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c l e o Apr 2019
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
happy is a lie
If orangutans become extinct then the co-existing species will also become extinct. This is because the orangutan is a keystone species and those co-existing species rely on the orangutans to live.
Keith Frantz Jun 2020
I lie. 
I lie about lying. 
I lie about other liars lying. 
I lie to entertain 
and I lie to avoid trouble.
I lie about the stupidest things.
And I lie to the stupidest people.
I don't ever lie to hurt anyone.
In fact, I often lie just to make someone feel better.

I lie to save face.
And I lie because I'm embarrassed. 
I also lie because I'm ashamed.
I lie so people will like me.
And I lie to make my life easier.
Sometimes, I lie even when the lie will make my life harder.
I lie to make people laugh.
I lie so others will forget about things making them sad.
I lie so you'll stop crying.

I lie to boost my resume 
and to get free stuff.
I lie to make myself seem smarter and more likeable. 
I lie to babies and animals.
I lie to the dog 
to make it sit or stay.
And I lie to the cat 
for not coming when it's called.
I lie to schoolchildren 
about the speed of the slide.
And I lie to them 
when they fly too high 
on the swings.

I lie to my boss, 
my girlfriend, 
my Uber driver. 
I lie on my taxes.
I lie in the information I provide when I make donations 
to public radio.
I lie on my Tinder profile, 
I lie requesting a late checkout, 
and I lie when I'm just 
"asking for a friend."
I lie about my weight. 
And my age and my height.
I lie about the most ridiculous ****.
I lie to impress,
to involve, 
to engage.

I lie to my mom. 
And I lied to my dad. 
Siblings and cousins,
Aunties and uncles.
And to every other family member.
I lied to all my grandparents.
Rest their souls.
I lie to besties and buddies,
strangers and the displaced. 
I lie to the *** 
outside the store,
and I lie to every last bartender
as they give me house pour.

I lie about facts and figures,
numbers and data and results.
I lie about times and dates and destinations. 
I lie about when I'm coming, 
where I'm going,
and when I will arrive. 
I lie about the color of my car 
and the color of the sky 
and the color of my eyes. 
I lie about what you lied about to other liars. 
To other liars who are also lying.
Lying about you.
I lie about my disease,
my dysmorphia, 
and my decay.
I lie about cognitive dissonance 
and other big words.

I lie to professional liars.
Preachers and priests,
politicians and prostitutes.
I lie about farting. 
Did or didn't. 
Either way.
I lie on the quizzes I take online 
so the soulless algorithm 
will think I'm cool.
I lie about random coincidences 
as much as I lie about
earnest purposes. 
I lie about my relationship with God. 
I lie because there is no devil. 
I lie about Santa Claus,
the Easter Bunny,
and the Tooth Fairy. 
I lie to myself when I eat protein bars because they're good for me.
I lie when I try to convince myself that sweet potato chips are healthier than regular potato chips. 

I lie about quantum physics
and quark mechanics
and stellar principles and properties 
in the Cosmic Zone of Avoidance. 
I lie in pure manipulation,
stinging self depreciation,
and personal effacement.
I lie in my singing 
and my dancing 
and in my telling of stories. 
I lie to make the end of the story better.
I lie in the details.
A lie as I howl at the moon.

I lie to Peter Pan 
and to Cinderella. 
I even lie to her Fairy Godmother.
I lie to Jack and Jill 
and the Three Blind Mice. 
I lie to Mary, Mary, quite contrary, 
I lie to make her garden grow.
I lie to the ancient gods
and the Apostles,
Siddhartha and Confucius, 
Charlie Brown and Snoopy.
I lie to Lucy for five cents
when the psychiatrist is in.
I lie to Winnie the Pooh.
And Piglet too.

I lie to appear important 
and connected. 
I lie to get laid. 
I lie to date above the rim 
with women entirely too attractive for me. 
I lie to be seen with them 
and have them laugh at my jokes. 
I lie in the hopes of someone 
falling in love with me 
for not lying.
I lie about my hairline 
and the length of my Johnson. 
I lie about how great a lover I am.
I lie about my desperate need 
to be loved. 
And all the pathetic methods I try.
I lie when I tell you I'm fine 
and smile at your gesture.
I lie to you.

I lie to the sheep 
and I lie to the wolves.
To the keepers.
I lie to the lions and the lawyers,
The chattel and the chieftains. 
I lie to the cops
And the judge.
I even lie to the bailiff 
On the bible
On the record
On the run.

I lie about racism and bigotry and social injustice.
I lie when I toss change
into a vagrant's cup.
About ideals and resolve.
I lie about most anything.
Accomplishments,
achievements,
adventures.
And alliteration. 
Experiences,
education, 
endeavors. 
Even echoes 
of edification 
and explanation. 

I lie about who was first in line.
And who ate the last *******. 
I lie about the color of the seahorses in my dreams.
And I lie about what they tell me.
Anything.
I lie about what I tell myself 
when I look in the mirror. 
And so do you.
If you say you don't, 
you're a liar.
I know.

I am a liar.
Believe me
nim Feb 2018
lie after lie
tell 'em I'm fine
lie after lie
and they start to
believe

lie after lie
and you start
to believe
lie after lie
but the blade
couldn't be tricked

lie after lie,
tell them you're fine
lie after lie,
glass is now
in your veins
lie after lie,
you tell yourself
"That's not deep enough."

lie after lie
rose petals on the floor
lie after lie
one poem burned down
lie after lie
your blue eyes staring
at the hole where
lie before lie
my heart used to be

lie after lie
and soon
you don't know,
lie after lie,
you're not fine

lie after lie,
and soon,
lie after lie,
it's not
a lie.
Arcassin B Sep 2014
by Arcassin Burnham



Don't lie to me , Don't lie to me , my backs against the wall,
Don't Lie to me
Don't lie to me , Don't lie to me , my backs against the wall,
would you die for me,
Don't lie to me , Don't lie to me , my backs against the wall,
would you cry with me,
Don't lie to me , Don't lie to me , my backs against the wall,
don't leave a memory,
don't lie to me.

Don't lie to me , Don't lie to me , my backs against the wall,
Don't Lie to me
Don't lie to me , Don't lie to me , my backs against the wall,
would you die for me,
Don't lie to me , Don't lie to me , my backs against the wall,
would you cry with me,
Don't lie to me , Don't lie to me , my backs against the wall,
don't leave a memory,
don't lie to me.

Don't lie to me , Don't lie to me , my backs against the wall,
Don't Lie to me
Don't lie to me , Don't lie to me , my backs against the wall,
would you die for me,
Don't lie to me , Don't lie to me , my backs against the wall,
would you cry with me,
Don't lie to me , Don't lie to me , my backs against the wall,
don't leave a memory,
don't lie to me.
poetic mafia
a yellowish shroud
is placed hurriedly
upon starched white sheets
revealing vicious contrasts

where the cullan trees lie
where the cullan trees lie

its Hessian appearance
an omen, a foretold event
like breathing deeply in a silence
amidst the history of a great disorder

where the cullan trees lie
where the cullan trees lie

violent ink stains
on folding parchment
embalm themselves
upon the thickness of a sorrow

where the cullan trees lie
where the cullan trees lie

placed deep within
shallow subterranean depths
of an enigmatic being
that is both engineering and entrenching

where the cullan trees lie
where the cullan trees lie

its perplexing sensations causing
a wonderful ingrained passion
to erupt with imponderable abstracts
where truth does not exceed exception

where the cullan trees lie
where the cullan trees lie

the shroud provides a false tranquillity
where there is no longer breath
imposes itself unobtrusively
with wonderful staccato caresses

where the cullan trees lie
where the cullan trees lie

it proclaims an innocence of salvation
yet gives gauge to spectacular routes
and an enormity of misconceptions  
amid prestigious beatifications

where the cullan trees lie
where the cullan trees lie

oh sweet smelling blue abyss
oh deluded reality
dressed in a winding sheet
of meaningless words

where the cullan trees lie
where the cullan trees lie

wrapped in phrases of falsehood
amidst this purgatorial fog
a twilight world of mysterious ailments
maintains a world of external restraints

where the cullan trees lie
where the cullan trees lie

creates and emptiness, a vacancy
provides an intoxication of vision
a strangeness of sensation
a world transparent

where the cullan trees lie
where the cullan trees lie

read the sentences of silence
breathe the perfume of never fading flowers
and see for the first time
the unfinished likeness of others

where the cullan trees lie
where the cullan trees lie
Nitesh Mar 2018
I am a liar, and I lie a lot.
Sometimes I lie to others, and sometimes I lie to myself.
No matter to whom I lie, "a lie is a lie, a lie".

There are different kinds of lie they say,
some lie for others, others lie for themselves.
No matter what the lie is for, "a lie is a lie, a lie".

There is no one reaction to the lie they show,
Some lie brings happiness, some lie sends sadness.
No matter how people see, "a lie is a lie, a lie".

I am a liar, and I lie a lot.
And I know it's a lie now, but I know I can make it true,
No matter how long I take, I won't let "a lie be a, lie".
a lie within a badass lie
a lie is within a badass conversation
a conversation of a lie is a correspondence of a lie
a badass lie is a badass conversation
a badass lie is a badass correspondence
a lie is a judgement lie
a lie is a judgement truth

a lie is a badass judgement
judgement is judgement of a lie
judgement is judgement of a truth
judgement is judgement of a conversation lie
correspondence lie is correspondence truth
a lie is a correspondence lie
a lie is a correspondence truth

the truth is a future truth
the truth is a future correspondence
the truth is a future conversation
within a judgement is within a lie
within a judgement is within a correspondence
within a judgement is within a conversation
a lie is a conversation of a lie
my writing is called philosophical writing. i only uses middle ages words,words liked gracious,extravaganza,etc… this poem is about a judgement within a conversation. i don’t add capitalization’s on my writing.
Rori Helsley Feb 2019
I
It
It’s
It’s a
It's al
It’s all
It's all a
It’s all a l
It’s all a li
It’s all a lie, l
It’s all a lie, lo
It’s all a lie, lov
It’s all a lie, love
It’s all a lie, love I
It’s all a lie, love is
It’s all a lie, love is a
It’s all a lie, love is a l
It’s all a lie, love is a li
It’s all a lie, love is a lie
It’s all a lie, love is a li
It’s all a lie, love is a l
It’s all a lie, love is a
It’s all a lie, love is
It’s all a lie, love I
It’s all a lie, love
It’s all a lie, lov
It’s all a lie, lo
It’s all a lie, l
It’s all a lie,
It’s all a li
It’s all a l
It’s all a
It’s all
It’s al
It’s a
It’s
It’
I
Mr. President,
why do you lie?
Mr. President,
why do you lie?
Mr. President,
why do you lie?
Mr. President,
why do you lie?

President Nixon,
cheated his way,
into the office,
almost got away.

Got himself impeached,
thought he could lie.
Went down in history,
as a bad guy.

President Nixon,
why did you lie?
President Nixon,
why did you lie?
President Nixon,
why did you lie?
President Nixon,
why did you lie?

President Clinton,
*******,
on Lewinsky's dress,
and sealed his fate.

Thought they could hide it,
but a close friend spews,
all of the details,
about the two.

President Clinton,
why did you lie?
President Clinton,
why did you lie?
President Clinton,
why did you lie?
President Clinton,
why did you lie?

Obama says,
we'll be out soon.
Three years later,
he looks like a buffoon.

Sitting, scorched in desserts,
in Iraq and Iran.
Lying to become president,
what a great plan!

President Obama,
why did you lie?
President Obama,
why did you lie?
President Obama,
why did you lie?
President Obama,
why did you lie?

No one will get away,
with lying today.
Because when the government lies,
everybody dies.
Copyright Barry Pietrantonio

Give us the **** truth.
Madds May 2012
Lie, lie, lie, lie straight to my face
And tear out my heart
It pulsates in your hand
But it's black, black and dying
Look at what you've done!

Lie, lie, lie, kiss me and lie with your lips
My love spills out from my mouth
You drink it,
It tastes so foul! Spit it!
Spit it out behind closed doors
Where I can't see
And lie, lie, lie to me.

Say it. Say the putrid words
I long to hear
Say you love me with no meaning
It's all I want,
I swear.
I just wish to dissolve in your lies
Liar, lie, lie, lie to me.

Plastic hearts always melt first in a fire
And darling, I guess that means you're dead.
Ghouls and zombies,
Precious creatures, especially you.
Lie, lie, lie to me liar,
And tell me you're alive.

Give me your heart,
I'll treat it well,
I promise.
I'll stab a ******* knife
Right through it.
That's all you deserve
You precious, precious liar.
Go, Soul, the body’s guest,
Upon a thankless errand;
Fear not to touch the best;
The truth shall be thy warrant:
Go, since I needs must die,
And give the world the lie.

Say to the court, it glows
And shines like rotten wood;
Say to the church, it shows
What’s good, and doth no good:
If church and court reply,
Then give them both the lie.

Tell potentates, they live
Acting by others’ action;
Not loved unless they give,
Not strong but by a faction.
If potentates reply,
Give potentates the lie.

Tell men of high condition,
That manage the estate,
Their purpose is ambition,
Their practice only hate:
And if they once reply,
Then give them all the lie.

Tell them that brave it most,
They beg for more by spending,
Who, in their greatest cost,
Seek nothing but commending.
And if they make reply,
Then give them all the lie.

Tell zeal it wants devotion;
Tell love it is but lust;
Tell time it is but motion;
Tell flesh it is but dust:
And wish them not reply,
For thou must give the lie.

Tell age it daily wasteth;
Tell honour how it alters;
Tell beauty how she blasteth;
Tell favour how it falters:
And as they shall reply,
Give every one the lie.

Tell wit how much it wrangles
In tickle points of niceness;
Tell wisdom she entangles
Herself in overwiseness:
And when they do reply,
Straight give them both the lie.

Tell physic of her boldness;
Tell skill it is pretension;
Tell charity of coldness;
Tell law it is contention:
And as they do reply,
So give them still the lie.

Tell fortune of her blindness;
Tell nature of decay;
Tell friendship of unkindness;
Tell justice of delay:
And if they will reply,
Then give them all the lie.

Tell arts they have no soundness,
But vary by esteeming;
Tell schools they want profoundness,
And stand too much on seeming:
If arts and schools reply,
Give arts and schools the lie.

Tell faith it’s fled the city;
Tell how the country erreth;
Tell manhood shakes off pity
And virtue least preferreth:
And if they do reply,
Spare not to give the lie.

So when thou hast, as I
Commanded thee, done blabbing—
Although to give the lie
Deserves no less than stabbing—
Stab at thee he that will,
No stab the soul can ****.
Mateuš Conrad Nov 2017
strange, there's always "the" truth, but always "a" lie... i never understood the monism of truth, and the pluralism of a lie (lies), what is interesting is that with the exclusion of articles: there's but one truth... as there is only a chance of lies... when your disregard the use of definite / indefinite articles, you are talking about truth and lies... reworded, as is necessary ti effectuate the purity of language... the truth: a lie... we speak of truth, but then reconsider this truth with: lies - lies have no uniformity, no honing foundation, not (0, 0) vector enterprise to guide a third negation (kant equate 0 with negation) - the third coordinate of negation is impossible... two negations are possible, but a third negation is near impossible, since there's the first negation of a proposition, then there's the negation of the negation of a proposition (second), but a third negation of the second negation (of a proposition) is impossible, because by second negation the third negation has no proposition to negate, only a negation, and a third denial is a contradiction, and how can a negation that's a "proposition", be negated?! magnet dynamic.

telling "the" truth (a truth) is actually
the easiest thing to do,
  truth doesn't erode the memory,
in that by not eroding the memory -
it allows a narrative a continuum
that does not necessarily have to
digress into a regression of overlaying,
repeating a said lie -
truth is hardly mingled with
memory, truth is forgetfulness -
however, lies reveal a strain on memory,
in that they have to be repeated,
to keep a narrative: intact.
    - and that's what my mother always
taught me:
              - unlike a chinese mother
who says: keep your heart small -
no, instead she said:
    don't like -
  conjure that one up against
the ten commandments:
  there's no shall, i.e. you shall
not lie, she simply said:
               don't lie -
                 if i lie i lie about
the most finicky concerns / details...
notably in culinary concerns -  
   i ask whether i under-salted a dish...
i don't lie about my drinking:
yes. to excess,
   in one ear, out the other -
a litre of whiskey is sometimes not
enough, per night,
           but then i act upon
the sober person cordiality -
              i hush my footsteps -
    i encourage bladder talk and
squeeze my **** to avoid
the unexpected gush of soggy
cornflakes...
  telling the truth is fun,
at least the narrative is glued together,
it feels almost vampire-like:
   perhaps there's a visage in the mirror
to my body, perhaps even a shadow
in the night, but when i stick my tongue
out from out of my tongue?
i see nothing.
  truth is a honing device -
lies: always shrapnel -
  a lie was never and never will be
a unifying concept -
            since there is
        no definite lie -
               as there is, a definite truth -
for there are indefinite lies -
   but no indefinite truths...
                  well, that's also wrong,
indefinite truths exist
           but their indefiniteness is
historiologically* true, rather than
historically true -
              i.e. history is a lie,
    but also a truth, when empowered
with a chance to repeat: or improve -
yet it is still necessary to denounce
  the article as sole inheritor of being
                 definite or indefinite -
              a chance to see truth (the)
applied to the definite article, as seeing
lies (a) applied to the indefinite article
is not merely singularity honing,
  or pluralism shrapnel...
              but by simple construct of but
three to four words:
  the truth...
                   vs. a lie: which implies
a singularity indefinite - i.e. a pluralism,
the truth resembles only one resolve -
a one inside a one;
     a lie?
              a lie of how many?
     hence the pluralism of a lie: lies.
                         now do we believe in
the signature ending via S?
                                        i never believed
in abstraction per se,
        the only abstraction i ever believed in,
was how to mature with one's use of
language,
              i only believed in listening to
idiots, while reading geniuses -
so much of language is burdened with talk,
that so much optics is lost...
                     i only fathomed philosophy
within the framework of how far
language could be abstracted, away from
the jovial everyday conversations in a marketplace,
thus said: how to unlearn asking
for a kilogram of apples from a country person;
but more importantly:
for to speak a tongue foreign to me,
but in a way,
as to make the native speakers:
feel nothing but shame,
and if not shame: confusion...
to become a tarantula...
for personal reasons, i rather keep
intact in the person i am becoming.
hani aqil Mar 2018
negative b plus/minus square root b² minus 4ac over 2a, the quadratic formula;
the numbers don't lie.

10th June, 2002; my birth.
the numbers don't lie.

when y equals to 0 you can find
the x-intercepts;
the numbers don't lie.

#03-04; my unit.
the numbers don't lie.

I am better than everyone but
1
person in this room;
the numbers don't lie.

when y equals to a times (x-h)² plus k,
(h,k) is the vertex;
the numbers don't lie.

157 cm; my height.
the numbers don't lie.

negative b over 2a,
the axis of symmetry;
the numbers don't lie.

16th April, she told me she would love me forever,
23rd May, we kissed,
14th February, she told me to leave her forever;
glassy-hearted valentine;
the numbers don't lie.

negative b² minus 4 times a times c,
the discriminant;
the numbers don't lie.

43 kg; my weight.
the numbers don't lie.

my value is exponentially depleting but
I am still better than 7 out of 10 of you;
the numbers don't lie.

when x equals to 0 you can find
the y-intercept;
the numbers don't lie.

3 times, my drowning attempts failed;
the numbers don't lie.

I think my days are numbered;
I don't lie.
Bunhead17 Nov 2013
[Intro - Rihanna:]
Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
But that's alright because I like the way it hurts
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
But that's alright because I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie

[Verse - Eminem:]
I can't tell you what it really is
I can only tell you what it feels like
And right now it's a steel knife in my windpipe
I can't breathe but I still fight while I can fight
As long as the wrong feels right it's like I'm in flight
High off a love, drunk from my hate,
It's like I'm huffing paint and I love it the more I suffer, I suffocate
And right before I'm about to drown, she resuscitates me
She ******* hates me and I love it.
Wait! Where you going?
"I'm leaving you!"
No you ain't. Come back we're running right back.
Here we go again
It's so insane cause when it's going good, it's going great
I'm Superman with the wind at his back, she's Lois Lane
But when it's bad it's awful, I feel so ashamed I snapped
Who's that dude?
"I don't even know his name."
I laid hands on her, I'll never stoop so low again
I guess I don't know my own strength

[Chorus - Rihanna:]
Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
But that's alright because I like the way it hurts
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
But that's alright because I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie

[Verse - Eminem:]
You ever love somebody so much you can barely breathe when you're with 'em
You meet and neither one of you even know what hit 'em
Got that warm fuzzy feeling
Yeah, them chills you used to get 'em
Now you're getting ******* sick of looking at 'em
You swore you'd never hit 'em; never do nothing to hurt 'em
Now you're in each other's face spewing venom in your words when you spit them
You push, pull each other's hair, scratch, claw, bit 'em
Throw 'em down, pin 'em
So lost in the moments when you're in them
It's the rage that took over it controls you both
So they say you're best to go your separate ways
Guess that they don't know you 'cause today that was yesterday
Yesterday is over, it's a different day
Sound like broken records playing over but you promised her
Next time you show restraint
You don't get another chance
Life is no Nintendo game
But you lied again
Now you get to watch her leave out the window
Guess that's why they call it window "pain"

[Chorus - Rihanna:]
Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
But that's alright because I like the way it hurts
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
But that's alright because I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie

[Verse - Eminem:]
Now I know we said things, did things that we didn't mean
And we fall back into the same patterns, same routine
But your temper's just as bad as mine is
You're the same as me
But when it comes to love you're just as blinded
Baby, please come back
It wasn't you, baby it was me
Maybe our relationship isn't as crazy as it seems
Maybe that's what happens when a tornado meets a volcano
All I know is I love you too much to walk away though
Come inside, pick up your bags off the sidewalk
Don't you hear sincerity in my voice when I talk
Told you this is my fault
Look me in the eyeball
Next time I'm ******, I'll lay my fist at the drywall
Next time? There will be no next time!
I apologize even though I know its lies
I'm tired of the games I just want her back
I know I'm a liar
If she ever tries to ******* leave again
Im'a tie her to the bed and set this house on fire
I'm just gonna

[Outro - Rihanna:]
Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
But that's alright because I like the way it hurts
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
But that's alright because I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie
lyrics "love the way you lie" by Eminem ft Rihanna #International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women Awareness (11/25/13) #Stop using your strength to Abusing women (This goes out to all the men!) :D
To lie or not to lie - that is the question:
Whether 'tis better to keep the truth
Shutting the light in the dark,
Or to bring upon pain or pleasure
Why, by bringing truth, gain unwanted reaction. To lie, deceit -
No more - and by secret to say what we want to say
The will of truth and lie
That flows from lips - 'tis an infection
One craved by all. To lie, deceit -
Deceit, perhaps too much. Ay, there's the problem.
For in that deceit of truth what pathologic lieing may come.
When we have gained such filthy pleasure from this lie,
Must force us thought. That's the reality
That makes chaos of such pleasure.
For who really wants to hear or speak an ugly truth,
The lover's love gone, the child's art trash,
The woman's ugly face, the man's unattractive body,
The co-worker's stench, and the embarrassing blemish
That gives opportunity for lie,
When they themselves would appreciate
Why give them heart ache? Who would give them truth,
To give them hurt,
But the chance they would enjoy the truth,
The unknown glee from fate's unlucky victims
For the victim's mind confuses the liar
And makes the liar want to speak truth
And to see that reaction instead.
Thus turning pathologic lieing into suthe saying,
And thus the addicting infection
Is cured with the disease of truth,
And infection seems less appealing
With this regard the lies soon stop
And lose what effect they once had.
This was an old high school assignment I found today. We worked on Hamlet and had to turn his soliloquy into one of our own, so I made one about lieing!
jmc Apr 2010
I lie.
I lie to myself, I lie to others,
I lie to keep them happy.
I lie to keep my heart and eyes.
I lie to stay awake sometimes
Just so I can fear sleep.
I lie in bed at night sometimes
Dying as I weep.

I lie to those around me,
Friends I've known for so long.
I lie to perfect strangers
So they feel nothing can go wrong.
I lie to keep myself at bay,
So my mind can feel normal.
When I don't lie, I feel as though
Everyone would hate that I'm abnormal.

These lies I tell my heart,
Just to keep me in check,
All those days I used to have when
No lies I would tell can affect.
The outlook I used to have on life
When my thoughts were oh so callous.
But the more I lie, the more I find,
There's no use in finding balance.

My lie lived life can never stop
As long as I continue to live to lie.
But the thing that hurts the most is when
The love of false makes me sigh.
I will accept my faults, as a liar lost
Within this world I create to be.
But don't hate me when I set myself
Apart from those lies that had set me free.
JMC, 2010
This is to anyone out there that's listening
From anyone who ever let you down and went missing
Lovers, parents, best friends, and siblings
Sometimes life conspires to make liars of good men

This is to anyone out there that's listening
From everyone that ever let you down and went missing
Lovers, parents, best friends, and siblings
Sometimes life conspires to make liars of good men

I'm sorry I wasn't who you thought I was
**** it-- I'm sorry I wasn't who I thought I was
I said no matter what, I'd always be there, but that wasn't honest
Because I'm not
And 'cause that ain't how life goes
Broken promise

Growing up, I always thought I was one of the good guys
I thought it was black and white like that
That I could nurture my good side
But I've caused hurt and I've stripped pride
Both on the surface and inside
I wasn't cursed with a dark side, I was just normal
Average, regular, nothing special, I'm telling you
Just being human makes you both God and the Devil's clear replica
I've had my emotions crushed and maybe crushed a few along the way
And at the time, I meant every single word I would say
Every word of love, and every word of hate
Every time I would adore, and every time I'd berate
But time passes, and sometimes those emotions fade
Making liars of both the threats and the promises made

But is a lie really a lie if you mean it at the time?
How can a lie be a lie if you mean it at the time?
A lie can't be a lie if you mean it at the time
How can a lie be a lie if you mean it?

This is to anyone out there that's listening
This is to
This is to anyone out there that's still breathing

I bought a heartbreak hotel
On my own, with no investors
Closed it down and opened the "*******, get over it" bed and breakfast
In loving memory of having loving memories
Of combustible emotions, and having real enemies

Typically poetically dramatic endings
Were once a trademark of mine
Patents pending
And the mighty height of emotions on parting ways
Was always grander than the connections of the early days

When we were fighting, there used to be thunder and lightning
Ferociously frightening, a clash of the titans
Emotions heightened, every single muscle tightened
An addiction to the thrill of the fight, the excitement

Love at first sight always seemed unconsidered
I'd rather love at first fight, and then onto double figures
An unconditional love? Well, that just means nothing
In love with the mere idea of loving something

Always just hunting for that near-life experience
In fear of missing something vital from your own existence
All your emotions subconsciously thought out and scripted
Less about how you're feeling
More about how you ******* depict it

But all that stops when one day you just decide to stop playing along
That point in time when the most amazing things in the world can just as easily seem
Pedestrian

You've lost both that loving and that loathing feeling
Turns out, hell does have a bottom
And heaven, a ceiling
Both love and hate become opaque in time's wake
A face that once summons rage now summons nothing
Whether it's emotions tethered, nerve endings severed
Or just the outlook you acquire when you're a little more weathered
Remaining conscious of this all, and in a way, feeling above it
Still feels like bad riddance to good *******

But is a lie really a lie if you mean it at the time?
How can a lie be a lie if you mean it?
By scroobius Pip
gloria vanity Jun 2013
lie to me
lie to me and tell me you're happy
lie to me and tell me that life is all that you wanted it to be
lie to me and tell me that you don't ever think of me
lie to me and smile with your eyes as you die
lie to me and laugh with your heart crumbling before your eyes
lie to me and say you don't love me
lie to me and say you never think of me in your dreams
lie to me.



tell me that everything is fine.
and tell me that you were never meant to be mine.



lie to me because you know i never will.
wish i could tell you that i hope you
cry.
die.
lie restless at night
thinking of the child that was ours
ache in your heart knowing you
rejected your
own
blood.
and though the tears come streaming down like floods
lie to me.
Harriz Sierra Dec 2018
Lie to me about crying...
Lie to me about you
Lie to me about everything
that you do.
Lie to me, please.

Lie to me about love,
Lie to me about hate,
Lie to me about the truth you hid
From me when we had our first date.
Lie to me.

Tell me your lies, without the truth
Separate your disguised
face,
Sing me a lullaby that's full of disgrace.

Don't tell me the truth, don't tell me you lied.
Just tell me the reason why
you cried.

Just lie to me, cause I can't handle
the truth,
Even our first kiss was a lie,
When we kissed on the kissing
booth..
She lied to me,
I couldn't handle what's left,
Daniel K Oct 2013
all my life
has been spent in chains
I have never been happy
always shackled to some dream
that just seems to evade me

it seems this world just weighs
so heavy on my heart
I find it hard to cope
with the way that everything is run
it's wrong
people are wrong
and they know the way they are living is wrong
but still they persevere
they continue in this way
and attempt nothing that could make a change
it kills me
I feel so alone
so isolated
I do not fit in in the town I was born
I am nothing like these people
their meaningless lives bore me
I simply can not fit in because everything just seems so hypocritical
people all just seem so fake
At this stage I do not even wish to be like them
I couldn't even give in if I tried
they physically repulse me
friends lie
foes lie
politicians lie
managers lie
teachers lie
parents lie
siblings lie
men lie
women lie
everywhere you look
there is a veil
everything so clouded in deceit
from lies that parents tell their children to protect them
just another year of innocence
to lies in the form of empty promises some lousy government makes
when really all they are doing is adding buck in to their bank

Human Beings Lie
shamelessly
and without remorse
they lie to further themselves and noone else
greed and power clouds even the most sound of judgement
it is an illness reserved merely to man
do you see such rot in the animal kingdom?
is a dog dishonest?
it is not within their nature
they do not have the chip inside their framework
that human beings have
and throw around so effortlessly

how can people live
with such a sickness underfoot
such a deadly pox
seeping in our souls
societies built
on such shoddy foundations
someday surely must fall?
I'l push
without thought or remorse
let their castles fall
let injustice crumble
like the walls we have built around us
in an attempt to put us on a pedestal
but instead we have just got lost

people are being crushed
from weight they never asked for
being put upon their shoulders
from poverty
from hardship
from pain
years and years of pain
man has inflicted on one another
and continue to inflict each day
read the news
at any time
******
****
poverty
famine
racism
sexism
homophobia
all these civil rights
being trampled in to the ground
being kicked while they sleep
pain pain pain

if human being has the power
to cause so much pain
so much hardship
so much injustice on one another
then it surely has the power
to begin to right these wrongs
to make a difference
it is goal worth fighting for
worth dying for
because deep within my heart of hearts I know
I am not really living as we are
Lie
All were blinded by your beauty
How ever fake it was
I remember those days so safe
Before your real light appeared
Seeping through the cracks in your mask
Only few saw and reached
Then the betrayal of ugliness burned them

Seeming so strong
It was only time that you fell
So hard
Crashing, your shards made us bleed
All you were was a lie
Waiting to break us all
All you were was a lie
Now your true light guiding you
The wrong way

There were few that witnessed the fall
Our blindfolds ripped from us
And see the monster you’ve become
Some refuse to see you
Most are still blinded by your memory
You made these whole hearts torn
Cold and ugly you have become
That was not the fate we foresaw

Seeming so strong
It was only time that you fell
So hard
Crashing, your shards made us bleed
All you were was a lie
Waiting to break us all
All you were was a lie
Now your true light guiding you
The wrong way

To you I scream in agony
Come back home though I can’t promise
Forgiveness is what you get
Our pride is strong, heavy and pure
Our hearts fortress is stronger
Your memory is always welcome
Only when it is no longer
When you are no longer a memory
You will be let back in

Seeming so strong
It was only time that you fell
So hard
Crashing, your shards made us bleed
All you were was a lie
Waiting to break us all
All you were was a lie
Now your true light guiding you
The wrong way

Sweet pictures of old paint my mind
Your sun is coming love
Open your eyes and see the pain
Yourself inflicted pain
The pain that you passed out to others
From your black box
Like your fake affection and trust

Seeming so strong
It was only time that you fell
So hard
Crashing, your shards made us bleed
All you were was a lie
Waiting to break us all
All you were was a lie
Now your true light guiding you
The wrong way

How long will you stare at the celling
How many nights will you cry
How long will you go on
With the guilt inside
How long will you lie to your self

Now we are strong
When is it our time to fall
So hard
Crashing, when will we make you bleed
All we are is a lie
Born from lies we walk
All we are is a lie
Until we realize that we are racing
The wrong way
Michael R Burch Apr 2020
The Lonely Earth
by Kajal Ahmad, a Kurdish poet
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The pale celestial bodies
never bid her “Good morning!”
nor do the creative stars
kiss her.
Earth, where so many tender persuasions and roses lie interred,
might expire for the lack of a glance, or an odor.
She’s a lonely dusty orb,
so very lonely!, as she observes the moon's patchwork attire
knowing the sun's an imposter
who sears with rays he has stolen for himself
and who looks down on the moon and earth like lodgers.

Keywords/Tags: Kajal Ahmad, Kurd, Kurdish, lonely, Earth, stars, moon, sun, rays, lodgers, tenants, boarders, renters, mrbch



Mirror
by Kajal Ahmad, a Kurdish poet
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My era’s obscuring mirror  
shattered
because it magnified the small
and made the great seem insignificant.
Dictators and monsters filled its contours.            
Now when I breathe
its jagged shards pierce my heart
and instead of sweat
I exude glass.



Kurds are Birds
by Kajal Ahmad, a Kurdish poet
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Per the latest scientific classification, Kurds
now belong to a species of bird!
This is why,
traveling across the torn, fraying pages of history,
they are nomads recognized by their caravans.
Yes, Kurds are birds! And,
even worse, when
there’s nowhere left to nest, no refuge for their pain,
they turn to the illusion of traveling again
between the warm and arctic sectors of their homeland.
So I don’t think it strange Kurds can fly but not land.
They wander from region to region
never realizing their dreams
of settling,
of forming a colony, of nesting.
No, they never settle down long enough
to visit Rumi and inquire about his health,
or to bow down deeply in the gust-
stirred dust,
like Nali.



Birdsong
by Rumi
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Birdsong relieves
my deepest griefs:
now I'm just as ecstatic as they,
but with nothing to say!
Please universe,
rehearse
your poetry
through me!



First They Came for the Muslims
by Michael R. Burch

after Martin Niemoller

First they came for the Muslims
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Muslim.

Then they came for the homosexuals
and I did not speak out
because I was not a homosexual.

Then they came for the feminists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a feminist.

Now when will they come for me
because I was too busy and too apathetic
to defend my sisters and brothers?

Published in Amnesty International’s Words That Burn anthology, and by Borderless Journal (India), The Hindu (India), Matters India, New Age Bangladesh, Convivium Journal, PressReader (India) and Kracktivist (India). It is indeed an honor to have one of my poems published by an outstanding organization like Amnesty International. A stated goal for the anthology is to teach students about human rights through poetry.



Uyghur Poetry Translations

With my translations I am trying to build awareness of the plight of Uyghur poets and their people, who are being sent in large numbers to Chinese "reeducation" concentration camps.

Perhat Tursun (1969-????) is one of the foremost living Uyghur language poets, if he is still alive. Unfortunately, Tursun was "disappeared" into a Chinese "reeducation" concentration camp where extreme psychological torture is the norm. According to a disturbing report he was later "hospitalized." Apparently no one knows his present whereabouts or condition, if he has one. According to John Bolton, when Donald Trump learned of these "reeducation" concentration camps, he told Chinese President Xi Jinping it was "exactly the right thing to do." Trump’s excuse? "Well, we were in the middle of a major trade deal."

Elegy
by Perhat Tursun
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

"Your soul is the entire world."
―Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

Asylum seekers, will you recognize me among the mountain passes' frozen corpses?
Can you identify me here among our Exodus's exiled brothers?
We begged for shelter but they lashed us bare; consider our naked corpses.
When they compel us to accept their massacres, do you know that I am with you?

Three centuries later they resurrect, not recognizing each other,
Their former greatness forgotten.
I happily ingested poison, like a fine wine.
When they search the streets and cannot locate our corpses, do you know that I am with you?

In that tower constructed of skulls you will find my dome as well:
They removed my head to more accurately test their swords' temper.
When before their swords our relationship flees like a flighty lover,
Do you know that I am with you?

When men in fur hats are used for target practice in the marketplace
Where a dying man's face expresses his agony as a bullet cleaves his brain
While the executioner's eyes fail to comprehend why his victim vanishes, ...
Seeing my form reflected in that bullet-pierced brain's erratic thoughts,
Do you know that I am with you?

In those days when drinking wine was considered worse than drinking blood,
did you taste the flour ground out in that blood-turned churning mill?
Now, when you sip the wine Ali-Shir Nava'i imagined to be my blood
In that mystical tavern's dark abyssal chambers,
Do you know that I am with you?

TRANSLATOR NOTES: This is my interpretation (not necessarily correct) of the poem's frozen corpses left 300 years in the past. For the Uyghur people the Mongol period ended around 1760 when the Qing dynasty invaded their homeland, then called Dzungaria. Around a million people were slaughtered during the Qing takeover, and the Dzungaria territory was renamed Xinjiang. I imagine many Uyghurs fleeing the slaughters would have attempted to navigate treacherous mountain passes. Many of them may have died from starvation and/or exposure, while others may have been caught and murdered by their pursuers. If anyone has a better explanation, they are welcome to email me at mikerburch@gmail.com (there is an "r" between my first and last names).



The Fog and the Shadows
adapted from a novel by Perhat Tursun
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

“I began to realize the fog was similar to the shadows.”

I began to realize that, just as the exact shape of darkness is a shadow,
even so the exact shape of fog is disappearance
and the exact shape of a human being is also disappearance.
At this moment it seemed my body was vanishing into the human form’s final state.

After I arrived here,
it was as if the danger of getting lost
and the desire to lose myself
were merging strangely inside me.

While everything in that distant, gargantuan city where I spent my five college years felt strange to me; and even though the skyscrapers, highways, ditches and canals were built according to a single standard and shape, so that it wasn’t easy to differentiate them, still I never had the feeling of being lost. Everyone there felt like one person and they were all folded into each other. It was as if their faces, voices and figures had been gathered together like a shaman’s jumbled-up hair.

Even the men and women seemed identical.
You could only tell them apart by stripping off their clothes and examining them.
The men’s faces were beardless like women’s and their skin was very delicate and unadorned.
I was always surprised that they could tell each other apart.
Later I realized it wasn’t just me: many others were also confused.

For instance, when we went to watch the campus’s only TV in a corridor of a building where the seniors stayed when they came to improve their knowledge. Those elderly Uyghurs always argued about whether someone who had done something unusual in an earlier episode was the same person they were seeing now. They would argue from the beginning of the show to the end. Other people, who couldn’t stand such endless nonsense, would leave the TV to us and stalk off.

Then, when the classes began, we couldn’t tell the teachers apart.
Gradually we became able to tell the men from the women
and eventually we able to recognize individuals.
But other people remained identical for us.

The most surprising thing for me was that the natives couldn’t differentiate us either.
For instance, two police came looking for someone who had broken windows during a fight at a restaurant and had then run away.
They ordered us line up, then asked the restaurant owner to identify the culprit.
He couldn’t tell us apart even though he inspected us very carefully.
He said we all looked so much alike that it was impossible to tell us apart.
Sighing heavily, he left.



The Encounter
by Abdurehim Otkur
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I asked her, why aren’t you afraid? She said her God.
I asked her, anything else? She said her People.
I asked her, anything more? She said her Soul.
I asked her if she was content? She said, I am Not.



The Distance
by Tahir Hamut
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

We can’t exclude the cicadas’ serenades.
Behind the convex glass of the distant hospital building
the nurses watch our outlandish party
with their absurdly distorted faces.

Drinking watered-down liquor,
half-****, descanting through the open window,
we speak sneeringly of life, love, girls.
The cicadas’ serenades keep breaking in,
wrecking critical parts of our dissertations.

The others dream up excuses to ditch me
and I’m left here alone.

The cosmopolitan pyramid
of drained bottles
makes me feel
like I’m in a Turkish bath.

I lock the door:
Time to get back to work!

I feel like doing cartwheels.
I feel like self-annihilation.



Refuge of a Refugee
by Ablet Abdurishit Berqi aka Tarim
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I lack a passport,
so I can’t leave legally.
All that’s left is for me to smuggle myself to safety,
but I’m afraid I’ll be beaten black and blue at the border
and I can’t afford the trafficker.

I’m a smuggler of love,
though love has no national identity.
Poetry is my refuge,
where a refugee is most free.

The following excerpts, translated by Anne Henochowicz, come from an essay written by Tang Danhong about her final meeting with Dr. Ablet Abdurishit Berqi, aka Tarim. Tarim is a reference to the Tarim Basin and its Uyghur inhabitants...

I’m convinced that the poet Tarim Ablet Berqi the associate professor at the Xinjiang Education Institute, has been sent to a “concentration camp for educational transformation.” This scholar of Uyghur literature who conducted postdoctoral research at Israel’s top university, what kind of “educational transformation” is he being put through?

Chen Quanguo, the Communist Party secretary of Xinjiang, has said it’s “like the instruction at school, the order of the military, and the security of prison. We have to break their blood relations, their networks, and their roots.”

On a scorching summer day, Tarim came to Tel Aviv from Haifa. In a few days he would go back to Urumqi. I invited him to come say goodbye and once again prepared Sichuan cold noodles for him. He had already unfriended me on Facebook. He said he couldn’t eat, he was busy, and had to hurry back to Haifa. He didn’t even stay for twenty minutes. I can’t even remember, did he sit down? Did he have a glass of water? Yet this farewell shook me to my bones.

He said, “Maybe when I get off the plane, before I enter the airport, they’ll take me to a separate room and beat me up, and I’ll disappear.”

Looking at my shocked face, he then said, “And maybe nothing will happen …”

His expression was sincere. To be honest, the Tarim I saw rarely smiled. Still, layer upon layer blocked my powers of comprehension: he’s a poet, a writer, and a scholar. He’s an associate professor at the Xinjiang Education Institute. He can get a passport and come to Israel for advanced studies. When he goes back he’ll have an offer from Sichuan University to be a professor of literature … I asked, “Beat you up at the airport? Disappear? On what grounds?”

“That’s how Xinjiang is,” he said without any surprise in his voice. “When a Uyghur comes back from being abroad, that can happen.”…



This poem helps us understand the nomadic lifestyle of many Uyghurs, the hardships they endure, and the character it builds...

Iz (“Traces”)
by Abdurehim Otkur
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

We were children when we set out on this journey;
Now our grandchildren ride horses.

We were just a few when we set out on this arduous journey;
Now we're a large caravan leaving traces in the desert.

We leave our traces scattered in desert dunes' valleys
Where many of our heroes lie buried in sandy graves.

But don't say they were abandoned: amid the cedars
their resting places are decorated by springtime flowers!

We left the tracks, the station... the crowds recede in the distance;
The wind blows, the sand swirls, but here our indelible trace remains.

The caravan continues, we and our horses become thin,
But our great-grand-children will one day rediscover those traces.



My Feelings
by Dolqun Yasin
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The light sinking through the ice and snow,
The hollyhock blossoms reddening the hills like blood,
The proud peaks revealing their ******* to the stars,
The morning-glories embroidering the earth’s greenery,
Are not light,
Not hollyhocks,
Not peaks,
Not morning-glories;
They are my feelings.

The tears washing the mothers’ wizened faces,
The flower-like smiles suddenly brightening the girls’ visages,
The hair turning white before age thirty,
The night which longs for light despite the sun’s laughter,
Are not tears,
Not smiles,
Not hair,
Not night;
They are my nomadic feelings.

Now turning all my sorrow to passion,
Bequeathing to my people all my griefs and joys,
Scattering my excitement like flowers festooning fields,
I harvest all these, then tenderly glean my poem.

Therefore the world is this poem of mine,
And my poem is the world itself.



To My Brother the Warrior
by Téyipjan Éliyow
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

When I accompanied you,
the commissioners called me a child.
If only I had been a bit taller
I might have proved myself in battle!

The commission could not have known
my commitment, despite my youth.
If only they had overlooked my age and enlisted me,
I'd have given that enemy rabble hell!

Now, brother, I’m an adult.
Doubtless, I’ll join the service soon.
Soon enough, I’ll be by your side,
battling the enemy: I’ll never surrender!

Keywords/Tags: Uyghur, translation, Uighur, Xinjiang, elegy, Kafka, China, Chinese, reeducation, prison, concentration camp, desert, nomad, nomadic, race, racism, discrimination, Islam, Islamic, Muslim, mrbuyghur



Mehmet Akif Ersoy: Modern English Translations of Turkish Poems

Mehmet Âkif Ersoy (1873-1936) was a Turkish poet, author, writer, academic, member of parliament, and the composer of the Turkish National Anthem.



Snapshot
by Mehmet Akif Ersoy
loose English translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Earth’s least trace of life cannot be erased;
even when you lie underground, it encompasses you.
So, those of you who anticipate the shadows,
how long will the darkness remember you?



Zulmü Alkislayamam
"I Can’t Applaud Tyranny"
by Mehmet Akif Ersoy
loose English translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I can't condone cruelty; I will never applaud the oppressor;
Yet I can't renounce the past for the sake of deluded newcomers.
When someone curses my ancestors, I want to strangle them,
Even if you don’t.
But while I harbor my elders,
I refuse to praise their injustices.
Above all, I will never glorify evil, by calling injustice “justice.”
From the day of my birth, I've loved freedom;
The golden tulip never deceived me.
If I am nonviolent, does that make me a docile sheep?
The blade may slice, but my neck resists!
When I see someone else's wound, I suffer a great hardship;
To end it, I'll be whipped, I'll be beaten.
I can't say, “Never mind, just forget it!” I'll mind,
I'll crush, I'll be crushed, I'll uphold justice.
I'm the foe of the oppressor, the friend of the oppressed.
What the hell do you mean, with your backwardness?



Çanakkale Sehitlerine
"For the Çanakkale Martyrs"
by Mehmet Akif Ersoy
loose English translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Was there ever anything like the Bosphorus war?―
The earth’s mightiest armies pressing Marmara,
Forcing entry between her mountain passes
To a triangle of land besieged by countless vessels.
Oh, what dishonorable assemblages!
Who are these Europeans, come as rapists?
Who, these braying hyenas, released from their reeking cages?
Why do the Old World, the New World, and all the nations of men
now storm her beaches? Is it Armageddon? Truly, the whole world rages!
Seven nations marching in unison!
Australia goose-stepping with Canada!
Different faces, languages, skin tones!
Everything so different, but the mindless bludgeons!
Some warriors Hindu, some African, some nameless, unknown!
This disgraceful invasion, baser than the Black Death!
Ah, the 20th century, so noble in its own estimation,
But all its favored ones nothing but a parade of worthless wretches!
For months now Turkish soldiers have been vomited up
Like stomachs’ retched contents regarded with shame.
If the masks had not been torn away, the faces would still be admired,
But the ***** called civilization is far from blameless.
Now the ****** demand the destruction of the doomed
And thus bring destruction down on their own heads.
Lightning severs horizons!
Earthquakes regurgitate the bodies of the dead!
Bombs’ thunderbolts explode brains,
rupture the ******* of brave soldiers.
Underground tunnels writhe like hell
Full of the bodies of burn victims.
The sky rains down death, the earth swallows the living.
A terrible blizzard heaves men violently into the air.
Heads, eyes, torsos, legs, arms, chins, fingers, hands, feet...
Body parts rain down everywhere.
Coward hands encased in armor callously scatter
Floods of thunderbolts, torrents of fire.
Men’s chests gape open,
Beneath the high, circling vulture-like packs of the air.
Cannonballs fly as frequently as bullets
Yet the heroic army laughs at the hail.
Who needs steel fortresses? Who fears the enemy?
How can the shield of faith not prevail?
What power can make religious men bow down to their oppressors
When their stronghold is established by God?
The mountains and the rocks are the bodies of martyrs!...
For the sake of a crescent, oh God, many suns set, undone!
Dear soldier, who fell for the sake of this land,
How great you are, your blood saves the Muslims!
Only the lions of Bedr rival your glory!
Who then can dig the grave wide enough to hold you. and your story?
If we try to consign you to history, you will not fit!
No book can contain the eras you shook!
Only eternities can encompass you!...
Oh martyr, son of the martyr, do not ask me about the grave:
The prophet awaits you now, his arms flung wide open, to save!



W. S. Rendra translations

Willibrordus Surendra Broto Rendra (1935-2009), better known as W. S. Rendra or simply Rendra, was an Indonesian dramatist and poet. He said, “I learned meditation and the disciplines of the traditional Javanese poet from my mother, who was a palace dancer. The idea of the Javanese poet is to be a guardian of the spirit of the nation.” The press gave him the nickname Burung Merak (“The Peacock”) for his flamboyant poetry readings and stage performances.

SONNET
by W. S. Rendra
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Best wishes for an impending deflowering.

Yes, I understand: you will never be mine.
I am resigned to my undeserved fate.
I contemplate
irrational numbers―complex & undefined.

And yet I wish love might ... ameliorate ...
such negative numbers, dark and unsigned.
But at least I can’t be held responsible
for disappointing you. No cause to elate.
Still, I am resigned to my undeserved fate.
The gods have spoken. I can relate.

How can this be, when all it makes no sense?
I was born too soon―such was my fate.
You must choose another, not half of who I AM.
Be happy with him when you consummate.

THE WORLD'S FIRST FACE
by W. S. Rendra
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Illuminated by the pale moonlight
the groom carries his bride
up the hill―
both of them naked,
both consisting of nothing but themselves.

As in all beginnings
the world is naked,
empty, free of deception,
dark with unspoken explanations―
a silence that extends
to the limits of time.

Then comes light,
life, the animals and man.

As in all beginnings
everything is naked,
empty, open.

They're both young,
yet both have already come a long way,
passing through the illusions of brilliant dawns,
of skies illuminated by hope,
of rivers intimating contentment.

They have experienced the sun's warmth,
drenched in each other's sweat.

Here, standing by barren reefs,
they watch evening fall
bringing strange dreams
to a bed arrayed with resplendent coral necklaces.

They lift their heads to view
trillions of stars arrayed in the sky.
The universe is their inheritance:
stars upon stars upon stars,
more than could ever be extinguished.

Illuminated by the pale moonlight
the groom carries his bride
up the hill―
both of them naked,
to recreate the world's first face.

Keywords/Tags: Rendra, Indonesian, Javanese, translation, love, fate, god, gods, goddess, groom, bride, world, time, life, sun, hill, hills, moon, moonlight, stars, life, animals?, international, travel, voyage, wedding, relationship, mrbtran



Death Fugue
by Paul Celan
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Black milk of daybreak, we drink you come dusk;
we drink you come midday, come morning, come night;
we drink you and drink you.
We’re digging a grave like a hole in the sky;
there’s sufficient room to lie there.
The man of the house plays with vipers; he writes
in the Teutonic darkness, “Your golden hair Margarete...”
He composes by starlight, whistles hounds to stand by,
whistles Jews to dig graves, where together they’ll lie.
He commands us to strike up bright tunes for the dance!

Black milk of daybreak, we drink you come dusk;
we drink you come dawn, come midday, come night;
we drink you and drink you.
The man of the house plays with serpents; he writes...
he writes as the night falls, “Your golden hair Margarete...
Your ashen hair Shulamith...”
We are digging dark graves where there’s more room, on high.
His screams, “Hey you, dig there!” and “Hey you, sing and dance!”
He grabs his black nightstick, his eyes pallid blue,
screaming, “Hey you―dig deeper! You others―sing, dance!”

Black milk of daybreak, we drink you come dusk;
we drink you come midday, come morning, come night;
we drink you and drink you.
The man of the house writes, “Your golden hair Margarete...
Your ashen hair Shulamith...” as he cultivates snakes.
He screams, “Play Death more sweetly! Death’s the master of Germany!”
He cries, “Scrape those dark strings, soon like black smoke you’ll rise
to your graves in the skies; there’s sufficient room for Jews there!”

Black milk of daybreak, we drink you come midnight;
we drink you come midday; Death’s the master of Germany!
We drink you come dusk; we drink you and drink you...
He’s a master of Death, his pale eyes deathly blue.
He fires leaden slugs, his aim level and true.
He writes as the night falls, “Your golden hair Margarete...”
He unleashes his hounds, grants us graves in the skies.
He plays with his serpents; Death’s the master of Germany...

“Your golden hair Margarete...
your ashen hair Shulamith...”



O, Little Root of a Dream
by Paul Celan
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

O, little root of a dream
you enmire me here;
I’m undermined by blood―
made invisible,
death's possession.

Touch the curve of my face,
that there may yet be an earthly language of ardor,
that someone else’s eyes
may somehow still see me,
though I’m blind,

here where you
deny me voice.



You Were My Death
by Paul Celan
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

You were my death;
I could hold you
when everything abandoned me―
even breath.



Wulf and Eadwacer
ancient Anglo-Saxon poem, circa 960 AD
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My clan's curs pursue him like crippled game;
they'll rip him apart if he approaches their pack.
It is otherwise with us.

Wulf's on one island; we're on another.
His island's a fortress, fastened by fens.
Here, bloodthirsty curs howl for carnage.
They'll rip him apart if he approaches their pack.
It is otherwise with us.

My heart pursued Wulf like a panting hound,
but whenever it rained—how I wept! —
the boldest cur grasped me in its paws:
good feelings for him, but for me loathsome!

Wulf, O, my Wulf, my ache for you
has made me sick; your seldom-comings
have left me famished, deprived of real meat.

Have you heard, Eadwacer? Watchdog!
A wolf has borne our wretched whelp to the woods!
One can easily sever what never was one:
our song together.

Keywords/Tags: Anglo-Saxon, Old English, England, translation, scop, female, women, ****, ******, ***, ****** abuse, ******, lament, complaint, tribalism, tribe, clan, pack, chauvinism, war, wolf, wolves, dog, dogs, hound, hounds, cur, curs, whelp, baby, offspring, island



I Have Labored Sore
anonymous medieval lyric (circa the fifteenth century)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I have labored sore / and suffered death,
so now I rest / and catch my breath.
But I shall come / and call right soon
heaven and earth / and hell to doom.
Then all shall know / both devil and man
just who I was / and what I am.

NOTE: This poem has a pronounced caesura (pause) in the middle of each line: a hallmark of Old English poetry. While this poem is closer to Middle English, it preserves the older tradition. I have represented the caesura with a slash.



A Lyke-Wake Dirge
anonymous medieval lyric (circa the sixteenth century)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The Lie-Awake Dirge is "the night watch kept over a corpse."

This one night, this one night,
every night and all;
fire and sleet and candlelight,
and Christ receive thy soul.

When from this earthly life you pass
every night and all,
to confront your past you must come at last,
and Christ receive thy soul.

If you ever donated socks and shoes,
every night and all,
sit right down and put pull yours on,
and Christ receive thy soul.

But if you never helped your brother,
every night and all,
walk barefoot through the flames of hell,
and Christ receive thy soul.

If ever you shared your food and drink,
every night and all,
the fire will never make you shrink,
and Christ receive thy soul.

But if you never helped your brother,
every night and all,
walk starving through the black abyss,
and Christ receive thy soul.

This one night, this one night,
every night and all;
fire and sleet and candlelight,
and Christ receive thy soul.



This World's Joy
(anonymous Middle English lyric, circa early 14th century AD)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

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



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.



Adam Lay Ybounden
(anonymous Medieval English lyric, circa early 15th century AD)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Adam lay bound, bound in a bond;
Four thousand winters, he thought, were not too long.
And all was for an apple, an apple that he took,
As clerics now find written in their book.
But had the apple not been taken, or had it never been,
We'd never have had our Lady, heaven's queen and matron.
So blesséd be the time the apple was taken thus;
Therefore we sing, "God is gracious! "

The poem has also been rendered as "Adam lay i-bounden" and "Adam lay i-bowndyn."



Excerpt from "Ubi Sunt Qui Ante Nos Fuerunt? "
anonymous Middle English poem, circa 1275
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Where are the men who came before us,
who led hounds and hawks to the hunt,
who commanded fields and woods?
Where are the elegant ladies in their boudoirs
who braided gold through their hair
and had such fair complexions?

Once eating and drinking made their hearts glad;
they enjoyed their games;
men bowed before them;
they bore themselves loftily...
But then, in an eye's twinkling,
their hearts were forlorn.

Where are their laughter and their songs,
the trains of their dresses,
the arrogance of their entrances and exits,
their hawks and their hounds?
All their joy is departed;
their "well" has come to "oh, well"
and to many dark days...



Westron Wynde
(anonymous Middle English lyric, found in a partbook circa 1530 AD, but perhaps written much earlier)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Western wind, when will you blow,
bringing the drizzling rain?
Christ, that my love were in my arms,
and I in my bed again!

NOTE: The original poem has "the smalle rayne down can rayne" which suggests a drizzle or mist, either of which would suggest a dismal day.



Pity Mary
(anonymous Middle English lyric, circa early 13th century AD)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Now the sun passes under the wood:
I rue, Mary, thy face: fair, good.
Now the sun passes under the tree:
I rue, Mary, thy son and thee.

In the poem above, note how "wood" and "tree" invoke the cross while "sun" and "son" seem to invoke each other. Sun-day is also Son-day, to Christians. The anonymous poet who wrote the poem above may have been been punning the words "sun" and "son." The poem is also known as "Now Goeth Sun Under Wood" and "Now Go'th Sun Under Wood."



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!



The Love Song Of Shu-Sin
(the earth's oldest love poem, Sumerian, circa 2,000 BC)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Darling of my heart, my belovéd,
your enticements are sweet, far sweeter than honey.
Darling of my heart, my belovéd,
your enticements are sweet, far sweeter than honey.

You have captivated me; I stand trembling before you.
Darling, lead me swiftly into the bedroom!
You have captivated me; I stand trembling before you.
Darling, lead me swiftly into the bedroom!

Sweetheart, let me do the sweetest things to you!
My precocious caress is far sweeter than honey!
In the bedchamber, dripping love's honey,
let us enjoy life's sweetest thing.
Sweetheart, let me do the sweetest things to you!
My precocious caress is far sweeter than honey!

Bridegroom, you will have your pleasure with me!
Speak to my mother and she will reward you;
speak to my father and he will award you gifts.
I know how to give your body pleasure—
then sleep, my darling, till the sun rises.

To prove that you love me,
give me your caresses,
my Lord God, my guardian Angel and protector,
my Shu-Sin, who gladdens Enlil's heart,
give me your caresses!
My place like sticky honey, touch it with your hand!
Place your hand over it like a honey-*** lid!
Cup your hand over it like a honey cup!

This is a balbale-song of Inanna.

This may be earth's oldest love poem. It may have been written around 2000 BC, long before the Bible's "Song of Solomon, " which had been considered to be the oldest extant love poem by some experts. Shu-Sin was a Mesopotamian king who ruled over the land of Sumer close to four thousand years ago. The poem seems to be part of a rite, probably performed each year, known as the "sacred marriage" or "divine marriage, " in which the king would symbolically marry the goddess Inanna, mate with her, and so ensure fertility and prosperity for the coming year. The king would accomplish this amazing feat by marrying and/or having *** with a priestess or votary of Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of love, fertility and war. Her Akkadian name was Istar/Ishtar, and she was also known as Astarte.



War is Obsolete
by Michael R. Burch

Trump’s war is on children and their mothers.
"An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind." ― Gandhi

War is obsolete;
even the strange machinery of dread
weeps for the child in the street
who cannot lift her head
to reprimand the Man
who failed to countermand
her soft defeat.

But war is obsolete;
even the cold robotic drone
that flies far overhead
has sense enough to moan
and shudder at her plight
(only men bereft of Light
with hearts indurate stone
embrace war’s Siberian night.)

For war is obsolete;
man’s tribal “gods,” long dead,
have fled his awakening sight
while the true Sun, overhead,
has pity on her plight.
O sweet, precipitate Light!―
embrace her, reject the night
that leaves gentle fledglings dead.

For each brute ancestor lies
with his totems and his “gods”
in the slavehold of premature night
that awaited him in his tomb;
while Love, the ancestral womb,
still longs to give birth to the Light.
So which child shall we ****** tonight,
or which Ares condemn to the gloom?

Originally published by The Flea. While campaigning for president in 2016, Donald Trump said that, as commander-in-chief of the American military, he would order American soldiers to track down and ****** women and children as "retribution" for acts of terrorism. When aghast journalists asked Trump if he could possibly have meant what he said, he verified more than once that he did. Keywords/Tags: war, terrorism, retribution, violence, ******, children, Gandhi, Trump, drones



In My House
by Michael R. Burch

When you were in my house
you were not free―
in chains bound.

Manifest Destiny?

I was wrong;
my plantation burned to the ground.
I was wrong.
This is my song,
this is my plea:
I was wrong.

When you are in my house,
now, I am not free.
I feel the song
hurling itself back at me.
We were wrong.
This is my history.

I feel my tongue
stilting accordingly.

We were wrong;
brother, forgive me.

Published by Black Medina



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 . . .

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).



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.



Sunset
by Michael R. Burch

for my grandfather, George Edwin Hurt Sr.

Between the prophecies of morning
and twilight’s revelations of wonder,
the sky is ripped asunder.

The moon lurks in the clouds,
waiting, as if to plunder
the dusk of its lilac iridescence,

and in the bright-tentacled sunset
we imagine a presence
full of the fury of lost innocence.

What we find within strange whorls of drifting flame,
brief patterns mauling winds deform and maim,
we recognize at once, but cannot name.



Water and Gold
by Michael R. Burch

You came to me as rain breaks on the desert
when every flower springs to life at once,
but joy's a wan illusion to the expert:
the Bedouin has learned how not to want.

You came to me as riches to a miser
when all is gold, or so his heart believes,
until he dies much thinner and much wiser,
his gleaming bones hauled off by chortling thieves.

You gave your heart too soon, too dear, too vastly;
I could not take it in; it was too much.
I pledged to meet your price, but promised rashly.
I died of thirst, of your bright Midas touch.

I dreamed you gave me water of your lips,
then sealed my tomb with golden hieroglyphs.

Published by The Lyric, Black Medina, The Eclectic Muse, Kritya (India), Shabestaneh (Iran), Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry, Captivating Poetry (Anthology), Strange Road, Freshet, Shot Glass Journal, Better Than Starbucks, Famous Poets and Poems, Sonnetto Poesia, Poetry Life & Times



Winter Thoughts of Ann Rutledge

Ann Rutledge was apparently Abraham Lincoln’s first love interest. Unfortunately, she was engaged to another man when they met, then died with typhoid fever at age 22. According to a friend, Isaac Cogdal, when asked if he had loved her, Lincoln replied: “It is true―true indeed, I did. I loved the woman dearly and soundly: She was a handsome girl―would have made a good, loving wife … I did honestly and truly love the girl and think often, often of her now.”

Winter Thoughts of Ann Rutledge
by Michael R. Burch

Winter was not easy,
nor would the spring return.
I knew you by your absence,
as men are wont to burn
with strange indwelling fire―
such longings you inspire!

But winter was not easy,
nor would the sun relent
from sculpting ****** images
and how could I repent?
I left quaint offerings in the snow,
more maiden than I care to know.



Ann Rutledge’s Irregular Quilt
by Michael R. Burch

based on “Lincoln the Unknown” by Dale Carnegie

I.
Her fingers “plied the needle” with “unusual swiftness and art”
till Abe knelt down beside her: then her demoralized heart
set Eros’s dart a-quiver; thus a crazy quilt emerged:
strange stitches all a-kilter, all patterns lost. (Her host
kept her vicarious laughter barely submerged.)

II.
Years later she’d show off the quilt with its uncertain stitches
as evidence love undermines men’s plans and unevens women’s strictures
(and a plethora of scriptures.)

III.
But O the sacred tenderness Ann’s reckless stitch contains
and all the world’s felicities: rich cloth, for love’s fine gains,
for sweethearts’ tremulous fingers and their bright, uncertain vows
and all love’s blithe, erratic hopes (like now’s).

IV.
Years later on a pilgrimage, by tenderness obsessed,
Dale Carnegie, drawn to her grave, found weeds in her place of rest
and mowed them back, revealing the spot of Lincoln’s joy and grief
(and his hope and his disbelief).

V.
Yes, such is the tenderness of love, and such are its disappointments.
Love is a book of rhapsodic poems. Love is an grab bag of ointments.
Love is the finger poised, the smile, the Question ― perhaps ― and the Answer?

Love is the pain of betrayal, the two left feet of the dancer.

VI.
There were ladies of ill repute in his past. Or so he thought. Was it true?
And yet he loved them, Ann (sweet Ann!), as tenderly as he loved you.

Keywords/Tags: Abraham Lincoln, Ann Rutledge, history, president, love, lover, mistress, paramour, romance, romantic, quilt, Dale Carnegie



evol-u-shun
by Michael R. Burch

does GOD adore the Tyger
while it’s ripping ur lamb apart?

does GOD applaud the Plague
while it’s eating u à la carte?

does GOD admire ur intelligence
while u pray that IT has a heart?

does GOD endorse the Bible
you blue-lighted at k-mart?



Stay With Me Tonight
by Michael R. Burch

Stay with me tonight;
be gentle with me as the leaves are gentle
falling to the earth.
And whisper, O my love,
how that every bright thing, though scattered afar,
retains yet its worth.

Stay with me tonight;
be as a petal long-awaited blooming in my hand.
Lift your face to mine
and touch me with your lips
till I feel the warm benevolence of your breath’s
heady fragrance like wine.

That which we had
when pale and waning as the dying moon at dawn,
outshone the sun.
And so lead me back tonight
through bright waterfalls of light
to where we shine as one.

Originally published by The Lyric



For All That I Remembered
by Michael R. Burch

For all that I remembered, I forgot
her name, her face, the reason that we loved ...
and yet I hold her close within my thought.
I feel the burnished weight of auburn hair
that fell across her face, the apricot
clean scent of her shampoo, the way she glowed
so palely in the moonlight, angel-wan.

The memory of her gathers like a flood
and bears me to that night, that only night,
when she and I were one, and if I could ...
I'd reach to her this time and, smiling, brush
the hair out of her eyes, and hold intact
each feature, each impression. Love is such
a threadbare sort of magic, it is gone
before we recognize it. I would crush
my lips to hers to hold their memory,
if not more tightly, less elusively.

Originally published by The Raintown Review



What the Poet Sees
by Michael R. Burch

What the poet sees,
he sees as a swimmer
~~~underwater~~~
watching the shoreline blur
sees through his breath’s weightless bubbles ...
Both worlds grow obscure.

Published by ByLine, Mandrake Poetry Review, Poetically Speaking, E Mobius Pi, Underground Poets, Little Brown Poetry, Little Brown Poetry, Triplopia, Poetic Ponderings, Poem Kingdom, PW Review, Neovictorian/Cochlea, Muse Apprentice Guild, Mindful of Poetry, Poetry on Demand, Poet’s Haven, Famous Poets and Poems, and Bewildering Stories



The Octopi Jars
by Michael R. Burch

Long-vacant eyes
now lodged in clear glass,
a-swim with pale arms
as delicate as angels'...

you are beyond all hope
of salvage now...
and yet I would pause,
no fear!,
to once touch
your arcane beaks...

I, more alien than you
to this imprismed world,
notice, most of all,
the scratches on the inside surfaces
of your hermetic cells ...

and I remember documentaries
of albino Houdinis
slipping like wraiths
over the walls of shipboard aquariums,
slipping down decks'
brine-lubricated planks,
spilling jubilantly into the dark sea,
parachuting through clouds of pallid ammonia...

and I know now in life you were unlike me:
your imprisonment was never voluntary.



escape!
by michael r. burch

to live among the daffodil folk . . .
slip down the rainslickened drainpipe . . .
suddenly pop out
the GARGANTUAN SPOUT . . .
minuscule as alice, shout
yippee-yi-yee!
in wee exultant glee
to be leaving behind the
LARGE
THREE-DENALI GARAGE.



Escape!!
by Michael R. Burch

You are too beautiful,
too innocent,
too inherently lovely
to merely reflect the sun’s splendor ...

too full of irresistible candor
to remain silent,
too delicately fawnlike
for a world so violent ...

Come, my beautiful Bambi
and I will protect you ...
but of course you have already been lured away
by the dew-laden roses ...



In Praise of Meter
by Michael R. Burch

The earth is full of rhythms so precise
the octave of the crystal can produce
a trillion oscillations, yet not lose
a second's beat. The ear needs no device
to hear the unsprung rhythms of the couch
drown out the mouth's; the lips can be debauched
by kisses, should the heart put back its watch
and find the pulse of love, and sing, devout.
If moons and tides in interlocking dance
obey their numbers, what's been left to chance?
Should poets be more lax―their circumstance
as humble as it is?―or readers wince
to see their ragged numbers thin, to hear
the moans of drones drown out the Chanticleer?

Originally published by The Eclectic Muse, then in The Best of the Eclectic Muse 1989-2003



Finally to Burn
(the Fall and Resurrection of Icarus)
by Michael R. Burch

Athena takes me
sometimes by the hand

and we go levitating
through strange Dreamlands

where Apollo sleeps
in his dark forgetting

and Passion seems
like a wise bloodletting

and all I remember
,upon awaking,

is: to Love sometimes
is like forsaking

one’s Being―to glide
heroically beyond thought,

forsaking the here
for the There and the Not.



O, finally to Burn,
gravity beyond escaping!

To plummet is Bliss
when the blisters breaking

rain down red scabs
on the earth’s mudpuddle ...

Feathers and wax
and the watchers huddle ...

Flocculent sheep,
O, and innocent lambs!,

I will rock me to sleep
on the waves’ iambs.



To sleep's sweet relief
from Love’s exhausting Dream,

for the Night has Wings
gentler than moonbeams―

they will flit me to Life
like a huge-eyed Phoenix

fluttering off
to quarry the Sphinx.



Riddlemethis,
riddlemethat,

Rynosseross,
throw out the Welcome Mat.

Quixotic, I seek Love
amid the tarnished

rusted-out steel
when to live is varnish.

To Dream―that’s the thing!
Aye, that Genie I’ll rub,

soak by the candle,
aflame in the tub.



Riddlemethis,
riddlemethat,

Rynosseross,
throw out the Welcome Mat.

Somewhither, somewhither
aglitter and strange,

we must moult off all knowledge
or perish caged.

*

I am reconciled to Life
somewhere beyond thought―

I’ll Live the Elsewhere,
I’ll Dream of the Naught.

Methinks it no journey;
to tarry’s a waste,

so fatten the oxen;
make a nice baste.

I’m coming, Fool Tom,
we have Somewhere to Go,

though we injure noone,
ourselves wildaglow.

Published by The Lyric and The Ekphrastic Review



Chit Chat: In the Poetry Chat Room
by Michael R. Burch

WHY SHULD I LERN TO SPELL?
HELL,
NO ONE REEDS WHAT I SAY
ANYWAY!!! :(

Sing for the cool night,
whispers of constellations.
Sing for the supple grass,
the tall grass, gently whispering.
Sing of infinities, multitudes,
of all that lies beyond us now,
whispers begetting whispers.
And i am glad to also whisper . . .

I WUS HURT IN LUV I’M DYIN’
FER TH’ TEARS I BEEN A-CRYIN’!!!

i abide beyond serenities
and realms of grace,
above love’s misdirected earth,
i lift my face.
i am beyond finding now . . .

I WAS IN, LOVE, AND HE ******* ME!!!
THE ****!!! TOTALLY!!!

i loved her once, before, when i
was mortal too, and sometimes i
would listen and distinctly hear
her laughter from the juniper,
but did not go . . .

I JUST DON’T GET POETRY, SOMETIMES.
IT’S OKAY, I GUESS.
I REALLY DON’T READ THAT MUCH AT ALL,
I MUST CONFESS!!! ;-)

Travail, inherent to all flesh,
i do not know, nor how to feel.
Although i sing them nighttimes still:
the bitter woes, that do not heal . . .

POETRY IS BORING.
SEE, IT *****!!!, I’M SNORING!!! ZZZZZZZ!!!

The words like breath, i find them here,
among the fragrant juniper,
and conifers amid the snow,
old loves imagined long ago . . .

WHY DON’T YOU LIKE MY PERFICKT WORDS
YOU USELESS UN-AMERIC’N TURDS?!!!

What use is love, to me, or Thou?
O Words, my awe, to fly so smooth
above the anguished hearts of men
to heights unknown, Thy bare remove . . .



Habeas Corpus
by Michael R. Burch

from “Songs of the Antinatalist”

I have the results of your DNA analysis.
If you want to have children, this may induce paralysis.
I wish I had good news, but how can I lie?
Any offspring you have are guaranteed to die.
It wouldn’t be fair—I’m sure you’ll agree—
to sentence kids to death, so I’ll waive my fee.



faith(less)
by Michael R. Burch

Those who believed
and Those who misled
lie together at last
in the same narrow bed

and if god loved Them more
for Their strange lack of doubt,
he kept it well hidden
till he snuffed Them out.

ah-men!



honeybee
by michael r. burch

love was a little treble thing—
prone to sing
and (sometimes) to sting



honeydew
by michael r. burch

i sampled honeysuckle
and it made my taste buds buckle!



Kissin’ ’n’ buzzin’
by Michael R. Burch

Kissin’ ’n’ buzzin’
the bees rise
in a dizzy circle of two.
Oh, when I’m with you,
I feel like kissin’ ’n’ buzzin’ too.



Huntress
Michael R. Burch

Lynx-eyed cat-like and cruel you creep
across a crevice dropping deep
into a dark and doomed domain
Your claws are sheathed. You smile, insane
Rain falls upon your path and pain
pours down. Your paws are pierced. You pause
and heed the oft-lamented laws
which bid you not begin again
till night returns. You wail like wind,
the sighing of a soul for sin,
and give up hunting for a heart.
Till sunset falls again, depart,
though hate and hunger urge you—"On!"
Heed, hearts, your hope—the break of dawn.



Ibykos Fragment 286 (III)
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Come spring, the grand
apple trees stand
watered by a gushing river
where the maidens’ uncut flowers shiver
and the blossoming grape vine swells
in the gathering shadows.

Unfortunately
for me
Eros never rests
but like a Thracian tempest
ablaze with lightning
emanates from Aphrodite;

the results are frightening—
black,
bleak,
astonishing,
violently jolting me from my soles
to my soul.

Originally published by The Chained Muse



Ince St. Child
by Michael R. Burch

When she was a child
in a dark forest of fear,
imagination cast its strange light
into secret places,
scattering traces
of illumination so bright,
years later, she could still find them there,
their light undefiled.

When she was young,
the shafted light of her dreams
shone on her uplifted face
as she prayed ...
though she strayed
into a night fallen like woven lace
shrouding the forest of screams,
her faith led her home.

Now she is old
and the light that was flame
is a slow-dying ember ...
what she felt then
she would explain;
she would if she could only remember
that forest of shame,
faith beaten like gold.

This was an unusual poem, and it took me some time to figure out who the old woman was. She was a victim of childhood ******, hence the title I eventually came up with.



Lullaby
by Michael R. Burch

for Jeremy

Cherubic laugh; sly, impish grin;
Angelic face; wild chimp within.

It does not matter; sleep awhile
As soft mirth tickles forth a smile.

Gray moths will hum a lullaby
Of feathery wings, then you and I

Will wake together, by and by.

Life’s not long; those days are best
Spent snuggled to a loving breast.

The earth will wait; a sun-filled sky
Will bronze lean muscle, by and by.

Soon you will sing, and I will sigh,
But sleep here, now, for you and I

Know nothing but this lullaby.



Remembrance
by Michael R. Burch

Remembrance like a river rises;
the rain of recollection falls;
frail memories, like vines, entangled,
cling to Time's collapsing walls.

The past is like a distant mist,
the future like a far-off haze,
the present half-distinct an hour
before it blurs with unseen days.



Righteous
by Michael R. Burch

Come to me tonight
in the twilight, O, and the full moon rising,
spectral and ancient, will mutter a prayer.

Gather your hair
and pin it up, knowing
that I will release it a moment anon.

We are not one,
nor is there a scripture
to sanctify nights you might spend in my arms,

but the swarms
of bright stars revolving above us
revel tonight, the most ardent of lovers.

Published by Writer’s Gazette, Tucumcari Literary Review and The Chained Muse



R.I.P.
by Michael R. Burch

When I am lain to rest
and my soul is no longer intact,
but dissolving, like a sunset
diminishing to the west ...

and when at last
before His throne my past
is put to test
and the demons and the Beast

await to feast
on any morsel downward cast,
while the vapors of impermanence
cling, smelling of damask ...

then let me go, and do not weep
if I am left to sleep,
to sleep and never dream, or dream, perhaps,
only a little longer and more deep.

Originally published by Romantics Quarterly



The Shape of Mourning
by Michael R. Burch

The shape of mourning
is an oiled creel
shining with unuse,

the bolt of cold steel
on a locker
shielding memory,

the monthly penance
of flowers,
the annual wake,

the face in the photograph
no longer dissolving under scrutiny,
becoming a keepsake,

the useless mower
lying forgotten
in weeds,

rings and crosses and
all the paraphernalia
the soul no longer needs.



I Know The Truth
by Marina Tsvetaeva
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

I know the truth―abandon lesser truths!

There's no need for anyone living to struggle!
See? Evening falls, night quickly descends!
So why the useless disputes―generals, poets, lovers?

The wind is calming now; the earth is bathed in dew;
the stars' infernos will soon freeze in the heavens.
And soon we'll sleep together, under the earth,
we who never gave each other a moment's rest above it.



I Know The Truth (Alternate Ending)
by Marina Tsvetaeva
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I know the truth―abandon lesser truths!

There's no need for anyone living to struggle!
See? Evening falls, night quickly descends!
So why the useless disputes―generals, poets, lovers?

The wind caresses the grasses; the earth gleams, damp with dew;
the stars' infernos will soon freeze in the heavens.
And soon we'll lie together under the earth,
we who were never united above it.



Poems about Moscow
by Marina Tsvetaeva
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

5
Above the city Saint Peter once remanded to hell
now rolls the delirious thunder of the bells.

As the thundering high tide eventually reverses,
so, too, the woman who once bore your curses.

To you, O Great Peter, and you, O Great Tsar, I kneel!
And yet the bells above me continually peal.

And while they keep ringing out of the pure blue sky,
Moscow's eminence is something I can't deny ...

though sixteen hundred churches, nearby and afar,
all gaily laugh at the hubris of the Tsars.

8
Moscow, what a vast
uncouth hostel of a home!
In Russia all are homeless
so all to you must come.

A knife stuck in each boot-top,
each back with its shameful brand,
we heard you from far away.
You called us: here we stand.

Because you branded us criminals
for every known kind of ill,
we seek the all-compassionate Saint,
the haloed one who heals.

And there behind that narrow door
where the uncouth rabble pour,
we seek the red-gold radiant heart
of Iver, who loved the poor.

Now, as "Halleluiah" floods
bright fields that blaze to the west,
O sacred Russian soil,
I kneel here to kiss your breast!



Insomnia
by Marina Tsvetaeva
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

2
In my enormous city it is night
as from my house I step beyond the light;
some people think I'm daughter, mistress, wife ...
but I am like the blackest thought of night.

July's wind sweeps a way for me to stray
toward soft music faintly blowing, somewhere.
The wind may blow until bright dawn, new day,
but will my heart in its rib-cage really care?

Black poplars brushing windows filled with light ...
strange leaves in hand ... faint music from distant towers ...
retracing my steps, there's nobody lagging behind ...
This shadow called me? There's nobody here to find.

The lights are like golden beads on invisible threads ...
the taste of dark night in my mouth is a bitter leaf ...
O, free me from shackles of being myself by day!
Friends, please understand: I'm only a dreamlike belief.



Poems for Akhmatova
by Marina Tsvetaeva
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

4
You outshine everything, even the sun
at its zenith. The stars are yours!
If only I could sweep like the wind
through some unbarred door,
gratefully, to where you are ...

to hesitantly stammer, suddenly shy,
lowering my eyes before you, my lovely mistress,
petulant, chastened, overcome by tears,
as a child sobs to receive forgiveness ...



This gypsy passion of parting!
by Marina Tsvetaeva
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

This gypsy passion of parting!
We meet, and are ready for flight!
I rest my dazed head in my hands,
and think, staring into the night ...

that no one, perusing our letters,
will ever understand the real depth
of just how sacrilegious we were,
which is to say we had faith,

in ourselves.



The Appointment
by Marina Tsvetaeva
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I will be late for the appointed meeting.
When I arrive, my hair will be gray,
because I abused spring.
And your expectations were much too high!

I shall feel the effects of the bitter mercury for years.
(Ophelia tasted, but didn't spit out, the rue.)
I will trudge across mountains and deserts,
trampling souls and hands without flinching,

living on, as the earth continues
with blood in every thicket and creek.
But always Ophelia's pallid face will peer out
from between the grasses bordering each stream.

She took a swig of passion, only to fill her mouth
with silt. Like a shaft of light on metal,
I set my sights on you, highly. Much too high
in the sky, where I have appointed my dust its burial.



Rails
by Marina Tsvetaeva
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The railway bed's steel-blue parallel tracks
are ruled out, neatly as musical staves.

Over them, people are transported
like possessed Pushkin creatures
whose song has been silenced.
See them: arriving, departing?

And yet they still linger,
the note of their pain remaining ...
always rising higher than love, as the poles freeze
to the embankment, like Lot's wife transformed to salt, forever.

Despair has arranged my fate
as someone arranges a wedding;
then, like a voiceless Sappho
I must weep like a pain-wracked seamstress

with the mute lament of a marsh heron!
Then the departing train
will hoot above the sleepers
as its wheels slice them to ribbons.

In my eye the colors blur
to a glowing but meaningless red.
All young women, at times,
are tempted by such a bed!



Every Poem is a Child of Love
by Marina Tsvetaeva
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Every poem is a child of love,
A destitute ******* chick
A fledgling blown down from the heights above―
Left of its nest? Not a stick.
Each heart has its gulf and its bridge.
Each heart has its blessings and griefs.
Who is the father? A liege?
Maybe a liege, or a thief.



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.



Hearthside
by Michael R. Burch

“When you are old and grey and full of sleep...” ― W. B. Yeats

For all that we professed of love, we knew
this night would come, that we would bend alone
to tend wan fires’ dimming bars―the moan
of wind cruel as the Trumpet, gelid dew
an eerie presence on encrusted logs
we hoard like jewels, embrittled so ourselves.

The books that line these close, familiar shelves
loom down like dreary chaperones. Wild dogs,
too old for mates, cringe furtive in the park,
as, toothless now, I frame this parchment kiss.

I do not know the words for easy bliss
and so my shriveled fingers clutch this stark,
long-unenamored pen and will it: Move.
I loved you more than words, so let words prove.

This sonnet is written from the perspective of the great Irish poet William Butler Yeats in his loose translation or interpretation of the Pierre de Ronsard sonnet “When You Are Old.” The aging Yeats thinks of his Muse and the love of his life, the fiery Irish revolutionary Maude Gonne. As he seeks to warm himself by a fire conjured from ice-encrusted logs, he imagines her doing the same. Although Yeats had insisted that he wasn’t happy without Gonne, she said otherwise: “Oh yes, you are, because you make beautiful poetry out of what you call your unhappiness and are happy in that. Marriage would be such a dull affair. Poets should never marry. The world should thank me for not marrying you!”



Yahya Kemal Beyatli translations

Yahya Kemal Beyatli (1884-1958) was a Turkish poet, editor, columnist and historian, as well as a politician and diplomat. Born born Ahmet Âgâh, he wrote under the pen names Agâh Kemal, Esrar, Mehmet Agâh, and Süleyman Sadi. He served as Turkey’s ambassador to Poland, Portugal and Pakistan.



Sessiz Gemi (“Silent Ship”)
by Yahya Kemal Beyatli
loose translation by Nurgül Yayman and Michael R. Burch

for the refugees

The time to weigh anchor has come;
a ship departing harbor slips quietly out into the unknown,
cruising noiselessly, its occupants already ghosts.
No flourished handkerchiefs acknowledge their departure;
the landlocked mourners stand nurturing their grief,
scanning the bleak horizon, their eyes blurring...
Poor souls! Desperate hearts! But this is hardly the last ship departing!
There is always more pain to unload in this sorrowful life!
The hesitations of lovers and their belovèds are futile,
for they cannot know where the vanished are bound.
Many hopes must be quenched by the distant waves,
since years must pass, and no one returns from this journey.



Full Moon
by Yahya Kemal Beyatli
loose translation by Nurgül Yayman and Michael R. Burch

You are so lovely
the full moon just might
delight
in your rising,
as curious
and bright,
to vanquish night.

But what can a mortal man do,
dear,
but hope?
I’ll ponder your mysteries
and (hmmmm) try to
cope.

We both know
you have every right to say no.



The Music of the Snow
by Yahya Kemal Beyatli
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

This melody of a night lasting longer than a thousand years!
This music of the snow supposed to last for thousand years!

Sorrowful as the prayers of a secluded monastery,
It rises from a choir of a hundred voices!

As the *****’s harmonies resound profoundly,
I share the sufferings of Slavic grief.

Then my mind drifts far from this city, this era,
To the old records of Tanburi Cemil Bey.

Now I’m suddenly overjoyed as once again I hear,
With the ears of my heart, the purest sounds of Istanbul!

Thoughts of the snow and darkness depart me;
I keep them at bay all night with my dreams!

Translator’s notes: “Slavic grief” because Beyatli wrote this poem while in Warsaw, serving as Turkey’s ambassador to Poland, in 1927. Tanburi Cemil Bey was a Turkish composer. Keywords/Tags: Beyatli, Agah, Kemal, Esrar, Turkish, translation, Turkey, silent, ship, anchor, harbor, ghosts, grief, Istanbul, moon, music, snow



Shadows
by Michael R. Burch

Alone again as evening falls,
I join gaunt shadows and we crawl
up and down my room's dark walls.

Up and down and up and down,
against starlight―strange, mirthless clowns―
we merge, emerge, submerge . . . then drown.

We drown in shadows starker still,
shadows of the somber hills,
shadows of sad selves we spill,

tumbling, to the ground below.
There, caked in grimy, clinging snow,
we flutter feebly, moaning low

for days dreamed once an age ago
when we weren't shadows, but were men . . .
when we were men, or almost so.



Recursion
by Michael R. Burch

In a dream I saw boys lying
under banners gaily flying
and I heard their mothers sighing
from some dark distant shore.

For I saw their sons essaying
into fields—gleeful, braying—
their bright armaments displaying;
such manly oaths they swore!

From their playfields, boys returning
full of honor’s white-hot burning
and desire’s restless yearning
sired new kids for the corps.

In a dream I saw boys dying
under banners gaily lying
and I heard their mothers crying
from some dark distant shore.



To Have Loved
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Published by The Raintown Review, Triplopia, The Electic Muse, The Chained Muse, The Pennsylvania Review, and in a YouTube recital by David B. Gosselin. This is, of course, a poem about the famous Helen of Troy, whose face "launched a thousand ships."



Lines for My Ascension
by Michael R. Burch

I.
If I should die,
there will come a Doom,
and the sky will darken
to the deepest Gloom.

But if my body
should not be found,
never think of me
in the cold ground.

II.
If I should die,
let no mortal say,
“Here was a man,
with feet of clay,

or a timid sparrow
God’s hand let fall.”
But watch the sky darken
to an eerie pall

and know that my Spirit,
unvanquished, broods,
and cares naught for graves,
prayers, coffins, or roods.

And if my body
should not be found,
never think of me
in the cold ground.

III.
If I should die,
let no man adore
his incompetent Maker:
Zeus, Jehovah, or Thor.

Think of Me as One
who never died―
the unvanquished Immortal
with the unriven side.

And if my body
should not be found,
never think of me
in the cold ground.

IV.
And if I should “die,”
though the clouds grow dark
as fierce lightnings rend
this bleak asteroid, stark ...

If you look above,
you will see a bright Sign―
the sun with the moon
in its arms, Divine.

So divine, if you can,
my bright meaning, and know―
my Spirit is mine.
I will go where I go.

And if my body
should not be found,
never think of me
in the cold ground.



The Quickening
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

I never meant to love you
when I held you in my arms
promising you sagely
wise, noncommittal charms.

And I never meant to need you
when I touched your tender lips
with kisses that intrigued my own—
such kisses I had never known,
nor a heartbeat in my fingertips!



Ah! Sunflower
by Michael R. Burch

after William Blake

O little yellow flower
like a star...
how beautiful,
how wonderful
we are!



Published as the collection "Kajal"
MAJD S Mar 2013
And she talks while my hands shiver
She’s a lie
She’s a lie
She’s a live representation of untruthfulness
A great portal of unworthy in-transparency
A grand stand of podiums and microphones
Flat screen tv’s
With radios and horns pumping your blood to your brains
Blocking your sight
And vision
Rocking impure notes
Of Dead metal
She’s a lie
My love is a lie
My love is a lie
Shedding tears on what she stole
Breaking my heart and taking it all
Spring time flowers and I fall
Beneath the trees

of beautiful regret
And powerful surrender
Trees that I used to climb
To look at her window
And see the angel of death never so beautiful
She’s a lie
My love is a lie
My love is a lie…
She turned out to be a democratic state
A hypocrite dictating my heart
Controlling my thoughts and my work
My wild imaginations…

Deciding my past
Exiting my present
Ending my future
She’s a lie
My love is a lie
My love is a lie
All the big people we are
And we accept our lies
The created trickeries
To satisfy our needs
To be taken care of
While we take care of our own commonplace matters
And one of them is you
Because you’re a lie
Everyone’s a lie…
Shannon May 2014
here's the part where you lie to me.
here is the part where you lie.
effortless as i rake my fingers across you shoulder blades.
and i feel the bones connecting.
here is the part where you lie.
and you say you love me.
(that's not the lie)
and i keep tracing circles on your shoulder
and you lie in the same circle and
you lie.
as we lay, as we lie in bed.
as i feel your your skin under my fingers.
and you lie to me.
and i don't want to hear the truth.
and you don't want to tell the truth
so we lie and we lay
in the bed that wraps around our feet and the truth
tangles between our intertwined legs and
the truth creeps up our thighs and the
truth tickles our bellies
and we lay
and the lie dances and
the truth, that willful truth thrusts
and we lie like lovers do.
and we lie like lovers will.
and we lay
and we lay intertwined like ivy on the old brick wall.
and the truth, it hurts.
and we lay. and we lay.
and the lie it bleeds through us
and we lay.

sahn 5/24/14
thank you.
Mateuš Conrad Oct 2018
.when did i realize there was no point in lying? people who are pathological liars tend to forget, the scrutiny of memory; my god, memory has a bias for scrutiny, why do you think the powers-at-be are relentless in exhausting it with scholastic examination, marking, the whole rubric of needless demands?! lying also erodes the capacity to engulf and, keep, memories... telling the truth, counter-wise? memory becomes a cinema... whenever i remember something, i remember it because it was truthful, and it becomes a subversive cinema reel that i sometimes tune into... point about pathological liars, they're just like the pristine students in the days of high school... they end up being the best students... given? for the lie to be true, they have to remember the lie, word for word, by a demand that demands them to disclose it, and they can't make variations... you have to keep the lie as intact as an eye aiming to bite into that forbidden apple... you deviate... the lie implodes... lie covers lie until what takes place, is, until enough coverings the original lie is covered with, a naked statue emerges... satan's original sin was a lie... man's "original" sin was... that it was altogether... "original"... to transcend the stated law; you can't be a liar, and have a ****** faculty for memory... you lie, bad, real bad, if you don't have photographic memory... bad liars make bad killers / accusers... to lie... you need to remember the original focus of the subsequent thread! and there's only one thread of events... you can't juxtapose what happens contrary to what is thought, because thought is a theta-precursor of a moral: ought... plus we're mortal! **** only happens once for us paupers of existence!

you know, sometimes you have to bring a few songs back
into your abode having walked the nightly death toll..
the maneouvre,
   the manouevre...
the manouvre...
**** it... it's French, which is worse than English
on the number of surds and what equates into the clarification
of syllable...
there's this son of a site manager on site at where
my father works...
he asked...
for the spelling of the word: T O R C H...
there are only two syllables!
   tor-ch! chitty chitty lucky fucky thai bang bang!
it's not even natives who are proud...
proud as in: up-keeping something...
these ******* make us look silly
defending their culture...
seriously?
you can spell T O R C H?
   give me a breather...
                        i'm not joking when,
i try to joke, that these people exist...
apparently the claim that we're all literate
isn't true...
i know the authorities promised us
a literate mass of people...
but apparently that's not true...
the whole:
but it's the 21st century argument... ???
gone, out the ******* window,
we're starting over...
it's not happening!
no chance in hell!
i'm not buying this *******
quest for an en masse literacy project...
no... sorry.. not happening...
   i don't, speak, French...
   and even though the English primary school
system is superior to the secondary schools,
esp. the faith schools...
  i should be speaking a third language
by now...
   namely German, which is why i'm teasing
using it...
French? no! no! i don#t understand
the logic behind hiding syllables
and exposing sometimes unnecessary
diacritical marks!
**** don't float,
moreover: it doesn't flow!
it's not a ******* river,
or a **** exposed to a high concentration
of fat!
no!
         it's not happening!
whatever the English think that
somehow speaking French will do to their
children... it's... gone!
i'm not thaat honk of a clumsy
**** facet... forget it...
they might have the better good...
but in terms of linguistics?
is Dianna Specer alive?
thought so...
   i wouldn't dare to even send my shadow
into that custard clumsy clown
show of a mine field of mistakes:
just readied for my mistake to take place...
but as you do,
walking back home,
in the scary streets of outer suburbia...
scary men, scary witches...
ooh... can get a man better
than a ******...
                 that famous, "supposed":
thrill of the chase...
more like:
i've got one, let's have another one...
hope you're enjoying your harem
you little camel jockey...
i'll side with the Iranians
and the Bangladeshi...
never the ******* undertaker
of the desert switch and frivolity -
isn't... "frivolience"
and adjective, without an affix, -ness?
yes, -ness is an affix,
not a suffix...
           a quality agitator of
a, somehow, mundane word...
but rarely does it happen,
coming home with songs
that begin and end
with rotting christ's
(greek black metal)
                     Κατά τον δαίμονα εαυτού
album,
and begin with
the soft moon's album,
of the same name, debut...
rarely...
        usually my way of thinking
is such shrapnel material
that i notice the difference...
this time i couldn't...

i couldn't help that instance,
in my memory cinema
with regards to an incident in the night...

i write fast, so i don't lie,
i'm probably prone to write
faster than you read...

the traffic incident involving
two cars parked prior to an X
junction with a pack
of deer in the middle of it,
and me walking past from a drinking
session in a field of wheat,
drunk like a skunk,
noticing a young deer-ling
looking back at me...

so i gave it the chase...
i charged at it...
the flock of deer with their offspring
ran down the road,
and jumped over the fence,
and into the opening of
a field, subsequently into a forest...
so i managed the traffic incident...

now...
   am i lying?
and i would lie because.... ?
what, likes, shares the whole sha-bang of
using social media?
     em...
   i groove to the clash's
rock the casbah...

   sure, three mares,
about five young Bambi types...

BUT...

   what if a, ******* stag was there
to boot?
Santa not getting enough horn
*****?!
       how am i supposed to know
if a harem just lost its
alpha met, and is standing
disorientated in human
cement territory?

                 i'm not a child...
   i get bored, as i got bored of
lying, a long time ago...
           it's pointless to make *******
impressions on people,
which, you will evidently never meet once
more...

             yeah... deer, no i didn't count
how many there were...
i'm pretty ******* sure there
wasn't a stag in sight..

otherwise i'd be musing how many
imaginary acorns i could shoot from
my ***... with those antennas
shoved up my ***...

but traffic problem solved...
what was funny was that i didn't finish
my beer...

   Santa...
on an imaginary sleigh,,,
deer in front, no reins...
running like a madman
with a can of beer in one hand.
Elizabeth Ann Jun 2013
In the beginning was me

I would sing my songs
And wear a smile
I would dance and dance
In circles 'till tired
I was as happy as could be
For I was nothing
But wonderful me

But then there was the lie
__

In the beginning there was me
Just me and the lie

Wherever I went
The lie went too
When I was sad
The lie would be also
And when I was angry
The lie would be angry as well
And the two of us felt just swell

It was me and the lie
The lie and me
And that is how it was
__

In the beginning there was us
I became it
And it I
Until there was no difference
Between me and the lie
We cut and we swore
And we rattled our chains
Together, not two,
But one in the same
It roared, I roared
It gnashed its teeth and so did I
Until I grew tired tired tired
And let out a sigh

Then it was no longer me
Just the lie
__

In the beginning was the lie

It would scream and yell
And throw a fit
It would stare into darkness
And sometimes just sit
There was no happy, no smiles, no laughs
There was only and angry rage
That burned and burned
Like the eyes of a lion
Pacing its cage

It was no longer I
Only the lie
In the end
Emily Jun 2014
I sit in my corner of lies,
It's these four walls I despise.
Everywhere I look I see a glimpse,
Of everything I seem to miss .

I lie,
I cheat,
But it's myself I cannot beat.

I scream,
I cry,
But to myself I cannot lie.

These walls are crumbling faster now
This I wish I did not allow.
I'm swimming in this thick sea of lies
My excuses I do not buy.

I lie,
I cheat,
But it's myself I cannot beat.

I scream,
I cry,
But to myself I cannot lie.

The walls have tumbled to the ground,
My common sense; its nowhere to be found.
One lie leads to another,
Now more than every I need my mother.

I lie,
I cheat,
But it's myself I cannot beat.

I scream,
I cry,
But to myself I cannot lie.

I know there is not anything I can say,
To change what happened that day.
Who I am I trying to fool?
It's my emotions that mask, rule.

I lie,
I cheat,
But it's myself I cannot beat.

I scream,
I cry,
But to myself I cannot lie.

"Sorry" is the best I can do
Its the answer I never knew till now
It's not my fault,
it was you who broke our vow

I lie,
I cheat,
But it's myself I cannot beat.

I scream,
I cry,
But to myself I cannot lie.

Don't tell me how to cope, to feeling
I deal, how I deal.
I'm no longer associating myself with you,
My life, wall to wall,
just keeps on crashing because your so untrue

You lie
You cheat
But it's me you cannot beat

You scream
You cry
But to me you cannot successfully lie
Andrew Parker Apr 2014
Speak Power to Truth, but watch out for Lie Poem
3/01/2014

Sometimes we are afraid to speak Truth to Power.
Have you ever heard that phrase uttered
by some token card pushing sack of potatoes?

I want to know :
Who are these Truth and Power characters?
Why are we afraid to speak with them?

Fear not, I'll break it down,

I met Truth in 8th grade,
watched friends steal candy from a store,
then they shouted, "Wynn go take some more."
Egging on persistent - I couldn't ignore.
I snuck the snack in to my pocket,
pretended I dropped it.
left enough change on the counter
to pay for my friends and more,
high hived my friend Truth as I walked out the door.

I met Power high up in a tower
of offices.
That's right, Power is a bureaucrat who stamps a time clock.
Every single weekday,
as a weak single,
like you and me, maybe.
Power worked for my university
signed my paychecks,
and didn't like me at all.
Power threw a power trip, extorted, blackmailed me and all,
I got was secret meetings behind closed doors,
Power threw me out
said Wynn we don't need you anymore.

I met Truth a 2nd time when I fell in love
and had Truth tell me, Wynn admit it,
this isn't the stranger you've been dreaming of.
But I didn't follow Truth's advice,
Instead I listened to Lie,
and continued to suffer
until emotionally I wanted to die.

Lie, is another character you will tend to get involved with.
Each day in a mirror Lie reviews your clothes,
whispers in your ear you should starve,
need to become beautiful,
to lose weight,
and change french fries for grapes.
Lie wears a funny suit and shows up at your door,
will try to sell you **** on silver platters,
as if you needed anymore,

Power came again to me,
at a protest in the mall,
said freeze, put your hands in the air,
don't move, stay where you are.
Power wields handcuffs,
forged from metal, emotions, or money.
Power is tall and attractive.
Can be so friendly, sweet like honey.
Power is secretly a business partner of everyone in your life.
Power will be there for those who afford to buy its might.

Lie is the friend who your parents say you should kick out of your house,
but instead you awkwardly end up inviting to dinner.
Lie timed their visit strategically.
To dine at your table for free.
(Lie doesn't identify with gender pronouns by the way).

So speak Power to Truth, but watch out for Lie,
because Truth needs Power most,
and Lie will try to hide,
not caring for reasons why.
Harold r Hunt Sr Sep 2014
To Many lies
You tell to many lies to be able to tell the truth.
One lie for this,one lie for that.
One lie to cover that lie which was a lie to start.
Lie who you are or a lie where you have been.
A lie what you eat or a lie for what you lied about.
Even a lie about your golf. Or a lie to your wife who else.
Just to many lie about a lie which could be the truth if you just wouldn't lie.
Josh Alexander Apr 2014
Love is the greatest lie of all
It is pushed on to us from the very first moments of existence
To the last moments of life
And even in death
We can't get a break
The pastor says love is eternal
The rabbi says love is tradition
The imam says love is paradise
And the basketful of others declare that love is immortal
That love will stand the test of time
as if it's some giant monument made of steel

But it isn’t a monument
Love is a word
And words sell

They tell you love is a bag of Lay's potato chips
and can of Coke on a hot July afternoon
When you close the door of your new Lexus, they tell you that's love
'For 15 cents a day you could help feed a child' is love
If it's certified, inspected, marked and labeled with a big gold ribbon and covered in little guarantee stickers or the ever cheerful faces of old timey slaves, it's love
And that jolly old man from the North Pole who sits with your kids telling them everything they want to hear,
that's love too
If it feels good it's love
if it tastes good it's love
if it looks good, smells good, sounds good it's love
is love
is love
is love

But that's the lie
Love
Behind the words and the colorful pictures
there is no love
there is only a man working three jobs trying to get the rent on time while saving up some money for his daughters' college fund, but knowing that he'll probably get evicted anyways because the land lady doesn't like Mexicans.
Or a group of shareholders discussing fiscal projections for the new quarter after hiding millions of dollars in unfilled tax returns that went directly into the pockets of a few.
Or a kid trying to decide whether or not to pay a dollar for an ice tea or give it to the *** on the corner,
but buying an ice tea anyways because he knows that bums are *****
and should get a job (at least that's what the TV said)

Love is the greatest lie of all
Because love isn't just a word
It isn't a product
It isn't a construct of human society to exploit our humanity
To take advantage of us so we blindly conform as they dance around the board room table
with fistfuls of hearts bleeding in their hands
All while singing "Love is! Love is! Love is!"
Grinning and snickering as if they had discovered the fountain of youth

Love is not that
Love is a lie
The most beautiful lie of all
Breaking the framework of our reality
Shattering the rose-colored glasses of conformity
A reflection of our inner core
Our soul, so to say,
Sending out a beacon
Of something human
Of something flesh
Something more

Love is

And it would be a crime to solve love
To answer all of its questions
To throw it in a cage and study it like a rat
Cut it open and wade through its internals
Catalogue every piece and lock it in a metal drawer so future generations won't be puzzled by it
So that that love will be so well known
That no more will there be love struck fools
No more star crossed lovers to cry over
No love at first sight
No passion and fire that gives so many reason
No poets pondering
No singers singing
Or writers writing
Love will only be a symptom
And with a prescription you can take care of that too

That's why love is the greatest lie of all
It is
Unexplainable
Inconceivable
Irrational
Impossible
Ridiculous
and­
Cruel


And yet we lie to ourselves
Saying love is this and that
Thinking that love can be defined
That love can be crammed into just 4 letters
A lie that is human in nature
A lie to avoid the truth
A truth we do not want to face
But a truth that we cannot unbind ourselves from

We will always try
To explain
To understand
To know
To not be afraid
But we don't know
And we don't understand
And we can't explain
And that scares us


But maybe that is love
Not knowing
To be afraid of the unknown
afraid of the dark
afraid of being alone
Being scared to say

'Love is the greatest lie of all'
Thanks for getting through the whole thing! Let me know what you think!
Mohit mishra Jul 2016
The devotion that you had in your heart for me
the tune that you had on your lips for me
the surrender of your heart was a lie!
all your tears were a lie!
however, please return to me, beloved,
my heart calls out to you


Silvery, sweet, streams of talk
those dreamlike nights of sweet slumber
the way your eyes hypnotized was a lie!
all those dreams were a lie!
however, please return to me, beloved,
my heart calls out to you


The kiss that our lips shared
your love filled embraces
the innocence of your fair face was a lie!
all those promises were a lie!
however, please return to me, beloved,
my heart calls out to you


You were the budding flower of spring
that bloomed in intoxicating laughter
but your smiles were a lie!
all those scenes were a lie!
however, please return to me, beloved,
my heart calls out to you


Those promises in the Ganges of love
how you adorned yourself with my name
your bedecking was a lie!
all your those small signs, were a lie!
however, please return to me, beloved,
my heart calls out to you


When all your mischiefs were a lie
when your innocence was a lie
when your laughter, your smiles, were lies
why were all our quarrels - truth?
however, please return to me, beloved,
my heart calls out to you


तुम्हारे मन मे जो अनुराग था मेरा,
तुम्हारे अधरों पे जो राग था मेरा,
वो समर्पण तेरे अंतर का झुठा,
थे झुठे अश्रु तुम्हारे ।
पर लौट के आजा प्रिये
तुमको मेरा उर पुकारे-2

सुमधुर सरस सलील वो बातें,
मीठे निदों की स्वपनिल वो रातें,
सम्मोहन तेरे नौनों का झुठा,
थे झुठे वो ख्वाब सारे।
पर लौट के आजा प्रिये
तुमको मेरा उर पुकारे-2

अधरों से अधरों का चुंबन,
प्रेमवस तेरा अालींगन,
धवल चेहरे की मासुमीयत झुठी,
थे झुठे वो वादे प्यारे।
पर लौट के आजा प्रिये
तुमको मेरा उर पुकारे-2

तुम बसंत की कुशुम कली थीं,
हो मदमस्त हँस के खिली थीं,
पर तेरी वो मुस्कान झुठी,
थे झुठे तेरे नजारे ।
पर लौट के आजा प्रिये
तुमको मेरा उर पुकारे-2

कशम जो प्रेम गंगा में लिया था,
मेरे नाम का जो श्रृंगार किया था,
तेरा वो संवरना था झुठा,
थे झुठे तेरे इशारे ।
पर लौट के आजा प्रिये
तुमको मेरा उर पुकारे-2

जब थी झुठी शैतानीयाँ तेरी,
जब झुठी थी नादानीयाँ तेरी,
जब झुठा हुआ हँसना मुस्कुराना,
तो सच्चे क्यों हुए झगडे सारे ।
पर लौट के आजा प्रिये
तुमको मेरा उर पुकारे-2

The translation is given by karisma ji
Thanks sis for it
Rose Haven Feb 2013
To lie, I shall be here
Here I am, to lie
The truth weights down on me
It boulders, as it takes me down
The heart of the lie grows, the truth becomes lie, reality becomes a fantasy
To lie, I shall be here
To lie, I’ll never be
To lie, to lie, that I hold with me, I become sickened, as the lie becomes poison
Draining my life
I am here to lie
Pauline Morris May 2017
I want to lie down and hug my pillow for a minute
I want to lie down and forget the world and what is in it
I want to lie down and my crazy thoughts derail
I want to lie down and deeply just exhale
I want to lie down and close my eyes to rest
I want to lie down and feel the dark's caress
I want to lie down and forget about it all
I want to lie down and listen to that voiceless call
I want to lie down and forget these ruby laced wrist
I want to lie down and simply not exist

©Pauline Russell
#iwanttoliedown #sad #death
Daisy Ashcroft Dec 2019
A lie
A lie is what I am
A lie is what I am living
A lie is what I am living everyday

But no one knows
Not a soul knows
That a lie is what I am living

'It's nice to meet you' they say
'It's nice to meet the real you' they unknowingly lie

And the lie within me laughs
The lie within me chortles endlessly
The lie within me snickers and prances and chortles and laughs.
For only it knows
That a lie is what I am living,
That a lie is what I am.
A little bit of an exaggeration of how I feel, but what isn't an exaggeration?
Emily Tyler Sep 2013
Why?
Why am I such a
Fudging liar all the time?

Why do I lie that
I've done my work
Why do I lie that
I've done my best
Why do I lie that

I am okay?

Why is it so easy for me to
Just come up with another identity
Living under another false name
But part of me still leaks through
Because people can recognise me
By my lying habits

It's just at the tip of my tongue
I lie and lie and lie and lie;
I lie so much that sometimes
I begin to worry:

When I tell the truth,
Would anyone actually believe me?

Because there was a time,
I did tell the truth.
I did
Every single time
But I still got
Reprimanded

No one believed me
When I was good.

I was supposed to be bad.
I was supposed to under bad influence.
I was supposed to have evil friends that'd lead me to do unlawful things.

But no.

I didn't have any of that.
I used to be good.
But being good was
Bad.

And so, I lie
And lie and
Lie and
Lie so much...

One day I wonder,
Will anyone believe me
Anymore?
I believed a lie
I believed it till that day
The lie that you'd come back
The lie that you would stay

I believed a lie
The lie that you loved me
I believed a lie
The lie that you where finally free

I believed a lie
The lie that you really changed
I believed the lie
The lie that you really weren't the same

I believed a lie
But now I know what's true
I believed a lie
I believed in you

b.m.
this goes out to my birthmom. i love her and have forgiven her but at one point in my life and i was angry at her. this poem shows that even though i have forgiven her as jesus has taught me to, i do not know when ill trust her again
asher Jul 2013
The Dry Boy and the Lying Boy
Tell me about the dry boy
The boy with no color
Whose voice doesn't sound brown at all

Tell me about his dreams
Tell me, does he dream?
You ask him and he says No

That's a lie
The boy says nothing
Does nothing
The boy is not there

Tell me about the boy whose bones were not on fire
They sparked but were not on fire
Tell me about his dreams

Does he dream?
You ask and he says No
And that’s a lie
That’s his lie

Tell me about the boy who says lies
Tell me about the time
Words poured from his mouth like water
No, *****

You ask them if the dry boy is alive
They say No
That’s a lie
There is no dry boy

You ask them if the lying boy is alive
They say Yes
But he probably won’t be for long
You don’t know if that’s a lie

Tell me about the time his voice
Curled around you like smoke
In brown and red and gold
Tell me if it burned your eyes

It didn’t, it was beautiful
You tell him that, you say you’re beautiful
And he laughs and you think that’s a lie, too

Tell me about the time the dry boy made you small
How he knelt down and held your
Tiny baby hands

Tell me about how you did things too big for you
To make him reverse it
It didn’t work

Tell me about the lying boy
He doesn’t lie all the time
And not really to you

You ask him who he lies to
And he says myself
And you trust him, you do
Because his bones are not on fire and neither is his mouth

You want to paint the boy
With the voice like smoke
You want to paint a new face over his

No, you want to paint the face under his
No, you want to carve the face under his
No, you want to crack him open with a chisel
And look at what’s inside

You throw a match on the dry boy
And watch his mouth catch fire
And watch his bones catch fire

You lie with him and he burns you
You douse him with gasoline and he burns you again
The dry boy takes you home with him and ruins you
You leave him burning and visit the lying boy

You drop a match on the lying boy by accident
He doesn’t catch
You watch him toss it away

You lie with him and he laughs at you
No, with you
You lie with him and he kisses you
That’s all

You lie between the lying boy and the dry boy
And the dry boy lies and the lying boy doesn’t
The lying boy takes you home and tells you a truth
And then he leaves, that’s all

The lying boy is there the next day
You visit with him and he takes you home
He leaves you there until the next day

The lying boy shows you himself
Instead of ruining you
The dry boy lies to you
The lying boy takes you home

— The End —