Mark A. Murphy’s first full length collection, Night-watch Man & Muse was published in 2013 from Salmon Poetry (Eire). His poems have appeared in over 160 magazines world-wide. Lit Fest Press in America aim to publish his latest manuscript, The Ontological Constant in early 2018.
One should start with your eyes when describing you.
My love, your eyes are jewelled pools for my looking
and seeing, for my journeys with and without you.
Your eyes are fires in the night toppling tyrants.
Your eyes are time in Rome and Paris, ancient
and fortuitous fountains quenching a young boy’s thirst.
Our brown and green fells are your eyes rising
up in sheer delight with the beneficence of sunlight.
Your eyes see the possibility of stars in ordinary skies,
tumbling and swooning like birds on the wing.
Your eyes beg clemency for the poor and maligned
and the dispossessed who search you out as earth mother.
Your eyes are children running wildly in summer rain,
swimming naked in our lakes and in our rivers.
Looking for an Epiphany
It rains because the gates of heaven are open
to the druid's prayer:
'may the blessing of the rain beat down upon you,
washing your soul fair and clean.'
It rains because paradise exists here on earth
in the wild heather bogs, moorlands,
and the remnants of forests,
because the storm clouds have lowered
upon the hills and fens in the magic of Nature.
Because the rich man does not own it,
the poor man can take his leave
to feed his family and slake his thirst.
It rains because we are an island
and the gods of heaven and earth tire of doubt,
because the rain nourishes the land,
blown by the westerly winds
down glen and up dale,
bidding the wandering philosopher go in out of the storm.
I|t rains because the lit candle at the window shines
light within and light without,
so that stranger and friend in the field may share
in the warmth from the hearth.
Because after the rain, there is always sunlight,
then nightfall, bringing the deep peace
of the waning wave, the slumbering stone,
the eternal rocks, the flocking stars,
the pure white of the moon, the pure green
of the wild leaf woods,
and the pure flowing air of the dewey morning into us.
Dreaming of Flying
So it goes. I just wanted to write
something as beautiful as you are,
so I listen to the wind
while the moon eats up the darkness.
You sing your sad songs,
improvising words, giving voice
to our longings, as you move
through the days without me.
Our lives are not lost, though
there are things I never told you.
Remember, this is not time
forgotten, but time remembered,
like ashes in the dissolving snow.
The universe narrows to this
before expanding to infinity.
Finally we are one. So it goes forever.
Should we turn a blind eye to those acolytes
of critical criticism, or note
with all due attention, the 'inability to resolve the tension
between the lyrical and erotic'
in a given piece of work? We ruffians, all,
might well declare such wrist-slapping
as phony, thinking as we do,
that the learned man is out to double-cross or bamboozle.
For us, neophyte poets, lay men and women
of the thronging masses,
the moon might yet 'bring woman to man',
despite the 'reservations' of the academic heavyweights.