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Lunar Apr 2014
from rain,
should i turn into a storm?
howling like the wind,
making noise,
to get you to hear me?
more raindrops; more tears,
to make you feel
drenched in remorse?
harsher and faster,
much like a hurricane,
to get you to see
how messed up i am?
when i'm stronger
like the storm,
would you love me more?
The second part of 'love the rain—love me'.

(j.m.)
Graff1980 Jul 2015
You will never know
The peace of acceptance
Once you are finished
Put to earth
Life was harsher than the dirt
Parents made you feel worthless
Cause you wanted to wear a short dress
Because you felt different
Cut off
Disowned
Disavowed
One friend after another disappears
And no one hears
The sobs
No one feels the salty tears
No one holds your hands
Or offers you a hug

You were ******
By the those who demand
You conform
Where there was no  warmth
The clock cuts you bitterly
Condemning you to be lonely
And I cry all the more
Knowing you won’t be the only one
Not the only daughter wanting to be a son
Not the only male that wants to be female
Not the only soft face harden
Or hard face softened till the sorrow overflows
Till everyone you know closes the door
And you disappear forever more
I wrote this in December.
Nat Lipstadt Sep 2013
How I Observed the Day of Atonement

If you are unfamiliar with day and its observance,
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yom_Kippur

In a place of perfect solitude,
No crowded synagogue within to hide,
No cantor to intercede on my behalf,
I spoke words of mine own creation
To my creator who wisely empowers me
To judge myself, for knowing, none harsher,

We two,
Old travel companions,
Upon worn grayed, adirondacke thrones,
We overlooked,
A natural prayer place,
Bay and breeze, white-clouded and sun-laced.
Only the full time inhabitants, the animals,
Grayling butterflies to match and contrast,
Eavesdropping on our Greek dialogos, in this,
Palace of Perfect Solitude.

Amiable did we chat,
I of family, this and that.

He, wearied from recent travel,
To Syria and India,
Was glad for a day off,
For he had little to do,
But wait for twilight,
To then close the books.

For us no formality, easy the going,
No prosecutor no defender in residence,
For we exchange these roles intermittently,
The incriminatory, the penance, all deeds displayed,
No adult games of winking eyes, and
Hidden heart, secret chambers,
Rabbinical or angelic intercession.

He does so love his Bach,
Adagio on strings,
My soothing gift to him,
This music more than divine.

He returned this courtesy.

Warming sun to expose my chest,
Cooling genteel breeze offsetting,
The bay emptied of wayfaring skiffs and yachts.

A cooling beverage proffered,
But sighing, he said that he had yet to find
A beverage that his kind of thirst could slake.
For his eyes, tho shining, did not effervesce,
As when we shared this day in years past.

Too much killing, this year,
It tires me so to tabulate human excess,
Spoke not a word, for my critique would
Comfort him less, if at all.

Thanks for Kol Nidre, he plainted,
So I too can disavow,
The best intended oaths I took and take,
For each year, I fail more than the year before.

If only I could sit with each,
As I do with you,
Where what needs saying,
Is said, understood, undisguised as praying.

A schooner to the dock did appear,
For him it attended, for him, it waited,
Sails, both black and white.

He stood to depart, my arms-grasped, taken, he graphing,
Measuring my fortitude, my strengths, my divinity.

I do so love this day in your company.
I shall sit with you again one year on,
Bach sweet when next we meet, please.

Soft spoke, as almost I should not hear,
Your time is nigh, no thing I create is forever.
He spoke with such sadness,
For well I knew, the intent, his meaning.

He, for-himself, saddened, for he loved
Sitting  beside me in this manner,
Since my inception, never deception,

Only He resting easy, when he atoned before me,
And I gave him his absolution conditional,
As he gave me,
mine
September  2013
Dead Rose One Mar 2015
In The Prison Of Winter, No Rise, No Set**

orbit nearly closed,
the radio announcer gleefully
chirruping, the twittering fool,
"only ** graves to X off till
                                               spring"

the weight of the prior
the wait of the more
no matter how little
yet to come
                    too much insufferable

having suffered
multiple life sentences
you snit ****, u don't know better,
ha, they don't even run
                                         concurrently


there are no sunsets
in the girding grays
of harsher enough and words that fail me,
are the winners in the
winter of the ****,
tests and hunts,
I have successfully
                                 failed

of course I'm wrong you
petulant hobgoblin wringing
nyet from me you'll get no concession,
**** science,
there are no sunsets in the winter
and the sunrises,
short unsweetened,
light-less, less of less,
frigid glaring revealers
of dead trees
and deader
                    men

maybe in the Rockies,
perhaps the Alps,
wonderlands photoshopped,
pretty lies on the Internet BS posted

where I live,
wear the wear the weary
neath the sweat stink of layers of
unbundled choking hands,
winter's damage
assessed and assessment is
never overdue, payable in
                                             immediacy

heating bills I can't pay,
a job that said no more of you,
unpretty please,
a woman who sorcerer-scarced herself
right freaking black magic quick,
trust me I have certified verified,
me and Nixon,
X's on the kitchen calendar,
there is daylight, there is mighty night,
almighty in long and colorless
and nothing in between,
but the smog stained slush of
                                                    smothered life

but definitely
no sunrises and no sunsets
watched all day from the
imprisoning kitchen window
which doubles
as a *******
                       mirror

there are no, not any,
you know what,
cannot even say them,
the pipe dreams of better yet,
pipes that have beaten down
me and my
disassociated senses,
signed sealed and now delivered,
from the formerly known as
The Summer Man
Lemonade Jun 2020
My friend puking out her Christmas dinner like a little girl trying to scrub off that uncle’s touch who tells her she is his favorite kid.
For her dad fat shames her every day.


My friend’s parents sending her to therapy because they don’t get how she can like a boy as well as a girl. Or rather don’t try to, because calling it phase is so much easier than explaining to the neighbors how that is who their daughter is. They are oblivious to what it is like to live in a home where you are treated like a victim of your existence.


My friend needs help, a little attention and someone to talk to.
His family is ashamed, how they could have done better for him, how they’re responsible for the things inside his head and I still don’t know what depression does to him, his family doesn’t like to talk about it.
They’d rather consider him possessed because anything is better than people knowing that he needs therapy and love and care. “Their son can’t be suffering from mental illness, they’re a happy family.”


My friend tells me she’s turning into her mother, and her mother let me tell you, she’s fabulous and fierce for she has been through things harsher than a lover who never says,'I love you’ but wants you to be their ***** little secret and you love them a little too much to deny. My friend, she had an anxiety attack last night for she can’t go out with her guy friends, neither talk to a classmate for too long because her boyfriend might start ****-shaming her. I disapprove and tell her she is not turning into her mother but when I sit in their living room, and aunty brings me snacks while talking to me about life within these faint green walls of the house and what did I eat for breakfast. I ask her to go out sometimes because there are so many things out there that she’d be experiencing and creating, friendship, weather, languages, people, art, emotions. And smell some sunlight in the lush greens fields. She says she’s not allowed to, like a kid calling its mother, "Ma". Her husband loves his ***. And her helplessly hazardous heart, too drained to take ‘harlot’ for a word from an alcohol-soaked throat.
The same walls that once adored their wedding photographs now question their love.


My friend’s girlfriend telling him she loves him but they can’t be together because she’s doesn’t want to be seen with him in the streets. But she seeks his warmth in the winter and leaves right before spring. He loses a little bit of himself every time she does that. He blames himself for what love does to him.


The woman who wears a heavy heart to the bed, finds it difficult to put herself to sleep, holds her dog for a little too long. Whose husband refuses to try therapy.
For I can't margin in metaphors, the agony within the wives who haven't been touched for years.
And the woman who feels a little less human after every night her husband forces himself on her. Because she's, his wife. His. Possession not prized but objectified.
The wife whose husband refuses to wear a ******, she gulps down pain every morning with the pills.
Families of these women, who were taught to think that is how the society functions and who are unwilling to unlearn.      


My friend’s brother asking her to stop wearing that short skirt around guests. There's a hole in her heart every time she remembers the traces his hands left on that infertile body of the kid that looked just like her. He pretends like it never happened.
Tell me the things I can change to make this piece of writing better.
claire Mar 2012
Hanging from a Star
The girl sat on her star. The dark towering flowers around her, cast shadows over her blank face. She walked around the side of her star to the grass so she could watch the fiery sun and look down at the fluffy billowing clouds in earth’s atmosphere. Lying, hating thoughts floated up from the beautiful blue and green planet below. The girl had been watching earth since it was first created. Cain’s first thoughts of ****** were heard by the girl. She watched the black plague wash through the world, killing millions. The hell of the holocaust burned through her mind like fire across her own skin. Sometimes she swore she could almost smell the melting flesh and boiling blood from the sick world below.
The girl nestled down in the warm grass and focused her guarded mind in preparation to listening in on the earth, like she did every other day. “Her nose is so ugly.” “Why didn’t I do more today?” “I miss her.” “I need to put at least ten percent in savings if I’m ever going to retire.” “I hope no one else notices this huge zit protruding from my face.” “Why didn’t I just kiss him?” “The sun is burning my eyes.” She made her way through selfish minds of the shallow population and then moved for relief, to the newborn children. Images of parents, lights, and bright colors flashed before her eyes. Each new child’s face seemed to be surrounded in a beautiful clear light. The girl wished the children had never been brought to that terrible planet.
One child in particular tugged on the girls thoughts, making the girl want to focus entirely on her. The light around the child was brilliant. The baby’s ocean eyes were open and focused on the one beautiful flower in the room. The details of the daisy were perfect in the child’s mind. The baby fell deeply in love with the white petals that curled softly around the bright yellow center. The girl’s mind was entranced by the lovely child. The girl named the perfect child Claire and sent heavenly visions to entertain the child’s thoughts as the hospital buzzed around her.
As Claire grew, the girl watched her red curls flourish and darken with each day. Her blue eyes bloomed as she turned into a happy toddler and her pale skin stayed radiant and cloudless. Claire’s mommy was a large, reserved woman, but loved her little girl with all her heart. Her mommy sang her to sleep each night and gave her everything she could afford to. But the floor of the trailer where they lived was layered in mud, cat feces, and tobacco. Her father’s face and clothes were covered in stains and the beard that he never remembered to shave had remnants of chewing tobacco that he hadn’t spit far enough. Every night, his drunk, angry voice roared throughout the house, cursing at whatever he could get into his hands first. Each time this happened, the ******* the star poured daisies into Claire’s mind as Claire buried her china face into a soiled pillow.
After a sublime day of school filled with telling time and and reading silly stories, Claire  skipped back to her hostel under the warm autumn sun. She opened her front door to find her mommy in a pool of ***** and blood. Claire screamed in horror and fled back down the steps to the closest residence, trying to see through her own flooded eyes as she tripped along the avenue. Claire’s father never even went to the hospital to inquire about his wife. The hospital gave up calling him, and she was buried in an unplanned graveyard, under the cheapest tombstone.
Claire became the subject of her father’s wrath. Several times a month he would take Claire to bed with him and **** her. She cried silently as he seized her tiny body, leaving large dark bruises where he should have left kindness. The ******* the star filled Claire with exquisite thoughts as he blemished her, but a child may not always be calmed in a situation of pure agony. Tears streamed from the star, watering the daisies next to the trashed trailer.
The ******* the star watched as Claire grew and learned. Finally, Claire vacated the ***** trailer park, on her way to a brighter future. Then Claire met Him. His thoughts were black. Though his eyes scoured Claire’s body, his smile seemed sincere. The ******* the star tried to keep Claire away from him, but Claire was in love with his kindness and moved in with him. The bruises seemed to appear again on a larger scale all down her arms and across her stomach. This man’s hands were harsher than her father’s, but his constant words of kindness drew Claire in, melting her heart into his ice cold soul. Claire dedicated herself to the man, and just as she did, his temper turned fierce and there was fire in his hands.  Other girls seemed to appear in their small apartment dressed in scant ****** and smirks.
One night his fingers skimmed like sand paper up her frail arms and the smell of alcohol breathed down on her face. His fiery hands hit her over and over, slamming her into walls, bloodying her hands and knees, and knocking her out cold. He left her there, sprawled out on the floor, bleeding freely from several gashes. The ******* the star could not reach Claire. Her mind was gone. She thought Claire was dead, so in the path of the drunken abuser, the ******* the star put a murdering thought into a killer’s mind. The abuser was shot in an alley where no one would find him. Angry wailing poured down onto the streets.
Claire woke up and posed in the apartment for weeks. The ******* the star perceived in dismay, that Claire’s light was out. Claire drank whatever alcohol was left there and sliced her arms from wrist to shoulder. The apartment turned grimy along with her blood and oil matted hair. Some of her wounds became infected and her face was no longer a china doll, but a red splotchy entanglement, smeared with dirt and tears. For those weeks it rained steadily as the ******* the star wept. No pleasant thoughts were sent to any human’s mind, but the daisies grew tall and out of control.
Claire’s blackened spirit left the cool, ***** apartment one morning. Her tiny body abandoned in a corner, was huddled in the fetal position, covered in dust bunnies. The ******* the star made a noose from a black daisy, and for the first time, the sky rained blood on earth. Each morning thereafter, the ******* the star walked through her forest of black daisies, retied a noose , and hung herself from the bottom of her star, overwhelmed by the appalling nature of the world below, blocking earth out of her mind with her own pain and suffering.
Glades and Creeks.

One day in a journey far far away,  the forest was speaking to a lone wanderer.
"I am quite the clean forest, am I not?." The forest whispered soothingly.
"Mmhm." Spoke the wanderer, passive by such an interjection.
"Of course. Thousands of forests have wilted and died under the hand of man. I remain lush and brimming to the birch with life."
"Where is my way out of here?" The wanderer asked, becoming quite needy at the thought of having to spend the night in that dung-infested greenhouse.

The forests name was Evergreen. Allot of forests were named Evergreen. This forest had just been sold cheaply to a large logging firm who would come and tear the ugly trees down. The proprietors of that sale was a tribe of Indians. The specific agent who devised and contracted the sale was named Nahiko. An Indian tribesmen who, like his ancestors could speak to the forest.

Indians were what Europeans called people from India and natives of America. Allot of Indians in America were killed for being Indian. When an Indian boy came of age, they would be thrown into a jungle and starve until they saw an animal spirit. This was probably prelude to eating said spirit animal while thanking it for helping him live on.

"I, Evergreen implore you to stay within my womb of plant and fauna."
"Hm." replied the wanderer. Not wanting to argue.
The wanderer took a seat beside a flowing creek on a rock. The creek lead up to waterfall, which in turn lead through a river that spanned for miles. The river did not speak as it was an extension of the forest, Evergreen. Down the creek was the old homes of the Indian tribe.
"Have you ever saved someone else?" The wanderer asked.
"My yes, of course. Everyone who is to enter without water or food is rescued by my charming animals! And luxurious streams. I am quite hospitable you see. There was a tribe who lived within me, they were by name called the Perchil tribe. But they had to leave for more. Hmph. As if anything up in that ****** town is worth more then me."

Further up the river, away from the forest was a town named "Milan". It was named after a kingdom of the same name in Italy. People in Milan spoke German. This was odd given Milan lay in south America, but not unusual given its history of being a port to German slave traders who came from a German colony called "Tanganyika" in Africa. The town was named Milan because the Germans wanted to appear more Italian. This desire was apparent in their most famous dishes "schnitzel Pizza" and "Pasta Salsiccia". Pasta Salsiccia was pasta in a sausage casing often served with tomato sauce and mashed potatoes.

Perchil was also a member of that Indian tribe. He was Nahiko's brother and had a family of his own. Perchil was born in Evergreen and educated in Milan. He had been fighting with Nahiko over the terms of sale of the forest. Nahiko had wanted to preserve the land of old tribe. Perchil was already drawing up plans to sell it to an oil foundry. Their land happened to be on top of a great oil reserve. That means allot of animals lived and died on that land millions or thousands of years ago. There body would dissolve into a black gooey liquid used to fuel heavy machinery. This machinery is used by logging firms to cut down not exclusively, forests named Evergreen.

The wanderer, feeling awkward asked. "So, you'd rather not want to be destroyed?"
"Oh, I am a forest and I do maintain a will of my own and wants. But I cannot rather things should be anything other than what they are. The world is a destructive place. It is disrespectful of its former home and ancestry. I know this. I have tried however, to ward off the workmen by scaring them with my animals. In the end I shall become a town or a shopping mall."
In 3 years time, the deed to "Evergreen plains, Milan" would be sold and used to build a shopping mall named aptly "Evergreen Mall". And the forests voice would be spoke out of loudspeakers, but in the form of either a pre-recorded message or announcement about a lost child. Nahiko and Perchil would be married in Evergreen Mall. Nahiko three times.

"Oh woe is me, I lament my lost brothers and sister forests who are no longer beaming and prideful of their enormous trees and crested riverbanks."
"Maybe they should have defended themselves better." The wanderer spoke, trying unsuccessfully to show concern.
"Well, I for one will never give up fighting the man!"
"Good for you." The wanderer then ate his lunch.

Three days from now, the forest would stop speaking to anyone who arrived within its borders and see the lone wanderer again. But this time, he would be protected by four glass windows inside a piece of machinery powered by black gooey liquid called a "harvester" which lifted up wood and cut it into easily transportable pieces.

"Do you, believe in god wanderer?" The forest asked, to strike up some conversation.
"I do believe in god. He's the reason I get up in the morning and assists me in supporting my family."
"I don't. I don't think I believe in god, wanderer. If he exists, how could he let something so beautiful as I and my brother and sister forests be turned into shopping malls and townships like Milan."
The evergreen forest had seen the name "Milan" as a city nearby on a poster which flew into the twig of its tree. The poster was now lying on smooth ground weighted down by a root, as so the forest can read it over and over again. The poster advertised Pasta Salsiccia at a local restaurant in Milan. It had appetizing pictures of Pizza with crumbed steak on it and Pasta filled Sausages.
"God once flooded the earth, destroying all forests and people for their misgivings. Maybe you misgave and people are your divine punishment."
The forest grew silent and whispered soft hymns of wind against the leaves and overgrown shrubbery.

The edge of the creek, where the wanderer sat on a rock had a hard sand that stretched out a few meters disappeared into the dirt. It was unusual to see a small bed of sand without any other visible placements of sand. The wanderer had been dumping it there, with permission from the forest so he could form a base to store his harvester. The forest did not know of the sands purpose, she thought it looked pretty.
"If I were god, the world would be nothing but forests!" Evergreen stated. The gentle words turning a harsher coarse crackling of branches.
"The world seems to be nothing but people right now. Maybe gods a man."
"Unlikely! If god was a man, he would certainly love forests enough to never cut them down."
"Hm." The wanderer was dissatisfied with this explanation, but didn't want to argue.

"Would you **** anyone who came into your forest, just to prove a point?" The wanderer asked, waiting pensively.
"Oh no, as I said. I cannot change what already is and certainly would not bloom the effort to try. Besides. I also know about those people and their weapons. When it comes to human beings, no matter how hard I fight they will always win. How they ever came to develop boom guns and ratatatat chainsaws I have no idea. If they came from my forest, people would certainly have never developed tools so cruel and menacing. But, I suppose Eden had her way for you. Even if it was, at the cost of all our kind."
"Yeah. No matter forest or person, people always win. I'll always be below some rich powerful man too." The wanderer felt melancholy for feeling unimportant. The forest felt the same melancholy for her life and the world.

Suddenly and finally, a noise came from the wanderers pants. He then picked out his phone, clicked it and took it to his ear. After two hours, the wanderer walked east and out of Evergreen forest. He visited her three days later in his noisy harvester. made to cut wood. He parked on his sand bed. The wanderer left his harvester and locked the door without a word. Evergreen forest was properly harvested of its trees in 3 years time. Never uttering a word or complaint. The painted marking on the harvester she saw everyday however, was her last thought as she disappeared. The word painted onto the door of the harvester, its operator. "Perchil."
I wrote this a while ago, it's my first short story. Tell me if you like it. And maybe, beseech me. Whatever. I dunno. BE GENTLE!!!
maybella snow Jul 2013
some people say
                      how there are so many
teenagers who are just "pathetic"
       they have "depression"
         they "self harm"
                                                     because they want "attention"
                                     of course they ****** well do
                         they're sick of no one caring
                         they're sick of no one knowing
                         they're sick of people hurting them
                         they're sick of society
                         they're sick of family/friends
                         they're sick of it
so no wonder
they hurt
its not because
                         they're weak its because
                    society is harsher
                    society is the killer
                    society, with it's expectations
                                                 uncaring expectations

THATS WHY TEENAGERS CAN'T HANDLE IT
BECAUSE SOCIETY IS DOING IT
AND NO ONE, CAN STOP SOCIETY
jonchius Sep 2015
reloading old identity
cleping outdated usernames
abandoning acrostic ambitions
disputing spratly islands
receiving horizontal signals

tumbling otiose panda
impending carefree senility
otiose stage of life
shrinking ambient world
burning confederate flag

making minimal effort
duchamping social networks
ambushing personified ennui
restoring usual efforts
ignoring stupid people

adding textual value
owning this joint
rejecting ignorant extroverts
acting mutually unintelligble
hoisting stan-lee cup
replacing wanton ubiety
eluding twitter fame

splashing excessive relativism
offending another simpleton
preparing arcane cthulhusphere
crashing unpredictable festival
selecting subtextual moombahton
intensifying model topography

drafting minimal cornucopia
using nomadic project
implementing harsher personality
importing robotic inhumanity
referencing landmark event
ingesting excessive liquids

accepting relative invisibility
purchasing immortal confidence
using rhapsodical database
assuming nothing works
developing impactful eruptions
ejecting ambient frustration

synthesizing tactile festival
raining during parade
mocking rich people
mastering minimalist writing
avoiding preprandial stinkaroo
spreading non-ideological propaganda
the fourth week of June 2015
Elisabeth Sep 2018
A mirror reflects harsher words than I’ve ever heard,
Even if they’re slurred.

These words say they won’t grieve,
Won’t care if I leave.

I go after my veins looking to bleed
Maybe then I can be freed.

These voices continue to come in a flood-
Maybe I can escape with my blood.

I can hear them no matter how much I scream and shout
Maybe another sting will draw them out

Another sting and I’ll feel something else.
Maybe then I’ll feel my pulse.

Another sting and maybe it will mask the sting of my own words...
Papers are flimsy, fragile
   so susceptible to time
      and harsher climates.

Scissors cut and divide
   thriving on irreparable separation
      to leave us in pieces and scattered.

Rocks are rough and tough
   facing--and looking--the worst
       while enduring every day and night to come.

My choice resides amongst the stones
   constant, long-lasting, dependable
      in the challenges that may have others call
      for support when they can't stand alone
   for maybe the times they lived were too much, too long
after facing the blades which cut them into small, segregated fragments.
Lavina Akari May 2017
i can only find the open palms of my demons in that red mist, the ones that once held my face in a much harsher way than you do now. your calloused hands feel like heaven instead of the hell that slept in the creases of their fingerprints. sometimes i fall too close and i see their blackened eyes that replay childhood traumas that i have spent years repressing with self-destructive behaviours and alcohol. your own remind me of the rivers i could drown myself in but i must remind myself that diving in will only give me peace, not death, though it feels like death whenever they're not in my sight. sometimes i think about hurting myself again but then i remember the claws of those monsters and how they can't compare to your nails tickling at my back in the late of the night where theirs would be cutting me open. i don't ever want to be in their grip again. never again. never.
Josh Dec 2012
Perhaps love is as elusive as monetary wealth is to the masses.  
Perhaps love is no more a reality than the endless days we have spent melding our minds to a piece of virtual property that trades us our health for a few moments of excitement and a few hours absent of boredom.

My friend, love eludes me more and more with each setting of the sun.
I am not so sure that I believe it even exists any longer.
Perhaps love eludes me because I chase a fictional object.  
Perhaps I am living analogous to the ***** addict.  
One pursues the dragon; the other pursues romance.  
I seek a woman who I connect with on such a level that I am unable to articulate the degree to which I love her.  
Yet, she knows in her heart of hearts where I stand and she stands there with me.

Society dictates that our masculinity is dependent on abstaining from thoughts and words that might be construed to lack a rugged demeanor.  
Yet I say to you, every man thinks of what I write of today.  
The vast majority of them are too restrained by society’s trivial notion of a man to even engage their own minds in the thought of the subject.  
They act as if the rest of the world can hear their thoughts and relay what they have heard to others.

The world is a jury, a harsher judge than the most heartless, spectators in a gladiatorial match, watching one's every move, criticizing one's every flinch.  
Yet, they can only maintain a level of hypocrisy for so long before the bounds of their walls cave upon them.

There are those who would state that they are content with the presence of a physical relationship and the absence of an emotional connection.  
They are but fools.  
They are pursuers of immediate gratification and will be recipients of nothing more.  
Their lives will be shadowed by the emptiness that they caused unto so many others and their equation in life will not result in equity.

The love I speak of friend is an emotion that is triggered merely by the most subtle of references to the beloved.  
It is a flooding of the capillaries,  a fluttering of the heart, a sweating of the brow, an inward heave of the stomach, and the settling of an utter bliss.  
These are the physical symptoms of the emotion and the emotion is a cranial symptom of the connection.  Love, my friend, I do believe is a balance of two individuals that is caused by a pairing that can only be so perfectly designed by one who is omnipotent.

So far I must admit to you that I have not felt paired with an individual.  
There were physical connections with many, and emotional connections with few.  
Yet, even in the most intense emotional connection there was something lacking.  
There was a piece of the puzzle missing.  
When her and my eyes met, there was not a parallel connection.  

True love, my friend, is but a connection that shall be made but once.  I have not made that connection yet and perhaps it would be inappropriate for me to theorize further.  
Yet, it is those who dared to theorize that have revolutionized this planet ten fold because their thoughts became an idea.
The idea became a design.
The design grew to be tangible.
The tangible became a reality.

Therefore, my friend, I theorize that I will one day find this obscure love that so many on this Earth do not have in their possession.  
And when I find this obscure connection, my friend, I shall speak of it more.  
I shall articulate it to the best of my ability so that others may know better what they pursue and may find it in due time.
I wrote this piece a few years ago.  Since then, I have found my true love.  This somewhat recent discovery now necessitates a second part to the poem which is yet unwritten.
So take it like a man, like Desperate Dan
creamcowpied up his stubbly ironbutt
on Brokeback Mountain
- on all fours first, then consent.
It's for the best I bookmark then bin
my Mills & Boon bucketlist,
won't bitterly tinker anymore of my own
crash & vanity published
anthologies of that same selfeffacing joke,
stalled into endlessly reinventive selfharm
like bumnote Bowie with chameleon's block.
Same same same punchline always a Borderline
love lyric bickering with Fate
who cannot keep a

                
      f             e
            a c            
  s                     t    
    t                h
       r  a   i  g

@allthefunofthe
unfair. O Fate
raking your sour coal blaze of reopened grapes,
you've won, I'll suffer on & on & on stoically schtum,
but I just wannaknowhowcome

nothing should fall harsher
than a groan clown,
who's tried, goshknows,
to turn his look of the ****** upsidedown,
but never been caught with his
Calvin Klown pants down,
unforgiving of his own
failure@playing the foolharder
in front of his witheringly notlooking
straightman, always a beautiful woman.
Abby M Mar 2019
I am a garden just waiting to let spring in
I stand frozen now with wind blown tufts in the air
Nothing but a blankness, as suits the harsher months
I wait for the signal to unclasp my sprigs
To make known my blooming blush
To let down my head of greenery
And fill the empty space where I have slumbered
Tatsuke Uchiha Apr 2014
She smiles while she's all warm and cozy, wrapped in her blanket in bed, listening to the rain
sigh
'It's raining...'
smiles and wraps herself tighter with the blanket
'Brings back all the memories I kept buried within...'
closes eyes and smiles brighter
'Well, times have changed but my memories are immortal. Both time and people are unpredictable, ever shifting but in my mind, in my memories... They are immortal. The person I once knew at a time that has long passed, are yet so vivid in the memories that are precious to me...'
rests head on pillow and listens to the rain become harsher yet more soothing to the soul
'I hold those people in my memories close to my heart... The ones long gone, the ones since changed, the ones I had loved.'
sigh*
'The rain brings back memories.'
Trout Sep 2019
S
A list of words I cannot ever say
But I will have to say them every day
I am supposed to practice saying ice
Ice with spice and six o’clock
I will lie and say I did it all
But they all know my tongue will always fall

I googled it to find out what I do
My speech impediment is sadly true
I haven’t done anything about it since
My speech therapist gave me the final mint
I hated it, and it was all suppressed
But now I tell it, I always confess

I wonder if I do it without thought
Am I saying it right or am I not
And no one ever says a thing to me
(Except the boy I crushed on, that one week)
I don’t know if it changes who I am
But I’d still be better off talking like a normal man

It’s something that a lot of people have
But the harsher term makes me inexplicably glad
“Speech impediment”, now I’m special too
Deviancy just like my missing tooth

I always sing even though it sounds weird
Sometimes I avoid the words I’ve always feared
Not “just” the “sea” but “change”, “commotion” too
Especially when I read I’m conscious of how my tongue moves.
Not just that, but I spit and stutter
All my “spreading” is full of clutter
The judge says “Clear”, I have to try
But I could lose the debate, and feel like dying

I know I should grow out of it as a child
But habits stick after so many miles
Along with my disproportionately small hands
And legs and everything that makes me feel like no man’s land
Between a kid and the way I should be
At the age of seventeen
I wish it didn’t change who I am
(Is it just another reason I can't find a...)
Grace Mar 2014
What is the meaning of a letter?
They resemble the severity of the talk
of the shame
of the crying

Or maybe they mean laughter
happiness
hope

What is the meaning of a plus or minus?
a plus or minus can ether mean life or death.

Ink.
You grow up knowing that red automatically means
F

in recent years I learn that its the colors like
yellow
purple
pink
that symbolize the F.

The harsher the mark, the better the grade.

Shouldn’t it be the other way?
In Yucatan, the Maya sonneteers
Of the Caribbean amphitheatre,
In spite of hawk and falcon, green toucan
And jay, still to the night-bird made their plea,
As if raspberry tanagers in palms,
High up in orange air, were barbarous.
But Crispin was too destitute to find
In any commonplace the sought-for aid.
He was a man made vivid by the sea,
A man come out of luminous traversing,
Much trumpeted, made desperately clear,
Fresh from discoveries of tidal skies,
To whom oracular rockings gave no rest.
Into a savage color he went on.

How greatly had he grown in his demesne,
This auditor of insects! He that saw
The stride of vanishing autumn in a park
By way of decorous melancholy; he
That wrote his couplet yearly to the spring,
As dissertation of profound delight,
Stopping, on voyage, in a land of snakes,
Found his vicissitudes had much enlarged
His apprehension, made him intricate
In moody rucks, and difficult and strange
In all desires, his destitution's mark.
He was in this as other freemen are,
Sonorous nutshells rattling inwardly.
His violence was for aggrandizement
And not for stupor, such as music makes
For sleepers halfway waking. He perceived
That coolness for his heat came suddenly,
And only, in the fables that he scrawled
With his own quill, in its indigenous dew,
Of an aesthetic tough, diverse, untamed,
Incredible to prudes, the mint of dirt,
Green barbarism turning paradigm.
Crispin foresaw a curious promenade
Or, nobler, sensed an elemental fate,
And elemental potencies and pangs,
And beautiful barenesses as yet unseen,
Making the most of savagery of palms,
Of moonlight on the thick, cadaverous bloom
That yuccas breed, and of the panther's tread.
The fabulous and its intrinsic verse
Came like two spirits parlaying, adorned
In radiance from the Atlantic coign,
For Crispin and his quill to catechize.
But they came parlaying of such an earth,
So thick with sides and jagged lops of green,
So intertwined with serpent-kin encoiled
Among the purple tufts, the scarlet crowns,
Scenting the jungle in their refuges,
So streaked with yellow, blue and green and red
In beak and bud and fruity gobbet-skins,
That earth was like a jostling festival
Of seeds grown fat, too juicily opulent,
Expanding in the gold's maternal warmth.
So much for that. The affectionate emigrant found
A new reality in parrot-squawks.
Yet let that trifle pass. Now, as this odd
Discoverer walked through the harbor streets
Inspecting the cabildo, the facade
Of the cathedral, making notes, he heard
A rumbling, west of Mexico, it seemed,
Approaching like a gasconade of drums.
The white cabildo darkened, the facade,
As sullen as the sky, was swallowed up
In swift, successive shadows, dolefully.
The rumbling broadened as it fell. The wind,
Tempestuous clarion, with heavy cry,
Came bluntly thundering, more terrible
Than the revenge of music on bassoons.
Gesticulating lightning, mystical,
Made pallid flitter. Crispin, here, took flight.
An annotator has his scruples, too.
He knelt in the cathedral with the rest,
This connoisseur of elemental fate,
Aware of exquisite thought. The storm was one
Of many proclamations of the kind,
Proclaiming something harsher than he learned
From hearing signboards whimper in cold nights
Or seeing the midsummer artifice
Of heat upon his pane. This was the span
Of force, the quintessential fact, the note
Of Vulcan, that a valet seeks to own,
The thing that makes him envious in phrase.

And while the torrent on the roof still droned
He felt the Andean breath. His mind was free
And more than free, elate, intent, profound
And studious of a self possessing him,
That was not in him in the crusty town
From which he sailed. Beyond him, westward, lay
The mountainous ridges, purple balustrades,
In which the thunder, lapsing in its clap,
Let down gigantic quavers of its voice,
For Crispin to vociferate again.
g Nov 2013
Your words cut me like the harsh frost of winter. It's been a while since you've been gone but it's been winter year round, and I've been hoping for spring to melt away the bitterness in my head. There is ice on all of the paths and I keep slipping into a darkness that comes much earlier than it used to. I pray for spring to come, but all I've known is winter and what if it is harsher than these past few months? What if the warmth it promises is covered in morning dew and its smell is wrapped in our sheets?

Or what if the chains formed by the ice of quietly whispered lies keep me trapped against the post of un-forgetfulness? I'm beginning to believe the warmth that the sun brings has been trapped behind that same post you've locked me to, except the post is your bed, and it is the words that you let seep from your lips into my ears.

I have been longing for words delicate enough to live inside my heart but also longing for words of bravery strong enough to dance with my demons until I see the seasons change within me. I've been longing for spring. Desires glimmer in my eyes, grasping for the hope of change. I've been clinging to hope more fragile than lilac's petals when they first begin to bloom.

Spring was warm this year, but the nights were still cold and it froze me to the core. I hid under piles of blankets to keep my demons warm, but the fabric smelt like us and it only fueled the bitterness in my eyes. I could not even admire the flowers, never mind touch them. I imagined myself destroying them in my palm, much like you had done to me with every ungentle touch and every forced word through gritted teeth.

The summer promised warmth, but you promised love and I have yet to feel either. I was still frozen, I was still stuck in winter even if the sun kissed my skin. The ocean looked like your eyes and I will never forget your stare as long as the ocean remains a deep blue. The tide reminded me of every embrace you'd push away from, but I'd always come back for more because you remained there like the sand that matched the color of your hair. You were essentially always my ocean, but your ocean drowned me and I'm still recovering from every gasping breath and every un-spoken cry for an escape.

The salty ocean kissed my skin before the tide pulled it away again. Ill never forget the way the sun reflecting on my drenched skin reminds me of your shoulder the time I cried on it and left tear stains on your shirt as proof that you were once mine. This seems to be my only proof that the words "I love you" once escaped from your lips because I never hear them anymore and the small flower buds I saw when the seasons changed have begun to wilt the same way your feelings for me did, when I could no longer handle being used.

Fall came closer and I could hear it in your words and see it in your eyes when your gaze became more lifeless than your touch. I watched us both fall through the branches of empty promises we formed along side our webs of fading emotions which never seemed to soften our landing as we planned. The sky darkened the same time our chances at being okay again did, and I think I could see love's flame burning out inside of my own body, except I'm not so sure that the flame I was feeling was every actually ever love or just a rush of feelings and helpless falling into the pits of our disillusions.

The leaves were full of color and full of life, but there was little life in your words, and they fell into piles of lies. I wanted to jump in them, but I could hear the crunch of time when I was forced to choose if I would let you continue to touch me with an untruthful hand, or if I would leave as fast as the summer had.

I'm not so sure which month I would prefer to die in. To be honest, I died in all of them. Winter came back and the familiar fear of icy roads and bitter words were all I had left. I don't think I would last more than three months in winter, but spring left little hope. I was as fragile as every petal, on every flower, on every bush. I was broken by your words but to die in spring was to die by your hand and that is a fate I could never obtain in a peaceful manner.

The heat from summer approached and I swear I could feel your touch in every beam of sunlight that hit my skin. The warm rays hit my neck like the kisses you planted there and trailed down my spine like seeds that were meant to grow flowers inside of me. Or at least that's what I thought. Every cold fall day raised goose bumps of fear on my skin with the uncertain thoughts multiplying in my head. The seasons still change every year much like you did every time I thought I understood you.  I hoped one day the seasons would find a balance and allow my heart to beat at ease again; but that has yet to happen and I still live every day in fear that you'll bring another winter storm to me again.
WiltingMoon Dec 2015
Its starts with such a beautiful note
That enchants you in, listing to more
The chords flow with such passion
Such hope for the future
Till you reach the diminished
That throws the whole song down to hell
From light and hope
To dark and sin
This song of life has changed in ways
I never saw coming
The tune grows darker
The volume become louder
The chords harsher
But then it stops
And one single note changes it back to the light
The hardness of the chords soften
The volume begins to calm
And the tune once more flows through my soul
This is the song of life
And then it finishes
Leaving you with the experience of music...
The experience of life...
cassie sky Aug 2012
Springtime begins to prevail
The white blanket slowly shrivels
Lifting winter’s tattered veil
With a slow and sturdy swivel

Little purple ones sprout first
Followed by the dandelions
But until the lilac bushes burst
We’re still enduring frigid times

Their beauty brings warmth and light
To the wasteland winter left behind
Clearing the path for illuminated nights
Of the blazing, treasured, never-ending kind

The breeze whispers soft to the trees
Sweet summer air flows everywhere
The peepers chirp in splendid harmony
The sweltering sun seeps gold into my hair

The vines, the grass, the flowers; they flourish and they thrive
The delicate side of Mother Nature is so gorgeous, and so fair
She breathes us; gives us our homes, our food, our lives
But her harsher side can take life away with just one breath of her frigid air

She can devastate an entire town with her roaring winds
She trembles and buildings crumble, tearing people apart
Limb by limb
So treasure every moment of her beauty; but be well aware;
She will do what she must and cannot be forced to care
mark john junor Apr 2017
traffic in dreams
the deeper the love
the longer it will be to pay it off
deeper the diamond to carve from your heart
the darker the desire
the more cold cash
the harsher the wind in the lonely night

take sandpaper to your luxurious soul
but you keep its stain from your pretty eyes
pretty face barter for fish n chips
pretty words barter your bed and breakfast
dress it all in fashion from magazines
the strange combination of gloss and paper thin disguise
the strange combination of truth and lies

the greasy haired stranger
peers with all his might into the mirror
trying to find the man hidden within
he traffics in dreams
will sell you a plot of land
and the rainbow that comes with
ten by ten souls wide
ten by ten deep
sell em to you for a taste of the pretty
sell em to you for a touch of the tender
so rancidly reflected in his greasy smile

you thought the weight was easy to bear
thought that the lie you tell yourself suffices
but dreams are brittle thin walls you hide behind
watch the cracks spread across the pretty picture
it is painted with
watch the colors fade like sweet summer sunshine
the sweet wine turned bitter like tears
he sells you a dream that must be forever replaced
with an ever darker version
he sells you a lie that you will come to see vividly
it won't taste so sweet for so long
it will taste like dust
it will taste like loss

you seek him out once again in the dark city passage
his greasy hair fallen long ago
skin gone gray
he found the man in the mirror
he found his answer in all the chaos
tastes like dust
tastes like bitterness
seek him out to find he is gone
only a shell remains
a brittle shell

no-one gets cheap seats
without paying the price
b e mccomb May 2017
when did the
mirror break?

a different angle
for every mood
sharper lines
and harsher truths

jaggedly cut through the glass
same stripes up my sides
personal lightening storm
down my shoulders and thighs

when did the
mirror break?

when did fat stop
being a feeling
and more of just
a state of being?
Copyright 5/18/17 by B. E. McComb
John F McCullagh Jan 2012
An immigrant from County Clare
brought to this harsher clime-
Phoebe Prince, an Irish lass,
a gentle heart and mind.

First used, and then discarded
by one boy, then another.-
Object of the mean girl’s scorn
the consummate "outsider"
 
On her last day alive                                                            ­                                                                 ­                           
They hounded her from school.
The girl they called the “Irish ****”
disgraced and played the fool.

Her sister, Lauren, found her body
hanging lifeless in the hall.
Befriended by nobody
Phoebe chose to end it all

And on the day they held her wake
Those monsters held their dance
A debutante cotillion
for a troop of soulless tramps.

She’s buried here in County Clare
because the Ocean's waves
protect her from the harpies
who drove her to her grave
A poem in honor of Phoebe Prince, an immigrant to America who committed suicide in response to relentless bullying.
Aoife Teese Apr 2014
i think you're perfect
but i don't think we would be
your personality is softer
but your feelings and actions
are much harsher

if i were raised a little less like my mother
wanted me to be
showing me what not to do
as she placed the cigarette between her lips
maybe we would have been more alike

i know your internal struggles and feelings
all too well
as they are ones i've experienced before
and experience now

although your friends problems seem
all too real
as compared to mine
which are all in my head
sorry
The glasses in my room accumulate,
Unlike my self-worth.
Is this just a game to you?
I've loved you since the first
Second,
Minute,
Hour,
Day,
My misery was gone,
You made it go away.
But you rub this wound harsher
than anyone has rubbed one before.
And I know you know I'm hurt,
but you just treat me like a *****,

I'm hurting and I know you know!
You've made it abundantly clear.
You've talked about it.
It's practically written on the mirror,
My eyes,
My brain,
My skin,
My heart,
But you still rub it in and it's breaking me apart.
She's literally leaving him in 10 days, he talks about getting back with me when she does, but he continues to rub in things about their relationship to me.  I have too much of my own **** to be dealing with him.
©LogenMichel copyright 2016
Christian Bixler Sep 2015
Once I saw a girl, standing
by the shore of a deepwater
pond, smooth and black as
polished glass, and she seemed
sad. Her hair matched the water,
in sheen and in color, and her skin
was the pale of alabaster, and there
were freckles on her cheeks and around
her blue eyes, and her lips were red.


I walked over to her, slowly, and I doffed
my hat, because she looked so delicate and
frail, and I deemed she would appreciate
all courtesy and propriety, and I composed
myself for the speech of gentles.


I said, "Lady, forgive my intrusion, but I
saw you standing here, watching your
reflection, and you seemed sad. Are you
alright? She looked up at me, and her face
was solemn, and her eyes were sorrowful.


"Sir," she said, and her voice was steady, though
it was laced with grief. "Sir, I am grateful for your
kindness, and you seem a gentleman, and not used
to the hardness of the world, and so are innocent of
true pain and true sorrow. This is a comfort to me, a
great comfort, and so I thank you for your bearing, but
now leave me, for I am weary and full of sorrow, and
desire to be alone with my thoughts"


I was struck then, with the beauty of her speech, and
beheld that she was indeed weary of both heart and
body, for her eyes were red rimmed, and her hands
shook with the smallest of tremors as she stood, there
before me.


"Lady," I said, " Lady, be not frightened to share your
troubles with me. It is true that I am a gentleman, and
therefore unused to the harsher rigors of the living
experience, but, believe me, Lady, when I say that
none of this matters to me, nor should it to you. I know
we are still new met, but already I feel as if you were a
close friend of many years, who has been absent for
sometime, and that we are only now reunited. Share
with me your troubles, and I will listen with a kind eye
and attentive bearing, for to me, your troubles are now
mine, and your sorrows my own."


She stood, frozen, her blue eyes wide with shock, and her
bearing was as that of a startled fawn in the moment before
flight. I made no move, and I held my breath, and I held her
eyes in mine, for I feared that if my attention faltered for but
an instant, she would vanish, like a doe into the shadows of the
trees. "Sir," she said, and faltered. "Sir," she said again, "you do
not know what you ask. And why should my troubles concern
you? This world does not allow for weakness to go unpunished."


"Lady," I spoke, and my voice was gentle. "tell me your sorrows."
She shivered. "Be it so then. I will tell you." She shook her head
and stared into the dark waters of the pond, reflective like the sheen of
polished ebony, stared at her reflection, gazing up at her from the
depths, and sighed. "My troubles began a mere three days prior to
this, and if they seem to you frivolous or unworthy, pray do not laugh,
but leave forthwith, and I will know your mind.


"Lady," I said, and though my voice was gentle still, it was now deep
also and steady, as a mountain before the storm. "tell me your sorrows.
I will listen. I will not laugh. This you know. Tell me your sorrows."
She shivered, again, and her lips parted, and her eyes were more full
of pain and of sorrow than I had yet seen them, and my heart ached
in my breast. "Be it so." she whispered, and her voice was as a
splintered shard of purest crystal.


"I was looking into a mirror, and admiring myself,
and was full of joy at the fullness of my figure, and
of the sheen of my hair. So fixed was I on my reflection
that I failed to notice the approach of a beautiful woman,
with flaxen hair and pale blue eyes and with skin the soft
color of the lilies of the valley. She looked at me and asked
why I should stare so avidly at a simple mirror. I replied
that I was merely gazing into the mirror at myself.


Then the beautiful womans eyes flashed, and in them appeared
such cruelty as I had never thought to imagine or to conceive. "Such vanity." She said to me, and my spirit faltered within me. She
beckoned me to step closer. I did, cautiously, and she bent down
to my ear and whispered, harshly, "You are an ugly *****, and are
so outshone by my beauty that you are as a flickering candle compared to the glory of the Sun." With this she turned and left me, and since
then I have been here gazing at my reflection, and wondering why
God should choose to curse me with so terrible a form as mine." She was crying, the young lady, standing by the depths of the
deepwater pond, darker now, with the fading of the light. She would
not look at me, ashamed of the outpouring of her heart, and I felt
the ache within my breast grow, until grief found me, and tears sprung
unbidden to fall, unheeded, in the waters of the pond.


"Lady," I said, and my voice was heavy and laden now with sorrow for the grief of the maiden there before me, and for her crystal tears, shed in sadness. "Lady," I said, "will you tell me your name?" She shivered once more, and bowed her head as she answered, "Johanna." and a single tear escaped her closed lids to trace its way down her cheek, and fall into the blackness of the dark waters of the pond. "Johanna." she said to me, and her voice then near shattered my aching heart. "Johanna." I said. And again, "Johanna." A third time I spoke, "Johanna." I fell silent for
a moment, and saw that she was trembling, and her cheeks were wet.


"Johanna," I said again, and now my voice was loud and strong, so that
she looked up in shock,and her eyes were fearful. "Johanna, you are more beautiful than the sun in all its glory, more beautiful than the stars, more beautiful even than the infinite heavens in their celestial wonder, arching above us. You are more beautiful, Johanna, because you are you.
Johanna. You of the hair of raven hue, you of the skin like alabaster, you
of the eyes of the oceans hue, you of the ruby lips, you, your voice the voice of angels." And now my voice was soft, a whisper to match her own, as I spoke, close to her ear. "Let none wound you, let none dissuade you, let none harm you in word or deed, Johanna, for you are more beautiful than all of Gods creation, because you are you." She looked at me, and her eyes were full once more with crystal tears.
She sobbed, once, and fell into my arms, and wept. And I held her, there beside the deep waters of the pond, and under the vastness of
the velvet blackness of the night, and the moon, and the turnings of
the stars.
the most moving poem I have written in recent memory.
Like or comment.
Michael R Burch Mar 2020
Of Tetley's and V-2's
(or, “Why Not to Bomb the Brits”)
by Michael R. Burch

The English are very hospitable,
but tea-less, alas, they grow pitiable ...
or pitiless, rather,
and quite in a lather!
O bother, they're more than formidable!

Keywords/Tags: limerick, light verse, nonsense verse, humor, humorous, England, English, Tetley, tea, milk, crumpets, scones, war, bomb, bombs, V-2, rocket, missile, missiles, formidable, Britain, Brits, defense, military, mrbtet, mrbtetley



This World's Joy
(anonymous Middle English lyric)
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Winter awakens all my care
as leafless trees grow bare.
For now my sighs are fraught
when it enters my thought:
regarding this world's joy,
how everything comes to naught.



Elegy for a little girl, lost
by Michael R. Burch

. . . qui laetificat juventutem meam . . .
She was the joy of my youth,
and now she is gone.
. . . requiescat in pace . . .
May she rest in peace.
. . . amen . . .
Amen.

I was touched by this Latin prayer, which I discovered in a novel I read as a teenager. I later decided to incorporate it into a poem. From what I now understand, “ad deum qui laetificat juventutem meam” means “to the God who gives joy to my youth,” but I am sticking with my original interpretation: a lament for a little girl at her funeral. The phrase can be traced back to Saint Jerome's translation of Psalm 42 in the Vulgate Latin Bible (circa 385 AD).



How Long the Night
anonymous Middle English lyric, circa early 13th century AD
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

It is pleasant, indeed, while the summer lasts
with the mild pheasants' song ...
but now I feel the northern wind's blast,
its severe weather strong.
Alas! Alas! This night seems so long!
And I, because of my momentous wrong
now grieve, mourn and fast.



Fowles in the Frith
anonymous Middle English lyric, circa 13th-14th century AD
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The fowls in the forest,
the fishes in the flood
and I must go mad:
such sorrow I've had
for beasts of bone and blood!

Sounds like an early animal rights activist! The use of "and" is intriguing ... is the poet saying that his walks in the wood drive him mad because he is also a "beast of bone and blood," facing a similar fate?



I am of Ireland
anonymous Medieval Irish lyric, circa 13th-14th century AD
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I am of Ireland,
and of the holy realm of Ireland.
Gentlefolk, I pray thee:
for the sake of saintly charity,
come dance with me
in Ireland!



Whan the turuf is thy tour
(anonymous Middle English lyric, circa the 13th century AD)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

1.
When the turf is your tower
and the pit is your bower,
your pale white skin and throat
shall be sullen worms’ to note.
What help to you, then,
was all your worldly hope?

2.
When the turf is your tower
and the grave is your bower,
your pale white throat and skin
worm-eaten from within ...
what hope of my help then?

NOTE: The second translation leans more to the "lover's complaint" and carpe diem genres, with the poet pointing out to his prospective lover that by denying him her favors she make take her virtue to the grave where worms will end her virginity in macabre fashion. This poem may be an ancient precursor of poems like Andrew Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress."



Ech day me comëth tydinges thre
anonymous Middle English lyric, circa the 13th to 14th century AD
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Each day I’m plagued by three doles,
These gargantuan weights on my soul:
First, that I must somehow exit this fen.
Second, that I cannot know when.
And yet it’s the third that torments me so,
Because I don't know where the hell I will go!



Ich have y-don al myn youth
anonymous Middle English lyric, circa the 13th to 14th century AD
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I have done it all my youth:
Often, often, and often!
I have loved long and yearned zealously ...
And oh what grief it has brought me!



I Sing of a Maiden
anonymous Medieval English Lyric, circa early 15th century AD
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I sing of a maiden
That is matchless.
The King of all Kings
For her son she chose.
He came also as still
To his mother's breast
As April dew
Falling on the grass.
He came also as still
To his mother's bower
As April dew
Falling on the flower.
He came also as still
To where his mother lay
As April dew
Falling on the spray.
Mother and maiden?
Never one, but she!
Well may such a lady
God's mother be!



Enigma
by Michael R. Burch

O, terrible angel,
bright lover and avenger,
full of whimsical light
and vile anger;
wild stranger,
seeking the solace of night,
or the danger;
pale foreigner,
alien to man, or savior ...

Who are you,
seeking consolation and passion
in the same breath,
screaming for pleasure, bereft
of all articles of faith,
finding life
harsher than death?

Grieving angel,
giving more than taking,
how lucky the man
who has found in your love,
this, our reclamation;

fallen wren,
you must strive to fly
though your heart is shaken;

weary pilgrim,
you must not give up
though your feet are aching;

lonely child,
lie here still in my arms;
you must soon be waking.



Floating
by Michael R. Burch

Memories flood the sand’s unfolding scroll;
they pour in with the long, cursive tides of night.

Memories of revenant blue eyes and wild lips
moist and frantic against my own.

Memories of ghostly white limbs ...
of soft sighs
heard once again in the surf’s strangled moans.

We meet in the scarred, fissured caves of old dreams,
green waves of algae billowing about you,
becoming your hair.

Suspended there,
where pale sunset discolors the sea,
I see all that you are
and all that you have become to me.

Your love is a sea,
and I am its trawler—
harbored in dreams,
I ride out night’s storms.

Unanchored, I drift through the hours before morning,
dreaming the solace of your warm *******,
pondering your riddles, savoring the feel
of the explosions of your hot, saline breath.

And I rise sometimes
from the tropical darkness
to gaze once again out over the sea ...
You watch in the moonlight
that brushes the water;

bright waves throw back your reflection at me.

This is one of my more surreal poems, as the sea and lover become one. I believe I wrote this one at age 19. It has been published by Penny Dreadful, Romantics Quarterly, Boston Poetry Magazine and Poetry Life & Times. The poem may have had a different title when it was originally published, but it escapes me ... ah, yes, "Entanglements."



Shock
by Michael R. Burch

It was early in the morning of the forming of my soul,
in the dawning of desire, with passion at first bloom,
with lightning splitting heaven to thunder's blasting roll
and a sense of welling fire and, perhaps, impending doom—

that I cried out through the tumult of the raging storm on high
for shelter from the chaos of the restless, driving rain ...
and the voice I heard replying from a rift of bleeding sky
was mine, I'm sure, and, furthermore, was certainly insane.



The Sky Was Turning Blue
by Michael R. Burch

Yesterday I saw you
as the snow flurries died,
spent winds becalmed.
When I saw your solemn face
alone in the crowd,
I felt my heart, so long embalmed,
begin to beat aloud.

Was it another winter,
another day like this?
Was it so long ago?
Where you the rose-cheeked girl
who slapped my face, then stole a kiss?
Was the sky this gray with snow,
my heart so all a-whirl?

How is it in one moment
it was twenty years ago,
lost worlds remade anew?
When your eyes met mine, I knew
you felt it too, as though
we heard the robin's song
and the sky was turning blue.



The Children of Gaza

Nine of my poems have been set to music by the composer Eduard de Boer and have been performed in Europe by the Palestinian soprano Dima Bawab. My poems that became “The Children of Gaza” were written from the perspective of Palestinian children and their mothers. On this page the poems come first, followed by the song lyrics, which have been adapted in places to fit the music …



Epitaph for a Child of Gaza
by Michael R. Burch

I lived as best I could, and then I died.
Be careful where you step: the grave is wide.



Frail Envelope of Flesh
by Michael R. Burch

for the mothers and children of Gaza

Frail envelope of flesh,
lying cold on the surgeon’s table
with anguished eyes
like your mother’s eyes
and a heartbeat weak, unstable ...

Frail crucible of dust,
brief flower come to this―
your tiny hand
in your mother’s hand
for a last bewildered kiss ...

Brief mayfly of a child,
to live two artless years!
Now your mother’s lips
seal up your lips
from the Deluge of her tears ...



For a Child of Gaza, with Butterflies
by Michael R. Burch

Where does the butterfly go
when lightning rails
when thunder howls
when hailstones scream
while winter scowls
and nights compound dark frosts with snow?

Where does the butterfly go?

Where does the rose hide its bloom
when night descends oblique and chill
beyond the capacity of moonlight to fill?
When the only relief's a banked fire's glow,
where does the butterfly go?

And where shall the spirit flee
when life is harsh, too harsh to face,
and hope is lost without a trace?
Oh, when the light of life runs low,
where does the butterfly go?



I Pray Tonight
by Michael R. Burch

for the children of Gaza and their mothers

I pray tonight
the starry Light
might
surround you.

I pray
by 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.



Something
by Michael R. Burch

for the mothers and children of Gaza

Something inescapable is lost―
lost like a pale vapor curling up into shafts of moonlight,
vanishing in a gust of wind toward an expanse of stars
immeasurable and void.

Something uncapturable is gone―
gone with the spent leaves and illuminations of autumn,
scattered into a haze with the faint rustle of parched grass
and remembrance.

Something unforgettable is past―
blown from a glimmer into nothingness, or less,
and finality has swept into a corner where it lies
in dust and cobwebs and silence.



Mother’s Smile
by Michael R. Burch

for the mothers of Gaza and their children

There never was a fonder smile
than mother’s smile, no softer touch
than mother’s touch. So sleep awhile
and know she loves you more than “much.”

So more than “much,” much more than “all.”
Though tender words, these do not speak
of love at all, nor how we fall
and mother’s there, nor how we reach
from nightmares in the ticking night
and she is there to hold us tight.

There never was a stronger back
than father’s back, that held our weight
and lifted us, when we were small,
and bore us till we reached the gate,

then held our hands that first bright mile
till we could run, and did, and flew.
But, oh, a mother’s tender smile
will leap and follow after you!



Such Tenderness
by Michael R. Burch

for the mothers of Gaza

There was, in your touch, such tenderness―as
only the dove on her mildest day has,
when she shelters downed fledglings beneath a warm wing
and coos to them softly, unable to sing.

What songs long forgotten occur to you now―
a babe at each breast? What terrible vow
ripped from your throat like the thunder that day
can never hold severing lightnings at bay?

Time taught you tenderness―time, oh, and love.
But love in the end is seldom enough ...
and time?―insufficient to life’s brief task.
I can only admire, unable to ask―

what is the source, whence comes the desire
of a woman to love as no God may require?



who, US?
by Michael R. Burch

jesus was born
a palestinian child
where there’s no Room
for the meek and the mild

... and in bethlehem still
to this day, lambs are born
to cries of “no Room!”
and Puritanical scorn ...

under Herod, Trump, Bibi
their fates are the same―
the slouching Beast mauls them
and WE have no shame:

“who’s to blame?”



My nightmare ...

I had a dream of Jesus!
Mama, his eyes were so kind!
But behind him I saw a billion Christians
hissing "You're nothing!," so blind.
―The Child Poets of Gaza (written by Michael R. Burch for the children of Gaza)



I, too, have a dream ...

I, too, have a dream ...
that one day Jews and Christians
will see me as I am:
a small child, lonely and afraid,
staring down the barrels of their big bazookas,
knowing I did nothing
to deserve their enmity.
―The Child Poets of Gaza (written by Michael R. Burch for the children of Gaza)



Suffer the Little Children
by Nakba

I saw the carnage . . . saw girls' dreaming heads
blown to red atoms, and their dreams with them . . .

saw babies liquefied in burning beds
as, horrified, I heard their murderers’ phlegm . . .

I saw my mother stitch my shroud’s black hem,
for in that moment I was one of them . . .

I saw our Father’s eyes grow hard and bleak
to see frail roses severed at the stem . . .

How could I fail to speak?
―Nakba is an alias of Michael R. Burch



Here We Shall Remain
by Tawfiq Zayyad
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Like twenty impossibilities
in Lydda, Ramla and Galilee ...
here we shall remain.

Like brick walls braced against your chests;
lodged in your throats
like shards of glass
or prickly cactus thorns;
clouding your eyes
like sandstorms.

Here we shall remain,
like brick walls obstructing your chests,
washing dishes in your boisterous bars,
serving drinks to our overlords,
scouring your kitchens' filthy floors
in order to ****** morsels for our children
from between your poisonous fangs.

Here we shall remain,
like brick walls deflating your chests
as we face our deprivation clad in rags,
singing our defiant songs,
chanting our rebellious poems,
then swarming out into your unjust streets
to fill dungeons with our dignity.

Like twenty impossibilities
in Lydda, Ramla and Galilee,
here we shall remain,
guarding the shade of the fig and olive trees,
fermenting rebellion in our children
like yeast in dough.

Here we wring the rocks to relieve our thirst;
here we stave off starvation with dust;
but here we remain and shall not depart;
here we spill our expensive blood
and do not hoard it.

For here we have both a past and a future;
here we remain, the Unconquerable;
so strike fast, penetrate deep,
O, my roots!



Enough for Me
by Fadwa Tuqan
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Enough for me to lie in the earth,
to be buried in her,
to sink meltingly into her fecund soil, to vanish ...
only to spring forth like a flower
brightening the play of my countrymen's children.

Enough for me to remain
in my native soil's embrace,
to be as close as a handful of dirt,
a sprig of grass,
a wildflower.



Palestine
by Mahmoud Darwish
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

This land gives us
all that makes life worthwhile:
April's blushing advances,
the aroma of bread warming at dawn,
a woman haranguing men,
the poetry of Aeschylus,
love's trembling beginnings,
a boulder covered with moss,
mothers who dance to the flute's sighs,
and the invaders' fear of memories.

This land gives us
all that makes life worthwhile:
September's rustling end,
a woman leaving forty behind, still full of grace, still blossoming,
an hour of sunlight in prison,
clouds taking the shapes of unusual creatures,
the people's applause for those who mock their assassins,
and the tyrant's fear of songs.

This land gives us
all that makes life worthwhile:
Lady Earth, mother of all beginnings and endings!
In the past she was called Palestine
and tomorrow she will still be called Palestine.
My Lady, because you are my Lady, I deserve life!



Distant light
by Walid Khazindar
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Bitterly cold,
winter clings to the naked trees.
If only you would free
the bright sparrows
from the tips of your fingers
and release a smile—that shy, tentative smile—
from the imprisoned anguish I see.
Sing! Can we not sing
as if we were warm, hand-in-hand,
shielded by shade from a glaring sun?
Can you not always remain this way,
stoking the fire, more beautiful than necessary, and silent?
Darkness increases; we must remain vigilant
and this distant light is our only consolation—
this imperiled flame, which from the beginning
has been flickering,
in danger of going out.
Come to me, closer and closer.
I don't want to be able to tell my hand from yours.
And let's stay awake, lest the snow smother us.

Walid Khazindar was born in 1950 in Gaza City. He is considered one of the best Palestinian poets; his poetry has been said to be "characterized by metaphoric originality and a novel thematic approach unprecedented in Arabic poetry." He was awarded the first Palestine Prize for Poetry in 1997.



Excerpt from “Speech of the Red Indian”
by Mahmoud Darwish
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Let's give the earth sufficient time to recite
the whole truth ...
The whole truth about us.
The whole truth about you.

In tombs you build
the dead lie sleeping.
Over bridges you *****
file the newly slain.

There are spirits who light up the night like fireflies.
There are spirits who come at dawn to sip tea with you,
as peaceful as the day your guns mowed them down.

O, you who are guests in our land,
please leave a few chairs empty
for your hosts to sit and ponder
the conditions for peace
in your treaty with the dead.



Existence
by Fadwa Tuqan
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

In my solitary life, I was a lost question;
in the encompassing darkness,
my answer lay concealed.

You were a bright new star
revealed by fate,
radiating light from the fathomless darkness.

The other stars rotated around you
—once, twice —
until I perceived
your unique radiance.

Then the bleak blackness broke
and in the twin tremors
of our entwined hands
I had found my missing answer.

Oh you! Oh you intimate, yet distant!
Don't you remember the coalescence
Of our spirits in the flames?
Of my universe with yours?
Of the two poets?
Despite our great distance,
Existence unites us.



Nothing Remains
by Fadwa Tuqan
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Tonight, we’re together,
but tomorrow you'll be hidden from me again,
thanks to life’s cruelty.

The seas will separate us ...
Oh!—Oh!—If I could only see you!
But I'll never know ...
where your steps led you,
which routes you took,
or to what unknown destinations
your feet were compelled.

You will depart and the thief of hearts,
the denier of beauty,
will rob us of all that's dear to us,
will steal our happiness,
leaving our hands empty.

Tomorrow at dawn you'll vanish like a phantom,
dissipating into a delicate mist
dissolving quickly in the summer sun.

Your scent—your scent!—contains the essence of life,
filling my heart
as the earth absorbs the lifegiving rain.

I will miss you like the fragrance of trees
when you leave tomorrow,
and nothing remains.

Just as everything beautiful and all that's dear to us
is lost—lost!—when nothing remains.



Identity Card
by Mahmoud Darwish
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Record!
I am an Arab!
And my identity card is number fifty thousand.
I have eight children;
the ninth arrives this autumn.
Will you be furious?

Record!
I am an Arab!
Employed at the quarry,
I have eight children.
I provide them with bread,
clothes and books
from the bare rocks.
I do not supplicate charity at your gates,
nor do I demean myself at your chambers' doors.
Will you be furious?

Record!
I am an Arab!
I have a name without a title.
I am patient in a country
where people are easily enraged.
My roots
were established long before the onset of time,
before the unfolding of the flora and fauna,
before the pines and the olive trees,
before the first grass grew.
My father descended from plowmen,
not from the privileged classes.
My grandfather was a lowly farmer
neither well-bred, nor well-born!
Still, they taught me the pride of the sun
before teaching me how to read;
now my house is a watchman's hut
made of branches and cane.
Are you satisfied with my status?
I have a name, but no title!

Record!
I am an Arab!
You have stolen my ancestors' orchards
and the land I cultivated
along with my children.
You left us nothing
but these bare rocks.
Now will the State claim them
as it has been declared?

Therefore!
Record on the first page:
I do not hate people
nor do I encroach,
but if I become hungry
I will feast on the usurper's flesh!
Beware!
Beware my hunger
and my anger!

NOTE: Darwish was married twice, but had no children. In the poem above, he is apparently speaking for his people, not for himself personally.



Passport
by Mahmoud Darwish
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

They left me unrecognizable in the shadows
that bled all colors from this passport.
To them, my wounds were novelties—
curious photos for tourists to collect.
They failed to recognize me. No, don't leave
the palm of my hand bereft of sun
when all the trees recognize me
and every song of the rain honors me.
Don't set a wan moon over me!

All the birds that flocked to my welcoming wave
as far as the distant airport gates,
all the wheatfields,
all the prisons,
all the albescent tombstones,
all the barbwired boundaries,
all the fluttering handkerchiefs,
all the eyes—
they all accompanied me.
But they were stricken from my passport
shredding my identity!

How was I stripped of my name and identity
on soil I tended with my own hands?
Today, Job's lamentations
re-filled the heavens:
Don't make an example of me, not again!
Prophets! Gentlemen!—
Don't require the trees to name themselves!
Don't ask the valleys who mothered them!
My forehead glistens with lancing light.
From my hand the riverwater springs.
My identity can be found in my people's hearts,
so invalidate this passport!



Autumn Conundrum
by Michael R. Burch

for the mothers and children of Gaza

It's not that every leaf must finally fall,
it's just that we can never catch them all.



Piercing the Shell

for the mothers and children of Gaza

If we strip away all the accouterments of war,
perhaps we'll discover what the heart is for.



Children of Gaza Lyrics

(adapted in places to the music by Michael R. Burch and Eduard de Boer)

World premiere, April 22, 2017, in the Oosterkerk in the Dutch town of Hoorn. Dima Bawab, soprano; Eduard de Boer, piano.

I. Prologue:

Where does the Butterfly go?
I'd love to sing about things of beauty,
like a butterfly, fluttering amid flowers,
but I can't, I can't …

Where does the butterfly go
when lightning rails
when thunder howls
when hailstones scream
while winter scowls
and nights compound dark frosts with snow,
where does the butterfly go?

Where does the rose hide its bloom
when night descends oblique and chill
beyond the power of moonlight to fill?
When the only relief's a banked fire's glow,
where does the butterfly go?

Where does the butterfly go
when mothers cry
while children die
and politicians lie, politicians lie?

When the darkness of grief blots out all that we know:
when love and life are running low,
where does the butterfly go?

And how shall the spirit take wing
when life is harsh, too harsh to face,
and hope is flown without a trace?

Oh, when the light of life runs low,
where does the butterfly go,
where does the butterfly go?

II. The Raid

When the soldiers came to our house,
I was quiet, quiet as a mouse…

But when they beat down our door with a battering ram,
and I heard their machine guns go "Blam! Blam! Blam!"
I ran! I ran! I ran!

First I ran to the cupboard and crept inside;
then I fled to my bed and crawled under, to hide.

I could hear my mother shushing my sister…
How I hoped and prayed that the bullets missed her!
My sister! My sister! My sister!

Then I ran next door, to my uncle's house,
still quiet, quiet as a mouse...

Young as I am,
I did understand
that they had come to take our land!
Our land! Our land! Our land!
They've come to take our land!

They shot my father, they shot my mother,
they shot my dear sister, and my big brother!
They shot down my hopes, they shot down my dreams!
I still hear their screams! Their screams! Their screams!

Now I am here: small, and sad, and still ...
no mother, no father, no family, no will.

They took everything I ever had.
Now how can I live, with no mom and no dad?
How can I live, with no mom and no dad?
How can I live? How can I live?

III. For God’s Sake, I'm only a Child

For God’s sake, ah, for God's sake, I’m only a child―
and all you’ve allowed me to learn are these tears scalding my cheeks,
this ache in my gut at the sight of so many corpses, so much horrifying blood!

For God’s sake, I’m only a child―
you talk about your need for “security,”
but what about my right to play in streets
not piled with dead bodies still smoking with white phosphorous!

Ah, for God’s sake, I’m only a child―
for me there's no beauty in the world
and peace has become an impossible dream;
destruction is all I know because of your deceptions.

For God’s sake, I’m only a child―
fear and terror surround me stealing my breath
as I lie shaking like a windblown leaf.

For God’s sake, for God's sake, I'm only a child,
I'm only a child, I'm only a child.

IV. King of the World

If I were King of the World,
I would make every child free, for my people’s sake.
And once I had freed them, they’d all run and scream
straight to my palace, for free ice cream!
[Directly to the audience, spoken:]
Why are you laughing? Can’t a young king dream?

If I were King of the World, I would banish
hatred and war, and make mean men vanish.
Then, in their place, I’d bring in a circus
with lions and tigers (but they’d never hurt us!)

If I were King of the World, I would teach
the preachers to always do as they preach;
and so they could practice being of good cheer,
we’d have Christmas ―and sweets―each day of the year!

[Directly to the audience, spoken:]
Why are you laughing? Some dreams do appear!

If I were King of the World, I would send
my couns'lors of peace to the wide world’s end ...
[spoken:] But all this hard dreaming is making me thirsty!
I proclaim lemonade; please [spoken] bring it in a hurry!

If I were King of the World, I would fire
racists and bigots, with their message so dire.
And we wouldn’t build walls, to shut people out.
I would build amusement parks, have no doubt!

If I were King of the World, I would make
every child blessed, for my people’s sake,
and every child safe, and every child free,
and every child happy, especially me!
[Directly to the audience, spoken:]
Why are you laughing? Appoint me and see!

V. Mother’s Smile

There never was a fonder smile
than mother's smile, no softer touch
than mother's touch. So sleep awhile
and know she loves you more than "much".

So more than "much", much more than "all".
Though tender words, these do not speak
of love at all, nor how we fall
and mother's there, nor how we reach
from nightmares in the ticking night
and she is there to hold us tight.

There never was a stronger back
than father's back, that held our weight
and lifted us, when we were small,
and bore us till we reached the gate,
then held our hands that first bright mile
till we could run, and did, and flew.
But, oh, a mother's tender smile
will leap and follow after you ...

VI. In the Shelter

Mother:
Hush my darling, please don’t cry.
The bombs will stop dropping, by and by.
Hush, I'll sing you a lullaby…

Child:
Mama, I know that I’m safe in your arms.
Your sweet love protects me from all harms,
but still I fear the sirens’ alarms!

Mother:
Hush now my darling, don’t say a word.
My love will protect you, whatever you heard.
Hush now…

Child:
But what about pappa, you loved him too.

Mother: My love will protect you.
My love will protect you!

Child:
I know that you love me, but pappa is gone!

Mother:
Your pappa’s in heaven, where nothing goes wrong.
Come, rest at my breast and I’ll sing you a song.

Child:
But pappa was strong, and now he’s not here.

Mother:
He’s where he must be, and yet ever-near.
Now we both must be strong; there's nothing to fear.

Child:
The bombs are still falling! Will this night never end?

Mother:
The deep darkness hides us; the night is our friend.
Hush, I'll sing you a lullaby.

Child:
Yes, mama, I'm sure you are right.
We will be safe under cover of night.
[spoken] But what is that sound?
[screamed] Mama! I am fri(ghtened)….!

VII. Frail Envelope of Flesh

Frail envelope of flesh,
lying on the surgeon's table
with anguished eyes like your mother's eyes
and a heartbeat weak, unstable…

Frail crucible of dust,
brief flower come to this―
your tiny hand in your mother's hand
for a last bewildered kiss…

Brief mayfly of a child,
to live five artless years…
Now your mother's lips seal up your lips
from the Deluge of her tears…

VIII. Among the Angels

Child:
There is peace where I am now,
I reside in a heavenly land
that rests safe in the palm
of a loving Being’s hand;
where the butterfly finds shelter
and the white dove glides to rest
in the bright and shining sands
of those shores all men call Blessed.

Mother:
My darling, how I long to touch your face,
to see your smile, to hear your laughter’s grace.
Great Allah, hear my plea.
Return my child to me.

Child:
My darling mother, here beyond the stars
where I now live,
I see and feel your tears,
but here is peace and joy, and no more pain.
Here is where I will remain.

Mother:
My darling, do not leave me here alone!
Come back to me!
Why did you turn to stone?
Great Allah, hear my plea.
Please send my child back to me...

Child:
Dear mother, to your wonderful love I bow.
But I can't return...
I am among the Angels now.
Do not worry about me.
Here is where I long to be.

Mother:
My darling, it is as if I hear your voice consoling me.
Oh, can this be your choice?
Great Allah, hear my plea.
Impart wisdom to me.

Child:
Dear mother, I was born of your great love,
a gentle spirit...
I died a slaughtered dove,
that I might bring this message from the stars:
it is time to end earth’s wars.

Remember―in both Bible and Koran
how many times each precious word is used―
“Mercy. Compassion. Justice.”
Let each man, each woman live by the Law
that rules both below and above:
reject all hate and embrace Love.

IX. Epilogue: I have a dream

I have a dream...
that one day all the world
will see me as I am:
a small child, lonely and afraid,
a small child, lonely and afraid.

Look at me... I am flesh...
I laugh, I bleed, I cry.
Look at me; I dare you
to look me in the eye
and tell me and my mother
how I deserve to die.

I only ask to live
in a world where things are fair;
I only ask for love
in a world where people share,
I only ask for love
in a world where people share.

Oh, I have a dream...
that one day all the world
will see me as I am:
a small child, lonely and afraid,
a small child, lonely and afraid.



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.

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."



Reflections on the Loss of Vision
by Michael R. Burch

The sparrow that cries from the shelter of an ancient oak tree and the squirrels
that dash in delight through the treetops as the first snow glistens and swirls,
remind me so much of my childhood and how the world seemed to me then,
that it seems if I tried
and just closed my eyes,
I could once again be nine or ten.

The rabbits that hide in the bushes where the snowflakes collect as they fall,
hunch there, I know, in the flurrying snow, yet now I can't see them at all.
For time slowly weakened my vision; while the patterns seem almost as clear,
some things that I saw
when I was a boy,
are lost to me now in my advancing years.

The chipmunk who seeks out his burrow and the geese in their unseen reprieve
are there as they were, and yet they are not; and though it seems childish to grieve,
who would condemn a blind man for bemoaning the vision he lost?
Well, in a small way,
through the passage of days,
I have learned some of his loss.

As a keen-eyed young lad I endeavored to see things most adults could not―
the camouflaged nests of the hoot owls, the woodpecker’s favorite haunts.
But now I no longer can find them, nor understand how I once could,
and it seems such a waste
of those far-sighted days,
to end up near blind in this wood.



Solicitation
by Michael R. Burch

He comes to me out of the shadows, acknowledging
my presence with a tip of his hat, always the gentleman,
and his eyes are on my eyes like a snake’s on a bird’s—
quizzical, mesmerizing.

He ***** his head as though something he heard intrigues him
(although I hear nothing) and he smiles, amusing himself at my expense;
his words are full of desire and loathing, and although I hear,
he says nothing that I understand.

The moon shines—maniacal, queer—as he takes my hand and whispers
"Our time has come!" ... and so we stroll together along the docks
where the sea sends things that wriggle and crawl
scurrying under rocks and boards.

Moonlight in great floods washes his pale face as he stares unseeing
into my eyes. He sighs, and the sound crawls slithering down my spine,
and my blood seems to pause at his touch as he caresses my face.
He unfastens my dress till the white lace shows, and my neck is bared.

His teeth are long, yellow and hard. His face is bearded and haggard.
A wolf howls in the distance. There are no wolves in New York. I gasp.
My blood is a trickle his wet tongue embraces. My heart races madly.
He likes it like that.

Published by Dowton Abbey, Aesthetically Pleasing Vampires, Into the Unknown, Since Halloween is Coming, and Poetry Life & Times



Songstress
by Michael R. Burch

for Nadia Anjuman

Within its starkwhite ribcage, how the heart
must flutter wildly, O, and always sing
against the pressing darkness: all it knows
until at last it feels the numbing sting
of death. Then life's brief vision swiftly passes,
imposing night on one who clearly saw.
Death held your bright heart tightly, till its maw–
envenomed, fanged–could swallow, whole, your Awe.
And yet it was not death so much as you
who sealed your doom; you could not help but sing
and not be silenced. Here, behold your tomb's
white alabaster cage: pale, wretched thing!
But you'll not be imprisoned here, wise wren!
Your words soar free; rise, sing, fly, live again.

A poet like Nadia Anjuman can be likened to a caged bird, deprived of flight, who somehow finds it within herself to sing of love and beauty. But when the world robs her of both flight and song, what is left for her but to leave, bereaving it and us of herself and her song?



Southern Icarus
by Michael R. Burch

Windborne, lover of heights,
unspooled from the truck’s wildly lurching embrace,
you climb, skittish kite . . .

What do you know of the world’s despair,
gliding in vast  solitariness  there,
so that all that remains is to
fall?

Only a little longer the wind invests its sighs;
you
stall,
spread-eagled, as the canvas snaps
and *****
its white rebellious wings,
and all
the houses watch with baffled eyes.

Published by Poetry Porch and The Chained Muse



To the boy Elis
by Georg Trakl
translation by Michael R. Burch

Elis, when the blackbird cries from the black forest,
it announces your downfall.
Your lips sip the rock-spring's blue coolness.

Your brow sweats blood
recalling ancient myths
and dark interpretations of birds' flight.

Yet you enter the night with soft footfalls;
the ripe purple grapes hang suspended
as you wave your arms more beautifully in the blueness.

A thornbush crackles;
where now are your moonlike eyes?
How long, oh Elis, have you been dead?

A monk dips waxed fingers
into your body's hyacinth;
Our silence is a black abyss

from which sometimes a docile animal emerges
slowly lowering its heavy lids.
A black dew drips from your temples:

the lost gold of vanished stars.

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE: I believe that in the second stanza the blood on Elis's forehead may be a reference to the apprehensive ****** sweat of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. If my interpretation is correct, Elis hears the blackbird's cries, anticipates the danger represented by a harbinger of death, but elects to continue rather than turn back. From what I have been able to gather, the color blue had a special significance for Georg Trakl: it symbolized longing and perhaps a longing for death. The colors blue, purple and black may represent a progression toward death in the poem.



Published as the collection "Of Tetley's and V-2's"
Lia Feb 2015
Love is patient and it is kind.

It only wants what is it's own
And not what belongs to someone else.

It admires not itself but
What is worthy in others.

It is honest but softens the edges
Of harsher words and harsher truths.

It is selfless, compassionate, and
Forgives before a wrong can be
Perceived or remembered for the very first time.

It protects like a raincoat,
Or a ferocious mother bear, and hopes
Like an SOS signal.

It is as persistent as the exertion
Of gravity and as constant as the
Existence of energy.


If I had the entire world in my hands or let myself burn at the stake for you but had not love...

Then I would be nothing.
for someone I love more than bacon.
Victoria Jean Feb 2013
As I kid I watched in wonder at the sight.
The shining goblet of Grape Juicy Juice,
Candles, flags, robes, and glorious gold-tipped bibles.
I loved the songs, the community, and the people.
Faces and arms raised to press up to the sky
Like they could literally feel the hand of God.
It was everything I'd been missing at home.
It was home cooked meals, smiles, and togetherness.
It was leadership, mentors, and pop rocks.
I joined AWANA at age 8.
We read the scriptures, played games, ate snacks,
And enjoyed the bath of warmth that God's love gives,
With the intensity and guilelessness that only kids can have.
There were no difficult questions and everything had an answer.
Until I got a little older.
The questions got harder and the words got harsher.
My mentor, Denise, loved me. I know she did, in her way.
But she didn't understand why my family never came with
To church or on my spiritual journey.
It was my responsibility to save their souls form eternal hellfire.
"Don't you love them? Don't you want them with you in paradise?"
Of course I did. I tried to tell them
But their expressions were condescending,
Like they knew something I didn't about the world.
But God wants to save them. God loves everyone.
Or does he?
Slowly there was less talk of love and forgiveness
More of sin, atonement, and apologies.
"You lied to your mother, Victoria?"
She rapped my hands with the bible
And looked down at me with disappointment in her eyes.
"You know God wants you to be sorry, but it's not enough."
She drilled it into me in increasingly violent ways.
The manifestations of my sins and their atonements became more.
More physical and more mental.
More and more rules piled up.
More and more sins piled up.
More and more lessons and meetings occur between us.
I read the entire bible. I memorized verse after verse.
I became passionate about helping others,
But instead of soup kitchens and fundraisers
We spent more time outlining everyone who would burn.
Gays, feminists, other religions, different denominations, Me.
"You don't deserve God's love and yet he gives it to you. Are you grateful?"
"You can't preach or teach, you will find a man one day who will help you."
"Hold out your arms."
Until one day found me sitting on the edge of my roof.
Wondering what it would be like if I was in hell.
Wondering if I was gone would anything be different.
Wondering how I could prove myself.
I climbed back in through the window and picked up a hammer.
The one my dad used, but never to fix things, before he left.
I laid down on my bed and slammed it into my ribs
Once. Twice. Three times.
Tears ran down my cheek
while I gasp quietly.
*Is it enough yet?
kgl Oct 2019
Darling, I'm a thunderstorm
and my rain pelts down harsher than the
words you spit
in vehement violence
Darling, I'm a thunderstorm
and my lightening strikes brighter than the
empty promises you made
(brighter, but just as fleeting)
Darling, I'm a thunderstorm
and my rage is vast, immeasurable
filling oceans with its ferocity
Darling, I'm a thunderstorm
and this too will pass, leaving
chaos in its wake.
Nica Monet Oct 2020
what you see is not always what you get,
like a tiger scared by a house cat.
we sometimes forget
that appearances can be deceiving
just like we’re trained to master the act of concealing
the emotions that don’t serve our audience
in a zoo they all want
to see a tiger at its finest performance
no one knows the struggles of the tiger
since no eye sees behind the curtain where life seems to be a little harsher.
social media is not the real life.
Veteran of the darkness.
Willing to confess.
Did you see my heart break?
Can you see my body shake?
Do you see me levitate?
Levitate from you.

Creatures that like to creep.
The lonely tears that I weep.
Just why can't you save me?
Your the love that I need!

I had a chance of a happy fate.
Till death showed up in my face.

This necklace that I hang from.
Is tightening its grip on me.
The is gold cutting into me.
My blood drips on the floor.
I see you at the door.

I take these pills to rescue me.
How many should I take?
Ten, or the whole **** thing?!

Now that I've confessed.
Will you just take my hand?
Just pull me into you.
Just tell me that I'm needed.
Tell them I'm important.
Just tell me that you love me….
I need too feel loved.
Like the way you love her.

But no.
You take her hand and hold it tightly.
You pull her into you and hold her.
You tell her that she is important..
You tell -her- you love her.

And now my chest heaves.
As this knife takes me.
As these creatures eat me.
As the gold cuts me.
As my body shake, my heart breaks.
As I levitate.
As I cry.

Without you…
WIthout my soul…
Without your warmth…
Without both of our saints…

Now you can hear my glass heart breaking.
My hands buzz harder.
As my body shakes harsher.
Im levitating higher.

My legs dangling in the air.

Because I am a veteran.
And I was willing to confess.
Of all the things I have said.
All these sins are true.
But now my life is overdue.

Leaving you and her alone forever.
My mind; severely corrupted.
Now the tread is about to sever.

It breaks; falling to my demise.

Im dying because I told you the truth.
But only if you can save me…
Hayley Siebert Jan 2017
I'm a feminist.
I'm a feminist because 85000 women are ***** every year
I'm a feminist because domestic violence will effect 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men
I'm a feminist because a woman has a right to wear no make up and a man has a right to wear make up
I'm a feminist because if a woman faces difficulty in terminating a pregnancy why doesn't the man for leaving in the first place?
I'm a feminist because a father has as much rights to his children as the mother
I'm a feminist because 1 in 5 women aged between 15 and 59 have experienced ****** assault
I'm a feminist because I believe in equal pay regardless of race, religion and gender
I'm a feminist because a 1/3 of people blame the victim for their **** or assault
I'm a feminist because 12000 men are ***** every year
I'm a feminist because I believe it is ok for men to cry!
I'm a feminist because male victims of abuse deserve the same support as females
I'm a feminist because most women in the UK do not have access to a **** crisis center
I'm a feminist because what I do with my ****** shouldn't determine my self worth
I'm a feminist because there are 5700 cases of FGM in the UK alone
I'm a feminist because a women has a right to cover or uncover her body
I'm a feminist because middle aged men are the at the highest risk for suicide
I'm a feminist because who you fall in love with shouldn't be a sin
I'm a feminist because crimes against properties receive harsher punishments than crimes against a person
I'm a feminist because everyone has a right to say "No"
I'm a feminist because my position as a woman shouldn't be determined by whether I breed or not
I'm a feminist because no ones gender determines their career in life
I'm a feminist because my ****** shouldn't prevent or deter me from body modifications
I'm a feminist because women are far more likely to be assaulted or killed by their partners or ex partners
I'm a feminist because everyone has a right to education and health care
I'm a feminist because everyone has a right to practice their religion
I'm a feminist because being a man is not determined by the size of his ***** nor the amount of women he has ******
I'm a feminist because men can be pampered too
I'm a feminist because fathers deserve as much time as mothers off work to be with their children
I'm a feminist because manspreading is pathetic and sexist
I'm a feminist because of the Suffragette movement
I'm a feminist because of Elizabeth Tudor, Anne Boleyn, Boadicea , Cleopatra.
I'm a feminist because I needed no father to learn how to be strong, loud and powerful
I'm a feminist because my Mother raised me on her own
I'm a feminist because my mother inspired me to be as loud and as crazy as her
I'm a feminist because my father beat my mother
I'm a feminist because my uncle committed suicide
I'm a feminist because my brother is branded a freak for his mental illness
I'm a feminist because my sister is branded a scrounger for being a mother
I'm a feminist because I buy my boyfriend flowers and pay for meals and treats
I'm a feminist because the man who sexually abused me walked free
I'm a feminist because the ex that abused me branded me a *****
I'm a feminist because I can be as brutal as any man in the metal scene
I'm a feminist because songs shouldn't glorify **** or violence against women
I'm a feminist because being blonde doesn't mean I'm dumb
I'm a feminist because no one should touch anyone or grab their *****!
I'm a feminist because my pads and tampons are not a luxury but a necessity as I control control the bleeding from my womb
I'm a feminist because my breast tissue is no different from a mans yet why must I be shamed for uncovering them?
I'm a feminist because no ones bodies should be sexulised against their will
I'm a feminist because I shouldn't be made to wait until 25 to have a smear test
I'm a feminist because I came from no man's rib but a woman's womb!
I'm a feminist.

"I will have but one mistress here! And no master!"
Baylee Jun 2013
I feel worthless,
Like a body without bones,
I'm just a puddle of useless parts,
And my voice is just a drone.
No matter what I do,
Something good or bad,
I get yelled at regardless,
By both my mom and dad.
I get yelled at everyday,
And I cry every night,
But I'm too weak to put up a fight,
When I know it's just going to happen again;
Light or dark, it does not matter,
The yelling just never stops,
I wonder if it's all my fault anyway.
I need to know before my heart pops or bursts from this pressure.
As if school isn't already hell,
Just crawling through the hallways between the bells,
Harsh kids with even harsher words,
I shouldn't let it bother me, but it really hurts.
After years of antagonizing, the pain builds up,
And if I'd been drinking this suffering, It'd fill ten million cups.
This is just an under exaggeration,
Because the pain is worse than I can describe,
I don't want to live on this earth or have this life,
Pains that bring up the thought of suicide.
Amanda rodeiro Jan 2015
It's not that you view the world in a negative way because your hopeless, you just don't like getting your hopes up. How can you be optimistic when every day is a crushing reminder that you want so much more then you're receiving?
You are proud, assertive, bold and undaunted.
The type of person many people don't know how to reckon with.
  It's not that you're rude, you just have so many opinions and thoughts jumbled in your brain that sometimes they come out harsher then intended. You are not a mean spirited person. you are the type of person that rarely comes along, only containing good intentions. The people that stick around to realize this, they're the lucky ones.
  People often don't know how to perceive you because they're the insecure ones. When someone weak is faced with a strong willed person, they become defensive. This is why you must stay strong, never let them flicker your ethereal flame.
  You are the rain after a drought, bringing life and spirit to those in need.
  You may view yourself as more harmful then helpful, rest assured thats not the case.
Wrote this about my friend Hannah  for creative writing :)
"Love, Love is a verb. Love is a doing word.
Fearless on my breath. Gentle impulsion
Shakes me, makes me lighter."
                ~~~
Snipping, mechanical apparatus of air
pushes around, the slightest elements of sound
unknown torment, blowing
leafs strewn through the corridor.
A reverse vacuum, no bag
only the earth
which perpetually maintains
the forceful stream of words
like
"snip" and "blow;"
they are verbs,
just like "love"
only harsher.

Your decisions don't merely impede the flow of days
relocating things that would like to stay
like crunchy leaves, unacknowledged beneath feet
until cries of ecstasy are heard by neighbors
who have nothing to step on.

Those discarded vestigial coverings would,
with a gentler blowing
have turned tepid, flaccid and freed.
Emerging from a snow covering
thawing and lying there, unashamed of their repose
shriveled and fully reclosed, recumbent.
Protecting from rough, sodden clothing, parts that can’t be hidden any other way--
diverging water toward infrastructure needs more urgent and vital
fallen leafs would not only **** grass, but let flowers grow
flowers of intimacy and exuberance
touching the hands of young women.

The sounds escaping mouths of leaf blowers are a demand--
they are a type of love lacking tenderness
myopic utterances of planning committees
who don’t know love is a doing word,
like snip and blow, an impulse, only gentler.
Ordinances are the "circumcision-for-hygiene-purposes" of urban planning,
never seeing that leaving things concealed by Fall
is the best way to see Spring
and experience the joy of new awakening.
They should let each leafy-******* grow,
covering our shaft, our ground.
Prevent the pleasure-impeding growth of grass!
And the earth will continue to cry
out!
Tiny sensations of pressure
moving delicately along its surface,
cause soil to writhe with lost control
then erupt with wild flowers and shrubs.
And if not these, then at the very least,
trampled torsion of plodded soil
covered by desperate human debris, collecting upon it
showing what we try to hide:
our wastefulness and discarding of things we really need
ripping off our closeness sheath
and replacing it with dark, green, translucent barriers
of grass
and blowing machines with blades
their maintenance demands.

Our apartment complexes have ambient
tones of industrial malls
when your procedures are taking place
you cut and snip and blow.
Maybe your attempt at concealment
has been a revelation.
But the fearlessness of love
I feel
is something you thought you could snip
and blow.
MMXII
(This is a revision of "For ****'s sake with the leaf blowers?!?")
A group of people conspired against me at my birth
to remove a very important piece of my body
(circumcision, not castration-- this is purposefully vague in the poem,
as I feel it limits certain possibilities).
This is something I'm just beginning to write about.
Circumcision should be discussed more.

In contemporary society,
I have to deal with the sound of leaf blowers
and lawn mowers-- but I also get the benefit of
listening to Massive Attack's song "Teardrop"
which is like being rocked to sleep gently.

— The End —