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jeffrey conyers May 2016
The neglected child know reasons they feel that way.
Maybe mom placed another before you.
Like a lover or two.

Still wanted to party.
When her focus should have been on raising you.
So you can see their perspectives and views not highly of you.

The neglected child know why the world dad means nothing to them
And any excuse offered will not easily attracts them to loving you.
Many very aware of the logic used and your reasoning too!

I was young.
I wasn't ready.
Excuses many neglected children's have heard over times
Ronald Jones Feb 2016
Metaphysically speaking, computers are straitjackets of the soul.
Ronald Jones Feb 2016
Another definition of sadomasochism is golf.
Ronald Jones May 2016
Melodrama is when you are allowed to laugh at tragedy.
Speechless, ignored, could
You even miss me at all
If I fell away?

If I drowned like my
Words that everyone doubted
And learned to neglect?

A silent heartbeat,
With the silence you put to
Everything I say?

I wish a friend would
Like my company, I just
Haven't found one yet-
I'm quiet. I'm talked over a lot.
edit: i finally found a friend that does :))
jeffrey conyers Apr 2014
Love, always seem to show.
When others  take notice.
When the one you neglected attracts some kind of interest.

The one that only asked to be loved, held and respected.
Seem to be taking by the one they love for granted.

But the minute eyes are upon them.
And a smile upon their face.
The one that neglected them.
Now wants to show rage.

Truth has been stated and spoken for years.
Neglect a good person.
And another will impress them.
Give them the attention that you never afforded them.


And when you hurt and feel scorned.
Just remember from where that feeling comes?
That the one that loved you the most.
Shouldn't be waiting upon you to call.
Keith Wilson Aug 2016
Passed  a  neglected  garden  of  late.
It  seemed  in  quite  a ­­ sorry  state.
Some  men  came  to  make  some  notes.
But  seem­ed  to  give  it  little  thought.
Up  on  high  the  grasses  gr­ow.
Beneath  the  windows  row  by  row.
The  other  plants  just­ ­ cry  with  pain.
I  guess  we'll  never  grow  again.
They  ha­ve­  taken  up  our  space  on  the  ground
Like  an  advancing  ­army  I'll  be  bound.
They  are  taking  our  water  Oh  my.
As ­ they  journey  to  the  sky.
Perhaps  it  soon will  be  resolved.­
And  peace  will  reign.
Once again

Keith  Wilson    Windermere.  UK.  2016­.
Some revisons
Katie Nicole May 2014
my* neglected heart
so frayed, so dry, so weary
only longs for *
love
first step

when he looks at a woman he searches for qualities that attract him because he wants to desire her yet this tendency creates an imbalance or disadvantage he is rendered weak to a woman’s beauty or whatever traits he idealizes self-realizing this propensity he looks away from women years of disappointment neglect change him he becomes afraid of women gynophobic

2

when she looks at a man she searches for qualities she is critical of because she wants to be impervious to his power she is suspicious of all men their upper body strength penchant to be in control misperception of women as property misogyny emotional immaturity neediness to be mommyed selfishness insensitivity or over-sensitivity depending she wants to be treated with equal respect a loving nurturing relationship she is suspicious of all people their alternate realities passive aggressive behavior co-dependence craziness

3

he sees her then looks away she suspiciously notices nothing happens they go back to their separate homes alone always home alone grown calm in resignation yet disbelieving of this destiny saddened by this fate both worry about future she looks at her face naked body in mirror her stomach churns feels sad sickening remembers time when she was more carefree he puts one foot in front of other then walks tries to remember who taught him to walk how many times did he fall who taught him to laugh where did his sense of humor go

4

he sees her thinks she is lovely resists the urge to turn away he smiles says hello she notices nervously smiles her shaky voice articulates louder than a whisper hi

Tucson 2-step

they are standing in line at a café on 4th avenue he is directly behind her she is lanky wearing white background faded colors patterned summer dress thin straps over bare shoulders long brown hair few gray strands small unfinished tattoo on left calf leather slip-ons 1 inch heals he is at a complete loss for words thinks to make remark about the weather decides not to overhead fan stirs hot humid July air barista girl asks what she would like her eyes scan blackboard menu behind counter she hesitates remarks help him i need an extra moment to decide he steps up to counter money in hand orders small to go Arnold Palmer half black current lays $3 on counter mentions change goes in tip jar thank you barista girl moves fast he lifts cup from counter glances at woman still deciding then at barista girl says have a wonderful day turns walks out door dawns on him woman grows hair under her arms his 2nd most compelling female physique adornment fetish oh god he thinks to himself should i wait for her to make up her mind then approach try to craft conversation at least find out her name no i’m too weak in this moment she is so lovely let her go

2

she orders double Americana in small cup to go room for soy milk thinks to herself he did greet her perhaps their paths will cross on street why did he run off so fast she glances toward front of café notices window seat changes her mind instructs barista ******* 2nd thought make it for here digs through purse realizes she left wallet in truck explains to barista girl she needs to run out to her vehicle to retrieve wallet forgotten under front seat the air on the street is heavy dense she smells her own perspiration looks north then south does not see him walks to truck feels exhausted appetiteless almost nauseous wishes she did not order a drink thinks to get behind wheel drive home go to sleep

Tucson 3-step tango

she feels disappointment by her recent writings as if she is reaching a more sophisticated audience and setting a higher standard for her work yet she is not living up to her ambitions her recent writings smell of her past writings too emotional the damaged woman wounded child she wants to write more introspectively with detached humor that only comes from keener intelligence she slams her laptop shut decides to go to Club Congress for a ****** mary or margarita but Club Congress is haunted with small town cretins losers wannabes she considers Maynard’s decides Maynard’s is too safe suburban yuppyish finally gives in to thought of glass of pinot noir at Plush next comes what to wear jeans in mid-July desert heat is unacceptable perhaps loose fitting thin cotton white summer dress thin leather belt ankle high indian moccasins hair in ponytail no pigtail braids no ponytail no makeup maybe little ylang ylang oil no she thinks about her recent writings

2

i am one breath away from crying in every moment one breath away from flying m.i.a. in every moment one breath away from destroying everything there is beauty in ugliness beauty in decrepitude disease beauty in harm hurt suffering beauty in greed injustice betrayal beauty in corruption contamination pollution beauty in hate cruelty ignorance beauty in death we spend our whole lives searching for a good death we spend our whole lives searching for eternal love this modern world is too much for me over my head the horrors of this place are beyond words unspeakable voice inside maybe mom yells quit your whining or dad hollers stop complaining i am trying to smile through tears one breath away from giving in one breath away from becoming stranger to myself winter spring winter spring there is beauty in nothingness we spend our whole lives searching for ourselves learning who we are not finding grasping secrets from dark paths light trails winter spring winter spring i am one breath away

3

she sits alone at bar at Plush glass of pinot noir glass of ice water in front of her 2 bearded older men eye her from other end of bar she ignores them glances at her wristwatch tries to look like she is waiting for someone music from speakers antiquated rock standard it is early friday hours from dusk moderate middle aged crowd mingle wait for local jazz trio to begin she thinks about her recent writings wonders is it too late for love considers lesbian affair from 5 different perspectives 5 woman’s voices each describing same lesbian affair in 5 opposing accounts hmmm she sips dark red wine from glass chases it with ice water she considers a story about a gang of female bikers who ride south to Mexico

4

the Americans came through here last night crossing border illegally climbing over our fences digging tunnels beneath our barrier walls littering along their trail they travel in packs of every skin color carry guns knives explosives wear leather boots some are shirtless tattoos dyed hair mischievously smiling conceitedly stealing when in question murdering they rob our homes slaughter our chickens ransack gardens loot our harvest you can still smell the stink of their fast food breaths

5

she swallows the last dark red wine from glass chases it with ice water local jazz trio begins to play as bar fills with more people she decides to walk home one foot in front of other wonders who taught her how to walk how many times did she fall she laughs to herself

Tucson square dance

TPD 10-18 unconfirmed data report

7 post-University of Arizona female graduates go to Cactus Moon for several drinks and dancing then drive to Bashful Bandit for more drinks and dancing 2 women get into scuffle victim Brittany Garner female 23 years of age race #5 (Native American, Eskimo, Middle -Eastern, Other) 5’ 2” long black hair cut-off blue jean shorts clingy light blue top falls hits head on side of bar dies of fatal blow to skull forensics report crushed occipital lobe assailant Stacy Won female 31 years of age race #4 (Asian) 5’6” black jeans black leather jacket red helmet Honda motorcycle still at large

witness accounts

Jess Delaney female 33 years of age race #2 (White) 6’ tight black pencil skirt white sleeveless undershirt no bra 3” heels blond ponytail “that squirting little **** deserves everything she got she lied told Stacy i’m a ***** i never cheated on Brittany i don’t understand we were all having a good time getting buzzed and dancing we should never have left Cactus Moon **** Kerrie thought some biker dude might be hanging around the Bandit hell maybe the Bandit was a biker bar once but now it’s just a college sink hole full of drunken frat boys when Monique flashed a little *** they went crazy cheering and buying us shots it just got out of hand never should have happened the way it happened Stacy didn’t mean to **** Brittany it’s ****** up i want to go home please let me go home”

Sabrina Starn female 29 years of age race #2 (White) 5’8” trendy corporate gray suit black pumps red shoulder length hair “i have to be at work at 8 AM Stacy was drunk out of control she gets crazy when she drinks Brittany was trash talking pushing all Stacy’s buttons then Stacy accused Brittany of sleeping with Monique and all hell broke loose i didn’t see what happened i was in the powder room it’s a terrible tragedy unfortunate accident can i please be released i need to sleep this is madness”

Kerrie Angeles female 27 years of age race #1 (Hispanic) 5’ 6” black pants white shirt black hair cut stylishly short silver crucifix around neck red fingernails “when we got to the Bashful Bandit i was ***** soaking between my legs thinking about a cowgirl at Cactus Moon ready to **** anyone i saw fantasized pulling a train with those frat boys Monique had been kind of quiet at Cactus Moon but when we got to the Bashful Bandit she lit up dancing wild unbuttoning her top jacket Sabrina went to the ladies room to snort coke with biker dude Kerrie wanted but he wasn’t into her then Brittany started saying crazy stuff accusing Stacy of stealing Monique from Jess Jessie goes through women heartlessly she doesn’t give a **** about Monique Jessie knows if she wants Monique back she can simply fiddle a finger my guess is Stacy is half way to Argentina she never meant to **** Brittany i’m going to miss her real bad she was a good kid”

Ann Skyler female 28 years of age race  #2 (White) 4’ 11’’ green white red Mexican peasant skirt black t-shirt black high-tops hair in messy bun “i’m confused i saw them dancing laughing grinding up against each other Rage Against the Machine came on then Nine Inch Nails the room felt quaking dizzy claustrophobic then they were pushing each other shoving yelling frat boys cheering the next thing i knew Brittany was supine on the floor blood pouring out maybe she just slipped hit her head i don’t know what to think i feel real sad confused sick to my stomach scared”

Monique Smithson female 24 years of age race # 3 (Black) 5’ 9” blue jeans jean jacket cowboy boots nose ring braided pigtails “Stacy had it in for Brittany from the start i saw it in her eyes at Cactus Moon she made several clever toxic remarks they snapped at each other i never thought it would escalate to ****** poor sweet Brittany was always so susceptible i was looking down adjusting my jeans over my boots when it happened i heard felt a big thump glanced up Brittany was lying there lifeless blood spilling everywhere Stacy ran out fast i heard her bike engine take off in a hurry”

Rodeo Drive Tucson

matt’s hats tom’s tools & tobacco lou’s liquors fred’s beds frank’s planks bill’s drills jane’s drains & panes chuck’s check cashing cheryl’s barrels hank’s tanks tina’s trucks & tractors walt’s asphalt sean’s pawn rick’s rifles mom’s guns terry’s tires charlie’s harleys rhonda’s hondas jim’s rims art’s parts gus’s gasoline mike’s bikes frank’s feed gwen’s pens ann’s cans nancy’s nursery joes‘s clothes jess’s dresses bert’s skirts steve’s sleeves paul’s shawls michelle’s shells & bells al’s pails & snails sam’s hams & jams patty’s pancakes phil’s chili don’s donuts betty’s spaghetti bob’s burgers alycia’s quiches jean’s beans jerry’s berries anna’s bananas andy’s candies cathy’s taffies tony’s ponies roy’s toys kim’s whims marty’s parties jill’s pills rick’s tricks alice’s palace debbie’s disposal dave’s graves

Quinta Waltz de Tucson

she is definitely displeased profoundly disappointed in her latest literary efforts she dreams aches to create deeper discourse higher insight more thoughtful philosophical inquiries about life’s challenges beauty a better world overpowering love inspiration instead she writes paperback television trash stupid inadequate answers to solemn questions she wonders if she is too scratched dented to find love her ******* are definitely changing she is deeply disturbed not ready for menopause too young for menopause she wants to remain a fertile woman with smooth skin wet ******

2

her neighbor Leslie awoke to horrible morning Leslie’s 6 chickens were assaulted overnight precious Mabel dragged off feathers everywhere trail down the street other hens cowering slumped together with wilted necks 3 of them with puncture wounds Leslie carried them one by one inside washed their wounds hugged them cried who did this terrible act a neglected abusive neighborhood cat or some desert predator why didn’t Leslie wake to sounds of savage marauding now this creature knows hen’s whereabouts when will it return for more massacre what modifications need to be enforced to ensure their coup before nightfall

3

she wants to remain a hen keep producing eggs does not want is not ready to enter the next **** stage of this **** existence it was fun being pretty for men inspiring them to say do whacky things she wants to remain a hen she is definitely displeased profoundly disappointed in her latest literary attempts “Tucson square dance” (self-referential) ****** bit about Americans came through here last night in “Tucson 3-step” ****** "Rodeo Drive" tepid perhaps the pinot noir lowered her standards everything is becoming nothing she cannot sleep tosses turns thrashes sheets in humid heat of her lonesome bed is she is too scratched dented to find love she worries for Leslie

4

tomorrow is another day they say the rain will come last year’s monsoon never came the baking sun smothered her garden died one by one sleepless she will miss tomorrow’s pilates class the infrequent delightful chatty breakfast afterwards she dreams aches of deeper discourse higher insight with detached humor that only comes from keener intelligence more thoughtful philosophical inquiries about life’s challenges beauty a better world overpowering love inspiration she crossed the line tonight her ******* are definitely changing

Tucson 666

he decides to shave eighth to quarter inch length salt and pepper beard a.k.a. unshaven look he has worn for years and grow full mustache the whiskers on his upper lip are darker with sparse gray at first no one notices after weeks the mustache gradually fills evoking many contrasting remarks several women loath it several men admire it girl at grocery store suggests he grow Fu Manchu so she can tug on it shopgirl says he looks like Charlie Chaplin downstairs neighbor from Turkey explains most Turkish men traditionally wear mustaches he read mustaches masculinize and empower men especially men in authoritative positions he thinks back to the 1960’s when many hippie males grew mustaches then in the 70’s gay men fashioned mustaches then in the 80’s cops adopted mustaches he wonders why a swatch of hair beneath nose is so provoking examines his visage in mirror discerns the mustache confers a Pepé le Pew quality or European accent to his appearance he remembers when he was young hippie with many amorous episodes how his mustache preserved the scent of a woman but there are no women in his life for many years do post-menopausal women possess scent? he feels indecisive whether to retain it or be rid of it

2

she observes her figure in mirror thinks to herself maybe her ******* are not changing perhaps it’s all in her head she inspects the little lines forming near her eyelids studies her features for signs of aging hardly any silver strands in long brown hair she examines neck ******* arms elbows fingers tummy hips pelvic region thighs knees shins calves ankles feet detects subtle changes thinks to herself my ******* are possibly slightly changing turned 40 in March married briefly in late teens no children a 15 year old dog beginning to suffer veterinarian promises to warn her when the time comes she wonders why it is so difficult finding fitting mate men sleep with her several times then move on maybe she is not such a great lover perhaps she would be better if one of them stuck around perhaps she is a lesbian the whole ide
brooke Sep 2013
I always made it my
business to touch the
parts of you even you
neglected, the webbing
between your fingers,
your eyebrows. I was
fascinated by your
eyelashes, I always
wanted to show you
I would not hurt
your eyes.
(c) Brooke Otto
Ron Gavalik May 2016
I only love you
at night
when loneliness
fuels desire
and
desperation
replaces
rational thought

Your value is reflected
in an empty whiskey bottle
sideways
on the stained carpet

Funny how everything
is eventually
neglected
A little ******* truth.
JR Potts Sep 2013
We were misfits
the neglected *******
of a backwards world
that rejected us
not because we were sick
demented or dangerous
but because we didn't prescribe
to a preconceived notion
of what a functioning citizen was.

Not rotten enough to spoil
behind the bars of a prison
just competent enough
to work menial jobs
and drown our sorrows
at the corner pub.

We swallowed this hard truth
the same way we drank our shots
with no chaser
and at times it burnt
maybe even made us tear up
but we never let it beat us
(too strong for that)

We were beautiful
resilient beasts
that could carry the weight
of the world upon our shoulders
and it was heavy
but we would tell ourselves
"doesn't every world need an atlas?"
so we went on holding up the sky
when no one asked it of us.
Meena Menon Sep 2021
Flicker Shimmer Glow

The brightest star can shine even with thick black velvet draped over it.  
Quartz, lime and salt crystals formed a glass ball.
The dark womb held me, warm and soft.  
My mom called my cries when I was born the most sorrowful sound she had ever heard.  
She said she’d never heard a baby make a sound like that.    
I’d open my eyes in low light until the world’s light healed rather than hurt.  
The summer before eighth grade, July 1992,
I watched a shooting star burn by at 100,000 miles per hour as I stood on the balcony  
while my family celebrated my birthday inside.  
It made it into the earth’s atmosphere
but it didn’t look like it was coming down;
I know it didn’t hit the ground but it burned something in the time it was here.  
The glass ball of my life cracked inside.  
Light reflected off the salt crystal cracks.  
I saw the beauty of the light within.  
Nacre from my shell kept those cracks from getting worse,
a wild pearl as defense mechanism.  
In 2001, I quit my job after they melted and poured tar all over my life.  
All summer literature class bathtubs filled with rose hip oil cleaned the tar.  
That fall logic and epistemology classes spewed black ink all over my philosophy
written over ten years then.  
Tar turned to asphalt when I met someone from my old job for a drink in November
and it paved a road for my life that went to the hospital I was in that December
where it sealed the roof on my life
when I was almost murdered there
and in February after meeting her for another drink.  
They lit a fire at the top of the glacier and pushed the burning pile of black coal off the edge,
burnt red, looking like flames falling into the valley.  
While that blazed the side of the cliff something lit an incandescent light.  
The electricity from the metal lightbulb ***** went through wires and heated the filament between until it glowed.  
I began putting more work into emotional balance from things I learned at AA meetings.  
In Spring 2003, the damage that the doctors at the hospital in 2001 had done
made it harder for light to reflect from the cracks in the glass ball.
I’d been eating healthy and trying to get regular exercises since 1994
but in Spring 2003 I began swimming for an hour every morning .  
The water washed the pollution from the burning coals off
And then I escaped in July.  
I moved to London to study English Language and Linguistics.  
I would’ve studied English Language and Literature.  
I did well until Spring 2004 when I thought I was being stalked.  
I thought I was manic.  
I thought I was being stalked.  
I went home and didn’t go back for my exams after spring holiday.  
Because I felt traumatized and couldn’t write poetry anymore,
I used black ink to write my notes for my book on trauma and the Russian Revolution.
I started teaching myself German.  
I stayed healthy.  
In 2005, my parents went to visit my mom’s family in Malaysia for two weeks.
I thought I was being stalked.  
I knew I wasn’t manic.  
I thought I was being stalked.  
I told my parents when they came home.  
They thought I was manic.  
I showed them the shoe prints in the snow of different sizes from the woods to the windows.  
They thought I was manic.  
I was outside of my comfort zone.  
I moved to California. I found light.  
I made light,
the light reflected off the salt crystals I used to heal the violence inflicted on me from then on.  
The light turned the traffic lights to not just green from red
but amber and blue.  
The light turned the car signals left and right.  
The light reflected off of salt crystals, light emitting diodes,
electrical energy turned directly to light,
electroluminescence.  
The electrical currents flowed through,
illuminating.  
Alone in the world, I moved to California in July 2005
but in August  I called the person I escaped in 2003,
the sulfur and nitrogen that I hated.  
He didn’t think I was manic but I never said anything.
I never told him why I asked him to move out to California.  
When his coal seemed like only pollution,
I asked him to leave.  
He threatened me.  
I called the authorities.  
They left me there.
He laughed.  
Then the violence came.  
****:  stabbed and punched, my ****** bruised, purple and swollen.  
The light barely reflected from the glass ball wIth cracks through all the acid rain, smoke and haze.
It would take me half an hour to get my body to do what my mind told it to after.  
My dad told me my mom had her cancer removed.
The next day, the coal said if I wanted him to leave he’d leave.  
I booked his ticket.
I drove him to the airport.  
Black clouds gushed the night before for the first time in months,
the sky clear after the rain.  
He was gone and I was free,
melted glass, heated up and poured—
looked like fire,
looked like the Snow Moon in February
with Mercury in the morning sky.  
I worked through ****.  
I worked to overcome trauma.  
Electricity between touch and love caused acid rain, smoke, haze, and mercury
to light the discharge lamps, streetlights and parking lot lights.
Then I changed the direction of the light waves.  
Like lead glass breaks up the light,
lead from the coal, cleaned and replaced by potassium,
glass cut clearly, refracting the light,
electrolytes,
electrical signals lit through my body,
thick black velvet drapes gone.  





















Lava

I think that someone wrote into some palm leaf a manuscript, a gift, a contract.  
After my parents wedding, while they were still in India,
they found out that my dad’s father and my mom’s grandfather worked for kings administering temples and collecting money for their king from the farmers that worked the rice paddies each king owned.  They both left their homes before they left for college.  
My dad, a son of a brahmin’s son,
grew up in his grandmother’s house.  
His mother was not a Brahmin.  
My mother grew up in Malaysia where she saw the children from the rubber plantation
when she walked to school.  
She doesn’t say what caste she is.  
He went to his father’s house, then college.  
He worked, then went to England, then Canada.  
She went to India then Canada.  
They moved to the United States around Christmas 1978
with my brother while she was pregnant with me.  
My father signed a contract with my mother.  
My parents took ashes and formed rock,
the residue left in brass pots in India,
the rocks, so hot, they turned back to lava miles away before turning back to ash again,
then back to rock,
the lava from a super volcano,
the ash purple and red.  


















Circles on a Moss Covered Volcano

The eruption beatifies the magma.  
It becomes obsidian,
only breaks with a fracture,
smooth circles where it breaks.  

My mom was born on the grass
on a lawn
in a moss covered canyon at the top of a volcanic island.  
My grandfather lived in Malaysia before the Japanese occupied.  
When the volcano erupted,
the lava dried at the ocean into black sand.  
The British allied with the Communist Party of Malaysia—
after they organized.  
After the Americans defeated the Japanese at Pearl Harbor,
the British took over Malaysia again.  
They kept different groups apart claiming they were helping them.  
The black sand had smooth pebbles and sharp rocks.  
Ethnic Malay farmers lived in Kampongs, villages.  
Indians lived on plantations.  
The Chinese lived in towns and urban areas.  
Ethnic Malays wanted independence.
In 1946, after strikes, demonstrations, and boycotts
the British agreed to work with them.  
The predominantly Chinese Communist Party of Malaysia went underground,
guerrilla warfare against the British,
claiming their fight was for independence.  
For the British, that emergency required vast powers
of arrest, detention without trial and deportation to defeat terrorism.  
The Emergency became less unpopular as the terrorism became worse.  
The British were the iron that brought oxygen through my mom’s body.  
She loved riding on her father’s motorcycle with him
by the plantations,
through the Kampongs
and to the city, half an hour away.  
The British left Malaysia independent in 1957
with Malaysian nationalists holding most state and federal government offices.  
As the black sand stretches towards the ocean,
it becomes big stones of dried lava, flat and smooth.  

My mom thought her father and her uncle were subservient to the British.  
She thought all things, all people were equal.  
When her father died when she was 16, 1965,
they moved to India,
my mother,
a foreigner in India, though she’s Indian.  
She loved rock and roll and mini skirts
and didn’t speak the local language.  
On the dried black lava,
it can be hard to know the molten lava flickers underneath there.  
Before the Korean War,
though Britain and the United States wanted
an aggressive resolution
condemning North Korea,
they were happy
that India supported a draft resolution
condemning North Korea
for breach of the peace.  
During the Korean War,
India, supported by Third World and other Commonwealth nations,
opposed United States’ proposals.
They were able to change the U.S. resolution
to include the proposals they wanted
and helped end the war.  
China wanted the respect of Third World nations
and saw the United States as imperialist.  
China thought India was a threat to the Third World
by taking aid from the United States and the Soviets.  
Pakistan could help with that and a seat at the United Nations.  
China wanted Taiwan’s seat at the UN.
My mother went to live with her uncle,
a communist negotiator for a corporation,
in India.  
A poet,
he threw parties and invited other artists, musicians and writers.  
I have the same brown hyperpigmentation at my joints that he had.  
During the day, only the steam from the hot lava can be seen.  
In 1965, Pakistani forces went into Jammu and Kashmir with China’s support.  
China threatened India after India sent its troops in.  
Then they threatened again before sending their troops to the Indian border.  
The United States stopped aid to Pakistan and India.
Pakistan agreed to the UN ceasefire agreement.  
Pakistan helped China get a seat at the UN
and tried to keep the west from escalating in Vietnam.  
The smoldering sound of the lava sizzles underneath the dried lava.  
When West Pakistan refused to allow East Pakistan independence,
violence between Bengalis and Biharis developed into upheaval.  
Bengalis moved to India
and India went into East Pakistan.  
Pakistan surrendered in December 1971.  
East Pakistan became independent Bangladesh

The warm light of the melted lava radiates underneath but burns.  
In 1974, India tested the Smiling Buddha,
a nuclear bomb.  
After Indira Gandhi’s conviction for election fraud in 1973,
Marxist Professor Narayan called for total revolution
and students protested all over India.  
With food shortages, inflation and regional disputes
like Sikh separatists training in Pakistan for an independent Punjab,
peasants and laborers joined the protests.  
Railway strikes stopped the economy.  
In 1975, Indira Gandhi, the Iron Lady,
declared an Emergency,
imprisoning political opponents, restricting freedoms and restricting the press,
claiming threats to national security
because the war with Pakistan had just ended.  
The federal government took over Kerala’s communist dominated government and others.  

My mom could’ve been a dandelion, but she’s more like thistle.  
She has the center that dries and flutters in the wind,
beautiful and silky,
spiny and prickly,
but still fluffy, downy,
A daisy.
They say thistle saved Scotland from the Norse.  
Magma from the volcano explodes
and the streams of magma fly into the air.  
In the late 60s,
the civil rights movement rose
against the state in Northern Ireland
for depriving Catholics
of influence and opportunity.
The Northern Irish police,
Protestant and unionist, anti-catholic,
responded violently to the protests and it got worse.  
In 1969, the British placed Arthur Young,
who had worked at the Federation of Malaya
at the time of their Emergency
at the head of the British military in Northern Ireland.
The British military took control over the police,
a counter insurgency rather than a police force,
crowd control, house searches, interrogation, and street patrols,
use of force against suspects and uncooperative citizens.  
Political crimes were tolerated by Protestants but not Catholics.  
The lava burns the rock off the edge of the volcano.  

On January 30, 1972, ****** Sunday,  
British Army policing killed 13 unarmed protesters
fighting for their rights over their neighborhood,
protesting the internment of suspected nationalists.
That led to protests across Ireland.  
When banana leaves are warmed,
oil from the banana leaves flavors the food.  
My dad flew from Canada to India in February 1972.  
On February 4, my dad met my mom.  
On February 11, 1972,
my dad married my mom.  
They went to Canada,
a quartz singing bowl and a wooden mallet wrapped in suede.  
The rock goes down with the lava, breaking through the rocks as it goes down.  
In March 1972, the British government took over
because they considered the Royal Ulster Police and the Ulster Special Constabulary
to be causing most of the violence.  
The lava blocks and reroutes streams,
melts snow and ice,
flooding.  
Days later, there’s still smoke, red.  
My mom could wear the clothes she liked
without being judged
with my dad in Canada.  
She didn’t like asking my dad for money.
My dad, the copper helping my mother use that iron,
wanted her to go to college and finish her bachelors degree.
She got a job.  
In 1976, the police took over again in Northern Ireland
but they were a paramilitary force—
armored SUVs, bullet proof jackets, combat ready
with the largest computerized surveillance system in the UK,
high powered weapons,
trained in counter insurgency.  
Many people were murdered by the police
and few were held accountable.  
Most of the murdered people were not involved in violence or crime.  
People were arrested under special emergency powers
for interrogation and intelligence gathering.  
People tried were tried in non-jury courts.  
My mom learned Malayalam in India
but didn’t speak well until living with my dad.  
She also learned to cook after getting married.  
Her mother sent her recipes; my dad cooked for her—
turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne and green chiles.  
Having lived in different countries,
my mom’s food was exposed to many cultures,
Chinese and French.
Ground rock, minerals and glass
covered the ground
from the ash plume.  
She liked working.  

A volcano erupted for 192 years,
an ice age,
disordered ices, deformed under pressure
and ordered ice crystals, brittle in the ice core records.  
My mother liked working.  
Though Khomeini was in exile by the 1970s in Iran,
more people, working and poor,
turned to him and the ****-i-Ulama for help.
My mom didn’t want kids though my dad did.
She agreed and in 1978 my brother was born.
Iran modernized but agriculture and industry changed so quickly.  
In January 1978, students protested—
censorship, surveillance, harassment, illegal detention and torture.  
Young people and the unemployed joined.  
My parents moved to the United States in December 1978.  
The regime used a lot of violence against the protesters,
and in September 1978 declared martial law in Iran.  
Troops were shooting demonstrators.
In January 1979, the Shah and his family fled.  
On February 11, 1979, my parents’ anniversary,
the Iranian army declared neutrality.  
I was born in July 1979.
The chromium in emeralds and rubies colors them.
My brother was born in May and I was born in July.

Obsidian—
iron, copper and chromium—
isn’t a gas
but it isn’t a crystal;
it’s between the two,
the ordered crystal and the disordered gas.  
They made swords out of obsidian.  





Warm Light Shatters

The eruption beatifies the magma.  
It becomes obsidian,
only breaks with a fracture,
smooth circles where it breaks.  

My dad was born on a large flat rock on the edge of the top
of a hill,
Molasses, sweet and dark, the potent flavor dominates,
His father, the son of a Brahmin,
His mother from a lower caste.
His father’s family wouldn’t touch him,
He grew up in his mother’s mother’s house on a farm.  
I have the same brown hyperpigmentation spot on my right hand that he has.

In 1901, D’Arcy bought a 60 year concession for oil exploration In Iran.
The Iranian government extended it for another 32 years in 1933.
At that time oil was Iran’s “main source of income.”
In 1917’s Balfour Declaration, the British government proclaimed that they favored a national home for the Jews in Palestine and their “best endeavors to facilitate the achievement” of that.

The British police were in charge of policing in the mandate of Palestine.  A lot of the policemen they hired were people who had served in the British army before, during the Irish War for Independence.  
The army tried to stop how violent the police were, police used torture and brutality, some that had been used during the Irish War for Independence, like having prisoners tied to armored cars and locomotives and razing the homes of people in prison or people they thought were related to people thought to be rebels.
The police hired Arab police and Jewish police for lower level policing,
Making local people part of the management.
“Let Arab police beat up Arabs and Jewish police beat up Jews.”

The lava blocks and reroutes streams, melts snow and ice, flooding.
In 1922, there were 83,000 Jews, 71,000 Christians, and 589,000 Muslims.
The League If Nations endorsed the British Mandate.
During an emergency, in the 1930s, British regulations allowed collective punishment, punishing villages for incidents.
Local officers in riots often deserted and also shared intelligence with their own people.
The police often stole, destroyed property, tortured and killed people.  
Arab revolts sapped the police power over Palestinians by 1939.

My father’s mother was from a matrilineal family.
My dad remembers tall men lining up on pay day to respectfully wait for her, 5 feet tall.  
She married again after her husband died.
A manager from a tile factory,
He spoke English so he supervised finances and correspondence.
My dad, a sunflower, loved her: she scared all the workers but exuded warmth to the people she loved.

Obsidian shields people from negative energy.
David Cargill founded the Burmah Oil Co. in 1886.
If there were problems with oil exploration in Burma and Indian government licenses, Persian oil would protect the company.  
In July 1906, many European oil companies, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and others, allied to protect against the American oil company, Standard Oil.
D’Arcy needed money because “Persian oil took three times as long to come on stream as anticipated.”
Burmah Oil Co. began the Anglo-Persian Oil Co. as a subsidiary.
Ninety-seven percent of British Petroleum was owned by Burmah Oil Co.
By 1914, the British government owned 51% of the Anglo-Persian Oil Co.  
Anglo-Persian acquired independence from Burmah Oil and Royal Dutch Shell with two million pounds from the British government.

The lava burns the rock off the edge of the volcano.
In 1942, after the Japanese took Burma,
the British destroyed their refineries before leaving.
The United Nations had to find other sources of oil.
In 1943, Japan built the Burma-Thailand Railroad with forced labor from the Malay peninsula who were mostly from the rubber plantations.

The rock goes down with the lava, breaking through the rocks as it goes down.
In 1945. Japan destroyed their refineries before leaving Burma.
Cargill, Watson and Whigham were on the Burmah Oil Co. Board and then the Anglo Iranian Oil Co. Board.  

In 1936 Palestine, boycotts, work stoppages, and violence against British police officials and soldiers compelled the government to appoint an investigatory commission.  
Leaders of Egypt, Trans Jordan, Syria and Iraq helped end the work stoppages.
The British government had the Peel Commission read letters, memoranda, and petitions and speak with British officials, Jews and Arabs.  
The Commission didn’t believe that Arabs and Jews could live together in a single Jewish state.
Because of administrative and financial difficulties the Colonial Secretary stated that to split Palestine into Arab and Jewish states was impracticable.  
The Commission recommended transitioning 250,000 Arabs and 1500 Jews with British control over their oil pipeline, their naval base and Jerusalem.  
The League of Nations approved.
“It will not remove the grievance nor prevent the recurrence,” Lord Peel stated after.
The Arab uprising was much more militant after Peel.  Thousands of Arabs were wounded, ten thousand were detained.  
In Sykes-Picot and the Husain McMahon agreements, the British promised the Arabs an independent state but they did not keep that promise.  
Representatives from the Arab states rejected the Peel recommendations.
United Nations General Assembly Resolution181 partitioned Palestine into Arab and Jewish states with an international regime for the city of Jerusalem backed by the United States and the Soviet Union.  

The Israeli Yishuv had strong military and intelligence organization —-  
the British recognized that their interest was with the Arabs and abstained from the vote.  
In 1948, Israel declared the establishment of its state.  
Ground rock, minerals, and gas covered the ground from the ash plume.
The Palestinian police force was disbanded and the British gave officers the option of serving in Malaya.

Though Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy supported snd tried to get Israel to offer the Arabs concessions, it wasn’t a major priority and didn’t always approve of Israel’s plans.
Arabs that had supported the British to end Turkish rule stopped supporting the West.  
Many Palestinians joined left wing groups and violent third world movements.  
Seventy-eight percent of the territory of former Palestine was under Israel’s control.  

My dad left for college in 1957 and lived in an apartment above the United States Information services office.
Because he graduated at the top of his class, he was given a job with the public works department of the government on the electricity board.  
“Once in, you’ll never leave.”
When he wanted a job where he could do real work, his father was upset.
He broke the chains with bells for vespers.
He got a job in Calcutta at Kusum Products and left the government, though it was prestigious to work there.
In the chemical engineering division, one of the projects he worked on was to design a *** distillery, bells controlled by hammers, hammers controlled by a keyboard.
His boss worked in the United Kingdom for. 20 years before the company he worked at, part of Power Gas Corporation, asked him to open a branch in Calcutta.
He opened the branch and convinced an Industrialist to open a company doing the same work with him.  The branch he opened closed after that.  
My dad applied for labor certification to work abroad and was selected.  
His boss wrote a reference letter for my him to the company he left in the UK.  My dad sent it telling the company when he was leaving for the UK.  
The day he left for London, he got the letter they sent in the mail telling him to take the train to Sheffield the next day and someone from the firm would meet him at the station.  
His dad didn’t know he left, he didn’t tell him.
He broke the chains with chimes for schisms.


Anglo-Persian Oil became Anglo-Iranian Oil in 1935.
The British government used oil and Anglo-Persian oil to fight communism, have a stronger relationship with the United States and make the United Kingdom more powerful.  
The National Secularists, the Tudeh, and the Communists wanted to nationalize Iran’s oil and mobilized the Iranian people.
The British feared nationalization in Iran would incite political parties like the Secular Nationalists all over the world.  
In 1947, the Iranian government passed the Single Article Law that “[increased] investment In welfare benefits, health, housing, education, and implementation of Iranianization through substitution of foreigners” at Anglo-Iranian Oil Co.
“Anglo-Iranian Oil Company made more profit in 1950 than it paid to the Iranian government in royalties over the previous half century.”
The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company tried to negotiate a new concession and claimed they’d hire more Iranian people into jobs held by British and people from other nationalities at the company.
Their hospitals had segregated wards.  
On May 1, 1951, the Iranian government passed a bill that nationalized Anglo- Iranian Oil Co.’s holdings.  
During the day, only the steam from the hot lava can be seen.
In August 1953, the Iranian people elected Mossadegh from the Secular Nationalist Party as prime minister.
The British government with the CIA overthrew Mossadegh using the Iranian military after inducing protests and violent demonstrations.  
Anglo-Iranian Oil changed its name to British Petroleum in 1954.
Iranians believe that America destroyed Iran’s “last chance for democracy” and blamed America for Iran’s autocracy, its human rights abuses, and secret police.

The smoldering sound of the lava sizzles underneath the dried lava.  
In 1946, Executive Yuan wanted control over 4 groups of Islands in the South China Sea to have a stronger presence there:  the Paracels, the Spratlys, Macclesfield Bank, and the Pratas.
The French forces in the South China Sea would have been stronger than the Chinese Navy then.
French Naval forces were in the Gulf of Tonkin, U.S. forces were in the Taiwan Strait, the British were in Hong Kong, and the Portuguese were in Macao.
In the 1950s, British snd U.S. oil companies thought there might be oil in the Spratlys.  
By 1957, French presence in the South China Sea was hardly there.  

When the volcano erupted, the lava dried at the ocean into black sand.
By 1954, the Tudeh Party’s communist movement and  intelligence organization had been destroyed.  
Because of the Shah and his government’s westernization policies and disrespectful treatment of the Ulama, Iranians began identifying with the Ulama and Khomeini rather than their government.  
Those people joined with secular movements to overthrow the Shah.  

In 1966, Ne Win seized power from U Nu in Burma.
“Soldiers ruled Burma as soldiers.”
Ne Win thought that western political
Institutions “encouraged divisions.”
Minority groups found foreign support for their separatist goals.
The Karens and the Mons supported U Nu in Bangkok.  


Rare copper, a heavy metal, no alloys,
a rock in groundwater,
conducts electricity and heat.
In 1965, my Dad’s cousin met him at Heathrow, gave him a coat and £10 and brought him to a bed and breakfast across from Charing Cross Station where he’d get the train to Sheffield the next morning.
He took the train and someone met him at the train station.  
At the interview they asked him to design a grandry girder, the main weight bearing steel girder as a test.
Iron in the inner and outer core of the earth,
He’d designed many of those.  
He was hired and lived at the YMCA for 2 1/2 years.  
He took his mother’s family name, Menon, instead of his father’s, Varma.
In 1967, he left for Canada and interviewed at Bechtel before getting hired at Seagrams.  
Iron enables blood to carry oxygen.
His boss recommended him for Dale Carnegie’s leadership training classes and my dad joined the National Instrument Society and became President.
He designed a still In Jamaica,
Ordered all the parts, nuts and bolts,
Had all the parts shipped to Jamaica and made sure they got there.
His boss supervised the construction, installation and commission in Jamaica.
Quartz, heat and fade resistant, though he was an engineer and did the work of an engineer, my dad only had the title, technician so my dad’s boss thought he wasn’t getting paid enough but couldn’t get his boss to offer more than an extra $100/week or the title of engineer; he told my dad he thought he should leave.
In 1969, he got a job at Celanese, which made rayon.
He quit Celanese to work at McGill University and they allowed him to take classes to earn his MBA while working.  

The United States and Israel’s alliance was strong by 1967.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 at the end of the Third Arab Israeli War didn’t mention the Palestinians but mentioned the refugee problem.
After 1967, the Palestinians weren’t often mentioned and when mentioned only as terrorists.  
Palestinians’ faith in the “American sponsored peace process” diminished, they felt the world community ignored and neglected them also.
Groups like MAN that stopped expecting anything from Arab regimes began hijacking airplanes.
By 1972, the Palestine Liberation Organization had enough international support to get by the United States’ veto in the United Nations Security Council and Arab League recognition as representative of the Palestinian people.
The Palestinians knew the United States stated its support, as the British had, but they weren’t able to accomplish anything.  
The force Israel exerted in Johnson’s United States policy delivered no equilibrium for the Palestinians.  

In 1969, all political parties submitted to the BSPP, Burma Socialist Programme Party.
Ne Win nationalized banks and oil and deprived minorities of opportunities.
Ne Win became U Nu Win, civilian leader of Burma in 1972 and stopped the active role that U Nu defined for Burma internationally
He put military people in power even when they didn’t have experience which triggered “maldistribution of goods and chronic shortages.”  
Resources were located in areas where separatist minorities had control.

The British presence in the South China Sea ended in 1968.  
The United States left Vietnam in 1974 and China went into the Western Paracels.
The U.S. didn’t intervene and Vietnam took the Spratlys.
China wanted to claim the continental shelf In the central part of the South China Sea and needed the Spratlys.
The United States mostly disregarded the Ulama In Iran and bewildered the Iranian people by not supporting their revolution.

Obsidian—
iron, copper and chromium—
isn’t a gas
but it isn’t a crystal;
it’s between the two,
the ordered crystal and the disordered gas.  
They made swords out of obsidian.


Edelweiss

I laid out in my backyard in my bikini.  
I love the feeling of my body in the sun.  
I’d be dark from the end of spring until winter.
The snow froze my bare feet through winter ,
my skin pale.
American towns in 1984,
Free, below glaciers the sunlight melted the snow,
a sea of green and the edelweiss on the edge of the  limestone,
frosted but still strong.    
When the spring warmed the grass,
the grass warmed my feet. 
The whole field looked cold and white from the glacier but in the meadow,
the bright yellow centers of those flowers float free in the center of the white petals.
The bright yellow center of those edelweiss scared the people my parents ran to America from India to get away from.  
On a sidewalk in Queens, New York in 1991, the men stared and yelled comments at me in short shorts and a fitted top in the summer.  
I grabbed my dad’s arm.

























The Bread and Coconut Butter of Aparigraha

Twelve year old flowerhead,
Marigold, yarrow and nettle,
I’d be all emotion
If not for all my work
From the time I was a teenager.
I got depressed a lot.
I related to people I read about
In my weather balloon,
Grasping, ignorant, and desperate,
But couldn’t relate to other twelve year olds.
After school I read Dali’s autobiography,
Young ****** Autosodomized by Her Own Chastity.
Fresh, green nettle with fresh and dried yarrow for purity.
Dead souls enticed to the altar by orange marigolds,
passion and creativity,
Coax sleep and rouse dreams.
Satellites measure indirectly with wave lengths of light.
My weather balloon measures the lower and middle levels of the atmosphere directly,
Fifty thousand feet high,
Metal rod thermometer,
Slide humidity sensor,
Canister for air pressure.

I enjoy rye bread and cold coconut butter in my weather balloon,
But I want Dali, and all the artists and writers.
Rye grows at high altitudes
But papyrus grows in soil and shallow water,
Strips of papyrus pith shucked from their stems.
When an anchor’s weighed, a ship sails,
But when grounded we sail.
Marigolds, yarrow and nettle,
Flowerhead,
I use the marigold for sleep,
The yarrow for endurance and intensity,
toiling for love and truth,
And the nettle for healing.
Strong rye bread needs equally strong flavors.
By the beginning of high school,
I read a lot of Beat literature
And found Buddhism.
I loved what I read
But I didn’t like some things.
I liked attachment.  
I got to the ground.
Mushrooms grow in dry soil.
Attachment to beauty is Buddha activity.
Not being attached to things I don’t find beautiful is Buddha activity.  
I fried mushrooms in a single layer in oil, fleshy.
I roasted mushrooms at high temperatures in the oven, crisp.
I simmered mushrooms in stock with kombu.
Rye bread with cold coconut butter and cremini mushrooms,
raw, soft and firm.  
Life continues, life changes,
Attachments, losses, mourning and suffering,
But change lures growth.
I find stream beds and wet soil.
I lay the strips of papyrus next to each other.
I cross papyrus strips over the first,
Then wet the crossed papyrus strips,
Press and cement them into a sheet.
I hammer it and dry it in the sun,
With no thought of achievement or self,
Flowerhead,
Hands filled with my past,
Head filled with the future,
Dali, artists poets,
Wishes and desires aligned with nature,
Abundance,
Cocoa, caraway, and molasses.

If I ever really like someone,
I’ll be wearing the dress he chooses,
Fresh green nettle and yarrow, the seeds take two years to grow strong,
Lasting love.
Marigolds steer dead souls from the altar to the afterlife,
Antiseptic, healing wounds,
Soothing sore throats and headaches.
Imperturbable, stable flowerhead,
I empty my mind.
When desires are aligned with nature, desire flows.
Papyrus makes paper and cloth.
Papyrus makes sails.
Charcoal from the ash of pulverized papyrus heals wounds.
Without attachment to the fruit of action
There is continuation of life,
Rye bread and melted coconut butter,
The coconut tree in the coconut butter,
The seed comes from the ground out of nothing,
Naturalness.
It has form.
As the seed grows the seed expresses the tree,
The seed expresses the coconut,
The seed expresses the coconut butter.
Rye bread, large open hollows, chambers,
Immersed in melted coconut butter,
Desire for expansion and creation,
No grasping, not desperate.
When the mind is compassion, the mind is boundless.
Every moment,
only that,
Every moment,
a scythe to the papyrus in the stream bed of the past.  

































Sound on Powdery Blue

Potter’s clay, nymph, plum unplumbed, 1993.
Dahlia, ice, powder, musk and rose,
my source of life emerged in darkness, blackness.
Seashell fragments in the sand,
The glass ball of my life cracked inside,
Light reflected off the salt crystal cracks,
Nacre kept those cracks from getting worse.
Young ****** Autosodomized By Her Own Chastity,
Nymph, I didn’t want to give my body,
Torn, *****, ballgown,
To people who wouldn’t understand me,
Piquant.

Outside on the salt flats,
Aphrodite, goddess of beauty, pleasure and fertility and
Asexual Artemis, goddess of animals, and the hunt,
Mistress of nymphs,
Punish with ruthless savagery.

In my bedroom, blue caribou moss covered rocks, pine, and yew trees,
The heartwood writhes as hurricane gales, twisters and whirlwinds
Contort their bark,
Roots strong in the soil.
Orris root dried in the sun, bulbs like wood.
Dahlia runs to baritone soundbath radio waves.
Light has frequencies,
Violet between blue and invisible ultraviolet,
Flame, slate and flint.
Every night is cold.

Torii gates, pain secured as sacred.
An assignation, frost hardy dahlia and a plangent resonant echo.
High frequency sound waves convert to electrical signals,
Breathe from someone I want,
Silt.
Beam, radiate, ensorcel.
I break the bark,
Sap flows and dries,
Resin seals over the tear.
I distill pine,
Resin and oil for turpentine, a solvent.
Quiver, bemired,
I lead sound into my darkness,
Orris butter resin, sweet and warm,
Hot jam drops on snow drops,
Orange ash on smoke,
Balm on lava,
The problem with cotton candy.

Electrical signals give off radiation or light waves,
The narrow frequency range where
The crest of a radio wave and the crest of a light wave overlap,
Infrared.
Glaciers flow, sunlight melts the upper layers of the snow when strong,
A wet snow avalanche,
A torrent, healing.
Brown sugar and whiskey,
Undulant, lavender.
Pine pitch, crystalline, sticky, rich and golden,
And dried pine rosin polishes glass smooth
Like the smell of powdery orris after years.
Softness, flush, worthy/not worthy,
Rich rays thunder,
Intensify my pulse,
Frenzied red,
Violet between blue and invisible ultraviolet.
Babylon—flutter, glow.
Unquenchable cathartic orris.  

















Pink Graphite

Camellias, winter shrubs,
Their shallow roots grow beneath the spongy caribou moss,
Robins egg blue.
After writing a play with my gifted students program in 1991,
I stopped spending all my free time writing short stories,
But the caribou moss was still soft.

In the cold Arctic of that town,
The evergreen protected the camellias from the afternoon sun and storms.
They branded hardy camellias with a brass molded embossing iron;
I had paper and graphite for my pencils.

After my ninth grade honors English teacher asked us to write poems in 1994,
It began raining.
We lived on an overhang.
A vertical rise to the top of the rock.
The rainstorm caused a metamorphic change in the snowpack,
A wet snow avalanche drifted slowly down the moss covered rock,
The snow already destabilized by exposure to the sunlight.

The avalanche formed lakes,
rock basins washed away with rainwater and melted snow,
Streams dammed by the rocks.  
My pencils washed away in the avalanche,
My clothes heavy and cold.
I wove one side of each warp fiber through the eye of the needle and one side through each slot,
Salves, ointments, serums and tinctures.
I was mining for graphite.
They were mining me,
The only winch, the sound through the water.

A steep staircase to the red Torii gates,
I broke the chains with bells for vespers
And chimes for schisms,
And wove the weft across at right angles to the warp.  

On a rocky ledge at the end of winter,
The pink moon, bitters and body butter,
They tried to get  me to want absinthe,
Wormwood for bitterness and regret.
Heat and pressure formed carbon for flakes of graphite.
Heat and pressure,
I made bitters,
Brandy, grapefruit, chocolate, mandarin rind, tamarind and sugar.
I grounded my feet in the pink moss,
paper dried in one hand,
and graphite for my pencils in the other.  



































Flakes

I don’t let people that put me down be part of my life.  
Gardens and trees,
My shadow sunk in the grass in my yard
As I ate bread, turmeric and lemon.
Carbon crystallizes into graphite flakes.
I write to see well,
Graphite on paper.  
A shadow on rock tiles with a shield, a diamond and a bell
Had me ***** to humiliate me.
Though I don’t let people that put me down near me,
A lot of people putting me down seemed like they were following me,
A platform to jump from
While she had her temple.  

There was a pink door to the platform.
I ate bread with caramelized crusts and
Drank turmeric lemonade
Before I opened that door,
Jumped and
Descended into blankets and feathers.
I found matches and rosin
For turpentine to clean,
Dried plums and licorice.  

In the temple,
In diamonds, leather, wool and silk,
She had her shield and bells,
Drugs and technology,
Thermovision 210 and Minox,
And an offering box where people believed
That if their coins went in
Their wishes would come true.

Hollyhock and smudging charcoal for work,  
Belled,
I ground grain in the mill for the bread I baked for breakfast.
The bells are now communal bells
With a watchtower and a prison,
Her shield, a blowtorch and flux,
Her ex rays, my makeshift records
Because Stalin didn’t like people dancing,
He liked them divebombing.
Impurities in the carbon prevent diamonds from forming,
Measured,
The most hard, the most expensive,
But graphite’s soft delocalized electrons move.  






































OCEAN BED

The loneliness of going to sleep by myself.  
I want a bed that’s high off the ground,
a mattress, an ocean.
I want a crush and that  person in my bed.  
Only that,
a crush in my bed,
an ocean in my bed.  
Just love.  
But I sleep with my thumbs sealed.  
I sleep with my hands, palms up.  
I sleep with my hands at my heart.  
They sear my compassion with their noise.  
They hold their iron over their fire and try to carve their noise into my love,
scored by the violence of voices, dark and lurid,  
but not burned.  
I want a man in my bed.  
When I wake up in an earthquake
I want to be held through the aftershocks.  
I like men,
the waves come in and go out
but the ocean was part of my every day.  
I don’t mind being fetishized in the ocean.  
I ran by the ocean every morning.  
I surfed in the ocean.  
I should’ve gone into the ocean that afternoon at Trestles,
holding my water jugs, kneeling at the edge.  














Morning

I want to fall asleep in the warm arms of a fireman.  
I want to wake up to the smell of coffee in my kitchen.  

Morning—the molten lava in the outer core of the earth embeds the iron from the inner core into the earth’s magnetic field.  
The magnetic field flips.  
The sun, so strong, where it gets through the trees it burns everything but the pine.  
The winds change direction.  
Storms cast lightening and rain.  
Iron conducts solar flares and the heavy wind.  
In that pine forest, I shudder every time I see a speck of light for fear of neon and fluorescents.  The eucalyptus cleanses congestion.  
And Kerouac’s stream ululates, crystal bowl sound baths.  
I follow the sound to the water.  
The stream ends at a bluff with a thin rocky beach below.  
The green water turns black not far from the shore.  
Before diving into the ocean, I eat globe mallow from the trees, stems and leaves, the viscous flesh, red, soft and nutty.  
I distill the pine from one of the tree’s bark and smudge the charcoal over my skin.  

Death, the palo santo’s lit, cleansing negative energy.  
It’s been so long since I’ve smelled a man, woodsmoke, citrus and tobacco.  
Jasmine, plum, lime and tuberose oil on the base of my neck comforts.  
Parabolic chambers heal, sound waves through water travel four times faster.  
The sound of the open sea recalibrates.  
I dissolve into the midnight blue of the ocean.  

I want to fall asleep in the warm arms of a fireman.  
I want to wake up to the smell of coffee in my kitchen.  
I want hot water with coconut oil when I get up.  
We’d lay out on the lawn, surrounded by high trees that block the wind.  
Embers flying through the air won’t land in my yard, on my grass, or near my trees.  





Blue Paper

Haze scatters blue light on a planet.  
Frought women, livid, made into peonies by Aphrodites that caught their men flirting and blamed the women, flushed red.
and blamed the women, flushed red.
Frought women, livid, chrysanthemums, dimmed until the end of the season, exchanged and retained like property.  
Blue women enter along the sides of her red Torii gates, belayed, branded and belled, a plangent sound.  
By candles, colored lights and dried flowers she’s sitting inside on a concrete floor, punctures and ruin burnished with paper, making burnt lime from lime mortar.  
Glass ***** on the ceiling, she moves the beads of a Palestinian glass bead bracelet she holds in her hands.  
She bends light to make shadows against  thin wooden slats curbed along the wall, and straight across the ceiling.
A metier, she makes tinctures, juniper berries and cotton *****.
Loamy soil in the center of the room,
A hawthorn tree stands alone,
A gateway for fairies.
large stones at the base protecting,
It’s branches a barrier.  
It’s leaves and shoots make bread and cheese.
It’s berries, red skin and yellow flesh, make jam.
Green bamboo stakes for the peonies when they whither from the weight of their petals.
And lime in the soil.  
She adds wood chips to the burnt lime in the kiln,
Unrolled paper, spools, and wire hanging.
Wood prayer beads connect her to the earth,
The tassels on the end of the beads connect her to spirit, to higher truth.
Minerals, marine mud and warm basins of seawater on a flower covered desk.  
She adds slaked lime to the burnt lime and wood chips.  
The lime converts to paper,
Trauma victims speak,
Light through butterfly wings.  
She’s plumeria with curved petals, thick, holding water
This is what I have written of my book.  I’ll be changing where the poems with the historical research go.  There are four more of those and nine of the other poems.
Jellyfish Nov 2014
She comes over for the night,
She seems to be alright.
I'm not sure if I like her yet,
But that doesn't seem to matter,
She's just that close to my sister.

She started to stay over on school nights,
Something just wasn't right.
Soon enough she never left,
I began to feel like I was being replaced.

I'm not trying to sound selfish,
And no I'm not jealous.
But I am confused,
Why are you telling me this unfortunate news?

She hasn't left for weeks.
I'm sick of being the subject of greed.
I want my family back.
Just tell me that she'll eventually leave.

I'm now starting to feel neglected.
I've been replaced in every way I had imagined.
But you don't seem to see it that way.
I don't think the girl is leaving any time soon.
Anais Vionet Dec 2022
I’m sporting this new lipstick
it won’t fade, smudge or smear
I’ll be lucky if it wears off this year.

I’ve got this new eyeliner that’s like
a luxurious, glittering, penciled tattoo
Leong asked, “How do you get it off you?”

I unpacked these chemical wonders
to see if they’ve lost their luster
by being neglected since last summer.
    
When you study too much, you feel pent-up,
so my compadres and I chose to get dolled-up,
rolling-up to dinner, like beauty queens on parade,
and not just sophomore scrubs trying to make the grade.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: compadre: a close friend or buddy
JeanlBouwer Jul 2011
While you’re away, I’m at play
Your responsibility, increase my probability
Your promotion, my devotion
Your neglect, my respect
Your business trips, our martini sips
Your wife, my lover
Your night in the pub, my back she rub
Your lost treasure, now my pleasure
Your ignorance, my perversions
Your children, my children
Jesse stillwater Jul 2018
the Silence became
like an old lesson learned

a broken heart intones
a voiceless song
resonating a refrain of Silent echoes
in a voice that never heard a word
yet spoke so clearly ... lingering
in realms of subtle ambiance

soundless remnants
stacked neatly as
building blocks;  
another brick in a wall,
already too tall to see beyond—
growing like a bunker
without a sense of safe harbor

as the Silence became
time and space,
a stillness beset the melancholy air
as if a world without song
foreboding an unpredictable storm
beget vestiges of broken windfall,
reticent leftovers hushed after a gale

s i l e n t l y

an acorn fallen  — became a mighty Oak

a wind-broke twig — became a weeping willow

a neglected child — became mother nature's son

the Silence became
        a blind prophet —
in its voice held forth
smatterings of truth
and undertones of an unrequited
fool’s hope

the Silence became
a strong, abrupt rush of wind
uttering voiceless exhalations of breath;
a hovering dawn mist
    befallen after a summer storm—
surrounding all in all
bedewed in a feigned peace


... the unabated sounds of silence
become


Jesse Stillwater ... July 20th, 2018
Thank you or reading —
little bear Aug 2014
i don't think we care enough about other people as we should.
i feel like we care too much about what we're doing for the moment
that we don't realize the pain
we're causing others with this kind of neglect.

my whole life, everyone has hurt me
and forgotten me.
i'm beginning to think nobody is different.

i think that time matters.
that we all need to find someone
who will give us all the time we give them.

i'm tired of giving my love and time
to people who throw it away
and don't even give you the time of day that you gave them.

it leaves you feeling utterly alone.
it's the type of hurt
that will change the person you are.

one day, i'm not going to give my heart out.
one day, you're going to wish you hadn't left me alone.
one day, you'll end up being the one who feels neglected.
Mokomboso Aug 2014
Dear Emma and the rest of the Sumatran orangutans of Chester zoo

To you, today was just routine. To you, in your bubble of a world, just another friendly face came to talk to you again. To me, this visit was bittersweet, in fact I would say 80% bitter. In seeing you, in meeting your gaze the guilt and shame ripped through me like like a tiger's claws. Ah yes, the tiger, 7 years have past since they had disappeared. People have all but forgotten already, there were plenty of tigers safely locked away right?
You probably don't know this and I doubt that you can read this, but I write this letter to you anyway, do what you want with the letter. Look at the photograph I have included of your Asian relatives that I took during my travels nearly 20 years ago. Or you could discard it, tear it, eat it I don't care as long as you receive this. For nearly 2 centuries your people have been captured and killed and we destroy everything you know. Our growing population pressurised us, we strove for urbanisation, painting a thin venire of chrome. Our colour of comfort, but we made it worse for ourselves as our most important livelihoods were replaced by dust villages and starvation. You were not immune to our pillage I'm afraid, from that first time Charles Darwin met Jenny our blessing became your curse. 3 weeks ago the last of your Asian brethren died. We saw your demise coming, some of us tried our hardest to halt or postpone it, setting up rescue stations and reserves. But the mindless machine wirred on, it wasn't until the last 90 miles of forest remained that the Indonesian bigwigs realised what they had done. In a blind panic they planted new tree seedlings, maybe somehow in the hopes that more bears, frogs, birds and orangutans would materialise from the roots? It was already too late but perseverance drove them to try everything. Everything. Nyaru Menteng offloaded their remaining 8 charges to Western facilities where artificial habitats had been created. The rest of them watched over and monitored the remaining native population, sending out vets and human doctors to keep them alive at all costs. I watched every second of it, followed the blogs and the news. It hurt so much I didn't think I could follow anymore, grief stricken with each "progression" but I was compelled to carry on. And finally, there was one.
A male, Gregory. He never grew his cheek flanges because he had no competition. No drive to find a mate. He knew as much as we did that he was alone. No one knew why they kept him there, all knowledge of reproductive biology was forgotten and replaced with superstitious magic. We kept him there, stayed by his side, fed him and doctored him until finally at the age of 39 he died of a heart attack. The news was like a punch in the guts for all of us. It was announced as breaking news all over the world, pongo pygmeus and pongo abeli officially extinct in the wild. A minority mentioned that many captive orangs still remained in zoos and sanctuaries and that we should not be so sad. But they were quickly shushed like an outspoken attendee of a funeral. Those remaining would not last forever either once inbreeding became too rife, plus, their artificial living arrangements meant these fat, shut in orangutans would live a second rate life, plagued by the same mental ailments that the rest of us urbanites suffer. They would never know the joy, fulfilment, danger, even, of the wild. And these zoo populations were like ghosts or holograms of what used to remain. 
I was afraid for the last 3 months to visit you again, incase you knew and you would turn your head away from me in disapproval. Your disgusted expression would render me speechless. But logic told me this would not happen and I had finally plucked up the courage to see you again. As always you brachiated towards the window and pressed your face against it while I talked to you and pretended to stroke your hair. You were oblivious and ignorant, I envied you. I cried and you wondered why, other humans understood and some looked forlorn themselves. I could see you and your granddaughter looking in concern at our apparent sadness. I tried to look brave for you, I played with your granddaughter as normal. 
Though I had no direct influence over your demise I feel just as remorseful as the loggers did, I was careless in my choices. Living such a sheltered city life and not realising until my second decade the true dangers facing you. I chose too late to be mindful of my grocery shopping, avoided palm oil, never watched films with trained animals in. My few actions made no difference, until very recent years I was still the minority. Don't mistake me for someone self pitying, I don't want you to think I was thinking only of my own feelings and being a martyr. If anything self loathing, I've always been a misanthropist but as of late I've abandoned my species altogether. Apart from my immediate family of course. You were not the only ones that went, Asian elephants too disappeared around the same time. Mackaws of South America have almost completely been depleted. The once hopeful 200,000 chimpanzees whittled down to the last 5000. Bonobos gone already from the wild since the last 100 were taken to sanctuaries and zoos to "rebuild the population" but there were very little captive bonobos to begin in. Gorillas: 1000 (only mountain gorillas are left, ironic isn't it? We focused so much on that one race we neglected the rest). African elephants: 4. Giraffes: 100. The list goes on. And we too, **** sapiens, the most numerous of large mammals are feeling the pinch. It started with Japan over 20 years ago, people retreated more and more into the office, no longer caring to build families and the population declined. The rest followed suite, bursting at the seems we could no longer steal more land for ourselves, more destruction meant less air to breath, less food. People have started to fight their reproductive urges, like the Japanese, retreating into a single life in a cubicle. Sitting by the screen. We are committing a species wide, slow suicide. I consider this a blessing, the rest of nature can finally get even. Some are scared and upset, others relieved. The divide is equal.
I have come to visit you every 3 weeks since I was 21, I am 40 now and in that seemingly short space of time I have seen the world change dramatically while you sit and climb and think your own isolated thoughts in your little bubble. 
Please accept my sincerest apologies. No matter if you read this or not. I am so so so sorry. On behalf of myself, on behalf of my species. Please forgive us.
Yours Sincerely,
Sophie
You know how I said I wasn't doing any more primate ones? I lied.
Not a poem but... this a hypothetical future (19 years from now) and the orangutans have become extinct in the wild.
Paul M Chafer Jun 2014
We conquer all worlds,
Sweet creature: melt my soul,
freshly thawed, vulnerability exposed.
Eager for unbridled wickedness,
within lilting rhythms of your magic.
So inviting, such interwoven seduction,
I discover that you are indeed, She.
The Mistress who cannot be denied,
so take my hand, I shall guide you,
while you, Dark sweet demigod,
Guide me to intoxicating magic,
magic that is you: and you alone.
Pour your evil charms upon me,
Stoke dying embers of my neglected power.
See the flames rekindled;
feel the comforting ice of my being,
savour my destructive cold fire.
Let me soothe you in return,
offering delicious despicable deeds.
Havoc wrought in your name.
The demonic glow inside grows,
until I fear nothing, Dark Mistress.
I am exalted in this vile inferno,
A conflagration of our own creation.
Dark destiny shall not desert us,  
but shall become the favoured guide.
I shall never be without you,
Dark Mistress, and together,
We conquer all worlds.

© Paul Chafer 2014
From my second novel, Wizard's Wrath, released mid-augst 2014. This is a poetic cantrip spoken by a wizard in the thrall of a Dark Mistress.
Sam Conrad Dec 2013
So I've got this story...
And it goes a little something like this-

There's a girl that I hurt really bad on way too many occasions that I love more than anything. Pretty much everything I write on here is about her. She became the love of my life, and I told myself she was the one I wanted to spend my life with. Except I was a ****. She was going somewhere to an event that lasted 2 weeks and was really important to her and let's just say I ****** it all up really really bad. She made a lot of friends there and it was a great experience for her, kind of like camp is for some people, how boy/girl scouts are for some people, and she learned a lot there, and had lots of fun too. I was so horrible to do what I did.

At least we're young though, and there's still time to grow...right? I'm only 18, she's almost 18, and we both have lives to live ahead of us. I feel like I need her though. She treated me perfectly in our relationship. I mean, looking back, there's nothing I can fault her for, at all. I just got ****** at stupid crap that doesn't even matter.

Except, she's into somebody else now and probably thinks I'm no good for her. She doesn't talk to me anymore. Anyway, I'm rambling, I haven't gone to bed, I took a bunch of pills, am getting sick, and it's 7 AM...so here goes. This story is somewhat censored, though.

_________________­___________
"The Worst Weeks of Our Lives"

I met this girl and she became the love of my life. She took me places I'd never gone before and her and I fell in love like some people wouldn't believe. Ask my friends. Ask her friends. No, her friends probably wouldn't admit to it anymore. But I choose to remember the things they said. Kids were like totally rooting for us all day every day. We were so perfect. It was great.

So with a few mistakes here and there, (mostly me...all me, really) we realized we weren't perfect. But it didn't hamper out love. Nobody is perfect, right? We realized that. Overcame.

But then, we went too far. Her parents drew lines we weren't supposed to cross. Oopsies. Her mom really put me in my place. I'll just leave it at that. Asked me when my 18th birthday was, so she could mark her calendar as the "day she could touch me". Told me I was a liar. Husband in the background drunk and screaming, as usual. Except screaming "that ***** ain't sorry. He ain't ******* sorry, ******* ******* marking up my ******* daughter I can show him how to be ******* sorry"

Lots more. I'll go crazy if I speak the rest. It was a hickey on her neck. We didn't do much more.

I got really scared. I mean, they were brutal. I wasn't used to that kind of brutal. Psychotic levels of brutal. All of the sudden I became numb. I stopped being so intimate with my girlfriend. They told me not to come around their house anymore. I started doubting myself. If I was any good for her. She cried and cried. Told me how sorry she was. For getting us in trouble, and for what her parents did. But it wasn't her fault. After all, I am the vampire that bit her neck.

After a few weeks, her parents dropped it completely. I didn't though. I was so traumatized. I'd been getting flashbacks. Nightmares. So scared, I was. I kept avoiding her, not only her parents. I mean, I didn't have a car anyways, so the only place I could go to see her was at her house. She reassured me I was allowed. But with no contact with her parents since the phone call that changed my life I was reluctant.

This was around 2 months before she was going to go to a 2 week event. A special event to her. One I'd even wished I'd gotten involved in. Really, I did wish. I just missed the application deadline. Throughout the next two months, we grew more and more distant. I was harsh on her. I hurt her. I'd get mad at her and then call her and talk to her until 3 in the morning. I made her hate herself, and then she felt bad about me feeling sorry too. "You always force yourself to be nice to me just so I feel better, but I'm ****, I'm trash, I'm nothing, I'm so sorry" she would say. Most of the time, she didn't even do anything wrong. One of my best friends died at the same time her parents killed me inside, I spent all my days sleeping and crying and when I wasn't doing that, I was getting angry at her (and quickly regretting it), manufacturing conflicts that were completely unnecessary. Not to mention I'd had health issues, and my parents kicked me out of my house a few months beforehand.

In the time before she left to her special event, I really tore her up. I said the dumbest things I've ever said to someone in my life. I'd never even said such dumb things to even an object, or myself. Why I would say them to a girl who saved me from suicide (I was very unstable and depressed when coming out of a bad relationship, and getting kicked out of home) and why I said it all to someone I wanted to spend my life with I'll never know.

The dumbest things I'll ever say to anything that breathes in my lifetime. I told her one night that the "only reason I was still with her was because if I left she'd hurt herself" (she had a history of self harm, even though she's the sweetest girl I've ever met) and another night I told her "If only she were going somewhere important I'd understand" and lots of other insensitive and selfish things that I can't even believe came out of my mouth. I mean, the whole basis of it was that her and I hadn't spent much time together (really because of my own selfish fears) and I was going all *** on her testosterone-fueled-rage style for days over and over and over.

Don't I sound like a horrible person? I was. I was horrible to her. As much as I hate to say it, I'll probably make similar mistakes again someday - It's like relapsing - but I'll make every effort I can to learn from my horrible past and never be that person again.

So when she went to the event, I was with my grandparents out of state and I downloaded my favorite sad playlist (Staind, great band) to listen to on the trip.

Yes, seriously. I told her that stuff and called her event unimportant and then I went away too. How stupid I was for what I said. I should have been slapped or something.

A day or two after I'd left, I realized how stupid it was of me. For the whole thing. That whole time. That whole span, those two months where I not only neglected her, but emotionally ****** her.

There's a song called "Tangled Up In You" that has the most wonderful and intimate lyrics and I listened to it and sung to it over and over and over late into the morning (I'm talking 3-4 in the morning) every night for like 10 days and along with a song called "Right Here" by the same band. I cried myself to sleep so extremely ashamed of what I'd just done to her.

I knew I was wrong, but what I didn't know was that she was crying her eyes out wrapped up in (someone else)'s arms at that event...
I didn't know she was getting all kinds of love and support.
I had no idea...not that it was bad, it was good because she needed it.

But it got her to thinking about me, what kind of person I was.
When we both got back, I started making more of an effort to spend time with her and go out of my way to talk to her, make her happy, and basically, stop being such a ****.
Except she just got confused and conflicted because she was numb and falling out of love, because I was nothing that anyone should love, to her, over that prior time.

Her mom broke us up about a month later, after some...you know what, I'll just leave that bit out...
I told you how the first phone call went. The phone calls I got from her and her husband in the end were just so much worse. I don't even want to think about them. I went into convulsions and kept dropping the phone.

I went back to these two songs to help keep my sanity and I belted out "Tangled Up In You" every day in my car... so loud I was losing my voice.

I'd had some communication with her, surprised her at her work one night, bought her flowers, wrote her my true feelings on some napkins, showed up when she got out of school one day, when she was deathly afraid, and surprised her with a smile and drew a heart on her hand...

Her and I were on the same page. She still loved me. She was just hurt. I still loved her. I was just trying to make up for the compromised mental state I spent so much time in. I had compromised hers too. I needed to get her out of it. She told me she would wait for me. That we were in a speed bump, that it would all be okay.

So some weeks passed, a month, and she still had my back. As strong as ever. Her parents found out I bought the flowers. They found out I'd been talking to her. But...

Knowing she still had my back, that she still loved me, and that she would wait for me...she called what her mom did (in breaking us up, in our break) a "speed bump"...I was okay with it. I mean, I really wanted to be a part of her life, but man, her parents HATED ME! (In retrospect, probably with good reason. Shame on me for the things I did to her. Really.)

We had some major issues (mostly due to my inability to shut my stupid mouth) and I decided that maybe some time to ourselves to focus on ourselves and think was a good thing. She could focus on loving herself again and I could focus on becoming a better person.

I mean, when her parents found out her and I were still talking to each other after they broke us up, they blocked my number on her phone, went to my church and made up extra stories to my pastor, (told him I'd came and banged on their door at one in the morning one night), when I called to apologize to them they didn't pick up, called me back later to cuss me out and hang up on me, logged into their daughters facebook account and blocked me, then told their daughter that I had called them when she was sleeping and cussed them both out, and that she was to have nothing to do with me again. They threatened legal action against me, too. Tried to make my life hell. They didn't want me around their daughter, ever again. A blind rage that went on for a very long time until every communication route was blocked.

She went to school and told her friends the false stories her parents told her, and her friends already didn't like me...I mean just look at what I had done before...it wasn't good. Not for me, anyway. Also her. She felt duped. Used. By her parents. She didn't know who to trust or what was real. Everyone was telling her how horrible I was.

I got a chance to talk to her one day. We talked for hours, face to face. Sat in the cold and talked. It was an amazing talk. We caught each other up completely on our lives. We talked about our love. Our past. Our emotions. All of them. Good and bad. But we told each other we'd always love each other. She stuck by me, and also reassured me that she always would. I left that conversation feeling so secure. The most I'd felt since way before I'd become a total **** to her. When her and I were so deep in love.

She's always wanted to go far away from college. She told me stories of her past and what her parents did to her, what she did to herself that were not good. Not good at all. She wanted to get away from her parents.

Meanwhile I was so caught up in the feelings she gave me when I was in her arms, I almost couldn't handle the fact that she wanted to leave. I pleaded for her to stay, in a time that her and I were both unstable and it was already taboo that we were even on the same property. But still, she said "she wanted to stay" because her and I work so well together...when we work together, that is, and I and her were both determined to work together. I told her I would do anything for her. In all of it though, I told her that the decision was in her hands and I would still love her the same if she left, and that I would wait for her. Because I loved her more than anything.

After that talk, things got quiet. I guess, too quiet. I was legally bound to stay away from her. I talked to someone she worked with and asked them to tell her hello for me. I thought though, we were on good terms following the talk, I thought she'd be elated to hear from me.

She never responded.

One day, a couple weeks later, she told me I really needed to get over her. That she didn't love me like that anymore. She told me she'd been falling out of love since the summer, and she'd gone crazy and needed space. She said she wanted to be friends, but no relationship. No relationship anymore. She said she couldn't handle it. She said she couldn't handle a relationship in general.

She made that message a bit accusatory. I'd been talking to two friends, one who I'd known for years and a new one I'd just made. Both overlapping friends with hers. Those two helped keep me sane.

She started that message with "I heard you've been messaging my friends, and to be honest, I haven't had the heart to message you back." She repeated multiple times that I needed to get over her. She told me that it wasn't anyone else's influence too. She even listed people. People who'd separated us. Hurt me. Hurt her, in a way, but encouraged her in others.

At the same time, she blocked me on facebook again. She had unblocked me when she found out her parents did it for her. Odd though...I thought she wanted to be friends. I mean, it was like the only way I was able to have her in my life at all. To read her facebook posts and her read mine. To have discussions with friends. We have a lot of overlapping friends.

Man, she killed me. One second I thought she was my soul mate and the next I was in the bathroom puking my guts out because she was telling me we'd never be together again.


So fast forward to today...I still love her. And she's basically in a relationship with someone else. She's also either on the fence about her sexuality, or decided she doesn't like boys anymore. I feel bad about that too. Its like I ruined male relationships for her. It's only been a few weeks since she told me I needed to get over her. She doesn't talk to me anymore. I go to high school events even though I graduated last year just to see her. When I don't approach her, she ignores me. I'm just another person in the room. When I do approach her, she has such a scared look on her face. She doesn't want to talk to me, but she can't be mean to me. She's falling in love with someone else and she's getting happier. She doesn't need me showing up everywhere just to depress her.

Yet I keep bothering her. Because I'm a sucker for her. I can't help it. I love her. I want her to be my future. But at this point I'm grasping at straws. So hard. I shouldn't be trying anymore. But I'll end up trying until the day I die. And only then will I stop believing in her and I. I know it's a pipe dream. But I'll hold onto it. Because it's the only thing I have left of myself now.

Last night, (I mean, right before I wrote this around 5 AM, it is now 8 AM) I played those two songs again. I forgot they were at the end of my playlist and I started shivering and crying my eyes out. I got chills. I got so cold. The tears just ran. They ran down my face faster than I've cried in a long, long time.

I'm only okay right now because I took a bunch of pills. Pills that have this kind of effect on me. They make me kind of numb. Kind of happy. Upper and downer both.

That's pretty much, my sad ending to a sad story.
I'm living the kind of life that only people like Shane Koyczan know how to explain to people.

Ironically, she loves Shane Koyczan.
I do too.
We grew up in broken homes and lived broken lives until we found each other.
Then we broke each other.

But she's falling for someone else, because I wasn't what I should have been to her, and she knows
But she doesn't believe in me anymore, the way I believe in her...because I wasn't what I should have been to her, and she can't hold onto me when I'm a 50/50 chance, of bringing her down again.
If only she would let me hug her again, kiss her one more time...I could die happy, knowing I poured all my heart and soul out into that last kiss.
But I'm a gamble. And she can't put her heart out on the line for someone who wasn't always good to her. She used to call me her "sweet boy" and she still tells me I'll always be her "sweet boy", but the fact of the matter is, it doesn't cut it to only be sweet s
I needed to write this. I've been going crazy. I told her I needed to talk to her but she's been avoiding me. If she reads this, I know its hard for her. There are more explanations I need to give her, I hope she will let me speak to her someday. I've found out a lot about myself in just the last few weeks. Stuff I don't talk about in this story. To you, my dear...if you read this, I'm sorry. I know it's tough. Its very tough. But look at the positive, dear. I'll keep living. Maybe I'll be okay someday. Your happiness is what matters to me. If you're happy, I'll keep myself going. I'm going to go to sleep now. Finally, I have some peace.
THE RAT AND THE PREGNANT WOMAN


A story poem

BY

Alexander K Opicho
(Eldoret, Kenya;aopicho@yahoo.com)



Dedicated to;
My mother Neddy Nabisino Mayende Kuloba Makhakara
And her mother Maritini Nabengele Nasenya Mulemia Namugugu Ilungu wa Wenwa.
The story telling power of these two ladies is the primary source of my passion and love for humorous and peace bettling stories. I owe them all the recognitions.







OPENING SONG
How do I start telling this story that I got from my
Grandmothers when sited around the fire yard in the evening?
I don’t know how to start surely,
For to day I am very shy; all of your eyes
Are on me, looking at me like ocean of looking organs
But let me embolden my self with the belt
Of a story teller that my grand father gave me
And commanded me to preach peace
Through story telling in every place I go
So my spiritual service to humanity is telling stories
Is to soothe and heal wounds of humanity
By softly telling peaceful stories
Let me then cough to clear my voice and start;

Long time ago, but not very long time
Some where between the centuries of twelve hundred
And seventeen hundred after the death of the other Jewish
Story teller who died without a wife, who died on the cross
But others say he died on the stake, his name was Jesus,
There existed only two kingdoms in land which is known today
As Bukusu land found in the present east Africa or Indian Ocean coastal Africa,
The first occupants of this vast land is the sons and daughters of Babukusu
Or the ones who like selling ironsmith products
And hence the name the people of Bukusu; the people who sell,
The two kingdoms were the Kingdom of muntu and the kingdom of manani
The citizens in the kingdom of muntu were short men and short women
Handsome and beautiful, slender and not assertive in their physical disposition
But the citizens of the kingdom of manani were all cyclopic,
In their everything; the manner of walking, talking farting, micturating
Farming, breathing, snoring, smiling, singing, whispering
Their whisper was a noisy as the tropical thunderclap
They were tall men and tall women, very tall
Their young person was as short as the tallest
Person in the kingdom of muntu,
When one of the citizen of manani snores
All the citizens of Muntu along together with,
Their king Walumoli wa Muntu had no option
But remain awake throughout the night,
Because the cacophony of a snore from
The sleeping courts of Manani was not bearable,

On many occasions Walumoli wa Muntu
The conscientious king of the muntu kingdom
Had arranged to talk to Silinki wa Namunguba
The ostensible king of the Manani Kingdom
About the cacophonous sleep robbing
Snores of daughters and sons in neighbour kingdom of Manani
Only to cow and chicken away in a feat of prudence
Lest Silinki wa Namunguba will suspect him for being
A night runner or a thief of *** perhaps
Who roams his compound during the wee of the night
In hunt of any of Namunguba’s wife maybe
Perchance having gone out for a mid-night *******,
This is how legendary snores of the sons and daughters
Of Silinki wa Namunguba the king of Manani
Has remained unchecked for ever till today,

One time an ugly passer by happened to be seen
Traversing the kingdom of muntu
In the early afternoon some two
Hours after Walumoli the king
Had just cleared the last plate
Of the mid day meal from
His last wife Khatembete Kho Bwibo Khakhalikaha Nobwoya
He always eats her food last in the afternoon
Because it comes on the table steaming youthfulness
He loves his Khatembete wife, the wife of his old age
The wife he married by use and show of the royal regalia
The powers and dignity of the king of muntu
He married her when he his a king, the scepter in his hand,

Going back to the ugly passer by
It was never known where he came from
Not from the east where the Indian Ocean is
Not from the west where the vastness of the land
Of black people of Baganda and Bacongo
Baigbo and Bayoruba or Bafulana of Nigeria
Or the sons of Madiokor Ngoni Diop in the Senegal,
Not from the south from shaka the Zulu and Mandella the wise one
Not from north in the land of Dinka and Nuer, Ethiopian Jewish and the Egyptians,
The passerby was ugly and from no where, in a dress and
A very ***** dress that fumed out a malodorously stenching reek
He was a man in attires of a woman; this was a taboo in the land of muntu
He was left handed and a heavy weight stammerer, with an appalling
Protuberation of   a hunched back, an enormous hunchback
Enmassing entired of his masculine shoulders,
When the wind blew his loose dress followed it
Leaving the man’s thighs and then bossom naked,
Leading bystanders to a strange discovery; he was not circumcised
He was old like any other father, he had beards
But not yet circumcised, his ***** ends in corkscrew of a sheath,
This was a taboo in the land of muntu, in the kingdom of muntu
Which Walumoli wa Muntu the son of Mukitang’a Mutukuika ruled
For the spirits, gods and ancestors as well as foremen of the kingdom
Behooved that all male offsprings of the kingdom of muntu
Whether born in marriage or out of the wedlock
Born the blood or born as a ******* must and must be
Circumcised in the early teen hood
They must be circumcised before they grow the hairs
On the face, on the chest, in the scapula and on the areas
Surrounding the testicles, the **** and the endings of the backbone,
The man again had six fingers on the legs and on the hands
He walks slowly like a porcupine, his dress was in tartars
He was violent to every one he met
Insulting old people and old women with words
Of bad manners not used in the kingdom of muntu,
He terrified and beat young children, including the royal children
And grand children of Walumoli the king of muntu
He again had to beat and chase nine young virgins
Who had come from the palace of Walumoli the king of Muntu
Away from the forest when they picking fire wood
As well as playing a game of hide and seek with other palace lads,
The ugly passer by then chased to get hold of the
Nalukosi the first born daughter of
Khatembete Kho Bwibo Khakhalikaha Nobwoya
The beloved last wife of the king of Muntu
All other virgins ran home, but Nalukosi remained behind
In the inextricable grip of the ugly passer by
She screamed with hysteria of a hypochondriac
She screamed and kicked with her wholesome mighty
The stubborn passer by never left her alone
She gnawed the ugly passer by with
Her girlish claws of her fingernails
But is like the passer by was mentally disordered
He was a ******* of some time
He derived some pleasure and instead
Enjoyed the girlish scratches of his captive,
Before the eight running virgins reached the palace
Together with their companions, the playmate lads
The shrilling scream of the captive Nalukosi
Was sharply heard at the palace, first by King Walumoli
Who called his wife Khatembete Kho Bwibo Khakhalikha Nobwoya
To come out of the hut, the kitchen and help to listen,
Immediately Mukisu wa Mujonji the palace keeper surfaced
His face displayed genuine askance of an adept military man
Whose martial arts have rusted for a week without usage
He confirmed to the king that the cry from the forest
Is of the one from this royal home of your majesty the king
And none other than the ****** princes Nalukosi Mukoyonjo
The pride of her father, the eye of the palace,
Without hesitation the king permitted the wallabying Mukisu ,
Permission to run in a military dint and find out whatever that
Was eating Nalukosi Mukoyonjo the familial heart of the king,
Mukisu wa Mujonji who was clearly known in the kingdom of muntu,
For his swift running like a desert kite, he already twice chased
And gotten single handedly two male gazelles,
Without aid of a dog nor aid of fellow hunters
And delivered them to the king as a present to the palace
Which he achieved because of the speed of his legs,
On this royal permission he unsheathed his matchette
And went away like any arrow from the bow
His shirt trailing behind him like mare’s tail
Or like the flag on the post on a windy day,
Not a lot of time passed.
Mukisu wa Mujonji is at the spot of struggle,
Between Nalukosi and the Ugly passerby
There was no question or talking,
The first thing was Mukisu to sink the Matchette
With all of his mighty into the tummy of the ugly stranger
The bowels of the ugly stranger opened puffwiiii!
He breathed and gasped twice then succumbed to death.
His grip still strong on the leg of Nalukosi Mukoyonjo
The ugly passer by reached the rigor Mortis
When Nalukosi was still strongly gripped in his
Beastly hand, Mukisu wa Mujonji with all the skills
Used a Sharp matchette again; chopped of the hand
Of the ugly dead passer by off, from its torso
At the point of the muscular elbow,
Now Nalukosi was extricated, but not fully
From the grip of the dead ugly stranger,
The chopped off hand is still knotted at her leg
Around her leg, the dead hand also grips.
Nalukosi jumped here and there to throw away
The leg and the dead hand, but it was not easy to throw
The hand still stubbornly gripped around her angle,
*** time passed, each and every one of the kingdom came
Including the king Walumoli wa Muntu himself
And his nine wives, Khatembete Khobwibo Khakhalikha Nobwoya
Came last, as she was energyless due to rudely shocking tidings
Which the escaping virgins and lads had given her
That the ugly passer by had turned into the ogre
And had swallowed her daughter Nalukosi
That he had swallowed her piecemeal without chewing,
People of muntu came and found the ugly passerby dead
The left had chopped off its torso
But still hanging loosely on the leg of Nalukosi
Nalukosi jumping, kicking, screaming
Screaming away the dead hand from the grip of leg
But nothing had forthcame her way,
Walumoli wa Muntu could not afford to see
The hand on the leg of her beloved daughter
What could he tell his wife, is your all know
Dear reader and audience to this song;
Even the mighty and the wise ones
Generously bend when under the pressure of love,
Out of this dint, even before Mukisu wa Mujonji
Could display his next military card
Walumoli wa Muntu grapped the dead hand
That stuck of the leg of her daughter
And pulled it with another force that
No man born of woman has
Never used since the creation of the earth
By the gods and spirits of Muntu,
The hand come off, he throw it
On the cadaver of the ugly stranger,
He clicked and clicked and hissed
With anger like a wild turkey
In the African thorny forest,
He ordered the dead one to be buried
Their without haste, nor ceremony
Mukisu wa Mujonji buried the body
Quickly in a brief moment with precision
As if he was taking notes
From the lines of the poem
OF Pablo Neruda on how
To bury a dog behind the house
This time burying an ugly stranger
Behind the forts of the kingdom,
After all these women, children and men
Of muntu plus their king Walumoli
Went back to their houses hilariously
Broken into a song and a wild *** dance;
Makoe eehe! Makoe !
Nifwe Talangi Makoe !
Talangi!
Khwaula embogo sitella
Nifwe Talangi!
They sang up to midnight before
They all retired to their beds
Respective beds with panting thoraces
From heavy singing and dancing.

There is connection and disconexion between
The living and the dead, the living fear the dead
And dead loves the living,
The dead want the company of the living
For the living to accompany in the land of the dead,
When the ugly stranger was killed
And buried uncircumcised with the hunch
Not plucked out of his back
The gods and the livings dead
In the realm of the ancestors
Of the kingdom of Muntu were not happy,
They never wanted uncircumcised old man
With a hunch back to join them
And worse enough with the six fingers,
The gods and ancestors really god annoyed
That Walumoli wa Muntu has done them bad
He is only caring for the living, the pre-mortals
Especially his last wife and the daughter
But he has neglected the ancestors,
Why trash to ancestors a stark humanity,
They communed among themselves
And resolved to sent Namaroro
The god of dreams, dreams as messages
From the ancestors and dreams from the gods
Namaroro visited Namunyu Lubunda the palace
Prophet in the Kingdom of Muntu to pass
The message vesseling unhappiness of the ancestors
And gods in a blend of gloomy read to execute
A vendetta;
This is when in the wee of the night that Namunyu Lubunda
Dreamed and had a vision of a old man from
The east is warning of the coming long spell of starvation
That will befall the kingdom of Muntu for ten years
                                      That Namaroro told Namunyu Lubunda
As for ten seasons of foodlessness
Behold a begging kingdom
Behold a starving throne,
The scepter of Muntu is a disgrace
To the holder
Then Namunyu Lubunda set forth by dawn
To the Palace to meet Walumoli wa Muntu
In his, palace before any other royal chores come up,
Both good and bad luck combined
Only to have Namunyu Lubunda to get the king at the palace
He got him fresh and relaxed chewing the cup of fortune
In his full ego, all his wives had submitted to the morning dishes
To his dining hall in the palace, he moved his hands from
One plate of food to the other.
Namunyu Lubunda entered with a submissive salutation
To the royal, He bowed and declared the glory of the king
In typical standards of the ethnic composition of the house of Muntu
Walumoli wa Muntu Mukitang’a Mutukuika
Majave Kutusi Mbirira Omwene esimbo ya
Kumukasa,
Walumoli responded with a feat of dignity to Namunyu Lubunda
The palace prophet, as he roared to him; come in
Come in son of Lubunda son of our people,
He did mention the name of Namunyu Lubunda father
As he fears his words may escape with the power
Of his kingdom the scepter of Muntu
To other insignificant families in the kingdom,
Let me announce what brings me here; intoned Namunyu
Go ahead and announce my holiness
s the prophet of this kingdom; responded Walumoli,
Misfortune is awaiting the kingdom
It will eat this kingdom away
Like a ravenous hyena on the ewe’s tail
The ancestors and the spirits of this land
This kingdom of yours the son of Muntu
Are immensely offended with your recent behaviour
In which you commandeered all villages
In your kingdom; from east and west
The **** the innocent passer by
With your owner hands that handle the scepter
You killed and lay to rest the foreigner
A pure omurende to the kingdom of muntu
You buried him uncircumcised without contrite
In the cemeteries of our foremen who asleep and circumcised
Why did you lower the dignity of our forefathers
Who never share a roof with uncircumcised person
To share the ancestral realm; our emagombe
With hunchback foreigner not circumcised?
This kingdom is condemned to all spell of curse of death
Ceaseless hunger famines and starvation
Women dwindle in their reproductive capacity
Rarely will you come across a pregnant woman
Food will be difficulty to put on the table
Even the sweat of your brow will go to naught,
You will not be buried with insignia
Like a pauper you killed will you be buried
The house of your wife Khatembete Kho Bwibo
Khakhalikha no bwoya is a house of no consequences
For even your daughter Nalukosi stands cursed
She will not mature to be wedded into a marriage
She will hover the earth under heavy agonies of hunger,
My assignment is done and over
With or without your permission let me go.









THE FIRST SONG
Our song continues dear brethren
Come join me in arms we sing
Joyous singing of these songs of peace
Telling the world peaceful stories
As we enjoy sitting together around my grandmothers fire yard
Warming our selves to her lovely fire inherent in her good stories,
These songs will sing the glory and success of the king of Manani
It is an irregular Ode to Silinki wa Namunguba the son of Mwangani,
The son of Tunduli, the son of Wajala Njovu, the son of Welikhe, the son
Of manyorori, the son of Chumbe, the son of Kajo, the Son of Mabati, the son of welotia,
The son of sikele sia mulia, the son of Toywa,the son of siruju, the son of Mango, the son of Mulwoni sinyanya Bakhasi, the son of Mbakara , the son of Makhakara wa Nambuya, the son of Mukoye mulala kukhalikha w0nga, the son of Zumba the son of God.
Silinki
WS Warner Nov 2013
Part One
Nascent Craving

The insular heart unsealed; pearled eyes
Breach parapets of stone— periled shield,
The sweetest ****—
A threatening wonder and irrefragable synergy,
Nervous routes of cognition  
In this nascent, amorous craving.
Locked and abased,
Dissonance lends pathos — euphoric and onerous,
Disconsolate cries curb sublimation,
The regnant bleed diffusing — fervid lust
Fondled, tactile surfaces in throbbing anticipation.

Sullen, aft a veil of laughter,
Visceral aftermath, out of
The ardent ash,
Burns a thirst;
Insuperable numbness and ache.
Efflorescent intimacy,
Table for two
Enraptured in new alliance,
Élan vital (psyche);
Urgent dialect petitions
Equivocation, jocularity blending
Provocation with indecision,
Noted lilt of descending inhibition.

Adrift, the incessant Now;
As occasion inexorably diminished;
Resonant simpatico tending,
Numinous amity;
Heard conversant, cognitive idioms—
Lassitude, time-eaten pangs of the unhinged heart,
Wounds axiomatic,
In disquieting synergy,
Nibbling, the circumference—
Misery’s permeating truth;
None immune, all trundle incongruously past,
Facing intrepid savages.

Licitly felt, reverberations of Amor
Whence the heart behaves;
Measured cadence, pulse elevating—
Treasured lover, contemplative muse;
Undulating clasp, inflated bone of absence;
Incarnation — a woman,
Beyond prosaic;
Ineffable adoration pours in certitudes of verse,
Elenita, enclothed —virtue unvarnished;
Reservoir intrinsic, poised advocate of the innocent:
The crooked lines of insolence,
Brazen culture of neglected youth.
Perceptive blue stare, sensitized tears—
Plaintively, evincing her injustice ago.

Part Two
Tendered Senses

Siren silence, eruptive blush, ampler between phrases
In dulcet tones — stirring discourse;
Foments rebellion, the strife beneath— his ****,
Out of its vast reserve,
Penetrate the narrowed ambit, vaguely announced.
Groping hands, migrating the sensual member
Stern faces grimacing— mirror in abrasion,
Under the blind surf of consent;
Burrowing ambiguity, emerging torsion,
Plunge, enlisted and content in the sea;
Subsumed in the nonverbal cue,
Persuasion’s plea,
Quelled in the post cerebral assent.

Piercing eyes parallel crystalline waters of Lake Tahoe.

An untouched portion of his awareness remains aloof,
Palpable in the subsequential quiet,
Obsequious and febrile, they sinned on sofas;
Peregrine predilections quenched and viscid—
Serenely requited, the room breathes her presence,
Limp, figures *******, mantled in adolescent torpor.

Erudition in bloom, trust undoubted,
Illuminating, satiating; tempest calm—
Under canvas
Terrain soaked and sodden,
Postliminary — rains of invalidation.
Allowance and permission
Recalibrate, salivate, shortly only—
Initiate, obliged consecration, appraising
Curvatures of the spine,
Stuns him obeisant, her femenine pulchritude,
Propinquity inciting vigor,
Emergent allure, the updriven
Tower of wood sprung from the blanket.


Suffused in ether, purring streams of remembrance
Vaginal honeyed dew, sung into
Orchids, remnants of remember;
Drenched down the cynosure of devotion;
Succulent view, diaphanous pantied bottom;
Halcyon mist, saporous wine — compliance of the will,
Freed fires wander,
Pliable rind, twin plums dripping,
Abject confession, dispatching doubt
In tendered senses,
Pivotal tree, lavender Jacaranda holds the key,
Unfurled, cindered vulnerability.

Half-denuded skin invites confessional savor
Acutely bubbled rear, fleshly furnished denim;
Sultry visit, San Ramon Valley in the fall,
Strewed limbs splendid, flowing filmy;
Imagination yields—
Bursting silk congealed
Across deft thighs, ambrosial thong draping ankles,
Grazing ascension, the curvaceous trajectory
Nose inflamed with fragrance,
Inhaling, climb of acquiescence,
The ****** weal, amid the globed fruit,
Focal intention — ploughed lance thrusting,
Absconding, the ancillary perfume of essence.

Perceiving avid validation,
Swimmingly, amid the monstrous gaze.
  
Humid skies simper dank, set swell the incense of Eros,
Surge of poetry engorged
The flame levened shaft,
Nimble ******* flounce, spill the harboring mouth;
Moist hands merging, unfettered,
Weave in supplication,
Vicinity voicing, enmeshed diversion;
Supple and spherical behind
Posterior arch, milky-skin against the lip—
Ripeness jostling their complacency;
Lapped the mooring, ridden decisively;
Recapitulating— spumed forth, bellied over hips warmth.
Abandon the dirge of self-pity
Late under ego’s trance.
  
Part Three
Present Tenses

Tempting trespass across sacred gardens,
Flowering, scandal set luminous: attachment—
Consensual, their corresponsive fear;
Protean manifestations— evocative, perpetual
Unutterable contention in a fictive resolve,
Deliberating the merits of their widely disparate tastes in coffee,
Amorously touring wine, let’s drowse through the gnarled vine.
Sundry deficiencies pale, once contrasted;
The beatific vision—
Material substance unaccompanied,
Imperceptible, tear-streamed cheeks in synch,
Ventral kiss, peak of carnal perfection,
Reminiscence— flesh violent with Love.

Fiction knew to meander the innominate rift,
A tincture of irony soften misdeeds
Immense as the sea.
Insolvent beast stippled with sapience—
Unmasked, the fabric of delusion;
Dependence smothering the disciplined heart
Resentment put up for release.

Waste of residual years
Fate’s apportion, scars bleakly observed;
Chastened by heartache, engulfing fervor
Too faint to recapture.
Vague glimpses dry—
Hypervigilant his defenses,
Veritable suspensions, embers lit linger;
Slender walls of solidity, the horizoned self,
Faith and reason in concert — stone levels of elucidation.

Fractured bones of distance, emanate a rigid salience,
Another ponderous night of absence—
Lingering, cauldron of dearth as indifference ushers,
The quotidian coil of contrition.
Tearful pallor, sequestered —ciphering time and solitude;
The unkissed mouth, his restive brow;
Suspend in the approximate span.
                      
After Lucid alliterations are spoken
Devoid of her face, his lover’s nudge—
The man nurtures his hurt.

Anxious as seldom unscarred,  
Venus’s susurrations,
In present tenses,
Kissed by her serenades of integration—
Notwithstanding metaphysic intrusion,
No chain stays unbroken,
Postponed drifts of deferment left unspoken,
Reverberations of amor.

© 2013 W. S. Warner
To Eileen
RH 78 Nov 2015
Malnourished children
Them sunken eyes.
Impoverished families
With no supplies.
Homeless and begging.
No safety net.
Jobless youth
Riddled with debt.
Neglected elders
They deserve more
Our society, crippled with knees to the floor
When children are abused I cant help but feel so bad and cry for them. When children are abused they dont know what is happening especially if its your own parents or parent. They dont know because of the shock and **** they are going through. All they know at that moment is that they are getting yelled or or getting charged at and they know they are going to be beaten with something. They have the shock and there heart is racing very fast. They dont know whats going to happen next they dont know if they are going be in horrific pain to the piont they cant move or not. All they know what to do is do exactly do what the person is doing to them what they say with out answer anything but yes and  do it. If they dont there will be more horrific pain. With all this happening to them knowing that right then all they feel is physical pain. Later in life they figure out that it wasn't just physical it was emotional and mental to. How was it mental and emotional by knowing that there own parent or parents did that to them. It haunts them for the rest of their lifes more so if it happens more then once. It makes them feel like they can never trust anybody in there lifes ever again. They build a wall up and dont let alot of people in because they are afraid of getting hurt again. Most kids end up in fostercare for what there parents did to them. So when they are there in the fostercare home do you think they feel safe and happy? If you thought yes you are wrong they are more scared then ever because they have strangers around them and no one they know. The foster parents may say your safe and hug you but you still dont feel safe and loved because  they dont have people around them that they know love them. Most of the time they just want there parents although they just got abused and but through all that pain. Its becuase most of the time they are not themselves. They are either drunk or high. The kids know that and they know that there parents must be nice when they are sober becuase they have seen there friends parents nice to them. When children are being abused when they are young they most likely dont ever wanna go home they want to be at school or somewhere they are happy. When all that is taken away from them all they want to be is home in the abusive place becuase thats where they realized was the most comforting safest place is at home in there room. Most of the time its either friends or a sibling that calls the police becuase thats all they know what to do. Usally its a sibling that is either scared and wants help or is treated better then the one that is getting abused. If the child that goes away to a foster home with out a sibling. She is more likely to get scared and put a shield up towards anybody that she doesnt know and trust. She most likely wont talk to anybody. She will cry most of the day because she feels like she is alone and doesn't have anyone around her. Even when the other foster kids and parents are there and willing to calm her down and comfort her. She wont let them because she wants someone she can trust and she knows to calm her down and comfort her and hold her. The simple words coming out of someone they knows mouth "Its going to be ok I am here for you to hold you comfort you to calm you down when you are upset." Those simple words to a child meen the world to them when they got abused and are taken away from the situation. Those words may seem nothing to you but to that child it meens everything more then you can imagine unless you went through it. You went through it like me I wrote this because I know people that have got abused just like me. I wrote this because I know how it feels to be be abused by your parents and then feel like you have no one until those words are said then you feel like you have someone. That its going to be ok and someone is finally going to treat you the you deserved to be treated loved cared for and supported no matter what you do in life. When you have the right people in your life you dont realize what your life was like back then until you have the right people in your life and they show you the true meening of life happiness and love and trust. Although you have the happiness love and trust your past abuse or abuses still are there for the rest of your life. Its ok though because you know what not to do to your children and what to do to your children. You can raise them right by showing them you care love and want happiness for them and they can always trust you for anything. If its for those special words of if its for adivce. They will always know you are there for them no matter what. even if you think they dont because they are doing something you dont like they still love care and want happiness for you. So what you can do is stop child abuse from happening with your kids!!!!
Thank you for reading this it meens alot to me and the people that i know that have gone through this.
Shay Jun 2016
I am BPD.
I am the demon that possesses your mind,
I am the ghost of all you want to leave behind.
I am the monster that will make you unstable,
The voice in your head making you suicidal.
I am your heart making your emotions intense,
I am your mind, muddled and making no sense.
I am your brain making you neurotic,
With the perfect balance of a handful of psychotic.
I am your self-esteem making you feel worthless,
I will make sure you feel that you have no purpose.
I am your impulsiveness making you act reckless;
Your need to harm yourself is becoming endless.
I am your soul feeling neglected,
You feel it very deeply because you need to be protected.
I am your extreme paranoia,
Making you live in a shell, I’m a merciless destroyer.
I am your fear of rejection, you will outburst at the slightest disaffection.
So, I am BPD and I will ruin your life,
I will cover you in scars made by the blade of a knife.
Ito Apr 2014
I'm part of the unemployed youth,
it's the truth,
a generation of dreamers with endless ambition,
all with one mission:
to strive for attention under constant tension.

Overprotected and neglected,
yet somehow connected,
attacked by the constant barrage of words,
we fly like birds,
we are truly free in our imagination.

No hope for a better tomorrow,
in love with sorrow,
nothing left to borrow.
Money comes at a high cost,
your youth...lost after slavery to the economy.
Stanza 1:  Mentions the workforce who are qualified for jobs but lack experience.
Stanza 2:  Alludes to the workforce who do not need a job and remain content.
Stanza 3:  Speaks of the workforce that need any job and are willing to trade their youth for money.
Templar of Steel Jan 2016
The fallen son; the first to suffer
Glorius serving heaven
Glory bless the mightiest
Cast down till the earth beneath

The ones of free will; Adam and Eve
Unable to estimate the cosequens of their actions
Was chained by the word of others
Freed by the fruit of Eden thrue the serpent

No redemption offered
Forgiven: cursed to never be
The freer of man
and the one to walk the earth

Named shared between devil and son
Named shared between devil and son
Lucifer; the lightbringer
Named shared between devil and son

Destiny shared between devil and son
Destiny shared between devil and son
Chosen by God to be neglected
Destiny shared between devil and son
I hate the dripping dark hollow behind the little wood;
Its tips a cursed maroon with a blood-red heath.
I think I praised and lamented it too soon;
Before seeing its scent; I saw already its stray mystical death.

My crown is torn, outraged by florid winds and scorn;
Like a tangled old roots of the windblown thorn;
I shall feel scanty by my own poetry,
And throw it about, duly, like a static little joke.

I shall let my heart grow dull and illiterate;
I shall not taste joy, no more, in any clear--flowery fate.
I shall seek everything bitter, and not sweet;
Even not pure as the honey of a bee; for it shall be plain.

I shall curve and bend any straightforward light;
I shall harass it, and blind it--as if my ghost’s dead soul is very not here.
Ah, where is but Maud, Maud, Maud, and Maud;
Perhaps she is astray in my memory still, and not by my side.

I feel relieved so soon as glanced at her beside me;
She owns still that full lips like a perniciously tasty moon;
She is adorable like the flower of heaven itself;
She strikes me again when away, and tosses me about when near.

Ah, Maud, Maud, Maud;
Tame me again with thy rain of laugh;
Saint me once more like a fresh young bird;
Come to me now, and return my unheeded love.

Ah, Maud, Maud, Maud;
And kissing her forehead takes me back to that day;
A day of myths, a day of agile swans and storms;
An ornate time of hatred; a whirl of bitter fate; a dust of sorrow.

Ah, Maud, Maud, Maud;
And again I was alive in this tale, with a burning heart;
On one eve of tears, a mischief, and a wan poetry;
I caught about shadows in which there was no soul of Maud.

I could only see the stones, lying ghastly about the fireplace;
Ah, Maud, are you but still haunting those whimsical moors?
Their strange murmurs but I cannot hear;
But still they consume me, ah, I am scared;
I wish they would be gone soon, I wish you were but here.

These storms were amusing but peculiar;
They are bizarre, but intelligent and stellar;
And calling thy name out but breathes into me strength;
Ah, but should I be here, and bear away thy image alone?

Ah, and thou wert in but nymphic and lilac dream;
And my heart was still not massaged by the tender storm;
For it meant thee, and hungered but for thee only;
And in the midst of love had it longed, and yearned for thee.

Ah, where is but Maud, Maud, Maud, and Maud;
Her with her childish eyes and rounded head of bronze,
With her rapturous steps and wild glittering aroma,
With her atrocious jokes, and a wintry secret touch?

But still she was not anywhere about;
She dissolved like one romantic bough of soda;
And within a rough joke, she would be but gone;
And now the storm returned, but I was wholly on my own.  

Ah, and now the striking storm is mounting the earth;
Should I write alone and chill myself by the green hearth?
For I hath nothing to console and lengthen my parched logs;
I shall wait outside and drift about yon wintry bog.

Ah, where is but Maud, Maud, Maud;
Maud with her heart-shaped face and bare voice aloud;
A voice that soaked my senses and craving throat;
Maud but teased me and left me to that joke.

Where is but Maud, Maud, Maud and Maud;
Maud, the goth princess within my ancient poetry;
Who but remained symmetrical and biblical in her vain torments;
Who but stayed sturdy and silent; amidst her anger, and vain fellows’ arguments.

Listen to me. I am but full of hatred.
I am neither a gentleman nor a well-bred;
I, who is just a son of an infamous parson;
A malleable son; with a bleak aura of a putrid spring.

I, one who crafted ingenious jokes;
But interminable as they always are;
I made Maud sit still as I held my woodwork;
While she perched herself on yon bench, gazing at dispersed starry stars.

Maud the shadow in my pale mirror;
At times she ceased at morns, but retreated at night;
On her brother’s sight she fled in horror;
But on mine her smile turned me bright.

Maud was idle, sparkling, vibrant, and tedious;
Her heart was free and not marred by stupor.
She was the sun on my very bright days;
She made me startled; she always left me curious.

Maud the green of the farm, the red of the moon;
Without her everything would spring not and remain odious;
Everything would be bleak and stayed tedious;
Ah, but still I could not own her, though I was her saviour.

I was a farmer and perhaps still am;
Perhaps that’s why her mother ditched me with shame.
Maud said she had not places like home;
Her house was the mere shallow--and gratuitous throne.

Maud came often down and agitated;
Her mood shadowy, she cried and cried too aggravated;
I caressed her back, and placed my palms on her white knees;
She told me stories whenever no-one else would see.

She wanted not to mount the throne;
She giggled often, at our country escapade;
She loved my cottage, she sweetened my thin grass;
Even those apple trees had then her eyes, which sprayed tough, lonely seas of green.

Maud took to hymn and dear children’s little songs;
She was popular always among the talkative throngs.
She would love to dance and wiggle and turn around;
While village pupils gathered to sing a noble sound.

Ah, but when the mirthless prince arrived;
With white horses and swords of a knight;
Maud was swallowed every morning, all through day and night;
Maud was no more seen by my side.

I thought I was not alive, for dreams were unreal;
If they had been, then they I’d have want’d to ****;
But seeing Maud not gave me fretful chills;
I often woke up tensely, within a midnight’s shrills.

Ah, where is but Maud, Maud, Maud, and Maud;
Maud my bumblebee and my delicate little honey.
I kept waiting for her behind the rustic brook;
I fetched my net and fished by my old nook.

Ah, and where is Maud, Maud, Maud, and Maud;
My eyes were still and my chest could no more speak.
I wearily fancied she had been kidnapped faraway;
She would be jailed in a sore realm, and would no more be back here.

Ah, for had she been lost, then I had lost my ultimate pearl;
For there would no more be magic, there would be no more of her;
No-one would so restore my original spring;
Perhaps there would be no spring at all, and I would suffer in summer.

And I would lose anyway--my lyrical, elusive demon;
For Maud had always been elusive herself.
She wore that evil smile and thin laugh;
As I told her tales of fairies that she loved.

As I am fond of magical poetry and dramas;
Maud too used to read them with genuine personas.
She was my epic fanatical little devil;
She liked tropical cold and a faithful Mephistopheles.

I should be Faust, as she once said;
For had I fair hair, yet a bald head;
She said like Faust, I was cleverly amusing;
But to me, like Mephistopheles--she was unusually entertaining.

She danced before me a beautiful ballet;
She was young and keen to levitate as a ballerina;
She crafted me limericks and such fair lines of sonnets;
She made earth my heaven, and my melodies a twin cantata.

Ah, and where is Maud, Maud, Maud, and Maud;
I need my butterfly amongst this wheezy curdling cold.
I need my lover to soothe my chained hysteria;
I need to get out of here, and feed my love with her charms.

Ah, but where is Maud, Maud, Maud, is not she here?
I was then screaming in my solitude, could she but not hear?
I could speak not, no more--sore and wounded by this snowstorm;
I crept sick and weak like a dumb old worm.

She was not even heard of upstairs;
While I was dying here as a roaring beetle.
I hath almost lost all my creative flair;
I felt tormented and neglected and nearly feeble.

Ah, but a story like this is not such a fable;
So at that time I did shun sadness and seek a warm ending;
But indeed, to escape fate the poor were perhaps not able;
And the farmer’s son shall never be a king.

And ‘twas the nobles’ right to be idyllic;
To be deemed far then fairly righteous.
My charms were trivial, and so was then my wit;
My prayers were too parted and despaired; no matter how rigorous.

I kept my work along the countryside;
I toiled all night and behind fierce daylight.
I hoped Maud would see me back one day;
But what I found was to my dismay!

Ah, Maud, for she was now engaged;
To that pathetic creature the cursed morn brought about;
And parties arranged, voices too raised;
The union was now what people had in thought.

Onto my shoulders my head kept sinking;
I killed myself nearly, for my irksome defeat in this rivalry;
A rivalry that failed to transgress vital destiny;
A rivalry I could not even bear to think.

But again, this love had always been everything;
And thus Maud’s union would equal my death;
One night I crept out of my bed;
I had in hand a keychain and a net.

The soldier was infused by sound sleep;
And into Maud’s grand chamber I crept;
Everything was pink and quite neatly kept;
But woke I her not--as I heard her breast breath slowly.

She was tremendous still--in beauty;
Maud in her splendour; so young and free.
Ah, she was free but not free, I fathomed;
I looked at her over and over again.

I looked at her violet bed and comfort net;
Ah, my Maud too ****** and temptingly red.
She was too abundant in her young and chaste soul;
Ah, I could not imagine how she would soon be one else’s.

Long did I stand; ‘till morning streamed back again;
Still I remained unmoved; I stared at my darling in vain.
I jumped startled as the door opened;
And showed me the horror of the Queen!

‘Come, ye’ fool’, she voicelessly instructed;
Her face emotionless as these words emanated;
‘And embrace thy very fate’, to the handcuffs me she directed;
‘For daring look into my dame’s immaculately flawless chamber’.

She pointed thereof--a black gun at my chest;
It would soon burst out and tear my vest;
And even fly me straight to death;
So drifted I, without further haste nor breath.

Those poor soldiers imprisoned me there;
A cellar room at the top of filthy stairs;
I stayed awake only for grief and tears;
And most of the time I laid about sleepless and stared.

I grew skinless as my bones squinted;
And laughed at me with their sordid might;
Flies were about me, bending onto my rotten pies;
And slices of meat left out by sniggering guards.

I hit my head on witnessing Maud’s cold marriage;
‘Twas on a Saturday on the castle’s rain-wetted field.
I heaved myself onto the windowsill and saw;
How the couples were blessed and sent thereby back.

I could not see Maud’s face and fleshy cheeks;
But didst I feel her discarded tears;
Marred and defiled her lovely fits;
Though just those innate, and not out there.

I struck the lifeless paint with my bare palms;
Now the walls were tainted; they smelled like my blood.
Time passed and desire for Maud was never killed;
I’th missed her every day, since then, and perhaps always will.

But my love for Maud was never probable;
I was decent, honest, but indeed not preferable;
I was not even preferable by fate, as thou might see;
Fate who is neither truthful; nor frankly urges us to lie.

I often laid hopeless by the moonbeam;
Until night came and eyesight grew more and more vulnerable.
I waited ‘till it was dark and left to day no more gleam;
Then took my journal of Maud’s jests and read her affable poems.

I turned around--and would disgrace my bed still;
I was plain starved but had no desire to be properly fed;
Of a dream of death I grew instantly pertinacious;
And of my future tomb I grew fonder--and yet rapidly curious.

Ah, but my sweet Maud, Maud, Maud, and Maud;
And deliriously she somehow became pregnant;
But remorse said she kept the souls of two;
And fatefully could not make them both perfect!

I indeed plain prayed for Maud’s survival;
I cared not whose sons they might be;
Ah, but the twins were still sinning babies--as I comprehended,
For they were formed not from cells of mine!

Ah, Maud, Maud, Maud,
And during those last days she was cautiously ill;
And a drive of cholera had again grown widespread;
But she was not maddened; by it she was not marred.

She was sickened by temper still;
And the prince found dead, she grew more terrifyingly ill;
She had a pure heart, so she flourished not over the beast’s death;
Nonetheless, he remained the father of yon sickly offspring.

Ah, Maud, Maud, Maud,
I was duly growing perfectly anxious;
She was to give birth--ah, to those little ignoramuses;
And within a little chord in one or days of two--she would do so.

But without a father to care for her notorious sons;
And even I was locked away, and could not do so;
I was terrified, I was horribly undignified;
To learn this stern reality we were so sullenly faced with!

Ah, not now! I could not too believe my ears!
Maud and her children were dead--they’d been stillborn;
Before they left Maud alone to receive her fate;
Her locksmith would not come; he had another due in a nameless town.

By the time he arrived my darling had gone;
Perhaps she was now shimmering in heaven;
Enchanting her children with her enormous spells;
Narrating stories no plain human could ever tell.

Even in heaven my love would perhaps be famous;
Her tenderness would make other angels jealous;
And angered by envy, they would gather and complain to God;
How an earthly soul could be more vivacious than their heavenly were.

Ah, but where is Maud, Maud, Maud;
Maud and her chain of songs that were never to be broken;
Maud and her familiarity with gardens and blue lilies;
Maud and her immaculate pets of birds that still sweetly sing.

Ah, but where is my darling, my darling, my darling;
My eternal ocean, my hustling flowerbed, my immortal;
My poem, my enchanting lyric, my wedding ring;
My novelty, my merited charm, my eternal.

And now she was longing for her grave, as I’d been told;
For I’d been told by the dimmed torches and fuss and mirthless air outside;
By the endless wandering and the prince’s wails and wordless screams.
Ah, my Maud had now migrated from her life--but attained her freedom!

And he was thus unworthy of being in her heaven;
Her heaven where there would be me, her true love;
And thus he would be glad to greet his fires of hell;
He would marry an evil angel there--and make himself again full.

But I’d be with Maud, Maud, Maud and Maud;
I’d be again with my gem, indefatigable little darling;
Whose voice was unsure, whose poems were never known;
But ‘twas enough that they’d been known to me, her secret--ye’ dearest lover.

So took I, that spinning penchant and a circle of strings;
The edges I matched to the chains on my ceilings.
I braced myself for my very own fiery death;
But again, I’d be with Maud and death would no more, aye, be sad.

Thus the above poem was done by my spirit;
But with the same token and awe of genuineness and wit;
I feel tired--I shall close my eyes, and thus enjoy my heaven now;
For my wife and starlings are all waiting for me to-morrow.

It is now nighttime in heaven;
And there is indeed, no place on earth lovelier;
I gaze into my wife with a loving madness;
Her cheeks sweeter still, than any proudest swiftness.

I shall take my vow of marriage tomorrow;
My proud wife sitting in yon angelic chair by my side.
I shall cradle, then, those white little nuptial fairies;
They are Maud’s children’s, but lithe and gracious and bow to me in chaste mercies.

Ah, Maud, Maud, Maud, she is but all mine now;
I am still surprised now, as sitting by this heaven riverside.
One even grander than the one I’d had beside the lake;
Which I often farmed when I had needs to bake.

Ah, Maud, Maud, Maud, she is a ghost but as ever lively;
We are both dead but she boldly remaineth lovely;
I know she is worthier than serene jewels or mundane affairs;
And still she is worthier all the same, than any other terrific palace--or heir.

Ah, Maud, Maud, Maud, and this war is but all over now;
Thus let us dream dead of the exciting tomorrow.
We shall see life and our children grow;
We shall witness delight--and miracles none ever knows.
Mouth Piece Feb 2014
We overestimate the probability of the improbable through eyes and ears that are susceptible to vivid imagery. Social media screams that 100 people died from poisoned cantaloupes instead of saying in less emotional terms 100 in 7,000,000,000 or .000000000001% of the population. Really It’s all about fear and manipulation. You viewed all the news interviews, watched YouTube videos and even read the compelling articles. Now you’re in the grocery store avoiding cantaloupes like the plague because you might be next! Conversely in positive outcomes this is the same rationalization that compels people to buy jack *** lottery tickets. Can you see how we extremely over weighting the probabilities of events based on the vividness and prevalence of the coverage? The news—the government---companies---all individuals have agendas but not everyone is looking out for your best interest. Many are “wolves in sheep’s clothing” that feed on these manipulations in regards to rare events with the sole purpose to covertly produce a particular behavior that prospers outcomes that are favorable to their own position.

Now her goes the paradox of overestimation and underestimation in regards to rare events. A strange thing happens when rare events are not being perceived vividly through our senses. They are simply ignored! We no longer over estimate probabilities but instead begin to under estimate probability! For example during Hurricane Katrina victims yielded to evacuate due to this under estimation. The probability of the rare event was neglected in part to lack of vividness. In hindsight they seemed foolish for not leaving but in actuality were quite human in their behavior that lacked the emotional experience towards the rare event (obviously the decision was intertwined with a myriad of other individual variables). In the aftermath the vividness of the Hurricane’s media coverage allows the opposite to occur once more---a heavy overestimation of a future storms probability. This produces disproportionate fears for many in regards to actual hurricane probabilities. Leaving the door open for exploitation.

What we see is a human nature that goes extremely over or under in estimations towards the outcomes of rare events compared to the events actual probabilities. The danger is that people know this!! They can pump your head with what they want you to overestimate and be silent on what they’d like you to neglect, all in the manipulation of their cause. The perceived good guy can easily be one in the same with the bad guy. The best sociopaths are quite charming. People can easily be manipulated with the news and Youtube videos for example. Often times the information provided has traces of truth that are used to spark emotions that lead an individual further away from actuality while simultaneously using them towards their own divisive agendas. They will stay silent to other matters---producing neglect till it’s time to play the good guy once the neglected issue (often created themselves) explodes. In the after math the information they provide makes you feel empowered but it's only manipulating you further into their own aspirations--they look like a hero for doing it --again they produce the overestimations of fear where they want while staying silent to what they wish for you to neglect. Whether it’s the government, a conspiracy theorist or a manipulating relationship partner be attuned to how we process information and the susceptibility to manipulation (overestiamation-underestimation). Although not every situation is a source of manipulation from others it would be unwise to neglect the fact that our own emotions can lead us to these same ignorances all by our selves. I give glory and honor to my Savior Jesus Christ for this knowledge in which Faith in Him alone helps me discern and weight the emotional information and there intentions
Michael R Burch Sep 2020
Urdu Poetry: English Translations



You will never comprehend me:
I pour out my feelings; you only read the words!
―original poet unknown, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Tears are colorless―thank God!―
otherwise my pillow might betray my heart.
―original poet unknown, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Near Sainthood
by Mirza Ghalib
loose translation/interpretation by Kanu V. Prajapati and Michael R. Burch

On the subject of mystic philosophy, Ghalib,
your words might have struck us as deeply profound ...
Hell, we might have pronounced you a saint,
if only we hadn't found
you drunk
as a skunk!

There are more English translations of poems by Mirza Ghalib later on this page.



Every Once in a While
by Amjad Islam Amjad
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Every once in a while,
immersed in these muggy nights
when all earth’s voices seem to have fallen
into the bruised-purple silence of half-sleep,
I awaken from a wonderful dream
to see through the veil that drifts between us
that you too are companionless and wide awake.



First Rendezvous
by Amjad Islam Amjad
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

This story of the earth
is as old as the universe,
as old as the birth
of the first day and night.

This story of the sky
is included in the words we casually uttered,
you and I,
and yet it remains incomplete, till the end of sight.

This earth and all the scenes it contains
remain witnesses to the moment
when you first held my hand
as we watched the world unfolding, together.

This world
became the focus
for the first rendezvous
between us.



Impossible and Improbable Visions
by Amjad Islam Amjad
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Eyes interpret visions,
rainbow auras waver;
similar scenes appear
different to individual eyes,
as innumerable oases
coexist in one desert
or a single thought acquires
countless shapes.



I Have to Find My Lost Star
by Amjad Islam Amjad
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Searching the emptiest of skies
overflowing with innumerable stars,
I have to find the one
that belongs
to me.

...

Gazing at galaxies beyond galaxies,
all glorious with evolving wonder,
I ponder her name,
finding no sign to remember.

...

Lost things, they say,
are sometimes found
in the same accumulations of dust
where they once vanished.

I have to find the lost star
that belongs to me.



Last Night
by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Last night, your memory stole into my heart―
as spring sweeps uninvited into barren gardens,
as morning breezes reinvigorate dormant deserts,
as a patient suddenly feels better, for no apparent reason ...

There are more English translations of poems by Faiz Ahmed Faiz later on this page.



Intimacy
by Rahat Indori
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I held the Sun, Stars and Moon at a distance
till the time your hands touched mine.
Now I am not a feather to be easily detached:
instruct the hurricanes and tornados to observe their limits!

There are more English translations of poems by Rahat Indori later on this page.



Strange Currents
by Amir Khusrow
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

O Khusrow, the river of love
creates strange currents—
the one who would surface invariably drowns,
while the one who submerges, survives.

There are more English translations of poems by Amir Khusrow later on this page.



The Eager Traveler
by Ahmad Faraz
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Even in the torture chamber, I was the lucky one;
when each lottery was over, unaccountably I had won.

And even the mightiest rivers found accessible refuge in me;
though I was called an arid desert, I turned out to be the sea.

And how sweetly I remember you—oh, my wild, delectable love!—
as the purest white blossoms bloom, on talented branches above.

And while I’m half-convinced that folks adore me in this town,
still, all the hands I kissed held knives and tried to shake me down.

You lost the battle, my coward friend, my craven enemy,
when, to victimize my lonely soul, you sent a despoiling army.

Lost in the wastelands of vast love, I was an eager traveler,
like a breeze in search of your fragrance, a vagabond explorer.

There are more English translations of poems by Ahmad Faraz later on this page.



The Condition of My Heart
by Munir Niazi
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

It is not necessary for anyone else to get excited:
The condition of my heart is not the condition of hers.
But were we to receive any sort of good news, Munir,
How spectacular compared to earth's mundane sunsets!

There are more English translations of poems by Munir Niazi later on this page.



Failures
by Nida Fazli
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I was unable to relate
the state
of my heart to her,
while she failed to infer
the nuances
of my silences.



Apni Marzi se
by Nida Fazli Shayari
translated by Mandakini Bhattacherya and Michael R. Burch

This journey was not of my making;
As the winds blow, I’m blown along ...
Time and dust are my ancient companions;
Who knows where I’m bound or belong?

There are more English translations of poems by Nida Fazli later on this page.



My Apologies, Sona
by Gulzar
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My apologies, Sona,
if traversing my verse's terrain
in these torrential rains
inconvenienced you.

The monsoons are unseasonal here.

My poems' pitfalls are sometimes sodden.
Water often overflows these ditches.
If you stumble and fall here, you run the risk
of spraining an ankle.

My apologies, however,
if you were inconvenienced
because my dismal verse lacks light,
or because my threshold's stones
interfered as you passed.

I have often cracked toenails against them!

As for the streetlamp at the intersection,
it remains unlit ... endlessly indecisive.

If you were inconvenienced,
you have my heartfelt apologies!

There are more English translations of poems by Gulzar later on this page.



Come As You Are
by Rabindranath Tagore
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Come as you are, forget appearances!
Is your hair untamable, your part uneven, your bodice unfastened? Never mind.
Come as you are, forget appearances!

Skip with quicksilver steps across the grass.
If your feet glisten with dew, if your anklets slip, if your beaded necklace slides off? Never mind.
Skip with quicksilver steps across the grass.

Do you see the clouds enveloping the sky?
Flocks of cranes erupt from the riverbank, fitful gusts ruffle the fields, anxious cattle tremble in their stalls.
Do you see the clouds enveloping the sky?

You loiter in vain over your toilet lamp; it flickers and dies in the wind.
Who will care that your eyelids have not been painted with lamp-black, when your pupils are darker than thunderstorms?
You loiter in vain over your toilet lamp; it flickers and dies in the wind.

Come as you are, forget appearances!
If the wreath lies unwoven, who cares? If the bracelet is unfastened, let it fall. The sky grows dark; it is late.
Come as you are, forget appearances!



Unfit Gifts
by Rabindranath Tagore
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

At sunrise, I cast my nets into the sea,
dredging up the strangest and most beautiful objects from the depths ...
some radiant like smiles, some glittering like tears, others flushed like brides’ cheeks.
When I returned, staggering under their weight, my love was relaxing in her garden, idly tearing leaves from flowers.
Hesitant, I placed all I had produced at her feet, silently awaiting her verdict.
She glanced down disdainfully, then pouted: "What are these bizarre things? I have no use for them!"
I bowed my head, humiliated, and thought:
"Truly, I did not contend for them; I did not purchase them in the marketplace; they are unfit gifts for her!"
That night I flung them, one by one, into the street, like refuse.
The next morning travelers came, picked them up and carted them off to exotic countries.



The Seashore Gathering
by Rabindranath Tagore
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

On the seashores of endless worlds, earth's children converge.
The infinite sky is motionless, the restless waters boisterous.
On the seashores of endless worlds earth's children gather to dance with joyous cries and pirouettes.
They build sand castles and play with hollow shells.
They weave boats out of withered leaves and laughingly float them out over the vast deep.
Earth's children play gaily on the seashores of endless worlds.
They do not know, yet, how to cast nets or swim.
Divers fish for pearls and merchants sail their ships, while earth's children skip, gather pebbles and scatter them again.
They are unaware of hidden treasures, nor do they know how to cast nets, yet.
The sea surges with laughter, smiling palely on the seashore.
Death-dealing waves sing the children meaningless songs, like a mother lullabying her baby's cradle.
The sea plays with the children, smiling palely on the seashore.
On the seashores of endless worlds earth's children meet.
Tempests roam pathless skies, ships lie wrecked in uncharted waters, death wanders abroad, and still the children play.
On the seashores of endless worlds there is a great gathering of earth's children.



This Dog
by Rabindranath Tagore
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Each morning this dog,
who has become quite attached to me,
sits silently at my feet
until, gently caressing his head,
I acknowledge his company.

This simple recognition gives my companion such joy
he shudders with sheer delight.

Among all languageless creatures
he alone has seen through man entire—
has seen beyond what is good or bad in him
to such a depth he can lay down his life
for the sake of love alone.

Now it is he who shows me the way
through this unfathomable world throbbing with life.

When I see his deep devotion,
his offer of his whole being,
I fail to comprehend ...

How, through sheer instinct,
has he discovered whatever it is that he knows?

With his anxious piteous looks
he cannot communicate his understanding
and yet somehow has succeeded in conveying to me
out of the entire creation
the true loveworthiness of man.



Being
by Momin Khan Momin
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

You are so close to me
that no one else ever can be.

NOTE: There is a legend that the great Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib offered all his diwan (poetry collections) in exchange for this one sher (couplet) by Momin Khan Momin. Does the couplet mean "be as close" or "be, at all"? Does it mean "You are with me in a way that no one else can ever be?" Or does it mean that no one else can ever exist as truly as one's true love? Or does this sher contain an infinite number of elusive meanings, like love itself?



Being (II)
by Momin Khan Momin
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

You alone are with me when I am alone.
You are beside me when I am beside myself.
You are as close to me as everyone else is afar.
You are so close to me that no one else ever can be.



Perhaps
by Momin Khan Momin
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The cohesiveness between us, you may remember or perhaps not.
Our solemn oaths of faithfulness, you may remember, or perhaps forgot.
If something happened that was not to your liking,
the shrinking away that produces silence, you may remember, or perhaps not.
Listen, the sagas of so many years, the promises you made amid time's onslaught,
which you now fail to mention, you may remember or perhaps not.
These new resentments, those often rehashed complaints,
these lighthearted and displeasing stories, you may remember, or perhaps forgot.
Some seasons ago we shared love and desire, we shared joy ...
That we once were dear friends, you may have perhaps forgot.
Now if we come together, by fate or by chance, to express old loyalties ...
Our every shared breath, all our sighs and regrets, you may remember, or perhaps not.



What Happened to Them?
by Nasir Kazmi
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Those who came ashore, what happened to them?
Those who sailed away, what happened to them?

Those who were coming at dawn, when dawn never arrived ...
Those caravans en route, what happened to them?

Those I awaited each night on moonless paths,
Who were meant to light beacons, what happened to them?

Who are these strangers surrounding me now?
All my lost friends and allies, what happened to them?

Those who built these blazing buildings, what happened to them?
Those who were meant to uplift us, what happened to them?

NOTE: This poignant poem was written about the 1947 partition of India into two nations: India and Pakistan. I take the following poem to be about the aftermath of the division.



Climate Change
by Nasir Kazmi
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The songs of our silenced lips are different.
The expressions of our regretful hearts are different.

In milder climes our grief was more tolerable,
But the burdens we bear now are different.

O, walkers of awareness's road, keep your watch!
The obstacles strewn on this stony path are different.

We neither fear separation, nor desire union;
The anxieties of my rebellious heart are different.

In the first leaf-fall only flowers fluttered from twigs;
This year the omens of autumn are different.

This world lacks the depth to understand my heartache;
Please endow me with melodies, for my cry is different!

One disconcerting glance bared my being;
Now in barren fields my visions are different.

No more troops, nor flags. Neither money, nor fame.
The marks of the monarchs on this land are different.

Men are not martyred for their beloveds these days.
The youths of my youth were so very different!



Nasir Kazmi Couplets

When I was a child learning to write
my first scribblings were your name.
―Nasir Kazmi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

When my feet lost the path
where was your hand?
―Nasir Kazmi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Everything I found is yours;
everything I lost is also yours.
―Nasir Kazmi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Memory
by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, as performed by Iqbal Bano
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

In the wastelands of solitude, my love,
the echoes of your voice quiver,
the mirages of your lips waver.

In the deserts of alienation,
out of the expanses of distance and isolation's debris
the fragrant jasmines and roses of your presence delicately blossom.

Now from somewhere nearby,
the warmth of your breath rises,
smoldering forth an exotic perfume―gently, languorously.

Now far-off, across the distant horizon,
drop by shimmering drop,
fall the glistening dews of your beguiling glances.

With such tenderness and affection—oh my love!—
your memory has touched my heart's cheek so that it now seems
the sun of separation has set; the night of blessed union has arrived.



Speak!
by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Speak, if your lips are free.
Speak, if your tongue is still your own.
While your body is still upright,
Speak if your life is still your own.



Tonight
by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Do not strike the melancholy chord tonight! Days smoldering
with pain in the end produce only listless ashes ...
and who the hell knows what the future may bring?
Last night’s long lost, tomorrow's horizon’s a wavering mirage.
And how can we know if we’ll see another dawn?
Life is nothing, unless together we make it ring!
Tonight we are love gods! Sing!

Do not strike the melancholy chord tonight!
Don’t harp constantly on human suffering!
Stop complaining; let Fate conduct her song!
Give no thought to the future, seize now, this precious thing!
Shed no more tears for temperate seasons departed!
All sighs of the brokenhearted soon weakly dissipate ... stop dithering!
Oh, do not strike the same flat chord again! Sing!



When Autumn Came
by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

So it was that autumn came to flay the trees,
to strip them ****,
to rudely abase their slender dark bodies.

Fall fell in vengeance on the dying leaves,
flung them down to the floor of the forest
where anyone could trample them to mush
undeterred by their sighs of protest.

The birds that herald spring
were exiled from their songs—
the notes ripped from their sweet throats,
they plummeted to the earth below, undone
even before the hunter strung his bow.

Please, gods of May, have mercy!
Bless these disintegrating corpses
with the passion of your resurrection;
allow their veins to pulse with blood again.

Let at least one tree remain green.
Let one bird sing.



Last Night (II)
by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Last night, your lost memory returned ...
as spring steals silently into barren gardens,
as cool breezes stir desert sands,
as an ailing man suddenly feels better, for no apparent reason ...

There are more English translations of poems by Faiz Ahmed Faiz later on this page.



Ghazal
by Mirza Ghalib
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Not the blossomings of songs nor the adornments of music:
I am the voice of my own heart breaking.

You toy with your long, dark curls
while I remain captive to my dark, pensive thoughts.

We congratulate ourselves that we two are different
but this weakness has burdened us both with inchoate grief.

Now you are here, and I find myself bowing—
as if sadness is a blessing, and longing a sacrament.

I am a fragment of sound rebounding;
you are the walls impounding my echoes.



The Mistake
by Mirza Ghalib
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

All your life, O Ghalib,
You kept repeating the same mistake:
Your face was *****
But you were obsessed with cleaning the mirror!



Inquiry
by Mirza Ghalib
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The miracle of your absence
is that I found myself endlessly searching for you.



It's Only My Heart!
by Mirza Ghalib
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

It’s only my heart, not unfeeling stone,
so why be dismayed when it throbs with pain?
It was made to suffer ten thousand darts;
why let one more torment impede us?

There are more English translations of poems by Mirza Ghalib later on this page.



Couplets
by Jaun Elia
loose translations by Michael R. Burch

I am strange—so strange
that I self-destructed and don't regret it.
―Jaun Elia, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The wound is deep—companions, friends—embrace me!
What, did you not even bother to stay?
―Jaun Elia, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My nature is so strange
that today I felt relieved when you didn't arrive.
―Jaun Elia, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Night and day I awaited myself;
now you return me to myself.
―Jaun Elia, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Greeting me this cordially,
have you so easily erased my memory?
―Jaun Elia, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Your lips have provided thousands of answers;
so what is the point of complaining now?
―Jaun Elia, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Perhaps I haven't fallen in love with anyone,
but at least I convinced them!
―Jaun Elia, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The city of mystics has become bizarre:
everyone is wary of majesty, have you heard?
―Jaun Elia, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Did you just say "Love is eternal"?
Is this the end of us?
―Jaun Elia, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

You are drawing very close to me!
Have you decided to leave?
―Jaun Elia, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Intimacy
by Rahat Indori
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I held the Sun, Stars and Moon at a distance
till the time your hands touched mine.
Now I am not a feather to be easily detached:
instruct the hurricanes and tornados to observe their limits!



The Mad Moon
by Rahat Indori
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Stars have a habit of showing off,
but the mad moon sojourns in darkness.



Body Language
by Rahat Indori
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Your body’s figures are written in cursive!
How will I read you? Hand me the book!



Insatiable
by Rahat Indori
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

This mighty ocean, so deep and vast!
If it sates my thirst, how long can it last?



Honor
by Rahat Indori
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Achievements may fade but the name remains strong;
walls may buckle but the roof stays on.
On a pile of corpses a child stands alone
and declares that his family still lives on!



Dust in the Wind
by Rahat Indori
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

This is how I introduce myself to questioners:
Pick up a handful of dust, then blow ...



Dissembler
by Rahat Indori
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

In your eyes this, in your heart that, on your lips something else?
If this is how you are, impress someone else!



Rumor (M)ill
by Rahat Indori
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I heard rumors my health was bad; still
it was prying people who made me ill.



The Vortex
by Rahat Indori
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I am the river whose rapids form a vortex;
You were wise to avoid my banks.



Homebound
by Rahat Indori
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

If people fear what they meet at every turn,
why do they ever leave the house?



Becoming One
by Amir Khusrow
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I have become you, as you have become me;
I am your body, you my Essence.
Now no one can ever say
that you are someone else,
or that I am anything less than your Presence!



I Am a Pagan
by Amir Khusrow
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I am a pagan disciple of love: I need no creeds.
My every vein has become taut, like a tuned wire.
I do not need the Brahman's girdle.
Leave my bedside, ignorant physician!
The only cure for love is the sight of the patient's beloved:
there is no other medicine he needs!
If our boat lacks a pilot, let there be none:
we have god in our midst: we do not fear the sea!
The people say Khusrow worships idols:
True! True! But he does not need other people's approval;
he does not need the world's.

(My translation above was informed by a translation of Dr. Hadi Hasan.)



Amir Khusrow’s elegy for his mother
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Wherever you shook the dust from your feet
is my relic of paradise!



Paradise
by Amir Khusrow
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

If there is an earthly paradise,
It's here! It's here! It's here!



Mystery
by Munir Niazi
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

She was a mystery:
Her lips were parched ...
but her eyes were two unfathomable oceans.



I continued delaying ...
by Munir Niazi
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I continued delaying ...
the words I should speak
the promises I should keep
the one I should dial
despite her cruel denial

I continued delaying ...
the shoulder I must offer
the hand I must proffer
the untraveled lanes
we may not see again

I continued delaying ...
long strolls through the seasons
for my own selfish reasons
the remembrances of lovers
to erase thoughts of others

I continued delaying ...
to save someone dear
from eternities unclear
to make her aware
of our reality here

I continued delaying ...



Couplets
by Mir Taqi Mir
loose translations by Michael R. Burch

Sharpen the barbs of every thorn, O lunatic desert!
Perhaps another hobbler, limping by on blistered feet, follows me!
―Mir Taqi Mir, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My life is a bubble,
this world an illusion.
―Mir Taqi Mir, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Selflessness has gotten me nowhere:
I neglected myself far too long.
―Mir Taqi Mir, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I know now that I know nothing,
and it only took me a lifetime to learn!
―Mir Taqi Mir, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Love's just beginning, so why do you whine?
Why not wait and watch how things unwind!
―Mir Taqi Mir, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Come!
by Gulzar
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Come, let us construct night
over the monumental edifice of silence.
Come, let us clothe ourselves in the winding sheets of darkness,
where we'll ignite our bodies' incandescent wax.
As the midnight dew dances its delicate ballet,
let us not disclose the slightest whispers of our breath!
Lost in night's mists,
let us lie immersed in love's fragrance,
absorbing our bodies' musky aromas!
Let us rise like rustling spirits ...



Old Habits Die Hard
by Gulzar
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The habit of breathing
is an odd tradition.
Why struggle so to keep on living?
The body shudders,
the eyes veil,
yet the feet somehow keep moving.
Why this journey, this restless, relentless flowing?
For how many weeks, months, years, centuries
shall we struggle to keep on living, keep on living?
Habits are such strange things, such hard things to break!



Inconclusive
by Gulzar
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A body lies on a white bed—
dead, abandoned,
a forsaken corpse they forgot to bury.
They concluded its death was not their concern.
I hope they return and recognize me,
then bury me so I can breathe.



Wasted
by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

You have noticed her forehead, her cheeks, her lips ...
In whose imagination I have lost everything.



Countless
by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I recounted the world's countless griefs
by recounting your image countless times.



Do Not Ask
by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Do not ask, my love, for the love that we shared before:
You existed, I told myself, so existence shone.
For a moment the only light that I knew, alone,
was yours; worldly griefs remained dark, distant, afar.

Spring shone, as revealed in your face, but what did I know?
Beyond your bright eyes, what delights could the sad world hold?
Had I won you, cruel Fate would have ceded, no longer bold.
Yet all this was not to be, though I wished it so.

The world knows sorrows beyond love’s brief dreams betrayed,
and pleasures beyond all sweet, idle ideals of romance:
the dread dark spell of countless centuries and chance
is woven with silk and satin and gold brocade.

Bodies are sold everywhere for a pittance—it’s true!
Besmeared with dirt and bathed in bright oceans of blood,
Crawling from infested ovens, a gory cud.
My gaze returns to you: what else can I do?

Your beauty haunts me still, and will to the last.
But the world is burdened by sorrows beyond those of love,
By pleasures beyond romance.
So please do not demand a love that is over, and past.



O God!
by Qateel Shifai
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Torture my heart, O God!
If you so desire, leave me a madman, O God!

Have I asked for the moon and stars?
Enlighten my heart and give my eyes sight, O God!

We have all seen this disk called the sun,
Now give us a real dawn, O God!

Either relieve our pains here on this earth
Or make my heart granite, O God!



Hereafter
by Qateel Shifai
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Since we met and parted, how can we sleep hereafter?
Lost in each others' remembrance, must we not weep hereafter?

Deluges of our tears will keep us awake all night:
Our eyelashes strung with strands of pearls, hereafter!

Thoughts of our separation will sear our grieving hearts
Unless we immerse them in the cooling moonlight, hereafter!

If the storm also deceives us, crying Qateel!,
We will scuttle our boats near forsaken shores, hereafter.



Picnic
by Parveen Shakir
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My friends laugh elsewhere on the beach
while I sit here, alone, counting the waves,
writing and rewriting your name in the sand ...



Confession
by Parveen Shakir
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Your image overwhelmed my vision.
As the long nights passed, I became obsessed with your visage.
Then came the moment when I quietly placed my lips to your picture ...



Rain
by Parveen Shakir
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Why shiver alone in the rain, maiden?
Embrace the one in whose warming love your body and mind would be drenched!
There are no rains higher than the rains of Love,
after which the bright rainbows of separation will glow with the mysteries of hues.



My Body's Moods
by Parveen Shakir
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I long for the day when you'll be obsessed with me,
when, forgetting the world, you'll miss me with a passion
and stop complaining about my reticence!
Then I may forget all other transactions and liabilities
to realize my world in your arms,
letting my body's moods guide me.
In that moment beyond boundaries and limitations
as we defy the conventions of veil and turban,
let's try our luck and steal a taste of the forbidden fruit!



Moon
by Parveen Shakir
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

All of us passengers,
we share the same fate.
And yet I'm alone here on earth,
and she alone there in the sky!



Vanity
by Parveen Shakir
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

His world is so simple, so very different from mine.
So distinct—his dreams and desires.
He speaks rarely.
This morning he wrote: "I saw some lovely flowers and thought of you."
Ha! I know my aging face is no orchid ...
but how I wish I could believe whatever he says, however momentarily!



Come
by Ahmad Faraz
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Come, even with anguish, even to torture my heart;
Come, even if only to abandon me to torment again.

Come, if not for our past commerce,
Then to faithfully fulfill the ancient barbaric rituals.

Who else can recite the reasons for our separation?
Come, despite your reluctance, to continue the litanies, the ceremony.

Respect, even if only a little, the depth of my love for you;
Come, someday, to offer me consolation as well.

Too long you have deprived me of the pathos of longing;
Come again, my love, if only to make me weep.

Till now, my heart still suffers some slight expectation;
So come, ***** out even the last flickering torch of hope!



I Cannot Remember
by Ahmad Faraz
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I once was a poet too (you gave life to my words), but now I cannot remember
Since I have forgotten you (my love!), my art too I cannot remember

Yesterday consulting my heart, I learned
that your hair, lips, mouth, I cannot remember

In the city of the intellect insanity is silence
But now your sweet, spontaneous voice, its fluidity, I cannot remember

Once I was unfamiliar with wrecking ***** and ruins
But now the cultivation of gardens, I cannot remember

Now everyone shops at the store selling arrows and quivers
But neglects his own body, the client he cannot remember

Since time has brought me to a desert of such arid forgetfulness
Even your name may perish; I cannot remember

In this narrow state of being, lacking a country,
even the abandonment of my fellow countrymen, I cannot remember



The Infidel
by Mirza Ghalib
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Ten thousand desires: each one worth dying for ...
So many fulfilled, and yet still I yearn for more!

Being in love, for me there was no difference between living and dying ...
and so I lived each dying breath watching you, my lovely Infidel, sighing                       afar.



Ghazal
by Mirza Ghalib
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Life becomes even more complicated
when a man can’t think like a man ...

What irrationality makes me so dependent on her
that I rush off an hour early, then get annoyed when she's "late"?

My lover is so striking! She demands to be seen.
The mirror reflects only her image, yet still dazzles and confounds my eyes.

Love’s stings have left me the deep scar of happiness
while she hovers above me, illuminated.

She promised not to torment me, but only after I was mortally wounded.
How easily she “repents,” my lovely slayer!



Ghazal
by Mirza Ghalib
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

It’s time for the world to hear Ghalib again!
May these words and their shadows like doors remain open.

Tonight the watery mirror of stars appears
while night-blooming flowers gather where beauty rests.

She who knows my desire is speaking,
or at least her lips have recently moved me.

Why is grief the fundamental element of night
when blindness falls as the distant stars rise?

Tell me, how can I be happy, vast oceans from home
when mail from my beloved lies here, so recently opened?



Abstinence?
by Mirza Ghalib
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Let me get drunk in the mosque,
Or show me the place where God abstains!



Step Carefully!
by Mirza Ghalib
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Step carefully Ghalib―this world is merciless!
Here people will "adore" you to win your respect ... or your downfall.



Bleedings
by Mirza Ghalib
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Love requires patience but lust is relentless;
what colors must my heart bleed before it expires?

There are more English translations of poems by Mirza Ghalib later on this page.



No Explanation! (I)
by Ahmad Faraz
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Please don't ask me how deeply it hurt!
Her sun shone so bright, even the shadows were burning!



No Explanation! (II)
by Ahmad Faraz
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Please don't ask me how it happened!
She didn't bind me, nor did I free myself.



Alone
by Ahmad Faraz
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Why are you sad that she goes on alone, Faraz?
After all, you said yourself that she was unique!



Separation
by Ahmad Faraz
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Faraz, if it were easy to be apart,
would Angels have to separate body from soul?



Time
by Ahmad Faraz
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

What if my face has more wrinkles than yours?
I am merely well-worn by Time!



Miraji Epigrams

I'm obsessed with this thought:
does God possess mercy?
―Miraji, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Come, see this dance, the immaculate dance of the devadasi!
―Miraji, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Excerpts from “Going, Going ...”
by Miraji
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Each unfolding vista,
each companion’s kindnesses,
every woman’s subtle sorceries,
everything that transiently lies within our power
quickly dissolves
and we are left with only a cupped flame, flickering ...
Should we call that “passion”?

The moon scrapes the horizon
and who can measure a star’s breadth?

The time allotted a life, if we calculate it,
is really only a fleeting breath ...



1.
Echoes of an ancient prophecy:
after my life has come and gone,
perhaps someone
hearing my voice drifting
on the breeze of some future spring
will chase after my songs
like dandelions.
—Miraji, translation by Michael R. Burch

2.
Echoes of an ancient prophecy:
after my life has come and gone,
perhaps someone
hearing my voice drifting
through some distant future spring
will pluck my songs
like dandelions.
—Miraji, translation by Michael R. Burch

3.
Echoes of an ancient prophecy:
when my life has come and gone,
and when I’m dead and done,
perhaps someone
hearing me sing
in a distant spring
will echo my songs
the whole world over.
—Miraji, translation by Michael R. Burch

If I understand things correctly, Miraji wrote the lines above after translating a verse by Sappho in which she said that her poems would be remembered in the future. I suspect both poets and both prophecies were correct!




Every Day and in Every Direction
by Nida Fazli
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Everywhere and in every direction we see innumerable people:
each man a victim of his own loneliness, reticence and silences.
From dawn to dusk men carry enormous burdens:
all preparing graves for their soon-to-be corpses.
Each day a man lives, the same day he dies.
Each new day requires the same old patience.
In every direction there are roads for him to roam,
but in every direction, men victimize men.
Every day a man dies many deaths only to resurrect from his ashes.
Each new day presents new challenges.
Life's destiny is not fixed, but a series of journeys:
thus, till his last breath, a man remains restless.



Couplets
by Nida Fazli
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

It was my fate to entangle and sink myself
because I am a boat and my ocean lies within.
―Nida Fazli, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

You were impossible to forget once you were gone:
hell, I remembered you most when I tried to forget you!
―Nida Fazli, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Don't squander these pearls:
such baubles may ornament sleepless nights!
―Nida Fazli, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The world is like a deck of cards on a gambling table:
some of us are bound to loose while others cash in.
―Nida Fazli, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

There is a proper protocol for everything in this world:
when visiting gardens never force butterflies to vacate their flowers!
―Nida Fazli, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Since I lack the courage to commit suicide,
I have elected to bother people with my life a bit longer.
―Nida Fazli, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Changing Seasons
by Noshi Gillani
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Each changing season
reveals something
concealed by her fears:
an escape route from this island
illuminated by her tears.



Dust
by Bahadur Shah Zafar or Muztar Khairabadi
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Unable to light anyone's eye
or to comfort anyone's heart ...
I am nothing but a handful of dust.



Piercings
by Firaq Gorakhpuri
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

No one ever belonged to anyone else for a lifetime.
We cannot own another's soul.
The beauty we see and the love we feel are only illusions.
All my life I tried to save myself from the piercings of your eyes ...
But I failed and the daggers ripped right through me.



Salvation
Mohammad Ibrahim Zauq
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Anxious and fatigued, I consider the salvation of death ...
But if there is no peace in the grave,
where can I go to be saved?



Child of the Century
by Abdellatif Laâbi (a Moroccan poet)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I’m a child of this dreary century, a child who never grew up.
Doubts that ignited my tongue singed my wings.
I learned to walk, then I unlearned progress.
I grew weary of oases and camels infatuated with ruins.
My head inclined East only to occupy the middle of the road
as I awaited the insane caravans.



Nostalgia
by Abdulla Pashew (a Kurdish poet)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

How I desire the heavens!
Each solitary star lights the way to a tryst.

How I desire the sky!
Standing alone, remote, the sky is as vast as any ocean.

How I desire love's heavenly scent!
When each enticing blossom releases its essence.



Oblivion
by Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi (an African poet who writes in Arabic)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Discard your pen
before you start reading;
consider the ink,
how it encompasses bleeding.

Learn from the horizon
through eyes' narrowed slits
the limitations of vision
and hands' treacherous writs.

Do not blame me,
nor indeed anyone,
if you expire before
your reading is done.



In Medias Res
by Shaad Azimabadi
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

When I heard the story of my life recounted,
I caught only the middle of the tale.
I remain unaware of the beginning or end.



Debt Relief
by Piyush Mishra
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

We save Sundays for our loved ones ...
all other days we slave to repay debts.



Reoccurrence
by Amrita Bharati (a Hindi poet)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

It was a woman's heart speaking,
that had been speaking for eons ...

It was a woman's heart silenced,
that had been silenced for centuries ...

And between them loomed a mountain
that a man or a rat gnawed at, even in times of amity ...
gnawing at the screaming voice,
at the silent tongue,
from the primeval day.



Don't Approach Me
by Arif Farhad
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Don't approach me here by the river of time
where I flop like a fish in a net!



Intoxicants
by Amrut Ghayal (a Gujarati poet)
translation by Kanu V. Prajapati and Michael R. Burch

O, my contrary mind!
You're such a fool, afraid to drink the fruit of the vine!
But show me anything universe-designed
that doesn't intoxicate, like wine.



I’m like a commodity being priced in the market-place:
every eye ogles me like a buyer’s.
—Majrooh Sultanpuri, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

If you insist, I’ll continue playing my songs,
forever piping the flute of my heart.
—Majrooh Sultanpuri, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The moon has risen once again, yet you are not here.
My heart is a blazing pyre; what do I do?
—Majrooh Sultanpuri, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Drunk on Love
by Mirza Ghalib
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Drunk on love, I made her my God.
She quickly informed me that God belongs to no man!

Exiles
by Mirza Ghalib
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Often we have heard of Adam's banishment from Eden,
but with far greater humiliation, I abandon your garden.

To Whom Shall I Complain?
by Mirza Ghalib
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

To whom shall I complain when I am denied Good Fortune in acceptable measure?
Dementedly, I demanded Death, but was denied even that dubious pleasure!



Ghazal
by Mirza Ghalib
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

You should have stayed a little longer;
you left all alone, so why not linger?

We’ll meet again, you said, some day similar to this one,
as if such days can ever recur, not vanish!

You left our house as the moon abandons night's skies,
as the evening light abandons its earlier surmise.

You hated me: a wife abnormally distant, unknown;
you left me before your children were grown.

Only fools ask why old Ghalib still clings to breath
when his fate is to live desiring death.



How strange has life become:
Our evenings drag out, yet our years keep flashing by!
―original poet unknown, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Longing
by Allama Iqbal
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Lord, I’ve grown tired of human assemblies!
I long to avoid conflict! My heart craves peace!
I desperately desire the silence of a small mountainside hut!



Life Advice
by Allama Iqbāl
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

This passive nature will not allow you to survive;
If you want to live, raise a storm!



Destiny
by Allama Iqbal
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Isn't it futile to complain about God's will,
When you are your own destiny?

Keywords/Tags: Urdu, translation, love poetry, desire, passion, longing, romance, romantic, God, heaven, mrburdu
Jackeline Chacon Aug 2014
I expect the same love
Received from early age

Betrayed and neglected
Inside my mental cage

Now I live like a ******
From my childhood pain

Getting hurt very young
Really damaged my brain

Forever I will live this way
Feeling sick and confused

To be such a young victim
A child sexually abused
Sergio Gonzalez Oct 2018
A beautiful meadow
Lays dormant inside
I wished it blossom
But it’s not its time
It’s been neglected
For such a long time
But it needs attention
To bloom in time

I’ll take care of you
If you let me in
We all have our troubles
No one is immune to sin
I know you’re not perfect
But neither am I
We’re just mere mortals
On this garden of eden
We call life

My eyes run blood red
Like the moon at times
I’m always wishing
I could be by your side
But you’re so far away
You’re my Andromeda
You’re two seconds away
From fading away
But don’t worry
I’ve made it past the ISS
And my final destination
Is your constellation
I wouldn’t have it any other way
Robyn Kekacs Dec 2011
Dragging feet though out of time
Such a new-found face to climb
Be my sweet, sweet paradigm
Be mine.
D Connolly Jul 2014
You said
The most brilliant thing
You said it was
Like a heart surgery
But he was only a
Surgeon in training
And had neglected to
Mention beforehand
That it was only
Exploratory cardiac surgery;
And it was just for his
Simmering curiosity
(He couldn't have carried
Out a simple angioplasty?)

That he cut the aorta
That's what you said
And his curiosity subsided;
And he left as you bled.
Someone I know used a brilliant metaphor the other day.

— The End —