Epigrams V

Epigrams V

A Poem by Michael R. Burch

Epigrams V
by Michael R. Burch


Less Heroic Couplets: Word to the Unwise
by Michael R. Burch

I wanted to be good as gold,
but being good, as I’ve been told,
requires something, discipline,
I simply have no interest in!



Mate Check
by Michael R. Burch

Love is an ache hearts willingly secure
then break the bank to cure.



Incompatibles
by Michael R. Burch

Reason’s
treason!
cries the Heart.

Love’s
insane,
replies the Brain.



Grave Oversight
by Michael R. Burch

The dead are always with us,
and yet they are naught!



Imperfect Perfection
by Michael R. Burch

You’re too perfect for words―
a problem for a poet. 



Childless
by Michael R. Burch 

How can she bear her grief? 
Mightier than Atlas, she shoulders the weight 
Of one fallen star.



Ironic Vacation
by Michael R. Burch

Salzburg.
Seeing Mozart’s baby grand piano.
Standing in the presence of sheer incalculable genius.
Grabbing my childish pen to write a poem
& challenge the Immortals.
Next stop, the catacombs!



Are mayflies missed by mountains? Do stars
applaud the glowworm’s stellar mimicry?
―Michael R. Burch



Expert Advice
by Michael R. Burch

Your breasts are perfect for your lithe, slender body.
Please stop making false comparisons your hobby!



The State of the Art
by Michael R. Burch

A poet may work from sun to sun, 
but his editor's work is never done. 

The editor’s work is never done.
The critic adjusts his cummerbund. 

While the critic adjusts his cummerbund,
the audience exits to mingle and slum. 

As the audience exits to mingle and slum, 
the anthologist rules, a pale jury of one.



Blackfoot Saying
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


What is life?
The flash of a firefly.
The breath of the winter buffalo.
The shadow scooting across the grass that vanishes with sunset.



Sinking

by Michael R. Burch


for Virginia Woolf 


Weigh me down with stones ...

     fill all the pockets of my gown ...

          I’m going down,

               mad as the world 

                    that can’t recover,

                         to where even mermaids drown ...




Old age, believe me, is a blessing. While it’s true you get gently shouldered off the stage, you’re awarded such a comfortable front row seat as spectator. 
 Confucius, loose translation by Michael R. Burch




Haiku and Epigrams

Petals I amass

with such tenderness

prick me to the quick.

Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


Both victor and vanquished are dewdrops:

flashes of light

briefly illuminating the void.

―Ouchi Yoshitaka, loose translation/interpretation of his jisei (death poem) by Michael R. Burch


Dark-bosomed clouds

pregnant with heavy thunder ...

the water breaks

Michael R. Burch


As I slept in isolation

my desired beloved appeared to me;

therefore, dreams have become my reality

and consolation.

Ono no Komachi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


Submit to youis that what you advise?

The way the ripples do

whenever ill winds arise?

Ono no Komachi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


Sad,

the end that awaits me

to think that before autumn yields

I'll be a pale mist

shrouding these rice fields.

Ono no Komachi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


Now bitterly I watch fierce winds

battering the rice stalks, 

suspecting I'll never again

find anything to harvest.

Ono no Komachi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

So cruelly severed,

a root-cut reed ...

if the river offered,

why not be freed?

Ono no Komachi (KKS XVIII:938), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Wretched water-weed that I am,

severed from all roots:

if rapids should entice me,

why not welcome their lethal shoots?

Ono no Komachi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


If fields of autumn flowers

can shed their blossoms, shameless, 

why can't I also frolic here

as fearless, wild and blameless? 

Ono no Komachi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Do not ask, mariner, whose tomb this may be,

but go with good fortune: I wish you a kinder sea.

attributed to Plato, translated by Michael R. Burch


Does my soul abide in heaven, or hell?

Only the sea gull

in his high, lonely circuits, may tell. 

Glaucus, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


Be ashamed, O mountains and seas,

that these valorous men lack breath.

Assume, like pale chattels, 

an ashen silence at death.

Parmenio, translation by Michael R. Burch


Stripped of her stripling, if asked, she’d confess:

“I am now less than nothingness.”

Diotimus, translation by Michael R. Burch


Passerby,

Tell the Spartans we lie

Lifeless at Thermopylae:

Dead at their word,

Obedient to their command.

Have they heard? 

Do they understand?

Simonides, translation by Michael R. Burch


That country wench bewitches your heart?

Hell, her most beguiling art's

hiking her dress

to seduce you with her ankles' nakedness!

Sappho, fragment 57, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


Blame not the gale, nor the inhospitable sea-gulf, nor friends’ tardiness,

mariner! Just man’s foolhardiness.

Leonidas of Tarentum, translation by Michael R. Burch


Blame not the gale, nor the inhospitable sea-gulf, nor friends’ tardiness,

mariner! Just man’s foolhardiness.

Leonidas of Tarentum, translation by Michael R. Burch

Here he lies in state tonight: great is his Monument!

Yet Ares cares not, neither does War relent.

Anacreon, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Wall, I'm astonished that you haven't collapsed,

since you're holding up verses so prolapsed!

―Ancient Roman graffiti, translation by Michael R. Burch

This world of dew

is a dewdrop world indeed;

and yet, and yet ...

―Kobayashi Issa, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


The childless woman,

how tenderly she caresses

homeless dolls ...

―Hattori Ransetsu, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

When no wind ruffles the Kiri tree

            leaves fall 

of their own free will.

―Nozawa Boncho, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


The herons stand,

sentry-like, at attention ...

rigid observers of some unknown command.

―Michael R. Burch




Native American Prayer
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Help us learn the lessons you have left us here
in every leaf and rock.



Prose Epigrams

Truths are more likely discovered by one man than by nations.―Rene Descartes, translation by Michael R. Burch

Wayne Gretzky was pure skill poured into skates.Michael R. Burch


The most dangerous words ever uttered by human lips are “Thus saith the LORD.”Michael R. Burch


Experience is the best teacher but a hard taskmaster.Michael R. Burch


Time will tell, as it always does in the end.Michael R. Burch


One man's coronation is another man's consternation.Michael R. Burch

The Golden Rule is much easier to recite than observe.―Michael R. Burch


The Golden Rule is much easier to recite for others' benefit than to observe oneself. ―Michael R. Burch


Consider a Golden Mean when the Golden Rule is employed. Some people are much harder on themselves than on others.―Michael R. Burch


If the US consulted a competent headshrinker, it might boil down to nothing more than hot air and delusions.Michael R. Burch


Thanks to politicians like George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Steve Bannon and Donald Trump, we now have a duh-mock-racy.Michael R. Burch


Teddy Roosevelt spoke softly and carried a big stick; Donald Trump speaks loudly and carries a big shtick.Michael R. Burch


Cassidy Hutchinson is not only credible, but her courage and poise under fire have been incredible Michael R. Burch

Cassidy Hutchinson is a modern Erin Brockovich except that in her case the well has been poisoned for the whole country.  Michael R. Burch

The editors of Poetry know no more about poetry than I do about basket-weaving, except that I know a good basket when I have it in my hands.  Michael R. Burch




Honey-Suckle
by Michael R. Burch

I sampled honeysuckle
and it made my taste buds buckle.



Improve yourself by others' writings, attaining freely what they purchased at great expense. Socrates, translation by Michael R. Burch

Experience is the best teacher but a hard taskmaster.Michael R. Burch

Heaven and hell seem unreasonable to me: the actions of men do not deserve such extremes.Jorge Luis Borges, translation by Michael R. Burch

Reality is neither probable nor likely.Jorge Luis Borges, translation by Michael R. Burch

Wayne Gretzky was pure skill poured into skates.Michael R. Burch

Neither the leaf nor the tree laments karma.Michael R. Burch

These are my modern English translations of ancient Greek poems and epigrams by Sophocles, including antinatalist poems and epigrams. It’s a hundred times better not be born; but if we cannot avoid the light, the path of least harm is swiftly to return to death’s eternal night! Sophocles (circa 497-406 BC), Oedipus at Colonus, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Not to have been born is best, and blessed beyond the ability of words to express. Sophocles, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Never to be born may be the biggest boon of all. Sophocles, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Oblivion: What a boon, to lie unbound by pain! Sophocles, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch
How happy the soul who speeds back to the Source, but crowned with peace is the one who never came.
a Sophoclean passage from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch The happiest life is one empty of thought. Sophocles, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Consider no man happy till he lies dead, free of pain at last. Sophocles, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch What is worse than death? When death is desired but denied. Sophocles, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch When a man endures nothing but endless miseries, what's the use of hanging on day after day, edging closer and closer toward death? Anyone who warms his heart with the false glow of flickering hope is a wretch! The noble man should live with honor and die with honor. That's all that can be said. Sophocles, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Children anchor their mothers to life. Sophocles, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch How terrible, to see the truth when the truth brings only pain to the seer! Sophocles, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Wisdom outweighs all the world's wealth. Sophocles, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Fortune never favors the faint-hearted. Sophocles, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Wait for evening to appreciate the day's splendor. Sophocles, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch We need evening to appreciate the day's attractions. Sophocles, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Evening helps us appreciate the day's attractions. Sophocles, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Keywords/Tags: Sophocles, Greek, translation, translations, English, antinatalist, birth, born, death, life and death, day, eve, evening, night, fortune, wisdom, wealth, truth, pain, mother, mothers, mother and child, children
Bound by Michael R. Burch Now it is winter  the coldest night.
And as the light of the streetlamp casts strange shadows to the ground, I have lost what I once found in your arms. Now it is winter  the coldest night.
And as the light of distant Venus fails to penetrate dark panes, I have remade all my chains and am bound. Published as “Why Did I Go?” in my high school journal, The Lantern
Tell Me by Michael R. Burch Tell me what i am, for i have often wondered why i live. Do u know? Please, tell me so ... drive away the darkness from within. For my life is black with sin and i have often wondered why i am; and my thoughts are lacking light, though i have often sought what was right. Now it is night; please drive away the darkness from without, for I doubt that I will see the coming of the day without ur help. This poem appeared in my high school journal, the Lantern. I believe I wrote it around age 15 to 16 during the period I wrote related "I am/am I" poems such as "I Am Lonely," "Am I," "Time" and "Why Did I Go?"



Cameo by Michael R. Burch Breathe upon me the breath of life; gaze upon me with sardonyx eyes. Here, where times flies in the absence of light, all ecstasies are intimations of night. Hold me tonight in the spell I have cast; promise what cannot be given. Show me the stairway to heaven. Jacob's-ladder grows all around us; Jacob's ladder was fashioned of onyx. So breathe upon me the breath of life; gaze upon me with sardonic eyes . . . and, if in the morning I am not wise, at least then I’ll know if this dream we call life was worth the surmise. I wrote this poem around age 21.



Less Heroic Couplets: Gilded Silence
by Michael R. Burch

Golden silence reigned supreme
in my nightmare and her dream.



Christ!
by Michael R. Burch

If I knew men could be so dumb,
I would never have come!

Now you lie, cheat and steal in my name
and make it a thing of shame.

Did I heal the huge holes in your heart, in your head?
Isn’t it obvious: I’m dead!



A Further Farewell to Dentistry
by Michael R. Burch

(for and after Richard Moore, from whom I absconded the title)

Lately I've been eschewing
ice chewing
and my indentured dentist’s been boo-hoo-hooing.



EPIGRAM TRANSLATIONS BY MICHAEL R. BURCH Speechless at Auschwitz by Ko Un loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch At Auschwitz piles of glasses mountains of shoes ... returning, we stared out different windows. Ko Un speaks for all of us, by not knowing what to say about the evidence of the Holocaust, and man's inhumanity to man. Ko Un was speechless at Auschwitz. Someday, when it’s too late, will we be speechless at Gaza? �"Michael R. Burch Booksellers laud authors for novel editions as pimps praise their w****s for exotic positions. �"Thomas Campion, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy? �"Albert Einstein, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Elevate your words, not their volume. Rain grows flowers, not thunder.�"Rumi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Why should I brood when every petal of my being is blossoming?�"Rumi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch What you seek also pursues you.�"Rumi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch This is love: to fly toward a mysterious sky, to cause ten thousand veils to fall. First, to stop clinging to life, then to step out, without feet ... �"Rumi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Love renders reason senseless. �"Rumi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch I test the tightrope balancing a child in each arm. �"Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

God saw
it was good.
Adam saw
it was impressive.
Eve saw
it was improvable.
�"Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Let me live with joy today, since tomorrow is unforeseeable. �"Palladas of Alexandria, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch To live without philosophizing is to close one's eyes and never attempt to open them. �" Rene Descartes, loose translation by Michael R. Burch Religion is the opiate of the people.�"Karl Marx Religion is the dopiate of the sheeple.�"Michael R. Burch How happy the soul who speeds back to the Source, but crowned with peace is the one who never came. �"a Sophoclean passage from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Improve yourself by others' writings, attaining freely what they purchased at great expense. �"Socrates, translation by Michael R. Burch EPIGRAMS BY MICHAEL R. BURCH Brief Fling by Michael R. Burch “Epigram” means cram, then scram! Published by Brief Poems, Poem Today and The HyperTexts Brief Fling II by Michael R. Burch To write an epigram, cram. If you lack wit, scram! Published by Brief Poems, Ethnu Couplet and The HyperTexts Brief Fling III by Michael R. Burch No one gives a damn about my epigram? And yet they’ll spend billions on Boy George and Wham! Do they have any idea just how hard I cram? Nod to the Master by Michael R. Burch for the Divine Oscar Wilde If every witty thing that’s said were true, Oscar Wilde, the world would worship You! Stage Fright by Michael R. Burch To be or not to be? In the end Hamlet opted for naught. Erotic Errata by Michael R. Burch I didn’t mean to love you; if I did, it came unbid- en, and should’ve remained hid- den! Dry Hump by Michael R. Burch You came to me as rain breaks on the desert when every flower springs to life at once. But joys are wan illusions to the expert: the Bedouin has learned how not to want. Love is either wholly folly, or fully holy. �"Michael R. Burch Intimations by Michael R. Burch Let mercy surround us with a sweet persistence. Let love propound to us that life is infinitely more than existence. Less Heroic Couplets: Marketing 101 by Michael R. Burch Building her brand, she disrobes, naked, except for her earlobes. Less Heroic Couplets: Shell Game by Michael R. Burch I saw a turtle squirtle! Before you ask, “How fertile?” The squirt came from its mouth. Why do your thoughts fly south? The best tonic for other people's bad ideas is to think for oneself.�"Michael R. Burch I will never grok picking a picky rule over a Poem!�"Michael R. Burch Experience is the best teacher but a hard taskmaster.�"Michael R. Burch Wayne Gretzky was pure skill poured into skates.�"Michael R. Burch Neither the leaf nor the tree laments karma.�"Michael R. Burch Less Heroic Couplets: Gilded Silence by Michael R. Burch Golden silence reigned supreme in my nightmare and her dream. Villanelle of an Opportunist by Michael R. Burch I’m not looking for someone to save. A gal has to do what a gal has to do: I’m looking for a man with one foot in the grave. How many highways to hell must I pave with intentions imagined, not true? I’m not looking for someone to save. Fools praise compassion while weaklings rave, but a gal has to do what a gal has to do. I’m looking for a man with one foot in the grave. Some praise the Lord but the Devil’s my fave because he has led me to you! I’m not looking for someone to save. In the land of the free and the home of the brave, a gal has to do what a gal has to do. I’m looking for a man with one foot in the grave. Every day without meds becomes a close shave and the razor keeps tempting me too. I’m not looking for someone to save: I’m looking for a man with one foot in the grave. She is brighter than dawn by Michael R. Burch for Beth There’s a light about her like the moon through a mist: a bright incandescence with which she is blessed and my heart to her light like the tide now is pulled . . . she is fair, O, and bright like the moon silver-veiled. There’s a fire within her like the sun’s leaping forth to lap up the darkness of night from earth's hearth and my eyes to her flame like twin moths now are drawn till my heart is consumed. She is brighter than dawn. The Difference by Michael R. Burch The chimneysweeps will weep for Blake, who wrote his poems for their dear sake. The critics clap, polite, for you. Another poem for poets, Whooo! Crunch by Michael R. Burch for Trump A cockroach could live nine months on the dried mucous you scrounge from your nose then fling like seedplants to the slowly greening floor ... You claim to be the advanced life form, but, mon frere, sometimes as you snatch encrusted kinks of hair from your Leviathan a*s and muse softly on zits, icebergs snap off the Antarctic. You’re an evolutionary quandary, in need of a sacral ganglion to control your enlarged, contradictory hindquarters: surely the brain should migrate closer to its primary source of information, in order to ensure the survival of the species. Cockroaches thrive on eyeboogers and feces; their exoskeletons expand and gleam like burnished armor in the presence of uranium. But your cranium is not nearly so adaptable. “Crunch” is a poem about evolution and survival of the fittest which questions where human beings really are the planet earth’s most advanced life forms. Keywords/Tags: evolution, global warming, insects, cockroaches, advance life form, survival of the fittest, adaptability Teddy Roosevelt spoke softly and carried a big stick; Donald Trump speaks loudly and carries a big shtick.�"Michael R. Burch Viral Donald (I) by Michael R. Burch aka "The Loyal Opposition" Donald Trump is coronaviral: his brain's in a downward spiral. His pale nimbus of hair proves there's nothing up there but an empty skull, fluff and denial. Viral Donald (II) by Michael R. Burch aka "The Loyal Opposition" Why didn't Herr Trump, the POTUS, protect us from the Coronavirus? That weird orange corona of hair's an alarm: Trump is the Virus in Human Form! Limerick-Ode to a Much-Eaten A*s by Michael R. Burch There wonst wus a president, Trump, whose greatest a*s (et) wus his rump. It was padded ’n’ shiny, that great orange hiney, but to drain it we’d need a sump pump! The Less-Than-Divine Results of My Prayers to be Saved from Televangelists by Michael R. Burch I’m old, no longer bold, just cold, and (truth be told), been bought and sold, rolled by the wolves and the lambs in the fold. Who’s to be told by this worn-out scold? The complaint department is always on hold. Poets laud Justice’s high principles. Trump just gropes her raw genitals. �"Michael R. Burch Teeter Tots by Michael R. Burch For your spuds to become Tater Tots, first, artfully cut out the knots, then dice them to cubes deep-fried, served to rubes, (but not if they’re acting like snots).



I didn’t mean to love you, but I did. Best leave the rest unsaid, hid- den and unbidden. �"Michael R. Burch You imagine life is good, but have you actually understood? �"Michael R. Burch Living with a body ain’t much fun. Harder, still, to live without one. Whatever happened to our day in the sun? �"Michael R. Burch How little remains of our joys and our pains. How little remains of our losses and gains. How little remains of whatever remains. �"Michael R. Burch Sometimes I feel better, it’s true, but mostly I’m still not over you. �"Michael R. Burch Don’t let the past defeat you. Learn from it, but don’t dwell. Have no regrets at “farewell.” �"Michael R. Burch Haughty moon, when did I ever trouble you, insomnia’s co-conspirator! �"Michael R. Burch Every day’s a new chance to lose weight, but most likely, I’ll ... procrastinate ... �"Michael R. Burch Big Ben Boner by Michael R. Burch Early to bed, hurriedly to rise makes a man stealthy, and that’s why he’s wealthy: what the hell is he doing behind your closed eyes? Friend, how you’ll squirm when you belatedly learn that you’re the worm! Pecking Disorder by Michael R. Burch Love has a pecking order, or maybe a dis-order, a hell we recognize if we merely open our eyes: the attractive win at birth, while those of ample girth are deemed of little worth from Nottingham to Perth. Nottingham is said to have the most beautiful women in the world. Tease by Michael R. Burch It’s what you always say, okay? It’s what you always say: C’mon let’s play, roll in the hay, It’s what you always say. Ole! But little do you do, it’s true. But little do you do. A little diddle, run to piddle ... we never really screw! That’s you! Observance (II) by Michael R. Burch fifty years later... The trees are in their autumn beauty, majestic to the eye. Whoever felt as I, whoever felt them doomed to die despite their flamboyant colors? They seem like knights of dismal countenance ... as if, windmills themselves, they might tilt with the bloody sky. And yet their favors gaily fly! KEYWORDS/TAGS: epigram, epigrams, love, life, living, fun, sun, joy, pain, past, sad, sadness



"Lu Zhai" ("Deer Park")
by Wang Wei (699-759)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Uninhabited hills ...
except that now and again the silence is broken
by something like the sound of distant voices
as the sun's sinking rays illuminate lichens ...

Wang Wei (699-759) was a Chinese poet, musician, painter, and politician during the Tang dynasty. He had 29 poems included in the 18th-century anthology Three Hundred Tang Poems. "Lu Zhai" ("Deer Park") is one of his best-known poems.

Keywords/Tags: epigram, epigrams, Wang Wei, Chinese, translation, nature, animal, deer, park, hills, silence, sound, voices, wind, voice, sun, rays, illuminate, peace, growth, wisdom



Clodhoppers
by Michael R. Burch

If you trust the Christian “god”
you’re―like Adumb―a clod. 




After the Poetry Recital
by Michael R. Burch

Later there’ll be talk of saving whales
over racks of lamb and flambéed snails.




Myth
by Michael R. Burch

Here the recalcitrant wind
sighs with grievance and remorse
over fields of wayward gorse
and thistle-throttled lanes.

And she is the myth of the scythed wheat
hewn and sighing, complete,
waiting, lain in a low sheaf
full of faith, full of grief.

Here the immaculate dawn
requires belief of the leafed earth
and she is the myth of the mown grain
golden and humble in all its weary worth.

I believe I wrote the first version of this poem toward the end of my senior year of high school, around age 18. To my recollection this is my only poem directly influenced by the “sprung rhythm” of Dylan Thomas (more so than that of Gerard Manley Hopkins). 




He Lived: Excerpts from “Gilgamesh”
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


I.
He who visited hell, his country’s foundation,
Was well-versed in mysteries’ unseemly dark places.
He deeply explored many underworld realms
Where he learned of the Deluge and why Death erases.


II.
He built the great ramparts of Uruk-the-Sheepfold
And of holy Eanna. Then weary, alone,
He recorded his thoughts in frail scratchings called “words”:
Frail words made immortal, once chiseled in stone.


III.
These walls he erected are ever-enduring:
Vast walls where the widows of dead warriors weep.
Stand by them. O, feel their immovable presence!
For no other walls are as strong as this keep’s.


IV.
Come, climb Uruk’s tower on a starless night
Ascend its steep stairway to escape modern error.
Cross its ancient threshold. You are close to Ishtar,
The Goddess of Ecstasy and of Terror!


V.
Find the cedar box with its hinges of bronze;
Lift the lid of its secrets; remove its dark slate;
Read of the travails of our friend Gilgamesh
Of his descent into hell and man’s terrible fate!


VI.
Surpassing all kings, heroic in stature,
Wild Bull of the mountains, the Goddess his Dam
Bedding no other man; he was her sole rapture
Who else can claim fame, as he thundered, “I AM!”




This is an original poem I wrote after reading the Epic of Gilgamesh for the first time…


Enkidu Enters the House of Dust
an original poem by Michael R. Burch


I entered the house of dust and grief.
Where the pale dead weep there is no relief,
for there night descends like a final leaf
to shiver forever, unstirred.


There is no hope left when the tree’s stripped bare,
for the leaf lies forever dormant there
and each man cloaks himself in strange darkness, where
all company’s unheard.


No light’s ever pierced that oppressive night
so men close their eyes on their neighbors’ plight
or stare into darkness, lacking sight ...
each a crippled, blind bat-bird.


Were these not once eagles, gallant men?
Who sits herepale, wretched and coweringthen?

O, surely they shall, they must rise again,
gaining new wings? “Absurd!


For this is the House of Dust and Grief
where men made of clay, eat clay. Relief
to them’s to become a mere windless leaf,
lying forever unstirred.”


“Anu and Enlil, hear my plea!
Ereshkigal, they all must go free!
Beletseri, dread scribe of this Hell, hear me!”
But all my shrill cries, obscured

by vast eons of dust, at last fell mute
as I took my place in the ash and soot.




H.B.

for Hermann Broch

by Hannah Arendt

loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


Survival.

But how does one live without the dead?

Where is the sound of their lost company?

Where now, their companionable embraces?

We wish they were still with us.

We are left with the cry that ripped them from us.

Left with the veil that shrouds their empty gazes.

What avails? That we commit ourselves to them,

and through this commitment, learn to survive.




I Love the Earth

by Hannah Arendt

loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


I love the earth

like a trip

to a foreign land

and not otherwise.

Even so life spins me

on its loom softly

into never-before-seen patterns.

Until suddenly

like the last farewells of a new journey,

the great silence breaks the frame.



Abdul Ghani Khan aka Ghani Baba was an Pakistani poet, philosopher, engineer, sculptor, painter, writer and politician who wrote in Pashto.

Excerpts from “Zama Mahal” (“My Palace”)
by Ghani Baba
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I fashioned a palace from the river’s white sands,
as the world, in great amazement, watched on in disbelief ...
My palace was carpeted with rose petals.
Its walls were made of melodies, sung by Rabab.
It was lit by a fair crescent, coupled with the divine couplets of Venus.
It was strung with the dewdrops of a necklace I entwined.
Eyes, inebriated by the stars, twinkled ever so brightly!

The Chalice
by Ghani Baba
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A note of drunkenness floats on the dusk;
Come, drown your sorrows in the chalice!
What does it matter if you’re a yogi or an emir?
Here there’s no difference between master and slave.
Death’s hand, the Black Hunter’s, is weighing the blow;
Laugh! Laugh now, before laughter is ensnared.

Entreaty
by Ghani Baba
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I do not need your polished lips,
Nor your hair in loops like a serpent’s coils,
Nor your nape as graceful as a swan’s,
Nor your narcissistic eyes drunk on your own beauty,
Nor your teeth perfect as pearls,
Nor your cheeks ruddy as ripe pomegranates,
Nor your voice mellifluous as a viola’s,
Nor your figure elegant as a poplar, ...
But show me this and only this, my love:
I seek a heart stained red, like a poppy flower.
Pearls by millions I would gladly forfeit
For one tear born of heartfelt love and grief.

(Written at age 15, in July 1929, on the ship Neldera)

To God
by Ghani Baba
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

i don’t say You don’t exist, i say You do,
yet Your universe seems to lack an owner!

za khu na wayam che neshta, za khu wayama che e, khu jahan de dasi khkarey laka be-malika kur

Look Up
by Ghani Baba
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

To understand the magnificence of the Universe,
look up.

Stargey bara ka ta portha, che pa shaan poi da jahan she

The Brain and the Heart
by Ghani Baba
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The brain and the heart? Two powerful independent kings governing one country.

Khudaya aqal che o zra de wali rako, pa yu mulk ke dhwa khodhsara bachayaan

Someone please tell me:
How does one fall in love?
Ghani Baba, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Last night the mountain peak
Spoke softly to the evening star.
Ghani Baba, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Paradise lay beneath my mother’s feet.
Ghani Baba, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Wherever our mothers walk, beneath their feet lies Paradise.
Ghani Baba, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch



These are poems I have written about Shakespeare, poems I have written for Shakespeare, and poems I have written after Shakespeare.

Fleet Tweet: Apologies to Shakespeare
by 
Michael R. Burch

a tweet
by any other name
would be as fleet!
@mikerburch

Fleet Tweet II: Further Apologies to Shakespeare
by Michael R. Burch

Remember, doggonit,
heroic verse crowns the Shakespearean sonnet!
So if you intend to write a couplet,
please do it on the doublet!
@mikerburch

Stage Fright
by Michael R. Burch

To be or not to be?
In the end Hamlet
opted for naught.

Ophelia
by Michael R. Burch

for Kevin N. Roberts

Ophelia, madness suits you well,
as the ocean sounds in an empty shell,
as the moon shines brightest in a starless sky,
as suns supernova before they die ...

Shakespeare's Sonnet 130 Refuted
by Michael R. Burch, circa age 18

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
�" Shakespeare, Sonnet 130

Seas that sparkle in the sun
without its light would have no beauty;
but the light within your eyes
is theirs alone; it owes no duty.
Whose winsome flame, not half so bright,
is meant for me, and brings delight.

Coral formed beneath the sea,
though scarlet-tendriled, cannot warm me;
while your lips, not half so red,
just touching mine, at once inflame me.
Whose scorching flames mild lips arouse
fathomless oceans fail to douse.

Bright roses’ brief affairs, declared
when winter comes, will wither quickly.
Your cheeks, though paler when compared
with them?�"more lasting, never prickly.
Whose tender cheeks, so enchantingly warm,
far vaster treasures, harbor no thorns.

Originally published by Romantics Quarterly

This was my first sonnet, written in my teens after I discovered Shakespeare's "Sonnet 130." At the time I didn't know the rules of the sonnet form, so mine is a bit unconventional. I think it is not bad for the first attempt of a teen poet. I remember writing this poem in my head on the way back to my dorm from a freshman English class. I would have been 18 or 19 at the time.

Attention Span Gap
by Michael R. Burch

What if a poet, Shakespeare,
were still living to tweet to us here?
He couldn't write sonnets,
just couplets, doggonit,
and we wouldn't have Hamlet or Lear!

Yes, a sonnet may end in a couplet,
which we moderns can write in a doublet,
in a flash, like a tweet.
Does that make it 
complete?
Should a poem be reduced to a stublet?

Bring back that Grand Era when men
had attention spans long as their pens,
or rather the quills
of the 
monsieurs and fils
who gave us the Dress, not its hem!

Chloe
by Michael R. Burch

There were skies onyx at night... moons by day...
lakes pale as her eyes... breathless winds
undressing tall elms ... she would say
that we’d loved, but I figured we'd sinned.

Soon impatiens too fiery to stay
sagged; the crocus bells drooped, golden-limned;
things of brightness, rinsed out, ran to gray...
all the light of that world softly dimmed.

Where our feet were inclined, we would stray;
there were paths where dead weeds stood untrimmed,
distant mountains that loomed in our way,
thunder booming down valleys dark-hymned.

What I found, I found lost in her face
while yielding all my virtue to her grace.

“Chloe” is a Shakespearean sonnet about being parted from someone you wanted and expected to be with forever. It was originally published by Romantics Quarterly as "A Dying Fall"

Sonnet: The City Is a Garment
by Michael R. Burch

A rhinestone skein, a jeweled brocade of light,�"
the city is a garment stretched so thin
her festive colors bleed into the night,
and everywhere bright seams, unraveling,

cascade their brilliant contents out like coins
on motorways and esplanades; bead cars
come tumbling down long highways; at her groin
a railtrack like a zipper flashes sparks;

her hills are haired with brush like cashmere wool
and from their cleavage winking lights enlarge
and travel, slender fingers ... softly pull
themselves into the semblance of a barge.

When night becomes too chill, she softly dons
great overcoats of warmest-colored dawn.

“The City is a Garment” is a Shakespearean sonnet.

Afterglow
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

The night is full of stars. Which still exist?
Before time ends, perhaps one day we’ll know.
For now I hold your fingers to my lips
and feel their pulse ... warm, palpable and slow ...

once slow to match this reckless spark in me,
this moon in ceaseless orbit I became,
compelled by wilder gravity to flee
night’s universe of suns, for one pale flame ...

for one pale flame that seemed to signify
the Zodiac of all, the meaning of
love’s wandering flight past Neptune. Now to lie
in dawning recognition is enough ...

enough each night to bask in you, to know
the face of love ... eyes closed ... its afterglow.

“Afterglow” is a Shakespearean sonnet.

I Learned Too Late
by Michael R. Burch

“Show, don’t tell!”

I learned too late that poetry has rules,
although they may be rules for greater fools.

In any case, by dodging rules and schools,
I avoided useless duels.

I learned too late that sentiment is bad�"
that Blake and Keats and Plath had all been had.

In any case, by following my heart,
I learned to walk apart.

I learned too late that “telling” is a crime.
Did Shakespeare know? Is Milton doing time?

In any case, by telling, I admit:
I think such rules are s**t.

Heaven Bent
by Michael R. Burch

This life is hell; it can get no worse.
Summon the coroner, the casket, the hearse!
But I’m upwardly mobile. How the hell can I know?
I can only go up; I’m already below!

This is a poem in which I imagine Shakespeare speaking through a modern Hamlet.

That Mella Fella
by Michael R. Burch

John Mella was the longtime editor of Light Quarterly.

There once was a fella
named Mella,
who, if you weren’t funny,
would tell ya.
But he was cool, clever, nice,
gave some splendid advice,
and if you did well,
he would sell ya.

Shakespeare had his patrons and publishers; John Mella was one of my favorites in the early going, along with Jean Mellichamp Milliken of The Lyric.

Chip Off the Block
by Michael R. Burch

for Jeremy

In the fusion of poetry and drama,
Shakespeare rules! Jeremy’s a ham: a
chip off the block, like his father and mother.
Part poet? Part ham? Better run for cover!
Now he’s Benedick, most comical of lovers!

NOTE: Jeremy’s father is a poet and his mother is an actress; hence the fusion, or confusion, as the case may be.

Keywords/Tags: Shakespeare, Shakespearean, epigram, epigrams



Ono no Komachi Translations


These are my modern English translations of the ancient Japanese poems of Ono no Komachi…


Submit to you, is that what you advise? 

The way the ripples do

whenever ill winds arise? 

―Ono no Komachi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


Watching wan moonlight flooding tree limbs, 

my heart also brims, 

overflowing with autumn.

―Ono no Komachi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


If fields of autumn flowers

can shed their blossoms, shameless, 

why can't I also frolic here...

as fearless and as blameless? 

―Ono no Komachi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


I had thought to pluck

the flower of forgetfulness

only to find it 

already blossoming in his heart.

―Ono no Komachi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


Sad, 

the end that awaits me...

to think that before autumn yields

I'll be a pale mist

shrouding these rice fields.

―Ono no Komachi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


Now bitterly I watch fall winds

battering the rice stalks, 

suspecting I'll never again

find anything to harvest.

―Ono no Komachi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


This abandoned mountain shack...

how many nights

has autumn sheltered there? 

―Ono no Komachi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


Am I to spend the night alone

atop this summit, 

cold and lost? 

Won't you at least lend me

your robes of moss? 

�"Ono no Komachi (GSS XVII: 1195), loose translation by Michael R. Burch


Am I to spend the night alone

atop this ice-crag, 

cold and lost? 

Won't you at least lend me

your robes of moss? 

―Ono no Komachi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


Two things wilt without warning, 

bleeding away their colors: 

a flower and a man's heart.

�"Ono no Komachi (KKS XV: 797), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


Alas, the beauty of the flowers came to naught

as I watched the rain, lost in melancholy thought...

�"Ono no Komachi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


So cruelly severed, 

a root-cut reed...

if the river offered, 

why not be freed? 

�"Ono no Komachi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


Wretched water-weed that I am, 

severed from all roots: 

if rapids should entice me, 

why not welcome their lethal shoots? 

―Ono no Komachi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


In this dismal world

the living decrease

as the dead increase... 

oh, how much longer

must I bear this body of grief? 

―Ono no Komachi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


I think of you ceaselessly, with love...

and so... come to me at night, 

for in the flight

of dreams, no one can disapprove! 

―Ono no Komachi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


Since my body

was neglected by the one

who had promised faithfully to come, 

I now lie here questioning its existence. 

―Ono no Komachi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


Sleepless with loneliness, 

I find myself longing for the handsome moon.

�"Ono no Komachi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


Once-colorful flowers faded, 

while in my drab cell

life's impulse also abated

as the long dismal rains fell. 

―Ono no Komachi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


As I slept in isolation

my desired beloved appeared to me; 

therefore, dreams have become my reality

and consolation. 

―Ono no Komachi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


That which men call 'love'...

is it not merely the chain

preventing our escape 

from this world of pain? 

―Ono no Komachi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


Did you appear

only because I was lost in thoughts of love

when I nodded off, day-dreaming of you? 

(If I had known that you 

couldn't possibly be true, 

I'd have never awakened!)  

―Ono no Komachi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


Watching the long, dismal rains 

inundating the earth, 

my heart too is washed out, bleeds off

with the colors of the late spring flowers.

―Ono no Komachi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


Though I visit him

continually in my dreams, 

the sum of all such ethereal trysts

is still less than one actual, solid glimpse. 

―Ono no Komachi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


I feel desire so intensely

in the lily-seed darkness

that tonight I'll turn my robe inside-out

before donning it.

�"Ono no Komachi (KKS XII: 554), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


This vain life! 

My looks and talents faded 

like these cherry blossoms inundated

by endless rains

that I now survey, alone.

―Ono no Komachi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


Autumn nights are 'long'

only in verse and song: 

for we had just begun

to gaze into each other's eyes

when dawn immolated the skies! 

―Ono no Komachi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


On nights such as these

when no moon lights your way to me, 

I lie awake, my passion blazing, 

my breast an inferno wildly raging, 

while my heart chars within me. 

―Ono no Komachi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


Since there's obviously nothing to catch

in this barren bay, 

how can he fail to understand: 

the fisherman who persists in coming and going

until his legs collapse in the sand? 

―Ono no Komachi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


What do I know of villages

where fisherfolk dwell? 

Why do you keep demanding

that I show you the seashore, 

lead you to some pearly shell? 

―Ono no Komachi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


Yielding to a love

that recognizes no boundaries, 

I will approach him by night...

for the world cannot despise

a wandering dreamer.

―Ono no Komachi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


Now that I approach

life's inevitable winter

your ardor has faded

like blossoms wilted

by late autumn rains.

―Ono no Komachi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


'It's over! '

Your words drizzle like dismal rains, 

bringing tears, 

as I wilt with my years.

�"Ono no Komachi (KKS XV: 782), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


I pursue you ceaselessly in my dreams...

yet we've never met; we're not even acquainted! 

�"Ono no Komachi, loose translation by Michael R. Burch


Like flowers wilted by drenching rains, 

my beauty has faded in the onslaught of my forlorn years.

�"Ono no Komachi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


Fiery coals searing my body

hurt me far less than the sorrow of parting.

�"Ono no Komachi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


Love is man's most unbreakable bond.

�"Ono no Komachi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


This moonless night, 

with no way to meet him, 

I grow restless with longing: 

my breast's an inferno, 

my heart chars within me.

�"Ono no Komachi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


How brilliantly

tears rain upon my sleeve

in bright gemlets, 

for my despair cannot be withstood, 

like a surging flood! 

�"Ono no Komachi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


This flower's color

has drained away, 

while in idle thoughts

my life drained away

as the long rains fall.

�"Ono no Komachi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


Fatal reality! 

You must do what you must, I suppose.

But even hidden in my dreams

from all prying eyes, 

to watch you still pains me so! 

�"Ono no Komachi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


In eye-opening daylight

much stands revealed, 

but when I see myself

reflected in hostile eyes

even dreams become nightmares.

�"Ono no Komachi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


I would meet him tonight

but the moon shows no path; 

my desire for him, 

smoldering in my breast, 

burns my heart to ash! 

�"Ono no Komachi, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch




Sotoba Komachi is a modern Noh play by Yukio Mishima (1925-1970) . Mishima's play is based on an ancient work by Kan'ami Kiyotsugu (1333-1384). 


Excerpts from SOTOBA KOMACHI

by KWANAMI

loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


Priest of the Koyasan: 


We who have built our homes on shallow slopes

now seek solitude in the heart's deep recesses.


Second Priest: 


This single thought possessed me: 

How I might bring a single seed to flower, 

the wisdom of Buddha, the locus of our salvation, 

until in despair I donned this dark cassock.


Ono no Komachi: 


Lately so severed, 

like a root-cut reed, 

if the river offered, 

why not be freed? 


I would gladly go, 

but here no wave stirs...

I was once full of pride

now fled with the years, 


gone with dark tresses

and with lustrous locks; 

I was lithe as a willow

in my springtime frocks; 


I once sang like a nightingale

sipping dew; 

I was wild as the rose

when the skies shone blue...

in those days before fall

when the long shadows grew.


But now I've grown loathsome

even to w****s; 

even urchins abhor me; 

men treat me with scorn...


Now I am nothing

but a poor, withered bough, 

and yet there are wildflowers

in my heart, even now.


Only my body lingers, for my heart left this world long ago! 


Priests (together) : 


O, piteous, piteous! 

Is this the once-fabled flower-bright Komachi, 

Komachi the Beautiful, 

whose dark brows bridged eyes like young moons; 

her face whitest alabaster forever; 

whose many damask robes filled cedar-scented closets? 


Ono no Komachi wrote tanka (also known as waka), the most traditional form of Japanese lyric poetry. She is an excellent representative of the Classical, or Heian, period (circa 794-1185 AD)  of Japanese literature, and she is one of the best-known poets of the Kokinshu (circa 905), the first in a series of anthologies of Japanese poetry compiled by imperial order. She is also one of the Rokkasen, the six best waka poets of the early Heian period, during which poetry was considered the highest art. 



These are modern English translations of the "Xenia" epigrams written in collaboration by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller.


#2 - Verse versus Kiss


She says an epigram’s too terse

to reveal her tender heart in verse ...

but really, darling, ain’t the thrill

of a kiss much shorter still?

―from “Xenia” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


#5 - Criticism


Why don’t I openly criticize the man? Because he’s a friend;

thus I reproach him in silence, as I do my own heart.

―from “Xenia” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


#11 - Highest Holiness


What is holiest? This heart-felt love

binding spirits together, now and forever.

―from “Xenia” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


#12 - Love versus Desire


You love what you have, and desire what you lack

because a rich nature expands, while a poor one retracts.

―from “Xenia” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


#19 - Nymph and Satyr


As shy as the trembling doe your horn frightens from the woods,

she flees the huntsman, fainting, uncertain of love.

―from “Xenia” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


#20 - Desire


What stirs the virgin’s heaving breasts to sighs?

What causes your bold gaze to brim with tears?

―from “Xenia” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


#23 - The Apex I


Everywhere women yield to men, but only at the apex

do the manliest men surrender to femininity.

―from “Xenia” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


#24 - The Apex II


What do we mean by the highest? The crystalline clarity of triumph

as it shines from the brow of a woman, from the brow of a goddess.

―from “Xenia” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


#25 -Human Life


Young sailors brave the sea beneath ten thousand sails

while old men drift ashore on any bark that avails.

―from “Xenia” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


#35 - Dead Ahead


What’s the hardest thing of all to do?

To see clearly with your own eyes what’s ahead of you.

―from “Xenia” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


#36 - Unexpected Consequence


Friends, before you utter the deepest, starkest truth, please pause,

because straight away people will blame you for its cause.

―from “Xenia” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


#41 - Earth versus Heaven


By doing good, you nurture humanity;

but by creating beauty, you scatter the seeds of divinity.

―from “Xenia” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch




Mercedes Benz

by Michael R. Burch


I'd like to do a song of great social and political import. It goes like this:


Oh Donnie, won't you lend me your Mercedes Benz?

My friends screw in Porsches, I must make amends!

Like you, I f-cked my partners and now have no friends.

So, Donnie won't you sell me your Mercedes Benz?


Oh Donnie, won't you rent me your sexy import?

You need to pay your lawyers: a tart for a tort!

I’ll await her delivery each day until three.

And Donnie, please throw in Ivanka for free!


Oh, Donnie won't you buy me a night on the town?

I'm counting on you, Don, so don't let me down!

Oh, prove you're a playboy and bring them around.

Oh, Donnie won't you buy me a night on the town?


Oh Donnie, won't you lend me your Mercedes Benz?

My friends screw in Porsches, I must make amends!

Like you, I f-cked my partners and now have no friends.

So, Donnie won't you sell me your Mercedes Benz?



Ode to a Pismire

by Michael R. Burch


Drumpf is a sissy:

his hair’s in a Fritz.

Drumpf is a missy:

he won’t drink Schlitz.

Drumpf’s cobra-hissy

though he lives in the Ritz.

Drumpf is so pissy

his diaper’s the Shitz.




The Ballade of Large Marge Greene

by Michael R. Burch


Marge

is large

and in charge,

like a barge.


Yes, our Marge

is quite large,

like a hefty surcharge.


Like a sarge,

say LaFarge,

apt to over-enlarge

creating dissent before the final discharge.



Trump Limericks aka Slimericks


The Nazis now think things’re grand.

The KKK’s hirin’ a band.

Putin’s computin’

Less Ukrainian shootin’.

They’re hootin’ ’cause Trump’s win is planned.

�"Michael R. Burch


Trump comes with a few grotesque catches:

He likes to grope unoffered snatches;

He loves to ICE kids;

His brain’s on the skids;

And then there’s the coups the fiend hatches.

�"Michael R. Burch




Trump’s Saddest Tweet to Date

by Michael R. Burch


I’ve gotten all out of kilter.

My erstwhile yuge tool is a wilter!

I now sleep in bed.

Few hairs on my head.

Inhibitions? I now have no filter!




the best of all possible whirls, for MAGA

by Michael R. Burch


ive made a mistake or two.

okay, maybe quite *more* than a few:

mistakes by the millions,

the billions and zillions,

but remember: ur LORD made u!


where were u when HEE passed out brains?

or did u politely abstain?

u call GAUD “infallible”

when HEE made u so gullible

u cant come inside when Trump reigns.




My Sin-cere Endorsement of a Trump Cultist

by Michael R. Burch


If you choose to be an idiot, who can prevent you?

If you love to do evil, why then, by all means,

go serve the con who sent you!




Bird’s Eye View

Michael R. Burch


So many fantasical inventions,

but what are man’s intentions?

I don’t trust their scooty cars.

And what about their plans for Mars?


Their landfills’ high retentions?

The dodos they fail to mention?

I don’t trust Trump’s “clean coal” cars,

and what the hell are his plans for Mars?




Untitled


Don't disturb him in his inner sanctum

Or he’ll have another Trumper Tantrum.

�"Michael R. Burch


It turns out the term was prophetic, since "conservatives" now serve a con. �" Michael R. Burch


To live among you �" ah! �" as among vipers, coldblooded creatures not knowing right from wrong, adoring Trump, hissing and spitting venom.


Trump rhymes with chump

grump

frump

lifelong slump

illogical jump

garbage dump

sewage clump

sump pump

dry hump

cancerous lump

malignant bump

unpleasingly plump

slovenly schlump

yuge enormous diaper-clad rump

and someone we voters are going to thump and whump

�"Michael R. Burch




Putin's Lootin's

by Michael R. Burch


They’re dropping like flies:

Putin’s “allies.”


Ah, but who gets their funny

money?


Two birds with one stone:

no dissent, buy a drone.


For tyrants the darkest day’s sunny!




Preempted

by Michael R. Burch


Friends, I admit that I’m often tempted

to say what I think about Trump,

but all such thought’s been preempted

by the sight of that Yuge Orange Rump!




Mate Check

by Michael R. Burch


*The editorial board of the Washington Post is “very worried that American women don’t want to marry Trump supporters.”*


Supporting Trump puts a crimp in dating

(not to mention mating).


So, horny dudes, if you’d like to bed

intelligent gals, and possibly wed,


it’s time to jettison that red MAGA cap

and tweet “farewell” to an orange sap.




Squid on the Skids

by Michael R. Burch


Sidney Powell howled in 2020:

“The Kraken will roar through the land of plenty!”


But she recalled the Terror in 2023

with a slippery, slimy, squid-like plea.




The Kraken Cracked

by Michael R. Burch


She’s singing like a canary.

Who says krakens are scary?


Squidney said the election was hacked,

but when all her lies were unpacked,

the crackpot kraken cracked.


Now, with a shrill, high-pitched squeal,

The kraken has cut a deal.


Oh, tell it with jubilation:

the kraken is on probation!




Trump’s Retribution Resolution

by Michael R. Burch


My New Year’s resolution?

I require your money and votes,

for *you* are *my* retribution.


May I offer you dark-skinned scapegoats

and bigger and deeper moats

as part of my sweet resolution?


Please consider a YUGE contribution,

a mountain of lovely C-notes,

for *you* are *my* retribution.


Revenge is our only solution,

since my critics are weasels and stoats.

Come, second my sweet resolution!


The New Year’s no time for dilution

of the anger of victimized GOATs,

when *you* are *my* retribution.


Forget the damned Constitution!

To dictators “ideals” are footnotes.

My New Year’s resolution?

*You* are *my* retribution.




Two Trump Truisms

by Michael R. Burch

When Trump’s the culprit everyone’s a “snitch.”

It ain’t a “witch hunt” when the perp’s a witch.




Horrid Porridge

by Michael R. Burch


*My apologies to porridge for this unfortunate association with an unwholesome human being.*


Why is Trump orange,

like porridge

(though not some we’re likely to forage)?

The gods of yore

knew long before

Trump was born, to a life of deplorage,

that his face must conform

to the uniform

he’d wear for his prison decorage!



Dictionary Definition of Trump

by Michael R. Burch


Trump is a chump;

he’s the freep of a frump;

he’s an orange-skinned Grinch and, much worse, he’s a Grump!;

he’s a creep; he’s a Sheik (sans harem); a skunk!;

“Kill the veep!” he’s a murderous coup d’tot-er in a slump;

“Drain the swamps, then refill them with my crocodilian donors!”;

Trump is a rapist with insufficient boners;

Trump is, as he predicted, a constitutional crisis;

Trump is our non-so-sweet American vanilla ISIS;

Trump is a thief who will bring the world to grief;

Trump is a whiner and our Pleader-in-Chief.




Triple Trump

by Michael R. Burch


No one ever trumped a Trump like Trump.

He turned Mar-a-Lago into a dump

and spewed filth at the stump

like a sump pump

while looking like a moulting Orange Hefalump!

Trump made the Grinch seem like just another Grump

by giving darker Whos a “get lost” lump.

No colored child was spared from his Neanderthalic thump.

Trump gave fascists a fist-bump,

consulted Nazi servers for an info-dump

and invited Russian agents for a late-night hump.

Don the Con con-sidered laws a speed bump,

fired anyone who ever tried to be an ump,

and gave every evil known to man a quantum jump.

You may think he’s just plump

and a chump,

with the style of a frump,

the posture of a shlump,

his brain in a slump,

and perhaps too inclined for a porn-star hump,

while being deprived by his parents of a necessary whump ...

but when it comes to political asses, Trump is the rump!


#TRUMP #DONTHECON #MRBTRUMP #MRBDONTHECON #MRBPOEMS


Keywords/Tags: light verse, nonsense verse, doggerel, limerick, humor, humorous verse, light poetry, bawdy, salacious, ribald, risque, naughty, racy, spicy, adult, nature, politics, religion, science, relationships

Keywords/Tags: epigram, epigrams, epitaph, epithet, giggle, humor, humorous, irony, literature, word play, writing, short, brief, aphorism, adage, saw, proverb, saying, quote, quip, bon mot, witticism, gem, sally, motto, pith, pithy, jape, jest, chestnut, adage, wit, horseplay, sage

© 2024 Michael R. Burch


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Added on May 5, 2020
Last Updated on June 19, 2024
Tags: epigram, epigrams, epitaph, epithet, giggle, humor, humorous, irony, literature, word play, writing, short, brief, aphorism, adage, saw, proverb, saying, quote, quip, bon mot, witticism, gem, sally