Mark A. Murphy’s first full length collection, Night-watch Man & Muse was published in November 2013 from Salmon Poetry (Eire). Murphy’s poems have been published in over 100 magazines and ezines in 17 different countries world wide.
Look at the morning sun: how it surprises us
carrying our certainties
in its light, though middle age is upon us.
Your step-daughter’s death serves its dissuasive gloom,
tearing as it does at the quietude you seek
though now she is lost to you.
Look at the morning sun, when you are bereft
of answers that matter, unreachable, stripped by its vitality.
Open your self to the nature of existence
though you never asked for life, or the heartache of motherhood.
Sometimes we must reinvent the wheel, every word
that falls short in our story-telling
that we might validate our time upon this earth.
No matter that the fields of youth
are filled with secrets we’d rather not share,
nor that every man carries unmendable darkness in his soul.
Plagues will come and go, the wars will pass
but we will always be blood,
quick to cross swords, to transgress, or digress
like the unwanted guest on a psycho-analyst’s couch.
Where-ever we go, we carry the songs
of our loved-ones in our bones;
half four, the sun at its brightest fills the room,
Look at the afternoon rain: how it lashes
us when we’re hurrying from disaster,
the burden of personal identity and place
as if our very lives depended upon it.
Our ancestors gave us the guts to go on –
despite the emptiness which creeps
by the day, as our love grows, and time
speeds us towards our own brittle ends.
For what god do we gaze heavenwards
where age meets failure this solitary hour
when the sun is obcured by clouds?
In what desiccated doorway will you find
us weeping over our own limitations
in the hearts of those we profess to love?
Look at the afternoon rain: fail as if failing
were your only friend, like the blackbird
calling its absent mate, lost in the afternoon
floods, remember everything you’ve given
away, your first rudimentary thoughts,
as if giving were your only gain.