Categories
Poetry

In Memoriam

These poems by Michael R Burch are dedicated to his mother, Christine Ena Hurt (1936-2020)

 Mother’s Smile
 (for my mother, Christine Ena Burch)
 
 There never was a fonder smile
 than mother’s smile, no softer touch
 than mother’s touch. So sleep awhile
 and know she loves you more than “much.”
 
 So more than “much,” much more than “all.”
 Though tender words, these do not speak
 of love at all, nor how we fall
 and mother’s there, nor how we reach
 from nightmares in the ticking night
 and she is there to hold us tight.
 
 There never was a stronger back
 than father’s back, that held our weight
 and lifted us, when we were small,
 and bore us till we reached the gate,
 then held our hands that first bright mile
 till we could run, and did, and flew.
 But, oh, a mother’s tender smile
 will leap and follow after you!

  
 Deliver Us ...
 (for my mother, Christine Ena Burch)
  
 The night is dark and scary—
 under your bed, or upon it.
  
 That blazing light might be a star ...
 or maybe the Final Comet. 
  
 But two things are sure: your mother’s love
 and your puppy’s kisses, doggonit!

  
 Such Tenderness
  (for all good mothers)
  
 There was, in your touch, such tenderness—as
 only the dove on her mildest day has,
 when she shelters downed fledglings beneath a warm wing
 and coos to them softly, unable to sing.
  
 What songs long forgotten occur to you now—
 a babe at each breast? What terrible vow
 ripped from your throat like the thunder that day
 can never hold severing lightnings at bay?
  
 Time taught you tenderness—time, oh, and love.
 But love in the end is seldom enough ...
 and time?—insufficient to life’s brief task.
 I can only admire, unable to ask—
  
 what is the source, whence comes the desire
 of a woman to love as no God may require?
  
 
 The Poet's Condition
(for my mother, Christine Ena Burch)
  
 The poet's condition
 (bother tradition)
 is whining contrition.
 Supposedly sage,
  
 his editor knows
 his brain's in his toes
 though he would suppose
 to soon be the rage.
  
 His readers are sure
 his work's premature
 or merely manure,
 insipidly trite.
  
 His mother alone
 will answer the phone
 (perhaps with a moan)
 to hear him recite.

 
 Delicacy 
(for my mother, Christine Ena Burch, and all good mothers)
  
 Your love is as delicate
 as a butterfly cleaning its wings,
 as soft as the predicate
 the hummingbird sings
 to itself, gently murmuring—
 “Fly!  Fly!  Fly!”
 Your love is the string
 soaring kites untie.   


 Final Lullaby
 (for my mother, Christine Ena Burch)
  
 Sleep peacefully—for now your suffering’s over.
  
 Sleep peacefully—immune to all distress,
 like pebbles unaware of raging waves.
  
 Sleep peacefully—like fields of fragrant clover
 unmoved by any motion of the wind.
  
 Sleep peacefully—like clouds untouched by earthquakes.
  
 Sleep peacefully—like stars that never blink
 and have no thoughts at all, nor need to think.
  
 Sleep peacefully—in your eternal vault,
 immaculate, past perfect, without fault.
   

First published in The Hypertexts 

.

Michael R. Burch has over 6,000 publications, including poems that have gone viral. His poems have been translated into fourteen languages and set to music by eleven composers. He also edits The HyperTexts (online at www.thehypertexts.com).

.

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL.

Categories
Poetry

Dreams of Children

By Michael R Burch

Unknown place near Sderot, last swing before Gaza Strip (in the background)
Courtesy: Wiki

I, too, have a dream

I, too, have a dream …

that one day Jews and Christians

will see me as I am:

a small child, lonely and afraid,

staring down the barrels of their big bazookas,

knowing I did nothing

to deserve their enmity.

―The Child Poets of Gaza

Published by Toronto for Kashmir, Poems for Gaza, Promosaik (Germany), Irish BlogFans of Justice, Zeteo Journal and Kenyatta University (Kenya)


My nightmare …


I had a dream of Jesus!
Mama, his eyes were so kind!
But behind him I saw a billion Christians
hissing “You’re nothing!,” so blind.
―The Child Poets of Gaza

Published by The HyperTexts, Poems for Gaza, Ishmael Gaza, Promosaik (Germany) and Tanzania German Youth

Something

for the children of the Holocaust and the Nakba 

Something inescapable is lost—

lost like a pale vapour curling up into shafts of moonlight,

vanishing in a gust of wind toward an expanse of stars

immeasurable and void.

.

Something uncapturable is gone—

gone with the spent leaves and illuminations of autumn,

scattered into a haze with the faint rustle of parched grass

and remembrance.

.

Something unforgettable is past—

blown from a glimmer into nothingness, or less,

which finality swept into a corner … where it lies

in dust and cobwebs and silence.

.

Published by There is Something in the Autumn (anthology), The Eclectic Muse (Canada), Setu (India), FreeXpression(Australia), Life and LegendsPoetry Super Highway, Poet’s Corner, Promosaik (Germany), Better Than Starbucks, The Chained Muse; also used in numerous Holocaust projects; translated into Romanian by Petru Dimofte; translated into Turkish by Nurgül Yayman; turned into a YouTube video by Lillian Y. Wong; and used by Windsor Jewish Community Centre during a candle-lighting ceremony.

.

Michael R. Burch has over 6,000 publications, including poems that have gone viral. His poems have been translated into fourteen languages and set to music by eleven composers. He also edits The HyperTexts (online at www.thehypertexts.com).

.

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL.

Categories
Poetry

Gaza Poems

By Micheal R Burch

Such Tenderness

for the mothers of Gaza

There was, in your touch, such tenderness — as

only the dove on her mildest day has,

when she shelters downed fledglings beneath a warm wing

and coos to them softly, unable to sing.

 .

What songs long forgotten occur to you now—

a babe at each breast? What terrible vow

ripped from your throat like the thunder that day

can never hold severing lightnings at bay?

 .

Time taught you tenderness—time, oh, and love.

But love in the end is seldom enough …

and time?—insufficient to life’s brief task.

I can only admire, unable to ask—

 .

what is the source, whence comes the desire

of a woman to love as no God may require?

.

I Pray Tonight

for the mothers and children of Gaza

I pray tonight

the starry light

might

surround you.

I pray

each day

that, come what may,

no dark thing confound you.

 .

I pray ere tomorrow

an end to your sorrow.

May angels’ white chorales

sing, and astound you.

.

“I Pray Tonight” was originally published by Kritya and has been set to music by the composer Mark Buller and performed at a charity concert for Houston hurricane victims. 

First they came for the Muslims

after Martin Niemoller

First they came for the Muslims

and I did not speak out

because I was not a Muslim.

 .

Then they came for the homosexuals

and I did not speak out

because I was not a homosexual.

 .

Then they came for the feminists

and I did not speak out

because I was not a feminist.

 .

Now when will they come for me

because I was too busy and too apathetic

to defend my sisters and brothers?

 .

The above poem was inspired by and patterned after Martin Niemoller’s famous Holocaust poem. It has been published in Amnesty International’s Words That Burn anthology, which is used as a free training resource for young human rights activists.

.

Michael R. Burch has over 6,000 publications, including poems that have gone viral. His poems have been translated into fourteen languages and set to music by eleven composers. He also edits The HyperTexts (online at www.thehypertexts.com).

.

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL.