These are my modern English translations of poems by Ono no Komachi.
Watching wan moonlight flooding tree limbs,
my heart also brims,
overflowing with autumn.
—Ono no Komachi (circa 825-900), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch
These are original haiku written by Michael R. Burch, many of them under the influence of the Oriental masters of the form.
pregnant with heavy thunder ...
the water breaks
—Michael R. Burch
by Michael R. Burch
These are poems about Frost, Ice and Winter, plus poems I have written after Robert Frost.
Not Elves, Exactly
by Michael R. Burch
after Robert Frost's "Mending Wall"
Something there is that likes a wall,
that likes it spiked and likes it tall,
that likes its pikes’ sharp rows of teeth
and doesn’t mind its victims’ grief
(wherever they come from, far or wide)
as long as they fall on the other side.
Sun so sleepy in snappy sky,
fleshy wood nymphs wool gathering,
sprites so sprightly store sunflower seeds,
loving lazy, long lambent weekend,
chilled cider, Creator God's coloration
children's caramel candy apple smiles,
cozy cardigan, contentment,
charms of Autumn.
trees disrobed, asleep
trails of leaves
doe, stag, edge of farm
children wear plaid wool
the pools empty, school days start
hot maple oatmeal
As Fall Begins, I Look WithinLi Yi (746-829)
Ten thousand fears have come to fix my life,
As on this mirrored shore I gaze uneased—
Here all I see has turned my temples white
And now it’s time to face the autumn breeze.
Lì Qiū Qián Yī Rì Lǎn Jìng
summer, in sorrow, departs
harvest calling me
along the harbor
where green sea goes gray
on an autumn day
as it’s turned half winter
now in the sun
and the pairs form
of cold light and mannequins
that mouth out with their frozen lips
of something yet to come
You say, as one who shapes a life,
That you will never be a wife,
And, laughing lightly, ask my aid
To paint your future as a maid.
This is the portrait; and I take
The softest colors for your sake:
The springtime of your soul is dead,
And forty years have bent your head;
The lines are firmer round your mouth,
But still its smile is like the South.
Your eyes, grown deeper, are not sad,
Yet never more than gravely glad;
And the old charm still lurks within