The HyperTexts

Michael R. Burch Political Poems and Epigrams

This page contains political poems, epigrams, limericks, puns, quotes, quips, one-liners, zingers, japes and jokes penned by Michael R. Burch. The subjects include Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, human rights, equality and inequality, social justice and the lack of it, freedom and authoritarianism, good and evil, truth and lies, humanity and inhumanity, moral government versus fascism, walls and other artificial borders versus brotherhood, and facts versus propaganda, also known these days as "fake news" and "spin."

Brief Encounters: Prose Epigrams

• Raise your words, not their volume. Rain grows flowers, not thunder.—Rumi, translation by Michael R. Burch
• No wind is favorable to the man who lacks direction.—Seneca the Younger, translation by Michael R. Burch
• Little sparks may ignite great flames.—Dante, translation by Michael R. Burch
• The danger is not aiming too high and missing, but aiming too low and hitting the mark.—Michelangelo, translation by Michael R. Burch
• He who follows will never surpass.—Michelangelo, translation by Michael R. Burch
• My objective is not to side with the majority, but to avoid the ranks of the insane.—Marcus Aurelius, translation by Michael R. Burch
• Nothing enables authority like silence.—Leonardo da Vinci, translation by Michael R. Burch
• Blinding ignorance misleads us. Myopic mortals, open your eyes!—Leonardo da Vinci, translation by Michael R. Burch
• It is easier to oppose evil from the beginning than at the end.—Leonardo da Vinci, translation by Michael R. Burch
• Fools call wisdom foolishness.—Euripides, translation by Michael R. Burch
• Not to speak one’s mind is slavery.—Euripides, translation by Michael R. Burch
• I would rather die standing than kneel, a slave.—Euripides, translation by Michael R. Burch

Once fanaticism has gangrened brains
the incurable malady invariably remains.
Voltaire, translation by Michael R. Burch

Feathered Fiends
by Michael R. Burch

Fascists of a feather
flock together.

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.

Not Elves, Exactly
by Michael R. Burch

Something there is that likes a wall,
that likes it spiked and likes it tall,

that likes its pikes’ sharp rows of teeth
and doesn’t mind its victims’ grief

(wherever they come from, far or wide)
as long as they fall on the other side.

Mother of Cowards
by Michael R. Burch aka "The Loyal Opposition"

So unlike the brazen giant of Greek fame
With conquering limbs astride from land to land,
Spread-eagled, showering gold, a strumpet stands:
A much-used trollop with a torch, whose flame
Has long since been extinguished. And her name?
"Mother of Cowards!" From her enervate hand
Soft ash descends. Her furtive eyes demand
Allegiance to her Pimp's repulsive game.

"Keep, ancient lands, your wretched poor!" cries she
With scarlet lips. "Give me your hale, your whole,
Your huddled tycoons, yearning to be pleased!
The wretched refuse of your toilet hole?
Oh, never send one unwashed child to me!
I await Trump's pleasure by the gilded bowl!"

Originally published by Light Quarterly

The Hair Flap
by Michael R. Burch aka "The Loyal Opposition"

The hair flap was truly a scare:
Trump’s bald as a billiard back there!
The whole nation laughed
At the state of his graft;
Now the man’s wigging out, so beware!

Grime Wave
by Michael R. Burch aka "The Loyal Opposition"

Donald Trump is hard on crime ...
unless it's his own grime.

Trump Love
by Michael R. Burch aka "The Loyal Opposition"

Trump "love" is truly a curious thing ...
does he care for our kids half as much as his bling?

Raw Spewage
by Michael R. Burch aka "The Loyal Opposition"

is a chump
who talks through his rump;
he's a political sump pump!

Stumped and Stomped by Trump
by Michael R. Burch

There once was a candidate, Trump,
whose message rang clear at the stump:
"Vote for me, wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!,
because I am ME,
and everyone else is a chump!"

Humpty Trumpty
by Michael R. Burch

Humpty Trumpty called for a wall.
Trumpty Dumpty had a great fall.
Now all the Grand Wizards
and Faux PR men
Can never put Trumpty together again.

Green Eggs and Spam

by Michael R. Burch aka "The Loyal Opposition"

I do not like your racist ways!
I do not like your hate for gays!
I do not like your gaseous rump!
I do not like you, Crotch-Grabber Trump!

I do not like you here or there!
I do not like you anywhere!
Your brain's been trapped in a lifelong slump
And I do not like you, Hate-Baiter Trump!

Piercing the Shell
by Michael R. Burch

If we strip away all the accouterments of war,
perhaps we'll discover what the heart is for.

Why I Left the Religious Right
by Michael R. Burch

He's got Jesus's name on a wallet insert
and "Hell is for Queers" on the back of his shirt
and he upholds the Law,
for grace has a flaw:
the Church must have someone to drag through the dirt.

A question for the Religious Right: If one screams below, what the hell is “Above”?
Michael R. Burch

Here and Hereafter

by Michael R. Burch

Life’s saving graces are love, pleasure, laughter ...
wisdom, it seems, is for the Hereafter.

Meal Deal
by Michael R. Burch

Love is a splendid ideal
(at least till it costs us a meal).

by Michael R. Burch

Let’s not pretend we “understand” other elves
As long as we remain mysteries to ourselves.

by Michael R. Burch

is the ability
to disagree

Apologies to Shakespeare

a tweet
by any other name
would be as fleet!

modern Midas
by michael r. burch

they say nothing human's alive
yet the Hermit survived:

the last of His kind,
clean out of His mind.

they say He relentlessly washes His fingers,
dainty as ever, yet the smell of death lingers.

they say it sets off His corona of hair
when He blanches with fear in his Mansion Faire.

they say He still spritzes each strand into place
though there’s no one to see in that hellish place.

they say there’s a moral in what He’s become
as He fondles gold trinkets and cradles His john.

Baked Alaskan
by Michael R. Burch

There is a strange yokel so flirty
she makes whores seem icons of purity.
With all her winkin' and blinkin'
Palin seems to be "thinkin'"—
"Ah culd save th' free world 'cause ah'm purty!"

Going Rogue in Rouge
by Michael R. Burch

It'll be hard to polish that apple
enough to make her seem palatable.
Though she's sweeter than Snapple
how can my mind grapple
with stupidity so nearly infallible?

Pls refudiate
by Michael R. Burch

"Refudiate" this,
miffed, misunderstood Ms!—
Shakespeare, you're not
(more like Yoda, but hot).
Your grammar's atrocious;
Great Poets would know this.

You lack any plan
save to flatten Iran
like some cute Mini-Me
cloned from G. W. B.

Admit it, Ms. Palin!
Stop your winkin' and wailin'—
only "heroes" like Nero
fiddle sparks at Ground Zero.

Our awful unlawful “president”
will soon be a jailhouse resident.
— Michael R. Burch aka “The Loyal Opposition”

Gore-dom Boredom I
by Michael R. Burch

There once was a candidate, Gore,
whose campaign had become quite a bore.
“He’s much too stiff,”
sighed his publicist,
“though not like his predecessor!”

Gore-dom Boredom II
by Michael R. Burch

I know it’s a bother,
I know it’s a bore,
but try not to snore
and vote for Al Gore!

A Tale of Two Stiffies
by Michael R. Burch

There once was a candidate, Gore,
who amazed with his talent to bore.
“He was incredibly stiff,”
interns sighed, with a sniff,
“though not like his predecessor!”

Under Trump American democracy is gong the way of the dodo. — Michael R. Burch

The Church Gets the Burch Rod

If God has the cattle on a thousand hills,
why does he need my tithes to pay his bills?
—Michael R. Burch

If God
is good
half the Bible
is libel.
—Michael R. Burch

I have my doubts about your God and his “love”:
If one screams below, what the hell is “Above”?
—Michael R. Burch

Conformists of a feather
flock together.
—Michael R. Burch

God and his "profits" could never agree
on any gospel acceptable to an intelligent flea.
Michael R. Burch

• The best tonic for other people's bad ideas is to think for oneself.—Michael R. Burch
• Hell hath no fury like a fundamentalist whose God condemned him for having "impure thoughts."—Michael R. Burch
• Religion is the difficult process of choosing the least malevolent invisible friends.—Michael R. Burch
• How can the Bible be "infallible" when from Genesis to Revelation slavery is commanded and condoned, but never condemned?—Michael R. Burch
• Religion is the dopiate of the sheeple.—Michael R. Burch
• In three words, I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It goes on.—Robert Frost
• In six words, I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It goes on, until it doesn't.—Michael R. Burch
• An ideal that cannot be realized is, in the end, just wishful thinking.—Michael R. Burch
• The problem with bigots is that they know they're not bigots, just "better."—Michael R. Burch
• If one screams below, what the hell is “Above”?—Michael R. Burch
• Most Christians make their God seem like the Devil. Atheists and agnostics at least give him the "benefit of the doubt."—Michael R. Burch

Why the Kid Gloves Came Off
by Michael R. Burch

for Lemuel Ibbotson

It's hard to be a man of taste
in such a waste:
hence the lambaste.


Faith: falling into the same old claptrap.—Michael R. Burch
Religion: the ties that blind.—Michael R. Burch
Death: This dream of nothingness we so fear is salvation clear.—Michael R. Burch 
Trickle down economics: an especially pungent golden shower.—Michael R. Burch
Skepticism: The murderer of Eve cannot be believed.—Michael R. Burch
Canned political applause: clap track for the claptrap.—Michael R. Burch

More Translations

Just as I select a ship when it's time to travel,
or a house when it's time to change residences,
even so I will choose when it's time to depart from life.
Seneca, speaking about the right to euthanasia in the first century AD, translation by Michael R. Burch

You ask me why I choose to live elsewhere?
You're not there.
—Martial, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

He starts everything but finishes nothing;
thus I suspect there's no end to his fucking.
—Martial, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

You alone own prime land, dandy!
Gold, money, the finest porcelainyou alone!
The best wines of the most famous vintages—you alone!
Discrimination, taste and wityou alone!
You have it allwho can deny that you alone are set for life?
But everyone has had your wife
she is never alone!
—Martial, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch


• If the US consulted a competent headshrinker, it might boil down to nothing more than hot air and delusions.—Michael R. Burch
• Thanks to politicians like George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Steve Bannon and Donald Trump, we now have a duh-mock-racy.—Michael R. Burch
• Teddy Roosevelt spoke softly and carried a big stick; Donald Trump speaks loudly and carries a big shtick.—Michael R. Burch
• Sarah Palin is truly unique: she alone can make us appreciate Bush Junior's vastly superior intellect.—Michael R. Burch
• I believe God is using Michelle Bachmann to conclusively prove that man did not evolve.—Michael R. Burch
• Mitt Romney could suck the joy out of a lucky Irish rainbow, and the pot of gold at the end.—Michael R. Burch


Q: What do you call it when a Man-Baby takes over the American government?
A: Coup d'Tot.
Michael R. Burch


There’s no need to rant about Al-Qaeda and ISIS.
The cruelty of “civilization” suffices:
our ordinary vices.
Michael R. Burch

Political Jokes, Quips and Puns

Thanks to Trump's handling mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic, the United States has been placed on its highest-ever state of alert: DEAF CON 1.―Michael R. Burch aka "The Loyal Opposition"

Teddy Roosevelt spoke softly and carried a big stick; Donald Trump speaks loudly and carries a big shtick.―Michael R. Burch aka "The Loyal Opposition"

Americans have been mishearing The Donald: what he actually said is that he will make America grate again, after which many of them will migrate again.―Michael R. Burch

Donald Trump has filed so many bankruptcies that his children have receding heir lines.―Michael R. Burch

Donald Trump accused Huma Abedin of sharing state secrets with her husband. I think Trump clearly lacks a sense of Huma.— Michael R. Burch

Donald Trump threatened that if the GOP doesn't treat him fairly, he will resurrect the Whig party and run as its hair apparent.―Michael R. Burch

Putin' It All Together

Q: What do you call it when the Kremlin, Trump Tower and white nationalists unite?
A: Putin' on the Ritz Cracker.
―Michael R. Burch aka "The Loyal Opposition"

If Trump has a movement behind him, a bowel must be involved.―Michael R. Burch

These are clearly the end times, and now we know why the prophets warned us about the Trump of Doom.―Michael R. Burch

The day Trump allowed the Nunes memo to be published, the stock market crashed 666 points. The federal budget deficit for Trump's first fiscal year was 666 billion dollars. The founder of the Trump family business died on 6-6-6. The Trump family controls 666 Fifth Avenue, a street that symbolizes money (Mammon). Trump was born on a blood moon. And that's just the tip of the Antichrist iceberg! (For more eerie connections, please click Trump 666)

Evangelicals love Trump. Sure he's a liar, but he's their liar. Sure he's a sexual predator, but he's their sexual predator. Sure he's the opposite of Jesus Christ in every imaginable way, but he's their Antichrist.―Michael R. Burch

To see how Trump fulfills Biblical prophecies, please click the hyperlink.

Bio: Michael R. Burch is an American poet who lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife Beth, their son Jeremy, and three outrageously spoiled puppies. His poems, epigrams, translations, essays, articles, reviews, short stories and letters have appeared more than 5,000 times in publications which include TIME, USA Today, The Hindu, BBC Radio 3,, Daily Kos, The Washington Post, Light Quarterly, The Lyric, Measure, Writer's Digest—The Year's Best Writing, The Best of the Eclectic Muse and hundreds of other literary journals, websites and blogs. Mike Burch is also the founder and editor-in-chief of The HyperTexts, a former columnist for the Nashville City Paper, a former editor of International Poetry and Translations for the literary journal Better Than Starbucks, and a translator of poems about the Holocaust, Hiroshima, the Trail of Tears, Gaza and the Palestinian Nakba. He has two published books, Violets for Beth (White Violet Press, 2012) and O, Terrible Angel (Ancient Cypress Press, 2013). A third book, Auschwitz Rose, is still in the chute but long delayed. Burch's poetry has been translated into fourteen languages and set to music by the composers Mark Buller, Alexander Comitas and Seth Wright. His poem "First They Came for the Muslims" has been adopted by Amnesty International for its Words That Burn anthology, a free online resource for students and educators.

For an expanded bio, circum vitae and career timeline of the author, please click here: Michael R. Burch Expanded Bio.

Michael R. Burch related pages: Early Poems, Rejection Slips, Epigrams and Quotes, Epitaphs, Romantic Poems, Sonnets, Free Verse, Free Love Poems by Michael R. Burch, Poetry by Michael R. Burch, The Cosmological Constant: Limericks by Michael R. Burch, Political Poems by Michael R. Burch

The HyperTexts