Winter Thoughts of Ann Rutledge

These are poems about Ann Rutledge and her romantic relationship with Abraham Lincoln. 

Winter Thoughts of Ann Rutledge
by Michael R. Burch

Winter was not easy,
nor would the spring return.
I knew you by your absence,
as men are wont to burn
with strange indwelling fire —
such longings you inspire!

But winter was not easy,
nor would the sun relent
from sculpting virgin images
and how could I repent?
I left quaint offerings in the snow,
more maiden than I care to know.

***

Poems about the supernatural

These are poems about the supernatural and magical things, like love. 

1-800-HOT-LINE
by Michael R. Burch

“I don’t believe in psychics,” he said, “so convince me.”

When you were a child, the earth was a joy,
the sun a bright plaything, the moon a lit toy.
Now life’s small distractions irk, frazzle, annoy.
When the crooked finger beckons, scythe-talons destroy.

“You’ll have to do better than that, to convince me.”

Passionate One

This is a love poem I wrote for my wife Beth. 

Passionate One
by Michael R. Burch

for Beth

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

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

Keywords/Tags: poem, poetry, love, life, passion, desire, dawn, light, sun, heaven, manna, leaven

***

The Celtic Cross at Île Grosse
by Michael R. Burch

Rabindranath Tagore translations

These are modern English translations of poems by the great Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), who has been called the "Bard of Bengal" and "the Bengali Shelley." In 1913 Tagore became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Tagore was also a notable artist, musician and polymath.

The Seashore Gathering
by Rabindranath Tagore
loose translation/interpretation/modernization by Michael R. Burch

We Almost Loved, That's Always How Love Goes

Almost
by Michael R. Burch

We had—almost—an affair.
You almost ran your fingers through my hair.
I almost kissed the almonds of your toes.
We almost loved,
                            that’s always how love goes.

You almost contemplated using Nair
and adding henna highlights to your hair,
while I considered plucking you a Rose.
We almost loved,
                            that’s always how love goes.

Translation of 'This Distant Light' by the Palestinian poet Walid Khazindar

This is my modern English translation of a poem by the Palestinian poet Walid Khazindar. 

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

Bitterly cold,
winter clings to the naked trees.
If only you would free
the bright sparrows
from your fingertips
and unleash a smile— that shy, tentative smile—
from the imprisoned anguish I see.

Sing! Can we not sing
as if we were warm, hand-in-hand,
sheltered by shade from a sweltering sun?

Mirza Ghalib translations

These are modern English translations of Urdu poems by Mirza Ghalib. 

Near Sainthood
by Mirza Ghalib
translation by Kanu V. Prajapati and Michael R. Burch

On the subject of mystic philosophy, Ghalib,
your words might have struck us as deeply profound ...
Hell, we might have pronounced you a saint,
if only we hadn't found
you drunk
as a skunk!

***

Ghazal
by Mirza Ghalib
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

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