Mark A Murphy

Mark A. Murphy is a marginalized, low income, Ace poet, living with GAD, complex PTSD, and OCD. His work has appeared in The Magnolia Review, ISACOUSTIC and DREICH Magazine. He has poems forthcoming in Cultural Weekly and Synchronised Chaos.


Always, there are voices that come
like the sound of water rippling 
in the stone basin of the night fountain

Some effortless like the glad sound
of your father digging the earth 
or mother shouting you in for supper

Some apocryphal like the recently dead
who come when you least expect 
to bring you moonstone and memory

Invariably, there are voices that come
from the trunks of trees
and their voices are always most troubled

Now distant – like the voices of dragonflies

your siblings

and your oldest friends

Stem to Stern

You sail by the stars as if sailing
might substitute prayer
for the liquor you keep on tap

For the nights when sleep eludes 
and the hand of the Almighty
is found lacking

(dreaming up 
another Titanic or Zeebrugge)

For the nights when the wind drops 
to less than a whisper 
and the cold breath of God

nether stirs, nor offends, but hangs
Quite indifferent 
to the backbreaking jaunt 

into the equatorial calm 
like a whale 
oblivious to trade wind or doldrums

The Catch

O star-sailor, devouring Time
with an albatross’ eye
Breaking the night’s fast with ceviche 
and aguardiente 

O star-sailor, trawling the deep
with a whale’s mouth
Reaping the current and threshing
the sand

O star-sailor, devouring folly 
with a poet’s obsession
Garnering oysters and exhuming
midnight pearls 

Write for us, sing in our ear, O star-sailor

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