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Andrew T Hannah Apr 2014
Praeludium in via ...

Vidi heri mane quando ridebam coloribus egregiis,
Eradere auro , trans tabula caeli , tentorium ...
Excelsus super omnes montes mundi mole fratres
Nimborum desertum , ubi non sit humana exsuscitatur .
Et non vidi nobili altitudo futura ...
Bonitas terribilis Vidi , *** indomitus.
Et peregrinare in ea carne existimarem Semel tamen divina ,
Nunc datum est scire , et non confundamur ab eo opus .
Ambulavitque *** Deo, quod nunc facio , et passus est ... accentus
Proditio amor et passionibus , quamvis non recipiat ecclesia ,
Divinitatis naturam , ne occulta omnia confitentur ?
Audis tu solus in universo ab duces ineptum
Ipsos victu pascuntur finguntur mendacii .
Sed ambulavit in vobis, ex ea ipsa mundi redivivi ,
Proelia ante hos annos multos, in carne nostra, amissis vate sacro .
Nos sequi vestigia veterum monumentis, ut ostensum est ;
Quia ex nihilo nati sumus , et adhuc in filiis tuis, ac spatium vivendi ,
Latebunt , quo melius in manifesto , vultus ingenio tegmina.
Ego sum primus , et consilium ... Memini tamen alta urantur
Humanis uti licet , *** aliena michi negotium.
Lorem quid ad ignorantiam et extra ,
Quia vidisti me in tenebris, in ardentem rogum meum .
Si sustinuero , praeire , ubi angeli labuntur ...
Quis autem, si non satis est dedicata piget.
Irrisorie , quoniam ego scio quod salventur , et saepe etiam ,
Post tantum est **** , et sic esset forma in re firmatam ?
Imago Dei , huc ad nos omnes in sanguine ipsius ,
A primis ad ultima, ut alpha et omega, gladius acutus .

Prologus : ( Os meum labitur )

Puer fui servus ad aras tam sacras ,
Hymnis immaculatorum : et absque iniquitate .
Quod *** ipse portabat diadema thons nudus ...
Expositum Spiritus meus, qui intellexi gravitatem.
Quis credit sanctum profanae habitu virtutum
Et illi qui in eo sunt ut carnifices ovis ad occisionem ,
Innocentes cogit induere larvis ad porcellana et operuerunt capita sua ,
Et filii eorum diriperent pueritia , vinctus catenis rudis .
Sicut teenager : ambulans in naturis hominum omnium adprobante ,
Et egressus est a me omnes, qui violatores extiterunt in coinquinatione verebatur .
Angelo fidem reperto cecidi inveni sanctitati
Nomen meum in ea , et curet abluitur dubium inveni .
Venit ad nuptias, et omnes dedi uxorem proditione ,
In solutione huius coniunctionis nostrae et sine intervallo in solitudinem imposuit ?
Traiectus mortalis caro mea reliquit me solum in sanguinem ,
Cor ejus scissum est , absque omni cultu ex ordine funem .
Angelus autem meus et leniat iras mansit dolori
Mea lux, in vigiliis, in nigrum, quod est victa ,
Admonens quia carnis mortalitate ... maxime
Angelus vult me et tremor et durum accepimus.
Et ego factus sum quam ... traumas vitae ac lacrimis
Et dimisit , in specie quae sunt post , veluti a me plagas .
Nox deinde calor intensior saunas percipimus ...
Sicut est mihi in choro , relictum est , nisi ab illo esse extensum ,
Et invicem tradent , et mortalem , ut impunita essent, sed numquam mihi ...
Non tradent ; effundam spiritum meum , et non totum .
FYLACTERIUM creare ex omni me , et oculus innocens ...
Quod amari posco sum ​​ut carbo margarita alba et nigra ;

Section I : Sacrificium Doll

Part I : ( litus sanguinem )

Ne revoces me pupa enim priscis recesserunt cavernam
Sunt inanima appetant , non realis forma in utero ;
A puero bibere rubeam ore exploratores in vastissimam taberna ...
Dum nati psallens FARRATUS agros effusi .
Vadimus ad domum Dei , in plagis , in magna pecunia debetis ...
Hoc non est ad oras Nunc cruore manant strigitu rubra de memoria , polluetur .
Nulla est enim me primus ad ignitionem gloriae ...
Quando autem mens aeterna , in omnibus placentes, causabatur laetitiam .
In stellis ibi verba quae ego volo inauditum revocare,
Quia descendi ita pridem apud venire primum ?
Sollicitus purus fabrica MYSTICUS chaos genitus antiquorum
Mitti expectant limine signa magica.
Interdictum revertatur in carminibus meis , Licinius, ut audacia ,
Quia oblitus est mei fere est: nunc originem , ut tragici.
*** filii bibere, et se abscondunt nati seorsum
*** aquæ in sanguinem, et super triticum, et arefecit fœnum, et humida !
Signum quod venturum est mutare et laboro mentem.
Facies in luna ALLUCINOR in metu torquetur , horror ...
Dumque in fauces manu stare super pectus
Inter ordines diu frumentum umbra nigro ambula
Genus servo meo animas infantium .
Aestas flavescunt, Phoebe caelesti audent .
Mea sola mcestas lupus sonitum audiri potest ,
Et *** feris leo in pontumque moueri relinquere ...
A natura mihi dolet cupio concupivit paradisus reducat .
Vidi terram terror , ut sanguis in sinu
Ater sanguis in terra , quae facit viventia ululare ...
Sicut **** habet stultitia non dicam prava vel !

Part II : ( Crucifixo et Inferorum Animas Excitat)

Nam inertis est gemere pupa altari parato, in sacrificium,
In lapidem calcarium, et in cavernam, ubi sunt wettest fingit arcus !
Un - res sunt, sed etiam *** vivit in vulneribus animae , ut in glaciem ,
In horrore frigoris fictilem , ita *** pedibus non vocavit.
Serpentipedi mucrone subrecto , remittit praecise a pupa in collo ,
Et non potest dici , quia non habet pupa voce clamare.
Puer, et egressus est a tabernam , aspectus eorum quasi a naufragii vile ...
Ut curem hominem a superioribus agentibus , corpus totum mundum.
Infra in concavis locorum asperitate visa petram
Magna voces resonare in tenebras , et vocavit nomen tacuit.
Eripuit animam trahit nauta Multo gregis
Ubi aereum reddet unicuique antiquum signum desideratum .
Et venit ad bibendum aquas illas vitae malis mederi ...
Porcellana , et liberatus a vinculis mortis obscuris sentiat frigore ;
Animas in captivitate , unde nemo mortalium loqui
Sed statim liberavit remotis perforabit clavi ...
Omnis **** , qui dicitur Golgotha ​​, olim in cruce positus .
Omnis autem mulier quoque, ad quod omnes tales sunt tormento
Et facta est , dum consummaretur sacrificium insita primum sic infirma est,
Et intantum ut nisl tot annis perpessi .
Signati post fata diu Quod murus ignis in Terra ,
Stigmatibus ferre posset ita etiam multa futura!
Quod signum erat in manu mea, ut labatur pes meus, et dimittam ...
Tamen adhuc vetera perseverare illusionibus , et non possum excitare multos .
Ego, qui iam tantum conligati Lorem ferrum quid reale,
Factaque est infinita in dolo : Ego sum ​​, et desiderio erat pax.
Nam et ego quod negas , nisi aspera ac rudia mei liberatione ;
Angelus liberavit me , et nunc inter saevus sigillum frangere conantur .

Part III : ( The Return of lux)

Qui a mortuis Surrexit , frigidior , ubi de somno , ultrices in somnis , per
Et obliti sunt intelligentiae invocatum est super sancta miserunt innoxia verba ...
Et inde apud hominem , ut maneat MYSTICUS sequuntur revertamur ,
Ea aetate in inferno commemoratione praeteritorum.
Qui suscitavit eis manum meam , et pugionem eius lumen gloriae,
Relicta meae effercio fluere sanguis subito currere libero.
Ex profundo flamma surgit millennial amisso puella puer ,
Quæ est angeli redivivam sinit luce clarius ostendit .
Et omnis qui non occaecat oculos ad intima ;
Infideles , in momento temporis ponere in obprobrium .
*** stellae ab Diua sacrorum opera voluntatis
Dum coccineum limen transeat , lucem adfert .
Momento enim omnes in caelo et in terris sunt ,
Sicut dies longus tandem inclinatus ante noctem veniat .
In tenebris , claritas multo maiorem et perfectiorem descendit ,
Eorum, qui dum in nomine meo orbata est devium.
Sicut incensum in conspectu angelorum ira animos eorum , occlusum ...
Ferrum IRRETUS texturae talis effugere nequeunt carcerem
Nam quicquid occaecat vidit lucem et scindit
Nisi quia in templis revellens mortalibus irae.
Et , postquam ipsæ fuerint fornicatæ infidelium , ut uoles, petulans ,
Et factum est in excogitando dogma , quod de ratione immemor ?
Horrendum non fides sit , tamen ita fecisse ,
Ante finem exspectent praemia petunt .
*** enim , ut est in paradisum suscipit dereliquerunt ...
Imago autem libertatis quam servitutis et negotio.
Nimia tempus extractam converterat a gladio:
****, ut spectet ad salutem in lucem , caeca lumina sua .

Antiphon alpha :
Quia hoc est ut , barbaris quoque innocentiae gentilitium mendacium vendere ...
Numquid et vos vultis emere , aut aliquam nunc forsitan putas,
Ad sciendum neque rationi consentaneum neque aetate sapientes ...
Quod si non moverent malles *** saltare!
Pleni sunt somnia noctes ; Dies mei tantum ...
Ego ad bis et quem maxime diligebam , in purpura quoque , et aprico occasus .
Ego autem haec imago non ad tangere memoriam tot ,
Qui replet in sanguinem furoris me , et frigidam desiderio finis .
Et considerandum est quod *** in ultima desperatione rerum , in cuius manu mea, equo et pilos in ore gladii ,
Nam ni ita esset, nunquam tamen inde trans familia .
Sed abusus est , ut fuit, et quidem instar caedentes sepem
An ut reliquos omnes transcendunt omnia , amice!
Ego superfui , transfiguravi ascendi in fine est ,
Multo magis quam erat, non plus quam diruere animus .
Sed tamen , quia speravi in solitudinem , ut a somno exsuscitem ancillam meam in flamma ...
Ardet , o superi, ut arbitror , usque uror dissiliunt!
De caelo et magis obscurant vestris, et tridentes, et contritio ,
Audio furorem tympana caelo antiqui gigantes hiemes.
Dii irascantur et ecce valide erutas ,
Uvasque calcantes Angeli hominis Illi autem vinariis ageretur ...
Recordatus sum in omnibus navigantibus battleship galaxies ,
In die ortus nubes inter exaestuans, quod ' vaporem ...
Depopulari Sodomam et Gomorrham, ad contumelias !
Ibi eram: et *** impiis non perire denique gemitu.
Ut illuderet mihi : et populus , quia ego bonus sum male velle ,
A Deo est, quam diu tot mala ferre cogetur .
Ego autem non sum solus , quia multa in eo et detorqueri
Deus remittit, nam adhuc sed non est intellectus ;

Section II : Hostiam de Spider

Part I : ( Rident Primus )

Caelum non egerunt pœnitentiam super ulcus nigrum est furore , et in indignatione, et in iustitia :
Et factus sum caro , quamvis intellectus non mortale .
In antro loca , quæ transivi , et dæmonia multa discurrunt ,
Et locis minus adhuc amor in search of a provocare .
In quo autem in craticiis tectoria atria mea, et thronus fuit stabilis ...
Et super collem , ubi dolorum laborum animae perit labor in mundanis ,
Transcendi vincula et consilio fidelium expectabo laudatur.
Ignis et sulphur et, semper est dextera arderent super altare ?
Ridentem cogo faciem meam : non enim veni , ut velle,
Ut in hora *** iam iuvenem, *** proposito aureum ...
Quæ pro impenso super solidum, pretium quis ,
Qui autem non cognovit , quomodo cupiam sibi solvere ...
Furor solitudinis nascitur ira nascitur ex malitia,
Qui autem contemnunt me , quia sine causa Provocantes me .
Quid est **** , impunitatem , ne quis putaret se excusat ;
Quam sapere , *** culturis tuum: mergi , in balneis , in ardentem .
Loquor de inferno, qui est infidelis nescis ?
Neque enim suis oculis effossis clavorum ...
Loquor cruciatus qui daemonia fecerunt superat .
Primus erit mihi dolor meus *** omnis fera voluntas ut ratio ...
Ut qui me conspui caro quod ambulans ,
Nescis modo larva facies mea , abscondens se.
Attendit ad illa nihil nisi insipientis solis erratur in sonis cantus
Tantum numerus ratus e fratre soror .
Sed in caelestibus quae sine causa nata est incestus est alchemical ?
Habitat in me peccatum occultum compages sǽculo.
Sit mihi vim inter gentes auditus est ABSURDUS musica ...
Spiritus meus qui regit omne simile est genitus.

Part II ( vindicta aurum )

In hortos, in quibus cupiditas sanguis rosaria semina ,
I , in manu eorum , qui esurit Quorum sitit aquam surgit !
In quaerere dilectionis affectum bestiis pavi eget
Quid faciam ut pudeat , habet me non elit .
O **** , quo impune ausu palamque vociferari ,
Quod amor sit ex me credis , et me opus manuum tuarum ,
Ut timidus , et cucurrit ad me latere turba depravari ,
In simulata excellentiam tuam , et ipse te vile animal .
Coniunctio oris linguae quasi telam laqueari
Si fieri potest araneae ; et fugiet a turpis ut octo pedes nidum ...
Et *** jam non calidus humanitatis indignum ,
Cogitans te meliorem quam reliqui descendes !
Ut vitae pretium millies , tibimetipsi .
Creaturam factus sum nocte expectant te aranea heu !
Nolite putare quia ego audirem . utrumque stridens cruris ...
Odium ductor tuus , et equi ejus , et ascensorem ejus .
Et in vestra web Video vos, Quirites immune ungues acuti ,
Ad toxicus venenum , quod oculis non potes, nisi te , octo ...
Ex quo bases Caesios sine timore, et sic primum
Ut dolores tuos comedat vos accendentes ignem caelum ;
Detur paenitentiae venia , quae dicis omnia cogit , ne superare dolores ,
Qui tibi semper, quæ videtur , non est potentia ad non noceat .
Et ascendit ulterius sapere plus pavoris tui ...
Numquam puerile ludibrium ulla facta .
Omnis domus tua dissolutae horologiorum ad socium non est ?
In desertis chaos est gaudium, ut si quod habuerunt.
Surgit in novum ordinem , nemo potest negare chaos genitus locus ,
Dum descendes perdunt, muneribus laesae.

PARS III ( Ultimo Rident)

Et sic videtur quod Angelus se et ante deam
Angelus autem nominis vocare aliquis tenuerit formarum.
Et qui in illis est , maiora sunt, ego saepe ad extraneas ,
Fingunt enim se perfectum , ignorant eorum saevitum ,
Num amor crustacea tam veteri quam in praedam , et mendicum ,
Quod minus quam tuum est , quam sumpsi eaque cibum ...
Est autem tarn coquina sicut clibanus tua vadit et ora
Ipse, ipse est extra te praemium virtutis tuae chores ,
Sicut enim res suo cuidam negotium , qui meretricem ... Lorem ipsum leve,
Putas praemium amaret , et mendicum , falli te .
Quid autem vocatis me alienum **** ... amor est malum , et hoc pudet,
Et similiter anima atque animus , quibus tandem corpus infirmare.
Vides tantum larva ... sub aspectu nisurum
Larva ut me in tenebris tenebris latet .
Circa collum tuum habebis , ut falsae aestimationis pendet a mortuis, et corona ,
Quia sterilis tibi relinquo mundum , Intenta ancillæ.
Consurgitur in excitate de reliquis abire tibi , qui sunt cognati mei
De manibus eorum procul offendant pedes vestri ?
Qui manet in coemeterio quasi mortui
Non tollere incorruptione Nimis tibi dubium .
Hue tacito lachrymis virgines flere ...
Ad mea, et robur , in quo praeda, gregibus rursum super vias hominum ,
Ad eos qui non ineptis metus mutetur ,
Aureus transmutare non magis quam plumbea nocte dies ;
Quod verum est de fine , qui scit ... Alchemist
Magistra rerum artes a me in profundum.
Ágite , quod sum aggressus creatura placet mutare ...
Ut res sunt nostrae demiurgorum lasciva oscula enim calidius ?

Omega Antiphon :
Non est autem in Utopia , non videtur quod ...
Donec ut nosmet ipsos cognoscimus prima quaerimus imaginem .
*** et in sacrificio sui ipsius , a volunt reddi obsequium ...
Qui ad reformandam et divina se , *** Leo renata agnus mitis !
Sicut in Christo, ex parte in qua invocatum est cicatrix, et vulneratus est ...
Sed simplex conversio ad dissimilis vultus nolui .
Memini dolore meo, ut acer et vehemens ...
Donee tantum possum emissus dolor servare sensu caret.
Quomodo potest aedificare paradisum non est, nisi in se mutant ;
Mutare ante mutatum esse non est in medio ; quae est in via .
Qua ad paradisum , et oportet eam, et non deficiunt,
Ne ad caelum, nisi quam nos aedificare illud infernum iniustitiis nos .
Utopia , non ruunt ad genus humanum, nisi a te, tu es qui habitavit ?
Nisi quod est extra omne malum quod in se corrumpunt ,
Manifestum enim est , nisi malum, quod mundatam ab omnibus malis moribus.
Tunc malitia faciatis abstulit senex super pluteo tom .
An non intellegat , quid est salvator ...
*** diceret quod non omne quod simplices filii ingredi
Regnum caelorum , et inde ad delectationem pertinere ...
Et quomodo potes perfrui , si tibi placet , cauillando crudelis ?
*** aurora tempore domini nituntur hominum planeta ...
Numquam imaginandi praecipiet ut discat primum voluntatis.
Non armorum vi , nec inutile mandatum ...
Sed *** modestia , et misericordia ; ergo qui ad cor suum in satietatem,
Gáudii innumerabiles et celebrationibus quae causa ?
Sed animus intendatur dolores peccatum lacus.
Ubi plausus rotundum vt quilibet sensus ?
Modernitatem iocabitur ullum definitum ornare.

Section III : sacrificium sui

Part I : ( hortos perditio )

A ziggurat sublatus est , arenosa in calidum lateres , quos coquetis in igne ...
Septem fabulae in caelum, sicut turris Babel ,
Quod in solitudinem, et in
This is how this poem is meant to be read. In it's original form.
Latin is nothing but the purest form of expression when it comes to language.
Reza Bavar Aug 2013
You told me if I take one step towards you that you'll take 10 towards me.

Showing up and I'm thinking my God this isn't for me...

Cold showers, Almond Oil, Head Covering?  Man... I gotta fly- T.S.A.

Tratakum
Sadhana
Awakened

To the kiss of the Amrit Vela--the Ambrosial Hour--sitting at Gods table

Infinity Generating
Life Organizing
Death Destroying
Rebirth Delivering...

Sa Ta Na Ma... Wahe Guru!!

I stand reborn and aware

This IS the Yoga of Awareness...

Now I'm running towards You, seeing You in All--a Mirror Gazing at a Mirror

THIS is MY Identity--Truth.

Sat Nam...

Say it with me... Sat Nam

Breath it in and feel it with me!!

SAT NAM!!!

~Reza Bavar
Geno Cattouse Sep 2012
The Viet Nam era was a witches brew.Mission creep in  Saigon
The evening news brought the ****** trips stumbling into
my TV dinner, kicking over my Tang.

Bouncing Betty went bang
Beans and ***** out the can.

Guys in my age bracket  knew it was safe cause 18 was the magic Number.
RESPECT
Simon and Garfunkel ,The godfather of soul.
What we.
Had Here.
Was.
Failure to Communicate.

We were reaching for the stars with one hand and
squeezing of rounds with the other. Bobby was in the crossfire
Martin would retire,
I remember.

Guys slinking back home with broken minds
Baby killers all. No love ,No jobs. COMBAT FATIGUE.           PTSD     Came later.
Got a monster habit, Nose running of  like a racetrack rabbit.

Oh yeah Asian Strain Gonorrhea.
Penicillin
Penishmillin.  ***

Hendricks.
Shrivastva MK May 2015
Tere pyar ne mujhe pagal bna diya ,
Tujhme khoye hain hum es kadar ki,
apna nam pata bhi bhula diya,
Jawane Se chhupa ke ki tujhse mohabbat ,
Par tune mujhe jawane se hi begana bna diya,
Tere pyar ne mujhe pagal bna diya....


Tere intezar me har pal ji raha hu ghut ghut
ke,
kaha chali gayi ** sanam tum mujhse ruth ke,
ab to jine ka sahara hain bus teri ye yadein,
Soch kar biti baton ko nam ** jati hai meri ye
aankhen,
Teri wafawon ne mera sab kuchh jala diya,
tere pyar ne mujhe pagal bna diya. ..


chalti raho me tujhe dhundh raha hoon,
chand taro se tera pta puchh raha hoon,
tune mere dil me ek jagah bna liya,
tere pyar ne mujhe pagal bna diya....


mat dena dhokha tum mujhe pyar me
ai sanam nahi to tut jaunga,
chhod tumhe mai es duniya se chala jaunga,
laut ke phir mai kabhi na aaunga,
tere esk me maine teri har kamiyo ko bhula
diya,
tere pyar ne mujhe pagal bna diya. ..


yaadon ko teri  Manish  likh raha apni kalam se
es tarah ki,
teri nafrat ko bhi usne amrit bna diya,
tere pyar ne mujhe pagal bna diya,
tere pyar ne mujhe pagal bna diya....
“One of the effects of living with electronic information is that we live habitually in a state of information overload.”                                                      
                                                                                      Marshall McLuhan
So, let’s review:
Man is a thinking animal.
Stanley Kubrick took us to space to get us to think.
Marshall McLuhan:  “There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew.”
Hemetucky: what was I thinking?
The Rapture for the 1%:   The Language of the World and The Language of Enthusiasm explains why Sir Richard  Branson’s ****** Galactic will only be taking the richest among us to space.
Ian (Limey Futurologist) Pearson:  “Binary is already the dominant language on Planet Earth with today’s machines having more conversations in 24 hours than the whole of humankind since the birth of Eve.”
Larry Flynt:  “**** is the answer to everything.”
Goofy:  “Yeah, I ****** Minnie. I shagged her rotten, baby!”  
Winston Smith:  “Do it to Julia!”
McNugget Buddies:   “Parts is parts.”                                          
Stunod: “Donuts-a -spella backwards issa stunod.” Think about it.
Tony Soprano.  “You ****** stunod, it's a joke.” (Stunod:  in southern dialect Italian means stupid, or a stupid person) http://(www.urbandictionary.com) define.php?term = stunod  / buy stunod mugs & shirts
Marshall McLuhan:    “Jokes are grievances.”
Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino:  “Antonio Gramsci thought that Stalin and Bolshevism could save him and Italy from Fascism:  stunod.”
The Cloud:  My acceptance of the Cloud into my life and my changeling cyborg self is by no means a capitulation to the surfing life.
Paulo Coehlo:  “The God you seek; that someone who awaits you is you.”
Howard Beale:  “That’s the God *******.”
God:   “Because you’re on television, stunod!”
The Elders of Zion:  Nu?
Meir Kahane:  “Let us not suffer from a national amnesia that causes us to forget who and what we are. No trait is more justified than revenge in the right time and place. I know that American and Israeli elections must be limited only to those who understand that the Arabs are the deadly enemy of the Jewish state, who would bring on us a slow Auschwitz - not with gas, but with knives and hatchets. Vote for Newt!”

**** Jagger:    “Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out” (40th Anniversary Edition, Rolling Stones)
Keith Richards +Fijian palm tree = Stunod.  
Marshall McLuhan:   “The more the data banks record about each of us, the less we exist.”    
Howard Beale: “If there's anybody out there that can look around this demented slaughterhouse of a world we live in and tell me that man is a noble creature, believe me: That man is not only full of *******, that man is  stunod.”
The Nam, Part I:   a demented slaughterhouse within a microcosm and grains of beach sand inside micro-Cosmo Kramer’s shorts. When I was in the Kingdom of The Nam I was always under the influence of some drug, mostly my own pure adrenaline when scared shitless--a frequent condition for me—not only my own piquant adrenal juice but other stuff like ****, hash, Thai stick, *****, amphetamines, H-Horse ******, quaaludes, horse tranquilizers and Russian *****. The drugs were always a welcome and needed friend, a respite from the horrors of war in Southeast Asia. To meditate & levitate, to transmigrate & navigate, to negotiate & regurgitate myself, I needed a head start if I was going to SLIDE through what would be called a wormhole today, making a three-dimensional movement between different parallel universes, a conquest of time and space. Cue our favorite narrator:
Rod Serling:  “You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension--a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into the Twilight Zone.”
WWII, Part I:  A slider now, I SLIDE to my father’s war—the War in Europe in the years before V.E. Day, May 8, 1945. Suddenly I’m flipped right out of the jungle to Germania, to Deutschland in the winter of 1945. I am a P.O.W. of the Germans, sent out into the economy as slave labor. It’s February in Dresden, Germany, the Baroque capital of the German state of Saxony, the city called lovingly by her (****!) many lovers: “The Florence of the Elbe.” It was a long time ago, during the war and I Survived to Tell the Tale. I am a wet floppy Kilgore Trout; I’ve flopped right out of the Twilight Zone into what appears to be an underground meat locker in Dresden. There are animal carcasses hanging from the ceiling and the building is known as Slaughterhouse Number 5. I am a lucky ******* because even though I don’t know it yet, I’m in the safest place in the entire city. Cue the Bombing of Dresden, a strategic military bombing by the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and the United States Army Air Force (USAAF).  In four raids, 1,300 heavy bombers dropped more than 3,900 tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices on Dresden. The resulting firestorm destroyed 15 square miles (39 square kilometers) of the city centre and killed many thousands, according to **** figures-- largely discredited by the victors who not only get the spoils but get to spin the history any which way but loose. Casualty figures were 200,000 and death toll estimates went as high as 500,000. Or maybe just 25,000 total, if you believe the ******* Anglo-American valkyries who unleashed the wrath of Khan’s Smoking Joe’s Barbecue Ribs and Hotlinks. Win a war, get a medal and a seat in Congress, maybe the White House; lose a war, get indicted. You’re going to Nuremberg, pilgrim, or the ******* Hague.
Kurt Vonnegut: “World War II was over and I was standing in the middle of Times Square with a Purple Heart on and a purple hard-on.”
Colonel Kurtz:  “We fight for the land that's under our feet, the gold that's in our hands, women that worship the power in our *****.  I summon fire from the sky. Do you know what it is to be a white man who can summon fire from the sky? ...What it means? You can live and die for these things, not silly ideals that are always betrayed  . . . I swallowed a bug. Who are you, captain?”
Willard:   “Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste. I've been around for a long long year, stolen many man's soul and faith. Stuck around St. Petersburg when I saw it was a time for a change. Killed the Tsar and his ministers, Anastasia screamed in vain. I rode a tank, held a gen'rals rank when the blitzkrieg raged and the bodies stank. Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name.”  
WWII, Part II:  The bombing of Dresden had to have been some kind of a violation of some International Code or Geneva Convention. But, of course, the bombers, the Victors, ran the Nuremberg show trials. The bombees didn’t get a chance to say much, didn’t want to make a fuss, seeing how generous the Army of Occupation was with their coal, gasoline, clothing and food handouts. But I was there when it was safe to climb out of the meat locker, and immediately got put to work on the après les bombes clean-up. I was there doing the ***** work, a corpse miner, tasked with collecting the fried grasshopper remains of so many unlucky Krauts who were simply burned alive, like heretics at the Inquisition. So it goes.
William Tecumseh Sherman: “War is Hell, Babaloo!”
Colonel Kilgore: “You can either surf, or you can fight!”
Sam Bottoms: “I dropped a tab of acid at the Do-Long Bridge, so I think I’ll surf for awhile: ‘I see a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour.’ Reading Blake: for years it was the only way I could block out the war, that and losing myself in a bunch of undercover assignments. Yeah, it was William Blake, I-Spy and lots more acid; that how I dealt with PTSD.”
The Nam, Part II, LT DAN:  “Good job, trooper; those ******* drugs got you coming and going, sliding so fast you’ve missed latrine duty 3 times this month. Now go get 5 gallons of diesel fuel and gasoline, mix it together and torch that ******* feces, soldier.”
** Chi Minh:  “This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around.”
***** Friedman:   “The Democrats and Republicans are the same guy admiring himself in the mirror.”

Muhammad Hosni El Sayed Mubarak:   “Vote for Pedro.”
Drew Gilpin Faust, Harvard:    “Fight Fiercely!”
Marshall McLuhan:    “I wouldn’t have seen it if I hadn’t believed it.”
The Author:   I am a disaffected angry old man, formerly a disaffected angry young man; a Hopi-Italian Jew with Chinese offspring, namely my left-brained son, a mathematical genius but having a tough time dealing with idiots, the many truly stunod people in the world.  Then there’s my Rose, my sweet King Lear-jet daughter, like her half-brother, not yet finished paying for my sins. My offspring are haunted, visited upon daily by their father’s  ghosts, ghosts created, ghosts hovering over me, from wars hot and cold and peace lukewarm and cloudy, like the uranium ground contamination on the mesa, visited upon mothers and infants  and children who seek only a glass of cool water from the spring not to be glow worms in the dark, leukocytes made insane by something in the water. My sins, a father’s sins; things I did to curry favor, to ingratiate and advance myself with the 1%, things I did to get ahead in life, to get what I thought my father and others in the ancestral slipstream had failed to get, twice to the Rabbi for a get (Hebrew: גט‎, plural gittin גיטין), to get the edge my kids need now, the edge I never had, and life reduced to an exercise in ultimate combat, little more than a cage fight, man against man and God against all. The things I did for money and position shame me now. And shame is a large  source of my anger.  I will remain angry. I will hang on to my anger at God and myself and all who have been disappointed in me, by me, especially the cavalcade of short-term caretakers, women used, abused, left behind and forgotten. Why am I me? Sometimes I think that’s the way I’m programmed. But it’s okay, like Gaga: “I'm beautiful in my way 'Cause God makes no mistakes I'm on the right track, baby I was born this way' Cause God makes no mistakes, I'm on the right track, baby, I was born this way and will I continue to surf the Cloud: even though God is dead and I don’t believe you, or me, or them.
Basic: remember Basic?

10   A IS FOR ANGER NEXT 20
20   START STEP TWO ANGER KUBLER-ROSS INFINITE LOOP
30   GOTO 10
10   A IS FOR ANGER NEXT 20
20   START STEP TWO ANGER KUBLER-ROSS INFINITE LOOP
30  GOTO 10
10   A IS FOR ANGER NEXT 20
20   START STEP TWO ANGER KUBLER-ROSS INFINITE LOOP
30 A IS FOR ANGER NEXT 30
30  GOTO 10 Ad infinitum
JV Beaupre May 2016
Canto I. Long ago and far away...

Under the bridge across the Kankakee River, Grampa found me. I was busted for truancy. First grade. 1946.

Summer and after school: Paper route, neighborhood yard work, dogsbody in a drugstore, measuring houses for the county, fireman EJ&E railroad, janitor and line Pabst Brewery Peoria. 1950-1962.

Coming home from college for Christmas. Oops, my family moved a few streets over and forgot to tell me. Peoria, 1961.

The Pabst Brewery lunchroom in Peoria, a little after dawn, my first day. A guy came  in and said: "Who wants my horsecock sandwich? ****, this first beer tastes good." We never knew how many he drank. 1962.

At grad school, when we moved into the basement with the octopus furnace, Dave, my roommate contributed a case of Chef Boyardee spaghettios and I brought 3 cases of beer, PBRs.  Supper for a month. Ames. 1962.

Sharon and I were making out in the afternoon, clothes a jumble. Walter Cronkite said, " President Kennedy has been shot…” 1963.

I stood in line, in my shorts, waiting for the clap-check. The corporal shouted:  "All right, you *******, Uncle and the Republic of Viet Nam want your sorry *****. Drop 'em".  Deferred, 1964.

One of many undistinguished PhD theses on theoretical physics. Ames. 1966.

He electrified the room. Every woman in the room, regardless of age, wanted him, or seemed to. The atmosphere was primeval and dripping with desire. In the presence of greatness. Palo Alto, 1968.

US science jobs dried up. From a mountain-top, beery conversation, I got a research job in Germany. Boulder, 1968. Aachen, 1969.

The first time I saw automatic weapons at an airport. Geneva, 1970.

I toasted Rembrandt with sparkling wine at the Rijksmuseum. He said nothing. Amsterdam International Conference on Elementary Particles. 1971.

A little drunk, but sobering fast: the guard had Khrushchev teeth.
Midnight, alone, locked in a room at the border.
Hours later, release. East Berlin, 1973.

She said, "You know it's remarkable that we're not having an affair." No, it wasn't. George's wife.  Germany, 1973.

"May be there really are quarks, but if so, we'll never see them." Truer than I knew.  Exit to Huntsville, 1974.

On my first day at work, my first federal felony. As a joke, I impersonated an FBI agent. What the hell? Huntsville. 1974. Guess what?--No witnesses left! 2021.

Hard work, good times, difficult times. The first years in Huntsville are not fully digested and may stay that way.

The golden Lord Buddha radiated peace with his smile. Shots in the distance. Bangkok. 1992.

Accomplishment at work, discord at home. Divorce. Huntsville. 1994. I got the dogs.

New beginnings, a fresh start, true love and life-partner. Huntsville. 1995.

Canto II. In the present century....

I started painting. Old barns and such. 2004.

I quietly admired a Rembrandt portrait at the Schiphol airport. Ever inscrutable, his painting had presence, even as the bomb dogs sniffed by. Beagles. 2006.

I’ve lost two close friends that I’ve known for 50-odd years. There aren’t many more. Huntsville. 2008 and 2011.

Here's some career advice: On your desk, keep a coffee cup marked, "No Whining", that side out. Final retirement. 2015.

I occasionally kick myself for not staying with physics—I’m jealous of friends that did. I moved on, but stayed interested. Continuing.

Honest distortions emerging from the distance of time. The thin comfort of fading memories. Thoughts on poor decisions and worse outcomes. Not often, but every now and then.
Shrivastva MK Jun 2015
Bewafa ** *** tum
Tor denge sare rishtey tumse,
Bhul jayenge tumhe
Nikal denge apne dil se,


Kyon kiya mohabbat
jab sath nibhana na tha,
tor ke ye dil mera
mujhe jab rulana hi tha,


Ab meri zindagi
dard se bhar *** hain,
Judai ka nam sunkar
Meri aakhen nam ** *** hain,


Ishq na karunga main
ab kisi se,
Chhut gya sath tumhara
tut gya hoon jab se,


Kaise kaise ye rishtey
Tut ke ye rula deti kisi ko,
Suru ** jata jina
Jab bante hain kisi ke saath
Naye rishtey,
Ye naye rishtey......
" I ran into a homeless man with a bag filled with
empty soda bottles and cans.
They amounted to fifty-five cents, i
took them out of his hands.
I saw the anger in his eyes, as he began to
shout out his why's.
I quickly told him. "I'm here to help."
The fear went away, as he started to cry.
We talked on the side of the road. A
lost soul from the Viet-Nam war.
I too am a Vet. He now felt very comfortable
with every word i said.
I then opened the door to my car, asked
him to hop in, telling him were not going
very far.
I noticed his fingers, tanned from nicotine stains.
So i drove him to the nearest 7-11 asking what
was his favorite cigarette brands?
Kools was his answer.
We left, and drove to Mc  Donald's to buy
lunch.
We filled our stomachs, he lit a cigarette, and
said. "Thank you so, so much."
I asked if there's somewhere i can drop you
off? He replied." No, the outdoors are my home.
i'll be fine, and you Michael. You are one of a kind."
I do this, because it's the work of our Lord Jesus Christ.
"DO ONTO OTHERS AS YOU WANT DONE ONTO YOU."
It's such a blessing  TO DO!!!!!!
shyann raulerson Jul 2013
I heard faint noises downstairs, and I decided to investigate. I pulled on a pair of cut-off jeans and grabbed the old pump shotgun that had served me so well in Viet-Nam from under my bed and crept downstairs to check. My Ranger training came into play, and I moved soundlessly, down the stairs and into the living room. An air of vague shadowy figures were searching through the cabinet that housed my collection of antique silver. I announced my presence in a sudden and intimidating manner: I merely pumped the action of the shotgun, then immediately moved to the right so if anyone shot, he would shoot where I had been, not where I was now. That sound was a language that everyone understood, including the two figures before me. They froze, and were still motionless.

"Mr. Steve?" one of the figures quavered. "Please don't shoot!"

I recognized the voice as belonging to Lisa, the twenty-year-old daughter of my nearest neighbor. I didn't know who the other person was or who else may be in the house, so I kept the shotgun pointed in their direction and hit the light switch with my free hand. Immediately a car cranked up in my driveway, and tires squealing, raced out to the road and away. I looked at my midnight visitors. I recognized Lisa and Julie, who was a close friend of Lisa's and a frequent overnight visitor of hers. They were holding between them a laundry bag containing most of my silver collection. I lowered the muzzle of the cut down shotgun.

"You sure know how to get yourselves killed," I stated. "Mind telling me who was in the car? You don't want to take the rap all by yourselves."

"Please don't shoot! That was Mike, it was all his idea! He made us do it! He said he would put us out and make us walk home if we didn't do it! Are you going to call the Cops?"

Now I could understand why the girls tried to burglarize my home. It was a fifteen-mile walk home in pitch darkness on a moon-less night for the two frightened girls. It was just what a worthless **** like Mike would pull. Knowing what I did about Lisa's boyfriend, I knew what he probably needed the money for. He was nineteen; the only job he had ever had was selling drugs, and I don't mean at the pharmacy. He was a charmer though. Girls fell for his good looks and his charm, and would do anything for him, and he of course chose the best looking one of the bunch, Lisa. She never realized what a slime-ball he really was. The problem was that Lisa didn't have a father to threaten to put a bullet in Mike's behind, and her mother was just as deceived as she was.

"You broke into my house and attempted to steal my belongings. Why shouldn't I?" I said with false sternness. I wouldn't really turn them in, now that I knew the situation. I would give the girls a good scare, then a ride home. Maybe then Lisa would see through Mike's veneer.

"Because we'll do anything you want," Julie offered, speaking for the first time. "Anything at all!"

Julie stepped over and ran her hand up my leg, pausing to tweak the head of my ****, which was hanging out of the leg of my cutoffs. I hadn't bothered to pull on any underwear. Julie was almost as good looking as Lisa was. Both girls had fabulous bodies, large firm ****, and smooth well-rounded *****. Julie had a cute face, whereas Lisa was absolutely beautiful.

"Yes, anything you want to do!" Lisa agreed.

The girls weren't wanton *****, but scared out of their wits and taking the only way out that they could think of. Of course they weren't virgins. It hadn't occurred to me to take advantage of the girls like this, and I would have declined Julie's offer if she hadn't fooled with my **** like that. You see, I was developing an outrageous *******, and with my **** hanging down the leg of some fairly tight shorts, the situation was rapidly becoming painful and serious. I had to get those pants off fast! Also, I hadn't been laid in quite a while. I decided to lay my cards on the line.

"You kids know me. I never had any intention of calling the Cops. I was going to give you a scare to teach you a lesson, then drive you home. Does that mean the offer is withdrawn?"

The girls looked at each other and both breathed a sigh of relief, big smiles on their faces. Lisa winked at Julie. "Nope," Julie said, smiling, "It still stands. Lets go upstairs."

I escorted the girls to my bedroom, pressed the magazine block on the shotgun, pumped out the shell that was still in the chamber, then put it back in the magazine. I tossed it onto the dresser with a loud thump.

I turned around and both girls were stark naked. Lisa came over, dropped to her knees, and planted a wet kiss on the head of my painfully throbbing ****. My ******* became harder still. I had to get out of those cutoffs! Julie solved that problem. She unzipped and unbuttoned them and gently worked them down around my rock-hard ****, allowing it to spring up to freedom.

"Lets get on the bed first," I suggested, "Then we have fun."

"Lay down on your back," Lisa insisted. "Have we got something for you!"

I complied, and Lisa leaned over and put my **** in her hot mouth. Her tongue swirled over the head, ran up and down the shaft, and started over again. I looked over at Julie and she was watching avidly. Not having anything better to do with my hands, I reached between her legs and caressed her ****. Julie gasped with surprise, then spread her legs. Her **** was already hot and wet, so I slid my ******* in all the way, then started finger ******* her and massaging her **** with my thumb. Her **** hardened and grew. Julie had her eyes closed and was erotically tweaking her ***** *******. She was slowly lowering her body, deepening the ******* of my finger, and rocking her hips back and forth, intensifying the stroking of her ****. Julie's hot ***** juices ran down my hand while Lisa's mouth was still working on my throbbing ****.

I began to draw my hand from Julie's sopping wet ****, but she grabbed it and held it tightly to her crotch. I pulled my hand now, and she came with it. I grabbed her thigh and swung her leg over me, so she was now sitting on my chest. I pulled my finger from her hungry ****, grabbed her ***, and pulled her ****** right up to my face. As soon as I flicked her **** with the tip of my tongue, she went wild, ******* my face, filling my nostrils with the sweet aroma of her **** juices. I thought I would give her all the licking she could handle. I rammed my tongue into her ****-hole with all my might, then gently nibbled on her ****. Apparently she had a low threshold, as this was all she could stand.

"Oh God, I'm coming!" she screamed, ground her **** into my face one more time, quivered, then collapsed sideways onto the bed.

One down, one to go. I looked at Lisa, still ******* my **** for all she was worth. I was nearing the end of my endurance, and I still hadn't had my **** in any hot **** yet. I grabbed Lisa's shoulders and pulled her mouth from my ****. I turned her around and held her up, her blonde ***** triangle just inches over my waiting tool.

"Give it to her! Now!" Julie whispered.

Lisa's **** didn't look wet or ready to take anything in it yet, but my **** was ready to take some *****. Julie reached over and spread the lips to Lisa's still dry *****, and began tweaking her ****. Lisa gasped her surprise at her most private place being touched by another chick. Within seconds though, her **** and inner ***** lips began to swell, and her juices started flowing. I slowly lowered Lisa to my rod, admiring her glistening pinkness. Julie guided my throbbing rod into Lisa's wet love hole.

"Please, be careful! Ah-h-h-h! Go slow, I'm so tight!"

I lowered Lisa very carefully, for her hot ****-hole was indeed the tightest ***** I had ever felt. With that in mind, I fought the urge to slam her down on my eager ****. As soon as she was down, I grabbed her *** and began sliding her back and forth. Lisa bit her lip as a tear trickled down from one eye.

"Stop, Mr. Steve! It's hurting her!" Julie commanded. Then to Lisa, "You haven't done it much, have you?"

"Just once, with Mike, and he isn't this big. It hurt then, too!" Lisa sobbed. "I wanted so bad to do it with Mr. Steve because he's been so nice to me, and I was so scared when I saw how big he was. Oh, it hurts!"

"You'd better get up then." I reassured, "I don't want to do anything to you that you don't want me to do."

"I want to go on, really I do! But don't you have anything I could use to make it easier?"

"Yeah, any Vaseline, or KY jelly, or something like that?" Julie asked.

"I have some KY jelly in the bathroom." I answered.

Julie jumped up and padded into the bathroom. I watched her naked *** jiggle as she left.

"You're gonna have to get up." I told Lisa. I gently lifted her ***. She bit her lip again and moaned as my **** slowly withdrew from her tortured hole. With a pop from her *****, a shriek burst from her lips as my **** sprung from her nearly dry ****-hole. She knelt on the bed next to me, softly crying, clutching herself where it hurt. I realized that she had been wrong in pretending to be so eager. A more gentle approach was needed.

I reached over, pulled her to me, and kissed her lips passionately. She ****** once in surprise, then melted into my arms, returning my kiss, forgetting the pain in her ****. I ran my hand around to her firm **** and gently stroked her *******, feeling them harden under my touch. I pulled my mouth from hers and kissed the point of each hard ******. She moaned and gasped with each touch of my lips, but from pleasure this time, not from pain. While I had her aroused, I lightly traced circles on her tummy with my finger, each circle going lower and lower, until I finally reached the blonde **** of her ***** hair. Slowly, I reached down and cupped her ***** with my hand, being careful not to press too hard or insert my finger. I would know when she was ready for *******. She responded with a **** and a gasp. I pressed again, and she gasped again. I kissed each firm ****** one last time, then started kissing down her tummy to her love nest, which was now warming and starting to respond to my touch.

I spread her legs and gently ran the tip of my tongue the full length of her slit. When I reached the vicinity of her ****, she reacted as though she had been shocked. She arched her back, pressing her **** against my face. Maybe she was ready. I probed again with my tongue, harder this time, hard enough to separate her ****-lips and tickle her ****. She went mad again, jerking and twitching in response to the touch of my tongue, moaning and panting. Then I felt her **** harden, her inner lips swell and spread, and her delicious juices start to flow. Now she was definitely ready for more. I probed her ****-hole with my tongue, licked all the way up to her ****, swirled it around, bit it gently, and then probed her hole again. When I started doing all this, she went even wilder. She spread her legs, ****** and reared against my face, and pulled my head tight against her hot cooze.

"Oh-h-h-h-h, **** me," she moaned, "I can't stand it any more! I don't care if it does hurt! Please, please **** me!"

I put her throbbing **** between my lips and gave it one hard ****, drawing it completely into my mouth, and pulled my head back sharply, causing her **** to pop back. She screamed, ****** her hips at me, and grabbed her sweating *******.

When she had subsided, her legs still spread, I mounted her in the traditional position. I started to position my throbbing pole for a gentle entry, but Lisa released her **** and spread her ****-lips with one hand and guided my tool to her sopping wet ****-hole with the other. She was much wetter now than when Julie diddled her ****, wet enough to ****.

"Please do it now!" Lisa pleaded.

I began to insert my **** cautiously, and found that due to her juices, entry was no problem. Lisa groaned like a ****** as I slid into her hot wetness. When she had taken as much of my ten-inch tool as she could, I still wasn't all the way in. But she began pumping her hips, causing the swollen head of my **** to ram against the back of her *****. She was as deliciously tight as before, but she must have been stretching, for with just a few strokes, my ***** were slapping against her ***, and I was in to the hilt. My tenderness and foreplay had paid off.

"Oh-h-h-h, that's good!" she purred when I began pumping to meet her rhythm. She wrapped her legs around my waist, and was pumping as hard as I was. With each stroke, I would completely withdraw from her hot, tight wetness, then shove my eager tool back in to the hilt, never missing her voracious target, always sliding easily in, jamming against the back of her *****.

Her pumping increased in tempo, and I sped up to match. Each pump became harder and more frantic than the one before. Lisa's breathing became harder and faster. She was about to come, and I wanted to come with her. I raised her legs over my shoulders so that I had a better angle at the depths of her tight hole, and started ramming as hard as I could.

"Don't stop! I think I'm gonna come! Oh-h-h, its so good! Come in me! Oh, please, I want to feel your load in me!" Lisa screamed. She bucked and reared and screamed incoherently, then went limp. I continued to pump. In just a few seconds, she began to pump anew. For more times than I could count, she orgasmed.

Once I felt my ****** approaching, I gave her one last hard ram and drove my weapon in as far as I could. I came at this point, spurting her sweet, tender Steve **** full of my hot sticky come, like an erupting volcano. She gasped, trembled, and fell back to the bed. I pulled out my softening ****. Our ****** energies were spent for the moment.

I glanced down at the foot of the bed, and saw Julie, whom I had forgotten. She sat in the chair at the foot of the bed, her legs spread, working a coke bottle in and out of her *****. She had found the KY jelly, then found us ******* away. Feeling left out but excited by the ****** sight of her best friend getting a good *******, she slicked up the coke bottle and began using it as a *****.

I saw that Lisa also was seeing something she had never seen before, her best friend's ****, gaping open, a coke bottle almost disappearing inside it. "Look how far in she puts it! And see how big it is to go in her like that. How does she do it?" Lisa asked, amazed.

"Why don't you get a closer look," I suggested. "Ask her." Lisa crawled down to the foot of the bed and sat on the end, astounded, watching Julie *******.

Julie finally looked down, under heavy-lidded eyes and saw Lisa so close. "Why don't you do this for me?" Julie asked.

"How?" Lisa queried.

"Just do what I'm doing now," came Julie's reply. Lisa watched for a few seconds more, then pushed Julie's hand aside and grasped the slippery end of the bottle. "In and out, and twist it a little bit. Oh, yes-s-s, oh, yes-s-s. Do it good, oh, that's so good!" Julie purred.

My **** was hardening again at the sight of one female ******* another.

I had an idea. If Julie was as promiscuous as she seemed, she might not object to what I had in mind. While Lisa continued to work the bottle in Julie's stretched ****, I helped Julie out of the chair and down to the floor, her heaving **** on the floor, her *** up in the air. She stayed in the position, crooning wordlessly, **** juice dribbling down her thighs, Lisa still ******* her.

I picked up the tube of KY jelly that Julie had used, and liberally covered my ***** rod with it. Then I stood behind Julie, straddling Lisa.

"What are you going to do?" Lisa asked.

"Watch and see!" I responded. With that I grasped Julie's hips and aimed my **** at the delicate rosette of Julie's ***. Using my **** like a weapon, I suddenly shoved my tool in as far as I could. Julie let out a scream, tearing out fistfuls of carpet.

"Oh God, **** my ***! That hurts so good! **** me harder, give me all you've got! Make it hurt! Give me more of that bottle!"

"I'm ***-******* Julie!" I informed Lisa, who was now completely mind-blown.

I needed no invitation, and neither did Lisa. Both of us gave Julie all we could, Lisa with the bottle in Julie's ****, me with my **** far up Julie's clenching ***. Julie rocked back to take us both in, then forward, then back for more. I couldn't see
Eshan Mar 2011
Nikle to hum bhi the ghar se yahi soch kar ki shayad is bar manzil tak pahuch jayenge,
kyunki daudna to unhone hume bachpan mein hi sikha diya tha yeh kehkar,
ki agar nahin bhagoge to woh tumhe peeche chod jayenge.

Daudne ki kuch aisi adat se ** gayi hai ki pair ab rukne ka nam hi nahin lete,
lekin hume kya pata tha ki itna age nikal ane se, apne hi paraye,
aur woh sabhi raste anjane se ** jayenge.

Sabse door rehte hue bhi, in anjanon ki bheed mein woh ek chehra apna sa lagta tha,
lekin woh bhi hamesha kisi aur chehre ki talash mein rehta tha.

Sahi raste ko dhoondhne nikle to the, magar yeh nahin pata tha ki itni jaldi thak jayenge.
Kabhi kabhi to lagta hai ki ab ruk jana chahiye, thoda aram kar lena chahiye,
lekin woh bhi namumkin lagta hai kyunki, ab to sapne bhi ajeeb se ate hain.

Chalte chalte, wade to kafi kiye the is safar mein, kuch unse, kuch apne ap se,
lekin yeh andaza bhi nahin tha ki un sabhi umeedon par pani ferte hue chale jayenge.

Yeh mehsoos bhi nahin hua ki apne hi apnon ke pankh kat chuke the,
talash thi to bas us kandhe ki jo is ladkhadate hue ko sahara de sake.

Fir bhi, dheere dheere is katon ki chadar par age badna hai, dil yahi kehta rehta hai,
kyunki jhoothi hansi ki kuch aisi adat si ** gayi hai, ki ab chahte hue bhi dard ka ehsas nahin hota hai.
WW1 WW2 Dubyadubya3

(turbosouthernfried president w/ coke)

Wheyfaced WW4torn Widows

(spittoon image son of a talkfool from a longline)

Wheyfaced WW5torn Widows Warturned ******

(of talkfools in thrall to doctor occident)

Pastweeping WW6 Widowswarturnedwhores Wankoff WW7lords

(& other arsekissingers bearing airwolfpackages)

Woldwaltzing Wommel's Wazzocky Wristwatch Won WW8

(americuntbearing dr.doom in blue jeans )

WW9 Or Was It UUUU10 The Greatest Trick The Dubya Ever Pulled

(o -cide! quanticide! qualiticide! shiacide! sunnicide! up-)

WW11 Wind In The Willows Vs. Where The Wild Things Are

(-cidedoom! heil ideolodger cop tours amereich a-)

Wu-Tang Wenceslas Did Look Out To Wot Who's At WW12 W/ Who

(pache putative peacekeepers like abyssscythe parents)

WW13 Was Just A War To Wardoff War W/ War War

(chickenshits in boeing beefy tattoo nutshell the kernel cinders outta kids)

Wappenschawhinging Wareeyores Didn't Wanna Die In WW14

(white orange agent phosphorus wadewilsoning youth thin asia)

Warmongs Watching 'Alien Vs. Primula' Awailable On Bluway Wideo & WMD

(marlborocountry obsidional smokers of nationalised foreign forests)

Winking Warcorresponsors Dent Cred, So Just Di'nt Wink ;-) ;-)

(& nationalised fruits of the forest, totemic nutritious trivia)

WW Deja Vu Tho' Not The Former U.S.O.S.N.O.V.C.R., It's US=A Ruskhour,

(of red silverbacks primalcommunists marxist gorillas)

Wider Conflagration © Money For Old Europe

(daisycutters are daisyraiseczars, whumping warmjungle socialism)

Wigga Wandwigger Wimey Wyke Wozzy Wabbo

(yezhovschina will seem but a user's shiner next to us-china)

Woon Waki Wytie Wago Wankee Winky Wap = WW²

(international tittletattle + ballistic backwatchers = WW Certificate K-PG)

Winstolf Churchhimmler Was Never Wamblecroft At Wetwork

(vietnumb flaggingpasschendaele crimeansnore agincorpse)

Japoleon Bombaport Was Never Wamblecroft At Waterbloodsports

(even peacetime's but a meta nam for emasculated rambofan)

Every Payback Waterfall Is An Elevator In The Overlook

(boer war doesn't even touch the -cides of mars)

WW15 Will Be a Pathetic War Like A Letting War

(baulklands falkans batarangofbaghdad wolf of farrow says)

WW16 Was Warpartypiece For Wemon Wonga & Whippingboyz

(her heard everyherdy's fist theory of history is **** homini lupus)

'Mandible-Mandible Is Better Than Edibleman-Edibleman' - Winnie Va Pour

(gestarpospangled gag, sicker heights pulitzers should police)

But Peace Might As Well Be A Passe Fist Whilst Atomihawkcurse

(or kowtow bone sow to god & his flags of infinite paedophagy)

Of Full Spectrum Dominance Hawk Their Heck, Raptor Values

(allah 'avin allaugh w/ muhammadman atta atta)

That Also Corrupt Chimurenga Avengers & Krishnikovs Of Kashmir

(great pair of babels going south to macadam nation)

Like Incidental Minks Of Warpelf Warped Elves

(both the infidel eagle & osama bingowing earners hereafterburners)

Of Badman Admin In Die Goldzahngrube Kanada

(amerikaput christicidal as avuncular ayatollah w/ nuke quran)

Because There Is Only 1 Character Der Wille Zur Macht

(because there is only 1 act der wille zur macht)

No Peacenik Liberators Manumit Umits Of Nen, Deliver Us Unto Valnillahalla

(tho' bestlaid treatises are but cross storks ferrying thugly ducklings)

Before World Bleeders, Shepnel Shrapherds Lead Us Into
Poppyfields Of Tommy K

(that boom into aggreswans like the kaolin coruscation)

Wotsitler GOP-zilla Tyranno Sapiens Vs. Iranosaurus Nex'

(ian botham wielding mjolnir might rhinestone, lilywhite hiroshima bobbles)

Making Tommies & Jerries Out Of Cowboys & Islums

(& the only 1s beyond the apollyon will be already bellyup cosmonauts)

Congeries Of Tom & Jerry & Tom & Jerry & Tom & Jerry

& WW Tom & Jerry & WW Tom & Jerry & WW Tom & Jerry: bellicosmos

(peace is the uneventful unfull overness post-killallwillkillall)
Arvind Bhardwaj Mar 2016
Mujhe ye gam aur ye khusi dono raas hai,
Chalne ki aadat hai aur manzil ki talaash hai.

Raah me jitne mile sab apne hain sab khaas hai,
Meri zindagi choti sahi par tukde sabke paas hai.

Jab bhi laga tutne sabne sameta hai mujhko,
uljha uljhno me jab jab, sabne lapeta hai mujhko,
kabhi sang hase to kabhi sang roye bhi hain,
bahut se apne mile to kuch apne khoye bhi hain.

Jaanta hu zindgi hai kuch khona to kuch pana bhi hai,
safar lamba hai zindgi ka aur door tak jana bhi hai.
Par na jaane kyu aaj meri ankhe kuch nam si lagti hain,
zindagi poori to hai lekin fir bhi kuch kam si lagti hai.

Sabki rooh sabka pyar sabki wafa mere dil ke paas hai,
mujhe ye gam aur khusi dono raas hai,
Chalne ki aadat hai aur Manzil ki Talaash hai.
Shrivastva MK Sep 2015
Meri muskurahat sirf tum se hai,
Meri khushi sirf tum se hai,
Kyon anjaan banke itna tadpate ** mujhe ye jaankar bhi ki,
meri zindagi sirf tum se hai,
meri zindagi sirf tum se hai...

Aankhen nam kar kahan chale gye tum
yu bnake mujhe zinda lash,
sisak-sisak ke ro rha dil ye mera
banke wo dardila aawaj,
ye phulo ki khushboo sirf tum se hai,
meri zindagi sirf tum se hai,
meri zindagi sirf tum se hai...
Stephen E Yocum Nov 2013
In ’68 Hutch and me,
Sitting at the bar drinking
Our third cold beer.
In a semi Fern Bar
Laguna or Newport Beach
Which now, I’m not sure.
It was around nine or so,
A week day night,
The place more empty than not.

She came in alone, made
Entry like the dramatic host of
A TV show. As if she were the
Center piece on the nations
Thanksgiving Dinner Table.
Over dressed to the nines,
Lots of color, heavy make up
She didn’t really need.

Her perfume scent hovered
Around her like a cloud of insects  
On a hot summer night in a wet meadow.
Kind of made my eyes water up.

She perched daintily like a dancer,
Upon a bar stool,
Three empty stools down,
Nodded the bartender her regular order.
A martini, a double it was,
With but a dab of vermouth.
One green olive on a stick.
The glass was prechilled as if
It had been waiting only for her.
She pounded that first one down,
As if the stem wear was a shot glass.
Another full stem glass appeared,
That one also quickly consumed
Two bright red lipstick stains all that
Remained in or on the stemmed glass rim.

Her main task accomplished,
She audibly exhaled,
As if tired or relieved.
I couldn't tell which.
Turned around on her stool to face
Hutch sitting closest to her.
“You boys Marines.” She declared,
More than inquired.
The close chopped hair cuts
giving us away.

Hutch just nodded, he never did say much.
A ****** just back from The Nam,
A dark scary guy of few words.

She opened her fur trimmed cloth coat,
exposing two very nice stocking clad legs,
And just a quick flash of red underpants.
Rotating towards us so we got a better shot.

She announced her name,
like as if we should know it.
Our blank stares informed her we didn’t.
Her face was to me, somewhat familiar.  
From movies in the 40s or 50s.
We were early 20 guys, she much older,
Trying hard to look younger, not succeeding.

Soon she was sitting right next to Hutch,
Two more Martini stems had come and gone,
Her lipstick finger prints upon them.
And still Hutch had not spoken more than
Three or four words.

She bought us a pitcher of brew,
Hutch grunted a short bit of gratitude.
We didn't have to say much, she was in charge.
It was all about her, she rambled on and on
Speaking volumes saying not much at all.
Beating back her crushing obscurity,
With flowery reminiscence recall,
Of glory days, long gone away.
Important for the moment, if only to her.
It was all; “me and I, I did this, I was that,
I slept with him,
And him and him”.
How about so and so?  I asked,
“No Darling not him, he was gay!
Still is.”

It was not long and she was touching Hutch.
On the hand, the shoulder, she was working him
With languid hungry looks from her big baby blues,
And the message could not have been plainer,
Had she held up a large hand lettered sign.

I don’t believe she was a “Working Girl”,
Just someone very lonely seeking to find
Herself, and some company for the night,
All to prove that she was still alive.

Looking at her, I could only think,
How sad and pathetic she seemed,
How desperate her plight.
To humble herself so,
In that dingy bar, among strangers
She did not know, Acting yet, still
On the only stage she could find,
Staring in her own bad ‘B’ movie drama.
In that dingy smelly bar.

Hutch and her left after a hour or so,
He never told me much about it.
He was unofficially AWOL for three days.
I covered for him, kept his name off the
Missing Morning Formation Reports
and the Daily Duty Lists.
No one cared to check. Our unit made up
Of mostly guys back from the war,
A pretty loosey-goosey outfit.

Once in a while now I see an old movie,
most are Black and white, Film Noir stuff,
And there she is, a much younger her,
Looking pretty **** good,
Not real big roles they were,
Claimed she was in the chorus
Of "Singing In The Rain" in '52.
To this, I can not attest,
watched that film several times,
But I never saw her there.

Had parts Playing damsels in distress,
A mobster’s gun moll a time or two,
Or unhappy Play Girls on a bar stool.
I guess it was type casting that done her in.
Or maybe she got a little too long in the tooth..
A sad ending to a short B movie career.
Life ain’t easy, even for a so called “movie star”.
Fame is not all it’s cracked up to be.
A smattering of fame, apparently worth,
Nothing at all.
True stuff from an old guys past.
She had called the Company Office
once or twice, looking for Hutch.
He told us to tell her that he had
been Shipped Out, when he actually
hadn't.

She no doubt found someone else to
tell her story to.

I saw that woman the other day on TV,
an old film on Turner Classic Movies
doing her thing. I sort of wonder what
ever  happened to her, but refuse to
Google it to find out.
Some information you don't need
or what to know.
It did inspire this little Poem Noir write.

Got a letter from Hutch in '70, we were
both out of the Corps. He was headed to
the Arabian Desert as a hired gun, to guard
some pipe line operation. Have no idea what
became of him after that. Hutch was a real hard
case, 14 confirmed kills through a ****** sight.
I hope he made it out of the desert all right,
maybe sitting on a beach someplace recalling
his back in the day three nights with a once
upon a time B movie star. Actually I doubt he
recalls her at all.
Arvind Bhardwaj Mar 2016
Maa ki kokh se lekar, unki god me aane tak,
band muthi ke sapno ko apna banane tak,
Nanhi-Nanhi baato ko lekar ruth jaane tak,
Fir Maa ke pyaar se behal jaane tak,
Yahi Prem hai, Yahi Samarpan, Yahi Zindagi.

Bachpan ki athkheliyo me shaitaniya chupaane tak,
Bankar Nandlal Yashoda maa ko sataane tak,
kabhi matki todne to kabhi maakhan churaane tak,
Ban bhole Maa se sab kuch chupaane tak,
Kabhi Prem me Radha ke sabkuch bhulaane tak,
Yahi Prem hai, Yahi Samarpan, Yahi Zindagi.

Khilono se khelte-khelte bade ** jaane tak,
Pita ki ungli pakad unke kandhe pe aane tak,
Choti si zid ko lekar baith jaane tak,
Papa ki fatkaar se lekar Seham jaane tak,
Yahi Prem hai, Yahi Samarpan, Yahi Zindagi.

Yovan me kadam rakhkar paaw badhaane tak,
kisi ke pyar me apna sabkuch lutaane tak,
Choti-choti baato par ladkar unke manane tak,
Na maanne par tanha aansu bahane tak,
Yahi Prem hai, Yahi Samarpan, Yahi Zindagi.

unke intzaar me palke bichaane tak,
milkar sabkuch kehne ka sapna sajaane tak,
unke bina har raat ke tanha ** jaane tak,
unko khwabo me sochkar aankho ke nam ** jaane tak,
**Yahi Prem hai, Yahi Samarpan, Yahi Zindagi.
kalpana nayak Jun 2015
Jee aur aieee k sadme k mare ** jte h anjne anokhe unvrsts k hawale,nya clg nya jgh nye dost sb kch hta h nw nw,clg k strtng s hr ksi k dil m hta h rgng ka dar....2nd yr m cnr bnne ka hta h sbko gurur,frnds kai grp m bat jte h,hr koi dkhte h nye luks m,3rd yr m sbko ati h apni jimedari ka ahsas aur fnl yr ata h dston m fasle bdhte h...rah dkhe the is din k kbse,age k sapne saja rkhe the njane kbse,sb bde utavle the yhn se jne ko,zndgi ko dusre trke se dkhne ko....pr njane aj dil m kch aur he ata h,piche ja k waqt ko rok k apne andr sare lmhe ko samet lne ka jee krta h....at d strtng f btech kha krte the bdi muskil s y 4 sal bitenge lkn kse pta tha y sb chd k jne ka mn ni krga...na vulne wali kch yadein reh *** o yadein jo ab jine ka sahara bn ***...na jne aj q un palon k yad bht ati h jin baton ko lekar tab rote the ,aj un palon ko yad kar bht hsi ati h....y sch k ankhein nam ** jte h k mri tang ab kn kncha krga,m apne bton s kska sar khaungi,pranks ksk 7 krngi,ab mjhe kn itna jhlga,ksk smne ntnki krngi,jin dst p lakh kurban whn 1 rupye k ly  kn ldhnge,kaun rat vr bina soye bt krga,kaun bina pche 1 dusre ka chj istml krga,kaun nya nm rkhga,bina ksi bt k m ab ksse ldhungi,bina ks tpc k fal2 bt kn krga,bkws q kn krga,xam k ek din phle o tyri o rate,kn rat var 7 jag kr pdhga,kn fail hne p dilasa dlyga,y hasin pal ab ksk 7 jiungi....yad ati h o rec k choti si cntn bar bar jhn kch v ni mlta mre yar fr v na jane q hum gye hnge so bar...tum jse kmine dost khn mlnge jo khai m v dhaka de ayen sale srs mtr ko v joke m cnvrt kr de,par fr tmhe bachane khud v kud jye....mre hrkton se nakhro se jid s prsan kn hga ,ksk 7 brng lctrs jhlngi..bina mtlb k ksko v dkh kr pglon k trh hsna,na jne y fr kb hga....ky hm y sb fr krpaenge....bdy clbrt,ek h rm p bth k 1 dusre s wtsap p bt krna...rat k 3-4 bje khna pkana....bina ksi mtlb k rat ko chilana....mlk pina...pgl jse hrkt krna..mlk ghumna....kaun mjhe apni kabiliat pr vrosa aur jyda hawa m udne pr zamin p lyga....mre khusi m sch m khus kn hga,mre gam m mjhse jyda dukhi kn hga....keh do doston y dubara kb hga....dil m ek kasak hoti h jb hr ankhein nam hti h,fir mlne k wade se hm ek dusre se juda hte h,kv na akle rhne wle dost bas yadon k sahare zndgi bitate h....lkn jb v y clg k din yad ate h ankhon m hasin aur ansu ek 7 late h...engnr bnne k khusi v ansu rok na pai ,q k njr aa rai t doston s judai...ab jo hna tha o ** gya akhir m sbse juda ** h gye....aj v un palon ko yad kr k ansun rok ni pte h ....nkl he jte h...aur yuhi lkh lkh k apko pka rai hn....char sal yu he gye hmri beet..ab khn mlnge wo dost wo mit...dua krt hn sb k ly race y zndgi k jao tm jit....
I ms my clg clg dys.....
ConnectHook Sep 2015
[Infernal Dialectic of Ongoing Struggle]

Spoke Mao Zedong to Kim Jong Ill:
We languish here in deep red hell—
Let us confer and analyze
What factors revolutionize
The contradictions still.


Replied Lil’ Kim: The running dogs
Beguiled by class and capital
Have overdrawn and overspent.
They bank on debt, and make lament
And flounder in their fogs…


Kim chee does stink, but tastes so good
Do have some more, oh comrade Mao.
Fermented cabbage goes so well
With Hennessey and blondes (in hell)
when
Juche’s in da hood!

The Fearless Leader (now a shade)
Responded thus: Just give them time.
Our doctrines spread, their God is dead
Their sons shall sing ‘The East is Red’
Our party’s got it made.


Ill Kim displayed a wicked grin:
Our rocket-launches make them fear
They scold and cluck, and then they duck
While Hillary tries to pass the buck
I think we still could win…


The Chairman thought and sipped some fire
in communistic reverie, and feeling very clever, he
Replied to Ill: This place we’ll fill
with dead reactionaries still—
fifth columns to inspire.

Now let the thousand flowers bloom
And let one thousand thoughts contend.
Remember **? Remember ‘Nam?
We triumphed over Uncle Sam—
He’s limping toward his doom.


A wizened ghost now drifted in
Because his name had been proclaimed
A wispy beard (as yet unseared)
Revealed the mastermind once feared:
Old Uncle ** Chi Minh !

** **—old friend! Draw near! Draw near,
Spoke Mao: In solidarity
We hail your work upon the earth
You showed them what a war is worth
You’re always welcome here.


Ill Kim and I were wondering
How best to make the forward leap—
conspiring ******* their cow
and smoke their duck and drain their sow
while they are buying bling.

** Chi, old warrior, why the frown?
Upon your wisdom now we wait.
The forces red you bravely led
You staked your claim until they bled
And brought their nation down.


Old uncle **, the sage revered,
did smolder with his cigarette.
Viet Cong thought is hard to grasp
It slithers like a jungle asp…
** paused and stroked his beard:

You speak without the people’s light!
I criticize in strongest terms
Your revolutionary thought.
We need to ask our friend Pol ***
How best to steer this fight.

Such gradual change, a halfway measure
stalls the Bourgeoisie’s demise.
Our true Khmer Rouge was not a stooge
of Kapital. His fame was huge
for plundering their treasure.

True, he had to purge his nation
such is revolution, gents…
The traitor classes see the masses,
through reactionary  glasses.
Death or re-education!

We ought to sow his rural seed
for pure agrarian reform.
The bodies in the rice can rot
to fertilize the harvest plot—
the people’s mouths to feed.


When Pol *** heard his tactics lauded
he flew in to join the jabber:
Take a tip from Kampuchea!
Listen well and I will teach ya!

Kim and Mao applauded.

City folk are useless eaters
glasses-wearing foes and cheaters!
let them slave – and always save
their corpses for the fertile grave
Until they love their leaders.

From the barrel power grows—
(I don’t mean kim chee barrel, boys).
Now learn my way.We’ll have our say
Their weakened states will wither away.

The Red dictator rose.

Prepared to ramble on for hours
(the way Fidel so loves to do)
Pol ***’s harangue now fired the gang
like rockets falling on Da Nang
emitting sparks in showers.

Hell is known for lack of stasis—
Sudden throes of quaking fire;
fitful flares from from Satan’s lairs
and constant similar affairs
the population faces…

Thus Saint Pol ***, still naming names
along with Mao and Kim-Jong Il
while ** Chi screamed, and then blasphemed
were swept en masse, and unredeemed
into the surging flames.

Yet still they plotted in the blaze
with dialectic deviousness.
Philosophizing, strategizing
stinking sulphur brimstone rising;
ghosts in the yellow haze . . .

        ☭ END ☭
http://tinyurl.com/q6uyx34

Sanja Trifunovic Jan 2010
If from the public way you turn your steps
Up the tumultuous brook of Green-head Gill,
You will suppose that with an upright path
Your feet must struggle; in such bold ascent
The pastoral Mountains front you, face to face.
But, courage! for beside that boisterous Brook
The mountains have all open'd out themselves,
And made a hidden valley of their own.

No habitation there is seen; but such
As journey thither find themselves alone
With a few sheep, with rocks and stones, and kites
That overhead are sailing in the sky.
It is in truth an utter solitude,
Nor should I have made mention of this Dell
But for one object which you might pass by,
Might see and notice not. Beside the brook
There is a straggling heap of unhewn stones!
And to that place a story appertains,
Which, though it be ungarnish'd with events,
Is not unfit, I deem, for the fire-side,
Or for the summer shade. It was the first,
The earliest of those tales that spake to me
Of Shepherds, dwellers in the vallies, men
Whom I already lov'd, not verily
For their own sakes, but for the fields and hills
Where was their occupation and abode.

And hence this Tale, while I was yet a boy
Careless of books, yet having felt the power
Of Nature, by the gentle agency
Of natural objects led me on to feel
For passions that were not my own, and think
At random and imperfectly indeed
On man; the heart of man and human life.
Therefore, although it be a history
Homely and rude, I will relate the same
For the delight of a few natural hearts,
And with yet fonder feeling, for the sake
Of youthful Poets, who among these Hills
Will be my second self when I am gone.


Upon the Forest-side in Grasmere Vale
There dwelt a Shepherd, Michael was his name.
An old man, stout of heart, and strong of limb.
His ****** frame had been from youth to age
Of an unusual strength: his mind was keen
Intense and frugal, apt for all affairs,
And in his Shepherd's calling he was prompt
And watchful more than ordinary men.

Hence he had learn'd the meaning of all winds,
Of blasts of every tone, and often-times
When others heeded not, He heard the South
Make subterraneous music, like the noise
Of Bagpipers on distant Highland hills;
The Shepherd, at such warning, of his flock
Bethought him, and he to himself would say
The winds are now devising work for me!

And truly at all times the storm, that drives
The Traveller to a shelter, summon'd him
Up to the mountains: he had been alone
Amid the heart of many thousand mists
That came to him and left him on the heights.
So liv'd he till his eightieth year was pass'd.

And grossly that man errs, who should suppose
That the green Valleys, and the Streams and Rocks
Were things indifferent to the Shepherd's thoughts.
Fields, where with chearful spirits he had breath'd
The common air; the hills, which he so oft
Had climb'd with vigorous steps; which had impress'd
So many incidents upon his mind
Of hardship, skill or courage, joy or fear;
Which like a book preserv'd the memory
Of the dumb animals, whom he had sav'd,
Had fed or shelter'd, linking to such acts,
So grateful in themselves, the certainty
Of honorable gains; these fields, these hills
Which were his living Being, even more
Than his own Blood--what could they less? had laid
Strong hold on his affections, were to him
A pleasurable feeling of blind love,
The pleasure which there is in life itself.

He had not passed his days in singleness.
He had a Wife, a comely Matron, old
Though younger than himself full twenty years.
She was a woman of a stirring life
Whose heart was in her house: two wheels she had
Of antique form, this large for spinning wool,
That small for flax, and if one wheel had rest,
It was because the other was at work.
The Pair had but one Inmate in their house,
An only Child, who had been born to them
When Michael telling o'er his years began
To deem that he was old, in Shepherd's phrase,
With one foot in the grave. This only son,
With two brave sheep dogs tried in many a storm.

The one of an inestimable worth,
Made all their Household. I may truly say,
That they were as a proverb in the vale
For endless industry. When day was gone,
And from their occupations out of doors
The Son and Father were come home, even then,
Their labour did not cease, unless when all
Turn'd to their cleanly supper-board, and there
Each with a mess of pottage and skimm'd milk,
Sate round their basket pil'd with oaten cakes,
And their plain home-made cheese. Yet when their meal
Was ended, LUKE (for so the Son was nam'd)
And his old Father, both betook themselves
To such convenient work, as might employ
Their hands by the fire-side; perhaps to card
Wool for the House-wife's spindle, or repair
Some injury done to sickle, flail, or scythe,
Or other implement of house or field.

Down from the cicling by the chimney's edge,
Which in our ancient uncouth country style
Did with a huge projection overbrow
Large space beneath, as duly as the light
Of day grew dim, the House-wife hung a lamp;
An aged utensil, which had perform'd
Service beyond all others of its kind.

Early at evening did it burn and late,
Surviving Comrade of uncounted Hours
Which going by from year to year had found
And left the Couple neither gay perhaps
Nor chearful, yet with objects and with hopes
Living a life of eager industry.

And now, when LUKE was in his eighteenth year,
There by the light of this old lamp they sate,
Father and Son, while late into the night
The House-wife plied her own peculiar work,
Making the cottage thro' the silent hours
Murmur as with the sound of summer flies.

Not with a waste of words, but for the sake
Of pleasure, which I know that I shall give
To many living now, I of this Lamp
Speak thus minutely: for there are no few
Whose memories will bear witness to my tale,
The Light was famous in its neighbourhood,
And was a public Symbol of the life,
The thrifty Pair had liv'd. For, as it chanc'd,
Their Cottage on a plot of rising ground
Stood single, with large prospect North and South,
High into Easedale, up to Dunmal-Raise,
And Westward to the village near the Lake.
And from this constant light so regular
And so far seen, the House itself by all
Who dwelt within the limits of the vale,
Both old and young, was nam'd The Evening Star.

Thus living on through such a length of years,
The Shepherd, if he lov'd himself, must needs
Have lov'd his Help-mate; but to Michael's heart
This Son of his old age was yet more dear--
Effect which might perhaps have been produc'd
By that instinctive tenderness, the same
Blind Spirit, which is in the blood of all,
Or that a child, more than all other gifts,
Brings hope with it, and forward-looking thoughts,
And stirrings of inquietude, when they
By tendency of nature needs must fail.

From such, and other causes, to the thoughts
Of the old Man his only Son was now
The dearest object that he knew on earth.
Exceeding was the love he bare to him,
His Heart and his Heart's joy! For oftentimes
Old Michael, while he was a babe in arms,
Had done him female service, not alone
For dalliance and delight, as is the use
Of Fathers, but with patient mind enforc'd
To acts of tenderness; and he had rock'd
His cradle with a woman's gentle hand.

And in a later time, ere yet the Boy
Had put on Boy's attire, did Michael love,
Albeit of a stern unbending mind,
To have the young one in his sight, when he
Had work by his own door, or when he sate
With sheep before him on his Shepherd's stool,
Beneath that large old Oak, which near their door
Stood, and from it's enormous breadth of shade
Chosen for the Shearer's covert from the sun,
Thence in our rustic dialect was call'd
The CLIPPING TREE, *[1] a name which yet it bears.

There, while they two were sitting in the shade,
With others round them, earnest all and blithe,
Would Michael exercise his heart with looks
Of fond correction and reproof bestow'd
Upon the child, if he dislurb'd the sheep
By catching at their legs, or with his shouts
Scar'd them, while they lay still beneath the shears.

And when by Heaven's good grace the Boy grew up
A healthy Lad, and carried in his cheek
Two steady roses that were five years old,
Then Michael from a winter coppice cut
With his own hand a sapling, which he hoop'd
With iron, making it throughout in all
Due requisites a perfect Shepherd's Staff,
And gave it to the Boy; wherewith equipp'd
He as a Watchman oftentimes was plac'd
At gate or gap, to stem or turn the flock,
And to his office prematurely call'd
There stood the urchin, as you will divine,
Something between a hindrance and a help,
And for this cause not always, I believe,
Receiving from his Father hire of praise.

While this good household thus were living on
From day to day, to Michael's ear there came
Distressful tidings. Long before, the time
Of which I speak, the Shepherd had been bound
In surety for his Brother's Son, a man
Of an industrious life, and ample means,
But unforeseen misfortunes suddenly
Had press'd upon him, and old Michael now
Was summon'd to discharge the forfeiture,
A grievous penalty, but little less
Than half his substance. This un-look'd-for claim
At the first hearing, for a moment took
More hope out of his life than he supposed
That any old man ever could have lost.

As soon as he had gather'd so much strength
That he could look his trouble in the face,
It seem'd that his sole refuge was to sell
A portion of his patrimonial fields.
Such was his first resolve; he thought again,
And his heart fail'd him. "Isabel," said he,
Two evenings after he had heard the news,
"I have been toiling more than seventy years,
And in the open sun-shine of God's love
Have we all liv'd, yet if these fields of ours
Should pass into a Stranger's hand, I think
That I could not lie quiet in my grave."

"Our lot is a hard lot; the Sun itself
Has scarcely been more diligent than I,
And I have liv'd to be a fool at last
To my own family. An evil Man
That was, and made an evil choice, if he
Were false to us; and if he were not false,
There are ten thousand to whom loss like this
Had been no sorrow. I forgive him--but
'Twere better to be dumb than to talk thus.
When I began, my purpose was to speak
Of remedies and of a chearful hope."

"Our Luke shall leave us, Isabel; the land
Shall not go from us, and it shall be free,
He shall possess it, free as is the wind
That passes over it. We have, thou knowest,
Another Kinsman, he will be our friend
In this distress. He is a prosperous man,
Thriving in trade, and Luke to him shall go,
And with his Kinsman's help and his own thrift,
He quickly will repair this loss, and then
May come again to us. If here he stay,
What can be done? Where every one is poor
What can be gain'd?" At this, the old man paus'd,
And Isabel sate silent, for her mind
Was busy, looking back into past times.

There's Richard Bateman, thought she to herself,
He was a parish-boy--at the church-door
They made a gathering for him, shillings, pence,
And halfpennies, wherewith the Neighbours bought
A Basket, which they fill'd with Pedlar's wares,
And with this Basket on his arm, the Lad
Went up to London, found a Master there,
Who out of many chose the trusty Boy
To go and overlook his merchandise
Beyond the seas, where he grew wond'rous rich,
And left estates and monies to the poor,
And at his birth-place built a Chapel, floor'd
With Marble, which he sent from foreign lands.
These thoughts, and many others of like sort,
Pass'd quickly thro' the mind of Isabel,
And her face brighten'd. The Old Man was glad.

And thus resum'd. "Well I Isabel, this scheme
These two days has been meat and drink to me.
Far more than we have lost is left us yet.
--We have enough--I wish indeed that I
Were younger, but this hope is a good hope.
--Make ready Luke's best garments, of the best
Buy for him more, and let us send him forth
To-morrow, or the next day, or to-night:
--If he could go, the Boy should go to-night."
Here Michael ceas'd, and to the fields went forth
With a light heart. The House-wife for five days
Was restless morn and night, and all day long
Wrought on with her best fingers to prepare
Things needful for the journey of her Son.

But Isabel was glad when Sunday came
To stop her in her work; for, when she lay
By Michael's side, she for the two last nights
Heard him, how he was troubled in his sleep:
And when they rose at morning she could see
That all his hopes were gone. That day at noon
She said to Luke, while they two by themselves
Were sitting at the door, "Thou must not go,
We have no other Child but thee to lose,
None to remember--do not go away,
For if thou leave thy Father he will die."
The Lad made answer with a jocund voice,
And Isabel, when she had told her fears,
Recover'd heart. That evening her best fare
Did she bring forth, and all together sate
Like happy people round a Christmas fire.

Next morning Isabel resum'd her work,
And all the ensuing week the house appear'd
As cheerful as a grove in Spring: at length
The expected letter from their Kinsman came,
With kind assurances that he would do
His utmost for the welfare of the Boy,
To which requests were added that forthwith
He might be sent to him. Ten times or more
The letter was read over; Isabel
Went forth to shew it to the neighbours round:
Nor was there at that time on English Land
A prouder heart than Luke's. When Isabel
Had to her house return'd, the Old Man said,
"He shall depart to-morrow." To this word
The House--wife answered, talking much of things
Which, if at such, short notice he should go,
Would surely be forgotten. But at length
She gave consent, and Michael was at ease.

Near the tumultuous brook of Green-head Gill,
In that deep Valley, Michael had design'd
To build a Sheep-fold, and, before he heard
The tidings of his melancholy loss,
For this same purpose he had gathered up
A heap of stones, which close to the brook side
Lay thrown together, ready for the work.
With Luke that evening thitherward he walk'd;
And soon as they had reach'd the place he stopp'd,
And thus the Old Man spake to him. "My Son,
To-morrow thou wilt leave me; with full heart
I look upon thee, for thou art the same
That wert a promise to me ere thy birth,
And all thy life hast been my daily joy.
I will relate to thee some little part
Of our two histories; 'twill do thee good
When thou art from me, even if I should speak
Of things thou caust not know of.--After thou
First cam'st into the world, as it befalls
To new-born infants, thou didst sleep away
Two days, and blessings from thy Father's tongue
Then fell upon thee. Day by day pass'd on,
And still I lov'd thee with encreasing love."

Never to living ear came sweeter sounds
Than when I heard thee by our own fire-side
First uttering without words a natural tune,
When thou, a feeding babe, didst in thy joy
Sing at thy Mother's breast. Month follow'd month,
And in the open fields my life was pass'd
And in the mountains, else I think that thou
Hadst been brought up upon thy father's knees.
--But we were playmates, Luke; among these hills,
As well thou know'st, in us the old and young
Have play'd together, nor with me didst thou
Lack any pleasure which a boy can know.

Luke had a manly heart; but at these words
He sobb'd aloud; the Old Man grasp'd his hand,
And said, "Nay do not take it so--I see
That these are things of which I need not speak.
--Even to the utmost I have been to thee
A kind and a good Father: and herein
I but repay a gift which I myself
Receiv'd at others' hands, for, though now old
Beyond the common life of man, I still
Remember them who lov'd me in my youth."

Both of them sleep together: here they liv'd
As all their Forefathers had done, and when
At length their time was come, they were not loth
To give their bodies to the family mold.
I wish'd that thou should'st live the life they liv'd.
But 'tis a long time to look back, my Son,
And see so little gain from sixty years.
These fields were burthen'd when they came to me;
'Till I was forty years of age, not more
Than half of my inheritance was mine.

"I toil'd and toil'd; God bless'd me in my work,
And 'till these three weeks past the land was free.
--It looks as if it never could endure
Another Master. Heaven forgive me, Luke,
If I judge ill for thee, but it seems good
That thou should'st go." At this the Old Man paus'd,
Then, pointing to the Stones near which they stood,
Thus, after a short silence, he resum'd:
"This was a work for us, and now, my Son,
It is a wo
spysgrandson Mar 2012
Goodbye Charlie, Hello Vietnam.

Nineteen. I was ten and nine. Two A.M. Landed in some muggy, putrid place. Between honor and complete disgrace. Smelled like that for sure.  Issued tools of our trade. Heard the true sound of “rockets red glare”. Had us hunkering in bunkers all night. ******* in our helmets. Holding our ears. ****, the first night. Welcome to Vee-et-nam.

Morning. Sunshine and quiet. Except the rap from old timers. “Newbies“. New jungle fatigues. Newbies. New M-16. Clean boots. All day the old timers, telling each other how these newbies had their cherry popped. First night in country and the biggest *** mortar attack they had ever seen. Heard. Heard, I said. Yeah. What newbie? Now you have heard the real rockets’ red glare. That’s what you heard, Newbie.

I get it. Newbies are ****. We are **** and they aren’t going to waste a breath telling us anything. Watch. Watch and learn. I hope. Lines. Lines to get our teeth rinsed with fluoride. Lines. To chow. To get more shots. To in country orientation. Lines. Memorize lines. Lines to get ammo. Lines to get orders.

No line at the outhouse. Gray three seater. Heat roasting our ****. Old timer kicked the planks before he sat down beside me in the stench. I asked the question but only with my eyes. Kick the planks before you sit down so rats won’t bite your ***** off. Kick the planks to scare off the rats. Rats. The size of possum. Not an exaggeration. Possum rats. Rat possums. Who the hell knew? Just kick the planks. Save your *****.

More lines. Then darkness. Then more booms. Not incoming. Our own. 1-5-5s. Learn the difference newbie so you don’t crap your drawers for nothing. That’s the boys in that artillery firebase keeping Charlie awake for the night. Returning the favor. Charlie. Sounds like a name you would call someone who was a buddy doesn’t it? Charlie. Victor Charlie. V C. ***** Charlie. **** Charlie. Charlie this and Charlie that. Oh, Charlie would eat that rat.

My first duty. Guarding Charlie. Prisoner with leg blown off at the knee in our clean smelling dispensary. Hands strapped to bed rails. MP and I assigned night shift. Keep each other awake . Looked at Charlie. Charlie looked at me. Smirk. Then spit. Landed on my boot. My newbie boot. Not a newbie boot anymore. Charlie squirms. Spits again and misses. MP gets up and threatens to bash Charlie in Charlie’s little head. Medic comes and gives squirming, smirking, spitting Charlie shot of good drugs. Charlie doesn’t spit on medic. Charlie gets drowsy. I get drowsy. MP falls asleep. I stand up. Newbie afraid to fall asleep on guard duty. I wake the MP before shift change. Charlie is up. Smirk, smirk. Thus spoke Charlie. The only conversation I ever had with Charlie.

Medic says Charlie getting on a bird to someplace. Can’t remember where. Anyplace.   Charlie leaving and me staying. Ain’t that a hoot--all it cost him was a boot. Envy is a word I learned that day. Cost him part of a leg medic says when I tell him I wish I was Charlie just then. Had heard tales about people shooting off their toes to get out of the ‘nam. “**** tales” I would call them, since I heard so many in those gray crappers. Rats. Possum rats and your *****. ***** or a limb? Did I really want to be him? I don’t really remember. I didn’t want to be there--somewhere between honor and complete disgrace. Bye Charlie. Hello Vietnam.
mostly true story from a while ago--the only short story I have posted here
‘Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis
vidi in ampulla pendere, et *** illi pueri dicerent:
Sibylla ti theleis; respondebat illa: apothanein thelo.’

                For Ezra Pound
                il miglior fabbro


I. The Burial of the Dead

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
And when we were children, staying at the archduke’s,
My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony *******? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
            Frisch weht der Wind
            Der Heimat zu
            Mein Irisch Kind,
            Wo weilest du?
‘You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
‘They called me the hyacinth girl.’
—Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
Oed’ und leer das Meer.

Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,
Had a bad cold, nevertheless
Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe,
With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she,
Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor,
(Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look!)
Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks,
The lady of situations.
Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,
Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find
The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.
I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.
Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,
Tell her I bring the horoscope myself:
One must be so careful these days.

Unreal City,
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.
There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying ‘Stetson!
‘You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!
‘That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
‘Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
‘Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?
‘Oh keep the Dog far hence, that’s friend to men,
‘Or with his nails he’ll dig it up again!
‘You! hypocrite lecteur!—mon semblable,—mon frère!’

II. A Game of Chess

The Chair she sat in, like a burnished throne,
Glowed on the marble, where the glass
Held up by standards wrought with fruited vines
From which a golden Cupidon peeped out
(Another hid his eyes behind his wing)
Doubled the flames of sevenbranched candelabra
Reflecting light upon the table as
The glitter of her jewels rose to meet it,
From satin cases poured in rich profusion;
In vials of ivory and coloured glass
Unstoppered, lurked her strange synthetic perfumes,
Unguent, powdered, or liquid—troubled, confused
And drowned the sense in odours; stirred by the air
That freshened from the window, these ascended
In fattening the prolonged candle-flames,
Flung their smoke into the laquearia,
Stirring the pattern on the coffered ceiling.
Huge sea-wood fed with copper
Burned green and orange, framed by the coloured stone,
In which sad light a carved dolphin swam.
Above the antique mantel was displayed
As though a window gave upon the sylvan scene
The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king
So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale
Filled all the desert with inviolable voice
And still she cried, and still the world pursues,
‘Jug Jug’ to ***** ears.
And other withered stumps of time
Were told upon the walls; staring forms
Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed.
Footsteps shuffled on the stair.
Under the firelight, under the brush, her hair
Spread out in fiery points
Glowed into words, then would be savagely still.

‘My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me.
‘Speak to me. Why do you never speak. Speak.
‘What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?
‘I never know what you are thinking. Think.’

I think we are in rats’ alley
Where the dead men lost their bones.

‘What is that noise?
                          The wind under the door.
‘What is that noise now? What is the wind doing?’
                    Nothing again nothing.
                                                    ‘Do
‘You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember
‘Nothing?’

    I remember
Those are pearls that were his eyes.
‘Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?’
                                                     But
O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag—
It’s so elegant
So intelligent
‘What shall I do now? What shall I do?’
I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street
‘With my hair down, so. What shall we do to-morrow?
‘What shall we ever do?’
                             The hot water at ten.
And if it rains, a closed car at four.
And we shall play a game of chess,
Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door.

When Lil’s husband got demobbed, I said—
I didn’t mince my words, I said to her myself,
hurry up please its time
Now Albert’s coming back, make yourself a bit smart.
He’ll want to know what you done with that money he gave you
To get yourself some teeth. He did, I was there.
You have them all out, Lil, and get a nice set,
He said, I swear, I can’t bear to look at you.
And no more can’t I, I said, and think of poor Albert,
He’s been in the army four years, he wants a good time,
And if you don’t give it him, there’s others will, I said.
Oh is there, she said. Something o’ that, I said.
Then I’ll know who to thank, she said, and give me a straight look.
hurry up please its time
If you don’t like it you can get on with it, I said.
Others can pick and choose if you can’t.
But if Albert makes off, it won’t be for lack of telling.
You ought to be ashamed, I said, to look so antique.
(And her only thirty-one.)
I can’t help it, she said, pulling a long face,
It’s them pills I took, to bring it off, she said.
(She’s had five already, and nearly died of young George.)
The chemist said it would be alright, but I’ve never been the same.
You are a proper fool, I said.
Well, if Albert won’t leave you alone, there it is, I said,
What you get married for if you don’t want children?
hurry up please its time
Well, that Sunday Albert was home, they had a hot gammon,
And they asked me in to dinner, to get the beauty of it hot—
hurry up please its time
hurry up please its time
Goonight Bill. Goonight Lou. Goonight May. Goonight.
Ta ta. Goonight. Goonight.
Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night.

III. The Fire Sermon

The river’s tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf
Clutch and sink into the wet bank. The wind
Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed.
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.
The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers,
Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends
Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs are departed.
And their friends, the loitering heirs of city directors;
Departed, have left no addresses.
By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept . . .
Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song,
Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long.
But at my back in a cold blast I hear
The rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear.

A rat crept softly through the vegetation
Dragging its slimy belly on the bank
While I was fishing in the dull canal
On a winter evening round behind the gashouse
Musing upon the king my brother’s wreck
And on the king my father’s death before him.
White bodies naked on the low damp ground
And bones cast in a little low dry garret,
Rattled by the rat’s foot only, year to year.
But at my back from time to time I hear
The sound of horns and motors, which shall bring
Sweeney to Mrs. Porter in the spring.
O the moon shone bright on Mrs. Porter
And on her daughter
They wash their feet in soda water
Et O ces voix d’enfants, chantant dans la coupole!

Twit twit twit
Jug jug jug jug jug jug
So rudely forc’d.
Tereu

Unreal City
Under the brown fog of a winter noon
Mr. Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant
Unshaven, with a pocket full of currants
C.i.f. London: documents at sight,
Asked me in demotic French
To luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel
Followed by a weekend at the Metropole.

At the violet hour, when the eyes and back
Turn upward from the desk, when the human engine waits
Like a taxi throbbing waiting,
I Tiresias, though blind, throbbing between two lives,
Old man with wrinkled female *******, can see
At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives
Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea,
The typist home at teatime, clears her breakfast, lights
Her stove, and lays out food in tins.
Out of the window perilously spread
Her drying combinations touched by the sun’s last rays,
On the divan are piled (at night her bed)
Stockings, slippers, camisoles, and stays.
I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs
Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest—
I too awaited the expected guest.
He, the young man carbuncular, arrives,
A small house agent’s clerk, with one bold stare,
One of the low on whom assurance sits
As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire.
The time is now propitious, as he guesses,
The meal is ended, she is bored and tired,
Endeavours to engage her in caresses
Which still are unreproved, if undesired.
Flushed and decided, he assaults at once;
Exploring hands encounter no defence;
His vanity requires no response,
And makes a welcome of indifference.
(And I Tiresias have foresuffered all
Enacted on this same divan or bed;
I who have sat by Thebes below the wall
And walked among the lowest of the dead.)
Bestows one final patronising kiss,
And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit . . .

She turns and looks a moment in the glass,
Hardly aware of her departed lover;
Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass:
‘Well now that’s done: and I’m glad it’s over.’
When lovely woman stoops to folly and
Paces about her room again, alone,
She smoothes her hair with automatic hand,
And puts a record on the gramophone.

‘This music crept by me upon the waters’
And along the Strand, up Queen Victoria Street.
O City city, I can sometimes hear
Beside a public bar in Lower Thames Street,
The pleasant whining of a mandoline
And a clatter and a chatter from within
Where fishmen lounge at noon: where the walls
Of Magnus Martyr hold
Inexplicable splendour of Ionian white and gold.

      The river sweats
      Oil and tar
      The barges drift
      With the turning tide
      Red sails
      Wide
      To leeward, swing on the heavy spar.
      The barges wash
      Drifting logs
      Down Greenwich reach
      Past the Isle of Dogs.
                  Weialala leia
                  Wallala leialala

      Elizabeth and Leicester
      Beating oars
      The stern was formed
      A gilded shell
      Red and gold
      The brisk swell
      Rippled both shores
      Southwest wind
      Carried down stream
      The peal of bells
      White towers
                  Weialala leia
                  Wallala leialala

‘Trams and dusty trees.
Highbury bore me. Richmond and Kew
Undid me. By Richmond I raised my knees
Supine on the floor of a narrow canoe.’
‘My feet are at Moorgate, and my heart
Under my feet. After the event
He wept. He promised ‘a new start’.
I made no comment. What should I resent?’
‘On Margate Sands.
I can connect
Nothing with nothing.
The broken fingernails of ***** hands.
My people humble people who expect
Nothing.’
              la la

To Carthage then I came

Burning burning burning burning
O Lord Thou pluckest me out
O Lord Thou pluckest

burning

IV. Death by Water

Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell
And the profit and loss.
                                A current under sea
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell
He passed the stages of his age and youth
Entering the whirlpool.
                               Gentile or Jew
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.

V. What the Thunder Said

After the torchlight red on sweaty faces
After the frosty silence in the gardens
After the agony in stony places
The shouting and the crying
Prison and palace and reverberation
Of thunder of spring over distant mountains
He who was living is now dead
We who were living are now dying
With a little patience

Here is no water but only rock
Rock and no water and the sandy road
The road winding above among the mountains
Which are mountains of rock wi
Geno Cattouse Sep 2012
1968  I remember 1968..
The land of milk and honey.
The war was still cold but not
The Tet. That ***** was hot.

1954 I made my debut. Lotta my boys did too.
** chi Minh amped up his crew.
Can't. We all just get along.

No way LBJ. Young guys all over town stressin the lottery.
The randomness of body bag.
Friday hip deep in rice paddy.
Monday a letter to your moms.
Jude kyrie Feb 2016
I love you man
A Story From Nam

We were seventeen or eighteen in Nam
we became friends forever.
No more than friends.
Soldiers get closer than wives.
We went to sleep saying
I love you man.
We switched letters
For our girlfriends.
In case… well just in case.

The bullets rained
in the clearing that night.
I can still see the tracer lights.
Guys fell down all around me.
Crying everywhere.
Air power cleared them away.

I looked for Joe he was lay there.
I held him close
like a baby as he left us.
His last words
I love you man.
I whispered to him
Not as much
as I love you Man
.
I did not notice I had been hit.
After six months I returned home.
In West Virginia his beautiful girl
Opened the door of a small trailer.
She had a baby boy in her arms.
Her blue eyes welled with tears.
I passed the unopened letter to her.
I lied and said the blood
on it was mine.

She passed the baby
to me to hold
As she read the letter.
I kissed his tiny forehead.
And said see buddy
You’re not dead at all
I love you Man
Robert G Page Jul 2014
The Slow-Bullet
by rgpage

In the early days of  Viet Nam
the American draft was going strong.
Young men in their prime of life,
were forced and herded into world strife.

A generation of America’s best, were
then brought home and laid to rest.
Wall Street smiled, the money flowed
the “fat Cats” called it money owed.

In towns and cities big and small,
families waited, worried, and cried.
Groups appeared, dissention grew.
"Mothers grab your son’s and hide."

There were those who felt their duty strong,
to take the leap toward blood and strife
with McNamara herding them along.
Known to the grunts as “Mac the Knife.”

The madness grew to a global scale
with those that were for and those against.
In bombing, selective targets became the norm
keeping the rest of the world from harm.

With those who didn’t feel their duty strong,
a path to the north they took.
They packed what they could, burned their cards
and paused for one last look.

With this some parents felt relief,
while others felt the disgrace. Of  seeing
the grief so many went through after
having their futures erased.

The war took over 58,000 American lives;
men and women both, (before we flew away).
Wall Street got their wages for blood, with
broken lives in pain, many thousands more would pay.

With thousands more that were yet to be lost, after returning home.
Physically and mentally scarred, even those seeming
perfectly whole. Then saying good-by to the ones they loved
in their own special way. They stoically waited for the slow-bullet to come to finally take them away…



Suicide has taken 3 or 4 times the lives than the war took. My heart cries for every last one of them…Robert G. Page, Viet Nam Vet. ‘66-’67.
Geno Cattouse Jun 2013
Still today
Danang. Saigon.Tet.
Mi Lai. ** Chi min trail.
All and more on reverb
The unwinable in black body bags.
Dam.

Just like Cronkite's musdtache goimg on and on
Drafted into the  wood chipper
The buzz saw. for what.
Then the embassy buggie.
Choppers listing into the sea.

Half baked. Blood on ground.
For what.

Visit Vietnam. A travelers paradise. Half price
now with great accomodations.
Cambodia too.for the price of one.
Kamir Red.
How many dead?
For what.
Jude kyrie Aug 2016
I love you man.
A Story From Nam

We were seventeen or eighteen in Nam
we became friends forever.
No more than friends.
Soldiers get closer than wives.
We went to sleep saying
I love you man.
We switched letters
For our girlfriends.
In case… well just in case.

The bullets rained
in the clearing that night.
I can still see the tracer lights.
Guys fell down all around me.
Crying everywhere.
Air power cleared them away.

I looked for Joe he was lay there.
I held him close
like a baby as he left us.
His last words
I love you man.
I whispered to him
Not as much
as I love you Man
.
I did not notice I had been hit.
After six months I returned home.
In West Virginia his beautiful girl
Opened the door of a small trailer.
She had a baby boy in her arms.
Her blue eyes welled with tears.
I passed the unopened letter to her.
I lied and said the blood
on it was mine.

She passed the baby
to me to hold
As she read the letter.
I kissed his tiny forehead.
And said see buddy
You’re not dead at all
I love you Man.
I have seen many wars
Lost brothers in them
Never seen a binding resolution solved by war
It's no wonder I hate them
Jude
Lawrence Hall May 2017
Liturgy in Time of War

I will go to the altar of God
To God who gives joy to my youth

ENTRANCE ANTIPHON

The dawn (evening) is coming, another hot, filthy, wet dawn (evening).  Let us arise, soaked in sweat, exhausted, to speak with sour, saliva-caked mouths, to meet the deaths of this day (night).

GREETING

In the name of Peace in Our Time,
For the Hearts and Minds of The People,
For the Land of the Big PX
For round eye and white (black) (brown) thigh,
I greet you, brothers.

PENITENTIAL RITE

All:

I confess to almighty God
And to you my brothers
That I have sinned through my fault
In my thoughts and in my words
In what I have done
And in what I have failed to do,
And I ask Blessed Mary…

But how can I ask Her anything now?

My brothers,
Pray for me to…

But how?
Priest: (But there is no priest)

KYRIE

Lord, have mercy
Christ, have mercy
Lord, Lord, have mercy on us now

Have mercy, Lord, on a generation
That sits smugly in college lecture halls
And protests endlessly in coffee shops
The war they hear, see, on T.V., for free
Justice and peace by the semester hour
Like, y’know, peace, love, Amerika sux
Play the guitar, ****, apply to law school

Have mercy on us
Who crouch behind sand bags
And clean our weapons
And protest nothing
And **** in the heat
And die in the hear
And throw ham and lima beans away

GLORIA

Glory to God in the highest
how many bodies yesterday?
And peace to His people on earth
Vietnamese? Or us?
Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father
ham and lima beans?
We worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory
Doc, I can’t go home to my wife with this clap
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father
cigarette, canteen cup of instant coffee
Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world
******* magazine
Have mercy on us
relief behind the sand bags
You are seated at the right hand of the Father
i rot
Receive our prayer
i want to be clean and dry
For You alone are the Holy One
clean and dry.  just once.
You alone are the Lord
why do they chew that?
You alone are the most high
you mean the betel nut?
Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father
incoming!
Amen


PRAYER

A

Father, you make this day holy.
Let us be thankful for
The many little joys of
This day, for life, for
The chance to worship
You.  In the end, bring
Us to you, so that we
May be cleansed of mud
And sweat and filth and
Guilt, and live with you
In peace forever.

B

Father, just get me through
Another day of this mess.

LITURGY OF THE WORD –

FIRST READING

From the Intensive Care Unit, NSA DaNang

A twilight world
Of neither peace nor battle
And of both

A man world
Embracing life and the grim death
Both

Peering into infected wounds
Night building shiver
Down from the black sky flares float

Broken bodies from the war somewhere
Eyes of a shattered nineteen-year-old Marine
Staring at the door to Yokosuka

PSALM

A Song of Descents

I cast down my eyes
Into the mud
Into the blood
It seems cleaner than death and drugs and casual ***
Drink Coca-Cola

I turned my eyes away from you, O Lord
And made this
Build this
Came to this
Samantha and Darren on Bewitched

Have mercy on…but how can we ask?  How dare we ask?

SECOND READING

Old Man, Viet Nam

Old man, a dog is barking at your heels
Old man, with the tired, weathered face
Are you afraid to turn around and deal
This dog a kick, to put him in his place?

Or is it, old man, that you’re just too tired?
Just too tired to turn and show anger
Just too tired to have your temper fired
Beaten by years of contempt and danger

Where are you going, trudging so slowly?
What are you thinking, behind those tired eyes?

Probably not about ham and lima beans

GOSPEL

In the Cold White Mist

After an all-night run on the river
Our boats arrive in the village at dawn
Dawn is never cold along that rive
Along that steaming, green, hell-hot river
But the mist is cold, the grey-green dawn mist
And after the engines are cut – stillness
Foul brown water laps at the mudding bank
Sloshing softly with fertile, smelly death

In the cold white mist

The boats are secured, and watches posted
We step off the boats and onto wet land
And follow the track into the deep mist
It becomes the street of a little town
A dairy lane along which cows slopped home
And where dogs and chickens and children
      played
Bounded by carefully swept little yards
And little wooden houses with tin roofs

In the cold white mist

But some of the houses are burnt.  The smoke
Still hangs heavily in the whitening mist
The lane is littered with debris.  A lump
Resolves itself into a torn, dead child
Across a smaller lump, a smaller child
Their pup has been flung against the fence, its
Guts early morning breakfast for the morning
      flies
We smoke cigarettes against the death-smells

In the cold white mist

Beneath a farm tractor rots a dead man.
When they – they – had come at sunset
He had hidden there.  And they shot him there
A man with bare feet and work-calloused
      hands
His hair is black; his teeth need cleaning
They shot him beneath the village tractor
His blackening blood clots into the mud
And our lungs choke in the white mist of death

In the cold white mist

White mist.  The path disappears into it
Smoky skeletons of little houses
In which there will be no tea this morning
No breakfasts of hot tea and steaming rice
No old widows to smile in betel-nut
No children to mock-march alongside us
Pointing at our ******* boots, and laughing
At us, for wearing shoes in the summer

In the cold white mist

They are dead and rotting in the white mist
On the edge of the jungle on the edge
Of the world, here along the Vam Co Tay
And the people pour out of their houses
To greet us on the fine summer morning
A corpse across a doorway, another
******-doubled across a window sill
Still another strewn down the garden path

In the cold white mist

The other patrol doubles back to us
And they tell us that the Ruff-Puff outpost
Must have been overrun the night before
He had heard their radioed pleas, and had
Run the river at night to get to them
And the ARVNs had fled through the village
And the VC had stormed in behind them
And it was knife-and-gun-club night in town

In the cold white mist

A little girl is the lone survivor
She looks may six.  Cute, except for the
Bubbling, *******, bayoneted chest wound
We patch her, and tube her, and use suction
Sort of like fixing a bicycle tire
And in the wet, gasping heat take her back
With us downriver, where a charity
Hospital leaves her on the steps to die

In the cold white mist

It will be our turn again tomorrow
Not a one of us died today.  Today.
But a village is gone, burnt and rotting,
Soon to disappear into the jungle
Along the green Cambodian border
Up some obscure river.  Up there.  Somewhere.
A few hundred people.  Their ancestors’ graves
Will fade with them untended, forgotten

In the cold white mist

Radio Hanoi might blame it on us.
But maybe not.  We made our report and
Nobody really noticed; no one cared
The talk is of the VC battalion
And where it has gone, and where it might go –
Maybe into death under an air strike
“And you guys better get in some sack time,”
Says the C.O. as he turns to his maps.

In the cold white mist

HOMILY

I’m scared, and I want to go home.  I don’t care any more about justice or fighting Communism or winning the hearts and minds of the people.  I can’t think about all that right now, because I’m scared, and I want to go home.
I don’t care about truth or loyalty or bravery or honor.  If Miss March were here she wouldn’t get cold, but she sure would get sunburnt.  And in a few days her skin would start rotting.  Then nobody would want to see her in the **** anymore.  
I’m scared, and I want to go home.
Up the Vam Co Tay, everyone is scared, everyone is tired, everyone is sick, everyone could die: sailor, soldier, officer, priest, farmer, fisherman.  Everyone rots in the wet heat.  The skin bubbles and flakes and peels, and is pink again, to bubble and flake and peel again.  
I’m scared, and I want to go home.
I’m Doc.  I’m a scared, stupid kid with an aid bag and a few months’ training.  But I’m Doc.  I’ve got to fake it.  I’ve got to be cool and calm because this other kid with his guts hanging out will probably make it if I don’t ***** up and if the dust-off from Saigon can get out here now.
I have an old dog at home, and my folks write and tell me she sleeps outside my window at night, waiting for me to come home.  Someday we’re going to run and play in the woods and fields again.  She’ll bark and run wide circles, and dare me to catch her.  I will laugh under the autumn leaves.  But now my nights are glaring darkness, fits of sweat-soaked half-sleep, then sirens and falling glares and falling mortars, and then the Godawful racket of all our engines of destruction.  There isn’t any use in all this.
I’m scared, and I want to go home.

And I don’t want any ham and lima beans.

CREED

We believe in the Land of the Big PX
In presidents in suits, and generals,
In makers of economic strategies
We believe in flak jackets and .45s and peace

We believe in swing ships and dust-offs, yes
In the dark, green omnipresent Huey
Eternally begotten of technology
Blades to rotor, windscreen to machine guns
Made, not begotten, one in being with us
Through it all things are transported to us
For us men and our hunger and our hope
It comes down from the skies
By the high power of technology
It was born of the long assembly line

For whose sake are we crucified today?
Who suffers, and who dies and is baggied?
And on the third will arrive back home
To be neatly packaged in stainless steel

But not in ham and lima beans

LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST

Preparation of the Gifts

Celebrant:

Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation.
Through your goodness we have this cheap Algerian wine to offer,
Fruit of the vine and work of human hands.
It will become anaesthesia for our souls.

People:

Blessed be…we just don’t know

Celebrant:

Pray, brothers, that our sacrifice may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father, to somebody.  Maybe.

People:

May the Lord, or the baggies, accept the sacrifice we offer with
our own burnt hands
For the praise and glory of…of what?
For our good, and the good of all His Church.

PRAYER OVER THE GITS

Little green cans, and I don’t care
Little green cans, and I don’t care
Little green cans, and I don’t care
Air cover’s gone away.

EUCHARISTIC PRAYER

Preface for the Monsoon Season:

Father, all-powerful
And ever-living God,
We do well always and everywhere
To give You thanks
Through Jesus God our Lord
Even with diarrhea
thanks
When the mail doesn’t come
thanks
When we rot
thanks
When the heat ***** at our brains
thanks
When the mud ***** at our boots
thanks
When the horror ***** at our souls
thanks
We’re alive
thanks

SANCTUS

Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of power and might
The bunkers are full of blood and death.
Hosanna in the mud.  Blessed is he who comes with the mail.  Hosanna in the mud.

EUCHARISTIC PRAYER

The Kien Tuong Province Canon:

A sailor is silhouetted against the dawn
Along a steamy river
Mostly helmet and flak jacket
Above dark plastic gunwales

The sailor has lost his New Testament
But there’s a ******* around somewhere
Naked, willing women –
Miss March wants to be an actress

He also carries an old plastic Rosary
To touch occasionally
While whispering a hurried Hail Mary
He hopes She understands

Those who in bell-bottoms and head-bands
Fight Fascism
In Sociology 201
Will never forgive him

A sailor is silhouetted against the dawn
This day he is to be elevated
His body broken and his blood shed
For you and for all men

OUR FATHER

Our Father, who art in Heaven
this ain’t it
Hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come
this ain’t it
On earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day…
not ham and lima beans
And forgive us our trespasses
as we shoot them that trespass against us
And lead us not into ambush
But deliver us from evil

SIGN OF PEACE

Peace on you.

AGNUS DEI

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: have mercy….

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: grant us peace.

Priest:

(But there is no priest)

People:  

Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,
But only say the word and I shall be killed.

COMMUNION ANTIPHON

They ate, and were not satisfied
They killed, and were not without fear.

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

Lord,
If we do not get out of this
Make some sense of it to those who remain
May we go home.  Home.  Or if not,
Take us unto you, in mercy.
Home.  Where you reign, for you are Lord
Forever and ever.  Amen

BLESSING

May you walk on grass that does not explode
May you sleep without rot
Without fear
May you never see or smell ham and lima beans again.
May you live
May you play with puppies
May you find forgetfulness
May you find peace
In the Name of Him who took your death for you

DISMISSAL

This is to certify that____is Honorably Discharged from the____on theday of____.  This certificate is awarded as a testimonial of Honest and Faithful Service.

CLOSING HYMN

Old men, smoking in the sunshine
Exiled outside the doors of life
Old uniforms, old pajamas
The chrome of wheelchairs, shiny, bright

Inside, polished wooden handrails
Line the hot, polished passages
Something to cling to on the way
To the lab, to x-ray, to death

And more old men, shuffling along
In a querulous route-step march
From Normandy, from The Cho-sen,
From the Vam Co Tay, from the deserts,
Past the A.I.D.S. ward and the union signs
On waxed floors to eternity

Portions previous published:

“Closing Hymn” is from “Outpatient Surgery – Veterans’ Hospital,” Juried Award, Houston Poetry Fest 1993

“In the Cold White Mist” is a Juried Award, Houston Poetry Fest 1991

“Old Man, Viet-Nam,” was published in Pulse, Lamar University, 1982
“Television brought the brutality of war into the comfort of the living room.   Vietnam was lost in the living rooms of America—not on the battlefields of Vietnam.”                              Marshall McLuhan

You understand where I'm coming from,
Reader Rabbit, you twisted ****? Maybe not;
While you and your boy/girlfriend, later your wife/husband,
Were ******* backpacks around Europe,
I was of a less fortunate, less frivolous cohort,
Like the poor, who always miss the fun stuff.
So I stayed home and waited, dreading time,
Treading water in Queens,
Doing the graveyard shift at the Wonder Bread Bakery in Jamaica,
(No, not that Jamaica, mun.)
Building bodies 12 ways, and sweating out the inevitable,
Praying to my lesser god not to hear from my local draft board.
And who was I to disturb the universe?
“It ain’t me, it ain't me, I ain't no senator's son;
It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no fortunate one, lawd naw.”
(Send  "Fortunate Son" Ringtone to your Cell)  
I was just another cynical working-class hero,
Unlike you, numb nuts, and the rest of your silver surfer friends.
I knew I’d wind up without my teddy bear,
Convinced I’d end up sans security blanket,
With no ****-vacant musical chair,
To plop my sorry non-exempt, 1A **** cheeks
Down into when the music stopped,
When the music’s over, turn out the light--Jim Morrison,
Lizard King--turn out the light.
My horse, my horse . . . no wait . . . **** the horse . . .
My kingdom, my kingdom for a 2-S college deferment!
What kingdom?  
What was it Jesus said?
Not of this earth, anyway.
Colonial Indochina: rich man's war, poor man's fight;
It was such an efficient way to rid trash from poor neighborhoods.

Needless to say, I’ve been having a little trouble adjusting ever since,
Since I got back from that Kafkaesque Disneyland Jungle Cruise,
My personal Cold War thriller,
My Tecumseh Sherman “War is All Hell” war,
My war: 45 years ago next week.
These things take time:
So says the recorded message on the VA’s PTSD Hotline.
45 years ago I packed up my duffle,
Packed for what I thought was going to be my last time in uniform,
Grabbed my Army discharge papers, and
Limp-dicked out the side door of,
The Veterans Hospital in St. Albans, County of Queens.
I’d like to say I never looked back. But I’d be lying.

(cue PSA: VA Reaches Out to Veterans:
The Department of Veterans Affairs will begin,
Contacting nearly 570,000 recent combat veterans May 1,
To ensure they know about VA's medical services and other benefits.)

Today and every day is 11-11, Veterans Day—
What gets me now is that all my time since The Nam,
Is on average two lifetimes,
For all those sent home, bagged and tagged.
Is it survivor’s guilt? I doubt it.

You may not understand this, but I miss that freaky jungle.
I felt safe there.
How quickly I learned to expect the unexpected,
And that meant to expect the worse,
Finding my comfort zone the more uncomfortable, the worse it got.
I miss the wet weight of the air,
The cloying heat and humidity.
Humidity: a plain and simple meteorological miracle,
When you have plenty of time to really think about it,
Which I did: 365 days and a wake-up.
You know that whole gorgeous hydrologic cycle thing?
I miss the rain, the sound of falling rain.
I miss the other sounds, every buzz and click,
All the arcane and dismal things that go screech in the night.
And that relentless insect hum,
The jungle vibrating and intense,
The colors vibrating too, especially that electric green,
A green so vivid, every leaf and vine,
"The world's richest repository of terrestrial biodiversity,” I read in some nature magazine,
Lying naked in bed while my therapist ****** me off the other day.
All those freaky creatures great and small,
Every miraculous living thing that’s really alive and thriving.
And this is why--I think,
Getting obnoxiously philosophical for the moment,
This explains why it got to be so easy to waste what was alive and thriving over there, including and especially our selves.

Death never seemed that permanent, that final over there.
And besides, you couldn’t **** anything for that long,
The critters all looking their wet and slimy same.  
Two minutes in The **** and you were
Killing every ******* gnat and bug,
Every leech and snake, anything &
Anyone that just looked at you sideways.

And the flora? Did I mention the flora?
Soupy Sales: (Smack! Bam!)  “I told you not to mention that.”
The flora:  the plants grew back and they grew back quick.
You chop a path on recon and the next day it’s not there anymore,
So you chop the whole way back to the L-Z.  
Chop, chop, Hop Sing!
You were one smart ****, Hop Sing,
Safe and sound in Lake Tahoe, Nevada-side,
Cooking up Ponderosa pork bellies for,
The Cartwright Clan: Ben, Adam, Hoss & Little Joe.
Meanwhile, I’m not earning any frequent flyer miles,
Aboard a chartered TWA, coffee-tea-or-me,
Royal **** airplane to Saigon,
A place called ** Chi Minh City today.
I remember looking around at the faces on that airplane,
As we landed at Tan Son Nhut,
Those forlorn godforsaken faces,
Black and Chicano and poor white trash boys.
Scared shitless, of course,
But we really were jolly green giants over there,
American conquistadors, Cortez and the Boys,
Seeking gold and glory and, of course,
*******, (www.urbandictionary.com):
That sweet wet hole we all crave,
Can't go for too long without,
Center of our life's desire,
What gives women the upper hand in almost every situation,
Except when you pay in South Vietnamese piastres,
Your basic exchange rate $3.00 *******.

Yes, we were American conquistadors,
But traveling light this trip,
Our black-robed Jesuit fathers having missed the flight.
That’s right, for us no Ad majorem Dei gloriam this time,
Our mission so simple and so clear:
SEARCH & DESTROY.
But mostly, Destroy.

And pretty soon you worked your way up the evolutionary ladder,
From bugs, to fish, to frogs and snakes,
Small varmints and reptiles, birds and rodents;
And by the time you taxonomy out to the runway,
You’re pretty much whacking anything that moves,
Anything you feel like, pretty much any time,
All the time, sometimes just to pass the time,
Just to break up the ******* monotony of it all.
So making the anti-personnel leap got sort of easy:
They all looked the same, didn’t they?
They all wore the same pajamas,
And it was never conducive to grunt longevity,
To nitpick the civilians from the soldiers,
Never a good idea to waste time distinguishing friend from foe.

Good Morning, Vietnam:
We really were nerve-gassed-Adrian Cronauers over there,
G-2 Army oxymoronic intelligence stiffs,
Having a little difficulty finding the enemy,
Having one hell of a time finding a Vietnamese man named "Charlie."
They're all named Nguyen, or Tran, or Thanh or Trong or Bao or Phuc . . .
Oh, ****, I get it now.
I grok the how and why,
Of all the names we’ve used for centuries to dehumanize the enemy:
***** and Nips, Chinks and Slopes,
Huns and Krauts, Redskins and Ivans,
Redcoats and Rebs, Zulus and Mau Maus, *****, Ragheads and Sand ******* . . .
To dehumanize is to be dehumanized.
Nominal dehumanization; linguistic trickery.
It made it easy . . .
Well, easier . . .
To **** you.

What was it Pope Innocent III’s legate advised?
“**** Them All.  Let God sort ‘em out.”

Is it smell of burning flesh that makes me so digress?

Yes, I miss that freaky jungle, my friend.
I miss knowing what to expect and what was to be expected.
And most of all I miss that absolute confidence,
My self-liberating soporific certainty,
That I did not give a **** whether I lived or died,
And no one else did either.
I miss the peaceful place to go,
Coping with fear by letting go,
By writing off my life,
My future "in-country,"
My 12-month tour of duty,
My 365 T.S. Eliot Ash Wednesdays,
Learning to care and not to care,
Cultivating indifference as to,
Whether or not I ever made it Wee, Wee, Wee,
All the way home again.
The answers were right there,
Always there, all the time,
In nursery rhymes, and counting songs,
In psalms and arias, and every blues and rock lyric,
Right there, so right ******* there,
In Kris Kristofferson/Janice Joplin parlance of the times:
“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”

And life for me since then--
ONE BIG, FAT-TITTED INCOMPREHENSIBILITY!

What was that Walter Sobjak in The Big Lebowski said?

“This is not 'Nam.
This is bowling.
There are rules.”
Geno Cattouse Sep 2012
Fourteen years old on sensory overload.
The evening news.
Burn baby burn.

Da bomb. Sauteed mushrooms.
Drop drill in all the classrooms.
Lesee. If I crawl under this wooden desk with hands over head then
I wont end up toast ? Outa sight.

Puff That Muthfkn dragon. He still got a condo by the sea ?
I remember thinking how  privileged and exciting to live in the USA.
But. Burn baby burn.

Watching late night reruns till the station signed off. No CNN then my fren.
The Duke.
Abbot and Costello meets The Mummy.
Free T.V.That was a first for I.
No T.V. In Belize. None. No gun violence either. Hmmm.

My Lai.            The Panther Answer.
To my local chippy - they're Korean-
to order a Kitkat deepfried in batter.
Odds of survival beat Macky Dee's
cold pasteurised faecal matter.
"We fought in the land of Viet-Nam,
to come home to a world of strangers.
They spit, they cursed, and fingered me,
calling us baby killers.
Our tears never showed,
and our voices were silent.
We stood proud of our country,
so they live free in it.
Years have past, but the wounds still live.
People now salute me, for the life i offered to give."
We were ordered to stop the spread of Communism.. And to all the people that spit, cursed, and fingered me.. "I FORGIVE YOU"!!!
Michael R Burch Mar 2020
Modern Charon
by Michael R. Burch

I, too, have stood―paralyzed at the helm
watching onrushing, inevitable disaster.
I too have felt sweat (or ecstatic tears) plaster
damp hair to my eyes, as a slug’s dense film
becomes mucous-insulate. Always, thereafter
living in darkness, bright things overwhelm.

Originally published by The Neovictorian/Cochlea. I wrote this poem in 2001 after the 911 terrorist attacks.



Davenport Tomorrow
by Michael R. Burch

Davenport tomorrow ...
all the trees stand stark-naked in the sun.

Now it is always summer
and the bees buzz in cesspools,
adapted to a new life.

There are no flowers,
but the weeds, being hardier,
have survived.

The small town has become
a city of millions;
there is no longer a sea,
only a huge sewer,
but the children don't mind.

They still study
rocks and stars,
but biology is a forgotten science ...
after all, what is life?

Davenport tomorrow ...
all the children murmur through vein-streaked gills
whispered wonders of long-ago.



Burn
by Michael R. Burch

for Trump

Sunbathe,
ozone baby,
till your parched skin cracks
in the white-hot flash
of radiation.

Incantation
from your pale parched lips
shall not avail;
you made this hell.
Now burn.



Bikini
by Michael R. Burch

Undersea, by the shale and the coral forming,
by the shell’s pale rose and the pearl’s bright eye,
through the sea’s green bed of lank seaweed worming
like tangled hair where cold currents rise ...
something lurks where the riptides sigh,
something old, and odd, and wise.

Something old when the world was forming
now lifts its beak, its snail-blind eye,
and, with tentacles like Medusa's squirming,
it feels the cloud blot out the skies' ...
then shudders, settles with a sigh,
understanding man’s demise.



This poem has over 800,000 Google results for the eleventh line. That's a lot of cutting and pasting!

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 "Words That Burn" anthology is to teach students about human rights through poetry.



Warming Her Pearls
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

Warming her pearls, her *******
gleam like constellations.
Her belly is a bit rotund ...
she might have stepped out of a Rubens.



Safe Harbor
by Michael R. Burch

for Kevin N. Roberts

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

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

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

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

Published by The Lyric, Grassroots Poetry, Romantics Quarterly, Angle, Poetry Life & Times



Distances
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

Originally published by The Poetry Porch/Sonnet Scroll



Fascination with Light
by Michael R. Burch

Desire glides in on calico wings,
a breath of a moth
seeking a companionable light,

where it hovers, unsure,
sullen, shy or demure,
in the margins of night,

a soft blur.

With a frantic dry rattle
of alien wings,
it rises and thrums one long breathless staccato

and flutters and drifts on in dark aimless flight.

And yet it returns
to the flame, its delight,
as long as it burns.

Originally published by The HyperTexts



Kin
by Michael R. Burch

O pale, austere moon,
haughty beauty ...

what do we know of love,
or duty?



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



escape!!!
by michael r. burch

for anaïs vionet

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.



Leave Taking
by Michael R. Burch

Brilliant leaves abandon battered limbs
to waltz upon ecstatic winds
until they die.

But the barren and embittered trees,
lament the frolic of the leaves
and curse the bleak November sky ...

Now, as I watch the leaves' high flight
before the fading autumn light,
I think that, perhaps, at last I may

have learned what it means to say—
goodbye.

This poem started out as a stanza in a much longer poem, "Jessamyn's Song," that dates to around age 14 or 15.



Passionate One
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

Love of my life,
light of my morning―
arise, brightly dawning,
for you are my sun.

Give me of heaven
both manna and leaven―
desirous Presence,
Passionate One.



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



bachelorhoodwinked
by Michael R. Burch

u
are
charming
& disarming,
but mostly alarming
since all my resolve
dissolved!

u
are
chic
as a sheikh's
harem girl in the sheets
but my castle’s no longer my own
and my kingdom's been overthrown!



chrysalis
by Michael R. Burch

these are the days of doom
u seldom leave ur room
u live in perpetual gloom

yet also the days of hope
how to cope?
u pray and u *****

toward self illumination ...
becoming an angel
(pure love)

and yet You must love Your Self



Self Reflection
by Michael R. Burch

(for anyone struggling with self-image)

She has a comely form
and a smile that brightens her dorm ...
but she's grossly unthin
when seen from within;
soon a griefstricken campus will mourn.

Yet she'd never once criticize
a friend for the size of her thighs.
Do unto others—
sisters and brothers?
Yes, but also ourselves, likewise.



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



Shock
by Michael R. Burch

It was early in the morning of the forming of my soul,
in the dawning of desire, with passion at first bloom,
with lightning splitting heaven to thunder's blasting roll
and a sense of welling fire and, perhaps, impending doom―
that I cried out through the tumult of the raging storm on high
for shelter from the chaos of the restless, driving rain ...
and the voice I heard replying from a rift of bleeding sky
was mine, I'm sure, and, furthermore, was certainly insane.

I may have been reading too many gothic ghost stories when I wrote this one! I think it shows a good touch with meter for a young poet, since I wrote it in my early teens.



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



Completing the Pattern
by Michael R. Burch

Walk with me now, among the transfixed dead
who kept life’s compact and who thus endure
harsh sentence here—among pink-petaled beds
and manicured green lawns. The sky’s azure,
pale blue once like their eyes, will gleam blood-red
at last when sunset staggers to the door
of each white mausoleum, to inquire—
What use, O things of erstwhile loveliness?



The Communion of Sighs
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

Published by Grassroots Poetry and Poetry Webring



The Harvest of Roses
by Michael R. Burch

for Harvey Stanbrough

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

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

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



White in the Shadows
by Michael R. Burch

White in the shadows
I see your face,
unbidden. Go, tell
Love it is commonplace;

tell Regret it is not so rare.

Our love is not here
though you smile,
full of sedulous grace.
Lost in darkness, I fear
the past is our resting place.

Published by Carnelian, The Chained Muse, Poetry Life & Times, A-Poem-A-Day and in a YouTube video by Aurora G. with the titles “Ghost,” “White Goddess” and “White in the Shadows”



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.



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!



Labor Pains
by Fadwa Tuqan
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Tonight the wind wafts pollen through ruined fields and homes.
The earth shivers with love, with the agony of giving birth,
while the Invader spreads stories of submission and surrender.

O, Arab Aurora!

Tell the Usurper: childbirth’s a force beyond his ken
because a mother’s wracked body reveals a rent that inaugurates life,
a crack through which light dawns in an instant
as the blood’s rose blooms in the wound.



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

Hamza was one of my hometown’s ordinary men
who did manual labor for bread.

When I saw him recently,
the land still wore its mourning dress in the solemn windless silence
and I felt defeated.

But Hamza-the-unextraordinary said:
“Sister, our land’s throbbing heart never ceases to pound,
and it perseveres, enduring the unendurable, keeping the secrets of mounds and wombs.
This land sprouting cactus spikes and palms also births freedom-fighters.
Thus our land, my sister, is our mother!”

Days passed and Hamza was nowhere to be seen,
but I felt the land’s belly heaving in pain.
At sixty-five Hamza’s a heavy burden on her back.

“Burn down his house!”
some commandant screamed,
“and slap his son in a prison cell!”

As our town’s military ruler later explained
this was necessary for law and order,
that is, an act of love, for peace!

Armed soldiers surrounded Hamza’s house;
the coiled serpent completed its circle.

The bang at his door came with an ultimatum:
“Evacuate, **** it!'
So generous with their time, they said:
“You can have an hour, yes!”

Hamza threw open a window.
Face-to-face with the blazing sun, he yelled defiantly:
“Here in this house I and my children will live and die, for Palestine!”
Hamza's voice echoed over the hemorrhaging silence.

An hour later, with impeccable timing, Hanza’s house came crashing down
as its rooms were blown sky-high and its bricks and mortar burst,
till everything settled, burying a lifetime’s memories of labor, tears, and happier times.

Yesterday I saw Hamza
walking down one of our town’s streets ...
Hamza-the-unextraordinary man who remained as he always was:
unshakable in his determination.



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.



gimME that ol’ time religion!
by michael r. burch

fiddle-dee-dum, fiddle-dee-dee,
jesus loves and understands ME!
safe in his grace, I’LL **** them to hell—
the strumpet, the harlot, the wild jezebel,
the alky, the druggie, all queers short and tall!
let them drink ashes and wormwood and gall,
’cause fiddle-dee-DUMB, fiddle-dee-WEEEEEEEEEee ...
jesus loves and understands
ME!



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.



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.



Bittersight
by Michael R. Burch

for Abu al-Ala Al-Ma'arri, an ancient antinatalist poet

To be plagued with sight
in the Land of the Blind,
—to know birth is death
and that Death is kind—
is to be flogged like Eve
(stripped, sentenced and fined)
because evil is “good”
as some “god” has defined.



In His Kingdom of Corpses
by Michael R. Burch

In His kingdom of corpses,
God has been heard to speak
in many enraged discourses,
high, high from some mountain peak
where He’s lectured man on compassion
while the sparrows around Him fell,
and babes, for His meager ration
of rain, died and went to hell,
unbaptized, for that’s His fashion.

In His kingdom of corpses,
God has been heard to vent
in many obscure discourses
on the need for man to repent,
to admit that he’s a sinner;
give up ***, and riches, and fame;
be disciplined at his dinner
though always he dies the same,
whether fatter or thinner.

In his kingdom of corpses,
God has been heard to speak
in many absurd discourses
of man’s Ego, precipitous Peak!,
while demanding praise and worship,
and the bending of every knee.
And though He sounds like the Devil,
all religious men now agree
He loves them indubitably.



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



Free Fall to Liftoff
by Michael R. Burch

for my father, Paul Ray Burch, Jr.

I see the longing for departure gleam
in his still-keen eye,
                                 and I understand his desire
to test this last wind, like those late autumn leaves
with nothing left to cling to ...



The One True Poem
by Michael R. Burch

Love was not meaningless ...
nor your embrace, nor your kiss.

And though every god proved a phantom,
still you were divine to your last dying atom ...

So that when you are gone
and, yea, not a word remains of this poem,

even so,
We were One.



The Poem of Poems
by Michael R. Burch

This is my Poem of Poems, for you.
Every word ineluctably true:
I love you.



Peace Prayer
by Michael R. Burch

Be calm.
Be still.
Be silent, content.

Be one with the buffalo cropping the grass to a safer height.

Seek the composure of the great depths, barely moved by exterior storms.

Lift your face to the dawning light; feel how it warms.

And be calm.
Be still.
Be silent, content.



Sometimes the Dead
by Michael R. Burch

Sometimes we catch them out of the corners of our eyes—
the pale dead.
After they have fled
the gourds of their bodies, like escaping fragrances they rise.

Once they have become a cloud’s mist, sometimes like the rain
they descend;
they appear, sometimes silver like laughter,
to gladden the hearts of men.

Sometimes like a pale gray fog, they drift
unencumbered, yet lumbrously,
as if over the sea
there was the lightest vapor even Atlas could not lift.

Sometimes they haunt our dreams like forgotten melodies
only half-remembered.
Though they lie dismembered
in black catacombs, sepulchers and dismal graves; although they have committed felonies,

yet they are us. Someday soon we will meet them in the graveyard dust
blood-engorged, but never sated
since Cain slew Abel.
But until we become them, let us steadfastly forget them, even as we know our children must ...



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



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 . . .



Each Color a Scar
by Michael R. Burch

What she left here,
upon my cheek,
is a tear.

She did not speak,
but her intention
was clear,

and I was meek,
far too meek, and, I fear,
too sincere.

What she can never take
from my heart
is its ache;

for now we, apart,
are like leaves
without weight,

scattered afar
by love, or by hate,
each color a scar.



Ultimate Sunset
by Michael R. Burch

for my father, Paul Ray Burch, Jr.

he now faces the Ultimate Sunset,
his body like the leaves that fray as they dry,
shedding their vital fluids (who knows why?)
till they’ve become even lighter than the covering sky,
ready to fly ...



Free Fall
by Michael R. Burch

for my father, Paul Ray Burch, Jr.

I see the longing for departure gleaming
in his still-keen eye,
and I understand his desire
to test this last wind, like those late autumn leaves
with nothing left to cling to ...



Sanctuary at Dawn
by Michael R. Burch

I have walked these thirteen miles
just to stand outside your door.
The rain has dogged my footsteps
for thirteen miles, for thirty years,
through the monsoon seasons . . .
and now my tears
have all been washed away.

Through thirteen miles of rain I slogged,
I stumbled and I climbed
rainslickened slopes
that led me home
to the hope that I might find
a life I lived before.

The door is wet; my cheeks are wet,
but not with rain or tears . . .
as I knock I sweat
and the raining seems
the rhythm of the years.

Now you stand outlined in the doorway
―a man as large as I left―
and with bated breath
I take a step
into the accusing light.

Your eyes are grayer
than I remembered;
your hair is grayer, too.
As the red rust runs
down the dripping drains,
our voices exclaim―

"My father!"
"My son!"

NOTE: “Sanctuary at Dawn” was written either in high school or during my first two years of college.



All Things Galore
by Michael R. Burch

for my grandfathers George Edwin Hurt Sr. and Paul Ray Burch Sr.

Grandfather,
now in your gray presence
you are

somehow more near

and remind me that,
once, upon a star,
you taught me

wish

that ululate soft phrase,
that hopeful phrase!

and everywhere above, each hopeful star

gleamed down

and seemed to speak of times before
when you clasped my small glad hand
in your wise paw

and taught me heaven, omen, meteor . . .



Attend Upon Them Still
by Michael R. Burch

for my grandparents George and Ena Hurt

With gentleness and fine and tender will,
attend upon them still;
thou art the grass.

Nor let men’s feet here muddy as they pass
thy subtle undulations, nor depress
for long the comforts of thy lovingness,

nor let the fuse
of time wink out amid the violets.
They have their use―

to wave, to grow, to gleam, to lighten their paths,
to shine sweet, transient glories at their feet.
Thou art the grass;

make them complete.



The Composition of Shadows
by Michael R. Burch

for poets who write late at night

We breathe and so we write; the night
hums softly its accompaniment.
Pale phosphors burn; the page we turn
leads onward, and we smile, content.

And what we mean we write to learn:
the vowels of love, the consonants’
strange golden weight, each plosive’s shape—
curved like the heart. Here, resonant,

sounds’ shadows mass beneath bright glass
like singing voles curled in a maze
of blank white space. We touch a face—
long-frozen words trapped in a glaze

that insulates our hearts. Nowhere
can love be found. Just shrieking air.

Published by The Lyric, Contemporary Rhyme, Candelabrum, Iambs & Trochees (Poem of the Week), Triplopia, Romantics Quarterly, Hidden Treasures (Selected Poem), ImageNation (United Kingdom), Yellow Bat Review, Poetry Life & Times, Vallance Review, Poetica Victorian



First Steps
by Michael R. Burch

for Caitlin Shea Murphy

To her a year is like infinity,
each day—an adventure never-ending.
She has no concept of time,
but already has begun the climb—
from childhood to womanhood recklessly ascending.

I would caution her, "No! Wait!
There will be time enough another day ...
time to learn the Truth
and to slowly shed your youth,
but for now, sweet child, go carefully on your way! ..."

But her time is not a time for cautious words,
nor a time for measured, careful understanding.
She is just certain
that, by grabbing the curtain,
in a moment she will finally be standing!

Little does she know that her first few steps
will hurtle her on her way
through childhood to adolescence,
and then, finally, pubescence . . .
while, just as swiftly, I’ll be going gray!



brrExit
by Michael R. Burch

what would u give
to simply not exist—
for a painless exit?
he asked himself, uncertain.

then from behind
the hospital room curtain
a patient screamed—
"my life!"



Vacuum
by Michael R. Burch

Over hushed quadrants
forever landlocked in snow,
time’s senseless winds blow ...

leaving odd relics of lives half-revealed,
if still mostly concealed ...
such are the things we are unable to know

that once intrigued us so.

Come then, let us quickly repent
of whatever truths we’d once determined to learn:
for whatever is left, we are unable to discern.

There’s nothing left of us; it’s time to go.



Spring
by Charles d'Orleans (c.1394-1465)
loose translation/modernization by Michael R. Burch

Young lovers,
greeting the spring
fling themselves downhill,
making cobblestones ring
with their wild leaps and arcs,
like ecstatic sparks
struck from coal.

What is their brazen goal?

They grab at whatever passes,
so we can only hazard guesses.
But they rear like prancing steeds
raked by brilliant spurs of need,
Young lovers.



Oft in My Thought
by Charles d'Orleans (c.1394-1465)
loose translation/modernization by Michael R. Burch

So often in my busy mind I sought,
Around the advent of the fledgling year,
For something pretty that I really ought
To give my lady dear;
But that sweet thought's been wrested from me, clear,
Since death, alas, has sealed her under clay
And robbed the world of all that's precious here―
God keep her soul, I can no better say.

For me to keep my manner and my thought
Acceptable, as suits my age's hour?
While proving that I never once forgot
Her worth? It tests my power!
I serve her now with masses and with prayer;
For it would be a shame for me to stray
Far from my faith, when my time's drawing near—
God keep her soul, I can no better say.

Now earthly profits fail, since all is lost
And the cost of everything became so dear;
Therefore, O Lord, who rules the higher host,
Take my good deeds, as many as there are,
And crown her, Lord, above in your bright sphere,
As heaven's truest maid! And may I say:
Most good, most fair, most likely to bring cheer—
God keep her soul, I can no better say.

When I praise her, or hear her praises raised,
I recall how recently she brought me pleasure;
Then my heart floods like an overflowing bay
And makes me wish to dress for my own bier—
God keep her soul, I can no better say.



Confession of a Stolen Kiss
by Charles d'Orleans (c.1394-1465)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My ghostly father, I confess,
First to God and then to you,
That at a window (you know how)
I stole a kiss of great sweetness,
Which was done out of avidness—
But it is done, not undone, now.

My ghostly father, I confess,
First to God and then to you.

But I shall restore it, doubtless,
Again, if it may be that I know how;
And thus to God I make a vow,
And always I ask forgiveness.

My ghostly father, I confess,
First to God and then to you.

Translator note: By "ghostly father" I take Charles d'Orleans to be confessing to a priest. If so, it's ironic that the kiss was "stolen" at a window and the confession is being made at the window of a confession booth. But it also seems possible that Charles could be confessing to his human father, murdered in his youth and now a ghost. There is wicked humor in the poem, as Charles is apparently vowing to keep asking for forgiveness because he intends to keep stealing kisses at every opportunity!



Charles d'Orleans translations of Rondels/Roundels/Rondeaux

Note: While there is some confusion about the names and definitions of poetic forms such as the rondel, roundel, rondelle and rondeau, these are all rhyming poems with refrains.

Rondel: Your Smiling Mouth
by Charles d'Orleans (c.1394-1465)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Your smiling mouth and laughing eyes, bright gray,
Your ample ******* and slender arms' twin chains,
Your hands so smooth, each finger straight and plain,
Your little feet—please, what more can I say?

It is my fetish when you're far away
To muse on these and thus to soothe my pain—
Your smiling mouth and laughing eyes, bright gray,
Your ample ******* and slender arms' twin chains.

So would I beg you, if I only may,
To see such sights as I before have seen,
Because my fetish pleases me. Obscene?

I'll be obsessed until my dying day
By your sweet smiling mouth and eyes, bright gray,
Your ample ******* and slender arms' twin chains!



The season has cast its coat aside
by Charles d'Orleans (c.1394-1465)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The season has cast its coat aside
of wind and cold and rain,
to dress in embroidered light again:
bright sunlight, fit for a bride!

There isn't a bird or beast astride
that fails to sing this sweet refrain:
"The season has cast its coat aside! "

Now rivers, fountains, springs and tides
dressed in their summer best
with silver beads impressed
in a fine display now glide:
the season has cast its coat aside!



The year lays down his mantle cold
by Charles d'Orleans (c.1394-1465)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The year lays down his mantle cold
of wind, chill rain and bitter air,
and now goes clad in clothes of gold
of smiling suns and seasons fair,
while birds and beasts of wood and fold
now with each cry and song declare:
"The year lays down his mantle cold! "
All brooks, springs, rivers, seaward rolled,
now pleasant summer livery wear
with silver beads embroidered where
the world puts off its raiment old.
The year lays down his mantle cold.



Winter has cast his cloak away
by Charles d'Orleans (c.1394-1465)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Winter has cast his cloak away
of wind and cold and chilling rain
to dress in embroidered light again:
the light of day—bright, festive, gay!
Each bird and beast, without delay,
in its own tongue, sings this refrain:
"Winter has cast his cloak away! "
Brooks, fountains, rivers, streams at play,
wear, with their summer livery,
bright beads of silver jewelry.
All the Earth has a new and fresh display:
Winter has cast his cloak away!

Note: This rondeau was set to music by Debussy in his "Trois chansons de France."



Caedmon's Hymn (circa 658-680 AD)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Humbly now we honour heaven-kingdom's Guardian,
the Measurer's might and his mind-plans,
the goals of the Glory-Father. First he, the Everlasting Lord,
established earth's fearful foundations.
Then he, the First Scop, hoisted heaven as a roof
for the sons of men: Holy Creator,
mankind's great Maker! Then he, the Ever-Living Lord,
afterwards made men middle-earth: Master Almighty!



Les Bijoux (The Jewels)
by Charles Baudelaire
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My lover **** and knowing my heart's whims
Wore nothing more than a few bright-flashing gems;
Her art was saving men despite their sins—
She ruled like harem girls crowned with diadems!

She danced for me with a gay but mocking air,
My world of stone and metal sparking bright;
I discovered in her the rapture of everything fair—
Nay, an excess of joy where the spirit and flesh unite!

Naked she lay and offered herself to me,
Parting her legs and smiling receptively,
As gentle and yet profound as the rising sea—
Till her surging tide encountered my cliff, abruptly.

A tigress tamed, her eyes met mine, intent ...
Intent on lust, content to purr and please!
Her breath, both languid and lascivious, lent
An odd charm to her metamorphoses.

Her limbs, her *****, her abdomen, her thighs,
Oiled alabaster, sinuous as a swan,
Writhed pale before my calm clairvoyant eyes;
Like clustered grapes her ******* and belly shone.

Skilled in more spells than evil imps can muster,
To break the peace which had possessed my heart,
She flashed her crystal rocks’ hypnotic luster
Till my quietude was shattered, blown apart.

Her waist awrithe, her ******* enormously
Out-******, and yet ... and yet, somehow, still coy ...
As if stout haunches of Antiope
Had been grafted to a boy ...

The room grew dark, the lamp had flickered out.
Mute firelight, alone, lit each glowing stud;
Each time the fire sighed, as if in doubt,
It steeped her pale, rouged flesh in pools of blood.



Duellem (The Duel)
by Charles Baudelaire
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Two combatants charged! Their fearsome swords
brightened the air with fiery sparks and blood.
Their clashing blades clinked odd serenades,
reminding us: youth's inspired by overloud love.

But now their blades lie broken, like our hearts!
Still, our savage teeth and talon-like fingernails
can do more damage than the deadliest sword
when lovers lash about with such natural flails.

In a deep ravine haunted by lynxes and panthers,
our heroes roll around in a cozy embrace,
leaving their blood to redden the colorless branches.
This abyss is pure hell; our friends occupy the place.

Come, let us roll here too, cruel Amazon;
let our hatred’s ardor never be over and done!



Le Balcon (The Balcony)
by Charles Baudelaire
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Paramour of memory, ultimate mistress,
source of all pleasure, my only desire;
how can I forget your ecstatic caresses,
the warmth of your ******* by the roaring fire,
paramour of memory, ultimate mistress?

Each night illumined by the burning coals
we lay together where the rose-fragrance clings―
how soft your *******, how tender your soul!
Ah, and we said imperishable things,
each night illumined by the burning coals.

How beautiful the sunsets these sultry days,
deep space so profound, beyond life’s brief floods ...
then, when I kissed you, my queen, in a daze,
I thought I breathed the bouquet of your blood
as beautiful as sunsets these sultry days.

Night thickens around us like a wall;
in the deepening darkness our irises meet.
I drink your breath, ah! poisonous yet sweet!,
as with fraternal hands I massage your feet
while night thickens around us like a wall.

I have mastered the sweet but difficult art
of happiness here, with my head in your lap,
finding pure joy in your body, your heart;
because you’re the queen of my present and past
I have mastered love’s sweet but difficult art.

O vows! O perfumes! O infinite kisses!
Can these be reborn from a gulf we can’t sound
as suns reappear, as if heaven misses
their light when they sink into seas dark, profound?
O vows! O perfumes! O infinite kisses!



Il pleure dans mon coeur (“It rains in my heart”)
by Paul Verlaine
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

It rains in my heart
As it rains on the town;
Heavy languor and dark
Drenches my heart.

Oh, the sweet-sounding rain
Cleansing pavements and roofs!
For my listless heart's pain
The pure song of the rain!

Still it rains without reason
In my overcast heart.
Can it be there's no treason?
That this grief's without reason?

As my heart floods with pain,
Lacking hatred, or love,
I've no way to explain
Such bewildering pain!



Spleen
by Paul Verlaine
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The roses were so very red;
The ivy, impossibly black.
Dear, with a mere a turn of your head,
My despair’s flooded back!

The sky was too gentle, too blue;
The sea, far too windswept and green.
Yet I always imagined―or knew―
I’d again feel your spleen.

Now I'm tired of the glossy waxed holly,
Of the shimmering boxwood too,
Of the meadowland’s endless folly,
When all things, alas, lead to you!



In the Whispering Night
by Michael R. Burch

for George King

In the whispering night, when the stars bend low
till the hills ignite to a shining flame,
when a shower of meteors streaks the sky
while the lilies sigh in their beds, for shame,
we must steal our souls, as they once were stolen,
and gather our vigor, and all our intent.
We must heave our bodies to some famished ocean
and laugh as they vanish, and never repent.
We must dance in the darkness as stars dance before us,
soar, Soar! through the night on a butterfly's breeze ...
blown high, upward-yearning, twin spirits returning
to the heights of awareness from which we were seized.



Dispensing Keys
by Hafiz aka Hafez
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The imbecile
constructs cages
for everyone he knows,
while the sage
(who has to duck his head
whenever the moon glows)
keeps dispensing keys
all night long
to the beautiful, rowdy,
prison gang.



Infectious!
by Hafiz aka Hafez
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I became infected with happiness tonight
as I wandered idly, singing in the starlight.
Now I'm wonderfully contagious ...
so kiss me!



The Tally
by Hafiz aka Hafez
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Lovers
don't reveal
all
their Secrets;
under the covers
they
may
count each other's Moles
(that reside
and hide
in the shy regions
by forbidden holes),
then keep the final tally
strictly
from Aunt Sally!

This is admittedly a VERY loose translation of the original Hafiz poem!



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.



The Lonely Earth
by Kajal Ahmad
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.



Kurds are Birds
by Kajal Ahmad
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 from 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!



After the Deluge
by Michael R. Burch

She was kinder than light
to an up-reaching flower
and sweeter than rain
to the bees in their bower
where anemones blush
at the affections they shower,
and love’s shocking power.

She shocked me to life,
but soon left me to wither.
I was listless without her,
nor could I be with her.
I fell under the spell
of her absence’s power.
in that calamitous hour.

Like blithe showers that fled
repealing spring’s sweetness;
like suns’ warming rays sped
away, with such fleetness ...
she has taken my heart—
alas, our completeness!
I now wilt in pale beams
of her occult remembrance.



grave request
by michael r. burch

come to ur doom
in Tombstone;

the stars stark and chill
over Boot Hill

care nothing for ur desire;

still,

imagine they wish u no ill,
that u burn with the same antique fire;

for there’s nothing to life but the thrill
of living until u expire;

so come, spend ur last hardearned bill
on Tombstone.



Defenses
by Michael R. Burch

Beyond the silhouettes of trees
stark, naked and defenseless
there stand long rows of sentinels:
these pert white picket fences.

Now whom they guard and how they guard,
the good Lord only knows;
but savages would have to laugh
observing the tidy rows.



Pool's Prince Charming
by Michael R. Burch

(this is my tribute poem, written on the behalf of his fellow pool sharks, for the legendary Saint Louie Louie Roberts)

Louie, Louie, Prince of Pool,
making all the ladies drool ...
Take the “nuts”? I'd be a fool!
Louie, Louie, Prince of Pool.

Louie, Louie, pretty as Elvis,
owner of (ahem) a similar pelvis ...
Compared to you, the books will shelve us.
Louie, Louie, pretty as Elvis.

Louie, Louie, fearless gambler,
ladies' man and constant rambler,
but such a sweet, loquacious ambler!
Louie, Louie, fearless gambler.

Louie, Louie, angelic, chthonic,
pool's charming hero, but tragic, Byronic,
winning the Open drinking gin and tonic?
Louie, Louie, angelic, chthonic.



The Aery Faery Princess
by Michael R. Burch

for Keira

There once was a princess lighter than fluff
made of such gossamer stuff—
the down of a thistle, butterflies’ wings,
the faintest high note the hummingbird sings,
moonbeams on garlands, strands of bright hair ...
I think she’s just you when you’re floating on air!



pretty pickle
by Michael R. Burch

u’d blaspheme if u could
because ur God’s no good,
but of course u cant:
ur just a lowly ant
(or so u were told by a Hierophant).



and then i was made whole
by Michael R. Burch

... and then i was made whole,
but not a thing entire,
glued to a perch
in a gilded church,
strung through with a silver wire ...

singing a little of this and of that,
warbling higher and higher:
a thing wholly dead
till I lifted my head
and spat at the Lord and his choir.



Album
by Michael R. Burch

I caress them—trapped in brittle cellophane—
and I see how young they were, and how unwise;
and I remember their first flight—an old prop plane,
their blissful arc through alien blue skies ...

And I touch them here through leaves which—tattered, frayed—
are also wings, but wings that never flew:
like insects’ wings—pinned, held. Here, time delayed,
their features never changed, remaining two ...

And Grief, which lurked unseen beyond the lens
or in shadows where It crept on feral claws
as It scratched Its way into their hearts, depends
on sorrows such as theirs, and works Its jaws ...

and slavers for Its meat—those young, unwise,
who naively dare to dream, yet fail to see
how, lumbering sunward, Hope, ungainly, flies,
clutching to Her ruffled breast what must not be.



Because You Came to Me
by Michael R. Burch

Because you came to me with sweet compassion
and kissed my furrowed brow and smoothed my hair,
I do not love you after any fashion,
but wildly, in despair.

Because you came to me in my black torment
and kissed me fiercely, blazing like the sun
upon parched desert dunes, till in dawn’s foment
they melt, I am undone.

Because I am undone, you have remade me
as suns bring life, as brilliant rains endow
the earth below with leaves, where you now shade me
and bower me, somehow.



Beckoning
by Michael R. Burch

Yesterday the wind whispered my name
while the blazing locks
of her rampant mane
lay heavy on mine.

And yesterday
I saw the way
the wind caressed tall pines
in forests laced by glinting streams
and thick with tangled vines.

And though she reached
for me in her sleep,
the touch I felt was Time's.

I believe I wrote the first version of this poem around age 18, wasn't happy with it, put it aside, then revised it six years later.



Besieged
by Michael R. Burch

Life—the disintegration of the flesh
before the fitful elevation of the soul
upon improbable wings?

Life—is this all we know,
the travail one bright season brings? ...

Now the fruit hangs,
impendent, pregnant with death,
as the hurricane builds and flings
its white columns and banners of snow

and the rout begins.



****** or Heroine?
by Michael R. Burch

(for mothers battling addiction)

serve the Addiction;
worship the Beast;
feed the foul Pythons
your flesh, their fair feast ...

or rise up, resist
the huge many-headed hydra;
for the sake of your Loved Ones
decapitate medusa.



Loose Knit
by Michael R. Burch

She blesses the needle,
fetches fine red stitches,
criss-crossing, embroidering dreams
in the delicate fabric.

And if her hand jerks and twitches in puppet-like fits,
she tells herself
reality is not as threadbare as it seems ...
that a little more darning may gather loose seams.

She weaves an unraveling tapestry
of fatigue and remorse and pain; ...
only the nervously pecking needle
****** her to motion, again and again.



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!



If I am Syrian, what of it?
Stranger, we all dwell in one world, not its portals.
The same original Chaos gave birth to all mortals.
—Meleager, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Love, how can I call on you:
does Desire dwell with the dead?
Cupid, that bold boy, never bowed his head
to wail.
—Meleager, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Cupid, I swear,
your quiver holds only empty air:
for all your winged arrows, set free,
are now lodged in me.
—Meleager, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Cupid, if you incinerate my soul, touché!
For she too has wings and can fly away!
—Meleager, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Cupid, the cuddly baby
safe in his mother's lap,
chucking the dice one day,
gambled my heart away.
—Meleager, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I lie defeated. Set your foot on my neck. Checkmate.
I recognize you by your weight;
yes, and by the gods, you’re a load to bear.
I am also well aware
of your fiery darts.
But if you seek to ignite human hearts,
******* with your tinders;
mine’s already in cinders.
—Meleager, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

When I see Theron everything’s revealed.
When he’s gone all’s concealed.
—Meleager, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

When I see Theron everything’s defined;
When he’s gone I’m blind.
—Meleager, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

When I see Theron my eyes bug out;
When he’s gone even sight is in doubt.
—Meleager, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Mother-Earth, to all men dear,
Aesigenes was never a burden to you,
so please rest lightly on him here.
—Meleager, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Meleager dedicates this lamp to you, dear Cypris, as a plaything,
since it has been initiated into the mysteries of your nocturnal ceremonies.
—Meleager, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I know you lied, because these ringlets
still dripping scented essences
betray your wantonness.
These also betray you—
your eyes sagging with the lack of sleep,
stray tendrils of your unchaste hair escaping its garlands,
your limbs uncoordinated by the wine.
Away, trollop, they summon you—
the reveling lyre and the clattering castanets rattled by lewd fingers!
—Meleager, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Moon and Stars,
lighting the way for lovers,
and Night,
and you, my mournful Mandolin, my ***** companion ...
when will we see her, the little wanton one, lying awake and moaning to her lamp?
Or does she embrace some other companion?
Then let me hang conciliatory garlands on her door,
wilted by my tears,
and let me inscribe thereupon these words:
"For you, Cypris,
the one to whom you revealed the mysteries of your revels,
Meleager,
offers these spoiled tokens of his love."
—Meleager, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Silence!
They must have carried her off!
Who could be so barbaric,
to act with such violence,
to wage war against Love himself?
Quick, prepare the torches!
But wait!
A footfall, Heliodora's!
Get back in my *****, heart!
—Meleager, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Tears, the last gifts of my love,
I send drenching down to you, Heliodora.
Here on your puddling tomb I pour them out—
soul-wrenching tears
in memory of affliction and affection.
Piteously, so piteously Meleager mourns you,
you still so precious, so dear to him in death,
paying vain tributes to Acheron.
Alas! Alas! Where is my beautiful one,
my heart's desire?
Death has taken her from me, has robbed me of her,
and the lustrous blossom lies trampled in dust.
But Earth-Mother, nurturer of us all ...
Mother, I beseech you, hold her gently to your *****,
the one we all bewail.
—Meleager, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



You ask me why I've sent you no new verses?
There might be reverses.
―Martial, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

You ask me to recite my poems to you?
I know how you'll "recite" them, if I do.
―Martial, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

NOTE: The irascible Martial is suggesting that if he shares his poems, they will be plagiarized.

You ask me why I choose to live elsewhere?
You're not there.
―Martial, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

You ask me why I love the fresh country air?
You're not befouling it there.
―Martial, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

You never wrote a poem,
yet criticize mine?
Stop abusing me or write something fine
of your own!
―Martial, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

He starts everything but finishes nothing;
thus I suspect there's no end to his stuffing.
―Martial, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

NOTE: Martial concluded his epigram with a variation of the f-word; please substitute it if you prefer it.

You alone own prime land, dandy!
Gold, money, the finest porcelain―you alone!
The best wines of the most famous vintages―you alone!
Discrimination and wit―you alone!
You have it all―who can deny that you alone are set for life?
But everyone has had your wife―she is never alone!
―Martial, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

You dine in great magnificence
while offering guests a pittance.
Sextus, did you invite
friends to dinner tonight
to impress us with your enormous appetite?
―Martial, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

To you, my departed parents, dear mother and father,
I commend my little lost angel, Erotion, love’s daughter.
She fell a mere six days short of outliving her sixth frigid winter.
Protect her now, I pray, should the chilling dark shades appear;
muzzle hell’s three-headed hound, less her heart be dismayed!
Lead her to romp in some sunny Elysian glade,
her devoted patrons. Watch her play childish games
as she excitedly babbles and lisps my name.
Let no hard turf smother her softening bones; and do
rest lightly upon her, earth, she was surely no burden to you!
―Martial, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Alien Nation
by Michael R. Burch

for a Christian poet who believes in “hell”

On a lonely outpost on Mars
the astronaut practices “speech”
as alien to primates below
as mute stars winking high, out of reach.

And his words fall as bright and as chill
as ice crystals on Kilimanjaro —
far colder than Jesus’s words
over the “fortunate” sparrow.

And I understand how gentle Emily
must have felt, when all comfort had flown,
gazing into those inhuman eyes,
feeling zero at the bone.

Oh, how can I grok his arctic thought?
For if he is human, I am not.



Burn, Ovid
by Michael R. Burch

“Burn Ovid”—Austin Clarke

Sunday School,
Faith Free Will Baptist, 1973:
I sat imaging watery folds
of pale silk encircling her waist.
Explicit *** was the day’s “hot” topic
(how breathlessly I imagined hers)
as she taught us the perils of lust
fraught with inhibition.

I found her unaccountably beautiful,
rolling implausible nouns off the edge of her tongue:
adultery, fornication, *******, ******.
Acts made suddenly plausible by the faint blush
of her unrouged cheeks,
by her pale lips
accented only by a slight quiver,
a trepidation.

What did those lustrous folds foretell
of our uncommon desire?
Why did she cross and uncross her legs
lovely and long in their taupe sheaths?
Why did her ******* rise pointedly,
as if indicating a direction?

“Come unto me,
(unto me),”
together, we sang,

cheek to breast,
lips on lips,
devout, afire,

my hands
up her skirt,
her pants at her knees:

all night long,
all night long,
in the heavenly choir.

This poem is set at Faith Christian Academy, which I attended for a year during the ninth grade, in 1972-1973. While the poem definitely had its genesis there, I believe I revised it more than once and didn't finish it till 2001, nearly 28 years later, according to my notes on the poem. Another poem, "*** 101," was also written about my experiences at FCA that year.



*** 101
by Michael R. Burch

That day the late spring heat
steamed through the windows of a Crayola-yellow schoolbus
crawling its way up the backwards slopes
of Nowheresville, North Carolina ...

Where we sat exhausted
from the day’s skulldrudgery
and the unexpected waves of muggy,
summer-like humidity ...

Giggly first graders sat two abreast
behind senior high students
sprouting their first sparse beards,
their implausible bosoms, their stranger affections ...

The most unlikely coupling—

Lambert, 18, the only college prospect
on the varsity basketball team,
the proverbial talldarkhandsome
swashbuckling cocksman, grinning ...

Beside him, Wanda, 13,
bespectacled, in her primproper attire
and pigtails, staring up at him,
fawneyed, disbelieving ...

And as the bus filled with the improbable musk of her,
as she twitched impaled on his finger
like a dead frog jarred to life by electrodes,
I knew ...

that love is a forlorn enterprise,
that I would never understand it.

This companion poem to "Burn, Ovid" is also set at Faith Christian Academy, in 1972-1973.



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.



Kin
by Michael R. Burch

O pale, austere moon,
haughty beauty ...

what do we know of love,
or duty?



Kindred
by Michael R. Burch

Rise, pale disastrous moon!
What is love, but a heightened effect
of time, light and distance?

Did you burn once,
before you became
so remote, so detached,

so coldly, inhumanly lustrous,
before you were able to assume
the very pallor of love itself?

What is the dawn now, to you or to me?

We are as one,
out of favor with the sun.

We would exhume
the white corpse of love
for a last dance,

and yet we will not.
We will let her be,
let her abide,

for she is nothing now,
to you
or to me.



Reflections
by Michael R. Burch

I am her mirror.
I say she is kind,
lovely, breathtaking.
She screams that I’m blind.

I show her her beauty,
her brilliance and compassion.
She refuses to believe me,
for that’s the latest fashion.

She storms and she rages;
she dissolves into tears
while envious Angels
are, by God, her only Peers.



Excerpts from “Travels with Einstein”
by Michael R. Burch

for Trump

I went to Berlin to learn wisdom
from Adolph. The wild spittle flew
as he screamed at me, with great conviction:
“Please despise me! I look like a Jew!”

So I flew off to ’Nam to learn wisdom
from tall Yankees who cursed “yellow” foes.
“If we lose this small square,” they informed me,
earth’s nations will fall, dominoes!”

I then sat at Christ’s feet to learn wisdom,
but his Book, from its genesis to close,
said: “Men can enslave their own brothers!”
(I soon noticed he lacked any clothes.)

So I traveled to bright Tel Aviv
where great scholars with lofty IQs
informed me that (since I’m an Arab)
I’m unfit to lick dirt from their shoes.

At last, done with learning, I stumbled
to a well where the waters seemed sweet:
the mirage of American “justice.”
There I wept a real sea, in defeat.

Originally published by Café Dissensus



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.



Resurrecting Passion
by Michael R. Burch

Last night, while dawn was far away
and rain streaked gray, tumescent skies,
as thunder boomed and lightning railed,
I conjured words, where passion failed ...

But, oh, that you were mine tonight,
sprawled in this bed, held in these arms,
your ******* pale baubles in my hands,
our bodies bent to old demands ...

Such passions we might resurrect,
if only time and distance waned
and brought us back together; now
I pray that this might be, somehow.

But time has left us twisted, torn,
and we are more apart than miles.
How have you come to be so far—
as distant as an unseen star?

So that, while dawn is far away,
my thoughts might not return to you,
I feed your portrait to the flames,
but as they feast, I burn for you.

Published in Songs of Innocence and The Chained Muse.



Currents
by Michael R. Burch

How can I write and not be true
to the rhythm that wells within?
How can the ocean not be blue,
not buck with the clapboard slap of tide,
the clockwork shock of wave on rock,
the motion creation stirs within?

Originally published by The Lyric



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.



Tillage
by Michael R. Burch

What stirs within me
is no great welling
straining to flood forth,
but an emptiness
waiting to be filled.

I am not an orchard
ready to be harvested,
but a field
rough and barren
waiting to be tilled.



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



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!”



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.



Villanelle: Hangovers
by Michael R. Burch

We forget that, before we were born,
our parents had “lives” of their own,
ran drunk in the streets, or half-******.

Yes, our parents had lives of their own
until we were born; then, undone,
they were buying their parents gravestones

and finding gray hairs of their own
(because we were born lacking some
of their curious habits, but soon

would certainly get them). Half-******,
we watched them dig graves of their own.
Their lives would be over too soon

for their curious habits to bloom
in us (though our children were born
nine months from that night on the town

when, punch-drunk in the streets or half-******,
we first proved we had lives of our own).



Happily Never After (the Second Curse of the ***** Toad)
by Michael R. Burch

He did not think of love of Her at all
frog-plangent nights, as moons engoldened roads
through crumbling stonewalled provinces, where toads
(nee princes) ruled in chinks and grew so small
at last to be invisible. He smiled
(the fables erred so curiously), and thought
bemusedly of being reconciled
to human flesh, because his heart was not
incapable of love, but, being cursed
a second time, could only love a toad’s . . .
and listened as inflated frogs rehearsed
cheekbulging tales of anguish from green moats . . .
and thought of her soft croak, her skin fine-warted,
his anemic flesh, and how true love was thwarted.



Haunted
by Michael R. Burch

Now I am here
and thoughts of my past mistakes are my brethren.
I am withering
and the sweetness of your memory is like a tear.

Go, if you will,
for the ache in my heart is its hollowness
and the flaw in my soul is its shallowness;
there is nothing to fill.

Take what you can;
I have nothing left.
And when you are gone, I will be bereft,
the husk of a man.

Or stay here awhile.
My heart cannot bear the night, or these dreams.
Your face is a ghost, though paler, it seems
when you smile.

Published by Romantics Quarterly



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

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

This is one of my earliest poems, written around age 15 when we were living with my grandfather in his house on Chilton Street, within walking distance of the Nashville fairgrounds. I remember walking to the fairgrounds, stopping at a Dairy Queen along the way, and swimming at a public pool. But I believe the Ferris wheel only operated during the state fair. So my “educated guess” is that this poem was written during the 1973 state fair, or shortly thereafter. I remember watching people hanging suspended in mid-air, waiting for carnies to deposit them safely on terra firma again.



Her Preference
by Michael R. Burch

Not for her the pale incandescence of dreams,
the warm glow of imagination,
the hushed whispers of possibility,
or frail, blossoming hope.

No, she prefers the anguish and screams
of bitter condemnation,
the hissing of hostility,
damnation's rope.



hey pete
by Michael R. Burch

for Pete Rose

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

When I was a boy, Pete Rose was my favorite baseball player; this poem is not a slam at him, but rather an ironic jab at the term "superstar."



Nevermore!
by Michael R. Burch

Nevermore! O, nevermore
shall the haunts of the sea―
the swollen tide pools
and the dark, deserted shore―
mark her passing again.

And the salivating sea
shall never kiss her lips
nor caress her ******* and hips
as she dreamt it did before,
once, lost within the uproar.

The waves will never **** her,
nor take her at their leisure;
the sea gulls shall not have her,
nor could she give them pleasure ...
She sleeps forevermore.

She sleeps forevermore,
a ****** save to me
and her other lover,
who lurks now, safely covered
by the restless, surging sea.

And, yes, they sleep together,
but never in that way!
For the sea has stripped and shorn
the one I once adored,
and washed her flesh away.

He does not stroke her honey hair,
for she is bald, bald to the bone!
And how it fills my heart with glee
to hear them sometimes cursing me
out of the depths of the demon sea ...

their skeletal love―impossibility!

This is one of my Poe-like creations, written around age 19. I think the poem has an interesting ending, since the male skeleton is missing an important "member."



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



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.



THE RUIN
an Old English/Anglo-Saxon poem
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

well-hewn was this wall-stone, till Wyrdes wrecked it
and the Colossus sagged inward ...

broad battlements broken;
the Builders' work battered;

the high ramparts toppled;
tall towers collapsed;

the great roof-beams shattered;
gates groaning, agape ...

mortar mottled and marred by scarring ****-frosts ...
the Giants’ dauntless strongholds decaying with age ...

shattered, the shieldwalls,
the turrets in tatters ...

where now are those mighty Masons, those Wielders and Wrights,
those Samson-like Stonesmiths?

the grasp of the earth, the firm grip of the ground
holds fast those fearless Fathers
men might have forgotten
except that this slow-rotting siege-wall still stands
after countless generations!

for always this edifice, grey-lichened, blood-stained,
stands facing fierce storms with their wild-whipping winds
because those master Builders bound its wall-base together
so cunningly with iron!

it outlasted mighty kings and their claims!

how high rose those regal rooftops!
how kingly their castle-keeps!
how homely their homesteads!
how boisterous their bath-houses and their merry mead-halls!
how heavenward flew their high-flung pinnacles!
how tremendous the tumult of those famous War-Wagers ...
till mighty Fate overturned it all, and with it, them.

then the wide walls fell;
then the bulwarks were broken;
then the dark days of disease descended ...

as death swept the battlements of brave Brawlers;
as their palaces became waste places;
as ruin rained down on their grand Acropolis;
as their great cities and castles collapsed
while those who might have rebuilt them lay gelded in the ground:
those marvelous Men, those mighty master Builders!

therefore these once-decorous courts court decay;
therefore these once-lofty gates gape open;
therefore these roofs' curved arches lie stripped of their shingles;
therefore these streets have sunk into ruin and corroded rubble ...

when in times past light-hearted Titans flushed with wine
strode strutting in gleaming armor, adorned with splendid ladies’ favors,
through this brilliant city of the audacious famous Builders
to compete for bright treasure: gold, silver, amber, gemstones.

here the cobblestoned courts clattered;
here the streams gushed forth their abundant waters;
here the baths steamed, hot at their fiery hearts;
here this wondrous wall embraced it all, with its broad *****.

... that was spacious ...



Victor Hugo "Love Stronger Than Time"
loose translation/interpretation by Michael Burch

Since I first set my lips to your full cup,
Since my pallid face first nested in your hands,
Since I sensed your soul and every bloom lit up—
Till those rare perfumes were lost to deepening sands;

Since I was once allowed those pleasures deep—
To hear your heart speak mysteries, divine;
Since I have seen you smile, have watched you weep,
Your lips pressed to my lips, your eyes on mine;

Since I have sensed above my thoughts the gleam
Of a ray, a single ray, of your bright star
(If sometimes veiled), and felt light falling stream,
Like one rose petal plucked from high, afar;

I now can say to time's swift-changing hours:
Pass, pass upon your way, for you grow old;
Flee to the dark abyss with your drear flowers,
but one unmarred within my heart I hold.

Your flapping wings may jar but cannot spill
The cup fulfilled of love, from which I drink;
My heart has fires your frosts can never chill,
My soul more love to fly than you can sink.



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 "Modern Charon"

Keywords/Tags: Charon, Styx, death, ferry, boat, ship, captain, steering, helm, wheel, rudder, shipwreck, disaster, night, darkness, 911, 9-11, mrbch
Shrivastva MK May 2015
Kahan kho gya hoon,
Main tera ** gya hoon,
Dekhlo sanam ekbar mujhe,
Main kya se kya ** gya hoon,
Main kya se kya ** gya hoon...


Kyon lut liye mere khawabo ko,
Kyon tor diye mere sare sapne bhi,
Tut gye sare rishte tujhse,
Kyon tor diya dil mera bhi....


Ab to tujhse juda hone ke
Dard me
Hansna bhi bhul gya hoon,
Dekh lo sanam mujhe,
Main kya se kya ** gya hoon,
Main kya se kya ** gya hoon.......


Tapak pari aansoo mere aankhon se,
Jab jab teri yaad aai....
Ruk jati kalam meri
Jab likhne ko tera nam aai....


Kahta hai Manish bhi
Apne DIL se,
Bhul jao use kyoki,
Main ab Patthar ka ** gya hoon,


Dekhlo sanam mujhe
tere pyar me
Main kya se kya ** gya hoon,
Main kya se kya ** gya hoon....
Jude kyrie Apr 2016
The day the music died.

We were all seventeen or eighteen.
The jungles of Nam were waiting
like dark visions in nightmare.
You get to be close as soldiers
more than brothers
more than wives.
The clearing was pretty
the feeling of an opening
in the dark trees
of the  jungle was a relief.
Then the light faded
eaten by some monster.
The flowers of our youth ended
in only a few minutes.
The tracer bullets lined
all the way to thier targets.
The petals of our childhood
fell like snow.
The imprints
of the carnage were
indelible tattoos
on our memories.
Out ofsixty boys
only five of us got out.
the dreams of my life
we're tainted red
from that day.
I visited the clearing
a few years ago.
wartime enemies
turn into just people
when the blood is dried
and flowers grow on
old battlefields.
I knelt down and
said a prayer.
Not to an uncaring God
but to my friends
who lost their youth
and futures in this jungle.
For whom weeping tears
was  just not enough.
Millions of babies watching the skies
Bellies swollen, with big round eyes
On Jessore Road--long bamboo huts
Noplace to **** but sand channel ruts

Millions of fathers in rain
Millions of mothers in pain
Millions of brothers in woe
Millions of sisters nowhere to go

One Million aunts are dying for bread
One Million uncles lamenting the dead
Grandfather millions homeless and sad
Grandmother millions silently mad

Millions of daughters walk in the mud
Millions of children wash in the flood
A Million girls ***** & groan
Millions of families hopeless alone

Millions of souls nineteenseventyone
homeless on Jessore road under grey sun
A million are dead, the million who can
Walk toward Calcutta from East Pakistan

Taxi September along Jessore Road
Oxcart skeletons drag charcoal load
past watery fields thru rain flood ruts
Dung cakes on treetrunks, plastic-roof huts

Wet processions   Families walk
Stunted boys    big heads don't talk
Look bony skulls   & silent round eyes
Starving black angels in human disguise

Mother squats weeping & points to her sons
Standing thin legged    like elderly nuns
small bodied    hands to their mouths in prayer
Five months small food    since they settled there

on one floor mat   with small empty ***
Father lifts up his hands at their lot
Tears come to their mother's eye
Pain makes mother Maya cry

Two children together    in palmroof shade
Stare at me   no word is said
Rice ration, lentils   one time a week
Milk powder for warweary infants meek

No vegetable money or work for the man
Rice lasts four days    eat while they can
Then children starve    three days in a row
and ***** their next food   unless they eat slow.

On Jessore road    Mother wept at my knees
Bengali tongue    cried mister Please
Identity card    torn up on the floor
Husband still waits    at the camp office door

Baby at play I was washing the flood
Now they won't give us any more food
The pieces are here in my celluloid purse
Innocent baby play    our death curse

Two policemen surrounded     by thousands of boys
Crowded waiting    their daily bread joys
Carry big whistles    & long bamboo sticks
to whack them in line    They play hungry tricks

Breaking the line   and jumping in front
Into the circle    sneaks one skinny runt
Two brothers dance forward    on the mud stage
Teh gaurds blow their whistles    & chase them in rage

Why are these infants    massed in this place
Laughing in play    & pushing for space
Why do they wait here so cheerful   & dread
Why this is the House where they give children bread

The man in the bread door   Cries & comes out
Thousands of boys and girls    Take up his shout
Is it joy? is it prayer?    "No more bread today"
Thousands of Children  at once scream "Hooray!"

Run home to tents    where elders await
Messenger children   with bread from the state
No bread more today! & and no place to squat
Painful baby, sick **** he has got.

Malnutrition skulls thousands for months
Dysentery drains    bowels all at once
Nurse shows disease card    Enterostrep
Suspension is wanting    or else chlorostrep

Refugee camps    in hospital shacks
Newborn lay naked    on mother's thin laps
Monkeysized week old    Rheumatic babe eye
Gastoenteritis Blood Poison    thousands must die

September Jessore    Road rickshaw
50,000 souls   in one camp I saw
Rows of bamboo    huts in the flood
Open drains, & wet families waiting for food

Border trucks flooded, food cant get past,
American Angel machine   please come fast!
Where is Ambassador Bunker today?
Are his Helios machinegunning children at play?

Where are the helicopters of U.S. AID?
Smuggling dope in Bangkok's green shade.
Where is America's Air Force of Light?
Bombing North Laos all day and all night?

Where are the President's Armies of Gold?
Billionaire Navies    merciful Bold?
Bringing us medicine    food and relief?
Napalming North Viet Nam    and causing more grief?

Where are our tears?  Who weeps for the pain?
Where can these families go in the rain?
Jessore Road's children close their big eyes
Where will we sleep when Our Father dies?

Whom shall we pray to for rice and for care?
Who can bring bread to this **** flood foul'd lair?
Millions of children alone in the rain!
Millions of children weeping in pain!

Ring O ye tongues of the world for their woe
Ring out ye voices for Love we don't know
Ring out ye bells of electrical pain
Ring in the conscious of America brain

How many children are we who are lost
Whose are these daughters we see turn to ghost?
What are our souls that we have lost care?
Ring out ye musics and weep if you dare--

Cries in the mud by the thatch'd house sand drain
Sleeps in huge pipes in the wet ****-field rain
waits by the pump well, Woe to the world!
whose children still starve    in their mother's arms curled.

Is this what I did to myself in the past?
What shall I do Sunil Poet I asked?
Move on and leave them without any coins?
What should I care for the love of my *****?

What should we care for our cities and cars?
What shall we buy with our Food Stamps on Mars?
How many millions sit down in New York
& sup this night's table on bone & roast pork?

How many millions of beer cans are tossed
in Oceans of Mother? How much does She cost?
Cigar gasolines and   asphalt car dreams
Stinking the world and dimming star beams--

Finish the war in your breast    with a sigh
Come tast the tears    in your own Human eye
Pity us millions of phantoms you see
Starved in Samsara   on planet TV

How many millions of children die more
before our Good Mothers perceive the Great Lord?
How many good fathers pay tax to rebuild
Armed forces that boast    the children they've killed?

How many souls walk through Maya in pain
How many babes    in illusory pain?
How many families   hollow eyed  lost?
How many grandmothers    turning to ghost?

How many loves who never get bread?
How many Aunts with holes in their head?
How many sisters skulls on the ground?
How many grandfathers   make no more sound?

How many fathers in woe
How many sons   nowhere to go?
How many daughters    nothing to eat?
How many uncles   with swollen sick feet?

Millions of babies in pain
Millions of mothers in rain
Millions of brothers in woe
Millions of children    nowhere to go

                                        New York, November 14-16, 1971
Shrivastva MK Feb 2017
Nam ** jati Hai aankhey
Ye baat soch kar,
Kyun chale jate Hai log
Aksar kisi ka dil tod Kar,
Jite Zindagi bhi ban jati maut us din
Jis din chale jate wo Pal kisi ki saans ban Kar,

Khele jate Hai es duniya me
Dil ka zajbat ban Kar,
Dete Hai dhokha yaha log aksar
Kisi ka khaas ban Kar,
Sabko pta hota Hai anjaam pyar ka
Phir kyon rote log kisi se pyaar Kar,

Pyar andha hota Hai phir
Kyon pyar karte log surat dekh Kar,
Jinka pyar sachha Hai wo
Amar ** jate Hai Mar Kar,
Ghut Ghut ke Ji rha hu
Mai ab zinda lash ban Kar...
Ek zinda lash ban Kar...
Feelings of love and life

— The End —