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Tate Morgan Jul 2015
A collection of thoughts and prayers for our friends their families and the whole of humanity. Written by 76
voices from around the world.

The biggest star shines, proudly announced he arrived
My lord Jesus Christ was born to witness the truth
He granted identities to all of us, lost and unknown
Taught us love, peace and harmony, while forgiving all
A. Amos - United States

An ancient mission, a veiled plan
The Son of God, the son of man
A virgins wonder, a humble birth
The King of heaven is born to earth
Adanette - United States

Winter creeps in as fall fades to an end
frost coats the ground and snow begins to drift
tis' the time of year
Christmas is near.
Alicia Schroeder - United States

Let peace on earth begin at home
And spread to friends far and near
Bringing together all those we love
"It's the most wonderful time of the year.
Ana Sophia - Canada

Little excitement triggering at night
What Santa will bring for me this night
Little wish of mine; do listen my lord
Let Santa bring this time happiness for all...
Anne - India

Egg nog, holly, and Christmas wreaths
Pointsettia's white and bright red leaves
Fat, jolly Santa and Jesus' birth
A bright star arises and alights the Earth
Anne - United States

Adorable boy wiping the blur window pane with his poky hands,
and have a wish that santa claus will bring joy through this window,
Gracefully chanting jingle bells, he became santa for his parents,
so santa given the happiness from this side of window
Anshul's Vision - India

Dreamy hot chocolate kisses
steamy snowflake sprinkled wishes
lists of who's been naughty or nice
blend together this wintry spice.
April -United States

We have no jingles or Santa Clause
We have no snow
Still we have spirit of Christmas
Love and hope
Avinash - India

Christmas in Australia,
Sun, summer heat, Christmas outside
Backyards, and Barb-B-ques
Yule tides under the stars
Barb - Australia

Soft Smells of frankincense.
pine needles of fresh scent of bright Christmas Trees
Frosted windowpanes Magical time of the year
with children playing in the snow
Benita - United States

The season of love and joy is upon us
Sunshine or snowfall, no matter the weather
Smiles and laughter, and good cheer among us
When friends and family gather together
Brian - United States

The count down starts
for the best gift ever received
let peace reign in your hearts
as you wait to unwrap it.
Cassie - Kenya

Time is right, the time is near Christmas will soon be here.
Bells will ring and folks will sing "Oh holy Night all is bright
Children will wait with anticipation for Santa to come
Hearts will be warm, and love will abound Christmas is here.
Cheryl Davis - United States

He is the gift.
Jesus Christ,
He can have our burdens lifted,
By the gift of Christ.
C. Lee Battaglia - Unites States

Wind has licked the poor trees clean
All brown and bare in desolation
All except the evergreen
Soon to be sold as decoration
C. Rose - United States

The snow flakes dance in the wind
Shining lights like a magical dream
For those holding on to promises
To find in these times their wishes.
Dayran - Malaysia

Flash floods of snow replace once august plains of paper white
Mystic rivers freeze over as December lets her true colors shine
Incandescent light spreads throughout the ethereal winter night
As chariot of Christmas comes to life for yet another fiery ride
Doorman Dan - United States

A Merry Christmas poem
Always brings me Advent Joy
As we laud the Christ Child
The Birthday of the King
Douglas Raymond Rose - United States

Shattered crystals float to the ground
Stillness lay upon sweet earth
Warmed by angels silent sound
Jesus love bless yuletide hearths
E.Noodle - United States

To the poor and sick this year
I wish a bit of Christmas cheer
From the homeless and forlorn
Stable where a child was born
Fabian G. Franklin - United States

Christmas shines shimmering bright.
Stars spotlight a dance with the snow.
To welcome a merry season with cheer and light.
Bringing peace, joy and warmth for all to know
Fran Marie - United States

Snowflake kisses, full of holly wishes
peaceful rejoices bestowed upon fellow man
warmth of hope abiding a Joyeux Noel,
& muchly good cheer throughout the coming year
Frieda - United States

Lights shimmer,bells jingle on Christmas Tree
Half asleep eyes waiting for Saint Nick
Straight from the Pole wrapped with love & care
The gifts arrived our homes with a conjuring trick!
Frozen Eyes - India

The night before Christmas is known to be magical
With snowflakes in the air and Santa in the fireplace
And a smile plastered on our child's face
When the morning comes, all the magic will be done
Haley Wilson - Canada

Distance keeps us far apart,
Despite the cheer within our hearts.
The Spirits of Yule sing far and wide,
Let their songs brighten our minds.
Hime no Yuki - United States

Stuff your face, there's more to come
Before the games, the laughter and fun
in lively repose we'll mark the feast
With music and song and family treats
IanJohn63 - United kingdom

This reminds us of the true spirit
of the season.
It is much more than the material dreams dancing in our head
peace and love are the real reason
Jacob - United States

Unpack socks,yes this year is dying.
No child on this day coming should be crying.
I would be lying if I said Christmas isn't exciting.
All joy and glee,wouldn't you agree?
John - England

When children dream each year of Christmas,
Whispers from river and mountain pass --
Touching each language, corner, and part,
Wishing this year's dreams unwrap each heart.
K.L.Goode - Canada

Family visits,
where strangers find each other.
Long lost smiles reborn,
to sister and to brother.
Kusa Da Shin Avira - United States

Shining great star from heaven into hearts
Intimate wooden barn with manger in place
Celebrate the birth of Christianity and Jesus
Who died to keep humanity sin-free and safe
Lady Ann Graham-Gilreath - United States

We danced the year's temporary rhythm
Hitting the high or low steps to each tone
Like black and white in a composition
Let's find forte in harmony made
Laury Hitch - Ghana

The festival of lights is near
"Happy Hanukah" a wish we will hear
Every sundown, one candle more
A wish for peace in our hearts will endure
Lydia Shutter - United States

Bright patterned paper parcels waiting
with ribbons gold, green and red
while children peaceful dreaming sleeping
of the stockings hanging on their bed.
Mad Englishman (Clive) - United Kingdom

Drifting droplets over Christmas Tree
Spreading white foam of cracking snow,
Santa stood beside distributing to all free
****** Mary blessed divinity from above.
M.A. Rathore - India

Son of God, salvation of man
At last unto the earth is brought--
Who will remember, indeed who can
Unless final Ipod or Bratz is bought?
Mark Teague - United states

Thoughts toward the poor, sick or dying
Yet another year passes without some knowing
Of Christmas cheer, frolics for them too annoying
All symbolism meant only for those who are growing
Martin - Ireland

The gift of love.
The gift of peace.
The gift of happiness
May all these be yours at Christmas
MBUYISA - South Africa

To one and all I would grant a gift,
blessings for the holiday season.
Hearts overfilled with a joyful lift
from the angels bright holy beacon.
Michael Greenway - United States

In this season of Christmas
Through the eyes of the child
We look up and do believe
In Peace and Mercy mild
Momzilla - United States

Better than men than me,
Make their own mark
on world
and modern history
Moriarty Mesa - United States

Red and green dress our doorsteps
as our holiday dreams of
smiles and laughter, friends and family
fill our hearts with warmth and love
Ms Jewel - United States

O heart, receive Him! "There is no room in the inn."
May that cease to be our case.
May our blessed Savior be most welcome
in our most holy place.
Nautili - United States

Flakes of snow have come to remind,
Regrets, sorrow should be left behind
Prayers, hopes n joy to everyone's mind,
Family come together for dinner and wine.
Nitesh Poojari - India

The rhythmic snow cascades and falls,
Its beauty overshadows the polar air,
And welcomes the Christmas season,
In a glorious dance the waltz …
Nisa - United States

Christmas morning, early, dark, silence abounds
Coffee in hand, watching the deer on the lawn
Waiting for the family, and their rising sounds
Is there anything more peaceful than Christmas dawn?
NoelHC - Canada

Writing out a list, while sitting in my room
Christmas is approaching everyone soon
Decorating my beautiful green tree
Fairy on top, presents underneath
Noodlebumble"Sye" - Scotland

The wheel of joyful tidings on my mind.
We celebrate love and the gift of life
Our hearts rid of hate and squalor
As we dance to the sounds of Christmas
Norbert Dwayne Weweh - Ireland

We came under the inspiration of poem
To celebrate you, often nobly, is your season come?
Delighted hands trenchant: you reign!
Creeping towards the Bethlehem to be born again.
Onyia-ota, Kingsley C. - Nigeria

The problem with his beard
when the child isn't looking
is the rustle that is heard
when he opens up the stocking
Pete Langley - United kingdom

A fire in the heart as angels sing
Young and old caroling sweet and clear
Wishes for love, and Peace on earth
Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year
Phibby Veneble - United States

Where the cold bites and snow may fall
there is always a lesson of beauty within for us all
hold the hand out, next to your own
see the unity of the season,that brings us home
Poppy Ruth Silver - United kindom

Let the tolling bells bring peace on Earth
Be the only fire, your yule-log's warmth
The only red, the cheer of holly
The only fallen … a snowflake's folly
Pryde Foltz - Canada

Excesses of the season have commenced
Remember those beyond your fence.
Beyond the reunions,parties and the food
Find in in your heart to do some good.
(Rachelle) Mara Lin - Philippines - China - UnitedStates

As we celebrate in feast this Christmas Day
may you heal our land and the sick
for your touch of love strengthen the weak
a perfect gift for Christmas Eve
Racquil - Philippines

To each in season warmed at the hearth
Soft carols play as we serenade by the fire
The little babe come of a ****** birth
We come to offer blessings of your desire
Realmwriter -United States

This Christmas cold with winter chill,
snow flows free upon the hill,
within the home, warmth from the hearth
parents give love and children laugh.
Richard Allen Beevor - Cyprus

Star of Bethlehem, snow in the air;
red suit, chimney soot, Santa beware.
The stars all sing from high above
and Christmas wraps my heart with love.
Richard Williams - United States

The warmth and love of those amassed
Gathered 'round the family tree
Brings cherished tales of Christmas past
And gifts us with sweet memory
Rita L. Sev - United States

There shone warm light on a cold night
with the angels over head
Keep watch along with the Wise-men
over this blessed child's bed
Ron - United States

Sharing the joys of sharing
sparkling how life meant to give
receiving the blessings of each day
hallmarking the key role of sharing and giving
Roy Mark Azanza Corrales - Philippines

Stockings hung,carols sung
Tinsel on the tree
Don't forget to thank the one
"Twas born in Galilee
Samuel Dickens - United States

The poinsettia alone in a darkened room
Faithfully again begins to bloom
No particular rhyme or reason
Just a beautiful reminder of Christmas season
Sharon L.H. Kelly - United States

A sunny celebration under a winter sun
never put up a tree, no presents
yet holiday spirit excites, brings fun
amidst cake, tales and dear ones: lovely time spent
Sindu - India

I found myself following the Christmas Star
To Bethlehem not too near or too far
Throughout the dessert I roamed
To meet the Christ Child at the Stable Home
SmittyJas - United States

Hoist the glass to men we once knew
those of us who passed on before
The moments shared with precious few
whose souls we knew in times of yore
Tate Morgan - United States

A feathered mess of ****** bird,
Let's feast the corpse no room for third,
Dear pudding flame cause acid nose,
Let's run it off St. Nick's repose.
Thomas - Ireland

Hope is born on Christmas Day
Bow our heads give thanks as we pray
Peace to family and all our friends
Peace to those across all lands
Tina Kline - Unites States

Another year has come to pass...
With many an opportunity missed...
Yearly resolve comes around so fast..
preceded by yuletide bliss
Timothy Woodfin - United States


Spirits or Christmases past,look on those who celebrate today
With the celebrants of Christmases to come, in life's circular way
We think of those who've past on gone, tell of times past we did enjoy
Knowing someday the child will talk of us, whose engrossed in his new toy..
Tomas O Carthaigh -Ireland

Remember Jesus love of mankind
As we celebrate the holiday
With family and friends
Spreading cheer and love to all
(Tootsie Harvey Novels) Valerie L Harvey - United States

Our lord was born into flesh and bone,
dazzling star above his manger shone,
came to pay our debt though vastly great,
that we may enter the pearly gates.
Valormore De Plume - United States

Dry sands in this winter season
Lonely may seem at heart we rejoice
Hiding vibrant happiness for some reasons
Life in this dome, still we enjoy
Willyam Pax - Saudi Arabia /Phillipines

With smiles all on the children's faces
old folks prepare stockings for the fireplace
Churches singing Amazing Grace
preparing his birthing place
Wordman - United States

"Lovebirds dance with Christmas song
Divine message make them happy
Children clatter ding **** ****
Christmas made them quite sappy"
Zainul - Bangladesh

From our family to yours please try to be good to one another this year. The Cafe is a refuge for us all to hang out, share our lives and dream

Merry Christmas Everyone !!!

Tate
Can a thought or feeling be larger than a universe? Love is the only trait that is worth remembering because it is meant to be given away selflessly. The recipient is as happy to receive it as you were to give it! To my friends those of you whom I hold dear If you'd like to be added to this years Canon message me. I will do my best to add you to this poem.
Aaron Combs Aug 2017
There's an ocean, an ocean of fire in the sky,
flowing down,
for the moon stretches down to us.

Upon our red rooftop, let's enjoy
the slow breeze,  while the moonlight
unites the oceans in the sky,
and covers the Brazilian seashore;

   For it heals the soul of the woods.

All the old sycamore trees, the owls, the hawks, and snakes,
all these things run for existence.

So hold on, onto my words,
Like your wedding ring, let me hold you close.
  For in the quiet night,
I can feel your heart beat, your emotions that run like water.
Let me hear the river and rhythm of your desires,   and your ambitions that lie

awake in you.  

Let this, let this moment separate what you fear,
as I listen to the drums of your heart.

    here

hold my hand, then let my voice unlock creation,
Echoing and speaking the languages of your dreams and desires,
for how I do love you.  
Now see the moonlight's rule over the stars,
speaking pictures of grace into the quiet night.

In such a way the power of the moonlight stands like a king,
thus I will listen and unlock the waves of your dreams.
As a response for the moon eclipses, I have revamped this, enjoy!
Sally A Bayan Apr 2015
(haiku x 4)



Sun hides...dips lower
Moon and stars deck the dark sky
Dusk is upon us

Lights.....softly glowing
Drawn curtains are a pale screen
Casting drooping forms...

Voices fill the air
Night, patiently hears the moans
Shame fades at dusk...for,

Dark unites shadows
Cicadas join the whimpers
Wind...comforts the soul...


Sally

Copyright February 2015
Rosalia Rosario A. Bayan
Ellen Joyce Jun 2013
And Ovid said "she asked for it"
she turned Tereus to lust on sight and caused him to **** her
over and over and over
the only control remaining to speak the truth.
a tongue turned phallus
that was to be cut off, castrated
to silence, make powerless -
Philomela subjugated
beneath the vile grunts of the patriarchal chorus
mumbling grumbling over the rumbling
of a revolution of women rising to dance, to shout, to sing
to bring Philomela from Hades to cascading waters of womanhood
extinguising the flames of the hell that is here.

Here in the he said - she said
in the legal loop holes
in the seems like
in the ridiculous pondering of legitimate ****
as if when Tess, at pitchfork, took off her clothes before Alec
that it could be consider seduction, romance.
The threat of violence - silence.

Here where we remember world cup victories but forget Nanking
hundreds, thousand of women violated and broken for sport
because **** is a weapon of war
because Lord knows bombs and bullet aint enough
Soldiers photographing rapes like snapshots to take home as souvenirs.
- the sadistic ******* who sexually assaulted, mutilated and murdered
daughter, sister, mother, grandmother
and then headed home to the ***** of the matriarch,
to hold their own teenage daughters in the arms that turned screams to silence.

Voices silenced.  
Vocabularly lost.
Women have come to fight silence with art
to speak in a language without words because there are not words
to tell of a hell that ------------------------

But when Toni Morrison told the truth
the truth in all its gorey graphic raw ugliness
the people tried to stick together the pages
to conceal the painful truth,
to build up pyres of life stories and watch them burn
The pen stamped underfoot into silence.

And Pa simply said "shut up and *** used to it"
and those words still echo now across the world
and there was noone to tell
nothing to be said - just the colour purple
and silence.

Silence is being broken
across this world women rise to tell, to share, to voice, to shout, to say, to sing

We've had enough, enough of being treated like dirt,
we've had enough enough of putting up with the hurt,
we've had enough enough of getting trashed from above,
us women have had enough -

we've had enough they say
of this vile hierarchial structure of **** that almost always favours the male
of arseholes like Galloway and Akin putting forth their perverse poisonous perceptions
of one in three women being ***** or beaten
of one in three women having to pick up the pieces and find a way to live
of one in three women feeling the weight of the silence

As the monologues echo in theatre stalls
as ***** taken to the streets both female and male
as men declare themselves feminists and walk the walk
the spirit of Philomela unites with her tongue,
the silence created by the threat of violence is cracked
the us and them mentality that allows us to hurt the other challenged
the once burned books have gone mass market
and we as a human race will no longer be told "to shut up and *** used to it"

We are standing as one
for the sake of the one
the every one in three women
one will billion rise
Inspired by Slutwalk movement and One Billion Rise.
Mean while the heinous and despiteful act
Of Satan, done in Paradise; and how
He, in the serpent, had perverted Eve,
Her husband she, to taste the fatal fruit,
Was known in Heaven; for what can ’scape the eye
Of God all-seeing, or deceive his heart
Omniscient? who, in all things wise and just,
Hindered not Satan to attempt the mind
Of Man, with strength entire and free will armed,
Complete to have discovered and repulsed
Whatever wiles of foe or seeming friend.
For still they knew, and ought to have still remembered,
The high injunction, not to taste that fruit,
Whoever tempted; which they not obeying,
(Incurred what could they less?) the penalty;
And, manifold in sin, deserved to fall.
Up into Heaven from Paradise in haste
The angelick guards ascended, mute, and sad,
For Man; for of his state by this they knew,
Much wondering how the subtle Fiend had stolen
Entrance unseen.  Soon as the unwelcome news
From Earth arrived at Heaven-gate, displeased
All were who heard; dim sadness did not spare
That time celestial visages, yet, mixed
With pity, violated not their bliss.
About the new-arrived, in multitudes
The ethereal people ran, to hear and know
How all befel:  They towards the throne supreme,
Accountable, made haste, to make appear,
With righteous plea, their utmost vigilance
And easily approved; when the Most High
Eternal Father, from his secret cloud,
Amidst in thunder uttered thus his voice.
Assembled Angels, and ye Powers returned
From unsuccessful charge; be not dismayed,
Nor troubled at these tidings from the earth,
Which your sincerest care could not prevent;
Foretold so lately what would come to pass,
When first this tempter crossed the gulf from Hell.
I told ye then he should prevail, and speed
On his bad errand; Man should be seduced,
And flattered out of all, believing lies
Against his Maker; no decree of mine
Concurring to necessitate his fall,
Or touch with lightest moment of impulse
His free will, to her own inclining left
In even scale.  But fallen he is; and now
What rests, but that the mortal sentence pass
On his transgression,—death denounced that day?
Which he presumes already vain and void,
Because not yet inflicted, as he feared,
By some immediate stroke; but soon shall find
Forbearance no acquittance, ere day end.
Justice shall not return as bounty scorned.
But whom send I to judge them? whom but thee,
Vicegerent Son?  To thee I have transferred
All judgement, whether in Heaven, or Earth, or Hell.
Easy it may be seen that I intend
Mercy colleague with justice, sending thee
Man’s friend, his Mediator, his designed
Both ransom and Redeemer voluntary,
And destined Man himself to judge Man fallen.
So spake the Father; and, unfolding bright
Toward the right hand his glory, on the Son
Blazed forth unclouded Deity: He full
Resplendent all his Father manifest
Expressed, and thus divinely answered mild.
Father Eternal, thine is to decree;
Mine, both in Heaven and Earth, to do thy will
Supreme; that thou in me, thy Son beloved,
Mayest ever rest well pleased.  I go to judge
On earth these thy transgressours; but thou knowest,
Whoever judged, the worst on me must light,
When time shall be; for so I undertook
Before thee; and, not repenting, this obtain
Of right, that I may mitigate their doom
On me derived; yet I shall temper so
Justice with mercy, as may illustrate most
Them fully satisfied, and thee appease.
Attendance none shall need, nor train, where none
Are to behold the judgement, but the judged,
Those two; the third best absent is condemned,
Convict by flight, and rebel to all law:
Conviction to the serpent none belongs.
Thus saying, from his radiant seat he rose
Of high collateral glory: Him Thrones, and Powers,
Princedoms, and Dominations ministrant,
Accompanied to Heaven-gate; from whence
Eden, and all the coast, in prospect lay.
Down he descended straight; the speed of Gods
Time counts not, though with swiftest minutes winged.
Now was the sun in western cadence low
From noon, and gentle airs, due at their hour,
To fan the earth now waked, and usher in
The evening cool; when he, from wrath more cool,
Came the mild Judge, and Intercessour both,
To sentence Man:  The voice of God they heard
Now walking in the garden, by soft winds
Brought to their ears, while day declined; they heard,
And from his presence hid themselves among
The thickest trees, both man and wife; till God,
Approaching, thus to Adam called aloud.
Where art thou, Adam, wont with joy to meet
My coming seen far off?  I miss thee here,
Not pleased, thus entertained with solitude,
Where obvious duty ere while appeared unsought:
Or come I less conspicuous, or what change
Absents thee, or what chance detains?—Come forth!
He came; and with him Eve, more loth, though first
To offend; discountenanced both, and discomposed;
Love was not in their looks, either to God,
Or to each other; but apparent guilt,
And shame, and perturbation, and despair,
Anger, and obstinacy, and hate, and guile.
Whence Adam, faltering long, thus answered brief.
I heard thee in the garden, and of thy voice
Afraid, being naked, hid myself.  To whom
The gracious Judge without revile replied.
My voice thou oft hast heard, and hast not feared,
But still rejoiced; how is it now become
So dreadful to thee?  That thou art naked, who
Hath told thee?  Hast thou eaten of the tree,
Whereof I gave thee charge thou shouldst not eat?
To whom thus Adam sore beset replied.
O Heaven! in evil strait this day I stand
Before my Judge; either to undergo
Myself the total crime, or to accuse
My other self, the partner of my life;
Whose failing, while her faith to me remains,
I should conceal, and not expose to blame
By my complaint: but strict necessity
Subdues me, and calamitous constraint;
Lest on my head both sin and punishment,
However insupportable, be all
Devolved; though should I hold my peace, yet thou
Wouldst easily detect what I conceal.—
This Woman, whom thou madest to be my help,
And gavest me as thy perfect gift, so good,
So fit, so acceptable, so divine,
That from her hand I could suspect no ill,
And what she did, whatever in itself,
Her doing seemed to justify the deed;
She gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
To whom the Sovran Presence thus replied.
Was she thy God, that her thou didst obey
Before his voice? or was she made thy guide,
Superiour, or but equal, that to her
Thou didst resign thy manhood, and the place
Wherein God set thee above her made of thee,
And for thee, whose perfection far excelled
Hers in all real dignity?  Adorned
She was indeed, and lovely, to attract
Thy love, not thy subjection; and her gifts
Were such, as under government well seemed;
Unseemly to bear rule; which was thy part
And person, hadst thou known thyself aright.
So having said, he thus to Eve in few.
Say, Woman, what is this which thou hast done?
To whom sad Eve, with shame nigh overwhelmed,
Confessing soon, yet not before her Judge
Bold or loquacious, thus abashed replied.
The Serpent me beguiled, and I did eat.
Which when the Lord God heard, without delay
To judgement he proceeded on the accused
Serpent, though brute; unable to transfer
The guilt on him, who made him instrument
Of mischief, and polluted from the end
Of his creation; justly then accursed,
As vitiated in nature:  More to know
Concerned not Man, (since he no further knew)
Nor altered his offence; yet God at last
To Satan first in sin his doom applied,
Though in mysterious terms, judged as then best:
And on the Serpent thus his curse let fall.
Because thou hast done this, thou art accursed
Above all cattle, each beast of the field;
Upon thy belly groveling thou shalt go,
And dust shalt eat all the days of thy life.
Between thee and the woman I will put
Enmity, and between thine and her seed;
Her seed shall bruise thy head, thou bruise his heel.
So spake this oracle, then verified
When Jesus, Son of Mary, second Eve,
Saw Satan fall, like lightning, down from Heaven,
Prince of the air; then, rising from his grave
Spoiled Principalities and Powers, triumphed
In open show; and, with ascension bright,
Captivity led captive through the air,
The realm itself of Satan, long usurped;
Whom he shall tread at last under our feet;
Even he, who now foretold his fatal bruise;
And to the Woman thus his sentence turned.
Thy sorrow I will greatly multiply
By thy conception; children thou shalt bring
In sorrow forth; and to thy husband’s will
Thine shall submit; he over thee shall rule.
On Adam last thus judgement he pronounced.
Because thou hast hearkened to the voice of thy wife,
And eaten of the tree, concerning which
I charged thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat thereof:
Cursed is the ground for thy sake; thou in sorrow
Shalt eat thereof, all the days of thy life;
Thorns also and thistles it shall bring thee forth
Unbid; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,
Till thou return unto the ground; for thou
Out of the ground wast taken, know thy birth,
For dust thou art, and shalt to dust return.
So judged he Man, both Judge and Saviour sent;
And the instant stroke of death, denounced that day,
Removed far off; then, pitying how they stood
Before him naked to the air, that now
Must suffer change, disdained not to begin
Thenceforth the form of servant to assume;
As when he washed his servants feet; so now,
As father of his family, he clad
Their nakedness with skins of beasts, or slain,
Or as the snake with youthful coat repaid;
And thought not much to clothe his enemies;
Nor he their outward only with the skins
Of beasts, but inward nakedness, much more.
Opprobrious, with his robe of righteousness,
Arraying, covered from his Father’s sight.
To him with swift ascent he up returned,
Into his blissful ***** reassumed
In glory, as of old; to him appeased
All, though all-knowing, what had passed with Man
Recounted, mixing intercession sweet.
Mean while, ere thus was sinned and judged on Earth,
Within the gates of Hell sat Sin and Death,
In counterview within the gates, that now
Stood open wide, belching outrageous flame
Far into Chaos, since the Fiend passed through,
Sin opening; who thus now to Death began.
O Son, why sit we here each other viewing
Idly, while Satan, our great author, thrives
In other worlds, and happier seat provides
For us, his offspring dear?  It cannot be
But that success attends him; if mishap,
Ere this he had returned, with fury driven
By his avengers; since no place like this
Can fit his punishment, or their revenge.
Methinks I feel new strength within me rise,
Wings growing, and dominion given me large
Beyond this deep; whatever draws me on,
Or sympathy, or some connatural force,
Powerful at greatest distance to unite,
With secret amity, things of like kind,
By secretest conveyance.  Thou, my shade
Inseparable, must with me along;
For Death from Sin no power can separate.
But, lest the difficulty of passing back
Stay his return perhaps over this gulf
Impassable, impervious; let us try
Adventurous work, yet to thy power and mine
Not unagreeable, to found a path
Over this main from Hell to that new world,
Where Satan now prevails; a monument
Of merit high to all the infernal host,
Easing their passage hence, for *******,
Or transmigration, as their lot shall lead.
Nor can I miss the way, so strongly drawn
By this new-felt attraction and instinct.
Whom thus the meager Shadow answered soon.
Go, whither Fate, and inclination strong,
Leads thee; I shall not lag behind, nor err
The way, thou leading; such a scent I draw
Of carnage, prey innumerable, and taste
The savour of death from all things there that live:
Nor shall I to the work thou enterprisest
Be wanting, but afford thee equal aid.
So saying, with delight he snuffed the smell
Of mortal change on earth.  As when a flock
Of ravenous fowl, though many a league remote,
Against the day of battle, to a field,
Where armies lie encamped, come flying, lured
With scent of living carcasses designed
For death, the following day, in ****** fight:
So scented the grim Feature, and upturned
His nostril wide into the murky air;
Sagacious of his quarry from so far.
Then both from out Hell-gates, into the waste
Wide anarchy of Chaos, damp and dark,
Flew diverse; and with power (their power was great)
Hovering upon the waters, what they met
Solid or slimy, as in raging sea
Tost up and down, together crouded drove,
From each side shoaling towards the mouth of Hell;
As when two polar winds, blowing adverse
Upon the Cronian sea, together drive
Mountains of ice, that stop the imagined way
Beyond Petsora eastward, to the rich
Cathaian coast.  The aggregated soil
Death with his mace petrifick, cold and dry,
As with a trident, smote; and fixed as firm
As Delos, floating once; the rest his look
Bound with Gorgonian rigour not to move;
And with Asphaltick slime, broad as the gate,
Deep to the roots of Hell the gathered beach
They fastened, and the mole immense wrought on
Over the foaming deep high-arched, a bridge
Of length prodigious, joining to the wall
Immoveable of this now fenceless world,
Forfeit to Death; from hence a passage broad,
Smooth, easy, inoffensive, down to Hell.
So, if great things to small may be compared,
Xerxes, the liberty of Greece to yoke,
From Susa, his Memnonian palace high,
Came to the sea: and, over Hellespont
Bridging his way, Europe with Asia joined,
And scourged with many a stroke the indignant waves.
Now had they brought the work by wonderous art
Pontifical, a ridge of pendant rock,
Over the vexed abyss, following the track
Of Satan to the self-same place where he
First lighted from his wing, and landed safe
From out of Chaos, to the outside bare
Of this round world:  With pins of adamant
And chains they made all fast, too fast they made
And durable!  And now in little space
The confines met of empyrean Heaven,
And of this World; and, on the left hand, Hell
With long reach interposed; three several ways
In sight, to each of these three places led.
And now their way to Earth they had descried,
To Paradise first tending; when, behold!
Satan, in likeness of an Angel bright,
Betwixt the Centaur and the Scorpion steering
His zenith, while the sun in Aries rose:
Disguised he came; but those his children dear
Their parent soon discerned, though in disguise.
He, after Eve seduced, unminded slunk
Into the wood fast by; and, changing shape,
To observe the sequel, saw his guileful act
By Eve, though all unweeting, seconded
Upon her husband; saw their shame that sought
Vain covertures; but when he saw descend
The Son of God to judge them, terrified
He fled; not hoping to escape, but shun
The present; fearing, guilty, what his wrath
Might suddenly inflict; that past, returned
By night, and listening where the hapless pair
Sat in their sad discourse, and various plaint,
Thence gathered his own doom; which understood
Not instant, but of future time, with joy
And tidings fraught, to Hell he now returned;
And at the brink of Chaos, near the foot
Of this new wonderous pontifice, unhoped
Met, who to meet him came, his offspring dear.
Great joy was at their meeting, and at sight
Of that stupendious bridge his joy encreased.
Long he admiring stood, till Sin, his fair
Enchanting daughter, thus the silence broke.
O Parent, these are thy magnifick deeds,
Thy trophies! which thou viewest as not thine own;
Thou art their author, and prime architect:
For I no sooner in my heart divined,
My heart, which by a secret harmony
Still moves with thine, joined in connexion sweet,
That thou on earth hadst prospered, which thy looks
Now also evidence, but straight I felt,
Though distant from thee worlds between, yet felt,
That I must after thee, with this thy son;
Such fatal consequence unites us three!
Hell could no longer hold us in our bounds,
Nor this unvoyageable gulf obscure
Detain from following thy illustrious track.
Thou hast achieved our liberty, confined
Withi
“The love betweenness^ a mother and her son”
when it’s healthy strong and ancient,
like this, is for me, and it seems,
for you as well, almost a supernatural force in certain ways.
I know many other women who understand this.
It’s been probably the best surprise of my life.” Medusa

sometime, a poem commission needs a quiet time rumination,
a seventh inning time out to birth a perfect game,
a mental stretch mark,
did your know your commentation was a commandation,
write me up, punch my ticket and jump back into murky waters,
where a hu-man boy child only gifted me a tertiary imagination, comprehensive incomprehension

this look upon differing and different, parenting parts of me,
with the bright den mother’s sun gazing eyes of a new motherland,
promotion to an incessant guardianship,
an ordered mathematical centrality,^
a forever buck private’s uniform shoulder stripe pointing to mom

maternal rhymes with eternal

for children go off and go on about their lives,
occasionally glancing backwards,
but a mother’s eyes are an all encompassing, an all white canvass painting that the artist continue-ously slyly forward refreshes,
forever white repainted with each perpetual glancing thought added

this mother woke, sensing her make-male creation
is a gender separate separation,
a mystery needing learning, genes requiring a crisper adult education, a breast refilling is a sharing, eye to eye,  
****** to mouth, transferring a transformation,
between a new meaningful, an analogy of understanding that
swims in both directions, across a uniting natural division that unites,  better called an open boundary

daughters are different but the insanity~same,
a poem for another day

a supernatural surprise that occurs daily,
that you rightly appel it, as ancient  is correctly unsurprising
for the knowledge is in every cell recorded, time immemorial

apologies;
my insufficient words
can’t explain this
dotted line division,
only that, I too am a student driver mother,
my son, a teacher,  a natural scholar,
the understanding we shared is instantaneous and confusing,
as we go back and forth together,
travellers tween the dotted line spaces,
absorbing his milky ways,
informations that were not obviously ****** in me, or if they were,
awaited this suckling’s coronation and education, invitation


our differences are not a true division,
but a new manner of best embracing

which is why with good humor, our private joking, is that he
is my very own  nap-ster master,^^ we are an ordered centrality^
march 31 2019 9:37am
^Definition of betweenness
: the quality or state of being between two others in an ordered mathematical set

https://hellopoetry.com/poem/2714533/texas-my-very-own-nap-ster-
master/
“Build me straight, O worthy Master!
Stanch and strong, a goodly vessel,
That shall laugh at all disaster,
And with wave and whirlwind wrestle!”

The merchant’s word
Delighted the Master heard;
For his heart was in his work, and the heart
Giveth grace unto every Art.
A quiet smile played round his lips,
As the eddies and dimples of the tide
Play round the bows of ships,
That steadily at anchor ride.
And with a voice that was full of glee,
He answered, “Erelong we will launch
A vessel as goodly, and strong, and stanch,
As ever weathered a wintry sea!”
And first with nicest skill and art,
Perfect and finished in every part,
A little model the Master wrought,
Which should be to the larger plan
What the child is to the man,
Its counterpart in miniature;
That with a hand more swift and sure
The greater labor might be brought
To answer to his inward thought.
And as he labored, his mind ran o’er
The various ships that were built of yore,
And above them all, and strangest of all
Towered the Great Harry, crank and tall,
Whose picture was hanging on the wall,
With bows and stern raised high in air,
And balconies hanging here and there,
And signal lanterns and flags afloat,
And eight round towers, like those that frown
From some old castle, looking down
Upon the drawbridge and the moat.
And he said with a smile, “Our ship, I wis,
Shall be of another form than this!”
It was of another form, indeed;
Built for freight, and yet for speed,
A beautiful and gallant craft;
Broad in the beam, that the stress of the blast,
Pressing down upon sail and mast,
Might not the sharp bows overwhelm;
Broad in the beam, but sloping aft
With graceful curve and slow degrees,
That she might be docile to the helm,
And that the currents of parted seas,
Closing behind, with mighty force,
Might aid and not impede her course.

In the ship-yard stood the Master,
With the model of the vessel,
That should laugh at all disaster,
And with wave and whirlwind wrestle!
Covering many a rood of ground,
Lay the timber piled around;
Timber of chestnut, and elm, and oak,
And scattered here and there, with these,
The knarred and crooked cedar knees;
Brought from regions far away,
From Pascagoula’s sunny bay,
And the banks of the roaring Roanoke!
Ah! what a wondrous thing it is
To note how many wheels of toil
One thought, one word, can set in motion!
There ’s not a ship that sails the ocean,
But every climate, every soil,
Must bring its tribute, great or small,
And help to build the wooden wall!

The sun was rising o’er the sea,
And long the level shadows lay,
As if they, too, the beams would be
Of some great, airy argosy,
Framed and launched in a single day.
That silent architect, the sun,
Had hewn and laid them every one,
Ere the work of man was yet begun.
Beside the Master, when he spoke,
A youth, against an anchor leaning,
Listened, to catch his slightest meaning.
Only the long waves, as they broke
In ripples on the pebbly beach,
Interrupted the old man’s speech.
Beautiful they were, in sooth,
The old man and the fiery youth!
The old man, in whose busy brain
Many a ship that sailed the main
Was modelled o’er and o’er again;—
The fiery youth, who was to be
The heir of his dexterity,
The heir of his house, and his daughter’s hand,
When he had built and launched from land
What the elder head had planned.

“Thus,” said he, “will we build this ship!
Lay square the blocks upon the slip,
And follow well this plan of mine.
Choose the timbers with greatest care;
Of all that is unsound beware;
For only what is sound and strong
To this vessel shall belong.
Cedar of Maine and Georgia pine
Here together shall combine.
A goodly frame, and a goodly fame,
And the Union be her name!
For the day that gives her to the sea
Shall give my daughter unto thee!”

The Master’s word
Enraptured the young man heard;
And as he turned his face aside,
With a look of joy and a thrill of pride
Standing before
Her father’s door,
He saw the form of his promised bride.
The sun shone on her golden hair,
And her cheek was glowing fresh and fair,
With the breath of morn and the soft sea air.
Like a beauteous barge was she,
Still at rest on the sandy beach,
Just beyond the billow’s reach;
But he
Was the restless, seething, stormy sea!
Ah, how skilful grows the hand
That obeyeth Love’s command!
It is the heart, and not the brain,
That to the highest doth attain,
And he who followeth Love’s behest
Far excelleth all the rest!

Thus with the rising of the sun
Was the noble task begun,
And soon throughout the ship-yard’s bounds
Were heard the intermingled sounds
Of axes and of mallets, plied
With vigorous arms on every side;
Plied so deftly and so well,
That, ere the shadows of evening fell,
The keel of oak for a noble ship,
Scarfed and bolted, straight and strong,
Was lying ready, and stretched along
The blocks, well placed upon the slip.
Happy, thrice happy, every one
Who sees his labor well begun,
And not perplexed and multiplied,
By idly waiting for time and tide!

And when the hot, long day was o’er,
The young man at the Master’s door
Sat with the maiden calm and still,
And within the porch, a little more
Removed beyond the evening chill,
The father sat, and told them tales
Of wrecks in the great September gales,
Of pirates coasting the Spanish Main,
And ships that never came back again,
The chance and change of a sailor’s life,
Want and plenty, rest and strife,
His roving fancy, like the wind,
That nothing can stay and nothing can bind,
And the magic charm of foreign lands,
With shadows of palms, and shining sands,
Where the tumbling surf,
O’er the coral reefs of Madagascar,
Washes the feet of the swarthy Lascar,
As he lies alone and asleep on the turf.
And the trembling maiden held her breath
At the tales of that awful, pitiless sea,
With all its terror and mystery,
The dim, dark sea, so like unto Death,
That divides and yet unites mankind!
And whenever the old man paused, a gleam
From the bowl of his pipe would awhile illume
The silent group in the twilight gloom,
And thoughtful faces, as in a dream;
And for a moment one might mark
What had been hidden by the dark,
That the head of the maiden lay at rest,
Tenderly, on the young man’s breast!

Day by day the vessel grew,
With timbers fashioned strong and true,
Stemson and keelson and sternson-knee,
Till, framed with perfect symmetry,
A skeleton ship rose up to view!
And around the bows and along the side
The heavy hammers and mallets plied,
Till after many a week, at length,
Wonderful for form and strength,
Sublime in its enormous bulk,
Loomed aloft the shadowy hulk!
And around it columns of smoke, upwreathing,
Rose from the boiling, bubbling, seething
Caldron, that glowed,
And overflowed
With the black tar, heated for the sheathing.
And amid the clamors
Of clattering hammers,
He who listened heard now and then
The song of the Master and his men:—

“Build me straight, O worthy Master,
    Staunch and strong, a goodly vessel,
That shall laugh at all disaster,
    And with wave and whirlwind wrestle!”

With oaken brace and copper band,
Lay the rudder on the sand,
That, like a thought, should have control
Over the movement of the whole;
And near it the anchor, whose giant hand
Would reach down and grapple with the land,
And immovable and fast
Hold the great ship against the bellowing blast!
And at the bows an image stood,
By a cunning artist carved in wood,
With robes of white, that far behind
Seemed to be fluttering in the wind.
It was not shaped in a classic mould,
Not like a Nymph or Goddess of old,
Or Naiad rising from the water,
But modelled from the Master’s daughter!
On many a dreary and misty night,
‘T will be seen by the rays of the signal light,
Speeding along through the rain and the dark,
Like a ghost in its snow-white sark,
The pilot of some phantom bark,
Guiding the vessel, in its flight,
By a path none other knows aright!

Behold, at last,
Each tall and tapering mast
Is swung into its place;
Shrouds and stays
Holding it firm and fast!

Long ago,
In the deer-haunted forests of Maine,
When upon mountain and plain
Lay the snow,
They fell,—those lordly pines!
Those grand, majestic pines!
’Mid shouts and cheers
The jaded steers,
Panting beneath the goad,
Dragged down the weary, winding road
Those captive kings so straight and tall,
To be shorn of their streaming hair,
And naked and bare,
To feel the stress and the strain
Of the wind and the reeling main,
Whose roar
Would remind them forevermore
Of their native forests they should not see again.
And everywhere
The slender, graceful spars
Poise aloft in the air,
And at the mast-head,
White, blue, and red,
A flag unrolls the stripes and stars.
Ah! when the wanderer, lonely, friendless,
In foreign harbors shall behold
That flag unrolled,
‘T will be as a friendly hand
Stretched out from his native land,
Filling his heart with memories sweet and endless!

All is finished! and at length
Has come the bridal day
Of beauty and of strength.
To-day the vessel shall be launched!
With fleecy clouds the sky is blanched,
And o’er the bay,
Slowly, in all his splendors dight,
The great sun rises to behold the sight.

The ocean old,
Centuries old,
Strong as youth, and as uncontrolled,
Paces restless to and fro,
Up and down the sands of gold.
His beating heart is not at rest;
And far and wide,
With ceaseless flow,
His beard of snow
Heaves with the heaving of his breast.
He waits impatient for his bride.
There she stands,
With her foot upon the sands,
Decked with flags and streamers gay,
In honor of her marriage day,
Her snow-white signals fluttering, blending,
Round her like a veil descending,
Ready to be
The bride of the gray old sea.

On the deck another bride
Is standing by her lover’s side.
Shadows from the flags and shrouds,
Like the shadows cast by clouds,
Broken by many a sunny fleck,
Fall around them on the deck.

The prayer is said,
The service read,
The joyous bridegroom bows his head;
And in tears the good old Master
Shakes the brown hand of his son,
Kisses his daughter’s glowing cheek
In silence, for he cannot speak,
And ever faster
Down his own the tears begin to run.
The worthy pastor—
The shepherd of that wandering flock,
That has the ocean for its wold,
That has the vessel for its fold,
Leaping ever from rock to rock—
Spake, with accents mild and clear,
Words of warning, words of cheer,
But tedious to the bridegroom’s ear.
He knew the chart
Of the sailor’s heart,
All its pleasures and its griefs,
All its shallows and rocky reefs,
All those secret currents, that flow
With such resistless undertow,
And lift and drift, with terrible force,
The will from its moorings and its course.
Therefore he spake, and thus said he:—

“Like unto ships far off at sea,
Outward or homeward bound, are we.
Before, behind, and all around,
Floats and swings the horizon’s bound,
Seems at its distant rim to rise
And climb the crystal wall of the skies,
And then again to turn and sink,
As if we could slide from its outer brink.
Ah! it is not the sea,
It is not the sea that sinks and shelves,
But ourselves
That rock and rise
With endless and uneasy motion,
Now touching the very skies,
Now sinking into the depths of ocean.
Ah! if our souls but poise and swing
Like the compass in its brazen ring,
Ever level and ever true
To the toil and the task we have to do,
We shall sail securely, and safely reach
The Fortunate Isles, on whose shining beach
The sights we see, and the sounds we hear,
Will be those of joy and not of fear!”

Then the Master,
With a gesture of command,
Waved his hand;
And at the word,
Loud and sudden there was heard,
All around them and below,
The sound of hammers, blow on blow,
Knocking away the shores and spurs.
And see! she stirs!
She starts,—she moves,—she seems to feel
The thrill of life along her keel,
And, spurning with her foot the ground,
With one exulting, joyous bound,
She leaps into the ocean’s arms!

And lo! from the assembled crowd
There rose a shout, prolonged and loud,
That to the ocean seemed to say,
“Take her, O bridegroom, old and gray,
Take her to thy protecting arms,
With all her youth and all her charms!”

How beautiful she is! How fair
She lies within those arms, that press
Her form with many a soft caress
Of tenderness and watchful care!
Sail forth into the sea, O ship!
Through wind and wave, right onward steer!
The moistened eye, the trembling lip,
Are not the signs of doubt or fear.
Sail forth into the sea of life,
O gentle, loving, trusting wife,
And safe from all adversity
Upon the ***** of that sea
Thy comings and thy goings be!
For gentleness and love and trust
Prevail o’er angry wave and gust;
And in the wreck of noble lives
Something immortal still survives!

Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State!
Sail on, O Union, strong and great!
Humanity with all its fears,
With all the hopes of future years,
Is hanging breathless on thy fate!
We know what Master laid thy keel,
What Workmen wrought thy ribs of steel,
Who made each mast, and sail, and rope,
What anvils rang, what hammers beat,
In what a forge and what a heat
Were shaped the anchors of thy hope!
Fear not each sudden sound and shock,
‘T is of the wave and not the rock;
‘T is but the flapping of the sail,
And not a rent made by the gale!
In spite of rock and tempest’s roar,
In spite of false lights on the shore,
Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea!
Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee,
Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,
Our faith triumphant o’er our fears,
Are all with thee,—are all with thee!
Barnaby Harrison Apr 2015
We are all equal
Our bodies may differ
As may our minds
And some may be more complicated
Than the creation of the universe alone
But let me say this
You too are different
So is the next man or woman
All with individual faults
All with secrets as big as yours
And all following their own path
For difference unites us
Difference move us on
And though it may be hard to accept
The next annoying being who crosses your path
Just think
Who do you annoy?
For that makes you equal
To that person who pokes you
To the person who is immature
To the person who you think the worst
We are all equal...
A-Z
All americans amply adore adult affairs, as all anarchist adapt alchemy adding astrological anatomy. Again and again advertisements allows affliction adopting and adapting behind ****** beliefs. Besides being boggled, beware big bangs become beginnings. Build beneficial bridges, contemptible courts create credit consuming countries, cops copout. Complement compassion conspire, contact & contest causes constant curiosity can cure cancer, disease & disability. Deep diving dare devils dive deep daring devils designing diabolical deeds daily. Every eclipse emits energy. Employ empathy, empower education, embrace emotion, eliminate elitism. Freedom from forever fetching, fined forgotten fundamentals fully focusing, frantic fools fizzle fast. Gas guzzling gluttons gathering garbage gardens generate generational genes. Gods gilt grows. However hustling hope hype has harmed humanity’s harvest, harboring hateful habits ignorance infects into idiots, idealist imagine, illumination increases imaging. Just join James, Jerusalem’s jackpot, jailhouse jokers, Jesus jumping Joseph just justify Kriss Kringle, knowledge, kings killing kids, ku klux **** kingdoms knowing life & logic loosely. Love loud, live & let live less lords linger, least let light lead loyal lunatics merely mortal magic. Media’s morbid makeover makes morning mindless midnight’s mayhem’s marketplace microwave midfields mixing m16 man made misery muffling many muzzled masses. Newly named narcissistic nations nationalize nc-17 nonsense needing normal numerals natural numbers not nuclear Nazis overseeing oblong objectives orbiting our original origin. Organize outlaws outlanders outcasts overall people pathetically pleased pill popping pissants. Permute perseverance provide physical philosophy preceding prime power, push. Quit quarreling, question quadrants, quests quench qualifying qualities. Realist realize realities rigged, reborn rebels raid reason rejecting rusted routines reducing royalty redoing realities redundant reflection. Reaching scared stars secretes surface scientific simplicity. State symbolism segregates sense spelling spellbound Satanism. Temples trapping truth’s timeline, television tames tons teaching troubling tall tails, turbojeted tanks takeoff targeting trailblazing teachers. Ugly unlawful union undone. Ultimate universal u-turn unites us using unearthed UFOs. Unknown variables vast vacuum, visibly violent volcanoes, vented virus vaults, vanishing voyagers, weather warnings with world wide war warming weapons waking who would watch wandering why x-axis yields yin & yang yet yankees yell yearly. Ziggurats, zodiacs, zen & zion zipped, zombie zoos zigzaging zero zones
Dark Smile Sep 2014
People sometimes ask me why I study so hard.
The question always stumped me.
Why do I study so hard?
Why do I stay up till the wee hours of the morning to study?
Then, I realised.
I don't have looks.
I don't have a good body.
I don't even have a good personality!
All I had was my brain, and my words.
Knowing this pushes me to study harder so that I won't be left behind.
Maybe I just want to belong.
I mean, each clique has it's distinctive trait which unites a group of people.
The good-looking (and typically popular people) group together.
The outgoing ones group together.
The athletically inclined ones group together(and they run in every single marathon that they can.)
I don't fit in any of those.
I can only hope that by studying hard, I will not only get good grades and a sense of accomplishment and pride but,
that I'll belong.
And that's all that I've ever wanted.
True story though.I don't know. That's just how I feel.
Esmena Valdés Sep 2017
I survived another day.
I will rewrite the forgotten,
before it is extinguished.
Steam in my lungs.
Carbon monoxide.
We ate honey in the morning,
to tablespoons.
We kiss without tiredness.
"Bathing together unites us," he said.
Resonant palpitations.
The guitar sounds soft.
You give me music of spirit.
I survived another day
because you breathe.
Robert C Howard May 2014
The Rockies sing to us at sunrise

      when crystal snow-capped peaks
chant iridescent matins to the dawn,
      the dawn of a fresh new mountain day.

Luminous pastel clouds
     hover across the horizon
painting the hills and valleys below
     in mysterial shades of
lavendar, amber and rose.

The Rockies sing to us at daybreak
      when every crest and vale
unites in raising anthems to the dawn,
      The dawn of a bright new mountain morn.

Forests and fields awaken.
      A bull elk grazes by an alpine lake.
An eagle soars through the morning mist
      over rainbows of Indian paintbrush.
A hilltop lake spills over its rim
      and cascades down the *****
etching serpentine streams in the valley below.

We can hear the mountains singing.
      In every creature, ridge and flower
They bring to us their jublilant songs
      of wilderness, wildlife and wonder
.

We can hear the Rockies singing.

      The mountains sing forever!

*June, 2009
Included in Unity Tree - Collected poems
pub. CreateSpace - Amazon.com
Lyn-Purcell Aug 2018


  I watch you from afar
my greatest love in argent-kissed armour
He who dreamed of being greater than
a mere fighter, stronger that a solider,
wiser than the Kings who pass and come
He who is born with an angel's allure,
he who unites all from all walks of life
I feel your vesper gaze upon me,
ambitious, charming, wise and poignant
With a charisma, a light that outshines the
very sun, a heart warmer than gold
and softer than cotton.
I pray you will succeed
That you will find your way
For no matter how far you wonder,
and how I think of you in yonder
I know in my heart,
You will return to me once more...  


Something a lil different.
I think I'm gonna take a short break from the Epulaeryus lol.
Don't worry! I got more coming, it's just I need to gather my thoughts!
My sweet tooth is strong and raging!
Lyn ***
Mahdiya Patel Jul 2015
Sometimes poverty unites not nations
but merely two people//
Intoxicants when overused break families as waves break on the shore//
Their drug now becomes their love//
And you are equivalent to nothing in their perceived reality//
It either makes the users surrounding guests mature profound strong souls
As strong as the Pedi army stood against the British and Boer to protect their land//
Or it causes them to transfer to their own twisted but illusionistic universe where all they see is darkness and despondency//

And then one day//
The money begins to run out
and so do the people//
But rarely, oh so rarely some humans make the decision to stay and continue the journey//
Where the road may potentially split into two//
recovery or relapse//

Sometimes poverty unites not nations
but merely two people//

The money has begun to exhale into the earths atmosphere
just as a stoner exhales his poisonous vapour into our airspace//
Some stay behind to help the corrupt mortal//

No money equals no substances//
No ******* or cat or cannabis or crack or codeine//
No drugs//

Then//

Two beings begin to ignite each other's fires
they learn the things they didn't know for the what felt like a million and seventy years//
They begin to discover how the one mispronounces words
and how certain songs cause ones soul to sway as the bass drops
or how ones hair whirls as the wind rushes through it
or how he can see the depths of the her soul through the eyes
and when she stares at the moon
her beauty is illuminated by the magical glow//

And then one day//
The money starts returning//
Creepily and discretely
the evil money
the tragedious money//
Like an evil monster emerging from hell
Where its dark and *****//

The money blows out the fire they have ignited
and slowly lures the user back//
The bond is now broken//

Sometimes poverty unites not nations
but merely two people//
* my proudest piece
Jonathan Pizarro Sep 2011
Words and letters are written on walls
Some as vandalization others as messages
Words and letters are written on walls

Words and sentences are written on billboards
Some serve as advertising others to arouse awareness
Words and sentences are written on billboards

Words and paragraphs are written on my brain
Some serve as inspiration others to support guidance
Words and paragraphs are written on my brain

Words are the weapons I use in a society that controls my image
Words are the only thing that can divide me from being ghetto or educated
My words are the only thing that I can vouch for like my *****
My words are the root of the intelligence that propels this sentence
Letters in my words stand close to each other eager to make a statement
If I do not show my words, my letters of cheerfulness begin to fade away

Sentences are the compound of the mind that begs to be understood
Sentences are made up of a tyranny chained down by a trendsetters mood
My sentences contain verbs, nouns, adjectives and subjects that explain a lost purpose
My sentences define the meaning of an ironical imagery that leads me to dream
Sentences paint a picture that any blind character can see
If I do not paint my sentences how will I ever show my brains art gallery

Picasso used the paint brush to express his moods and feelings on a canvas
Shakespeare and Allan Poe used ink to utter their thoughts on a sheet of paper
Somewhere in my mind the collision of words and paint occurred
Where I fused the essence of writing with the masterfulness of painting
My words and sentences have met a significant other called paint
Paint and words are my new best friend

Paint and brushes are splattered and used upon walls
Some are called vandalization while they represent artistic skills
Paint and brushes are splattered and used upon walls

Paint and words are written on subways
So the eyes of the young and old can see the traveling message
Paint and words are written on subways

Paint and words smack up at my face
So that the world sees who conveys this message
Paint and words smack up at my face

Paint gives visual to what words cannot picture
My Paint serves as a method of expressing the mind’s tears and smiles
My Paint becomes a tour guide through the loops of divine wonders
Paint is just a stepping stone to the magnificent path of beauty

A brush is just a brush depending on who holds it
A brush is like the keyboard I constantly battle with to unleash my mind
A brush can combine negativity and positivity and make peace
A brush unites celibate beliefs with those whom are perverse
Words and sentences along with paint and brushes help explain my motive

Jonathan Pizarro
Lost Cause © 2011
April 17th, 2011
glenn martin Jun 2015
A talking winds pure side  
Blows in a world living told
what you are  meant to be  
not a mere born  you dream
the wind  a wisp of lavender and sage
Starlight of day a lightening in the veins
a thundering heart starlight eye sparkling gold
the body seeping fingertips
at the end of a rainbow a *** of gold eyes
the nature that believes in faerie tails
Earth shine the pure side shows off
the world born from ideas thinking
a spirit created life our flesh and blood
spirit being living life   created shadows
on the edge of night   eternity of Starlight
living Pleiades Star seed temple  Poseidon
Cape SoUnion Greece   eye of the world
Starlight wills  transition from light
sustainable living evolves  a blessing concerned
the Earth tenderness  clutching the living
creatures and Earth creation in the womb
Focus the golden eye of living light
making our eye the world of living beings
all equally living  in dream  the body sustainable
life craving attention  let it live   grow
alive being wonder fulfilled  the eye open
burning the energy to live within you  
rising falling will to survive succeed
in the expansion of eternity  to be more
than we know to be the right of living life
to recreate eternity  Worlds of life creation
rely on sincerity optimism growing Earth
community with love let Starlight reign
in living peace security emanating joy
in spirit amongst all earth creations
intentions plan for the future  set the course
get a compass await the epic the 5th element
Ether a consciousness place a survivor door
a step a layer of oxygen that unites
our cosmic intelligence growth to stop bad karma
its long term death from happening to you
evolution of earth humanity the wisdom
of ancient cycles do well unto others
our brave new world the eye of Star will
yet humans hold an eye in the palm of the hand
denying the hearts thunder swelling muscles
predators ruling the land of Earth sustainable
for all creatures of Earth live the senses
alive together as one  the same glory in life
birthing  babys  a family  a home  air  food
all Earths eye seek the same life living
alive in this sustainable abundance of water
the physical world the achievable reality
the senses within spirit sharing a common life
our Earth being to perceive protect the living
a language our senses of sight and sound
in memory building a path of activity a living womb
Earth gravity    bright Starlight   grows all
the spirits reveal  share the vision of eternity
a living life  do not let the making of products
steal your destiny to live eternity...
oh great earth  and Universe of Star
your world is precious a life of intelligence
a free clean living being  love conceived in joy  
recycle the honor our elements of hope in life
the beings the living pinnacle of modern living
the astral world plain of existing
the apex of creation Earth world gravity
mobius-drift celestial spheres birthing
the souls past-life apex Ether tip of ancient pyramids
blocks of life centering the celestial spheres
birthing  recycling of death cross thru
a magician the right arm skyward gravity
feed above the head a mobius drift celestial spheres
heralding the spirits thoughts in mind
being born thru the spirits the elements joined
the recreation of Earth realm design
giving spirit a body the Higgs *****  recreates eternity
aligning the heavens celestial spheres
a magician the left hand leading the Ether
thru gravity Earth a spirit to survive to build
the living body Higgs ***** an apex mobius drift
our ancient thoughts and present too
all directed by love leading the binding of Higgs
for as to the Ether celestial spheres
the birth of spirit to form the creation of Earth realm
Being born in a body and living after death
returning to the spheres population
pure spirits immaterial beings...
as one leaves the spheres
an eye to the world of living
a wonder in Earth time born
let all life stop eating the creatures
let them live commune in family
let Earth forests grow
let the oceans thrive
live in harmony
share the sustainable diet
stop extinction for the love of life...
planet Earth of the cosmic divine
love peace the joining of life
let all creations family commune...
            gjmars 6/23/15
The Broken Ties of happier days,
    How often do they seem
To come before our mental gaze.
    Like a remembered dream;
Around us each dissevered chain,
I    n sparkling ruin lies.
And earthly hand can ne'er again
    Unite those Broken Ties.

The parents of our infant home,
    The kindred that we loved,
Far from our arms perchance may roam.
    To distant scenes removed,
Or we have watched their parting breath,
    And closed their weary eyes,
And sighed to think how sadly death
    Can sever human ties.

The friends, the loved ones of our youth,
    They too are gone or changed,
Or worse than all, their love and truth
    Are darkened and estranged;
They meet us in the glittering throng
    With cold averted eyes,
And wonder that we weep our wrong,
    And mourn our Broken Ties.

Oh !  who in such a world as this,
    Could bear their lot of pain,
Did not one radiant hope bliss
    Unclouded yet remain?
That hope the Sovereign Lord has given,
    Who reigns beyond the skies;
That hope unites our souls to Heaven,
    By Faith's enduring ties.

Each care, each ill of mortal birth,
    Is sent in pitying love,
To lift the lingering heart from earth,
    And speed its flight above;
And every pang that rends the breast,
    And every joy that dies,
Tell us to seek a safer rest,
    And trust to holier ties.
Music is my Deity
and so benevolent is it!

A mystical Tapestry
woven upon Silence and across Time,
what about that is not Divine?

Music doesn't divide, it unites.
It attracts expressive minds, creative minds, empathic minds, logical minds.
It creates an abstract temporal psychosocial middle-ground;

You don't have to be a virtuoso
to drum along or dance or vocalize.
You don't have to be a virtuoso
for practice to reap it's rewards.

We speak with Music:

Language is a Musical thing;
it employs Rhythm and Pitch and works through Time.
Music is a Linguistic thing;
it communicates things that otherwise cannot be said
while also having room for Language itself.

Music is no singular aspect;
Music is not defined by medium,
nor is it defined by orchestration.

Music is wholly Abstract,
relating only back to itself.
Music is defined by context;
Music is a matter of perspective.

Footsteps are music, in 2/4 time.
Heartbeats are music, in 3/4 time; this defines "swing" feel.
A Clock is music, in 1/1 time at 60 beats per minute.
A year is music, in 365.25/1 time at 1 beat per day.

The duration of the Moon's orbital period and Day are a Unison; 1:1.
The four Galilean moons of Jupiter orbit with the resonance of Octaves; 2:1 ratios of wavelength.
The ratio of the lengths of Mercury's Year to it's Day is nearly a Perfect Fifth; 3:2.

Music is implicit.
Music is mystical.

Music is a Metaphor manifest,
for the nature of the Universe;
even the very word "Universe"
means "The One Song".

Music is truly intrinsic;
I am a Shaman of Music.
It is an Honor.
Shae Sun James Apr 2011
the backyard is home to a field of flowers
amidst the roots the family dog discovers skeletons
the petals stick to themselves; the weeds spread
it's found that the flower-bed holds its secrets
with curiosity and wandering eyes comes a child
in innocence, he opens his arms only to receive pain

he drops to the earth, writhing in pain
his light form crushing the weeds and flowers
the dog barks at the screaming child
and tries to release him from the skeletons
the strength of their grasp is that of their secrets
you see the effects spread

across the child's skin they spread
his face warping under the pain
opening his mouth, he began releasing his secrets
telling only the ears of the crushed flowers
and the arms around him, those of the skeletons
look at the helpless child

the bones are engulfing the child
grabbing and pulling, faster they spread
the boy becomes one with the skeletons
he becomes one with his pain
his body sinks further down into the flowers
and the flowers promise to keep his secrets

the weeds overheard his secrets
the boy looks less and less of a child
as he settles in with the flowers
making room for him, the flowers spread
the suffering subsides, decreasing pain
he's almost as the skeletons

his body unites with the skeletons
the ***** age keeps his secrets
no longer is there pain
no longer is there a child
into the ground, his limbs spread
into the roots of the flowers

the pain no longer is in the child
because the skeletons stole his secrets
his bones spread among the flowers
© SSJ 2011.

but when lovers unite
there's no day no night
'n' when doves do fly
nothin' comes nearby

the sun, moon 'n' star
all just eagerly ignite
for ever to be in sight
shinin' bright 'n' afar

a rain creatin' bows
colours be for shows
to see variaties light
gettin' rid the plight

oh indeed, love unites
passionatin' into heights


*..love always...


عرفان بن يوسف © AH 08/03/1437
'a (freestyle meter) Sonnet'
Love** lost in dreams
Far away from the soul,
For the beauty of life is
Lost in my mind
Left lonely, in pain
This **** in my spirit
I've been unable to cleanse
Tired friend, fellow traveler
Grasp my hand and
Feel cruel death pervading
In this world, this land
Lies unknown evils
Forbidden to know
Or comprehend good
Underneath the wild, impassioned sky
Of centuries past
Wandering in ageless night
Searching for the end of sorrow
Scouring through the mystery
Of existence and free thought
Here comes the exhilaration of
The cosmic dance of eclectic vibrations
Playing memories of melodies
And deep seated wisdom
Just beyond the cusps of our fingers
Beyond long, satin dreams
Stuck moving with the flow of
My slowly beating heart
As earth ceases to spin
In a moment, my desire calms
I have found my true self
My autonomy will never die
My heart does not weigh me down anymore
Floating in a state of bliss
You are the one person I have left
The beauty who has never gone from my side
Who's jeweled eyes illuminate my being
Like the night skies over the glaring city lights
Who's smile transcends boundaries of this known world
No assembly of words can begin to express
How just your touch eases the minds of beasts
Simple, pure, ecstasy hovers
Over the flickering fires of her passion
Living in angelic state of being
She forces cries of beauty from blind men
Streaming light of wisdom across infinite universe
As I gaze upon the stars of her kindness
Forever embowered by her grace
I need every essence of her bliss
The apprehension of lover's souls
Lost in the innocence of lusting eyes
Things left hidden from the
Enslaved masses who lie
In solemn wait for a taste
Of what it feels like to be free
Uncertainty striking fear into their hearts
As they delve ever deeper
Scouring, searching for what has already found them
Where it has always remained
The children of the wilderness
Hold the forgotten key to eternity
Human nature, this disease of self strife
Has mankind drowning in
An imaginary state of grace
Impure manifestations of
Unknowingly self mutilating prose
The serpent slithers slowly around our being,
Wide eyed and calculated
Innately beasts, unable to quiet ravenous, lustful intentions
We have misplaced our senses
Flowing through the caverns of life blindly
No good intentions remain
Upon finding misconceived treasures
We trade our consciousness for infinitesimal belongings
And blame others for our own failings and insecurities
Unable to forgive ourselves for thieving
Virtues and conscience from future ages
Living in a world, surreal
Where beneath the surface of
Media driven fallacies is saved individuality
Locked and hidden away from the masses
Dreaming fantasies into reality
Embowered by your warm embrace
Seemingly discovered unrivaled pleasure
I hear your heart slowly beating our lives away
For the shed blood of our past lives
Is recycled now, "Alive!," she cried
Awakened in the midst of a dream
Locked somewhere inside myself
My mind scattered in too many worlds to work efficiently
How can I forget why I have made this journey?
Sailing along the sweet breath of angel's choir
No longer shall I fear the unknown
I will no longer be fed the harsh injustices and lies
Of this used up, barren world
Your kiss goes softly
Beyond my lips and into the depths of my soul
Still clutching the vine
Children breast fed insanity through soured milk
Question your own indecision
The disease of latent, lustful desires
Will tear apart your home
Down turned eyes in shame
Declaring war upon the unborn
Who drown in hatred
And the false sense of being loved
Forced to live their lives
Knowing nothing but childhood fantasies
Naivety forces a silent scream for knowledge
Breathe deeply the wonderment of the wilderness
Forcing blind eyes into the morals of mankind
Out of fear of being outcast and exiled
Build your stronghold out of a center of loyalty and honor
Your face inspires silent intrigue
The one true form not ruined,
Not stolen from the enigma of righteousness
By hate and fearful, dastardly instincts
Souls thrashing wildly, chaotic
With no sense of direction
Unfortunately, this kismet cannot be deemed unjust
Deserving to walk hand in hand with death
The curse of falling just short of our desires
Left shaking in the cold, unrelenting world of lust and betrayal
No concept of real and surreal any longer
Shamans have foretold of such disasters
The walls of sanity crumbling before our eyes
Louder beats the heart of your discontent
Finding delight in mankind's incurred demise
Wiping sweat from the brows of beasts
The wandering eye innately searching for new meat
Millions expended in lustful quest
Enticing is the unquenchable thirst of desire
Shall I forever bear your cross of hate?
The last piece of my soul glimmers as it is ravaged by your touch
The last of my affection and love I shall bury
Where no light may shimmer
Guarded with riddles and bewilderment
Never finding a source of betterment
Killing who I once was
In order to erase the pain you cast upon me
The pain that forces grown men to fall upon knees
With black rose, she replied
"I give you my body, but never my heart"
Drowning in a chemical waste of salaciousness
My free will, stolen and hauled away
Pilfering my comprehension of life and love
Whispering sweet deceit unto the minds of our own flesh
Calling upon plastic deities and iconoclastic idols
Forcing weakness into humanity through the misrepresentation of free will
Shivering in the cold seasons of deceit
Watching as forlorn mothers give up unborn children
Their sorrow unites them under heavy skies
Huddled together, alone
Feeling only emptiness and shame
Fear pervading, bounding between broken hearts
Flesh ripped from beating flesh
Doomed to eternal anguish and unrest
Hearts heavy, forced to hold onto such misery
When shall revelation come?
The magnificence of beginning anew
Tired searches through tangled fates
Pretentious beings, undeserving of finding true love
Walking along the periphery of sadness
Unheard, undiscovered point of view
Falsification of our spirituality
Throwing stones at our creator
Yet, punishment still incomprehensible to blinded masochists
Continually directed towards evil by greed
Altruism has become incommunicable
Races ******, faking sorrow for a moment in the spotlight
Consciences left muddied with sin
Sensory perceptions dulled
Forced to sit idly by
While the moon changes the tides of my mind
A single cloud hangs drearily over my sorrows
This demoness from my nightmares
Trickles unknowingly into my reality
No immunity from one's own self demise
Plastic, insincere smiles forecast  
The ambivalent duality of man
We must defend each other from ourselves
Called upon to fight in this never ending battle
False accusations leveling the playing field of life
Flirting with the mystics of forgotten lore
The selfish needs of the human race left behind
Calmly we enter the palace of love
This castle, a fortress built on trust  
A reincarnation of innate, preternatural passion
Don't look upon the horizon for the answers of today
Find knowledge in the sullied, torn pages of history's lament
Waving excitedly, temptation captures our gaze
Awaiting a destiny that will sever supreme consciousness
Uneducated decisions made presiding over the life of another
No being will notice the face of pain in the unborn
Soiled our own goods with haste
Unable to understand the beauty of life
We are all criminals by nature
This wasteland does portend a future of destruction
Promised acquittal of our betrayal by men made of stone
We toss away our dignity in a mask of inebriation
Where does the gray lead the ******?
Psychotropic prescience of our kismet
The smile of the fallen angel looks hauntingly familiar
The permutation of lies through a thin film of comfort
I will be awaiting your arrival
In my final hour of being
Instant gratification has interlocked us with the ******
Fight through the coagulant of chaos and beg for a second chance
The thoughts of unknown genius have reinvented our race
A false sense of virility plagues the minds of the inebriated
My fervent heart beating ever more quickly with your supple touch
My eyes dive and dart away from the injurious visions of jealously
Awaiting my reincarnate reprise of rebirth
Flirtatiously, we whisper tender lies of affection
Her gaze looked deeply towards my inner being
As my emotional barriers fade into oblivion
Her smile holds the secrets of the infinite
Mortal issues seem insignificant as I
Began to brush away hair from her face
A predator tamed by acts of kindness and love
Her soft lips of silk tantalize my senses
I have fallen ill for lack of her touch
This worlds creates untold bewilderment
Of the feeble minds who inhabit it
An aching, lachrymose gaze I wear
Irrevocable damage forced upon the life I could not bear
This piece was created using my own "Words Used" page.  The **bold** words are from the list.  I have set some rules for myself:  I was not allowed to change the order of the words in the list, the words were not allowed to be altered in any way, and each line of the piece required a minimum of one word and a maximum of two words from the list.  Enjoy.
Dark Angel Jan 2013
For you have betrayed
The Dark Angel.
I was bound to have loved you.
Your words invite me,
Unite me,
And still betray me.

Is this how you repay me!
Say you will stay with
Me until death,
Just one life time.
Your voice calls to me,
Unites us within my dreams,
But you have drawn back
Within fear.


In all my fantasies
I have always knew,
The angel above was you.
Your power grows very strong
Over me infusing me with desire.
The desire to love,
To love the angel.

With this fallacy instilled
Within my dreams you
Still betrayed me, my angel.
Why my angel,
Why is it that
You have betrayed me.


I the dark angel had needed you,
You the angel of the night.
You shall curse the day you
Betrayed the dark angel.
To many years fighting
Back the tears,
And now my blood,
Nears to an end.

You my angel shall
Turn to meet your fate.
The time is too late,
There is no debate,
No way to change your fate.
A couple months old, wrote it after a pretty bad break-up
Mysterious Mind Oct 2014
But in the end
what unites us is not
the menacing sins of the past
but the braving hope
for the future
Hope is a strange thing. It has the power to influence the world in a positive way but it is often overcasted with doubt. Stay hopeful<3
Sally A Bayan Aug 2013
I see them everyday, rain or shine,
Beautifully lined in a row.
They all stand tall, mighty and proud,
To prove who the mightiest is.
And yet...they are always so,
So graceful in all their might.

As they wave to us,
We, too, Wave our Hands By the Lake.
While Expanding our Chests,
A cool breeze
Brush against our faces.
Our eyes  follow our hands in
Painting a Rainbow.

The morning sun seemed not too bright that day.
The branches and twigs above us were
Intertwined, like two lovers' hands
Laced with each other.
In Parting the Clouds, we bring light
Into our visions, our minds, our lives.
We let go, focus on what's ahead of us,
While Weaving Silk In The Air.....

And in Rowing the Boat, we revive ourselves
With a breath of new life....
We reach to the Heavens to offer
Our healing palms when Sage Presents Peach.
Our spirits are lifted, we see light in
The dark, as we Gaze At The Moon.

From above, the wind blows,
The leaves touching ...caressing, as the
Wind Rustle Lotus Leaves....we give
Our healing touch to all that surround us...
Their movements and ours flow
While Waving our Hands In the Clouds,
Scooping The Sea, and Viewing the Sky once again...

Rolling With the Waves, a  time when our healing
Energies combine with the powers of the water....
When the Dove Spreads Its Wings, we open our arms,
Embrace these blessings, we share them as well....
The restlessness in our mind and spirit, is
Now hushed by the healing silence.

The Dragon Emerging From the Sea, unites
The breath, the  heart and the spirit...
We now prepare for The Flying Wild Goose,
We raise our arms, getting ready
To let go, to let ourselves be.....

With palms facing each other, they
Circle up, sideways and down, resembling
Windmills Turning In the Breeze. We balance
Our weight on each foot, like Bouncing Ball
In The Sunshine, enjoying stability deep within us...
And as Nature's Fragrance Drifts Up,
We take in the many gifts that surround us...
We are now energized........

We knew our movements by heart,
Did each one with grace,
To the beat of the swaying above us,
We forgot all our worries....
We forgot all about time....

Suddenly, flecks of tiny petals started
Falling over our heads....
Like a shower from Heaven.
It was time to bow our heads, in thanksgiving,
For all the countless blessings.
Eventually, the ground was covered
With green and gold.

Once more, I looked up to the Heavens
With much gratitude....
I thanked the two big shady trees
That sheltered us...
They were two lovers....
The ******* and Narra trees...........

Sally A. Bayan

Note:

Shibashi is one of the many movements of Chi-Kung.
It is composed of 18 healing movements.
The notes on the movements were taken from the
personal journals of a Franciscan nun, alive to this day, and the mentor of my own mentor.

------Cassia Fistula is the scientific name of the ******* tree.
------Pterocapus Indicus is the scientific name of the Narra tree.



Copyright 2013
Rosalia Rosario A. Bayan
PaulSta SA Oct 2015
Sometimes i wonder,
Wondering wonders of wonderful
World,for i living in this awful
World,spiral of life with terrific
Surroundings.

Unholy acts to the victims of
Xenophobic attacks,violence
Turns an everyday speech.
Government revolts gathers.
Towards poverty-stricken.
Diseases classic collide,remittance
Assassins rendered for intensely
Militancy.

Objection!!my lord,
Shysters bailing out
Evil-doers,juridical system
Not pertained.Poverty-trap
Pounding,chemical gases
Filling lungs of little
Ones.

Somebody play nice to
This,God play part to
This,denote dualism of
Good and evil.
Yesterday they gang banged
One of your children.
Drugs co-operate infection of
Young minds,youth gangsterism
Uproar.

Father herd your sheeps
To the right path,we seek
Guidance from above.
Family horror-strucks unites,
Matrimony rending day by
Day,onto religion segregations
Strickes by ??????.

Keep holy to this life Life
Testimony
and paste
Amen...
Tradition.
Ever since I can remember, there has always been a drum kick somewhere.
There was always a slight hum,
Or the faintest whistle.
Ever since I was in my mother’s womb,
My heart has beaded to the sound of the drum’s snare
And as I was born,
I whined with the sound of a guitar.  
If you ask me what my favorite childhood memory was,
I will simply say music.
When I was little
I noticed that everyone had a favorite type of music,
And I, being as independent as I was,
Decided that I was not going to like music at all.
But, as music does,
It took me away
“Like the moon rules the tide”
And if you know what song that’s from, I’ll love you forever.
Now I realize,
Music is my soul
It makes me feel whole,
It’s something that cannot be stolen.
My family always has had music,
Music led me from the deepest hole of mourning,
And it is digging me out of this current diagnoses of depression.
Music is a universal idea,
Every culture,
Every person has their “soul” music.
My family started with the deep roots of rock
Metallica, poison, and Guns & roses.
My parents where the stereotypical punk rockers of the 80’s.
So it was only natural for me to follow their footsteps,
Except a lot more *******.
And as I grew,
I gained more of what my family had to offer me,
I found out that my mother was amazing at the flute,
And my dad was a beast on the drums,
But somewhere along the way they passed on the urge that music is life,
And one day, it will be the performance of a lifetime.
This tradition fuels me today,
I see it in my everyday actions,
Wherever I am there seems to be music playing somewhere.
I am fueled by rock to this day,
Though some call it devil music,
I find it rather heavenly.
I heard a quote once that said
“you hear screaming
I hear meaning”
And this is more than true because as you hear savage screaming,
I hear and understand their words and pain.
The stereotypical people always think those songs are about worshiping satan,
But what they don’t realize is that beautiful lyrics such as,
“That little kiss you stole,
It held my heart and soul”
And
“I am the ocean, I am the sea,
There is a world inside of me”
Exist
I don’t know if there are any fans of this band here,
But that was from one of my favorite bands called Bring Me the Horizon.
Anyways,
The thing people have come to know as “screamo” has become my tradition.
It has brought me to know so many good friends,
And tons of amazing conversations.
Even if it starts when I wear my “My chemical romance” t-shirt, and get a ton of compliments on it.
And im sure music unites you as well.
We all have different tastes,
But in the end there is something everyone can agree on.
If rock isn’t your cup of tea than maybe rap,
Or hip hop,
Or R&B.;
I dunno,
Its up to you!
But music is where my roots started,
And those roots are growing a powerful tree.
Music inspires me so much, and can you genuinely say the same?
Do you ever have those moments when that perfect song comes on,
And you stop everything to hear it?
I do.
And its normal.
It is human nature to sway with the music when you think no one is watching.
This tradition is so delicate,
And it will live on because there is always new music ideas to be had.
New lyrics popping up every day,
And who knows,
Are you the next protégé?
I never thought I would write a poem about music but yet here I am,
Following my tradition
Of music.
will be performed
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2013
Photographs by Avedon

This was written in a friend's home in the Berkshire Mountains, on a Saturday morning, a few years ago.  Up early, I went exploring their bookshelves and found a book of Richard Avedon's photographs of average Americans out west.  Google "richard avedon photos of the american west" - then read the poem.  Please, for without seeing the faces, for this will make all the difference.  In the Berkshires, it is always chilly there, even in the summer sun.  This and other obscure references are better detailed in the notes.


Join my warmth and
my chill,
as the nine o'clock sun,
a 45 degree steeplechase
warms,
but still not
strong enough
to dispense
the lingering,
residual, remaindered,
breezy chill
of the prior eve,
that hides in,
emanates from,
the shadows
of the
deep wooded hillocks
of the
Berkshire Mountains.

Join my warmth
and my chill!

Upright jolted,
head kicked awake,
entranced and revolted,
excited and repelled,
emotive, yet, stilled.

For oh so casually,
this heroic city dweller,
brave and fearless
bookshelf explorer,
retrieves a book,
to find a new route
thru time and space
to the center of his brain.

Photographs by Avedon,
of my fellow Americans,
the Have Nots,
his "Havedons"
of the
American West.

These uncommon people
with whom I share
uncommonly little,
these drifters, the carneys,
the would-have-been cowboys,
busted blackjack dealers,
rattlesnake gut n' skinners,
coal and copper miners,
the hay truck drivers,
dirt so deep in
their pores ingrained,
colors and bloodies their souls,
browns their veins,
are the ones that
too oft,
go off first to
fight wars
in my name.

Photos untitled,
words unneeded.

In this far corner of our
shared contiguous space
called the
United States of America,
top of the line here
would be
insurance agents,
secretaries and maybe even,
the waitresses.

But their eyes,
oh their eyes!

Words I do not own
to fair share with you,
the clarifying gaze
of measured dignity and
immeasurable ache,
heritage pride,
heretical heartbreak,
that marks and unites
these disparate and dispirited
vessels of humankind.

Disjointed,
the noon suns finally,
raises my body temperature
browns my surface...

Yet, nothing eradicates
this ******* chill
in my soul
or calms my consternation,
as black and white
eyes discolor
my comfortable existence,
as I ponder
Avedon's words:

All photographs are accurate but none tell the truth

Pass over,
pass by,
The Evil Son at Passover
asks ever so sly,
what have they to do with me?

It is the Sabbath.
We luxuriate in our rest.
Rest is the greatest luxury

What is this Sabbath?
Heschel's cathedral -
existant both
in space and time,
and one enters
when and where
one can.

Do my distant,
(both in space and time)
American cousins
share my Sabbath?

Are they allowed
this luxury,
or is it endless exertion,
severity and deprivation,
all and every day
of their lives?

Constant risk every day.

Who cannot fail to see the
precipitousness of life
edged in the lines of their
hearts and minds?

Day to day hardens them
and teaches the
discipline of
severity unended.

Is the prudence of
self-forgetfulness,
their morning bitter pill
they must swallow
to carry on?

Among the resolutions
I need
to claim a
life fulfilled is this:

How to end this poem,
close this can of worms,
accidentally kicked open.

Will sunset end these
troubling questions
of which you have
your own,
more personal variations?
(what about the ...)

Perennials flower everywhere,
in Auschwitz,
along the Tigris,
even in Kabul and Somalia,
along the highways
that lead
to the mecca of
Las Vegas.

Perennials flower everywhere.

In warmth and cool,
in time and space,
they flower in my heart and
my brain and in
my prayerful tears.
flowing down my cheeks,
as I lay me down to sleep,
to dream these of
impoverished words

Havdalah^^ thoughts,
separations celebrated.

Distinctions noted,
even celebrated tween
holy and common,
light and dark,
Sabbath and
the six weekdays
of labor,
between sacred and secular
and
between me and
my American Brothers
of the American West.


I know
just one thing
to be true:

The Sabbath Cathedral is
open to all,
whatever day
you choose to
abide there

I await you,
my American cousins,
with wine and bread
and the
holy of holiest words
of comfort and sooth.

I will wash your feet and
lay you down to
restful sleep
in the
Sabbath Cathedral
in my heart.

Together,
at last,
we will be joined,
in warmth and chill.



August 29, 2010
Lanesboro, Mass.
----------------------
* "In The American West" by
Richard Avedon

** many of the phrases in this stanza were taken from an article "The Few, The Proud, The Chosen" in Commentary, September 2010

^ Abraham Joshua Heschel, a modern Jewish Philosopher.  Elegant, passionate, and filled with the love of God's creation, Abraham Joshua Heschel's The Sabbath has been hailed as a classic of Jewish spirituality ever since its original publication-and has been read by thousands of people seeking meaning in modern life. In this brief yet profound meditation on the meaning of the Seventh Day, Heschel introduced the idea of an "architecture of holiness" that appears not in space but in time Judaism, he argues, is a religion of time: it finds meaning not in space and the material things that fill it but in time and the eternity that imbues it, so that "the Sabbaths are our great cathedrals."

^^ Havdalah is the ceremony to celebrate the end of the Sabbath, and realize the distinctions between the holy day and the workweek, the day and the night, light and day...
musings of a kook surfer
(kook: 1. Dork. 2. A new or inexperienced surfer. 3. Someone who says they surf but they can't.(waxboy)

Logic and Perspective  (a poem)

Quantum Imagination Rules.
What-Ifs equal What-Is
in this, a shared creation.

If         we are surrounded by what we can see,
            what we see is what we are;
Then   matter is perception of resistance,
            time is the persistence of opposites,
And    space is an Electric Universe;
            not lonely nuclear fires,
            but Twin Ribbons of infinite energy
            traveling through plasma that unites all.

The Earth
        a wonder of positive and negative,
        not solid,
        is the infinite slowed into harmony.
The Sun
        a focus of resistance,
        not burning out,
        Burns In.

No small coincidence that
equals means is
You Are and
You See so
I am and
                  
You are, you see, the I Am
...


No Chance for Chance  (a poem)

What is Serendipity?
Seen miraculous,
Some thing done there,
Something done.

What isn't Serendipity?
The unseen miraculous.
What miracles undone,
in time
in time,
as it never happened.

Everything?
Nothing?

It cannot be a good thing-
Fortunate for you is
lost fortune for who...
Self-fulfilling for Jungian prophecy
or prophecy fulfilled for Schrodinger's Cat.

It cannot be a bad thing-
In agreement
with yes...
Self-fulfilling for Jungian prophecy
or prophecy fulfilled for Schrodinger's Cat.

I think,
so I think I am caught between
a wave and a particle.

….

Between Worlds

Never turn your back on the ocean – the mantra of the surfer in my thoughts as I continuously scan the horizon.  There is just enough time to position for a wave; decide to paddle left or right or quickly further out to avoid the random pummel of a looming larger wave.  Between sets, the water gently bobs me floating half submerged.  Staring introspectively at the water, I am learning to interpret ribbons of upward-turning sparkles in the distance.

Dawn is an hour away; visibility is dim but gradually lifting.  Morning’s light is so flat and the water’s glassy surface so smooth that anticipating incoming waves becomes almost a matter of intuition.  The illusion of separateness from creation is breaking down.  The water is almost chilly, but still comforting. I forgo a rash-guard; the subsequent chest irritation from surfboard wax is a small exchange to feel immersed in the ocean.  The bay feels intimate yet expansive with only two other meditative surfers in the distance. Turtles swirl the water, heads straining up for a peek and a breath.  Sometimes they turn their shells so their fins feel the air; they keep three of us wanna-be-ocean-dwellers company.

Yesterday a southern Kona wind brings volcanic-smog from Kīlauea.   Vog is high in CO2 and fumes, giving sensitive people muddle-headedness, lethargy, and sore throat-  a reminder this is Pele's paradise.  This muting velvet feels almost smothering to the horizon.  Is it fog?  Yet a glance behind verifies the ***** of Mt. Haleakala is visible, from the shore to the cloud blanketing the world above the 10,000' peak.   Hale means "house" and the rest can mean either "of the sun", or "of a special raspberry-like flower". Either way the mountain was pulled from the ocean by Maui while he was roping the sun from the sky.  Usually, from this place in the sea, sunrise begins with a torch-like beacon of illuminated mist right over the peak, flaming brighter in the turquoise sky just as the sun coronas into a brilliant gold spotlight over the bay.  Yet this morning waiting for dawn, islands, water, and sky are all various shades of hushed mainland gray.

Half submerged and floating quietly, my back is to the mountain and I face the close but unusually shrouded island Kaho'olawe. It was callously blasted to a streaked surface of wind-blown dust by a military just for "training".  Recently reclaimed for pono, it represents the hope of nurturing a senselessly abused, irrevocably lost paradise. To my right is far-off Lana'i; to my left is Molokini, the sharp half rim of an ancient crater barely rising above the water's surface.

The world suddenly wakes, shedding gray. The sky's far reaching dome overhead intensifies, glowing in layers of rose, red, fuschia. The atmosphere I’m breathing becomes thickly permeated with color, as if one could breath lavendar-orange.

What planet am I on?

It feels so foreign, time stops.  The two other surfers are still as well, dwarfed by distance, and I am alone. Tiny in this red expanse, I become quietly centered.   I turn to see Haleakala where the sun is yet to rise, awed to distraction, forgetting incoming swells.  A bright sun smoked crimson is hidden behind the peak, shining horizontally through what I imagine to be some opening at the horizon.  Illuminated ridged undersides of the high clouds are streaked neon red to half the sky.  The atmosphere is hushed over the still water, the tangible copper light presses down, infuses everything.  It feels disarming yet comforting and surreal, floating surrendered to this other-world light; sky to water, horizon to vast horizon, the calm apocalypse the turtles and Kaho'olawe have been praying for.
Traveler Jan 2016
Reflecting on
The beauty of life
Love and passions
Is a poet's delight

Reflecting on
It's ugliness
With angry
Blogs and blurbs
We find
Ourselves
In servitude
To a paradox
Preserve

Reflecting
On the darkness
That bleeds
Our souls
To black
We expose
The depths
Inside of us
Of the love
We tend to lack

There is no boundary
No lines have been drawn
Poetry stretches
To the lyrics of songs
Creative metaphors
The breaking of dawns
The hues of colors
After the rainbow is gone

Reflecting on the beauty of life
The gift of poetry
Will always unite...
Traveler Tim
Michael R Burch Mar 2020
Modern Charon
by Michael R. Burch

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

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



Warming Her Pearls
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

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



Safe Harbor
by Michael R. Burch

for Kevin N. Roberts

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

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

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

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

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



Distances
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

Originally published by The Poetry Porch/Sonnet Scroll



Fascination with Light
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

a soft blur.

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

and flutters and drifts on in dark aimless flight.

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

Originally published by The HyperTexts



Kin
by Michael R. Burch

O pale, austere moon,
haughty beauty ...

what do we know of love,
or duty?



Water and Gold
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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



escape!!!
by michael r. burch

for anaïs vionet

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



Leave Taking
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

have learned what it means to say—
goodbye.

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



Passionate One
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

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

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



Stay With Me Tonight
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

Originally published by The Lyric



This poem has over 600 results for the eleventh line:

First They Came for the Muslims
by Michael R. Burch

after Martin Niemoller

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

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

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

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

Published in Amnesty International’s Words That Burn anthology, and by Borderless Journal (India), The Hindu (India), Matters India, New Age Bangladesh, Convivium Journal, PressReader (India) and Kracktivist (India)

It is indeed an honor to have one of my poems published by an outstanding organization like Amnesty International. A stated goal for the anthology is to teach students about human rights through poetry. Here is a bit of background information: Words That Burn is an online poetry anthology and human rights educational resource for students and teachers created by Amnesty International in partnership with The Poetry Hour. Amnesty International is the world’s largest human rights organization, with seven million supporters. This new webpage has been designed to "enable young people to explore human rights through poetry whilst developing their voice and skills as poets." This exemplary resource was inspired by the poetry anthology Words that Burn, curated by Josephine Hart of The Poetry Hour, which in turn was inspired by Thomas Gray's observation that "Poetry is thoughts that breathe and words that burn."



bachelorhoodwinked
by Michael R. Burch

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

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



chrysalis
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

and yet You must love Your Self



Self Reflection
by Michael R. Burch

(for anyone struggling with self-image)

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

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



War is Obsolete
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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

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



In My House
by Michael R. Burch

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

Manifest Destiny?

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

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

I feel my tongue
stilting accordingly.

We were wrong;
brother, forgive me.

Published by Black Medina



Shock
by Michael R. Burch

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

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



In Praise of Meter
by Michael R. Burch

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

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



Completing the Pattern
by Michael R. Burch

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



The Communion of Sighs
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

Published by Grassroots Poetry and Poetry Webring



The Harvest of Roses
by Michael R. Burch

for Harvey Stanbrough

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

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

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



White in the Shadows
by Michael R. Burch

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

tell Regret it is not so rare.

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

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



The Octopi Jars
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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



The Children of Gaza

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



Epitaph for a Child of Gaza
by Michael R. Burch

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



Frail Envelope of Flesh
by Michael R. Burch

for the mothers and children of Gaza

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

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

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



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

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

Where does the butterfly go?

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

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



I Pray Tonight
by Michael R. Burch

for the children of Gaza and their mothers

I pray tonight
the starry Light
might
surround you.

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

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



Something
by Michael R. Burch

for the mothers and children of Gaza

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

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

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



Mother’s Smile
by Michael R. Burch

for the mothers of Gaza and their children

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

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

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

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



Such Tenderness
by Michael R. Burch

for the mothers of Gaza

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

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

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

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



who, US?
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

“who’s to blame?”



My nightmare ...

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



I, too, have a dream ...

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



Suffer the Little Children
by Nakba

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



Autumn Conundrum
by Michael R. Burch

for the mothers and children of Gaza

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



Piercing the Shell

for the mothers and children of Gaza

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



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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the lost gold of vanished stars.

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



Habeas Corpus
by Michael R. Burch

from “Songs of the Antinatalist”

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



In His Kingdom of Corpses
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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



Uyghur Poetry Translations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



Free Fall to Liftoff
by Michael R. Burch

for my father, Paul Ray Burch, Jr.

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



The One True Poem
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

even so,
We were One.



The Poem of Poems
by Michael R. Burch

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



Peace Prayer
by Michael R. Burch

Be calm.
Be still.
Be silent, content.

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

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

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

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



Sometimes the Dead
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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



What the Poet Sees
by Michael R. Burch

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

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



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

Athena takes me
sometimes by the hand

and we go levitating
through strange Dreamlands

where Apollo sleeps
in his dark forgetting

and Passion seems
like a wise bloodletting

and all I remember
,upon awaking,

is: to Love sometimes
is like forsaking

one’s Being―to glide
heroically beyond thought,

forsaking the here
for the There and the Not.



O, finally to Burn,
gravity beyond escaping!

To plummet is Bliss
when the blisters breaking

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

Feathers and wax
and the watchers huddle ...

Flocculent sheep,
O, and innocent lambs!,

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



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

for the Night has Wings
gentler than moonbeams―

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

fluttering off
to quarry the Sphinx.



Riddlemethis,
riddlemethat,

Rynosseross,
throw out the Welcome Mat.

Quixotic, I seek Love
amid the tarnished

rusted-out steel
when to live is varnish.

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

soak by the candle,
aflame in the tub.



Riddlemethis,
riddlemethat,

Rynosseross,
throw out the Welcome Mat.

Somewhither, somewhither
aglitter and strange,

we must moult off all knowledge
or perish caged.

*

I am reconciled to Life
somewhere beyond thought―

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

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

so fatten the oxen;
make a nice baste.

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

though we injure noone,
ourselves wildaglow.

Published by The Lyric and The Ekphrastic Review



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Each Color a Scar
by Michael R. Burch

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

She did not speak,
but her intention
was clear,

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

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

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

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



Ultimate Sunset
by Michael R. Burch

for my father, Paul Ray Burch, Jr.

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



Free Fall
by Michael R. Burch

for my father, Paul Ray Burch, Jr.

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



Sanctuary at Dawn
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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

"My father!"
"My son!"

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



All Things Galore
by Michael R. Burch

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

Grandfather,
now in your gray presence
you are

somehow more near

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

wish

that ululate soft phrase,
that hopeful phrase!

and everywhere above, each hopeful star

gleamed down

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

and taught me heaven, omen, meteor . . .



Attend Upon Them Still
by Michael R. Burch

for my grandparents George and Ena Hurt

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

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

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

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

make them complete.



The Composition of Shadows
by Michael R. Burch

for poets who write late at night

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

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

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

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

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



First Steps
by Michael R. Burch

for Caitlin Shea Murphy

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

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

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

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



brrExit
by Michael R. Burch

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

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



Vacuum
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

that once intrigued us so.

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

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



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

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

What is their brazen goal?

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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



Charles d'Orleans translations of Rondels/Roundels/Rondeaux

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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



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

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

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



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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



In the Whispering Night
by Michael R. Burch

for George King

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



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

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



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

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



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

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

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



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

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



The Lonely Earth
by Kajal Ahmad
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

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



Kurds are Birds
by Kajal Ahmad
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

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



Birdsong
by Rumi
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

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



After the Deluge
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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



grave request
by michael r. burch

come to ur doom
in Tombstone;

the stars stark and chill
over Boot Hill

care nothing for ur desire;

still,

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

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

so come, spend ur last hardearned bill
on Tombstone.



Defenses
by Michael R. Burch

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

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



Pool's Prince Charming
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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



The Aery Faery Princess
by Michael R. Burch

for Keira

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



pretty pickle
by Michael R. Burch

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



and then i was made whole
by Michael R. Burch

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

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



Album
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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



Because You Came to Me
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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



Beckoning
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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



Besieged
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

and the rout begins.



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

(for mothers battling addiction)

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

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



Loose Knit
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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



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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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



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

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



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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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



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

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

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



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

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

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



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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Alien Nation
by Michael R. Burch

for a Christian poet who believes in “hell”

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

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

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

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



Burn
by Michael R. Burch

for Trump

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

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



Burn, Ovid
by Michael R. Burch

“Burn Ovid”—Austin Clarke

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



*** 101
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

The most unlikely coupling—

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

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

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

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

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



honeybee
by michael r. burch

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



honeydew
by michael r. burch

i sampled honeysuckle
and it made my taste buds buckle!



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

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



Huntress
Michael R. Burch

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



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

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

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

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

Originally published by The Chained Muse



Ince St. Child
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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



Lullaby
by Michael R. Burch

for Jeremy

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

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

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

Will wake together, by and by.

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

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

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

Know nothing but this lullaby.



Kin
by Michael R. Burch

O pale, austere moon,
haughty beauty ...

what do we know of love,
or duty?



Kindred
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Reflections
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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



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

for Trump

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

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

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

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

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

Originally published by Café Dissensus



Remembrance
by Michael R. Burch

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

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



Resurrecting Passion
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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

Published in Songs of Innocence and The Chained Muse.



Currents
by Michael R. Burch

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

Originally published by The Lyric



Righteous
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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



R.I.P.
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

Originally published by Romantics Quarterly



The Shape of Mourning
by Michael R. Burch

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

the bolt of cold steel
on a locker
shielding memory,

the monthly penance
of flowers,
the annual wake,

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

the useless mower
lying forgotten
in weeds,

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



Tillage
by Michael R. Burch

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

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



For All That I Remembered
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

Originally published by The Raintown Review



Hearthside
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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



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

I know the truth―abandon lesser truths!

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

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



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

I know the truth―abandon lesser truths!

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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



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

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

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

in ourselves.



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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



Villanelle: Hangovers
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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



Haunted
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

Published by Romantics Quarterly



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

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

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



Her Preference
by Michael R. Burch

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

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



hey pete
by Michael R. Burch

for Pete Rose

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

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



Nevermore!
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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

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

their skeletal love―impossibility!

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



Mehmet Akif Ersoy: Modern English Translations of Turkish Poems

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



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

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



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

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



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

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



W. S. Rendra translations

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

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

Best wishes for an impending deflowering.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then comes light,
life, the animals and man.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Shadows
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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



Recursion
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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



Lines for My Ascension
by Michael R. Burch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



The Quickening
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

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

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



Ah! Sunflower
by Michael R. Burch

after William Blake

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



Published as the collection "Modern Charon"

Keywords/Tags: Charon, Styx, death, ferry, boat, ship, captain, steering, helm, wheel, rudder, shipwreck, disaster, night, darkness, 911, 9-11, mrbch
Omar Kawash Aug 2014
In a hammock
On the eve of final exams
There is a scent of caffeine coursed bodies pacing
the distances of Starbucks and the library,
an unusual sight at eleven at night

There is peace
In the fraternity- I think begins with a Sigma-
running around playing a vicious thirty person game of tag
Yeah, I witnessed that wipeout and it was hilarious

There is heat condensed around the height of brains
Struggling to realize dreams that require
Busy work man! It's just like six hours of nonstop busy work
The guy on the bench behind me whined out cooling breath of brown leaves

There is energy in the fractal jungle above
The towering umbrellas of Palm trees which grant me the magic of hovering
I see through waving leaves Orion's Belt.
The light pollution overpowers his body but
he reminds me that there is more in the astral world

Ibis scour the ground
Some would read the tea leaves
that bravest of birds has crossed my path
And I will survive the tests that I allow to define possibilities in life

There is closure to my left
Two girls in a hammock, bodies combined like a turtle in a shell
Only they know what goes on inside,
and all I witness is the harmony that the trials that students go through that unites
I wrote this last final exam season (Spring 2014). I decided it's worthy time to post it as my last day as an undergrad with my last final today. Cheers to the best years of my life. May you see the beauty in challenges too.
EDIT: Spring 2015 finals are upon students. And UM had the audacity to remove the hammocks that were so representative of finals season. Now, they have bean bags. This now feels more like an elegy for a time that once was. Ending my possible rant here.
The They Apr 2013
The crowd
Of decaying walls
Whose roof that united them
In common interest,
Belief,
Prosperity,
Has collapsed into the ground
Leaving them stranded:
Searching for someone to blame
As they crumble in the rain.

Out of isolation come the walls
To stand in city streets
Chanting slogans,
Holding placards,
Walking alone
Though with each other.

Between them
All bonds lie broken:
Each one stands
In contradiction with the crowd,
But walks with it
In self-righteous anger
That divides them even as it unites.

This movement stands afraid
To question
To answer
To find
An answer to their anger
For fear of what it might unbind…
All are limitory, but each has her own
nuance of damage. The elite can dress and decent themselves,
are ambulant with a single stick, adroit
to read a book all through, or play the slow movements of
easy sonatas. (Yet, perhaps their very
carnal freedom is their spirit's bane: intelligent
of what has happened and why, they are obnoxious
to a glum beyond tears.) Then come those on wheels, the average
majority, who endure T.V. and, led by
lenient therapists, do community-singing, then
the loners, muttering in Limbo, and last
the terminally incompetent, as improvident,
unspeakable, impeccable as the plants
they parody. (Plants may sweat profusely but never
sully themselves.) One tie, though, unites them: all
appeared when the world, though much was awry there, was more
spacious, more comely to look at, it's Old Ones
with an audience and secular station. Then a child,
in dismay with Mamma, could refuge with Gran
to be revalued and told a story. As of now,
we all know what to expect, but their generation
is the first to fade like this, not at home but assigned
to a numbered frequent ward, stowed out of conscience
as unpopular luggage.
As I ride the subway
to spend half-an-hour with one, I revisage
who she was in the pomp and sumpture of her hey-day,
when week-end visits were a presumptive joy,
not a good work. Am I cold to wish for a speedy
painless dormition, pray, as I know she prays,
that God or Nature will abrupt her earthly function?
most of my life I have tried to keep
appearances and show the world
that I was a strong confidant young man

I smiled my polite smile as I was dying inside,
so afraid to share with any other human being
all the shame and guilt I kep buried deep inside

I have a fellowship of people today,
where our common weakness unites us
and we find strength in mutual vulnerability

when I embrace my weakness,
I allow God to enter into me
through my wounds

how easily I forget along with the rest of the world
that God chose to meet us face to face in weakness,
in a flesh like mine
Santiago Jun 2015
Love of my life
Look deep in my eyes
There you will find what you need

Give me your life
The lust and the lies
And the past you're afraid I might see
You've been running away from me

You're my beloved lover
I'm yours
Death shall not part us
It's you I died for
For better or worse
Forever we'll be
My love it unites us and it binds you to me
It's a mystery

Love of my life
Look deep in my eyes
There you will find what you need

I'm the giver of life
I'll clothe you in white
My immaculate bride you will be
Come running home to me

You're my beloved lover
I'm yours
Death shall not part us
It's you I died for
For better or worse
Forever we'll be
My love it unites us and it binds you to me

You've been a mistress, my wife
Chasing lovers that won't satisfy
Won't you let me make you my bride
You will drink of my lips and you'll taste new life

You're my beloved lover
I'm yours
Death shall not part us
It's you I died for
For better or worse
Forever we'll be
My love it unites us and it binds you to me
It's a mystery
Nat Lipstadt Aug 2016
quite recently, I received an extraordinary complimentary message to one of my poems, from a comrade in arms, dare I call him friend, that cored, scored me.  I post it below.  Not from braggadocio, or vanity, venal poetry sins.  But, it could not stand orphaned,
unrequited and unreciprocated,
for that would be a sin of even greater magnitude,

ingratitude

<>

this poem begins unique,
am struggling with a problem previously
unknown, never before even
close encountered

how do I commence?

poet wonders repeatedly,
a tune on the not-so-natty brain,
set on the machine's "repeat"setting,
this problematical for de minimus - 25 hour day,
this scribbler, this constant nibbler
on the Graham crackers life bestows,
befuddled muddled
for

this is never an issue,
it's the windup, the shutdown,
knowing when enough is enough,
that is the sorest point of his
elongated, can't shut up skill set

it cannot stand, it cannot just hang,
it needs a rabbinical wise,
responsible responsum,
a simple
thank you
holy, holy, holy
insufficient

these words, an almost wet smackdown,
catch me exposed, crossing Sixth Avenue,
against oncoming traffic (naturally),
while on cell phone bad boy,
doing his three R's,#
reading, writing & errrrr, deleting,
(yeah, yeah, I know, I know)
amidst my multiplicity of incoming artillery shells of
automobiles and messages,
this one,
seizing me up, me like a screeching,
near dying engine, broke from being oil-less,
nearly dropping my two large
20 oz. McDonald's coffees which easy
could flood this four lane
thoroughfare

you want to write like this,
are you mad, man?

all I ever es-say is what I see,
throwing in a rhyme or two,
a pinch of a fancy word to impress the
hoi polloi, and plenty salty sweet
to provocate a sensory ah ha
confusion

sir, why write like me,
when you pen this?

"yet all of this could
just as easily be,
the sum of two,
grateful hearts in equal parts,
the beat of two in rhythm thrum,
march in time upon one drum"
^

which pretty much says
what needs saying
all in one perfect stanza humming

but this note, is so far,
way deficient,
a mockery of what the situation requires and is deserving,
so multiple lovely muses redirect me
back to my email,
where I find this waiting,
in repose, this prose,
perfect

A compliment is a complement—
this I know, just as the clock
will always strike midnight
and history repeats. This is how
I can wake up the next morning
and love the world again.
^^

blossoming notion, this is but a complement,
where the line dotted allows free passage
from reader to poet, from poet to poet,
permitting the peaking reciprocity of completion,
and this complement
I accept, unashamedly, profoundly
for this is my 1/1,
for to make a whole, we still require
numerator, denominator,
of equal value

on this basis,
and this basis alone,
I accept your words

when prowling scowling late at night,
or early sun rising, old bones enthroned
in my Adirondack dis-comforter,
will come a-sneaking, a-peaking,
nobody-around-real quiet like,
for another look-see at this kookery,
in my solitary poet's by-the-bay nookery,

the thought comes,
maybe it's time to lay that pen down,
the Israelites have crossed that Red Sea,
dry and on their way to a land of promises,
when sure enough my coffee mug
spills onto an ant hill hard by the beach,
and oops, soiling the soil,
the Lesser Antillean inhabitants making an unholy ruckus,
and oops, ther goes another rubber plant, high hopes, poem aborning,^^^

but sir, be advised,
your excess foolishness is warming,
but we cannot without each other,
march to one drum,
our steps surely mismatched,
it is the reciprocity of
complementary numerical worthies that unites the fractions of us
into a singletary winter pea,
a whole of us,
in order to
"let us love the world again"
yes, a true 'story'
<>
#reading, writing and 'rithmetic
-----------
"some time back
this notion became clear to me.
have wanted to say it since;
this, your words, the perfect segue.

i have come to love
the style of your writing,
so much so as to adopt it,
as my own, though perhaps
in my own tone, voice, and
life experience.

much of how i write today,
I attribute to your influence...
no kidding, no hyperbole,
no gush, no mush, just truth.

whomever taught or influenced you
is to be admired most,
for in the style
i see most encapsulated by yours
is a conveyance that goes
well beyond words,
well beyond mere ideas...
it incorporates heart and emotion,
and more so,
the heart behind the heart,
in a way rather uncommon
to most poetry."^

S. Reimer
"After-math"
<>
^^ "On Being Told I Look Like FLOTUS, New Year’s Eve Party 2014"
by January Gill O’Neil

<>

^^^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S94Bh3Qez9o
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Sean Pope Aug 2012
Footprints so carelessly left in the sand:
So varied, haphazard, yet one common band.

The confidant jogger, the beach-combing wren,
The legions of desperate women and men,
Each of them leaves behind wet indentations
For those so inclined to survey and relate them.
How heavy the footsteps of those bearing burdens,
While almost an outline from those sans diversions.

These footprints so often abandoned are strange,
For they effect any who come into range.
How so many strive to make some path go noticed,
When often the same ones leave marks out of focus.
Ghosts of the efforts of steps left behind,
Yet lost to the ages, anonymous finds.

But one thing unites all the grainy debris:
These footprints will be swallowed up the sea.
Find You



Every time I hear your voice my voice speaks for yours ...
every time I think start thinking and I end up thinking about you,
but all the more times I remember you ...
It is just as I do not think you ...

every time I remember you wanted to go back and touch your hand
as a white root water
every time you guess, I imagine smiling
filling dark parts of my being.

curiosity called me as well as my prison sentence,
feel attached to you and not empty nothing to everything,
but take as a whole.

I know I'll see you at night and my soul will rest,
he longed to have you because she enjoys you,
even when you absent these, but want to blow on your cheek
the beauty of feeling the warmth of your words.
giving tilt my head to rest it on you.

I might take like a flower and plant yourself in the lines of my hands,
in order to know more of your white collar, to take over your body,
until you clear the lines of my hands of both adore.

I know I put our heads together on the leaves,
and the leaves break the silence to say with my lips
the tenderness that numbs my words and my mouth,
to defy the force of the stars to hug and kiss you.

my lips and my heart smile wet at the edge of a river,
and I think every time before a humble piece of stream
touching my feet; Think about the time you double the corner
believing walking behind me were coming to give me your sympathy grace.

my lips smile that always come,
but do not look back,
appearing as a wish of yours and mine
that slips pretending to be an enthusiasm.

but my skin want your sun, which makes sun, your skin
my heart wish your hands so that you shake
my soul upright in his moral extends through your body as tripartite;
unnamed your anxieties, your blessed feel ...
and my eyes that sometimes yearn to know that your eyes are away from
mine enjoying the beauties of the world.

on crisp leaves silence your sweet voice makes my kisses,
and your mouth will seal fearful passion,
taking our hands and brushing silent crunchy
Crumbling leaves chanting your name and mine.

when you come swinging will open the puffs of wind,
hold my breath to see barefoot and dream my
Belly want to draw your geography ...
as an alliance that unites sheet by sheet,
that unites high heaven looking adorned with lights.

lie down every night in my sheets,
so we cross our clasped hands,
we will touch the stars that will make us sleep ...
whenever your hands are not intertwined with mine
talk about other things in the world.

will remember the starry sky uniting our thoughts,
weaving and calming my whole dream to kiss,
the next time I see you not cease to tell you;
that no harmonious feel more open way, as sheltering your image with my numb hands
by debug of exile and cold untouchable.


unite our dreams as a pale light,
we´ll join in our service and the sky of your forest,
calling in the early evening
looking for you to hold you whole.



Jose Luis Carreño Troncoso /  Copyright  2000.
Chile South America
Man was made of social earth,
Child and brother from his birth;
Tethered by a liquid cord
Of blood through veins of kindred poured,
Next his heart the fireside band
Of mother, father, sister, stand;
Names from awful childhood heard,
Throbs of a wild religion stirred,
Their good was heaven, their harm was vice,
Till Beauty came to snap all ties,
The maid, abolishing the past,
With lotus-wine obliterates
Dear memory's stone-incarved traits,
And by herself supplants alone
Friends year by year more inly known.
When her calm eyes opened bright,
All were foreign in their light.
It was ever the self-same tale,
The old experience will not fail,—
Only two in the garden walked,
And with snake and seraph talked.

But God said;
I will have a purer gift,
There is smoke in the flame;
New flowerets bring, new prayers uplift,
And love without a name.
Fond children, ye desire
To please each other well;
Another round, a higher,
Ye shall climb on the heavenly stair,
And selfish preference forbear;
And in right deserving,
And without a swerving
Each from your proper state,
Weave roses for your mate.

Deep, deep are loving eyes,
Flowed with naphtha fiery sweet,
And the point is Paradise
Where their glances meet:
Their reach shall yet be more profound,
And a vision without bound:
The axis of those eyes sun-clear
Be the axis of the sphere;
Then shall the lights ye pour amain
Go without check or intervals,
Through from the empyrean walls,
Unto the same again.

Close, close to men,
Like undulating layer of air,
Right above their heads,
The potent plain of Dæmons spreads.
Stands to each human soul its own,
For watch, and ward, and furtherance
In the snares of nature's dance;
And the lustre and the grace
Which fascinate each human heart,
Beaming from another part,
Translucent through the mortal covers,
Is the Dæmon's form and face.
To and fro the Genius hies,
A gleam which plays and hovers
Over the maiden's head,
And dips sometimes as low as to her eyes.

Unknown, — albeit lying near, —
To men the path to the Dæmon sphere,
And they that swiftly come and go,
Leave no track on the heavenly snow.
Sometimes the airy synod bends,
And the mighty choir descends,
And the brains of men thenceforth,
In crowded and in still resorts,
Teem with unwonted thoughts.
As when a shower of meteors
Cross the orbit of the earth,
And, lit by fringent air,
Blaze near and far.
Mortals deem the planets bright
Have slipped their sacred bars,
And the lone ****** all the night
Sails astonished amid stars.

Beauty of a richer vein,
Graces of a subtler strain,
Unto men these moon-men lend,
And our shrinking sky extend.
So is man's narrow path
By strength and terror skirted,
Also (from the song the wrath
Of the Genii be averted!
The Muse the truth uncolored speaking),
The Dæmons are self-seeking;
Their fierce and limitary will
Draws men to their likeness still.

The erring painter made Love blind,
Highest Love who shines on all;
Him radiant, sharpest-sighted god
None can bewilder;
Whose eyes pierce
The Universe,
Path-finder, road-builder,
Mediator, royal giver,
Rightly-seeing, rightly-seen,
Of joyful and transparent mien.
'Tis a sparkle passing
From each to each, from me to thee,
Perpetually,
Sharing all, daring all,
Levelling, misplacing
Each obstruction, it unites
Equals remote, and seeming opposites.
And ever and forever Love
Delights to build a road;
Unheeded Danger near him strides,
Love laughs, and on a lion rides.
But Cupid wears another face
Born into Dæmons less divine,
His roses bleach apace,
His nectar smacks of wine.
The Dæmon ever builds a wall,
Himself incloses and includes,
Solitude in solitudes:
In like sort his love doth fall.
He is an oligarch,
He prizes wonder, fame, and mark,
He loveth crowns,
He scorneth drones;
He doth elect
The beautiful and fortunate,
And the sons of intellect,
And the souls of ample fate,
Who the Future's gates unbar,
Minions of the Morning Star.
In his prowess he exults,
And the multitude insults.
His impatient looks devour
Oft the humble and the poor,
And, seeing his eye glare,
They drop their few pale flowers
Gathered with hope to please
Along the mountain towers,
Lose courage, and despair.
He will never be gainsaid,
Pitiless, will not be stayed.
His hot tyranny
Burns up every other tie;
Therefore comes an hour from Jove
Which his ruthless will defies,
And the dogs of Fate unties.
Shiver the palaces of glass,
Shrivel the rainbow-colored walls
Where in bright art each god and sibyl dwelt
Secure as in the Zodiack's belt;
And the galleries and halls
Wherein every Siren sung,
Like a meteor pass.
For this fortune wanted root
In the core of God's abysm,
Was a **** of self and schism:
And ever the Dæmonic Love
Is the ancestor of wars,
And the parent of remorse.
K Balachandran Dec 2011
a laughing river
below rainbow bridge,
runs through
our hearts.

— The End —