|Michael R. Burch|
Autumn ConundrumIt’s not that every leaf must finally fall,
it’s just that we can never catch them all.
Piercing the ShellIf we strip away all the accouterments of war,
perhaps we’ll discover what the heart is for.
Epitaph for a Palestinian ChildI lived as best I could, and then I died.
Be careful where you step: the grave is wide.
Somethingfor the children of the Holocaust and the 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
Something unforgettable is past—
blown from a glimmer into nothingness, or less,
which finality has swept into a corner, where it lies
in dust and cobwebs and silence.
How Long the Nightanonymous Old English Lyric, circa early 13th century AD
loose translation by Michael R. Burch
It is pleasant, indeed, while the summer lasts
with the mild pheasants' song ...
but now I feel the northern wind's blast—
its severe weather strong.
Alas! Alas! This night seems so long!
And I, because of my momentous wrong,
now grieve, mourn and fast.
Love Has a Southern FlavorLove has a Southern flavor: honeydew,
ripe cantaloupe, the honeysuckle’s spout
we tilt to basking faces to breathe out
the ordinary, and inhale perfume ...
Love’s Dixieland-rambunctious: tangled vines,
wild clematis, the gold-brocaded leaves
that will not keep their order in the trees,
unmentionables that peek from dancing lines ...
Love cannot be contained, like Southern nights:
the constellations’ dying mysteries,
the fireflies that hum to light, each tree’s
resplendent autumn cape, a genteel sight ...
Love also is as wild, as sprawling-sweet,
as decadent as the wet leaves at our feet.