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Epitaphs

Epitaph for a Palestinian Child by Michael R. Burch I lived as best I could, and then I died. Be careful where you step: the grave is wide. Autumn Conundrum by Michael R. Burch It's not that every leaf must finally fall, it's just that we can never catch them all. Laughter’s Cry by Michael R. Burch Because life is a mystery, we laugh and do not know the half. Because death is a mystery, we cry when one is gone, our numbering thrown awry. My Epitaph by Michael R. Burch Do not weep for me, when I am gone. I lived, and ate my fill, and gorged on life. You will not find beneath this glossy stone the man who sowed and reaped and gathered days like flowers, undismayed they would not keep. Go lightly then, and leave me to my sleep. Housman was right ... by Michael R. Burch It's true that life’s not much to lose, so why not hang out on a cloud? It’s just the bon voyage is hard and the objections loud. Long Division by Michael R. Burch All things become one Through death’s long division And perfect precision. Styx by Michael R. Burch Black waters, deep and dark and still ... all men have passed this way, or will. The Leveler by Michael R. Burch The nature of Nature is bitter survival from Winter’s bleak fury till Spring’s brief revival. The weak implore Fate; bold men ravish, dishevel her ... till both are cut down by mere ticks of the Leveler. Here and Hereafter by Michael R. Burch Life’s saving graces are love, pleasure, laughter ... wisdom, it seems, is for the Hereafter. Sunset by Michael R. Burch for my grandfather George Edwin Hurt Between the prophesies of morning and twilight’s revelations of wonder, the sky is ripped asunder. The moon lurks in the clouds, waiting, as if to plunder the dusk of its lilac iridescence, and in the bright-tentacled sunset we imagine a presence full of the fury of lost innocence. What we find within strange whorls of drifting flame, brief patterns mauling winds deform and maim, we recognize at once, but cannot name. Here he lies in state tonight: great is his Monument! Yet Ares cares not, neither does War relent. —Michael R. Burch, after Anacreon Blame not the gale, nor the inhospitable sea-gulf, nor friends’ tardiness, mariner! Just man’s foolhardiness. -Michael R. Burch, after Leonidas of Tarentum Mariner, do not ask whose tomb this may be, but go with good fortune: I wish you a kinder sea. —Michael R. Burch, after Plato Does my soul abide in heaven, or hell? Only the sea gulls in their high, lonely circuits may tell. —Michael R. Burch, after Glaucus Passerby, Tell the Spartans we lie Lifeless at Thermopylae: Dead at their word, Obedient to their command. Have they heard? Do they understand? —Michael R. Burch, after Simonides PLATO TRANSLATIONS Mariner, do not ask whose tomb this may be, But go with good fortune: I wish you a kinder sea. —Michael R. Burch, after Plato We left the thunderous Aegean to sleep peacefully here on the plains of Ecbatan. Farewell, renowned Eretria, our homeland! Farewell, Athens, Euboea's neighbor! Farewell, dear Sea! —Michael R. Burch, after Plato We who navigated the Aegean's thunderous storm-surge now sleep peacefully here on the mid-plains of Ecbatan: Farewell, renowned Eretria, our homeland! Farewell, Athens, nigh to Euboea! Farewell, dear Sea! —Michael R. Burch, after Plato This poet was pleasing to foreigners and even more delightful to his countrymen: Pindar, beloved of the melodious Muses. —Michael R. Burch, after Plato Some say the Muses are nine. Foolish critics, count again! Sappho of Lesbos makes ten. —Michael R. Burch, after Plato Even as you once shone, the Star of Morning, above our heads, even so you now shine, the Star of Evening, among the dead. —Michael R. Burch, after Plato Why do you gaze up at the stars? Oh, my Star, that I were Heaven, to gaze at you with many eyes! —Michael R. Burch, after Plato Every heart sings an incomplete song, until another heart sings along. Those who would love long to join in the chorus. At a lover's touch, everyone becomes a poet. —Michael R. Burch, after Plato The Apple ascribed to Plato loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Here's an apple; if you're able to love me, catch it and chuck me your cherry in exchange. But if you hesitate, as I hope you won't, take the apple, examine it carefully, and consider how briefly its beauty will last. The Seikilos Epitaph by Seikilos of Euterpes loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Shine, while you live; blaze beyond grief, for life is brief and time is a thief. This dream of nothingness we so fear is salvation clear. -Michael R. Burch If one screams below what the hell is "Above"? -Michael R. Burch beMused by Michael R. Burch Perhaps at three you'll come to tea, to have a cuppa here? You'll just stop in to sip dry gin? I only have a beer. To name the "greats": Pope, Dryden, mates? The whole world knows their names. Discuss the "songs" of Emerson? But these are children's games. Give me rhythms wild as Dylan's! Give me Bobbie Burns! Give me Psalms, or Hopkins’ poems, Hart Crane’s, if he returns! Or Langston railing! Blake assailing! Few others I desire. Or go away, yes, leave today: your tepid poets tire. Precipice by Michael R. Burch for Jeremy They will teach you to scoff at love from the highest, windiest precipice of reason. Do not believe them. There is no place safe for you to fall save into the arms of love. save into the arms of love. Love’s Extreme Unction by Michael R. Burch Lines composed during Jeremy’s first football game (he played tuba), while I watched Beth watch him. Within the intimate chapels of her eyes— devotions, meditations, reverence. I find in them Love’s very residence and hearing the ardent rapture of her sighs I prophesy beatitudes to come, when Love like hers commands us, “All be One!” Keywords/Tags: epitaph, epitaphs, death, dying, mortal, mortality, funeral, grave, tombstone, bereavement

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020




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