Up with the Larks
When roused from one’s demonic dreams –
the world in waiting freezing outside,
you hardly remember your own name,
let alone, any personal history, other that that
you were cheated in love, cheated in life
by madness and an inability to follow the rules.
Always an outsider, never a rider,
given to melancholy, for as young as you can
remember, the world frozen with grief.
How would it be, not yet remembered,
if your time on Earth wasn’t worth
a footnote, or even a song for old times?
Hard to imagine your poems saved anyone,
more so, to think you deserved
anything more than a nod from the top.
So rise early with the larks, as if your identity
depended upon it, your whole life
being no more than the sum of your dreams.
Two Men Treading Water
Now we are two, variously thrashing around,
up to our necks
in this viscous soup we call the ocean.
The life boats have moved out of harm’s way
and our buoyancy aides
hardly suffice against the freezing waves.
We must drink the salty soup
until we burst, shuffle off, or worse still,
we are the last to be rescued alive.
Pity about the trip of a lifetime.
Pity how much time has been wasted.
Pity how we are loved and not loved.
Most Things are Never Meant Paradox
After all the years of forgetting and pain
he thought he would never forget
the image of her face in his mind’s eye.
Yet at the end of days and the decades
that lay between them, time had transformed
both perception and reality, as if to
render memory incapable of capturing
any informed picture of her countenance.
Sure enough, beauty had its place
at the heart of it, but only the idea
without detail or form, latent in his brain.
Not much to show for a lifetime in verse.
Nonetheless, how could he forget
her hand-written letter of admiration –
her nineteen years, the sense
that wonder could still be had
in the holding of someone else’s hand?
Regret, the only word for it now,
but regret tempered with the cynic’s eye.
Trapped by the inertia of loneliness
he speaks her name out loud: Sandrine!
Sandrine! Sandrine! Three times out loud
for luck, for a connection never to be
lived, and finally for love.
(Mark A. Murphy is the editor of the online journal, POETiCA REViEW. His poetry collections include Tin Cat Alley (1996), Our Little Bit of Immortality (2011), Night-watch Man & Muse (2013) and his next full length collection, Night Wanderer’s Plea is pending from Waterloo Press in the UK.)
The Beautiful Space-