These are lullabies I have written over the years, as poems. Some of my poems have been set to music and thus have become actual songs and lullabies.
For a Ukrainian Child, with Butterflies
by Michael R. Burch
Where does the butterfly go ...
when lightning rails ...
when thunder howls ...
when hailstones scream ...
when winter scowls ...
when nights compound dark frosts with snow ...
where does the butterfly go?
These are love poems by Michael R. Burch. Some are poems about love in desert places where Bedouins have learned to do without. The poems include everything from heroic couplets, sonnets and villanelles, to free verse and haiku.
Sonnet: Once (a confirmed bachelor recants)
Once when her kisses were fire incarnate
and left in their imprint bright lipstick, and flame,
when her breath rose and fell over smoldering dunes,
leaving me listlessly sighing her name ...
These are my modern English translations of Holocaust poems by Paul Celan, a Jewish poet who wrote the original poems in German.
Todesfuge ("Death Fugue")
by Paul Celan
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch
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
Golden silence reigned supreme
in my nightmare and her dream.
Keywords/Tags: silence, gold, golden, golden silence, dream, dreams, nightmare, nightmares
Two Songs From a Play
I saw a staring virgin stand
Where holy Dionysus died,
And tear the heart out of his side.
And lay the heart upon her hand
And bear that beating heart away;
Of Magnus Annus at the spring,
As though God's death were but a play.
Another Troy must rise and set,
Another lineage feed the crow,
Another Argo's painted prow
Drive to a flashier bauble yet.
The Roman Empire stood appalled:
It dropped the reins of peace and war
When that fierce virgin and her Star
'God' is composed of letters three,
But if you put an 'l'
Before the last it seems to me
A synonym for Hell.
For all of envy, greed and hate
The human heart can hold
Respond unto the devil's bait
When God created Gold to be
For our adorning fit,
I little think he dreamed that we
Would come to worship it.
But when you ruefully have scanned
The chronicles of Time,
You'll find that lucre lends a hand
Translation From the Gull Language
'Twas grav'd on the Stone of Destiny,
In letters four, and letters three;
And ne'er did the King of the Gulls go by
But those awful letters scar'd his eye;
For he knew that a Prophet Voice had said
"As long as those words by man were read,
The ancient race of the Gulls should ne'er
One hour of peace or plenty share."
But years and years successive flew
And the letters still more legible grew, --
At top, a T, an H, an E,
And underneath, D. E. B. T.
Some thought them Hebrew, -- such as Jews,
Oh, why should a hen
have been run over
on West 4th Street
in the middle of summer?
She was a white hen
--red-and-white now, of course.
How did she get there?
Where was she going?
Her wing feathers spread
flat, flat in the tar,
all dirtied, and thin
as tissue paper.
A pigeon, yes,
or an English sparrow,
might meet such a fate,
but not that poor fowl.
Just now I went back
to look again.
I hadn't dreamed it:
there is a hen
Translated from Geibel
O say, thou wild, thou oft deceived heart,
What mean these noisy throbbings in my breast?
After thy long, unutterable woe
Wouldst thou not rest?
Fall'n from Life's tree the sweet rose-blossom lies,
And fragrant youth has fled. What made to seem
This earth as fair to thee as Paradise,
Was all a dream.
The blossom fell, the thorn was left to me;
Deep from the wound the blood-drops ever flow,
All that I have are yearnings, wild desires,
And wrath and woe.