These are poems about mirrors, reflections, self-image and negative self-images that can result in self-harm such as anorexia, bulimia, cutting and suicide ...
by Michael R. Burch
I am her mirror.
I say she is kind,
She screams that I’m blind.
I show her her beauty,
her brilliance and compassion.
She refuses to believe me,
for that’s the latest fashion.
She storms and she rages;
she dissolves into tears
while envious Angels
are, by God, her only Peers.
for anyone struggling with self-image
She has a comely form
and a smile that brightens her dorm ...
but she’s grossly unthin
when seen from within;
soon a griefstricken campus will mourn.
Yet she’d never once criticize
a friend for the size of her thighs.
Do unto others—
sisters and brothers?
Yes, but also ourselves, likewise.
Published by Poem-a-Day, Miss Gorilla and The HyperTexts
i like to dress for an imaginary girl
(we will meet each other soon) by putting on
a silk tie with subtle Chinese birds
she may be picturing me in her mirror
as she applies exactly the necessary line
of mascara to lengthen her lashes and darken
whatever begins as a mystery ends as a
blind, the nuances so well known
that birds chirp violently at their mirror images
but the pools
as they are revealed in the sunlight of
every accidental nod of the eyes remain
calm as a mirror in which there is no
Twilight and I Went Hand in Hand
Twilight and I went hand in hand,
As lovers walk in shining Mays,
O'er musky, memory-haunted ways,
Across a lonely harvest-land,
Where west winds chanted in the wheat
An old, old vesper wondrous sweet.
Oh, Twilight was a comrade rare
For gypsy heath or templed grove,
In her gray vesture, shadow-wove;
I saw the darkness of her hair
Faint-mirrored in a field-pool dim,
As we stood tip-toe on its rim.
We went as lightly as on wings
Through many a scented chamber fair,
There is a meadow in Sweden
where I lie smitten,
eyes stained with clouds'
white ins and outs.
And about that meadow
roams my widow
plaiting a clover
wreath for her lover.
I took her in marriage
in a granite parish.
The snow lent her whiteness,
a pine was a witness.
She'd swim in the oval
lake whose opal
mirror, framed by bracken,
felt happy, broken.
And is this -Yarrow? -This the stream
Of which my fancy cherished
So faithfully, a waking dream,
An image that hath perished?
O that some minstrel's harp were near
To utter notes of gladness
And chase this silence from the air,
That fills my heart with sadness!
Yet why? -a silvery current flows
With uncontrolled meanderings;
Nor have these eyes by greener hills
Been soothed, in all my wanderings.
And, through her depths, Saint Mary's Lake
Is visibly delighted;
Your Own Fair Youth
Your own fair youth, you care so little for it--
Smiling toward Heaven, you would not stay the advances
Of time and change upon your hapiest fancies.
I keep your golden hour, and will restore it.
If ever, in time to come, you would explore it--
Your old self, whose thoughts went like last year's pansies,
Look unto me; no mirror keeps its glances;
In my unfailing praises now I store it.
To guard all joys of yours from Time's estranging,
I shall then be a treasury where your gay,
Your mirror frame
Methinks I see your mirror frame,
Ornate with photographs of them.
Place mine therein, for, all the same,
I'll have my little laughs at them.
For girls may come, and girls may go,
I think I have the best of them;
And yet this photograph I know
You'll toss among the rest of them.
I cannot even hope that you
Will put me in your locket, dear;
Nor costly frame will I look through,
Nor bide in your breast pocket, dear.
For none your heart monopolize,
HARK! Young Democracy from sleep
Our careless sentries raps:
A backwash from the Future’s deep
Our Evil’s foreland laps.
Unknown, these Titans of our Night
Their New Creation make:
Unseen, they toil and love and fight
That glamoured Man may wake.
Knights-errant of the human race,
The Quixotes of to-day,
For man as man they claim a place,
Prepare the tedious way.
They seek no dim-eyed mob’s applause,
Deem base the titled name,
You Who Never Arrived
You who never arrived
in my arms, Beloved, who were lost
from the start,
I don't even know what songs
would please you. I have given up trying
to recognize you in the surging wave of
the next moment. All the immense
images in me -- the far-off, deeply-felt
landscape, cities, towers, and bridges, and
unsuspected turns in the path,
and those powerful lands that were once
pulsing with the life of the gods--
all rise within me to mean
you, who forever elude me.