delusion
Far worse, her false resemblance only meets,
An empty cloud.  However, many books,
Wise men have said, are wearisome; who reads
Incessantly, and to his reading brings not
A spirit and judgment equal or superior,
(And what he brings what needs he elsewhere seek?)
Uncertain and unsettled still remains,
Deep-versed in books and shallow in himself,
Crude or intoxicate, collecting toys
And trifles for choice matters, worth a sponge,
As children gathering pebbles on the shore.
Or, if I would delight my private hours
With music or with poem, where so soon
As in our native language can I find
That solace?  All our Law and Story strewed
With hymns, our Psalms with artful terms inscribed,
Our Hebrew songs and harps, in Babylon
That pleased so well our victor’s ear, declare
That rather Greece from us these arts derived—
Ill imitated while they loudest sing
The vices of their deities, and their own,
In fable, hymn, or song, so personating
Their gods ridiculous, and themselves past shame.
Remove their swelling epithetes, thick-laid
As varnish on a harlot’s cheek, the rest,
Thin-sown with aught of profit or delight,
Will far be found unworthy to compare
With Sion’s songs, to all true tastes excelling,
Where God is praised aright and godlike men,
The Holiest of Holies and his Saints
(Such are from God inspired, not such from thee);
Unless where moral virtue is expressed
By light of Nature, not in all quite lost.
Their orators thou then extoll’st as those
The top of eloquence—statists indeed,
And lovers of their country, as may seem;
But herein to our Prophets far beneath,
As men divinely taught, and better teaching
The solid rules of civil government,
In their majestic, unaffected style,
Than all the oratory of Greece and Rome.
In them is plainest taught, and easiest learnt,
What makes a nation happy, and keeps it so,
What ruins kingdoms, and lays cities flat;
These only, with our Law, best form a king.”
  So spake the Son of God; but Satan, now
Quite at a loss (for all his darts were spent),
Thus to our Saviour, with stern brow, replied:—
  “Since neither wealth nor honour, arms nor arts,
Kingdom nor empire, pleases thee, nor aught
By me proposed in life contemplative
Or active, tended on by glory or fame,
What dost thou in this world?  The Wilderness
For thee is fittest place: I found thee there,
And thither will return thee.  Yet remember
What I foretell t
Kendall Mallon Jul 2013
Book One


Prelude:

As Romans before them, they built the city upward—
layer ‘pon layer as the polar caps receded
layer by layer—preserving what they could, if someday
the waters may recede back into the former polar
ice caps; restoring the long inundated coastlines.


Home:

A man sat upon a tall pub stool stroking
his ginger beard while grasping a pint loosely
in his other hand. An elderly gent stood
next to him. The older gentleman noticed
that the ginger bearded man’s pint sat almost
quite near the bottom of its tulip glass.

A woman with eyes of amber and hair
as chestnut strolled through a vineyard amongst
the ripening grapes full of juice to soon
become wine. She clutched a notebook—behind (10)
thick black covers lay ideas and sketches
to bring the world to a more natural
state—balancing the wonders and the merits
of technology apace with the allure ‘n’
sanctity borne to the natural world.

When the ginger bearded man finished the
final drops of his stout, another appeared
heretofore him—courtesy owed to the elder
gentleman. “Notice dat ye got d’ mark
o’ a man accustom amid the seas,” (20)
he inferred; gesturing the black and blue
compass rose inscribed inside a ship’s wheel,
imbedded into the back of the ginger
bearded man’s weathered right hand.
                 “I have crewed
and skippered a many fine vessel, but I
am renouncing my life at sea—one final
voyage I have left inside of me:
one single terminal Irish-Atlantic
voyage t’ward home.” (30)
“Aye d’ sea can beh cold
‘nd harsh, but she enchants me heart. Ta where
are ye headed fer d’ place ye call home,
d’ere sonny boy?”
     “’tis not simply a where,
‘tis a who. Certain events have led me
to be separate from my wife. For five
eternal years I have been traveling—
waiting to be in her embrace. The force
of the Sea, she, is a cruel one. For (40)
it seams: at every tack or gybe the farther
off I am thrown from my homeward direction
to stranger and stranger lands… I have gone
to the graveyard of hell and the pearly gates
of (the so called) heaven; I have engaged
in foolhardy deals—made bets only a
gambling addict would place. All to just be
with Zara. I am homesick—Zara is my
home—it doesn’t matter where (physically)
we are located, my home is with Zara. I (50)
was advised to draw nigh the clove of Cork
and wait; wait for a man, but I was barely
given a clue as to who this man is,
only I must return him this:” the ginger
bearded man held out a dull silver pocket watch
with a frigate cut into the front cover
and two roses sharing a single stem
swirling upon themselves cut into
the back.
   “Can it be? ‘Tis meh watch dat meh (60)
fat’er gave t’ meh right before he died…
I lost it at sea many a year ago.
It left meh heartbroken—fer it was meh only
lasting mem’ry of him… Come to t’ink I
was told by a beggar in the street—I
do not remember how long ago—dat
I would happen across a man wit’ somet’ing
dear t’ meh, and I’d accomp’ny dis man
on a journey, and dis man would have upon
‘im d’ mark of a true sailor…” (70)
    “Dear elder man,
my name is Abraham; the mark you see
represents the control that I have on my
direction—thought it appears the Sea retains
some ascendancy… Yet now, it appears,
the Sea is upholding her bargain—though
a bit late... Do you, by chance, own a vessel
that can fair to Colorado?—all across
this mist’d island no skipper ‘ll uptake
my plea; they fear the sharp wrath of the Sea (80)
or (if they have no fear) simply claim my home
‘is not on their routes…’ i’tis a line I’ve
heard too often. I would’ve purchased a vessel,
but the Sea, she, has deprived me completely
of my identity and equity.”

Zara, with her rich chestnut hair sat upon
a fountain in a piazza—her half empty
heart longing to savor the hallow presence
of Abraham, and stroke his ginger beard…
Everyday she would look out at the sea (90)
whence he left…
     All encouraged her to: “forgo
further pursuit”; “he is likely deceased
by now”—his vessel (what left) scuttled amidst
the rocks of Cape Horn, yet Zara could feel
deep-seated inside her soul he is alive;
Alive (somewhere) fighting to return home.
Never would Zara leave; never would she
abandon post; she made that promise five
years ago as Abraham, ‘n’ his crew,
set out on their final voyage; and she (100)
would be ****** ere she broke her promise—a promise
of the heart—a promise of love. Abraham
said: “You are my lighthouse; your love, it, will guide
me home—keep me from danger—as long as you
remain my lighthouse, I’ll forever be
set to return home—return home to you.”

Out from Crosshaven did the old man take
steadfast Abraham en route to his home.
Grey Irish skies turned blue as they made their
way out on the Irish Sea, southwest, toward (110)
the southern end of the Appalachian Island.
The gentle biting spray of the waves breaking
over the bow and beam moistened the ginger
bearded face of Abraham; his tattooed
hands grasped the helm—his resolute stare kept him
and the old man acutely on course.
A shame,
it struck the old man, this would be the final
voyage of Abraham… he: the best crew
that the old man had ever came across; (120)
uncertain if simply the character
of Abraham or his pers’nal desire
to return home in the wake of five long
salty-cold years—a vassal to the Sea
and her changing whim. Never had the old
man seen his ship sail as fast as he did when
Abraham accorded its deck—each sail
set without flaw: easing and trimming sheets
fractions of an inch—purely to obtain
the slightest gain in speed; the display warmed (130)
the heart of the old man.
        And thus the elder
gent mused as he lightly puffed on his pipe
while sitting on the stern pulpit regarding
at Abraham’s passion to return home
(as he calls her):—maybe dis is d’ reason
d’ Sea has fought so hard, and lied, t’ keep
Abraham from returning home… Could not
bear t’ lose such fine a sailor from her
expanses—she is known t’ be quite a jealous (140)
mistress…
      But for all Abraham’s will and passion,
the old man insisted for the fellow
to rest; otherwise lack of sleep would cause
the REM fiddler to reap his debt—replace
clarity of mind with opacity.
Reluctantly stalwart Abraham gave
in and retire below deck—yet the old
man doubted the amount of rest that he
acquired in those moments out of his sight. (150)

For the days, then weeks, in the wake of their
departure from the port-island Crosshaven,
the seas were calm as open water can:
gentle azure rolling swells oscillated
and helped impel the vessel forward. The southern
craggy cape of the Appalachian
Island pierced the horizon. Like a threshold
it stood for Abraham—a major landmark;
the closest to home he had been in five
salty long years—his limbo was beginning                               (160)
to fade, his heart slowly—for the first time since
he left port in eastern Colorado—
started to feel replete again. The Great
Plains Sea—his final sea—he would not miss
the gleam of his lighthouse stalwart on shore.




Book Two

Oracle:**

Upon a beach, Abraham found himself alone—gasping
in gulps of moist air like that of a new born baby first (10)
experiencing the breathe of life; he felt as if he
would never become dry again… the salt burning his skin
as it crusted over when the water evap’rated
into the air; Abraham took the first night to rest, the
next day he set to make shelter and wait for a rescue
crew; out he stared at the crashing waves hoping for a plane
or faint form of a ship upon the horizon…days and
nights spun into an alternating display of day then
night: light then dark—light, dark, light, dark, grey, grey, grey…

Abraham (20)
gave up marking the days—realized the searches are done—
given up after looking in the wrong places (even
he did not know where he was…) the cold waves and currents took
him to a safe shore away from his ship and crew, in a
limp unconscious float…
From the trees, and what he could find on
the small  island, Abraham occupied himself with the
task of building a catamaran to rid himself of
the grey-waiting.
Out he cast his meager vessel into (30)
the battering surf; waves broke over his bows and centre
platform—each foot forward, the waves threatened to push him back
twofold… Abraham struck-beat the water with the oars he
fashioned; rising and falling with the energy of the
waves; Abraham stole brief looks back with hopes of a van’shing
shoreline—coast refused to vanish… his drenched arms grew tired;
yet he pushed on knowing he would soon be out passed the
breaking waves; then could relax and hoist sail; yet the waves grew
taller—broke with greater power… Abraham struck-beat the
water with his oars—anger welled—leading to splashes of (40)
ivory sea-froth instead of the desired progress
forward; eventually, his arms fell limp beyond the
force of will… waves tumbled him back to shore as he did the
first night upon the island…
Dejected Abraham lay
in the surf that night—the gentle ebb of the sea added
to insult, but hid the tears formed in the corner of his eyes—
salt water to salt water… the next day Abraham took
inventory of damage: the mast snapped in multiple
places, the rudders askew—the hulls and centre structure (50)
remained intact; the oars lost (or at least Abraham cared
not to search); over the next weeks he set to improve
the design and efficiency of his vessel—the first
had been hurried and that of a man desperate to leave;
the bare minimum that would suffice—he set to create
a vessel to ensure his departure from the des’late
accrue of sand and vegetation; Abraham laboured
to strengthen his body—pushing his arms further passed the
point his mind believed they could go—consuming the hearty,
protein-rich, mollusks, and small shellfish he could find inside (60)
tide pools or shallows—if lucky, larger fish that dared the
nearby reefs.
Patiently, Abraham observed the tides and
breaking water; he wanted to determine the correct
time to set off to ensure success—when the waves would not
toss him back to the beach; the day: a calm clear day—only
within few metres of soft beach did there exist any
breaking waves, and those that broke were barely a metre high;
loading provisions upon the vessel, Abraham bid
farewell to the island (out of wont for the sustenance (70)
it gave not for nostalgia) grasping his oars, he set forth
to find open sea—where the waves do not break and set you
gingerly on foreign shore(s); Abraham paddled passed the
first few breaking waves, his heart pounding with hope—he stifled
the thoughts (celebrate when the island is but a subtle
blue curve upon the horizon); as the island began
to shrink in his vision, the sky to his back grew darker…
the waves started to swell—moguls grew to hills—Abraham
stroked up and rode down; the cursèd Island refused to shrink…
if not begin to grow wider… stroke by stroke Abraham (80)
grew frustrated—stroke by stroke frustration advanced into
anger—stroke by stroke anger augmented into fiery
beating of the water!—Abraham struck and struck at the
Sea—eyes closed—white knuckles—trashing!—unsure which direction
he paddled…sky pitch-black, wind blowing on-shore Abraham
bellowed out to the Sea in inarticulate roars of:
hatefrustrationpitydesperationheartache!
Towards
Abraham’s in-linguistic roar, the sky let out a crack
of authority! a wave swept the flailing Abraham (90)
into the ocean—cool water only heated the rage
in Abraham’s mind—his half empty heart only wanted:
to sail home, become whole  again—sit under and olive
tree and stroke the chestnut hair of Zara as she drifted
off to sleep on his chest while he would whisper sweet verses
into her ear… Abraham’s rage, beyond reason, forgot
the boat and all clarity, he tried to swim away from
the cursèd island—scrambling up waves only to tumble
back with their breaking peaks—salt, the only taste in his mouth;
churning his stomach to *****; his kidney’s praying he (100)
would  not swallow anymore… his gasps stifled any curse
Abraham’s head wished to expel onto the Sea—yet she
swore she heard one final curse escape his lips! at that the
Sea tossed Abraham (head first) into his ghost-helmed vessel—
all went dark for hostile Abraham…

Contemplating back
at his rage—knowing the barbarian it makes of him,
Abraham peered into the band inscribed into his
ring-finger and saw the knot tying him to Zara—shame
at his arrogant-uncontrolled-fury sent Abraham (110)
into a meditative exile inside of his mind
(within the exile of the island…) in his mental
exile Abraham spun into deeper despair at his
two failures—even more at the prospect of failing the
vow he professed onto Zara: return home—home from this
final voyage, grow old with her on solid ground, never
to die apart and cause the pain of losing a loved one
without the closure of truly knowing the death is real,
to die by her side white, white with the purity of age…
Abraham’s destitution turned inward—his fury, the (120)
lack of control, the demon he becomes when rage surges
through his muscles; equiping him with untamed strength without
direction or self-possession—so much potential, yet
no productive way to use it… Abraham’s half-full-heart
burned, ached with passion and anguish—all desire
focused on home, his return, but the mind’s despondency
and insistent ‘what-ifs’ kept poor Abraham prostrate in
his mental cave—all his wishing for anger and vi’lence
to force his will, it did more to retain him upon the
cursèd island than bring his heart closer to fulfillment: (130)
his long awaited home…
Out of his mental exile did
Abraham’s irises dilate and contract with blinding
illumination—self-pity is not what make things happen—
it would only serve to anger Zara—nothing other
than I can be to blame for my continued absence; I
am stronger than that!—looking at the tattoo in his hand,
he remembered the reasons for the perennial brand—
the eight-spoke ship’s helm: the eight-fold-path—I must cut off my
desire for anger to be the solution and focus (140)
on the one path to Zara—the mind can push the body
further than the body believes is possible—the star:
the compass to guide me via celestial bodies
to where my heart can see the guiding beam of my lighthouse!
This is the Final Voyage epic thus far. I am converting Home into blank verse and it is taking longer than I thought to do; which is why that part is incomplete here. I also added line numbers. I changed The names as well.
Allen Wilbert Sep 2013
To expel intestinal gases through the ****.
The definition makes it sound kinda heinous.
Whether you pass wind or pass gas,
either way it comes out your ***.
Farts are loud and some silent but deadly,
you can make it sound like a medley.
Farts are cool and sometimes funny,
lookout for ones that become runny.
Some like to **** in your face,
it may cause pink eye,
and sting like mace.
Farts can smell and usually bad,
must be a duck, says your dad.
I have farts that never stink,
although some were on the brink.
Dog farts will make you take cover,
the smell lingers and starts to hover.
Woman never ****,
but watch out when they do,
it can be brutal,
once their comfortable with you.
If in certain places you must hold it in,
farting in church is considered a sin.
A good **** can make you feel good,
its part of life and fully understood.
Every **** deserves a smile or a giggle,
don't forget to give your *** a shake or a wiggle.
For ones who think farting is disgusting,
I bet your ******* needs a good dusting.
-

I'm burnin' way my memories | so cataclysmic I could sneeze

I'm burnin' way my memories | five minutes shaking at my knees

A nightmare ash-filled full of fleas | the pain it withers as I breathe

Burnin' way my memories | as they're my only friends

-

So don't forget to memorize | kiss and tell on Satan's thighs

Close your breath and hold your eyes | grab your stick and circumcise

"How can our moon rope the lies?" | hidden message in disguise

Metaphors that hide in rhyme | burnin' way my memories

-

Oh jet black hide of socrates | snap the bones of all that see

Idle thoughts bring enemies | I'm burnin' way my memories

-

Memories of the past | eaten out to death

Addictions wreak seek it all like soylent
green made ****


Narcissistic cares ensuing | sunset flaring ends

"**** your rules sergeant boy,"| your cancer feeds my trends

-

Oh little box of memories | I'll love you 'til the end

Burning way my memories as they're my only friends

Another memory to fade | is sitting in my hand

-

So I think I got it memorized | ashen cheeks demoralized

Final warning realized | you hear the sound of children's cries

Blow the smoke into their eyes | slice her **** • laugh as she dies

It stings while the cell multiplies | burnin' way my memories

-

So I'll tear down my memories | tattered past not valiantly

Flu shot mind slave colony | man made moon conspiracy

See the towers fall for free | not a line for creativity

Call it common courtesy| burnin' way my memories

-

I'm burnin' way my memories | fire mountain soaked debris

Burnin' way my memories | squirmin' with choice entities

Torchin' flamin' memories | the skies erupt with skin disease

Burnin' way my memories | I'm on my one last friend

"Fallen box of memories may contain one trend".

Welcome back my memories | I am all out of friends

"**** it up with gasoline and torch em to the end".

Wheeze and choke, expel the smoke, but do it all again

"Can't explain," unfathomed shame

forever
to the end


-
Nat Lipstadt Oct 2015
be ever gentle to thy words
treat them, your tools, well,
cleansing and protecting,
wrapping them in cloths of chamois and moleskin
that they may be well conditioned and
pour forth with a temperament clear and viscous,
reflecting their high honors and a noble lineage,
they are well-intentioned to exist far longer
than your meager temporal life,
upon this ever hasty, ever perpetual, orbit

give them all respect, their fair due,
they are treasure immeasurable,
for which you have been granted guardianship,
custody received from others to be gifted onwards,
yours, but for the duration

so oft we trifle words,
expel them from the country of our body,
without passport and earnestness,
as if they were the cheapest of footnote filler,
day tourists, to be treated as leavings,
refuse for daily discardation,
barely noting their fast comings and faster disappearance,
but leaving not, a mark of distinction

more truffle than trifle,
find them in the dark forest of your life,
use them sparingly, just for soaring,
take them from the roots of your trees,
shave them with a paring knife,
counts them in bites and measure them in grams,
even in grains,
for words are the seasoning of our lives,
agent provacateurs that can modify the moment,
bringing out to the fore
the flavor of the underlying

speak them slow and distinct,
for they arrive slow to you,
a trickling of refugees for your sheltering,
harbor them as full companions,
protected by natural law,
provision them well,
prepared and ever ready for a quick departure,
moor them at the embarcadero,
for the next restless leg of endlessness,
which they themselves will inform you
will last longer than eternity,
long after there are no humans to speak them
Oct. 6, 2015
4:30am
Manhattan Island
Raj Arumugam Oct 2010
Oh noble exclamation mark!
I expel! I exclaim!
Oh most excitable exclamation mark!


Oh, to see you
sends blood racing
in my veins!
Oh, I love you
once!
twice!!
and I love you thrice!!!!
- oh, was that four times????
Oh, be not jealous
I brought in your
distant relative
the crooked and deformed question mark
for I not only love you
!
!!
!!!
!!!! –
but I love you forever, most excitable exclamation mark!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!.......and forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!..............


Oh noble exclamation mark!
I expel! I exclaim!
Oh most excitable exclamation mark!
Nat Lipstadt Jan 2015
dying and living in a pantheon
~


a dusty storage place
for basement keepsakes,
somewhere out back,
full of emeritus stocking stuffers,
an ex-trendy,
royalty-dethroned room

where kept
ancient scriveners,
last year's flash frozen princesses and
plastic wrapped scribes,
cloud stored,
on soft decaying hard drives

prior renters, leases unrenewed,
now pushed aside,
upcoming upstanding upstarts,
looking to trade up,
let bigger quarters,
an existential reminder,
that in the word game,
no perm-press recognition,
in today's poetry biz,
it's what ya done lately

deaf dumb blind,
unsung former idols,
talk to mirrors
that no longer answer,
dial 1-800-pantheon,  
sorry, number no longer in service,
so you voyageur-visit
the other side of Styx,
a bluff overlooking
a body's work,
where glory fleeting
comes to rest,
where time judges well,
partiality impartial,
selects thy best

author an audience of sole one
that be more than
good and plenty,
a heaping teaspoon of sufficient,
glance back at discarded, outdated maps,
glory may transit
but satisfaction eternal,
when you read the old writes thinking
****, did I write this?
"Yes," answers a creased smile
cracking crusted lips

~~~~~

then blood of pride and satisfy, rejuvenates

chest warms, heart thumps,
quill beckons, tablet charges - jot hot

write for whom the bell tolls,
knowing full well
this raucous bell tolls for thee,
you re-become an
irrational ill-defined room possessed

heat,
this realized, fevered and fervent, physical pleasure,
sensory gladness,
the fat fullness of creation,
flooded breathable sunlight,
stormy uncalming indigo waters,
a natural disquietude beckons,
arousal of an old-friend welcoming

this encompassing emotion,
no-direction-known fearful commotion,
your mind, all skin,
tissues enflamed,
your ears speak,
your tongue listens,
five senses unified in
disheartened happy discordant perfection,
this you recognize,
this familiar,
is not a storage place
this, your true everlasting pantheon


glory glory - expel thy word works,

*the burnishing of fain fame
is not walled jailed,
but in-deed
actionable and transitory best honored,
peaks of mountainous-emotions, homeland, motherland,
recording, recoding in words-vision notions,
this is the one,
the inky clarity pantheon place
of the living poet
To expel the outlines piled in my mind on paper,
With a light pencil in one hand,
And slice of rubber in the other,
I parent an impression of hope.

Therein lies the potential and the excitement;
A basic figure given the foundation of grandeur,
Amplifying in complexity before me,
With every scratch of graphite.

As it evolves, a heaviness sets in.
And I pause,
And I stop...

I've given something beautiful a half life, again,
As if it was birthed human,
With no flesh to cover its nerves,
And no breath to cry out its agony.

It remains still in my lap,
Eyes blank as ever staring, maybe, at me .
Out of humility, I tack it up on the wall,
A space shared by its many siblings.

I retreat shamefully with the promise to complete them,
Fumbling with the reality of what I do;
Playing God, I shape the husk of a soul,
And drop it when it's still brittle.
Nickols Oct 2014
His blue eyes are like glacial-lakes, wrapping around his heart till he's chilled to the bone from the cold.
A deadly place where treading is no longer permitted.
His eyes are transparent and distant as the impersonal clouds passing overhead.

Even as I stands before him, reflecting off him.
I am still merely a reflection.

He knows my face, I reason silently.
From the hills of my cheeks, down towards the valley separating my lips.

He should recognize it all.

Instead a blank expression greets me.    
A look of cold, solid insouciance.
I'm immediately angry with myself for wanting to justify his indifference's.

A reflex I've never been able to expel.
The vestigial limb on a skeleton.
A party favor from another time forgotten for the newly discovered toy.

I twist in the fridged winds wrapping around him.
My force giving under the great pressure magnified by his powers.

I never wanted to dance upon his breeze.
This realization makes me burn hotter.
My anger brighter than the northern star.

I welcome it, my amounting rage.
I embraces it with a raging smile.

His glaciers may be cold, immovable at times.
A pretentious notion I might freeze.

For I am the sun swirling in nova's ring and cannot be affected by his black iced personality.
High on a throne of royal state, which far
Outshone the wealth or Ormus and of Ind,
Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand
Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold,
Satan exalted sat, by merit raised
To that bad eminence; and, from despair
Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires
Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue
Vain war with Heaven; and, by success untaught,
His proud imaginations thus displayed:—
  “Powers and Dominions, Deities of Heaven!—
For, since no deep within her gulf can hold
Immortal vigour, though oppressed and fallen,
I give not Heaven for lost: from this descent
Celestial Virtues rising will appear
More glorious and more dread than from no fall,
And trust themselves to fear no second fate!—
Me though just right, and the fixed laws of Heaven,
Did first create your leader—next, free choice
With what besides in council or in fight
Hath been achieved of merit—yet this loss,
Thus far at least recovered, hath much more
Established in a safe, unenvied throne,
Yielded with full consent. The happier state
In Heaven, which follows dignity, might draw
Envy from each inferior; but who here
Will envy whom the highest place exposes
Foremost to stand against the Thunderer’s aim
Your bulwark, and condemns to greatest share
Of endless pain? Where there is, then, no good
For which to strive, no strife can grow up there
From faction: for none sure will claim in Hell
Precedence; none whose portion is so small
Of present pain that with ambitious mind
Will covet more! With this advantage, then,
To union, and firm faith, and firm accord,
More than can be in Heaven, we now return
To claim our just inheritance of old,
Surer to prosper than prosperity
Could have assured us; and by what best way,
Whether of open war or covert guile,
We now debate. Who can advise may speak.”
  He ceased; and next him Moloch, sceptred king,
Stood up—the strongest and the fiercest Spirit
That fought in Heaven, now fiercer by despair.
His trust was with th’ Eternal to be deemed
Equal in strength, and rather than be less
Cared not to be at all; with that care lost
Went all his fear: of God, or Hell, or worse,
He recked not, and these words thereafter spake:—
  “My sentence is for open war. Of wiles,
More unexpert, I boast not: them let those
Contrive who need, or when they need; not now.
For, while they sit contriving, shall the rest—
Millions that stand in arms, and longing wait
The signal to ascend—sit lingering here,
Heaven’s fugitives, and for their dwelling-place
Accept this dark opprobrious den of shame,
The prison of his ryranny who reigns
By our delay? No! let us rather choose,
Armed with Hell-flames and fury, all at once
O’er Heaven’s high towers to force resistless way,
Turning our tortures into horrid arms
Against the Torturer; when, to meet the noise
Of his almighty engine, he shall hear
Infernal thunder, and, for lightning, see
Black fire and horror shot with equal rage
Among his Angels, and his throne itself
Mixed with Tartarean sulphur and strange fire,
His own invented torments. But perhaps
The way seems difficult, and steep to scale
With upright wing against a higher foe!
Let such bethink them, if the sleepy drench
Of that forgetful lake benumb not still,
That in our porper motion we ascend
Up to our native seat; descent and fall
To us is adverse. Who but felt of late,
When the fierce foe hung on our broken rear
Insulting, and pursued us through the Deep,
With what compulsion and laborious flight
We sunk thus low? Th’ ascent is easy, then;
Th’ event is feared! Should we again provoke
Our stronger, some worse way his wrath may find
To our destruction, if there be in Hell
Fear to be worse destroyed! What can be worse
Than to dwell here, driven out from bliss, condemned
In this abhorred deep to utter woe!
Where pain of unextinguishable fire
Must exercise us without hope of end
The vassals of his anger, when the scourge
Inexorably, and the torturing hour,
Calls us to penance? More destroyed than thus,
We should be quite abolished, and expire.
What fear we then? what doubt we to incense
His utmost ire? which, to the height enraged,
Will either quite consume us, and reduce
To nothing this essential—happier far
Than miserable to have eternal being!—
Or, if our substance be indeed divine,
And cannot cease to be, we are at worst
On this side nothing; and by proof we feel
Our power sufficient to disturb his Heaven,
And with perpetual inroads to alarm,
Though inaccessible, his fatal throne:
Which, if not victory, is yet revenge.”
  He ended frowning, and his look denounced
Desperate revenge, and battle dangerous
To less than gods. On th’ other side up rose
Belial, in act more graceful and humane.
A fairer person lost not Heaven; he seemed
For dignity composed, and high exploit.
But all was false and hollow; though his tongue
Dropped manna, and could make the worse appear
The better reason, to perplex and dash
Maturest counsels: for his thoughts were low—
To vice industrious, but to nobler deeds
Timorous and slothful. Yet he pleased the ear,
And with persuasive accent thus began:—
  “I should be much for open war, O Peers,
As not behind in hate, if what was urged
Main reason to persuade immediate war
Did not dissuade me most, and seem to cast
Ominous conjecture on the whole success;
When he who most excels in fact of arms,
In what he counsels and in what excels
Mistrustful, grounds his courage on despair
And utter dissolution, as the scope
Of all his aim, after some dire revenge.
First, what revenge? The towers of Heaven are filled
With armed watch, that render all access
Impregnable: oft on the bodering Deep
Encamp their legions, or with obscure wing
Scout far and wide into the realm of Night,
Scorning surprise. Or, could we break our way
By force, and at our heels all Hell should rise
With blackest insurrection to confound
Heaven’s purest light, yet our great Enemy,
All incorruptible, would on his throne
Sit unpolluted, and th’ ethereal mould,
Incapable of stain, would soon expel
Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire,
Victorious. Thus repulsed, our final hope
Is flat despair: we must exasperate
Th’ Almighty Victor to spend all his rage;
And that must end us; that must be our cure—
To be no more. Sad cure! for who would lose,
Though full of pain, this intellectual being,
Those thoughts that wander through eternity,
To perish rather, swallowed up and lost
In the wide womb of uncreated Night,
Devoid of sense and motion? And who knows,
Let this be good, whether our angry Foe
Can give it, or will ever? How he can
Is doubtful; that he never will is sure.
Will he, so wise, let loose at once his ire,
Belike through impotence or unaware,
To give his enemies their wish, and end
Them in his anger whom his anger saves
To punish endless? ‘Wherefore cease we, then?’
Say they who counsel war; ‘we are decreed,
Reserved, and destined to eternal woe;
Whatever doing, what can we suffer more,
What can we suffer worse?’ Is this, then, worst—
Thus sitting, thus consulting, thus in arms?
What when we fled amain, pursued and struck
With Heaven’s afflicting thunder, and besought
The Deep to shelter us? This Hell then seemed
A refuge from those wounds. Or when we lay
Chained on the burning lake? That sure was worse.
What if the breath that kindled those grim fires,
Awaked, should blow them into sevenfold rage,
And plunge us in the flames; or from above
Should intermitted vengeance arm again
His red right hand to plague us? What if all
Her stores were opened, and this firmament
Of Hell should spout her cataracts of fire,
Impendent horrors, threatening hideous fall
One day upon our heads; while we perhaps,
Designing or exhorting glorious war,
Caught in a fiery tempest, shall be hurled,
Each on his rock transfixed, the sport and prey
Or racking whirlwinds, or for ever sunk
Under yon boiling ocean, wrapt in chains,
There to converse with everlasting groans,
Unrespited, unpitied, unreprieved,
Ages of hopeless end? This would be worse.
War, therefore, open or concealed, alike
My voice dissuades; for what can force or guile
With him, or who deceive his mind, whose eye
Views all things at one view? He from Heaven’s height
All these our motions vain sees and derides,
Not more almighty to resist our might
Than wise to frustrate all our plots and wiles.
Shall we, then, live thus vile—the race of Heaven
Thus trampled, thus expelled, to suffer here
Chains and these torments? Better these than worse,
By my advice; since fate inevitable
Subdues us, and omnipotent decree,
The Victor’s will. To suffer, as to do,
Our strength is equal; nor the law unjust
That so ordains. This was at first resolved,
If we were wise, against so great a foe
Contending, and so doubtful what might fall.
I laugh when those who at the spear are bold
And venturous, if that fail them, shrink, and fear
What yet they know must follow—to endure
Exile, or igominy, or bonds, or pain,
The sentence of their Conqueror. This is now
Our doom; which if we can sustain and bear,
Our Supreme Foe in time may much remit
His anger, and perhaps, thus far removed,
Not mind us not offending, satisfied
With what is punished; whence these raging fires
Will slacken, if his breath stir not their flames.
Our purer essence then will overcome
Their noxious vapour; or, inured, not feel;
Or, changed at length, and to the place conformed
In temper and in nature, will receive
Familiar the fierce heat; and, void of pain,
This horror will grow mild, this darkness light;
Besides what hope the never-ending flight
Of future days may bring, what chance, what change
Worth waiting—since our present lot appears
For happy though but ill, for ill not worst,
If we procure not to ourselves more woe.”
  Thus Belial, with words clothed in reason’s garb,
Counselled ignoble ease and peaceful sloth,
Not peace; and after him thus Mammon spake:—
  “Either to disenthrone the King of Heaven
We war, if war be best, or to regain
Our own right lost. Him to unthrone we then
May hope, when everlasting Fate shall yield
To fickle Chance, and Chaos judge the strife.
The former, vain to hope, argues as vain
The latter; for what place can be for us
Within Heaven’s bound, unless Heaven’s Lord supreme
We overpower? Suppose he should relent
And publish grace to all, on promise made
Of new subjection; with what eyes could we
Stand in his presence humble, and receive
Strict laws imposed, to celebrate his throne
With warbled hyms, and to his Godhead sing
Forced hallelujahs, while he lordly sits
Our envied sovereign, and his altar breathes
Ambrosial odours and ambrosial flowers,
Our servile offerings? This must be our task
In Heaven, this our delight. How wearisome
Eternity so spent in worship paid
To whom we hate! Let us not then pursue,
By force impossible, by leave obtained
Unacceptable, though in Heaven, our state
Of splendid vassalage; but rather seek
Our own good from ourselves, and from our own
Live to ourselves, though in this vast recess,
Free and to none accountable, preferring
Hard liberty before the easy yoke
Of servile pomp. Our greatness will appear
Then most conspicuous when great things of small,
Useful of hurtful, prosperous of adverse,
We can create, and in what place soe’er
Thrive under evil, and work ease out of pain
Through labour and endurance. This deep world
Of darkness do we dread? How oft amidst
Thick clouds and dark doth Heaven’s all-ruling Sire
Choose to reside, his glory unobscured,
And with the majesty of darkness round
Covers his throne, from whence deep thunders roar.
Mustering their rage, and Heaven resembles Hell!
As he our darkness, cannot we his light
Imitate when we please? This desert soil
Wants not her hidden lustre, gems and gold;
Nor want we skill or art from whence to raise
Magnificence; and what can Heaven show more?
Our torments also may, in length of time,
Become our elements, these piercing fires
As soft as now severe, our temper changed
Into their temper; which must needs remove
The sensible of pain. All things invite
To peaceful counsels, and the settled state
Of order, how in safety best we may
Compose our present evils, with regard
Of what we are and where, dismissing quite
All thoughts of war. Ye have what I advise.”
  He scarce had finished, when such murmur filled
Th’ assembly as when hollow rocks retain
The sound of blustering winds, which all night long
Had roused the sea, now with hoarse cadence lull
Seafaring men o’erwatched, whose bark by chance
Or pinnace, anchors in a craggy bay
After the tempest. Such applause was heard
As Mammon ended, and his sentence pleased,
Advising peace: for such another field
They dreaded worse than Hell; so much the fear
Of thunder and the sword of Michael
Wrought still within them; and no less desire
To found this nether empire, which might rise,
By policy and long process of time,
In emulation opposite to Heaven.
Which when Beelzebub perceived—than whom,
Satan except, none higher sat—with grave
Aspect he rose, and in his rising seemed
A pillar of state. Deep on his front engraven
Deliberation sat, and public care;
And princely counsel in his face yet shone,
Majestic, though in ruin. Sage he stood
With Atlantean shoulders, fit to bear
The weight of mightiest monarchies; his look
Drew audience and attention still as night
Or summer’s noontide air, while thus he spake:—
  “Thrones and Imperial Powers, Offspring of Heaven,
Ethereal Virtues! or these titles now
Must we renounce, and, changing style, be called
Princes of Hell? for so the popular vote
Inclines—here to continue, and build up here
A growing empire; doubtless! while we dream,
And know not that the King of Heaven hath doomed
This place our dungeon, not our safe retreat
Beyond his potent arm, to live exempt
From Heaven’s high jurisdiction, in new league
Banded against his throne, but to remain
In strictest *******, though thus far removed,
Under th’ inevitable curb, reserved
His captive multitude. For he, to be sure,
In height or depth, still first and last will reign
Sole king, and of his kingdom lose no part
By our revolt, but over Hell extend
His empire, and with iron sceptre rule
Us here, as with his golden those in Heaven.
What sit we then projecting peace and war?
War hath determined us and foiled with loss
Irreparable; terms of peace yet none
Vouchsafed or sought; for what peace will be given
To us enslaved, but custody severe,
And stripes and arbitrary punishment
Inflicted? and what peace can we return,
But, to our power, hostility and hate,
Untamed reluctance, and revenge, though slow,
Yet ever plotting how the Conqueror least
May reap his conquest, and may least rejoice
In doing what we most in suffering feel?
Nor will occasion want, nor shall we need
With dangerous expedition to invade
Heaven, whose high walls fear no assault or siege,
Or ambush from the Deep. What if we find
Some easier enterprise? There is a place
(If ancient and prophetic fame in Heaven
Err not)—another World, the happy seat
Of some new race, called Man, about this time
To be created like to us, though less
In power and excellence, but favoured more
Of him who rules above; so was his will
Pronounced among the Gods, and by an oath
That shook Heaven’s whole circumference confirmed.
Thither let us bend all our thoughts, to learn
What creatures there inhabit, of what mould
Or substance, how endued, and what their power
And where their weakness: how attempted best,
By force of subtlety. Though Heaven be shut,
And Heaven’s high Arbitrator sit secure
In his own strength, this place may lie exposed,
The utmost border of his kingdom, left
To their defence who hold it: here, perhaps,
Some advantageous act may be achieved
By sudden onset—either with Hell-fire
To waste his whole creation, or possess
All as our own, and drive, as we were driven,
The puny habitants; or, if not drive,
****** them to our party, that their God
May prove their foe, and with repenting hand
Abolish his own works. This would surpass
Common revenge, and interrupt his joy
In our confusion, and our joy upraise
In his disturbance; when his darling sons,
Hurled headlong to partake with us, shall curse
Their frail original, and faded bliss—
Faded so soon! Advise if this be worth
Attempting, or to sit in darkness here
Hatching vain empires.” Thus beelzebub
Pleaded his devilish counsel—first devised
By Satan, and in part proposed: for whence,
But
Nate Mar 2015
Rain. A flood. Rain a flood that will carry me away. That it will drown my emotion that floods my soul. Drown me so that when I breathe it floods me. Hold me under. Submerge me. Engulf me. Gently. Like a shower. Feel it slowly glide down my body almost as if a tickle. A sensation. A seduction. A caress upon my skin. Then...when I am at ease...strike me. Strangle me. Like hands around my neck, take me in one full ****. Take me under. Purge my soul. Then spill out of me. Violently. Forcefully. Cleanse me. Expel from my body. Let me breathe.

...air...
Jade Mar 2014
Anger,
The lust to rebel,
The lust to express,
Can't hold it back anymore,
No! This thing needs to expel

Patience,  betraying the aching soul,
Raging, Exploding, Rebelling, started to roll,
Running out of reasons to stay inside,
Destroying calmer, warmer, heavenly side
Marquis Hardy May 2015
I tried sleeping it off, but I often found myself stuck in a dream transitioning to a nightmare.
I tried not sleeping at all, but even the smallest occurences brought you to my eyes.
I tried writing, but even the purest words were tainted by your memory.
I tried loving again, but once a house collapses there is no room where there are no rooms.
I tried everything I could think of to cure the ailment I once thought you were brought upon to expel.
I tried everything until I finally tried everything.
I truly am sorry I couldn't fight it any longer, but the days were too long, and the thoughts were too plenty.
Please think not of it as my quitting, but as your winning.
For this day forward, my beloved, I shall feel no pain.
Goodnight to you for the last, My Last, and may your life be the sweetest dream I forever hoped for you.
Literature. Love is powerful, love is deadly.
Erin C Ott Jun 2018
She says she doesn’t have the strength within herself to write poetry.
Yes, her. The one who so often nourished me with song
til my soul began to learn how to hunt for itself,
whose word carried weight in leading me to pick my own instrument,
albeit one of a different tone,
as the key in keyboard became prominent for the first time
and the sound of purposeful fingers upon it could be considered,
only in the right light,
synonymous to the plucking of strings, just as rooted in emotion.

Yet she's the first to say that she herself can't do it.

Thing is, I suppose we’re politely at odds on the matter.
She favors poetry that’s sharper, with a cleaner cut,
that’s message is immediate and jarring
as a conduit running from soul through skin,
or a loose-lipped diary finally freed from lock and key.
And when she declared it, I started to consider what my poems seem to me:
Blackberry bushes (but kinder, I hope)
that snag and immerse just long enough
to make me feel I’ve had an effect.
I’ve used writing to expel my most gnarled feelings
to any passerby who’s maybe felt the same.
Like crying in a mirror:
alarming, but oddly refreshing,
and an indefinite reminder that our aches are never only our own.

Still, I'm not sure why it blows my mind
to hear that even the most glamorous hearts,
who wear confidence as a summer breeze that's always in their favor
and who inspire, from beau gestures to sleight of hand,
are included in those who find themselves pacing back, back and forth,
begging curbside at the dime store
for a scrap of the same feed that convinces a heart to pump ink.

But she says that any art that's enjoyed is worth it.
So while she seeks out words that bare the bones,
I’ll stay and make a meal of the marrow,
hollowing them so that the poetry may have a rightful place
to reverberate as hymns in a universal monastery.

But hell, like I’m any old soul.
I dress nicer than I otherwise would,
turn to the mother who told me I don’t meet her lowest standards,
and ask for a critique.
All for the moment when she greets me at the door with a legendary G#.

...Now please, could you spare a dime?
Dedicated to Elise, who, when faced with my tangled mouthful of flattery, somehow saw through to the part of me that’s actually worth a ****.
Nat Lipstadt Apr 2018
I am not the master of my writing

-
my writing masters me,
seizing me when the seizure is a sure thing,
it dictates to its enslaved scribe
what it desires this utensil to reveal and expel -
the contraries
who having battled to a ****** draw leaves the battlefield trembling with indecent indecision; the optimal conditions for its macrobiotic invasion of my brain stem;

the she-muse offers me two choices:
she wants a poem writ forthwith
on the lyrical expression
of depression and refusal is
non optional

so I fantasize escape and that becomes
her property as well;
evidence against me to be used at my trials,
the one where there is no statue of liberty
from the limitations of prior bad acts;

I offer the she-muse two choices:

give me a cabin with WiFi
and self-enforcement of solitary confinement and
tie me up with the rope remainders of broken bonds,

bonds that tied me up worse
when they were broken
and the peaceful withering
that won’t disrupt disturb nobody
from a distance

my other choice is to bury me
forthwith next to my parents
and shutter my constant tearing eyes which are drop-resistant

muse says that’s no choice
I own your voice stilled or not,
will bill your soul’s account for
denial of poetic services

weep; i don’t want the noises that curse this troubled
bodyship don’t want recollections good or bad

the muse-***** cackles with insanity of delight
for she accepts this writ as partial payment
on her commission, whispers I love your
lyrical expressions of depression
that ****** recognition algorithms
alert me that seizing time is nigh

there is no on/off switch for one like you:
father son and holy ghost
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2019
”so oft we trifle words, expel them from the country of our body,
without passport and earnestness, as if they were the cheapest of
footnote filler, day tourists, to be treated as leavings, refuse for daily discardation, barely noting their fast comings and faster disappearance, but leaving not, a mark of distinction”^ nml  2015

<|>

these very words, the issue of my Old Abraham body,^^
children, these, young children, now four year olds,
but
so ancient in word years, for they,
the product of decades lived, lost,
wisdoms now sudden unearthed by teenage poet siblings,
youthful all, who, stumble on,
uncover and resurrect as accidental tourists in a foreign land,
these very words to:

surprise me, remind me, recall to me,
how the words were cherished, tenderly loved,
now newly loved by those tender only in their years,
grasping pen and paper to diary their youthful travels and travails,
witnesses to their new early days,
exploring the boundaries of body + mind, exciting pleasures and

even more exciting,
their heartaches,
as they dabble in the unexplored,
the trial and error of life

Like life itself,
my writings follow no meter,
free in form, lineage and linage, to wander and to wonder,
follow machete carved new paths,
each essay, composite of the drips and dabs of a human,
a pastiche,

a composite
held together with spit and tears, reflections fresh on old memories, an accumulation of past deeds requiring final payments,
all stamped overdue as if we knew life’s actual due date,
when we draw the double line of final summation,
uttering, here, here are my totals!

it is the wee hours of the early day,
nighttime of the prior,  the when we humans pass
back and forth from the real to the spirit world,
when the unconscious and the faint hearted scheming merge,
when bare remembered imagined and real life dreams blend,
a potpourri
of our unique treasured immeasurable, red rich soil for our mining

this years land’s end draws nigh,
the belt drawn tighter though a new notch,
just now punched and prong filled, the airy atmosphere rushes into
spaces that did not exist moments earlier,
our belts, the tree rings of a human’s life,
our waist expands and mind shrinks simultaneously,
but one metaphor of our journey to ebbing

enough ramblings.

young poets, look forward and new, by screen refreshing eyes,
by visiting the trails cut by your predecessors,
like the breadcrumb words left behind with you in mind,
paste them anew in unforeseen combinations,
valued for being both prime time polished and real renewables
just “reborn”

our, nay, now your precious words,
precision tools to shape new dies, your poems,
for mine are almost all expelled


Dec. 18, 2019 2:30am
^ https://hellopoetry.com/poem/1425812/oh-poet-be-ever-gentle-to-thy-words/

^^ Abraham laughed, and "said in his heart, 'Shall a child be born unto him that is a hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?'"[Genesis 17:17
I'm never one to get cold
Or get goosebumps
But with the subtlest touch
From her can make my hairs
Stand *****, send chills down my spine
And expel a sigh of relief.
That's the power of her love
So precise so Devine so powerful
That with the tip of her finger
Can make me feel all that at once.
Bailey Apr 2016
I can still see it. I am twelve years old looking at my mom lay in her hospital bed. They told me she had a hole in her esophagus, and not too long ago, had been dying of blood loss. I stand still too shocked to cry, and in my trance I hear the hum of the t.v. behind me. And I know that if I flip through the channels right now I’ll land on a commercial depicting false paradise. Toned, tanned, pretty people on a beach smiling like they were in Heaven as they swallow down the drink that put my mom and my family through hell.

I am a biased person. This tragedy that I have gone through has made me biased about all subjects relating alcohol. If I were to have one wish, it would be to expel the very idea of alcohol from our heads. But I can’t do that, just as I can’t let my opinions cloud my vision for the future of the families of America. In this simple vision, alcohol advertising is banned from television and radio.

Researchers found that an average of 29 percent of alcohol TV ads in Houston, Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta and Chicago don’t abide by voluntary standards set by the industry, which involve not being shown during t.v. shows where at most 30 percent of the audience are kids. One out of eleven radio ads for alcoholic beverages in 75 markets across the nation in 2009 failed to comply with the alcohol industry’s voluntary standard for the placement of advertising.

Alcohol advertisements aren’t the only type of ads that violate our industry’s standards. We see it all the time, when some sketchy commercial on t.v. has microscopic words at the bottom or a radio ad has the bad information sped up quicker than our ears can catch.

I believe that alcohol shouldn’t be prohibited, because I believe that people are born with the right to choose what they want to do with their life. But with that in mind, let’s let them choose! No more brainwashing commercials that promise a good time, let us decide what we need in order to have a good time.

Maybe then there wouldn’t be 30 percent of American adults and one in five teenagers living with alcoholism, 6.6 million children living with alcoholic parents and tens of thousands of alcohol induced car crashes. I believe that this will change. But I don’t just believe for those numbers I said. Thirty, five, one, 6.6 million--what do numbers mean? Nothing.

I believe for the kid who thinks drinking might solve her problems. For the other kid who wants heaven, but doesn’t want to get there too quickly. I believe for the little boy who has to take care of his siblings because his father is a drunk and his mother works hard. For the guilt ridden, God fearing man who can’t stop falling asleep with a bottle in his hand, I believe.

I believe that for the good of America, alcoholic ads can be, and should be banned. Because I never want my mom to have to sit me down again and say, “Bailey, I fell off the wagon” all because of our bandwagon, conspicuous consumer society. Because there are moms and dads here, wishing their kids were in paradise--playing volleyball, building sandcastles, and collecting sand dollars. Because approximately 100,000 people will die this year of alcohol related deaths, 4,700 of them, teenagers.

In the 1970’s, Cigarette advertisements were banned from our television sets and radios. The 70’s were considered the “me” generation. Hopefully, alcohol advertising will be banned as well in 2016, because we are the generation of activists. We are the “we” generation.
Speech for school
Francie Lynch Aug 2015
Too bad
We can't
Rid ouselves
Of the excrement
Called
ISIS,
As easily
As the astronauts
Expel it
On the
ISS.
Poetic T Nov 2014
I spied with my little eyes
Something beginning with
S
Sight
Soul
Seductive
I looked into your eyes
To late,
Awoken in a bed of metal
&
Your instinct is to scream
"SSSSCCCRREAM"
I join in, exhale all that terror out,
I whisper, lightly words come forth
"I LOVE YOUR EYES"
You read my lips as if from a book
A verse spoken,
The eyes they show me the key,
"I see between the lines"
A key to the peace of mind I wish to hold,
"To consume"
I tell you not to worry,
Your tears expel from the stream of white,
I use the instrument as if a surgeon
I tell you
"Don't worry I have done this"
"Many Times"
She struggles
Your Not my
First,
No where near my
Last,
I pluck then as if a flower
Gently the stem cut
You are with out voice
As I need silence
I wish not to harm you
"I Spy With Your Little Eye"
"The key to the soul,"
I consume the key
Then as the fear shows openly
The last thing you see,
Is the room from a view not meant
And with that final snip
"I Spy With Your Little Eye"
"The path way to your soul"
I have tasted a soul not for the first time
But many more keys,
"I will unlock"
And souls consumed,
"So I may feel mine"
I keep a promise
I let you go,
Tears of red flow from vacant eyes,
Then screaming as if a howl of terror
You expel it in a desert of night,
The moon shines upon you,
The screams of an empty vessel
Wishing to be whole,
"Eye Spy With My little eyes"
"Some thing beginning with"
**S
All my new and old serial killers can be found under
serial-killer
Helen Feb 2014
escapism*

the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.

Hello

I'm just a un pretty face
in an ugly place
I can pretend
with the best of them

I love to paint pictures
that make no sense
except
inside my head.
on canvas?
they are just literally
uncoordinated twitchiness
a need to put colour
back into a world
of Black and White

I like to write stories
the antagonist being
just someone
who lost,
the heroine
fleeing
from a simple world
so complicated
it's hard to cast
two beings that are so
ill fated


and so the story goes

That poetry saved me
I can't tell it
for truth
It makes a difference
I suppose

But honestly?

I wake at the crack of dawn
I yell at the dog for barking
I take a minute for myself
Then wake the kids
it's starting
Getting ready for  another day
is like petting a lion
begging food as a stray
I collect the mail
sort the bills
pretend that money
is an option, not a price
then sell myself to another
for a day
so nice
Feed, clean, wash
make sure no one is missed
How was your day dear?
Well, it's like this
as they wander away
to their own adventures
and I'm left
to my own devices
eventually
To paint a picture
Write a book
Or expel my life's pleasures
into poetry
and all I really hear is
What do you mean, is that about me?

Umm no, it's about me...

And tomorrow
I'll wake up
to do it all again

Hello

I'm Helen
and I'm so glad to meet each and every one of you here :)
+27736613276 The Abortion Pill: Medical Abortion with Mifepristone and Misoprostol What is the Medical Abortion?

Medical abortion is a procedure that uses various medications to end a pregnancy. A medical abortion is started either in a doctors office or at home with visits to your health care provider.

Medical abortion doesn't require anaesthesia or surgery, but it should be done early in pregnancy. Unlike a surgical procedure, a medical abortion usually is done without entering the ******.

During the procedure Medical abortion can be done using the following medications:

Oral mifepristone and oral misoprostol. This is the most common type of medical abortion, likely due to the ease of oral rather than vaginal dosing. These medications must be taken within seven weeks of the first day of your last period. Mifepristone (mif-uh-PRIS-tone) — also known as RU-486 — blocks the action of the hormone progesterone, causing the lining of the ****** to thin and preventing the embryo from staying implanted and growing.

Misoprostol (my-so-PROS-tol) causes the ****** to contract and expel the embryo through the ******. If you choose this type of medical abortion, you must visit your health care provider twice to take the medications and then afterward to make sure the abortion is complete.

Methotrexate injection and vaginal misoprostol. This type of medical abortion must be done within seven weeks of the first day of your last period. Methotrexate is given as a shot by your health care provider and the misoprostol is later used at home. You must visit your health care provider within a week of getting a methotrexate shot for an ultrasound to confirm if the abortion is complete. If the pregnancy continues, another dose of misoprostol will be given.

Vaginal misoprostol alone. This method may be used over a broader range of gestational ages, but requires scheduling multiple doses of the medication. Vaginal misoprostol alone can be effective in promoting the completion of a miscarriage — a spontaneous abortion where the embryo has died.

The medications used in a medical abortion cause vaginal bleeding and abdominal cramping. They may also cause: Nausea, Vomiting, Fever, Chills, Diarrhea, Headache.

You may be given medications to manage pain during and after the medical abortion. You may also be given antibiotics. Your health care provider will explain how much pain and bleeding to expect, depending on the number of weeks of your pregnancy. You might not be able to go about your normal daily routine during this time, but it's unlikely you'll need bed rest. Make sure you have plenty of absorbent sanitary pads.

If you have a medical abortion in a health care provider's office or clinic, you'll have a pelvic exam before you're given additional doses of misoprostol to see if the foetus has been expelled. The frequency and strength of your uterine contractions also will be monitored. While the most discomfort may last one to two hours, spotting before and bleeding after could last two weeks.

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Liz Jan 2015
Our mutual friend convinced me to spill my secrets to him. I had been holding back the truth because it seemed that every time I let its sour taste roll off my lips, I was once again left alone. But my therapist says I need to open up to people, to get rid of these “surface relationships”. So, for once in my life, I took the doctor’s orders.
I wasn’t planning for it to happen this way though. My mom dropped me off at his house and I opened the door to deafening Joy Division; (not that I minded but) I was taken by surprise. It went as usual to start, danced to some music and shared some cigarettes. Then we get talking about our writing, how blunt and honest mine is and how cryptic and nonsensical his is. So I read him my most recent words; he found them amusing but began asking questions. I answered as non-descriptively as possible. But then we began talking about the horrors he’s seen. He told me that he didn’t know if he could see more skeletons and blood. But I told him about mine anyway.
We moved to the porch so he could have his cigarettes. And I began to let my guard down. I told him about my ****** past and gory thoughts. I told him, with hesitation, that I was trying so hard but it’s a cycle. And finally, I stutteringly told him about my obsession with perfection. He knew I wasn’t normal but he didn’t know I forced myself to expel calories. He seemed un-phased and unimpressed. There was a brief silence before he said “What do you want from me?” What did I want?  I thought all I wanted was to tell him the truth and let him in but he had me second guessing. I did my best to answer the question how I thought he wanted.
He went on to tell me his drugs could help. I was already filled with prescribed and un-prescribed chemicals, but now he wanted me to add to the toxic brew flooding my veins. “I think dropping some good acid with some good people could change your perspective on things”. No ****. It would completely boil the poison that was already within me. I began to feel anger swell inside me, how could he suggest something so stupid? What have I gotten myself into? I respectfully declined his offer and did my best to pretend he never said that.
When suddenly he sat down, looked me in the eyes (mine quickly shifted from his) and said “Ask me about David”. David? What did he have to do with any of this? What kind of reverse psychology ******* was he trying to pull? I complied and began to ask about the day’s events and about David as a person. But apparently these weren’t the right questions.
Eventually he drove me home. I hopped out of the car and so did he. (That’s a first.) As we hugged goodbye, I knew what was coming. I went to pull away but he pulled me closer. That’s when I was positive I was about to hear it. He gently let go and said,
“Lizzy, I think we have to take some time apart.”
“Why?”
“I just can’t do this right now.”
I pulled away from his hand and turned to walk inside before I punched him right in his oddly prominent jaw. Right before I opened the door I turned back to him one last time. His eyes looked sad and seemed to say “I’m sorry”. While I’m pretty sure mine said “*******.”
My hypothesis was confirmed. No one wants to hear the sob story. No one wants to be around the freak. I’m starting to think I really am better off with “surface relationships”.
Nat Lipstadt Mar 2019
a quote of Bernard-Henri Lévy

~~~

the divers’ recovery, diverse,
shipwrecked salvage from different locations,
auctioned to the highest bidder,
tho the excised excerpts are exceptional,
none come to do the bidding,
for the provenance of words
belongs to all, and to none

~~
“so oft we trifle words,
expel them from the country of our body,
without passport and earnestness,
as if they were the cheapest of footnote filler,
day tourists, to be treated as leavings,
refuse for daily discardation,
barely noting their fast comings and faster disappearance,
but leaving not, a mark of distinction”

“the addicted pleasure words granted to we privileged few,
like every enslaved soul to the mind, which I am, I am,
evening dreams, midnight thinkings, sunrise seeings,
how can I infect and thus protect the young to the liberty
to love the crafted content of our human essence to better
comprehend that a moment caught on tape of our shared
words is a holiday, a celebration for the ages...and every molecule,
becomes a human tuning fork in concert, in pitch identical, in blood tainted with the simplicity of we are all the same, only words, this will transmit”

“murmur me, with soft downy charms,
these words discovered
recoursed and intended well to
pointedly offset and contradict
their very own tumultuous discovery uncovering,
tear tongue me
with calming, lapping word  wages,
hymns harmonious and fine homilies,
a call, a request,
a bequest
to sedate my shrill life

“some cells, microscopic, preserved digitally,
aged to imperfection, thrash my eyes,
making me speak in tongues I do not recognize,
but fluently possess, no wonder there,
the memory place fairly empty,
room aplenty for passerby's and the imagery
                                                         ­­ of the vaguest of dearly departed

skin is not the only mot shed,
                                                sloughing of woeful words

“speak them slow and distinct,
for they arrive slow to you,
a trickling of refugees for your sheltering,
harbor them as full companions,
protected by natural law,
provision them well,
prepared and ever ready for a quick departure,
moor these words at the embarcadero,
for the next restless leg of endlessness,
which they themselves will inform you
will last longer than eternity,
long after there are no humans to speak them”
excerpts from a few old poems, after reading an interview with Bernard-Henri Lévy
https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/bernard-henri-levy-on-the-rights-of-women-and-of-the-accused
March 27, 2019 4:48 am
We watched the world end.

Lying there on the floor of the highest-level with her,
Basking in the surrealism of that night.
The open-topped roof of a multistory car-park awash
with wayward radiance from orange streetlights;
Their fading glare trapped by the city's cloud-cover,
The soft glow dimly illuminated our bodies.
Precipitation gracefully descending
in a fine drizzle, seemingly endless;
The falling mist causing an apparent bloom
as sodium-vapor lamplight spread through and through.
This strange photon blossom,
Intangible and awesome.

My mind intoned one silent word:
Renew.

We saw urban torches expel their artificial light
and give way to the skyglow of streetlamps in bloom.
We lay back and watched the city breathe
as the floating masses of water swooned.
And I felt the sky collapse around us
as surreality became our coupled theme.
Romantic ******'s American dream.
Breaching surreality.
Rickie Louis Dec 2016
Here I lie wide awake,
thoughts pouring through my mind.
How sweet the touch your body,
when craving after mine.

Playful eyes and dancing toes,
wrestling to shed our clothes.
You bite my neck and I taste yours,
we slowly kiss, our tongues explore.


I toss and turn, try to ignore,
these visions now vibrate my core,
the chance I'd take if you were near,
to breathe you in as though you're here.

Lips running down your heartfelt chest,
caressing them along your breast,
excitfull moans begin to flow,
the further down they go below.


With grace I trace, my love expands,
this sanctioned sin, no reprimands.
You feel me now, passions run deep,
quietly your sounds they speak,
and as they do,
I follow through,
through the depths of reaching you.


As inner thighs,
quiver and quake,
salty sweet your taste I take,
your fingers running through my hair,
you pace my face,
and steady,
there!
You groan in ecstasy,
your love receives the best of me.
I slowly give my all to you,
with rhythm we begin to move,
clasping our hands, you sway your hips,
you raise them up, as we eclipse.


It echos through these deep elations,
driving in intense sensations.

Entangled we begin to dance,
form beads of tropical romance.
You rain on me, and I on you,
our bodies moist like sultry dew.


Tell me now, where have I gone,
this feels like some celestial bond.
I'm but alone, in my own bed,
yet here you are inside my head.

Joining rapid beating hearts,
pulsating through our tender parts.
Increasingly your warm breath's felt,
together we begin to melt...


I must expel this lustrous notion,
to sinfully vow my devotion.
How can it be, to have not met,
yet yarn for you, without regret.
Perhaps one day I'll feel once more,
reality vibrate my core.

<3
"Angels of the love affair, do you know that other,
the dark one, that other me?"

1. ANGEL OF FIRE AND GENITALS

Angel of fire and genitals, do you know slime,
that green mama who first forced me to sing,
who put me first in the latrine, that pantomime
of brown where I was beggar and she was king?
I said, "The devil is down that festering hole."
Then he bit me in the buttocks and took over my soul.
Fire woman, you of the ancient flame, you
of the Bunsen burner, you of the candle,
you of the blast furnace, you of the barbecue,
you of the fierce solar energy, Mademoiselle,
take some ice, take come snow, take a month of rain
and you would gutter in the dark, cracking up your brain.

Mother of fire, let me stand at your devouring gate
as the sun dies in your arms and you loosen it's terrible weight.



2. ANGEL OF CLEAN SHEETS

Angel of clean sheets, do you know bedbugs?
Once in the madhouse they came like specks of cinnamon
as I lay in a choral cave of drugs,
as old as a dog, as quiet as a skeleton.
Little bits of dried blood. One hundred marks
upon the sheet. One hundred kisses in the dark.
White sheets smelling of soap and Clorox
have nothing to do with this night of soil,
nothing to do with barred windows and multiple locks
and all the webbing in the bed, the ultimate recoil.
I have slept in silk and in red and in black.
I have slept on sand and, on fall night, a haystack.

I have known a crib. I have known the tuck-in of a child
but inside my hair waits the night I was defiled.



3. ANGEL OF FLIGHT AND SLEIGH BELLS

Angel of flight and sleigh bells, do you know paralysis,
that ether house where your arms and legs are cement?
You are as still as a yardstick. You have a doll's kiss.
The brain whirls in a fit. The brain is not evident.
I have gone to that same place without a germ or a stroke.
A little solo act--that lady with the brain that broke.

In this fashion I have become a tree.
I have become a vase you can pick up or drop at will,
inanimate at last. What unusual luck! My body
passively resisting. Part of the leftovers. Part of the ****.
Angels of flight, you soarer, you flapper, you floater,
you gull that grows out of my back in the drreams I prefer,

stay near. But give me the totem. Give me the shut eye
where I stand in stone shoes as the world's bicycle goes by.



4. ANGEL OF HOPE AND CALENDARS

Angel of hope and calendars, do you know despair?
That hole I crawl into with a box of Kleenex,
that hole where the fire woman is tied to her chair,
that hole where leather men are wringing their necks,
where the sea has turned into a pond of *****.
There is no place to wash and no marine beings to stir in.

In this hole your mother is crying out each day.
Your father is eating cake and digging her grave.
In this hole your baby is strangling. Your mouth is clay.
Your eyes are made of glass. They break. You are not brave.
You are alone like a dog in a kennel. Your hands
break out in boils. Your arms are cut and bound by bands

of wire. Your voice is out there. Your voice is strange.
There are no prayers here. Here there is no change.



5. ANGEL OF BLIZZARDS AND BLACKOUTS

Angle of blizzards and blackouts, do you know raspberries,
those rubies that sat in the gree of my grandfather's garden?
You of the snow tires, you of the sugary wings, you freeze
me out. Leet me crawl through the patch. Let me be ten.
Let me pick those sweet kisses, thief that I was,
as the sea on my left slapped its applause.

Only my grandfather was allowed there. Or the maid
who came with a scullery pan to pick for breakfast.
She of the rols that floated in the air, she of the inlaid
woodwork all greasy with lemon, she of the feather and dust,
not I. Nonetheless I came sneaking across the salt lawn
in bare feet and jumping-jack pajamas in the spongy dawn.

Oh Angel of the blizzard and blackout, Madam white face,
take me back to that red mouth, that July 21st place.



6. ANGEL OF BEACH HOUSES AND PICNICS

Angel of beach houses and picnics, do you know solitaire?
Fifty-two reds and blacks and only myslef to blame.
My blood buzzes like a hornet's nest. I sit in a kitchen chair
at a table set for one. The silverware is the same
and the glass and the sugar bowl. I hear my lungs fill and expel
as in an operation. But I have no one left to tell.

Once I was a couple. I was my own king and queen
with cheese and bread and rose on the rocks of Rockport.
Once I sunbathed in the buff, all brown and lean,
watching the toy sloops go by, holding court
for busloads of tourists. Once I called breakfast the sexiest
meal of the day. Once I invited arrest

at the peace march in Washington. Once I was young and bold
and left hundreds of unmatched people out in the cold.
1
We're not in darkest Africa
and jungles don't adorn,
this little bit of overgrown
that wraps around our lawn,

2
Plants of pretty colors
sit comfortable in there bed,
and about two dozen footsteps
find us at the potting shed.

3
Our potting shed has seen better days,
some parts have been rebuilt
and it's suffering from subsidence
for it's slightly on a tilt.

4
The walls desperately need painting
because the wood has got some rot
but a boring place to come and sit
it definitely is not.

5
Odds and ends adorn the shelves
and the places spiders tread
where the dust has piled on the weight
and the woodworm may have spread.

6
Smells that we first come across
carry the scent of damp,
foul stinks from half empty sacks,
paint tins that have gone rank.

7
An old oil lamp expel the rust
like dandruff from my head
reigning down golden crumbs
that looks like toasted bread.

8
We think that we have found some proof
of what might linger around
footprints so large and evident
that a Tigers walked upon this ground.

9
So while we have been sleeping
and resting through the night
there's been a Tiger in our shed
but he keeps out of sight.

10
We've sorted through many boxes
we've moved some things aside,
looked into shadows with a torch
but we can't find where he hides.

11
Perhaps he's gone out hunting
for an evening meal,
eyeing up the neighbors dog
with energetic zeal.

12
Perhaps he's out sunbathing,
sitting somewhere in a tree
camouflaged with all those stripes,
that's the reason we can't see.

13
I don't know if he's Sumatran,
Siberian or Bengal
and he doesn't ever show himself
or come to me when I call.

14
I believe he stays outside all day
and only hides in here at night
but I won't come down here when its dark
only in the light.

15
He is a wild animal so
one must take the some care
for he could be stalking us as prey
he could spring from anywhere.

16
But we leave the door unlocked for him
and we've made a comfy bed,
and a sign that just reads "WELCOME"
to the Tiger in our shed
19th December 2014

edited on 04/01/17
Michael R Burch Apr 2020
What Works
by Michael R. Burch

for David Gosselin

What works—
hewn stone;
the blush the iris shows the sun;
the lilac’s pale-remembered bloom.

The frenzied fly: mad-lively, gay,
as seconds tick his time away,
his sentence—one brief day in May,
a period. And then decay.

A frenzied rhyme’s mad tip-toed time,
a ballad’s languid as the sea,
seek, striving—immortality.

When gloss peels off, what works will shine.
When polish fades, what works will gleam.
When intellectual prattle pales,
the dying buzzing in the hive
of tedious incessant bees,
what works will soar and wheel and dive
and milk all honey, leap and thrive,

and teach the pallid poem to seethe.



Smoke
by Michael R. Burch

The hazy, smoke-filled skies of summer I remember well;
farewell was on my mind, and the thoughts that I can't tell
rang bells within (the din was in) my mind, and I can't say
if what we had was good or bad, or where it is today ...
The endless days of summer's haze I still recall today;
she spoke and smoky skies stood still as summer slipped away ...
We loved and life we left alone and deftly was it done;
we sang our song all summer long beneath the sultry sun.

I wrote this poem as a boy, after seeing an ad for the movie "Summer of ’42," which starred the lovely Jennifer O’Neill and a young male actor who might have been my nebbish twin. I didn’t see the R-rated movie at the time: too young, according to my parents! But something about the ad touched me; even thinking about it today makes me feel sad and a bit out of sorts. The movie came out in 1971, so the poem was probably written around 1971-1972. In any case, the poem was published in my high school literary journal, The Lantern, in 1976. The poem is “rhyme rich” with eleven rhymes in the first four lines: well, farewell, tell, bells, within, din, in, say, today, had, bad. The last two lines appear in brackets because they were part of the original poem but I later chose to publish just the first six lines. I didn’t see the full movie until 2001, around age 43, after which I addressed two poems to my twin, Hermie …



Listen, Hermie
by Michael R. Burch

Listen, Hermie . . .
you can hear the strangled roar
of water inundating that lost shore . . .

and you can see how white she shone

that distant night, before
you blinked
and she was gone . . .

But is she ever really gone from you . . . or are
her lips the sweeter since you kissed them once:
her waist wasp-thin beneath your hands always,
her stockinged shoeless feet for that one dance
still whispering their rustling nylon trope
of―“Love me. Love me. Love me. Give me hope
that love exists beyond these dunes, these stars.”

How white her prim brassiere, her waist-high briefs;
how lustrous her white slip. And as you danced―
how white her eyes, her skin, her eager teeth.
She reached, but not for *** . . . for more . . . for you . . .
You cannot quite explain, but what is true
is true despite our fumbling in the dark.

Hold tight. Hold tight. The years that fall away
still make us what we are. If love exists,
we find it in ourselves, grown wan and gray,
within a weathered hand, a wrinkled cheek.

She cannot touch you now, but I would reach
across the years to touch that chord in you
which sang the pangs of love, and play it true.



Tell me, Hermie
by  Michael R. Burch

Tell me, Hermie ― when you saw
her white brassiere crash to the floor
as she stepped from her waist-high briefs
into your arms, and mutual griefs ―
did you feel such fathomless awe
as mystics in artists’ reliefs?

How is it that dark night remains
forever with us ― present still ―
despite her absence and the pains
of dreams relived without the thrill
of any ecstasy but this ―
one brief, eternal, transient kiss?

She was an angel; you helped us see
the beauty of love’s iniquity.



Fountainhead
by Michael R. Burch

I did not delight in love so much
as in a kiss like linnets' wings,
the flutterings of a pulse so soft
the heart remembers, as it sings:
to bathe there was its transport, brushed
by marble lips, or porcelain,—
one liquid kiss, one cool outburst
from pale rosettes. What did it mean ...
to float awhirl on minute tides
within the compass of your eyes,
to feel your alabaster bust
grow cold within? Ecstatic sighs
seem hisses now; your eyes, serene,
reflect the sun's pale tourmaline.

Published by Romantics Quarterly, Poetica Victorian, Nutty Stories (South Africa)



I Pray Tonight
by Michael R. Burch

I pray tonight
the starry light
might
surround you.

I pray
each day
that, come what may,
no dark thing confound you.

I pray ere tomorrow
an end to your sorrow.
May angels’ white chorales
sing, and astound you.



A Possible Argument for Mercy
by Michael R. Burch

Did heaven ever seem so far?
Remember-we are as You were,
but all our lives, from birth to death―
Gethsemane in every breath.



Gethsemane in Every Breath
by Michael R. Burch

LORD, we have lost our way, and now
we have mislaid love―earth's fairest rose.
We forgot hope's song―the way it goes.
Help us reclaim their gifts, somehow.

LORD, we have wondered long and far
in search of Bethlehem's retrograde star.
Now in night's dead cold grasp, we gasp:
our lives one long-drawn rattling rasp

of misspent breath... before we drown.
LORD, help us through this spiral down
because we faint, and do not see
above or beyond despair's trajectory.

Remember that You, too, once held
imperiled life within your hands
as hope withdrew... that where You knelt
―a stranger in a stranger land―

the chalice glinted cold afar
and red with blood as hellfire.
Did heaven ever seem so far?
Remember―we are as You were,

but all our lives, from birth to death―
Gethsemane in every breath.



Just Smile
by Michael R. Burch

We’d like to think some angel smiling down
will watch him as his arm bleeds in the yard,
ripped off by dogs, will guide his tipsy steps,
his doddering progress through the scarlet house
to tell his mommy "boo-boo!," only two.

We’d like to think his reconstructed face
will be as good as new, will often smile,
that baseball’s just as fun with just one arm,
that God is always Just, that girls will smile,
not frown down at his thousand livid scars,
that Life is always Just, that Love is Just.

We do not want to hear that he will shave
at six, to raze the leg hairs from his cheeks,
that lips aren’t easily fashioned, that his smile’s
lopsided, oafish, snaggle-toothed, that each
new operation costs a billion tears,
when tears are out of fashion.
O, beseech
some poet with more skill with words than tears
to find some happy ending, to believe
that God is Just, that Love is Just, that these
are Parables we live, Life’s Mysteries ...

Or look inside his courage, as he ties
his shoelaces one-handed, as he throws
no-hitters on the first-place team, and goes
on dates, looks in the mirror undeceived
and smiling says, "It’s me I see. Just me."

He smiles, if life is Just, or lacking cures.
Your pity is the worst cut he endures.

Originally published by Lucid Rhythms



Aflutter
by Michael R. Burch

This rainbow is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh.—Yahweh

You are gentle now, and in your failing hour
how like the child you were, you seem again,
and smile as sadly as the girl (age ten?)
who held the sparrow with the mangled wing
close to her heart. It marveled at your power
but would not mend. And so the world renews
old vows it seemed to make: false promises
spring whispers, as if nothing perishes
that does not resurrect to wilder hues
like rainbows’ eerie pacts we apprehend
but cannot fail to keep. Now in your eyes
I see the end of life that only dies
and does not care for bright, translucent lies.
Are tears so precious? These few, let us spend
together, as before, then lay to rest
these sparrows’ hearts aflutter at each breast.



To Have Loved
by Michael R. Burch

"The face that launched a thousand ships ..."

Helen, bright accompaniment,
accouterment of war as sure as all
the polished swords of princes groomed to lie
in mausoleums all eternity ...

The price of love is not so high
as never to have loved once in the dark
beyond foreseeing. Now, as dawn gleams pale
upon small wind-fanned waves, amid white sails, ...

now all that war entails becomes as small,
as though receding. Paris in your arms
was never yours, nor were you his at all.
And should gods call

in numberless strange voices, should you hear,
still what would be the difference? Men must die
to be remembered. Fame, the shrillest cry,
leaves all the world dismembered.

Hold him, lie,
tell many pleasant tales of lips and thighs;
enthrall him with your sweetness, till the pall
and ash lie cold upon him.

Is this all? You saw fear in his eyes, and now they dim
with fear’s remembrance. Love, the fiercest cry,
becomes gasped sighs in his once-gallant hymn
of dreamed “salvation.” Still, you do not care

because you have this moment, and no man
can touch you as he can ... and when he’s gone
there will be other men to look upon
your beauty, and have done.

Smile―woebegone, pale, haggard. Will the tales
paint this―your final portrait? Can the stars
find any strange alignments, Zodiacs,
to spell, or unspell, what held beauty lacks?

Published by The Raintown Review, Triplopia, The Electic Muse, The Chained Muse, and The Pennsylvania Review



Fahr an' Ice
(Apologies to Robert Frost and Ogden Nash)
by Michael R. Burch

From what I know of death, I'll side with those
who'd like to have a say in how it goes:
just make mine cool, cool rocks (twice drowned in likker),
and real fahr off, instead of quicker.

Originally published by Light Quarterly



Ordinary Love
by Michael R. Burch

Indescribable—our love—and still we say
with eyes averted, turning out the light,
"I love you," in the ordinary way

and tug the coverlet where once we lay,
all suntanned limbs entangled, shivering, white ...
indescribably in love. Or so we say.

Your hair's blonde thicket now is tangle-gray;
you turn your back; you murmur to the night,
"I love you," in the ordinary way.

Beneath the sheets our hands and feet would stray
to warm ourselves. We do not touch despite
a love so indescribable. We say

we're older now, that "love" has had its day.
But that which Love once countenanced, delight,
still makes you indescribable. I say,
"I love you," in the ordinary way.

Winner of the 2001 Algernon Charles Swinburne poetry contest; published by The Lyric, Romantics Quarterly, Mandrake Poetry Review, Carnelian, and Famous Poets and Poems



The Locker
by Michael R. Burch

All the dull hollow clamor has died
and what was contained,
removed,

reproved
adulation or sentiment,
left with the pungent darkness

as remembered as the sudden light.

Originally published by The Raintown Review



Tremble
by Michael R. Burch

Her predatory eye,
the single feral iris,
scans.

Her raptor beak,
all jagged sharp-edged ******,
juts.

Her hard talon,
clenched in pinched expectation,
waits.

Her clipped wings,
preened against reality,
tremble.

Published by The Lyric, Verses Magazine, Romantics Quarterly, Journeys, The Raintown Review, MahMag (Iran), The Eclectic Muse (Canada)



Millay Has Her Way with a Vassar Professor
by Michael R. Burch

After a night of hard drinking and spreading her legs,
Millay hits the dorm, where the Vassar don begs:
“Please act more chastely, more discretely, more seemly!”
(His name, let’s assume, was, er... Percival Queemly.)

“Expel me! Expel me!”—She flashes her eyes.
“Oh! Please! No! I couldn’t! That wouldn’t be wise,
for a great banished Shelley would tarnish my name...
Eek! My game will be lame if I can’t milque your fame!”

“Continue to live here—carouse as you please!”
the beleaguered don sighs as he sags to his knees.
Millay grinds her crotch half an inch from his nose:
“I can live in your hellhole, strange man, I suppose...
but the price is your firstborn, whom I’ll sacrifice to Moloch.”
(Which explains what became of pale Percy’s son, Enoch.)



Shrill Gulls and Other Skeptics
by Michael R. Burch

for Richard Moore

1.
Shrill gulls,
how like my thoughts
you, struggling, rise
to distant bliss―
the weightless blue of skies
that are not blue
in any atmosphere,
but closest here...

2.
You seek an air
so clear,
so rarified
the effort leaves you famished;
earthly tides
soon call you back―
one long, descending glide...

3.
Disgruntledly you ***** dirt shores for orts
you pull like mucous ropes
from shells’ bright forts...
You eye the teeming world
with nervous darts―
this way and that...
Contentious, shrewd, you scan―
the sky, in hope,
the earth, distrusting man.

Originally published by Able Muse



Caveat Spender
by Michael R. Burch

It’s better not to speculate
"continually" on who is great.
Though relentless awe’s
a Célèbre Cause,
please reserve some time for the contemplation
of the perils of EXAGGERATION.



At Wilfred Owen’s Grave
by Michael R. Burch

A week before the Armistice, you died.
They did not keep your heart like Livingstone’s,
then plant your bones near Shakespeare’s. So you lie
between two privates, sacrificed like Christ
to politics, your poetry unknown
except for that brief flurry’s: thirteen months
with Gaukroger beside you in the trench,
dismembered, as you babbled, as the stench
of gangrene filled your nostrils, till you clenched
your broken heart together and the fist
began to pulse with life, so close to death.
Or was it at Craiglockhart, in the care
of “ergotherapists” that you sensed life
is only in the work, and made despair
a thing that Yeats despised, but also breath,
a mouthful’s merest air, inspired less
than wrested from you, and which we confess
we only vaguely breathe: the troubled air
that even Sassoon failed to share, because
a man in pieces is not healed by gauze,
and breath’s transparent, unless we believe
the words are true despite their lack of weight
and float to us like chlorine—scalding eyes,
and lungs, and hearts. Your words revealed the fate
of boys who retched up life here, gagged on lies.



Safe Harbor
by Michael R. Burch

for Kevin N. Roberts

The sea at night seems
an alembic of dreams—
the moans of the gulls,
the foghorns’ bawlings.

A century late
to be melancholy,
I watch the last shrimp boat as it steams
to safe harbor again.

In the twilight she gleams
with a festive light,
done with her trawlings,
ready to sleep...

Deep, deep, in delight
glide the creatures of night,
elusive and bright
as the poet’s dreams.

Published by The Lyric, Romantics Quarterly and Angle



The Harvest of Roses
by Michael R. Burch

for Harvey Stanbrough

I have not come for the harvest of roses—
the poets' mad visions,
their railing at rhyme...
for I have discerned what their writing discloses:
weak words wanting meaning,
beat torsioning time.

Nor have I come for the reaping of gossamer—
images weak,
too forced not to fail;
gathered by poets who worship their luster,
they shimmer, impendent,
resplendently pale.

Originally published by The Raintown Review when Harvey Stanbrough was the editor



The Pain of Love
by Michael R. Burch

for T.M.

The pain of love is this:
the parting after the kiss;

the train steaming from the station
whistling abnegation;

each interstate’s bleak white bar
that vanishes under your car;

every hour and flower and friend
that cannot be saved in the end;

dear things of immeasurable cost...
now all irretrievably lost.

Note: The title “The Pain of Love” was suggested by an interview with Little Richard, then eighty years old, in Rolling Stone. He said that someone should create a song called “The Pain of Love.” I have always found the departure platforms of railway stations and the vanishing broken white bars of highway dividing lines depressing.



Lean Harvests
by Michael R. Burch

for T.M.

the trees are shedding their leaves again:
another summer is over.
the Christians are praising their Maker again,
but not the disconsolate plover:
i hear him berate
the fate
of his mate;
he claims God is no body’s lover.

Published by The Rotary Dial and Angle



The Heimlich Limerick
by Michael R. Burch

for T. M.

The sanest of poets once wrote:
"Friend, why be a sheep or a goat?
Why follow the leader
or be a blind *******?"
But almost no one took note.



Millay Has Her Way with a Vassar Professor
by Michael R. Burch

After a night of hard drinking and spreading her legs,
Millay hits the dorm, where the Vassar don begs:
“Please act more chastely, more discretely, more seemly!”
(His name, let’s assume, was, er... Percival Queemly.)

“Expel me! Expel me!”—She flashes her eyes.
“Oh! Please! No! I couldn’t! That wouldn’t be wise,
for a great banished Shelley would tarnish my name...
Eek! My game will be lame if I can’t milque your fame!”

“Continue to live here—carouse as you please!”
the beleaguered don sighs as he sags to his knees.
Millay grinds her crotch half an inch from his nose:
“I can live in your hellhole, strange man, I suppose...
but the price is your firstborn, whom I’ll sacrifice to Moloch.”
(Which explains what became of pale Percy’s son, Enoch.)



Abide
by Michael R. Burch

after Philip Larkin's "Aubade"

It is hard to understand or accept mortality—
such an alien concept: not to be.
Perhaps unsettling enough to spawn religion,
or to scare mutant fish out of a primordial sea

boiling like goopy green tea in a kettle.
Perhaps a man should exhibit more mettle
than to admit such fear, denying Nirvana exists
simply because we are stuck here in such a fine fettle.

And so we abide...
even in life, staring out across that dark brink.
And if the thought of death makes your questioning heart sink,
it is best not to drink
(or, drinking, certainly not to think).



Snapshots
by Michael R. Burch

Here I scrawl extravagant rainbows.
And there you go, skipping your way to school.
And here we are, drifting apart
like untethered balloons.

Here I am, creating "art,"
chanting in shadows,
pale as the crinoline moon,
ignoring your face.

There you go,
in diaphanous lace,
making another man’s heart swoon.

Suddenly, unthinkably, here he is,
taking my place.

Published by Tucumcari Literary Review, Romantics Quarterly, Centrifugal Eye, and The Eclectic Muse



Distances
by Michael R. Burch

Moonbeams on water —
the reflected light
of a halcyon star
now drowning in night ...
So your memories are.

Footprints on beaches
now flooding with water;
the small, broken ribcage
of some primitive slaughter ...
So near, yet so far.

Originally published by The HyperTexts



Step Into Starlight
by Michael R. Burch

Step into starlight,
lovely and wild,
lonely and longing,
a woman, a child . . .

Throw back drawn curtains,
enter the night,
dream of his kiss
as a comet ignites . . .

Then fall to your knees
in a wind-fumbled cloud
and shudder to hear
oak hocks groaning aloud.

Flee down the dark path
to where the snaking vine bends
and withers and writhes
as winter descends . . .

And learn that each season
ends one vanished day,
that each pregnant moon holds
no spent tides in its sway . . .

For, as suns seek horizons―
boys fall, men decline.
As the grape sags with its burden,
remember―the wine!

Originally published by The Lyric



hymn to Apollo
by Michael R. Burch

something of sunshine attracted my i
as it lazed on the afternoon sky,
golden,
splashed on the easel of god . . .
what,
i thought,
could this airy stuff be,
to, phantomlike,
flit through tall trees
on fall days, such as these?

and the breeze
whispered a dirge
to the vanishing light;
enchoired with the evening, it sang;
its voice
enchantedly
rang
chanting “Night!” . . .

till all the bright light
retired,
expired.

This poem appeared in my high school literary journal; I believe I was around 16 when I wrote it.



****** Analysis
by Michael R. Burch

This is not what I need . . .
analysis,
paralysis,
as though I were a seed
to be planted,
supported
with a stick and some string
until I emerge.
Your words
are not water. I need something
more nourishing,
like cherishing,
something essential, like love
so that when I climb
out of the lime
and the mulch. When I shove
myself up
from the muck . . .
we can ****.



The One and Only
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

If anyone ever loved me,
It was you.

If anyone ever cared
beyond mere things declared;
if anyone ever knew ...
My darling, it was you.

If anyone ever touched
my beating heart as it flew,
it was you,
and only you.



Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller

#2 - Love Poetry

She says an epigram’s too terse
to reveal her tender heart in verse ...
but really, darling, ain’t the thrill
of a kiss much shorter still?
―from “Xenia” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

#5 - Criticism

Why don’t I openly criticize the man? Because he’s a friend;
thus I reproach him in silence, as I do my own heart.
―from “Xenia” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

#11 - Holiness

What is holiest? This heart-felt love
binding spirits together, now and forever.
―from “Xenia” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

#12 - Love versus Desire

You love what you have, and desire what you lack
because a rich nature expands, while a poor one retracts.
―from “Xenia” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

#19 - Nymph and Satyr

As shy as the trembling doe your horn frightens from the woods,
she flees the huntsman, fainting, uncertain of love.
―from “Xenia” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

#20 - Desire

What stirs the ******’s heaving ******* to sighs?
What causes your bold gaze to brim with tears?
―from “Xenia” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

#23 - The Apex I

Everywhere women yield to men, but only at the apex
do the manliest men surrender to femininity.
―from “Xenia” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

#24 - The Apex II

What do we mean by the highest? The crystalline clarity of triumph
as it shines from the brow of a woman, from the brow of a goddess.
―from “Xenia” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

#25 -Human Life

Young sailors brave the sea beneath ten thousand sails
while old men drift ashore on any bark that avails.
―from “Xenia” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

#35 - Dead Ahead

What’s the hardest thing of all to do?
To see clearly with your own eyes what’s ahead of you.
―from “Xenia” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

#36 - Unexpected Consequence

Friends, before you utter the deepest, starkest truth, please pause,
because straight away people will blame you for its cause.
―from “Xenia” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

#41 - Earth vs. Heaven

By doing good, you nurture humanity;
but by creating beauty, you scatter the seeds of divinity.
―from “Xenia” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



The Poet
by Michael R. Burch

He walks to the sink,
takes out his teeth,
rubs his gums.
He tries not to think.

In the mirror, on the mantle,
Time—the silver measure—
does not stare or blink,
but in a wrinkle flutters,
in a hand upon the brink
of a second, hovers.

Through a mousehole,
something scuttles
on restless incessant feet.
There is no link

between life and death
or from a fading past
to a more tenuous present
that a word uncovers
in the great wink.

The white foam lathers
at his thin pink
stretched neck
like a tightening noose.
He tries not to think.



These are poems I wrote in my early teens on the themes of play, playing, playmates, vacations, etc.

Playmates
by Michael R. Burch

WHEN you were my playmate and I was yours,
we spent endless hours with simple toys,
and the sorrows and cares of our indentured days
were uncomprehended... far, far away...
for the temptations and trials we had yet to face
were lost in the shadows of an unventured maze.

Then simple pleasures were easy to find
and if they cost us a little, we didn't mind;
for even a penny in a pocket back then
was one penny too many, a penny to spend.

Then feelings were feelings and love was just love,
not a strange, complex mystery to be understood;
while "sin" and "damnation" meant little to us,
since forbidden cookies were our only lusts!

Then we never worried about what we had,
and we were both sure—what was good, what was bad.
And we sometimes quarreled, but we didn't hate;
we seldom gave thought to the uncertainties of fate.

Hell, we seldom thought about the next day,
when tomorrow seemed hidden—adventures away.
Though sometimes we dreamed of adventures past,
and wondered, at times, why things couldn't last.

Still, we never worried about getting by,
and we didn't know that we were to die...
when we spent endless hours with simple toys,
and I was your playmate, and we were boys.

This is probably the poem that "made" me, because my high school English teacher called it "beautiful" and I took that to mean I was surely the Second Coming of Percy Bysshe Shelley! "Playmates" is the second longish poem I remember writing; I believe I was around 13 or 14 at the time.



Playthings
by Michael R. Burch

a sequel to “Playmates”

There was a time, as though a long-forgotten dream remembered,
when you and I were playmates and the days were long;
then we were pirates stealing plaits of daisies
from trembling maidens fearing men so strong . . .

Our world was like an unplucked Rose unfolding,
and you and I were busy, then, as bees;
the nectar that we drank, it made us giddy;
each petal within reach seemed ours to seize . . .

But you were more the doer, I the dreamer,
so I wrote poems and dreamed a noble cause;
while you were linking logs, I met old Merlin
and took a dizzy ride to faery Oz . . .

But then you put aside all "silly" playthings;
with sunburned hands you built, from bricks and stone,
tall buildings, then a life, and then you married.
Now my fantasies, again, are all my own.

I believe “Playthings” was written in my late teens, around 1977. According to my notes, I revised the poem in 1991, then again in 2020 and 2021.



hey pete
by Michael R. Burch

for Pete Rose

hey pete,
it's baseball season
and the sun ascends the sky,
encouraging a schoolboy's dreams
of winter whizzing by;
go out, go out and catch it,
put it in a jar,
set it on a shelf
and then you'll be a Superstar.

This is another of my boyhood poems about play and playing. When I was a boy, Pete Rose was my favorite baseball player; this poem is not a slam at him, but rather an ironic jab at the term "superstar."



Have I been too long at the fair?
by Michael R. Burch

Have I been too long at the fair?
The summer has faded,
the leaves have turned brown;
the Ferris wheel teeters ...
not up, yet not down.
Have I been too long at the fair?

This is one of my earliest poems, written around age 15.



Ironic Vacation
by Michael R. Burch

Salzburg.
Seeing Mozart’s baby grand piano.
Standing in the presence of sheer incalculable genius.
Grabbing my childish pen to write a poem & challenge the Immortals.
Next stop, the catacombs!

This is a poem I wrote about a vacation my family took to Salzburg when I was a boy, age 11 or perhaps a bit older. But I wrote the poem much later in life: around 50 years later, in 2020.



Of course the ultimate form of play is love ...



An Illusion
by Michael R. Burch

The sky was as hushed as the breath of a bee
and the world was bathed in shades of palest gold
when I awoke.

She came to me with the sound of falling leaves
and the scent of new-mown grass;
I held out my arms to her and she passed

into oblivion ...

This little dream-poem appeared in my high school literary journal, the Lantern, so I was no older than 18 when I wrote it, probably younger. I will guess around age 16.



Smoke
by Michael R. Burch

The hazy, smoke-filled skies of summer I remember well;
farewell was on my mind, and the thoughts that I can't tell
rang bells within (the din was in) my mind, and I can't say
if what we had was good or bad, or where it is today.
The endless days of summer's haze I still recall today;
she spoke and smoky skies stood still as summer slipped away ...

This poem appeared in my high school journal, the Lantern, in 1976. It also appeared in my college literary journal, Homespun, in 1977. I was probably around 14 when I wrote the poem.



Myth
by Michael R. Burch

Here the recalcitrant wind
sighs with grievance and remorse
over fields of wayward gorse
and thistle-throttled lanes.

And she is the myth of the scythed wheat
hewn and sighing, complete,
waiting, lain in a low sheaf—
full of faith, full of grief.

Here the immaculate dawn
requires belief of the leafed earth
and she is the myth of the mown grain—
golden and humble in all its weary worth.

I believe I wrote the first version of this poem toward the end of my senior year of high school, around age 18.



The Communion of Sighs
by Michael R. Burch

There was a moment
  without the sound of trumpets or a shining light,
    but with only silence and darkness and a cool mist
      felt more than seen.
      I was eighteen,
    my heart pounding wildly within me like a fist.
  Expectation hung like a cry in the night,
and your eyes shone like the corona of a comet.

There was an instant ...
  without words, but with a deeper communion,
    as clothing first, then inhibitions fell;
      liquidly our lips met
      —feverish, wet—
    forgotten, the tales of heaven and hell,
  in the immediacy of our fumbling union ...
when the rest of the world became distant.

Then the only light was the moon on the rise,
and the only sound, the communion of sighs.

I believe this poem was written around age 18 as the poem itself says.



Infinity
by Michael R. Burch

Have you tasted the bitterness of tears of despair?
Have you watched the sun sink through such pale, balmless air
that your heart sought its shell like a crab on a beach,
then scuttled inside to be safe, out of reach?

Might I lift you tonight from earth’s wreckage and damage
on these waves gently rising to pay the moon homage?
Or better, perhaps, let me say that I, too,
have dreamed of infinity ... windswept and blue.

This is one of the first poems that made me feel like a "real" poet. I remember reading the poem and asking myself, "Did I really write that?" I believe I wrote it around age 17 or 18.



Will There Be Starlight
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

Will there be starlight
tonight
while she gathers
damask
and lilac
and sweet-scented heathers?

And will she find flowers,
or will she find thorns
guarding the petals
of roses unborn?

Will there be starlight
tonight
while she gathers
seashells
and mussels
and albatross feathers?

And will she find treasure
or will she find pain
at the end of this rainbow
of moonlight on rain?

If I remember correctly, I wrote the first version of this poem toward the end of my senior year in high school, around age 18, then forgot about it for fifteen years until I met my future wife Beth and she reminded me of the poem’s mysterious enchantress.



Childhood's End
by Michael R. Burch

How well I remember
those fiery Septembers:
dry leaves, dying embers of summers aflame
lay trampled before me
and fluttered, imploring
the bright, dancing rain to descend once again.

Now often I’ve thought on
the meaning of autumn,
how the moons those pale mornings enchanted dark clouds
while robins repeated
gay songs they had heeded
so wisely when winters before they’d flown south.

And still, in remembrance,
I’ve conjured a semblance
of childhood and how the world seemed to me then;
but early this morning,
when, rising and yawning,
my lips brushed your ******* . . . I celebrated its end.

I believe I wrote this poem in my early twenties, no later than 1982, but probably around 1980.



The Tender Weight of Her Sighs
by Michael R. Burch

The tender weight of her sighs
lies heavily upon my heart;
apart from her, full of doubt,
without her presence to revolve around,
found wanting direction or course,
cursed with the thought of her grief,
believing true love is a myth,
with hope as elusive as tears,
hers and mine, unable to lie,
I sigh ...

This poem has an unusual rhyme scheme, with the last word of each line rhyming with the first word of the next line. The final line is a “closing couplet” in which both words rhyme with the last word of the preceding line. I believe I invented this ***** form and will dub it the "End-First Curtal Sonnet."



Starting from Scratch with Ol’ Scratch
by Michael R. Burch

for the Religious Right

Love, with a small, fatalistic sigh
went to the ovens. Please don’t bother to cry.
You could have saved her, but you were all *******
complaining about the Jews to Reichmeister Grupp.

Scratch that. You were born after World War II.
You had something more important to do:
while the children of the Nakba were perishing in Gaza
with the complicity of your government, you had a noble cause (a
religious tract against homosexual marriage
and various things gods and evangelists disparage.)

Jesus will grok you? Ah, yes, I’m quite sure
that your intentions were good and ineluctably pure.
After all, what the hell does he care about Palestinians?
Certainly, Christians were right about serfs, slaves and Indians.
Scratch that. You’re one of the Devil’s minions.



Orpheus
by Michael R. Burch

for and after William Blake

I.
Many a sun
and many a moon
I walked the earth
and whistled a tune.

I did not whistle
as I worked:
the whistle was my work.
I shirked

nothing I saw
and made a rhyme
to children at play
and hard time.

II.
Among the prisoners
I saw
the leaden manacles
of Law,

the heavy ball and chain,
the quirt.
And yet I whistled
at my work.

III.
Among the children’s
daisy faces
and in the women’s
frowsy laces,

I saw redemption,
and I smiled.
Satanic millers,
unbeguiled,

were swayed by neither girl,
nor child,
nor any God of Love.
Yet mild

I whistled at my work,
and Song
broke out,
ere long.



Duet (II)
by Michael R. Burch

If love is just an impulse meant to bring
two tiny hearts together, skittering
like hamsters from their Quonsets late at night
in search of lust’s productive exercise . . .

If love is the mutation of some gene
made radiant—an accident of bliss
played out by two small actors on a screen
of silver mesh, who never even kiss . . .

If love is evolution, nature’s way
of sorting out its DNA in pairs,
of matching, mating, sculpting flesh’s clay . . .
why does my wrinkled hamster climb his stairs

to set his wheel revolving, then descend
and stagger off . . . to make hers fly again?

Originally published by Bewildering Stories



Rant: The Elite
by Michael R. Burch

When I heard Harold Bloom unsurprisingly say:
Poetry is necessarily difficult. It is our elitist art ...
I felt a small suspicious thrill. After all, sweetheart,
isn’t this who we are? Aren’t we obviously better,
and certainly fairer and taller, than they are?

Though once I found Ezra Pound
perhaps a smidgen too profound,
perhaps a bit over-fond of Benito
and the advantages of fascism
to be taken ad finem, like high tea
with a pure white spot of intellectualism
and an artificial sweetener, calorie-free.

I know! I know! Politics has nothing to do with art
And it tempts us so to be elite, to stand apart ...
but somehow the word just doesn’t ring true,
echoing effetely away—the distance from me to you.

Of course, politics has nothing to do with art,
but sometimes art has everything to do with becoming elite,
with climbing the cultural ladder, with being able to meet
someone more Exalted than you, who can demonstrate how to ****
so that everyone below claims one’s odor is sweet.
You had to be there! We were falling apart
with gratitude! We saw him! We wept at his feet!

Though someone will always be far, far above you, clouding your air,
gazing down at you with a look of wondering despair.



Chinese Poets: English Translations

These are modern English translations of poems by some of the greatest Chinese poets of all time, including Du Fu, Huang O, Li Bai, Li Ching-jau, Li Qingzhao, Po Chu-I, Tzu Yeh, Yau Ywe-Hwa and Xu Zhimo.



Lines from Laolao Ting Pavilion
by Li Bai (701-762)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The spring breeze knows partings are bitter;
The willow twig knows it will never be green again.



A Toast to Uncle Yun
by Li Bai (701-762)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Water reforms, though we slice it with our swords;
Sorrow returns, though we drown it with our wine.

Li Bai (701-762) was a romantic figure who has been called the Lord Byron of Chinese poetry. He and his friend Du Fu (712-770) were the leading poets of the Tang Dynasty era, which has been called the "Golden Age of Chinese poetry." Li Bai is also known as Li Po, Li Pai, Li T’ai-po, and Li T’ai-pai.



Moonlit Night
by Du Fu (712-770)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Alone in your bedchamber
you gaze out at the Fu-Chou moon.

Here, so distant, I think of our children,
too young to understand what keeps me away
or to remember Ch'ang-an ...

A perfumed mist, your hair's damp ringlets!
In the moonlight, your arms' exquisite jade!

Oh, when can we meet again within your bed's drawn curtains,
and let the heat dry our tears?



Moonlit Night
by Du Fu (712-770)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Tonight the Fu-Chou moon
watches your lonely bedroom.

Here, so distant, I think of our children,
too young to understand what keeps me away
or to remember Ch'ang-an ...

By now your hair will be damp from your bath
and fall in perfumed ringlets;
your jade-white arms so exquisite in the moonlight!

Oh, when can we meet again within those drawn curtains,
and let the heat dry our tears?



Lone Wild Goose
by Du Fu (712-770)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The abandoned goose refuses food and drink;
he cries querulously for his companions.

Who feels kinship for that strange wraith
as he vanishes eerily into the heavens?

You watch it as it disappears;
its plaintive calls cut through you.

The indignant crows ignore you both:
the bickering, bantering multitudes.

Du Fu (712-770) is also known as Tu Fu. The first poem is addressed to the poet's wife, who had fled war with their children. Ch'ang-an is an ironic pun because it means "Long-peace."



The Red Cockatoo
by Po Chu-I (772-846)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A marvelous gift from Annam—
a red cockatoo,
bright as peach blossom,
fluent in men's language.

So they did what they always do
to the erudite and eloquent:
they created a thick-barred cage
and shut it up.

Po Chu-I (772-846) is best known today for his ballads and satirical poems. Po Chu-I believed poetry should be accessible to commoners and is noted for his simple diction and natural style. His name has been rendered various ways in English: Po Chu-I, Po Chü-i, Bo Juyi and Bai Juyi.



The Migrant Songbird
Li Qingzhao aka Li Ching-chao (c. 1084-1155)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The migrant songbird on the nearby yew
brings tears to my eyes with her melodious trills;
this fresh downpour reminds me of similar spills:
another spring gone, and still no word from you ...



The Plum Blossoms
Li Qingzhao aka Li Ching-chao (c. 1084-1155)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

This year with the end of autumn
I find my reflection graying at the edges.
Now evening gales hammer these ledges ...
what shall become of the plum blossoms?

Li Qingzhao was a poet and essayist during the Song dynasty. She is generally considered to be one of the greatest Chinese poets. In English she is known as Li Qingzhao, Li Ching-chao and The Householder of Yi’an.



Star Gauge
Sui Hui (c. 351-394 BC)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

So much lost so far away
on that distant rutted road.

That distant rutted road
wounds me to the heart.

Grief coupled with longing,
so much lost so far away.

Grief coupled with longing
wounds me to the heart.

This house without its master;
the bed curtains shimmer, gossamer veils.

The bed curtains shimmer, gossamer veils,
and you are not here.

Such loneliness! My adorned face
lacks the mirror's clarity.

I see by the mirror's clarity
my Lord is not here. Such loneliness!

Sui Hui, also known as Su Hui and Lady Su, appears to be the first female Chinese poet of note. And her "Star Gauge" or "Sphere Map" may be the most impressive poem written in any language to this day, in terms of complexity. "Star Gauge" has been described as a palindrome or "reversible" poem, but it goes far beyond that. According to contemporary sources, the original poem was shuttle-woven on brocade, in a circle, so that it could be read in multiple directions. Due to its shape the poem is also called Xuanji Tu ("Picture of the Turning Sphere"). The poem is now generally placed in a grid or matrix so that the Chinese characters can be read horizontally, vertically and diagonally. The story behind the poem is that Sui Hui's husband, Dou Tao, the governor of Qinzhou, was exiled to the desert. When leaving his wife, Dou swore to remain faithful. However, after arriving at his new post, he took a concubine. Lady Su then composed a circular poem, wove it into a piece of silk embroidery, and sent it to him. Upon receiving the masterwork, he repented. It has been claimed that there are up to 7,940 ways to read the poem. My translation above is just one of many possible readings of a portion of the poem.



Reflection
Xu Hui (627–650)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Confronting the morning she faces her mirror;
Her makeup done at last, she paces back and forth awhile.
It would take vast mountains of gold to earn one contemptuous smile,
So why would she answer a man's summons?

Due to the similarities in names, it seems possible that Sui Hui and Xu Hui were the same poet, with some of her poems being discovered later, or that poems written later by other poets were attributed to her.



Waves
Zhai Yongming (1955-)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The waves manhandle me like a midwife pounding my back relentlessly,
and so the world abuses my body—
accosting me, bewildering me, according me a certain ecstasy ...



Monologue
Zhai Yongming (1955-)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I am a wild thought, born of the abyss
and—only incidentally—of you. The earth and sky
combine in me—their concubine—they consolidate in my body.

I am an ordinary embryo, encased in pale, watery flesh,
and yet in the sunlight I dazzle and amaze you.

I am the gentlest, the most understanding of women.
Yet I long for winter, the interminable black night, drawn out to my heart's bleakest limit.

When you leave, my pain makes me want to ***** my heart up through my mouth—
to destroy you through love—where's the taboo in that?

The sun rises for the rest of the world, but only for you do I focus the hostile tenderness of my body.
I have my ways.

A chorus of cries rises. The sea screams in my blood but who remembers me?
What is life?

Zhai Yongming is a contemporary Chinese poet, born in Chengdu in 1955. She was one of the instigators and prime movers of the “Black Tornado” of women’s poetry that swept China in 1986-1989. Since then Zhai has been regarded as one of China’s most prominent poets.



Pyre
Guan Daosheng (1262-1319)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

You and I share so much desire:
this love―like a fire—
that ends in a pyre's
charred coffin.



"Married Love" or "You and I" or "The Song of You and Me"
Guan Daosheng (1262-1319)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

You and I shared a love that burned like fire:
two lumps of clay in the shape of Desire
molded into twin figures. We two.
Me and you.

In life we slept beneath a single quilt,
so in death, why any guilt?
Let the skeptics keep scoffing:
it's best to share a single coffin.

Guan Daosheng (1262-1319) is also known as Kuan Tao-Sheng, Guan Zhongji and Lady Zhongji. A famous poet of the early Yuan dynasty, she has also been called "the most famous female painter and calligrapher in the Chinese history ... remembered not only as a talented woman, but also as a prominent figure in the history of bamboo painting." She is best known today for her images of nature and her tendency to inscribe short poems on her paintings.



Tzu Yeh (circa 400 BC)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I heard my love was going to Yang-chou
So I accompanied him as far as Ch'u-shan.
For just a moment as he held me in his arms
I thought the swirling river ceased flowing and time stood still.



Tzu Yeh (circa 400 BC)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Will I ever hike up my dress for you again?
Will my pillow ever caress your arresting face?



Tzu Yeh (circa 400 BC)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Night descends ...
I let my silken hair spill down my shoulders as I part my thighs over my lover.
Tell me, is there any part of me not worthy of being loved?



Tzu Yeh (circa 400 BC)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I will wear my robe loose, not bothering with a belt;
I will stand with my unpainted face at the reckless window;
If my petticoat insists on fluttering about, shamelessly,
I'll blame it on the unruly wind!



Tzu Yeh (circa 400 BC)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

When he returns to my embrace,
I’ll make him feel what no one has ever felt before:
Me absorbing him like water
Poured into a wet clay jar.



Tzu Yeh (circa 400 BC)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Bare branches tremble in a sudden breeze.
Night deepens.
My lover loves me,
And I am pleased that my body's beauty pleases him.



Tzu Yeh (circa 400 BC)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Do you not see
that we
have become like branches of a single tree?



Tzu Yeh (circa 400 BC)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I could not sleep with the full moon haunting my bed!
I thought I heard―here, there, everywhere―
disembodied voices calling my name!
Helplessly I cried "Yes!" to the phantom air!



Tzu Yeh (circa 400 BC)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I have brought my pillow to the windowsill
so come play with me, tease me, as in the past ...
Or, with so much resentment and so few kisses,
how much longer can love last?



Tzu Yeh (circa 400 BC)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

When she approached you on the bustling street, how could you say no?
But your disdain for me is nothing new.
Squeaking hinges grow silent on an unused door
where no one enters anymore.



Tzu Yeh (circa 400 BC)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I remain constant as the Northern Star
while you rush about like the fickle sun:
rising in the East, drooping in the West.

Tzŭ-Yeh (or Tzu Yeh) was a courtesan of the Jin dynasty era (c. 400 BC) also known as Lady Night or Lady Midnight. Her poems were pinyin ("midnight songs"). Tzŭ-Yeh was apparently a "sing-song" girl, perhaps similar to a geisha trained to entertain men with music and poetry. She has also been called a "wine shop girl" and even a professional concubine! Whoever she was, it seems likely that Rihaku (Li-Po) was influenced by the lovely, touching (and often very ****) poems of the "sing-song" girl. Centuries later, Arthur Waley was one of her translators and admirers. Waley and Ezra Pound knew each other, and it seems likely that they got together to compare notes at Pound's soirees, since Pound was also an admirer and translator of Chinese poetry. Pound's most famous translation is his take on Li-Po's "The River Merchant's Wife: A Letter." If the ancient "sing-song" girl influenced Li-Po and Pound, she was thus an influence―perhaps an important influence―on English Modernism. The first Tzŭ-Yeh poem makes me think that she was, indeed, a direct influence on Li-Po and Ezra Pound.―Michael R. Burch



The Day after the Rain
Lin Huiyin (1904-1955)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I love the day after the rain
and the meadow's green expanses!
My heart endlessly rises with wind,
gusts with wind ...
away the new-mown grasses and the fallen leaves ...
away the clouds like smoke ...
vanishing like smoke ...



Music Heard Late at Night
Lin Huiyin (1904-1955)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

for Xu Zhimo

I blushed,
hearing the lovely nocturnal tune.

The music touched my heart;
I embraced its sadness, but how to respond?

The pattern of life was established eons ago:
so pale are the people's imaginations!

Perhaps one day You and I
can play the chords of hope together.

It must be your fingers gently playing
late at night, matching my sorrow.

Lin Huiyin (1904-1955), also known as Phyllis Lin and Lin Whei-yin, was a Chinese architect, historian, novelist and poet. Xu Zhimo died in a plane crash in 1931, allegedly flying to meet Lin Huiyin.



Saying Goodbye to Cambridge Again
Xu Zhimo (1897-1931)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Quietly I take my leave,
as quietly as I came;
quietly I wave good-bye
to the sky's dying flame.

The riverside's willows
like lithe, sunlit brides
reflected in the waves
move my heart's tides.

Weeds moored in dark sludge
sway here, free of need,
in the Cam's gentle wake ...
O, to be a waterweed!

Beneath shady elms
a nebulous rainbow
crumples and reforms
in the soft ebb and flow.

Seek a dream? Pole upstream
to where grass is greener;
rig the boat with starlight;
sing aloud of love's splendor!

But how can I sing
when my song is farewell?
Even the crickets are silent.
And who should I tell?

So quietly I take my leave,
as quietly as I came;
gently I flick my sleeves ...
not a wisp will remain.

(6 November 1928)

Xu Zhimo's most famous poem is this one about leaving Cambridge. English titles for the poem include "On Leaving Cambridge," "Second Farewell to Cambridge," "Saying Goodbye to Cambridge Again,"  and "Taking Leave of Cambridge Again."



The Leveler
by Michael R. Burch

The nature of Nature
is bitter survival
from Winter’s bleak fury
till Spring’s brief revival.

The weak implore Fate;
bold men ravish, dishevel her . . .
till both are cut down
by mere ticks of the Leveler.

I believe I wrote this poem around age 20, in 1978 or thereabouts. It has since been published in The Lyric, Tucumcari Literary Review, Romantics Quarterly and The Aurorean.



Keywords/Tags: poets, poetry, writing, art, work, works, rhyme, ballad, immortality, passion, emotion, desire, mrbwork, mrbworks

Published as the collection "What Works"
Poetic T Jun 2016
The breeze whispered to a fairy that
it could smell her most foul wind,
She looked on with tiny eyes and
clonked it not once but twice between
its misty eyes.

A fairy doesn't breath a foul bouquet
upon the air I breath. It is fairy dust
that we pump, and it smell like candy
floss breath. Now jog on windy,
ones brewing between me knees.
preservationman Jan 2015
Aggression with intense force
Anger with expel
Voice elevation in optic swell
But the true aggressor who is the one that establishes tell
The idea is to control emotions in what makes you upset
Take a deep breath is a start in being your bet
Then count from 5 backwards
Never let anymore attempt to bring up your anger
Watch the words in hostility before it becomes an erosion notion
Now you see how the tongue become the poison portion connection
Anger at whom
Anger at the world
The idea of anger management to make you swirl
Anger Management is a theory to control
You will discover your own behold
It is time to calm your anger down
Bring your voice level down to a minimum of sound
Otherwise you will eat your heart out
Later you won’t be able too shout
Anger Management being a look in identity
An effort being that you personally must try
Stress should not lead to tears of cry
Your question of Anger Management should be labeled in your mind in why be angry in the first place
This is what you need to erase
Stress you must let go and just go with the flow.
Kimberly C Brown Oct 2010
Twice amongst the meadows watching
from behind a Cyprus tree
he stares at thee with anxious waiting
glances nervous as he yearns for thee.

Twice amongst the meadows walking
plucking  blossoms as they bloom
release from capsules such a fragrance
that make the glorious angels swoon.

He tasted bitter poppy petals
chewed to paste they cling and swell
to the innards of his teeth
each tiny bud they do expel.

grass and sun combine to create
an early summers reckoning
that bring about the union of
springs infant buds to bring to she.

From behind his hiding place
he comes to thee with frail mutterings
coyly he presents an antidote
to cure your failing frame.

As that maiden swoons from fever
pale as winter's deadly moon
fight she does for every swallow
that comes from each shallow breath.

Indeed her lover knows her sickness
and with ointment doth he bring
but to late he comes to aid her
for he is a timid thing.

In his arms she breaths her last
and with her dying plea
she implored as to why
he withheld his love from she.
Dante Feb 2012
Jesus Christ, Lord Almighty
     Expel my demons and watch them die with me
Satan Lord, Leviathan
     Give my demons an interesting origin
Plague me with poets smoking joints rolled with rejected poems
     Fill my thoughts with cockney accented thespians
Let them hold Academy award nominations from films long forgotten
     Enthuse my self-destruction
Bring me goth kids brought up in wholesome homes
Bring me Art school students choosing to abandon their degrees
Bring me women aroused by smashed clocks
Bring me men aroused by awkward teenagers
Bring me Christians questioning their faith
     Lord Almighty, God, Yahweh, Jehovah
Tell me the story of your disagreements with Vishnu
     Let me see Moloch's disgruntlement and subsequent drunk and disorderly
Show me when Hera was seducing your nephew
     Bring me into the world of the soap opera battles
Write to me Paris
Write to me Paris
     I want to read your poetry
     I want to read your mind
Sing to me Helen
Embrace me and we shall escape from torments
    Heavenly and humane
We shall watch hipsters walk past us
Smoking Spirits and drinking poison berry teas
     Let Adam grow disgruntled
     Let children laugh
If, Lord Jesus, you grant me my wish
    Send me a djinn with evil in his heart
Who's bound to be annoyed by my desires
    Send me an ent to lift me above my world
Send me an elf to love me for all my time
    Send me a mountain to travel over home
Transport me to Germany
Transport me to Spain
Transport me to New Zealand
Give me a free pass, one-way ticket to Darwin's islands
    Write my story so that I collect new, unprecedented species
And devour the flesh of my find
Hide me in Antarctica with a monstrous creation of my own mind
Let me eat
Let me gorge
Then starve me
    Show me Caligula
    Show me Marilyn Monroe
    Then leave me with Ed Wood
And force me to watch his films so that I may inherit my grandfather's fortune in comic books
    Which, of course, will bring her to love me again
Oh Lord Jesus
Lord of Hosts
Possess me so that I may live again
Gabriel Gadfly Oct 2011
Press your ear close.

Sometimes you can hear the breath
rattling in my chest like a bone shrugged
its moorings and ought to be tied back down.

It’s the sound of a canyon
trying to expel a marsh:
hear the stones tumble down,
clatter and splash,
the stiff reeds scouring the walls.
Stuck bristles. Sticks.
The marsh is dauntless.
It can’t be pushed out through
the canyon’s narrow mouth.

It’s the sound of a cave-in.
Press your ear close and
listen to picks and shovels
plinking on the rock.
Soon the oxygen gives out
and all the miners go to sleep,
or they punch a hole through
to the sky and breathe,
mouths pressed to the breach,
gasping a little at a time.

It’s the sound of a brier patch
growing in your lungs.
It’s the sound of a brier patch
set on fire.
This poem and more can be found on the author's website, http://gabrielgadfly.com.
Lily Mills Oct 2012
This monochrome life is nothing without your light.
The colors pour from your finger tips as you frolic about.
The carelessness of your touch creates new brilliance.
To tame you would be detrimental, but to free you would be exquisite.
They try to hide you away and hinder the  beauty
you could create with their monochrome ideals.
Monotone voices and monochrome people,
surrounding and clustered
to catch a glimpse of such a sight is like
watching the soft sun light trickle through the tree tops.
The beauty you are able to expel is like no other you love in spite of everything else.
You shed your light on the cruelest of nights.
Paint the colors of life into everything you see,
and strip away the melancholy of everyday routines.
So happy so lovely so free.
It's time to color our lives withe the beauty of of our imagination...
Liz Mar 2014
Tell me all the things I want to hear,
Lie to me so I may rest easy.
I'll tell you you're the only one,
Than laugh about you when you're gone.
I push away your adoration and affection
Just to feel some power over my fickle heart.

Colorful creature, show me how to move
My envy drips from fingertips
When I watch you dance
It makes me laugh.

And you got such a pretty face,
The kind that could make angels cry.
Your eyes keep me up at night,
Thinking about how lovely it would be
If I was the one dancing behind them.
Baby do you think of me as much as I think of you?

The night captures my attention
When the sun forgets to shine.
We must learn to dance in graveyards,
To spin and twirl to the music of our madness.

Insanity so beautiful and easy,
So listen to your voices
And expel all your demons
I haven't been writing much lately. My inspiration is running dry

— The End —