Self Reflections

Self Reflections

A Poem by Michael R. Burch

SELF REFLECTIONS

These are poems about mirrors, images, self-image, reflections and self-reflection. How do we see ourselves differently than other people see us? Why do our impressions of ourselves sometimes end up like so much shattered glass?



Self Reflection
by Michael R. Burch 

for anyone struggling with self-image

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

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



Reflections
by Michael R. Burch 

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

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

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



Is the mirror unkind
by Michael R. Burch 

To your lovely brown eyes is the mirror unkind,
revealing far more than reflections defined
in superficial glass, so lacking in depth?
Is the mirror unkind, at times, darling Beth?

What you see my dear, I see different by far,
as our sun from Centauri is just a “small” star,
but here it brings life and warms each day’s start.
Oh, and a mirror can never reveal a true heart.



On Looking into Curious George’s Mirrors
by Michael R. Burch 

for Maya McManmon, granddaughter of the poet Jim McManmon aka Seamus Cassidy

Maya was made in the image of God;
may the reflections she sees in those curious mirrors
always echo back Love.

Amen



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

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



Shattered
by Vera Pavlova
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I shattered your heart;
now I limp through the shards
barefoot.



Radiance
by Michael R. Burch 

for Dylan Thomas

The poet delves earth’s detritus―hard toil―
for raw-edged nouns, barbed verbs, vowels’ lush bouquet;
each syllable his pen excretes―dense soil,
dark images impacted, rooted clay.

The poet sees the sea but feels its meaning―
the teeming brine, the mirrored oval flame
that leashes and excites its turgid surface ...
then squanders years imagining love’s the same.

Belatedly he turns to what lies broken―
the scarred and furrowed plot he fiercely sifts,
among death’s sicksweet dungs and composts seeking
one element that scorches and uplifts.



Resemblance
by Michael R. Burch 

Take this geode with its rough exterior―
crude-skinned, brilliant-hearted ...
a diode of amethyst―wild, electric;
its sequined cavity―parted, revealing.
Find in its fire all brittle passion,
each jagged shard relentlessly aching.
Each spire inward―a fission startled;
in its shattered entrails―fractured light,
the heart ice breaking.



Wonderland
by Michael R. Burch 

We stood, kids of the Lamb, to put to test
the beatific anthems of the blessed,
the sentence of the martyr, and the pen’s
sincere religion. Magnified, the lens
shot back absurd reflections of each face―
a carnival-like mirror. In the space
between the silver backing and the glass,
we caught a glimpse of Joan, a frumpy lass
who never brushed her hair or teeth, and failed
to pass on GO, and frequently was jailed
for awe’s beliefs. Like Alice, she grew wee
to fit the door, then couldn’t lift the key.
We failed the test, and so the jury’s hung.
In Oz, “The Witch is Dead” ranks number one.



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

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



Polish
by Michael R. Burch 

Your fingers end in talons―
the ones you trim to hide
the predator inside.
Ten thousand creatures sacrificed;
but really, what’s the loss?
Apply a splash of gloss.
You picked the perfect color
to mirror nature’s law:
red, like tooth and claw.



Mending Glass
by Michael R. Burch 

In the cobwebbed house―
lost in shadows
by the jagged mirror,
in the intricate silver face
cracked ten thousand times,
silently he watches,
and in the twisted light
sometimes he catches there
a familiar glimpse of revealing lace,
white stockings and garters,
a pale face pressed indiscreetly near
with a predatory leer,
the sheer flash of nylon,
an embrace, or a sharp slap,
. . . a sudden lurch of terror.

He finds bright slivers
―the hard sharp brittle shards,
the silver jags of memory
starkly impressed there―
and mends his error.



The Poet
by Michael R. Burch 

He walks to the sink,
takes out his teeth,
rubs his gums.
He tries not to think.

In the mirror, on the mantle,
Time―the silver measure―
does not stare or blink,
but in a wrinkle flutters,
in a hand upon the brink
of a second, hovers.

Through a mousehole,
something scuttles
on restless incessant feet.

There is no link
between life and death
or from a fading past
to a more tenuous present
that a word uncovers
in the great wink.

The white foam lathers
at his thin pink
stretched neck
like a tightening noose.
He tries not to think.



The Not-So-Heroic Stoic, or, A la Cartesian

i think,
therefore i question
if, who and what i am.
―michael r. burch

i think,
therefore i guess
who the hell i am
on this hellish quest.
―michael r. burch

i think,
therefore i postulate:
Fate
ain’t so great.
―michael r. burch

i think,
therefore i am
confused
and unenthused.
―michael r. burch

i think,
therefore i am
not a fan
of THE MAN.
―michael r. burch

i think,
therefore i am
puzzled
addled
frazzled
befuddled.
―michael r. burch

i thunk
THEREFORE
i am sunk
...
like a frog
in a bog,
KERPLUNK!
―michael r. burch

The greatest philosophers are better known for their questions, doubts and mistakes than for what they actually knew. Thus lesser thinkers may want to avoid the hubris of certainty. ― Michael R. Burch


Keywords/Tags: mirror, image, images, imagery, self, self-image, self discovery, fear of self, self control, self harm, reflection, reflections, reflecting, glass

© 2021 Michael R. Burch


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28 Views
Added on February 24, 2021
Last Updated on March 23, 2021
Tags: mirror, image, images, imagery, self, self-image, self discovery, fear of self, self control, self harm, reflection, reflections, reflecting, glass




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