Two Poems By Mark A. Murphy

The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living. –

The challenge: to start
not at the bottom of the abyss but at the beginning
     1.  Raindrops careering down the window
         during class, drawing you in,
         drawing you back,
         further back than you care to remember
[We do not know the way out or the way into it]
     2.  Condensation triggering droplets of water
         on the inside as the rain outside
         teems off the faces of leaves,
         pools in puddles between broken paving
[We do not know the way out or the way into it]
     3.  Rainwater driven by the fury of wind
         coiling and sparkling in the sun,
         frothing like torment behind the huts
[We do not know the way out or the way into it]
     4.  The afternoon bell muffled by the sound
         of rain flooding the playground
         and rose beds beyond the chemistry lab
         window and the retention
         of pain
[We do not know the way out or the way into it]
More than once we have been lost
in this same downpour,
lost in the vaporization of water into gas,
lost in the chalking of lines upon the black school blazer,
lost in the torn pockets
and ritual spitting
The child has entered into this abyss,
this punishment
Memory being both hellfire and holy water
You have your own story
[We do not know the way out or the way into it]
Bardsey and Beyond
I am alone on the surface of a turning planet. –
                                      R.S Thomas
When sun and moon align and the spring tides peak
you might recall our walk along the cliff tops
and the reassurances you gave against falling
as you cast your net of light over both land and sea
Sorry to think how the tide has turned on sentiment
Strange how refuge turns so suddenly into chaos
No boat to ferry us to the island of saints and pilgrims
No last crusade to cement the bonds between us
High time to say goodbye to the bogus world of bodies
Nothing left of sweetness beyond the heart’s stubborn

Mark A. Murphy is a queer, penniless poet, living with schizoaffective disorder, comorbid depression, GAD, complex PTSD, and OCD. His next full-length collection, The Ontological Constant is due out this summer (2020) in a bi-lingual German/English edition from Moloko Print in Germany.

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