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Michael R Burch Oct 2020
Matsuo Basho Translations



My Personal Favorites

The first soft snow:
leaves of the awed jonquil
bow low
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Come, investigate loneliness!
a solitary leaf
clings to the Kiri tree
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

The cheerful-chirping cricket
contends gray autumn's gay,
contemptuous of frost
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Whistle on, twilight whippoorwill,
solemn evangelist
of loneliness
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

The sea darkening,
the voices of the wild geese:
my mysterious companions!
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

The first chill rain:
poor monkey, you too could use
a woven cape of straw
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

This snowy morning:
cries of the crow I despise
(ah, but so beautiful!)
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

I wish I could wash
this perishing earth
in its shimmering dew
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Dabbed with morning dew
and splashed with mud,
the melon looks wonderfully cool.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch



Basho's Butterflies

The butterfly
perfuming its wings
fans the orchid
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Will we remain parted forever?
Here at your grave:
two flowerlike butterflies!
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Air ballet:
twin butterflies, twice white,
meet, match & mate.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Ballet in the air! ―
two butterflies, twice white,
meet, mate, unite.
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

A spring wind
stirs willow leaves
as a butterfly hovers unsteadily.
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

As autumn deepens,
a butterfly sips
chrysanthemum dew.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch
aki o hete / cho mo nameru ya / kiku no tsuyu

Come, butterfly,
it's late
and we've a long way to go!
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Dusk-gliding swallow,
please spare my small friends
flitting among the flowers!
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch



Basho's Famous Frog Poem

An ancient pond,
the frog leaps:
the silver plop and gurgle of water
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

An ancient pond sleeps...
untroubled by sound or movement...until...
suddenly a frog leaps!
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Explosion!
The frog returns
to its lily pad.
—Michael R. Burch original haiku



Basho's Heron

Lightning
shatters the darkness—
the night heron's shriek
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Lightning―
the night heron's shriek
severs the darkness
― Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

A flash of lightning―
the night heron's shriek
splits the void
― Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch



Basho's Flowers

Let us arrange
these lovely flowers in the bowl
since there's no rice
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Like a heavy fragrance
snowflakes settle:
lilies on rocks
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

High-altitude rose petals
falling
falling
falling:
the melody of a waterfall.
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Revered figure!
I bow low
to the rabbit-eared Iris.
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Cold white azalea—
a lone nun
in her thatched straw hut.
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Glimpsed on this high mountain trail,
delighting my heart—
wild violets
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Disdaining grass,
the firefly nibbles nettles—
this is who I am.
—Takarai Kikaku translation by Michael R. Burch

A simple man,
content to breakfast with the morning glories—
this is who I am.
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch
This is Basho's response to the Takarai Kikaku haiku above
asagao ni / ware wa meshi kû / otoko kana

Ah me,
I waste my meager breakfast
morning glory gazing!
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Morning glories blossom,
reinforcing the old fence gate.
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

The morning glories, alas,
also turned out
not to embrace me
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Morning glories bloom,
mending chinks
in the old fence
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Morning glories,
however poorly painted,
still engage us
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch
asagao wa / heta no kaku sae / aware nari

I too
have been accused
of morning glory gazing...
—original haiku by by Michael R. Burch

Curious flower,
watching us approach:
meet Death, our famished donkey.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch



Basho's Poems about Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter

Spring has come:
the nameless hill
lies shrouded in mist
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Spring!
A nameless hill
stands shrouded in mist.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

The legs of the cranes
have been shortened
by the summer rains.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

These brown summer grasses?
The only remains
of "invincible" warriors...
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

An empty road
lonelier than abandonment:
this autumn evening
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Autumn darkness
descends
on this road I travel alone
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Taming the rage
of an unrelenting sun—
autumn breeze.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch
aka aka to / hi wa tsurenaku mo / aki no kaze

The sun sets,
relentlessly red,
yet autumn's in the wind.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch
aka aka to / hi wa tsurenaku mo / aki no kaze

As autumn draws near,
so too our hearts
in this small tea room.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch
aki chikaki / kokoro no yoru ya / yo jo han

Late autumn:
my neighbor,
how does he continue?
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Winter in the air:
my neighbor,
how does he fare?
― Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Winter solitude:
a world awash in white,
the sound of the wind
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

The year's first day...
thoughts come, and with them, loneliness;
dusk approaches.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch



Basho's Temple Poems

Graven images of long-departed gods,
dry spiritless leaves:
companions of the temple porch
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

The temple bells grow silent
but the blossoms provide their incense―
A perfect evening!
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

See: whose surviving sons
visit the ancestral graves
white-bearded, with trembling canes?
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Like a glorious shrine—
on these green, budding leaves,
the sun's intense radiance.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch
ara toto / aoba wakaba no / hi no hikar



Basho's Birds

A raven settles
on a leafless branch:
autumn nightfall
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

A crow has settled
on a naked branch—
autumn nightfall
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

A solitary crow
clings to a leafless branch:
autumn twilight
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

A solitary crow
clings to a leafless branch:
phantom autumn
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

A crow roosts
on a leafless branch:
autumn nightmare
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

NOTE: There has been a debate about the meaning of aki-no kure, which may mean one of the following: autumn evening, autumn dusk, the end of autumn. Or it seems possible that Basho may have intentionally invoked the ideas of both the end of an autumn day and the end of the season as well. In my translations I have tried to create an image of solitary crow clinging to a branch that seems like a harbinger of approaching winter and death. In the first translation I went with the least light possible: autumn twilight. In the second translation, I attempted something more ghostly. Phrases I considered include: spectral autumn, skeletal autumn, autumnal skeleton, phantom autumn, autumn nocturne, autumn nightfall, autumn nightmare, dismal autumn. In the third and fourth translations I focused on the color of the bird and its resemblance to night falling. While literalists will no doubt object, my goal is to create an image and a feeling that convey in English what I take Basho to have been trying to convey in Japanese. Readers will have to decide whether they prefer my translations to the many others that exist, but mine are trying to convey the eeriness of the scene in English.

Except for a woodpecker
tapping at a post,
the house is silent.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Swallow flitting in the dusk,
please spare my small friends
buzzing among the flowers!
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch




Basho's Insects

A bee emerging
from deep within the peony's hairy recesses
flies off heavily, sated
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

That dying cricket,
how he goes on about his life!
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

The cicada's cry
contains no hint
of how soon it must die.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Nothing in the cicada's cry
hints that it knows
how soon it must die.
—Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

The cicada's cry
contains no hint
of how soon it must die.
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch




Basho's Moon and Stars

Pausing between clouds
the moon rests
in the eyes of its beholders
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

The moon: glorious its illumination!
Therefore, we give thanks.
Dark clouds cast their shadows on our necks.
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

The surging sea crests around Sado...
and above her?
An ocean of stars.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch
ara umi ya / Sado ni yokotau / Ama-no-gawa



Basho's Companions

Fire levitating ashes:
my companion's shadow
animates the wall...
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Among the graffiti
one illuminated name:
Yours.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Scrawny tomcat!
Are you starving for fish and mice
or pining away for love?
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch



Basho's End of Life and Death Poems

Nothing happened!
Yesterday simply vanished
like the blowfish soup.
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch
ara nantomo na ya / kino wa sugite / fukuto-jiru

Fever-felled mid-path
my dreams resurrect, to trek
into a hollow land
—Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Sick of its autumn migration
my spirit drifts
over wilted fields...
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

Sick of this autumn migration
in dreams I drift
over flowerless fields...
―Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch

NOTE: While literalists will no doubt object to "flowerless" in the translation above ― along with other word choices in my other translations ― this is my preferred version. I think Basho's meaning still comes through. But "wilted" is probably closer to what he meant. If only we could consult him, to ask whether he preferred strictly literal prose translations of his poems, or more poetic interpretations! My guess is that most poets would prefer for their poems to remain poetry in the second language. In my opinion the differences are minor and astute readers will grok both Basho's meaning and his emotion.

Too ill to travel,
now only my autumn dreams
survey these withering fields
― Matsuo Basho translation by Michael R. Burch



New Haiku Translations, Added 10/6/2020

Air ballet:
twin butterflies, twice white,
meet, match & mate
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Denied transformation
into a butterfly,
autumn worsens for the worm
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Dusk-gliding swallow,
please spare my small friends
flitting among the flowers!
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Up and at ’em! The sky goes bright!
Let’***** the road again,
Companion Butterfly!
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Higher than a skylark,
resting on the breast of heaven:
mountain pass.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Farewell,
my cloud-parting friend!
Wild goose migrating.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

A crow settles
on a leafless branch:
autumn nightfall.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

An exciting struggle
with such a sad ending:
cormorant fishing.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Secretly,
by the light of the moon,
a worm bores into a chestnut.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

This strange flower
investigated by butterflies and birds:
the autumn sky
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Where’s the moon tonight?
Like the temple bell:
lost at sea.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Spring departs;
birds wail;
the pale eyes of fish moisten.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The moon still appears,
though far from home:
summer vagrant.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Cooling the pitiless sun’s
bright red flames:
autumn wind.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Saying farewell to others
while being told farewell:
departing autumn.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  
Traveling this road alone:
autumn evening.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Thin from its journey
and not yet recovered:
late harvest moon.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Occasional clouds
bless tired eyes with rest
from moon-viewing.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The farmboy
rests from husking rice
to reach for the moon.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The moon aside,
no one here
has such a lovely face.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The moon having set,
all that remains
are the four corners of his desk.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The moon so bright
a wandering monk carries it
lightly on his shoulder.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The Festival of Souls
is obscured
by smoke from the crematory.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The Festival of Souls!
Smoke from the crematory?
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Family reunion:
those with white hair and canes
visiting graves.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

One who is no more
left embroidered clothes
for a summer airing.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

What am I doing,
writing haiku on the threshold of death?
Hush, a bird’s song!
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Fallen ill on a final tour,
in dreams I go roving
earth’s flowerless moor.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Striken ill on a senseless tour,
still in dreams I go roving
earth’s withered moor.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Stricken ill on a journey,
in dreams I go wandering
withered moors.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch


New Haiku Translations, Added 10/6/2020

Air ballet:
twin butterflies, twice white,
meet, match & mate
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Denied transformation
into a butterfly,
autumn worsens for the worm
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Dusk-gliding swallow,
please spare my small friends
flitting among the flowers!
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Up and at ’em! The sky goes bright!
Let’***** the road again,
Companion Butterfly!
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Higher than a skylark,
resting on the breast of heaven:
mountain pass.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Farewell,
my cloud-parting friend!
Wild goose migrating.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

A crow settles
on a leafless branch:
autumn nightfall.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

An exciting struggle
with such a sad ending:
cormorant fishing.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Secretly,
by the light of the moon,
a worm bores into a chestnut.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

This strange flower
investigated by butterflies and birds:
the autumn sky
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Where’s the moon tonight?
Like the temple bell:
lost at sea.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Spring departs;
birds wail;
the pale eyes of fish moisten.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The moon still appears,
though far from home:
summer vagrant.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Cooling the pitiless sun’s
bright red flames:
autumn wind.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Saying farewell to others
while being told farewell:
departing autumn.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  
Traveling this road alone:
autumn evening.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Thin from its journey
and not yet recovered:
late harvest moon.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Occasional clouds
bless tired eyes with rest
from moon-viewing.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The farmboy
rests from husking rice
to reach for the moon.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The moon aside,
no one here
has such a lovely face.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The moon having set,
all that remains
are the four corners of his desk.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The moon so bright
a wandering monk carries it
lightly on his shoulder.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The Festival of Souls
is obscured
by smoke from the crematory.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The Festival of Souls!
Smoke from the crematory?
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Family reunion:
those with white hair and canes
visiting graves.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

One who is no more
left embroidered clothes
for a summer airing.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

What am I doing,
writing haiku on the threshold of death?
Hush, a bird’s song!
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Fallen ill on a final tour,
in dreams I go roving
earth’s flowerless moor.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Striken ill on a senseless tour,
still in dreams I go roving
earth’s withered moor.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Stricken ill on a journey,
in dreams I go wandering
withered moors.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch



Keywords/Tags: Basho, haiku, translation, Japan, Japanese, Oriental, Orient Occident, nature, season, seasons, waka, tanka, life and death, compassion, empathy, mrbhaiku, mrbbasho
Rhiannon Grace Jul 2014
I was born
I was happy
I started school
I made friends
New school
No friends - lonely
Change school again
Found old friends - happy again
Mother dies - sad
Depression settles in
World spins
Self harm starts
World stops
Self hate grows
Eating disorder
Self harm worsens
People worry
I give up trying
Convinced to try again
Determined to right my wrongs
Start university
No friends - lonely
Self harm comes back
Eating disorder returns
Ready to give up again
Wrote poem
My life so far.....
Narrowed visions of the limitless heights of hope
Dreams deferred not dashed or shattered like glass
Head held high to the sky
Feet always grounded never caught off guard

Hopeless

Dark clouds Dark Thoughts
Altered by substances poisoning the community
These hands Those hearts hardened by this cold existence
His hands Her thighs Their minds killing the hopes of the future

Savage

The stench of failure and poverty reeks throughout the streets
Hunger pains and dope fiends screams vibrate the streets like a sick beat
Cries of the children young and old scatter the air with grief and unbearable pain
A young man dead A young woman ***** harsh realities simmer in this mixing bowl of misery

Numb

Hopes Dreams fears ignored by the outside looking in
The mindset of a hustler taught to struggle and fight the hard way
A better life shown in the gleam of a child eye
Reality worsens with the smell of death

Ghetto Dreams
Ghetto Dreams was  written on December 20, 2008, it paints a picture of inner city life, painted many times before, but nothing is ever done to improve the conditions. We are not ignored we are just selectively noticed mainly for the negative aspects of our society.
Michael R Burch Oct 2020
Zen Death Haiku & Related Translations of Oriental Poems

Brittle cicada shell,
little did I know
that you were my life!
—Shuho (?-1767), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Like dew glistening
on a lotus leaf,
so too I soon must vanish.
—Shinsui (1720-1769), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Having been summoned,
I say farewell
to my house beneath the moon.
—Takuchi (1767-1846), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Let this body
be dew
in a field of wildflowers.
—Tembo (1740-1823), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Bury me beneath a wine barrel
in a bibber’s cellar:
with a little luck the keg will leak.
—Moriya Senan (?-1838), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Learn to accept the inevitable:
the fall willow
knows when to abandon its leaves.
—Tanehiko (1782-1842), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

I wish only to die
swiftly, with my eyes
fixed on Mount Fuji.
—Rangai (1770-1845), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

A strident cricket
accompanies me
through autumn mountains.
—Shiko (1788-1845), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

The cherry orchard’s owner
becomes compost
for his trees.
—Utsu (1813-1863), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Autumn ends,
the frogs find their place
in the earth.
—Shogetsu (1829-1899), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Since time dawned
only the dead have experienced peace;
life is snow burning in the sun.
—Nandai (1786-1817), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Returning
as it came,
this naked worm.
—Shidoken (?-1765), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

The night is clear;
the moon shines quietly;
the wind strums the trees like lyres...
but when I’m gone, who the hell will hear?
Farewell!
—Higan Choro aka Zoso Royo (1194-1277), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

I entered the world empty-handed
and now leave it barefoot.
My coming & going?
Two uncomplicated events
that became entangled.
—Kozan Ichikyo (1283-1360), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Brittle autumn leaves
crumble to dust
in the freezing wind.
—Takao (?-1660), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

This frigid season
nothing but the shadow
of my corpse survives.
—Tadatomo (1624-1676), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

My life was mere lunacy
until
the moon shone tonight.
Tokugen (1558-1647), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

“Isn’t it time,”
the young bride asks,
“to light the lantern?”
Ochi Etsujin (1656-1739), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

With the departing year
I have hidden my graying hair
from my parents.
Ochi Etsujin (1656-1739), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

I wish to die
under the spring cherry blossoms
and April’s full moon.
Ochi Etsujin (1656-1739), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Like blocks in the icehouse,
unlikely to last
the year out...
—Sentoku (1661-1726), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Once again
the melon-cool moon
rises above the rice fields.
—Tanko (1665-1735), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

At long last I depart:
above me are rainless skies and a pristine moon
as pure as my heart.
—Senseki (1712-1742), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Cuckoo, lift
me up
to where clouds drift...
Uko (1686-1743), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Sixty-six,
setting sail through tranquil waters,
a breeze-blown lotus.
Usei (1698-1764), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Is it me the raven screeches for
from the spirit world
this frigid morning?
—Shukabo (1717-1775), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

To prepare for my voyage beyond,
let me don
a gown of flowers.
—Setsudo (1715-1776), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

From depths
unfathomably cold:
the oceans roar!
—Kasenjo (d. 1776), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Today Mount Hiei’s sky
with a quick change of clouds
also removes its robes.
Shogo (1731-1798), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

I cup curious ears
among the hydrangeas
hoping to hear the spring cuckoo.
—Senchojo (?-1802), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Life,
is it like
a charcoal sketch, an obscure shadow?
—Toyokuni (?-1825), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Bitter winter winds...
but later, river willow,
remember to open your buds!
—Senryu (1717-1790), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

A fall willow tree:
unlikely to be missed
as much as the cherry blossoms.
—Senryu II (?-1818), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

My path
to Paradise
is bright with flowers.
—Sokin (?-1818), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

A willow branch
unable to reach the water
at the bottom of the vase.
—Shigenobu (?-1832), loose translation by Michael R. Burch

All evening the softest sound―
the cadence of the white camellia petals
falling
―Ranko Takakuwa (1726-1798), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Stillness:
the sound of petals
drifting down softly together ...
―Miura Chora (1729-1780), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A night storm sighs:
"The fate of the flower is to fall" ...
rebuking all who hesitate
―Yukio Mishima, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch; this is said to have been his death poem before committing ritual suicide.

But one poet, at least, cast doubt on the death poem enterprise:

Death poems?
****** delusions―
Death is death!
―Toko, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Other haiku translations …



Masaoka Shiki

The night flies!
My life,
how much more of it remains?
―Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The autumn wind eludes me;
for me there are no gods,
no Buddhas
―Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

After killing a spider,
how lonely I felt
in the frigid night.
―Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Such a small child
banished to become a priest:
frigid Siberia!
―Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I'm trying to sleep!
Please swat the flies
lightly
―Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A summer river:
disdaining the bridge,
my horse gallops through water.
―Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

After the fireworks,
the spectators departed:
how vast and dark the sky!
―Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I got drunk
then wept in my sleep
dreaming of wild cherry blossoms.
―Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

We cannot see the moon
and yet the waves still rise
―Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The first morning of autumn:
the mirror I investigate
reflects my father’s face
―Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I thought I felt a dewdrop
plop
on me as I lay in bed!
― Masaoka Shiki, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

As thunder recedes
a lone tree stands illuminated in sunlight:
applauded by cicadas
― Masaoka Shiki, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Yosa Buson

Picking autumn plums
my wrinkled hands
once again grow fragrant
― Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

White plum blossoms―
though the hour grows late,
a glimpse of dawn
― Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch; this is believed to be Buson's death poem and he is said to have died before dawn

A kite floats
at the same place in the sky
where yesterday it floated ...
― Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The pigeon's behavior
is beyond reproach,
but the mountain cuckoo's?
― Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Plowing,
not a single bird sings
in the mountain's shadow
― Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

On adjacent branches
the plum tree blossoms bloom
petal by petal―love!
― Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The red plum's fallen petals
seem to ignite horse ****.
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Intruder!―
This white plum tree
was once outside our fence!
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The pear tree flowers whitely―
a young woman reads his letter
by moonlight
― Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

As the pear tree flowers whitely―
a young woman reads his letter
by moonlight
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The abandoned willow
shines
between rains
― Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Dawn!
The brilliant sun illuminates
sardine heads.
― Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Tender grass
forgetful of its roots
the willow
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

NOTE: I believe this poem can be taken as commentary on ungrateful children. It reminds me of Robert Hayden's "Those Winter Sundays."―MRB

The dew-damp grass
weeps silently
in the setting sun
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Since I'm left here alone,
I'll make friends with the harvest moon.
―Yosa Buson (1716-1783), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Because I'm alone,
I'll make friends with the moon.
―Yosa Buson (1716-1783), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The hood-wearer
in his self-created darkness
fails to see the harvest moon
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Even lonelier than last year:
this autumn evening.
―Yosa Buson (1716-1783), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My thoughts return to my Mother and Father:
late autumn
―Yosa Buson (1716-1783), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Late autumn:
my thoughts return to my Mother and Father
―Yosa Buson (1716-1783), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The roaring winter wind:
the cataract grates on its rocks.
―Yosa Buson (1716-1783), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The hood-wearer
in his self-created darkness
fails to see the harvest moon
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Our life here on earth:
to what shall we compare it?
Perhaps to a rowboat
departing at daybreak,
leaving no trace of us in its wake?
—Takaha Shugyo or Yosa Buson, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Tender grass
forgetful of its roots
the willow
―Yosa Buson, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

NOTE: I believe this poem can be taken as commentary on ungrateful children. It reminds me of Robert Hayden's "Those Winter Sundays."―MRB




Matsuo Basho

The legs of the cranes
have been shortened
by the summer rains.
―Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A bee emerging
from deep within the peony’s hairy recesses
flies off heavily, sated
―Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A crow has settled
on a naked branch―
autumn nightfall
―Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A solitary crow
clings to a leafless branch:
autumn twilight
―Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A solitary crow
clings to a leafless branch:
phantom autumn
―Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A raven settles
on a leafless branch:
autumn nightfall
―Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A crow roosts
on a leafless branch:
autumn nightmare
―Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

NOTE: There has been a debate about the meaning of aki-no kure, which may mean one of the following: autumn evening, autumn dusk, the end of autumn. Or it seems possible that Basho may have intentionally invoked the ideas of both the end of an autumn day and the end of the season as well. In my translations I have tried to create an image of solitary crow clinging to a branch that seems like a harbinger of approaching winter and death. In the first translation I went with the least light possible: autumn twilight. In the second translation, I attempted something more ghostly. Phrases I considered include: spectral autumn, skeletal autumn, autumnal skeleton, phantom autumn, autumn nocturne, autumn nightfall, autumn nightmare, dismal autumn. In the third and fourth translations I focused on the color of the bird and its resemblance to night falling. While literalists will no doubt object, my goal is to create an image and a feeling that convey in English what I take Basho to have been trying to convey in Japanese. Readers will have to decide whether they prefer my translations to the many others that exist, but mine are trying to convey the eeriness of the scene in English.

Winter solitude:
a world awash in white,
the sound of the wind
―Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Sick of its autumn migration
my spirit drifts
over wilted fields ...
―Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), said to be his death poem, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Sick of this autumn migration
in dreams I drift
over flowerless fields ...
―Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), said to be his death poem, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

NOTE: While literalists will no doubt object to "flowerless" in the translation above ― along with other word choices in my other translations ― this is my preferred version. I think Basho's meaning still comes through. But "wilted" is probably closer to what he meant. If only we could consult him, to ask whether he preferred strictly literal prose translations of his poems, or more poetic interpretations! My guess is that most poets would prefer for their poems to remain poetry in the second language. In my opinion the differences are minor and astute readers will grok both Basho's meaning and his emotion.

Except for a woodpecker
tapping at a post,
the house is silent.
―Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

That dying cricket,
how he goes on about his life!
―Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Like a glorious shrine―
on these green, budding leaves,
the sun’s intense radiance.
―Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



Kobayashi Issa


Right at my feet!
When did you arrive here,
snail?
― Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I toss in my sleep,
so watch out,
cricket!
― Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

In a better world
I'd leave you my rice bowl,
little fly!
― Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

All's well with the world:
another fly's sharing our rice!
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Cries of the wild geese―
spreading rumors about me?
― Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Wake up, old tomcat,
then with elaborate yawns and stretchings
prepare to pursue love
― Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

An enormous frog!
We stare at each other,
both petrified.
― Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Skinny frog,
hang on ...
Issa to the rescue!
― Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

While a cicada
sings softly
a single leaf falls ...
― Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The cry of a pheasant,
as if it just noticed
the mountain.
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

As I stumble home at dusk,
heavy with her eggs
a spider blocks me.
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

All the while I'm praying to Buddha
I'm continually killing mosquitoes.
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

This windy nest?
Open your hungry mouth in vain,
Issa, orphaned sparrow!
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The ghostly cow comes
mooing mooing mooing
out of the morning mist
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

If anyone comes, child,
don't open the gate
or the melons will flee!
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

It's not at all anxious to bloom,
the plum tree at my gate.
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Our world of dew
is a world of dew indeed;
and yet, and yet ...
― Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Full moon―
my ramshackle hut
is an open book.
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Oh, brilliant moon
can it be true
that even you
must rush off, late
for some date?
― Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Oh, brilliant moon
can it be true that even you
must rush off, tardy?
― Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The snow melts
and the village is flooded with children!
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Don't weep, we are all insects!
Lovers, even the stars themselves,
must eventually part.
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

In our world
we walk suspended over hell
admiring flowers.
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Standing beneath cherry blossoms
who can be strangers?
― Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Petals I amass
with such tenderness
***** me to the quick.
― Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Standing unsteadily,
I am the scarecrow’s
skinny surrogate
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Autumn wind ...
She always wanted to pluck
the reddest roses
―Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Issa wrote the haiku above after the death of his daughter Sato with the note: “Sato, girl, 35th day, at the grave.”



Other Poets

A pity to pluck,
A pity to pass ...
Ah, violet!
―Naojo, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


Silence:
a single chestnut leaf
sinks through clear water ...
―Shohaku, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

New Haiku Translations, Added 10/6/2020

Air ballet:
twin butterflies, twice white,
meet, match & mate
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Denied transformation
into a butterfly,
autumn worsens for the worm
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Dusk-gliding swallow,
please spare my small friends
flitting among the flowers!
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Up and at ’em! The sky goes bright!
Let’***** the road again,
Companion Butterfly!
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Higher than a skylark,
resting on the breast of heaven:
mountain pass.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Farewell,
my cloud-parting friend!
Wild goose migrating.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

A crow settles
on a leafless branch:
autumn nightfall.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

An exciting struggle
with such a sad ending:
cormorant fishing.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Secretly,
by the light of the moon,
a worm bores into a chestnut.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

This strange flower
investigated by butterflies and birds:
the autumn sky
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Where’s the moon tonight?
Like the temple bell:
lost at sea.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Spring departs;
birds wail;
the pale eyes of fish moisten.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The moon still appears,
though far from home:
summer vagrant.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Cooling the pitiless sun’s
bright red flames:
autumn wind.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Saying farewell to others
while being told farewell:
departing autumn.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  
Traveling this road alone:
autumn evening.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Thin from its journey
and not yet recovered:
late harvest moon.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Occasional clouds
bless tired eyes with rest
from moon-viewing.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The farmboy
rests from husking rice
to reach for the moon.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The moon aside,
no one here
has such a lovely face.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The moon having set,
all that remains
are the four corners of his desk.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The moon so bright
a wandering monk carries it
lightly on his shoulder.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The Festival of Souls
is obscured
by smoke from the crematory.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

The Festival of Souls!
Smoke from the crematory?
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Family reunion:
those with white hair and canes
visiting graves.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

One who is no more
left embroidered clothes
for a summer airing.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

What am I doing,
writing haiku on the threshold of death?
Hush, a bird’s song!
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch  

Fallen ill on a final tour,
in dreams I go roving
earth’s flowerless moor.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Striken ill on a senseless tour,
still in dreams I go roving
earth’s withered moor.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Stricken ill on a journey,
in dreams I go wandering
withered moors.
—Matsuo Basho, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch




Today, catching sight of the mallards
crying over Lake Iware:
Must I too vanish into the clouds?
—Prince Otsu (663-686), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch  

This world—
to what may we compare it?
To autumn fields
lying darkening at dusk
illuminated by lightning flashes.
—Minamoto no Shitago (911-983), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

This world—to what may we liken it?
To autumn fields lit dimly at dusk,
illuminated by lightning flashes.
—Minamoto no Shitago (911-983), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Like a half-exposed rotten log
my life, which never flowered,
ends barren.
—Minamoto Yorimasa (1104-1180), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Overtaken by darkness,
I will lodge under a tree’s branches;
cherry blossoms will cushion me tonight.
—Taira no Tadanori (1144–1184), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
Overtaken by darkness,
I will lodge under a cherry tree’s branches;
flowers alone will bower me tonight.
—Taira no Tadanori (1144–1184), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Let me die in spring
beneath the cherry blossoms
while the moon is full.
—Saigyo (1118-1190), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

There is no death, as there is no life.
Are not the skies cloudless
And the rivers clear?
—Taiheiki Toshimoto (-1332), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

All five aspects of my fleeting human form
And the four elements of existence add up to nothing:
I bare my neck to the unsheathed sword
And its blow is but a breath of wind ...
—Suketomo (1290-1332), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Had I not known
I was already dead
I might have mourned
my own passing.
—Ota Dokan (1432-1486), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
Both victor and vanquished
are but dewdrops,
but lightning bolts
illuminate the world.
—Ôuchi Yoshitaka (1507-1551), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Even a life of long prosperity is like a single cup of sake;
my life of forty-nine years flashed by like a dream.
Nor do I know what life is, nor death.
All the years combined were but a fleeting dream.
Now I step beyond both Heaven and Hell
To stand alone in the moonlit dawn,
Free from the mists of attachment.
—Uesugi Kenshin (1530-1578), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

My life appeared like dew
and disappears like dew.
All Naniwa was a series of dreams.
—Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536-1598), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Felt deeply in my heart:
How beautiful the snow,
Clouds gathering in the west.
—Issho (-1668), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Brittle cicada shell,
little did I know
that you were my life!
—Shoshun (-1672), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch  
Inhale, exhale.
Forward, reverse.
Live, die.
Let arrows fly, meet midway and sever the void in aimless flight:
Thus I return to the Source.
—Gesshu Soko (-1696), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem)by Michael R. Burch

My body?
Pointless
as the tree’s last persimmon.
—Seisa (-1722), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Farewell! I pass
away as all things do:
dew drying on grass.
—Banzan (-1730), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
Seventy-one?
How long
can a dewdrop last?
—Kigen (-1736), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

A tempestuous sea ...
Flung from the deck —
this block of ice.
—Choha (-1740), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
Empty cicada shell:
we return as we came,
naked.
—Fukaku (-1753), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Since I was born,
I must die,
and so …
—Kisei (1688-1764), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
Let us arise and go,
following the path of the clear dew.
—Fojo (-1764), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Depths of the cold,
unfathomable ocean’s roar.
—Kasenjo (-1776), loose translation/interpretation of her jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch  
Things never stand still,
not even for a second:
consider the trees’ colors.
—Seiju (-1776), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
Lately the nights
dawn
plum-blossom white.
—Yosa Buson (-1783), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Bitter winter winds!
But later, river willow,
reopen your buds ...
—Senryu (-1790), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
Who cares
where aimless clouds are drifting?
—Bufu (-1792), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch  
What does it matter how long I live,
when a tortoise lives many times as long?
—Issa (-1827), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

Like a lotus leaf’s evaporating dew,
I vanish.
—Senryu (-1827), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
Man’s end:
this mound of albescent bones,
this brief flowering sure to fade ...
—Hamei (-1837), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
When I kick the bucket,
bury me beneath a tavern’s cellar wine barrel;
with a little luck the cask will leak.
—Moriya Sen’an (-1838), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch  

Frost on a balmy day:
all I leave is the water
that washed my brush.
—Tanaka Shutei (1810-1858, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
Though moss may overgrow
my useless corpse,
the seeds of patriotism shall never decay.
—Nomura Boto (1806-1867), loose translation/interpretation of her jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch

My aging body:
a drop of dew
bulging at the leaf-cliff.
—Kiba (-1868), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
Forbearing the night
with its growing brilliance:
the summer moon.
—Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
Blow if you must,
autumn wind,
but the flowers have already faded.
—Gansan (-1895), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
Time to go ...
They say this journey is a long trek:
this final change of robes.
—Roshu (-1899), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
The moon departs;
frost paralyzes the morning glories.
— Kato (-1908), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch
  
Stumble,
tumble,
fall,
slide down the slippery snow *****.
— Getsurei (-1919), loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch  



Original Haiku

Celebrate the New Year?
The cat is not impressed,
the dogs shiver.
―Michael R. Burch


Keywords/Tags: Haiku, Zen, death, Japan, Japanese, translation, life, aging, time, pain, sorrow, lament, mrbhaiku
Eleanor Jan 2019
This is someone I've loved
I've loved her for years.
She's hated the world for longer
How much each day did she think she'd die? Never make it to 18.
Suicide was easier, she couldn't tell her family who or what she was
I was terrified, and I didn't even know.
Tell me, please, why are creatures that are so beautiful allowed to die? or why are they taken away, not only from us, the people around them, but from themselves, why can you see the potential in other people more often than yourself? Why do so many people have depression, why do all of my friends "joke" about dying but cry alone at night about how much they hate themselves? What an absolute pandemic. The nights and days and life is for lovers, the fresh smell of flowers on your nightstand on a high school saturday from your beautiful lover, who wanted to **** herself yesterday morning? But instead of hitting a cement wall in her car, speeding down the street, or slicing at her wrists, no instead, she tells you that you're what kept her on the road, you are who she called right after being in a car accident two years ago on a snowy night, you're who she wants to spend her free time with, actually no, you're not, I am. That girl ******* loves me, and I ******* love her and though the idea of actually marrying her seems naive, and childish, knowing that adults must scoff and roll their eyes at an idea of perfect 17 year old love, but I've lived figurative decades with her. SO MUCH PAIN AND LOVE, ENOUGH FOR 30 LIVES. I've known her for 15 years now, she lives 5 houses down the street, an upsetting family home, with problems of their own, (but who doesn't have issues?) I know what she deserves she deserves love, and so so so much comfort and kindness. I swear if you saw her like I do, I think you'd be surprised. Have you seen her? God. That long brown hair, that's curly without her even trying, in messy beach waves, or her with a beanie on? Or a snapback? Her black torn jeans, her vans shoes, her ridiculous socks I pretend to refuse to kiss her in, her huge blue, yellow, and green eyes. With those long, pretty, eyelashes, and her soft, small, kissable lips, they pout and smile and every movement her mouth makes, I want to see. She's walking art, she's hard, she's a badass, she is everything you'd want in an angsty, temperamental, crabby, high school girlfriend, you might not like the drugs, the Xanax, the Adderall, the excess of ****, nicotine. She stays away from alcohol, her parents and she knows why. You've never seen her hands, felt her warm, small frame, and her precious arms. I could stay in them as long as the sun burns. She kills me, she kills me all the time. When she's sad, I want to fix it, when she's happy I want to join that, when she's hyper and annoying I still love her everything, when she's depressed, the only thing on my mind is her getting better. My therapist said we are co-dependent, but that lately I'm moving more away from that, realizing boundaries, and property lines. I might sound crazy, believe me, I know I likely do, but what if you knew that she loved me as much right back? I am tall, about 7 inches taller than her, 5'9 . I have light blonde hair I'm growing out of a short bob haircut. I am limber, but with curves, I have a thin but hourglass shape, I have anorexia nerviosa, I have anxiety, like her, depression like her, she has bipolar tendencies, I am dissociative, we both have body dysmorphia, so honestly, at this point, who the **** knows what I look like? No one is honest about how ugly I am, not a fun thought, sorry, moving on. I love her, I do, I will, I have, I don't know where I'd find anyone more fit for me in the entire world, and that's why I need her, and that's why she needs me, and that's why both of us are alive. We are both alive because the other is alive, I think back about the pills she took 2 years ago. The cry for help, rehab, the hospital, her body, I can't imagine my angel going through that, and me not being there for her, again. She's everything to me. I want to be there, I will be there, she is absolutely beautiful and I will never, ever, ever be the one to let her down. Anytime she calls me out of school and into the parking lot, and I run around campus trying to find her and get help, and each time I go to her house at 3am with my mom because she cut her wrists again, my pain worsens with hers. She doesn't deserve this *******!!!! SHE DOESN'T WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THIS WORLD? I DON'T DESERVE THIS EITHER. WE ARE GOOD PEOPLE. WE ARE LESBIANS, WHAT THE **** JUST LET US LIVE, WE WANT TO **** OURSELVES ENOUGH EVERYDAY. I DON'T EAT, SHE DOESN'T TAKE CARE OF HERSELF. WE USE DRUGS TO HELP, BECAUSE NOTHING ELSE WORKS ENOUGH TO NUMB ANY OF THIS PAIN, EXCEPT LOVE. THAT'S WHAT WE HAVE. WELCOME AMERICA. DRUGS, ***, LOVE AND GIRLS. That's what we are alive for, and never for a second will you catch me alive while she's dead, and vise versa. I'm out when she is. I'm in love with her, and this world will mean nothing if she goes. Her dad yelling her name and running up the stairs to see the ****** wrists of his daughter, me crying on my kitchen floor, over food, over my body, over my girlfriend and best friend wanting to be dead. I've cried in my room, I've cried in the music room, the bathroom, my closet, I've cried for her. Any pain I've ever felt, I never want her to ******* face, and slays me, absolutely destroys me to know she feels the same pain. Someone get her some help, some love, something more, her friends say that she's so so lucky to have me, and I guess that makes me feel so good to hear. I am equally so so lucky to have her. I love that she loves me, I love the ring she gave me, that was the ring she'd wear every day she didn't self harm. I think she got it from an old crush, but I don't mind, it's all part of the story. She got me a diamond ring, and I made her a diamond ring. I also gave her a ring in a little Patina box that has a heart on the front and an engraved saying, "forever and always" on the inside. She said she CRASHED into love with me when I gave her that in my 94' Beretta. Oct. 25, 2018. We made it official. Can't wait for the day I get to call her mine forever. The day we have our first child, looking at her and thinking of how far we've come, how much love we've created in this world, and how much joy and comfort we've added, how much peace we've found, and what future we've made. I can't say enough about her, no one could. No one can explain her, or anyone, the intricacies of people are sometimes unimaginable when one is not in love with someone, but I love her teeth, her thighs, her hands and arms and stomach and chest. I love her heartbeat and her voice. I love when she's even a little annoyed with me, and I kiss her, and we instantly forget about whatever it was we were fighting about. She's my dream, and my future, and my life's greatest love.
I love her, I love buying groceries with her, I love her intelligence and humor, and entire body, and laugh and, god, everything about this girl.
Spread claims you are the only one who can stop corrupt politicians and their dependence on the rich (even though you yourself belong to the rich)

2. Spread lies and insults about anyone who might look like a serious opponent

3. Once you are in power, continue 1. & 2. and put your rich friends into influential positions in state offices and courts, give tax breaks to the rich and claim that everyone benefits from them. Declare any information that runs counter to your lies „fake news“.

4. Invent threats to the security and well-being of the nation and then claim you are the one who can solve all the problems by strict measures, like building a 2,000 mile wall against those criminal immigrants that threaten your people – what the „fake news“ reports as a few thousand refugees from neighboring countries who flee from misery and persecution and crime and hope to get asylum in your country of 350 million.

5. Cut your aid programs for the home countries of those resfugees so that the situation there worsens even more and even more people will try to run for a better life, and you can rhetorically justify inhuman security measures at your borders.

6. On a different field, isolate your country internationally, be the elefant in the china shop, break or end international agreements, destabilize whole regions, and then threaten to send the military – all of which, you tell your voters, makes your country great again.

7. Start trade wars with old global partners, accusing them of taking advantage of your countrty, and when your own economy suffers from such idiocies, calm your afflicted followers with federal subsidies that jolt the nationl deficit to singular heights.

8. Fire (or mob into retirement) any critical person in your government until all your officials speak with your voice.

9. Look around for a worthy cause to be the focus of your consoldidated power.

10. Start a world war and lose it.
Apropos certain current global developments ....
Anne B Aug 2014
it’s the skin disease that is my sickness
It’s the red dots
                  (hurtings, blemishes, scars)
                         and not my face I see
It’s the
                                 d e s p e r a t i o n
                                  on display
                                  of my insecurities, and
  so it worsens my insecurities
  
The hermeneutic circle;
                                             fact is fact
So, on my face
       desperation is visible
                     sadness in my mind;
         emptiness in body;
— but explosions on my face
  That is all I see
       It's all
            I
                     am.
I am a
                    sickness.

**august 2014
Acne. What it does to me displayed. At least some of it.
Sarah Gammon Dec 2014
My least favorite feeling,
I now feel all the time;
it has me, nightly, kneeling,
God, I need a place that's mine.
Everywhere I go these days,
I feel out of place; I don't belong.
I've tried living multiple ways,
but everything feels so wrong.
I've tried on different hats,
tried being a different person,
but on all these different tracks,
this feeling only worsens.
No one I know puts me at ease;
no one out there understands;
no one out there disagrees
that I must make my own plans.
If I feel so **** out of place,
then it seems to me I must seek out
my own comfortable space
and find exactly what I'm about.
I keep hoping that I'll fit in,
but that's impossible for me;
I'm unique in my own skin
so a unique place, I'll need to be.
Copyright Sarah Gammon 2014
Alan McClure Sep 2012
Little Johnny Piccolo is sitting in his room
and he’s gazing out his window on a stormy afternoon
He sees the clouds a-tumbling topsy-turvy through the gloom
on a wind that whips the winter through the trees
And there’s lashing licking raindrops streaming down the windowpane
So the scene is shimmer-shaking and can never stay the same
And wee Johnny’s all a-tremble with excitement in his veins
When Mummy enters, saying, “Johnny, please,

PICK up your lego now, PUT away your pens,
TIDY up your soldiers, and I WILL not ask again:
You NEED a tidy bedroom, I’m EXPECTING you to try!”
But Johnny stands defiant, shouting “WHY?!”

Well, Mummy is exasperated, horrified and cross,
she shakes her head in anger and she’s really at a loss
She calls into the corridor to show the boy who’s boss,
And Daddy enters, standing by her side.
“Now look here, boy,” his dad begins, “let’s lay it on the line:
I shouldn’t have to talk like this to any son of mine.
When Mummy gives an order you should smile and answer, ‘Fine!
I shall obey with pleasure and with pride!’

DON’T answer back, my boy, DO as you’re told
you MAY think it’s clever and you MAY think it’s bold
but BAD things can happen if you GIVE the wrong reply!”
But Johnny, slightly smiling, answers, “WHY?”

Well Daddy looks at Mummy now, and Mummy looks at Dad.
“D’you think that we should tell him?”  “Yes, I think we better had!”
Outside the weather worsens till it’s frighteningly bad
And dripping darkness gathers round the room
Daddy drops his voice as if he’s whispering in fear
Johnny has to hold his breath and turn his head to hear
“My boy,” his Daddy whispers, “there’s a fearsome buccaneer:
the Whyrate Captain, coming to your doom!

PLEASE pick your words, my lad, DON’T let him come!
TRY a little harder John, for ME and your mum!
IF the Whyrates come for you it REALLY is goodbye!”
But Johnny, rather shaken, answers, “Why?”

Oh, Heaven only help us!  What a stupid thing to say!
Johnny looks in shock, as both his parents back away
Their hands are up in panic as the black and stormy day
Begins to shake the window in its frame!
Then SMASH! goes the glass as lightning streaks across the sky
The wind goes whipping round them as his parents turn to fly
And through the crashing darkness Johnny hears a shrieking cry,
“We’ve got him lads!  The Whyrates stake their claim!”

IN through the window comes a GRINNING, swarthy man
a QUESTION mark the cutlass that he’s WAVING in his hand
“COME, lad,” he wheezes, “you are JUST our type of guy!”
And Johnny, frozen, barely whispers “Why?”

“Ya-HAR!” The captain bellows in a whirlwind of glee,
“I knew it lads, this boy’s the one!  We’re taking him to sea!”
And quick as thought he grabs him with a one and two and three
and bundles Johnny through the rising dark
Now, maybe you’d be frightened – I am sure I’d yell for aid
If a bunch of crazy Whyrates hauled me off upon a raid
But Johnny, little Johnny, he is not one bit afraid –
Instead, he thinks, “At last! I’ve made my mark!”

OUT of the garden now and INTO the night
BACK through the gloom his bedroom DISAPPEARS from sight
OFF to the shoreline where a SAIL obscures the sky
And stitched in silver letters – simply, ‘WHY?’

Now Johnny doesn’t know it, but these Whyrates he has met
are about the most notorious of villains you could get
and many weary kingdoms are unlikely to forget
the day the Whyrates sailed into their shores
And what is it that makes them just so deadly and so feared?
Is it all the men they’ve murdered?  All the children they have speared?
Well, no – in fact the truth of it is really rather weird:
They simply ask what’s not been asked before!

WHY should the people have to BOW before the king?
WHY should the government rule EVERY little thing?
WHY should so much be owned by OH so very few?
And no-one anywhere has any clue!

And so it is in Bannerland, a country miles away
Whose population struggles just as Johnny’s whisked away
The lives that people lead there – well, I hardly like to say –
you can hear them weeping, wailing in the streets!
They live around the palace where the crazy King does lie,
just taking – never giving – in a bed that’s warm and dry
His dungeons break the bedrock and his turrets split the sky
while folks below must work so he can eat.

SUCH is their misery that NOBODY has thought
to ASK of anyone how this has COME to be their lot
When OUT of the east upon a FOAMING ocean swell
The Whyrates land, and Johnny’s there as well!

Well word gets to the Palace, and the King jumps from his bed
Shivering and shaking, comfort overcome by dread
“Burn the ship!” he hollers, “and I want the captain’s head!
We’ll have no questions here in Bannerland!”
But up from the harbour Whyrates bundle by the score
A ripple of inquiry from the palace to the shore
And Bannerlanders flock to them, all asking more and more,
determined that it’s time to make a stand.

“WHY should we help a man who TREATS his people thus?
WHY should we think of one who NEVER thinks of us?
WHY should we hold him up, when REALLY, he should fall?”
The Whyrates crackle-cackle through it all.

Well Johnny stands in wonder and delight at what he sees
As questions shake the kingdom like a tempest through the trees
And Johnny thinks, “You know, this is my realm of expertise,
I think I’ll go and see what happens now!”
And there, before his very eyes a miracle begins
The palace starts to crumble as the King goes mad within
And the jangling of treasure can be heard above the din
as gold and silver spill across the ground!

GOLD for the beggar-men, GOLD for the slaves
JEWELS for the serving girls in SPARKLE-jingled waves
FOOD for the hungry and CLOTHES for them to wear
(Of course, the Whyrates take a modest share!)


Well that was just the start, of course, of Johnny’s long career
He travelled with the Whyrates out to countries far and near
Starting revolutions everywhere they would appear
A simple question, then it’s back to sea
But when at last he wearied of the buccaneering days
He travelled bravely homewards through the tumble tossing waves
To Mummy, and to Daddy, and that’s where our Johnny stays,
A most obliging son, they both agree!

And IF he should grow weary, and BEGIN it all once more
and START to grumble grumpily when ASKED to sweep the floor
say “WHY should I go back to life the WAY it always was?”
Well, Mum and Dad just smile, and say, “Because!"
For children, obviously!
maybella snow Aug 2013
innuendo sushi is usher asking Sienese disowns shown plops aside ask dud
                    NCOs debs downwind UBS mayo Iowa. Laos Nissan seis *** so enemies Sandusky snails used iOS somehow Owen haikus eye owl ensues diss worsens skinned unique.
     ushers witted hub woman's newish naval cavity sis wish lend USB

[rage typing doesn't work with auto correct]
I find it very difficult to enthuse
Over the current news.
Just when you think that at least the outlook is so black that it can grow no blacker, it worsens,
And that is why I do not like the news, because there has never been an era when so many things were going so right for so many of the wrong persons.
Ellis Reyes Nov 2015
There he is
the loudest guy in the bar
Boasting about clandestine OPS
and battles he’d ‘prefer not to remember’,
But he does,
because he has an audience

There he was in Ramadi, Korengal,
Tikrit, Kandahar, pinned down by dozens,
no hundreds, of enemy fighters.
His best mate, was hit by shrapnel or an enemy round.
He screams for Doc
But no help comes
The barroom hero
applies a compression bandage,
but the blood continues to flow through his fingers
Minutes pass, his buddy worsens.
Doc arrives, finally.
The buddy is stabilized and loaded onto a stretcher
He’ll be on the first bird out

The battle hardened warrior continues his tale,
regaling his table with airstrikes, CQB, and
taking the battle to the enemy.

Someone asks, “What unit were you in?”
He replies proudly, “The Second Ranger Battalion.”

You set your own beer down and spin from your chair.
You make your way from your table to his.
You place a silver coin upon it,
“Second Ranger Battalion,” you say,
“Coin Check.”

The color drains from his face
Fear in his eyes and an ‘Oh ****’ expression on his face,
He stammers something about being ‘attached’
and having orders for Ranger School once.

Your icy glare tells him that he’d better
**** and **** before he is no longer able to do either.

He throws a $20 onto the table and finds his way to the door.

******* ****.
micaela drew Oct 2018
My heart aches
I never knew one person
could make me feel so much pain

My soul breaks
Our relationship worsens
And both of us are to blame

You are my love
My first time  
My good morning kisses
My goodnight hugs
My year long love
My first everything

But what am I to you?

Your first ****
Your burden to bear
Your sigh of relief
When I’m not there
Your fat girlfriend
Your ball and chain

You will always be my first love
Yet I’ll never be good enough
So as much as it pains me to say
We need to break up
Kelly Rose Jan 2017
I apoligize for not reading your posts. I have been battling my depression and have not been online .  I have written a poem about it (of course lol).  I hope you enjoy and I hope to be online tomorrow.

My Dark Tale (A Sestina)

It is a lovely time of day for tea
As I sit curled up to the song of rain
Memories arise of a deep dark pain
Storm clouds gather within my heart, darkly
Dimly, I am aware of rainbow’s hope
Wanting dreams infused with Rosemary and Thyme

Out of work, I suffer from too much time
Overeating and drinking too much tea
Depression worsens, stealing all my hope
And all my dreams shatter in the cold rain
Leaving me empty in the bitter dark
As I stare out of the broken windowpane

How I long to conquer my bitter pain
If only I would organize my time
I know then, I would rise above the dark
Instead, I get caught in cookies and tea
And sink deeper; chaos supremely reigns
I flounder once again, losing my hope

I am tired of losing precious hope
Letting despair and worthless bitter pain
To take control and determinedly reign
Structure! Will that allow me to use time
Positively? Cutting back on black tea
Getting needed sleep to fight back the dark

Rested, I can push back the hated dark
Strive to capture peace and beautiful hope
Learning once again to enjoy my tea
And not as a crutch that causes me pain
While I mourn the loss of wasted sweet time
Instead, I would see rainbows in the rain

I yearn to topple depression’s long reign,
To walk in the sun’s light, not the cold dark
Eager to greet the day and enjoy time
Pursue my dreams, infusing life with hope
Do away with doldrums and bitter pain
Relaxing and enjoying Earl Gray Tea

Envoi

To sum up, I yearn to enjoy my tea
Overcome my darkness and pain; to feel hope
While I take time to enjoy the sweet rain

Kelly Rose
© January 5, 2017
Amanda Kay Burke Oct 2018
I am feeling lower than ever before
In my head I hold leaden weights
Think I need professional help
Emotions ignored become hard to navigate

Push down pain a little longer
Numb wounds for awhile
Gulp lumps of uneasiness
Conceal misery with a phony smile

Heart broken and bleeding
Hidden from all who look
I have mastered the art of composure
Face an unreadable book

Quiet night is tense and dim
Begging me to sneak off and play
Think I might cave in this one time
I'm scared I won't be able to get away

Under covers I hide in bed
Hoping I will not be found
By weakness and uncertainty
I lay motionless without sound

Trying to sort my issues
Organization isn't really my thing
Prefer to shove difficult subjects in a box
Lock out of sight so I can avoid the sting

Discovered something dull inside me
I found a tool sharper for out
Condemned the skin once considered home
It is easier to not think about

I'm told intensity only worsens with time
A smile hideously glued
Energetic as dying muscles will allow
Wild heart now meek and subdued

Memories will not depart
Echoes of voices loved then lost
Brighter still, rotating faces
Seasons changing sunlight to frost

My head has become a dark dungeon
Trapped there with my dirtiest sins
Watching mistakes as they rattle rusted bars
Capturing worst thoughts caged within
Sometimes my head is a quiet empty house painted white and others it is a crowded prison, dimly lit, dingy, filthy and loud.
Erin-Taylor May 2013
You call yourself a friend?
Friends don't talk behind your back.
Friends aren't selfis.
And friends certainly don't bully each other.
And I'm sorry if our friendship has to end, but it was fun while it lasted.
I'll love you endlessly, but I have to take a stand and defend myself.
I'm tired of being your punchingbag.
I'm sick of you always pointing out my flaws.
I never talk about you, I never say anything mean,
so why do you feel the need to hurt me.
Everyday, it worsens and worsens, to the point where I want to cry every night I get home.
So I'm so sorry if things take a turn for the worse,
but you were suppose to be my friend.
I guess you were never a true friend.
Carter Ginter Jan 2013
She can be my Juliet, her heart is my prize.
Save me from myself but lead to my demise.
Ill be her Romeo, more or less I suppose.
Ill die for her, if that's the way that it goes.
Our love is forbidden, shunned by our surrounding persons.
But without my girl, the pain only worsens.
So ill take a stab, straight into my beating heart
If it means, in the end, we never see need to part.
A bit cliche but a sort of modern twist to the classic story. The surrounding persons represent society and the end stands more for the fact that if I can do something to save the one I love, I'll take the hit. Because if she's safe I know there's still at least some piece of my heart left.
S Mar 2015
Is it just me?
Or do you feel it to?
That pain in the stomach,
That worsens through and through.

Is it just me?
Or is the world becoming black,
People being disregarded,
As others take up slack.

Is it just me?
Or is the earth now shaking,
From a force that is evil,
That only humans are making.

Is it just me?
Or is the world truly blue,
Not a figment of imagination,
But rather a color and a hue.

Is it just me?
Or is a breath becoming harder,
Taking in more air,
But going no farther.

Is it just me?
Or is a happy world now sad,
A world once filled with hope,
With good now turned bad.

Is it just me?
Or is the world truly changed,
It's not what it was,
And it is no longer famed.

If it's just me,
Then I guess good for you all,
Meaning that the world is more positive than I see,
Characteristics and all.

But if you see it too,
As I think you would,
Remember in this time to do all that you can,
And all that you should.

Perhaps with cooperation in mind,
We may be able to change,
This world that is no longer normal,
But is now the epitome of strange.
The world has many issues and societal problems and norms, such as conformity or stereotypes, sadly define much of our lives. There really isn't much freedom in a world like this and that, I would think, is rather strange. I know this was longer than usual but thanks for reading!
Akemi Feb 2016
His arm circling round her waist. Maybe . . .

A blare. Sweat of traffic. Muggy afternoon. The sun bounces off every surface, paints the surroundings white. I stand at the corner of the street, feel the pavement seep through my soles. Sesame drifts from the marketplace; cheap soba, oil and soy.

A cat stretches on the neighbour’s roof, white fur wafting.

Muffled speech. Hiss, hiss. A bus.

I kneel and pick up an empty bottle. Face merges into its sides.

“Ain.”

Someone, somewhere calls my name.

“Ain.”

Up there.

The school is closed for the summer. Walking towards it gives me a sense of unease. Obligation turned quiet tension. The summer won’t last forever.

Drip.

I’ve been holding the bottle upside down. Liquid sinks into the dirt. Almost looks like skin, all dry and creased.

It’s a precipice, right? The separation between the street and the institute. Like stepping over a grave. There’s a ******* bin, but I feel strange.

The reception is all glass. Sunstruck and bleeding at the edges—I catch a glimpse of something—is it me?

Lenin catches another raven in his hands. It sits still, head cocked calmly to the side. He lets it go, but it simply falls onto the ground, rights itself, then walks off.

He looks disappointed.

“It’s the same everywhere,” he says with his back turned. “Try it.”

I find a different one, cradle it against my chest. The bird looks vaguely annoyed. Following Lenin, I drop the bird. It falls and sinks into the ground about three inches.

Caw.

“Ain! How’d you do that? That’s wicked!”

Lenin tilts his head and goggles at the bird for a few seconds before running off to find another.

It’s really hot. I throw some sesame seeds at the bird, but it just glares at me. Sorry.

The bottle is still gripped in my hand. Why did I pick this up?

Lenin is running on the side of the school. His small feet tap out a regular pattern, like rain on a quiet night.

I really miss this.

I push the bottle into the dirt. Lenin leaps off the school. A running kick sends the bottle flying into the reception. Glass shatters and the summer unfurls into a kaleidoscope of light.

The raven rises out of the ground.

The reception reforms itself.

Lenin is running on the side of the school. His small feet tap on each window, sending small ripples of energy through them, distorting the reflection of the surrounding buildings and streets.

A cat stretches itself on the reception roof.

I kneel and pick up an empty bottle.

“Ain!”

Lenin catches a raven in mid-flight. Sees himself reflected in a window. Gravity pulls him down.

I’m sitting in the corner, waiting for school to finish. Waiting for my life to pass itself by. It’s the last day of school and everyone is leaving. I don’t know what I’m doing with my life. I don’t know where I’m going. I feel sick, weak and pathetic. I look out the window and see my own face, Lenin falling through the air, sinking into the ground, a raven flying out of his outstretched hand.

There is a train and I am waiting. It is Autumn and the cherry blossoms will be bare for another half year, maybe more. There are golden leaves dancing through the station, trampled under the soles of rushed commuters and children.

Someone laughs with their friends, eating beef udon, yolk running into the broth, flesh filling his cavity. A mouth chews, but laughter still comes. I feel disgusted. I eat my tofu bento, but it only worsens.

Father visits, but I have no words for him. We sit awkwardly and he mentions work, but doesn’t elaborate. I pretend I’m busy and he eventually leaves.

where am i going where am i going where am i going where am i going where am i going where am i going where am i going where am i going where am i

“Ain!”

Lenin is kneeling over me. There are tears in my eyes and the sun hurts to look at. I try to brush them away but rub dirt in instead. Sleeves run softly across my cheeks. Lenin is hugging me from behind.

“It’s okay, Ain. It’s just play,” he says, nuzzling the back of my head. I don’t understand and cry harder.

The ravens have left the school.

A bottle lies on the roof.

A cat rolls in the dirt.

“Life is just a bad dream,” Lenin mumbles into my hair. “You’ve been waking every night, but it hasn’t helped.”

The sun is setting. Red strokes rise out of the ether and stain the sky. Streetlights turn and the quiet hum of night settles over the dying sounds of day.

“Isn’t this just so boring?”

A bus drives by, vibrating the ground beneath me. A mother and child walk past singing an old nursery rhyme.

“Ain?”

I sink into my lap and shut out the world.

“You don’t have to open your eyes. Not now, not ever.”

But I never closed them.

Hugs the ground. Flies through the evening. Do I eat a worm? Is that what I do?

I grip the pink flesh. The thing squirms, digging itself deeper into me.

A human female is laughing, or maybe crying. It’s hard to tell the difference.

Do they touch when they’re confused?

A small male soars down the side of a building. Why is he kicking his own head? The female splinters, but doesn’t shatter.

I’ve heard bones that don’t break cleanly are the worst to mend.

I reach out, hand brushing the feathers of a bird.

My head is an anchor, drags along the ground, grinds pavement to dust.

It’s so hot. Tar tickles my nostrils.

I’m alone, standing in front of a camera with all my classmates.

Lenin’s head is buried in the dirt behind me.

I raise my hand against the piercing sun, but really it’s an excuse to hide myself.

A raven hops onto the camera, unaware of the ceremony taking place. It shatters the façade, reduces the action to an absurdity, but no one notices. No one cares.

I pick at a rice ball. It’s cold, bland and under-filled. I stare at the shops around me and feel a deepening, crushing alienation. Perhaps, I have always felt this way, and it has taken me two decades to come to terms with it.

“There was a storm once,” Lenin mutters into the dirt, “the worst storm of the century.”

I remember. He held my hand all through it.

“But it wasn’t a storm, Ain.” Lenin finally turns to look at me. Meets my eyes through the dust and the tears and the sun. “It was existence trying to wake up.”

He didn’t let it.

“If it ever does, we will all die.”

It’s dark now. Lenin’s eyes glow the colour of warm honey. The last day of Summer rides away.

“Mum’ll be worried,” Lenin says, abruptly, “We should head home, Ain.”

We walk through the muted streets. This is my favourite time, when everyone is tucked into their homes and I can exist without others’ expectations projected onto my existence. I love the soft blue noise that fuzzes my vision. I love how ordinary objects are turned mysterious; the indistinct edges, the wistful gloom.

Lenin skips beside me, turning his head often to glance at the small pieces of art people leave behind through the process of living. A bicycle missing its rubber grips. A television set atop a toy wagon. A plushie stuffed between the ‘A’ and ‘I’ of a neon sign.

I buy two tea drinks and hand one to Lenin. We sit on the roof of an empty bus stop and stare into the harbour. Home feels further away than ever. The lights beneath the water reach the surface beautifully. They ripple and bleed, like phosphorescent dyes twining towards the sky. I sink beneath myself.

“Ain, don’t!”

I throw the empty bottle into the reception. I see my face shatter into infinity. I hear Lenin break into laughter. The cat leaps up. The ravens bury their wings. The worm writhes until it splits in two.

Blood runs down the side of my mouth. Twenty six dead in a hotel, bones melted like steel.

There is a gap I cannot fill because it is the platonic ideal of absence. An oak, weighed down so strongly by dreams that its branches have sunk deeper into the soil than its roots.

Sheets on the floor. I sink through the earth, head so heavy it compresses into a void and ***** the universe into itself; mangling, stretching, tearing.

My flesh writhes but there is no end. A pulsating womb. Flowers.

Everything is so bright.

I close my eyes.

Where am I?

Who am I?

A part of me is disappearing. I’m scared. I’m—

I can hear Lenin. He is screaming, but he sounds so very far away.

Oh. Oh.

I have been unfurling for a long time, haven’t I?

Guess she finally fled her body. Abandoned that vessel in the lacuna between. The tea! The tea must have reminded her. I must remember to pick up some mints. She’ll either laugh or breakdown into tears.

Whoops, I’m repeating myself.

It sure feels good to stretch my limbs again. Feels like it’s been an age.

Oh, a child boy is beside me. I better deposit him back home before I start.

Ain! Ain! Ain! Is this all this stupid child can say?

Everyone is moving so fast. Ugh. It’s lethargic. It’s absolutely stupid. What, do they think they’ll sink into the earth if they stop?

Ain! Ain! Ain! Oh fine, whatever, have her for a bit longer.

“Ain!”

Lenin? He’s pulling at my sleeves. Tears break, stream down his cheeks. It’s dark, so dark.

“I don’t want you to leave, Ain. Not like last time.”

It—it feels like I’m submerged. The harbour lights have dimmed. Soon dawn will come and wipe their existence from the world. It will be as if they never existed at all.

“Please Ain.”

I hug Lenin. He keeps repeating ‘please’ over and over. I have an inexplicable feeling that I’m leaving for a long time. That I won’t see Lenin again, and that I have to—

Have you stolen my body?

Yup!

Why?

Because you were scared and lonely and living a pointless existence.

I—

Don’t worry, there are a lot like you!

Will—will I ever see Lenin again?

Hmm, probably not. To be honest, I’m not really sure how all this works myself.

Please. Please don’t do this. I—

Ughhhhhh. Look kid, I’ve got places to be. Sayonara.

The market. The raven. The market.

A child petting a cat. A woman drinking a cola. Filling and filling and—

Postman runs past, knocks her arm. Bottle falls to the ground. Splash, crack.

Howling dog. It’s black, you know.

Lenin running on the rooftops. Ain asleep with her window open. He leaps in and wakes her with a grin.

“Ain! Ain! Ain!”

She throw a pillow at him angrily and rolls back into the bed, wrapping herself up like a caterpillar.

A lawman runs over to help the fallen woman. Hands her a mint.

Oh, isn’t it beautiful?

Don’t they all live beautiful lives now?

*Isn’t this what you wanted?
February 2016

Contrary to popular opinion, this is not a fanfic about Vladimir Lenin.

A continuation of the narratives in Lacuna and Child; Bright, with metauniversal references to Death Passing a Mirror, A Schizophrenic Laugh Track and Her Haunt.

Reading the others will likely not elucidate the story.

Lacuna: hellopoetry.com/poem/1428626/lacuna
Child; Bright: hellopoetry.com/poem/1497271/child-bright
Death Passing a Mirror: hellopoetry.com/poem/1537036/death-passing-a-mirror
Jerry Dec 2013
Your slim figure & stylish cloths,
complement your feminine & **** figure.

The white of your big brown eyes,
complement your pretty white smile.

The fullness of your shiny red lips,
complement your long black & silky hair.

Your long eye lashes & darkened thinned brows,
complement your beautiful skin.

Your soft & ***** voice,
complements your hypnotic .

My heart yearns to save you.
I worry for your very life.

Your perfectly manicured fingernails,
disfigured by the burning, smokey cigarette.

The order of  on your cloths & breath
distracts from your flowery perfume.

Your shortness of breath,
accentuates your asthmatic conditions.

Your strong & intermittent coughing.
worsens by your addictive habit.

Your persistent & consistent.
Slowly deteriorating your body from within.

Why can't you stop?
After many visits to the emergency room,
Why can't you stop?

It doesn't make sense!
Chalsey Wilder Jan 2018
It is far too easy to become as nasty and as evil as our counterparts when they have treated you that way far too long
And it worsens,
As they deny the aftermath of this treatment to you
It's passed down,
Turmoil building turmoil, rolling it up to start the base of a snowman
It causes the destruction of our hearts, distorts our minds, to casually gloss over our eyes
The consequence?
Every generation is weaker than the last
*They think they're unpredictable and rambunctious, but they don't realize,
That this is controlled too
Michael Tobin Mar 2013
As I spin into the void of nothingness all I desire is your affection,
one touch,
one kiss,
the ecstasy of your skin on mine,
relief is only temporary,
an appetizer to a meal that never comes,
tantalizing, but in the end it only worsens the desire,
I only come to realize that the desire won't be satisfied as I spin into the void of nothingness.
I want to tell you something,
but don't get offended,
You don't have to listen,
but I do recommend it.
We must put down the phones,
our situation is dire,
either we drown with the tide,
or burn with the fire.
What I am saying is simple,
you should learn to socialize,
if i'm talking to you,
don't look like you’re paralyzed.
Am I telling you to not have a phone?
No that’s impossible,
Will I ever quit texting,
Nah, that’s highly improbable.
But always being on the phone,
what do you expect?
you think 1000 friends,
deserves all my respect?
I know it feels like a lecture,
but could you show some manners?
***** the hash-tags,
worry about what matters,
like tulips in the spring,
the mockingbird and his serenade,
reading Hemingway,
cigars, and sweet sweet lemonade.
I don't have a smart phone,
of that i am proud,
people look at my phone,
and turn to me wowed.
Like “How do you live?”
and so I laugh,
look them in the face,
and say that I telegraph.
I guess I prefer people,
to the walking dead,
Not the show but those who,
prefer phones instead.
Don't look at the bright abyss,
for once just be a person,
Do something without screens,
before your brain fries and worsens.
I’m here to convert,
to try and show some leadership,
I’ll share this on my Facebook,
but don't dare call me a hypocrite.
I want to wake you up,
and see the sun at dawn,
do something memorable,
before you’re dead and gone.
#openyoureyes
Andrew Robertson Jun 2014
The screech grows louder
every moment I sit here
listening to the voices in my head
arguing about nonsense.

An hour is as a minute
and the room slowly fades
away until all I'm left with
is that abominable screech
yelling at the raging
voices in my head.

My right eye is bloodshot
and ready to POP
as the pain worsens and the
blood starts leaking out
and all I want to do is go home.


Written By:
Andrew D. Robertson
Louisa Coller Aug 2018
Pitiful angel, fallen in the dark.

I feel your wings flutter onto my cheeks so rough,
your horns of a demon, it hurts so much.
You swore you’d stay with me, not ever deserting me.
Please to god, stay with me until we both fade.

We are fiction in the real world of pain, we see everything real,
we can’t feel a single thing.
I don’t want to screech out to those who are blind and deaf,
because nobody seems to sense the inner pain, that worsens.

The artificial comfort, the falls into our palms,
we pray and suffer because we don’t know how to live without god.
I know that in my heart, I feel warmth and grace, but it is shattered,
glass placed in my name.
Worrisome children, run the streets to death.

We are fiction in the real world of pain, we see everything real,
we can’t feel a single thing.
I don’t want to screech out to those who are blind and deaf,
because nobody seems to sense the inner pain, that worsens every day.
That worsens every day.

I can’t bare to look in your eyes, they are colder than the sky,
I can’t bare to look at your lips, for all the lies I’ve missed.
Another older poem I decided to post up.
gabriel ackerman Oct 2015
Rain clouds as far as the eye can see.
Water pouring from the sky, drowning me.
I close my eyes, and shut out the dim, pale light.
I give into my sorrow, my starless night.
My eyes fill with tears, but they are covered up by the rain.
The blood drips from my body, and the water worsens the pain.
The pain shoots through my body, the worst pain I've ever known.
And i let out a scream of terror, the most weakness I've ever known.
I wait for myself to drown beneath the tide.
This time, why even bother to ask why?
I'm so far out to sea not a soul would hear me.
But then i remember, my mind is the sea.
My thoughts enclose me, trapped with no way out.
And then i stop crying, it's already too late, not a thing to cry about.
My eyes slowly close as the world fades away.
This time I'm asleep for good, I will not live to see another day.
A bittersweet smile finally crosses my face.
The muffled "goodbye" and I'm gone without a trace.
Here's another poem, even though I hardly ever upload.
We live in a world,
In a reality,
Where everything around us,
Seems to question our mentality.

Where the simplest thing,
Can drive us insane,
Make us lose our mind,
Be happy or live in pain.

We live in a world,
Where girls sit alone at night
Crying and curled,
Because of some social networking site.

We’re a part of a creation,
Where every male feels the need,
To be the alpha,
And fight anyone and everyone to succeed.

We’re part of an existence,
Full of ignorant and arrogant persons,
Where it’s not getting any better,
It only worsens.

We live in a country,  
Where anything and everything is considered racism,
Where the smallest thing causes the most drama,
Because something is taken for what it isn’t.

We live in a public,
Where only if you have dark skin,
You can throw the word, “******” around,
A replacement name for women, children and men.

We live in a reality,  
Where not remembering what happened the night before,
Is something we consider normal,
Alcohol and drugs have become something we adore.

We live in a society,
Where to get a guy to look at you,
You lose a part of yourself,
To him, someone you thought you knew.  

We’re all human beings,
Where *** isn’t something we conceal,
But talk about, like it’s nothing,
Something girls now feel the need to reveal.

We’re part of a human nature,
Where girls think the ticket to one knee,
Is having a baby, to make him stay,
But finding out a child isn’t what you thought it’d be.

We live world wide,
That if our pocket is without a phone,
We feel naked,
But still feel the ghostly vibration tone.

We live within a population,
Where we’re more worried about taking the picture,
Than actually living in the moment,
As we’ve been taught through lecture.

We live in a nation,
Where our country tells us to donate there and there,
Where children are being beaten and starved here,
Tell me, how is that fair?

We live in a world,
Where commercials promote awareness,
When that money alone,
Could make the problem occur less.

We live through life,
Where someone can hide behind a screen,
Sending hate, making fun of, and destroying someone,
Because they’re only being a teen.

We live in a domain,
Where suicide has become a voice,
A decision someone has made,
Because they felt that was the only choice.

We live in a world,
Where society has made us ugly,
A trait we’ve acquired,
But can’t somehow flee.
I've seriously worked really ******* this. Please comment with suggestions or just thoughts. Everything is greatly appreciated.
Gabriel Dorian Nov 2013
Sitting down in a chair,
In a crowd less room
Dreaming about the past
While experiencing the gloom

I remember our old days
We had our old glaze
Doing things our own ways
Seeing you is one good blaze

But things are different now
The poems I made are gone
You threw it on the go
The time of our love is done

The heartbreak gets stronger
I can't do this any longer
It kills me all over
Because you're gone, forever

I am forever alone
Before we became together
Now I'm sweet FA once again
My heart constantly breaks

I feel melancholic
Because of this nostalgia
I hold on to my sanity
But I lose hope to humanity

In this reality
I am all alone
The girl I knew
Left me on my own

The heartbreak gets harder
The sad story worsens
I die of sadness
For you are gone,
In my life
For our love vanquished

It kills me
It breaks all of me
The heart break destroys
All hope that I were left with

I can't take this anymore
I can't bear this painful love
I no longer can show any resilience
For bitterness takes over me

You will never know
How much grief you gave me
You will never know
How much it hurts

That if ever we meet again
I will not know how to act
For you and you alone
Broke me into pieces
Tiana Marie Mar 2018
I thought I was clear the last time.
I do not want to be hit.
Why can't you stay away?
Cupid, why won't you just quit?

Every time I see his face
I know you did your part.
You pulled out your bow and arrow
And you aimed straight at my heart.

I wish you had hit my head
then maybe it could all make sense.
Every time he tries to get close
I put up my every defense.

Cupid, leave me alone.
I'm begging this of you.
You do more bad than good
and this is not what I would choose.

Why won't you just give up?
Go pick another person.
Every time you hit me
My life just worsens and worsens.

Can I get it all to stop?
Can I ever be immune?
Is there any way at all
To look at him without a swoon?

Can I go get a vaccine?
I'll gladly take the shot!
I hate every time I look at him
And my stomach turns to knots.

Cupid, I hate to ask it.
I know this is your task
But next time ask permission.
I beg of you— just ask.
We love illumination.
The unknown is a scary enemy
And imagination only worsens the fright.
The dark is always out to get us
With the terrible monsters it holds.
We beware the bite,
The scratch
That might be the end of the story.
We also fear the empty continuing.
The possibility of the never-ending,
Empty void beyond our sight.
Will we run forever,
Only to see that dark space grow?
Are there no boundaries to this vast void?
We run into the dark with our lantern.
We try to light it all up.
We must know what is out there.
Like the child in the dark forest,
We’re scared and we just want to see.
But it merely grows.
We’ll never see it all.
However, let’s not take the stance of the angry villager
Running towards a monster,
Torch and pitchfork in hand.
Let us be curious instead,
With the demeanor of the small child chasing a butterfly,
Full of wonder.
After all, we are put the children of this vast Universe.
gabriel ackerman Dec 2015
I woke up to feel the pain in my chest.
It was the middle of the night, but I would not rest.
My eyes struggled to find the light.
But all they saw was the cover of the night.
The pain in my chest worsens, and my eyes fill with tears.
I am left in the darkness, with nothing but fear.
My body shakes and I feel all the pain.
I question myself, am I even sane?
But just as I thought I was crazy as could be.
My lips widen, and i start smiling with glee.
The pain has not left, but my mind has welcomed it.
My body has grown accustom to feeling it bit by bit.
A small chuckle escapes my lips, but my eyes are red.
I am crying nonstop and I feel broken... Dead.
The pain in my chest only seems to grow.
Like a stone being throw, to and fro.
My body quivers as I feel my blackened soul.
So dark and hurt, long since turned to coal.
My bloodshot eyes slowly begin to shut.
Sadly when I awake, I will still be in this rut.
All I can do for myself is grieve and grieve.
Because there is a stone in my heart... And it will never leave.
Victoria G Feb 2012
Sometimes when I’m by myself
I imagine me with you
Running off to far off lands
With so much left to do

We rule the world with iron fists
And giggle behind closed doors
We ponder the meaning of our dreams
And what we were made for

We steal hotels and sleep in jewels
And stare up tall skyscrapers
Staring off into infinity
In this town made of paper

Then I see you and I say hello
You didn’t hear or answer back
I don’t mention our adventures
Because of the confidence I lack

I’ve fallen in love with the idea
Of you as a perfect person
The more intricate I spin this tale
The more my affliction worsens

You aren’t the one who comes with me
To distant far off places
You’re two very different people
With very similar faces

But I let myself imagine
That beneath your boring shell
The swashbuckling endearing daredevil
Lies inside as well
Lillian Harris Feb 2016
I have a garden
Full of words
That thrive
On suffering,
Flowers blooming
In my pain
Sprouting with
Each new wound

I wander in
To water them,
Eyes filled with
Melancholy,
And reap fresh tears
To quench their thirst
That they might
Grow for me

So when they've
Blossomed fire bright
As my agony
Worsens,
I organize them
Neatly
Into stanzas,
Lines and verses.
Xan Abyss Feb 2016
the windshield is caked
with dust and decay
the air is harsh with sand and pollen
my skin is cracking in the fiery sun
and not a single drop has fallen

the Devil spins a dustbowl of sin, suffering and desperation
the crops are dying
and the children are crying
and still we lie to ourselves
about our dire situation

PRAY FOR RAIN
CLEANSE OUR PAIN
WASH THE FILTH AND DIRT AWAY
PRAY FOR RAIN
CLEAR THE STAINS FROM THE AIR
SO WE CAN BREATHE AGAIN

...is it enough yet, to change our decadent ways?
if mother earth is angry, we should listen to what she says

the fish keep dying out
from the lakes drying up
the wildfire situation worsens
our earth is hurting
as the world keeps on turning
and everything we know starts to burn

PRAY FOR RAIN
CLEANSE OUR PAIN
WASH THE FILTH AND DIRT AWAY
PRAY FOR RAIN
CLEAR THE STAINS FROM THE AIR
SO WE CAN BREATHE AGAIN
road trip lyrics. written in a la quinta hotel in fresno, on a thanksgiving trip through california. there was a giant billboard in a central valley town like porterville or merced or something, that simply read PRAY FOR RAIN in giant letters. it just smacked of old world, dustbowl desperation, and gave me an idea for a song.
Bob B Jan 2019
The Dems have taken back the House!
Hopefully, there now will be
For Donald Trump and his admin team
Some accountability.

For two years, Republicans
Have groveled before the man at the top,
Assisting him in obstructing justice.
The nonsense is going to have to stop.

The president's relationship
With the truth worsens every day.
Normal leaders would watch their step,
But his huge ego gets in his way.

Trump’s talking points, for instance,
At a recent Cabinet meeting
Were right out of Putin’s playbook--
Not worthy of even retweeting.

Well, now it’s about time
That members of Congress voice their concern.
Forget about being obsequious,
Mealy-mouthed or taciturn!

Now the American people will have
A House that really cares about them--
One that will fight for justice and also
Condemn that which it ought to condemn.

Many sworn into office today
Reflect diversity in their faces--
Mainly among the Democrats,
Who won highly competitive races.

Progressive change won’t be easy.
There’s STILL a storm that we have to weather:
Trump’s sycophants in the Senate--
Another story altogether.

The past two years have clearly shown us
What a horrible mess we're in.
Positive change will move us forward.
Let the oversight begin!

-by Bob B (1-3-19)
I dont think I can quite give you the Image in my head..
The nightmares that plague my tired mind

They haunt me, terrify me and leave me clenching my throat for air
There are many but only few get me this way

There you are, myself trapped behind transparent glass...
I bang
I scream
...the only thing that seems to break is me...

I can only watch on as the horrors of your past unfold and the pain in my chest worsens and worsens
I gasp for air trying to control my own dreams, if thats what they really are
My knuckles are ****** my eyes swollen but I still cant break the glass
I slump to my knees sobbing and whimpering, broken beyond repair

I awake in the morning, my body still trembling
You are the first person I talk
Yet I smile, pretend like nothing would ever be out of the norm'

I can break down many walls, you broke mine, I let you in and it was never a mistake
You broke down the walls I threw up to "protect myself" when all it was, was to shut the world out
I could never thank you enough
So why...can I not break the one wall in front of me..?

*At night I lay awake
Tossing and turning
Forcing myself awake to distract from the sadness in my head
One day I will save you
One day I will be there
One day...I'll get away from these nightmares...
Oh dear god, sweet child of mine...
How do you cope with your nightmares?
The thought of losing you breaks me down,
But the thought of you hurt shatters me...

Even in my dreams, I cant do the one thing I wanted from the start...
To be...there..
Eloi Jun 2016
You Won't Meet A Girl Sat In Your Room Listening To Music,
But Some Songs Can Still Give You Butterflies

It's just another ******* poem that rhymes the words 'miss' and 'kiss'.
I know it's easy, but I can't help but relate to this.
I don't even apply these words to a specific person,
but when you're feeling this lonely the relevance worsens.

I just miss affection, with pure intention.
PSmeltzer Apr 2014
You want me to visit you
But it's so hard sometimes
I tell you but you snap back at me
With an insulting comment to fill my eyes with its salty tears once again.

You ask for support,
But where was mine when I needed it
the most?
Oh yeah, it was being washed down
The drain with the ***** and whiskey passing by your lips every night you weren't here.
Like you always said,
You'll end up dead, in rehab, or in jail if the addiction worsens.
You were right for once.
blackmarketcat Mar 2016
brutal and ugly
we swear that things need to be brutal and ugly
from there they'll develop into something beautiful...
the truth is that they never do
brutal and ugly things get more brutal and more ugly
and so it goes; my poetry worsens, discolored and infected

everything that i produce is brutal and ugly
even after thinking about your beauty

i have been hollowed out, baby
when i was younger, i was more vulnerable
i was hollowed out by the people i had to trust

poems are supposed to save people
my poems are a prison

— The End —