Poetry from Mark Murphy


Who is the estranged brother, you or I?
Who seeks who out?
Who lives a life of asceticism?
Who is outcast in this society of denialism?

Which brother carries the chip on his shoulder,
as if it could never be lifted?
One time friends, comrades, confidents –
whatever happened to our united fight to the death?

You have struggled to care for your family.
I have no family to speak of.
Will we ever see eye to eye, in this life,
or does hopelessness fill your heart as much as mine?

Waiting for the One

for E.F.T

I am waiting for Epicurus.
She is also waiting for the one who will free her
from her nights alone –
her existential time bombs.

Wish that I had gone some little way to help
with my bag of extant tools,
though, I expect, she will find her own way
without me.

For ten years, I’ve struggled under her spell,
the tongue upon the lips, licking
ever so provocatively at me with my beard and sandaled feet
like some kind of ‘new age beatnik’.

I guess a lot changes in a decade between two people
trying to live (pleasurably) best they can,
avoiding pain
in favour of some golden rule.

She spies the world in a grain of sand
and my many contradictions
as only she can
without any air of gentle condemnation.

I do believe we could live without any other love
of man or woman,
except for our own blind spots,
after all, these are the only divinities we live by.

Unrequited Love

If I asked for your hand over night,
you would not grant me asylum
on your floor

from my own thoughts,
no more than you would kiss me,
or ask me to hold you.

Even though, I find myself at a crossroads,
unable to navigate the next stretch
of the race towards oblivion.

If I should die now, it would be like
nothing was ever achieved
as man or poet.

Since there is no one to champion
my work, I should die
without recognition or prayer.

Not a single solitary murmur is enough
to denote an ending,
yet end it must

like applause in the auditorium,
and the all-too-familiar foolish loving.

Window On Top of the World

From this window in the sky, there’s no telling
what we might learn – as we hear
the bell in St Mary’s clock tower strike 9 times over.

Above the turrets and runways, ladders and mazes
of Victorian roof top architecture,
we watch the clouds turning from red to grey

as if a great déjà-vu had taken control of our minds,
reminiscent of prophecy
written two decades ago, looking forward to death.

Do not worry, dear readers, we do not mean to die
just yet, though our death be necessary
as the passage of birds on the wing, or endless time.

Below us the thick hum of traffic tries our patience,
as if to say, ‘help your self only,
because helping others is the scourge of society.’

Now a moth has flown in through an open window,
bringing us back to a reality
where we shew the creature back into the night air.

Now only one creed speaks, despite all our efforts
at living kindly, and that is
you are not obliged to make sense, only to make love.

Being and Doing

What a to do over ‘to be,’ or, ‘to do.’
‘To be is to do,’ says Kant.
‘To do is to be,’ says Nietzsche.

To be sure, ‘We can not not be,’
any more than ‘We can not not do,’ –
both truths being told simultaneously.

You might find, then, there is nothing
much to do but ‘do-be-do-be-do.’
To be continued…