LISTEN!

"Listen" is a prophetic poem I wrote around age 17 or 18, then revised and completed around 20 years later. 

Listen
by Michael R. Burch
also published as Immanuel A. Michael

Listen to me now and heed my voice;
I am a madman, alone, screaming in the wilderness,
but listen now.

Listen to me now, and if I say
that black is black, and white is white, and in between lies gray,
I have no choice.

Does a madman choose his words? They come to him,
the moon’s illuminations, intimations of the wind,
and he must speak.

Two Songs of a Fool

I

A speckled cat and a tame hare
Eat at my hearthstone
And seep there;
And both look up to me alone
For learning and defence
As I look up to Providence.

I start out of my sleep to think
Some day I may forget
Their food and drink;
Or, the house door left unshut,
The hare may run till it's found
The horn's sweet note and the tooth of the hound.

I bear a burden that might well try
Men that do all by rule,
And what can I
That am a wandering-witted fool


Two Sunsets

In the fair morning of his life,
When his pure heart lay in his breast,
Panting, with all that wild unrest
To plunge into the great world's strife

That fills young hearts with mad desire,
He saw a sunset. Red and gold
The burning billows surged and rolled,
And upward tossed their caps of fire.

He looked. And as he looked the sight
Sent from his soul through breast and brain
Such intense joy, it hurt like pain.
His heart seemed bursting with delight.

So near the Unknown seemed, so close


Two Travellers perishing in Snow

933

Two Travellers perishing in Snow
The Forests as they froze
Together heard them strengthening
Each other with the words

That Heaven if Heaven—must contain
What Either left behind
And then the cheer too solemn grew
For language, and the wind

Long steps across the features took
That Love had touched the Morn
With reverential Hyacinth—
The taleless Days went on

Till Mystery impatient drew
And those They left behind
Led absent, were procured of Heaven


Translation of Petrarch's Rima, Sonnet 134

I FIND no peace, and all my war is done;
I fear and hope; I burn and freeze like ice;
I fly above the wind, yet can I not arise;
And nought I have, and all the world I seize on;
That looseth nor locketh holdeth me in prison
And holdeth me not, yet can I 'scape nowise;
Nor letteth me live nor die at my device, [by my own choice]
And yet of death it giveth none occasion.
Withouten eyen, I see; and without tongue I plain; [lament]
I desire to perish, and yet I ask health;


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.


Tz'u No. 12

To the tune of "Happy Event Is Nigh"

The wind ceases; fallen flowers pile high.
Outside my screen, petals collect in heaps of red
and snow-white.

This reminds me that after the blooming
of the cherry-apple tree
It is time to lament the dying spring.

Singing and drinking have come to an end;
jade cups are empty;
Lamps are flickering.

Hardly able to bear the sorrows and regrets
of my dreams,
I hear the mournful cry of the cuckoo.


Pages

Subscribe to RSS - wind