Poems about Time, Aging, Death and Loss

These are poems I have written about time, mortality, aging, death and loss.

Thirty
by Michael R. Burch

Thirty crept upon me slowly
with feline caution and a slowly-twitching tail ...
How patiently she waited for the winds to shift!
Now, claws unsheathed, she lies seething to assail
her helpless prey.

***

Modern Charon
by Michael R. Burch

EPIGRAMS V

These are humorous epigrams about love, sex, procreation, politics, God, the Bible, religion, life and death.

Less Heroic Couplets: Midnight Stairclimber
by Michael R. Burch

Procreation
is at first great sweaty recreation,
then—long, long after the sex dies—
the source of endless exercise.

Published by: The HyperTexts

***

Less Heroic Couplets: Liquidity Crisis
by Michael R. Burch

EPIGRAMS II

These are my modern English translations of epigrams by ancient poets like Homer, Rumi and Seneca.

Elevate your words, not their volume. Rain gros flowers, not thunder.
—Rumi, translation by Michael R. Burch

For the gods have decreed that unfortunate mortals must suffer, while they themselves are sorrowless.
—Homer (circa 800 BC), Iliad 24.525-526, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Heretical Poems II

These are heretical poems about Christian concepts such as heaven, hell and salvation. In the past I have published such poems under the heading "Heresy Hearsay." 

 

Less Heroic Couplets: Funding Fundamentals
by Michael R. Burch

“I found out that I was a Christian for revenue only and I could not bear the thought of that, it was so ignoble.” — Mark Twain

THIS WORLD OF DEW …

In their haiku the Oriental masters of the form frequently used dew as a metaphor for the transience of life. Some of these poets have used dew metaphorically in a jisei (a type of death poem sometimes called a “zen death poem”) … but then I discovered to my surprise that I had used dew in similar ways quite frequently in my own poetry …

This world?
Moonlit dew
flicked from a crane’s bill.
— Eihei Dogen Kigen, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch 

Epitaph for a Palestinian Child

I lived as best I could, and then I died.
Be careful where you step: the grave is wide.

[But before you find yourself beguiled ...
remember, I was just a Palestinian child.]

Czech translation by Václav Z J Pinkava

EPITAF PALESTINSKÉHO DECKA

Život muj živoril, do konce deje.
Pozor kam šlapeš: hrob do šíre zeje.

Turkish translation by Nurgül Yayman

Filistinli bir çocugun mezar yazisi

Something

for the children of the Holocaust and the Palestinian Nakba

Something inescapable is lost—
lost like a pale vapor 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.

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