rattlesnake nest

a dull color of sleet on my face
a man needs a collection of tools
hands creep their time, it is always now
grilled octopus      retsina and cheese
i met an old lady at the subterranean bar
it’s all there perfect with you and your friends
memory is a fragile sense in modern times
mist of morning      dark hot coffee
rainbow westward      ache of color
the sacred heart of all i am
the sound it is which lulls the thought
they would just bubble up
we think differently with our hands writing with a pen
words are specific delimiters in their snake trail
working through the fog
the rumbling thunder
the insects are banished from my sheltered cave
the dime of death short stops us all
the fug of tobacco tastes the room
i’ve come to the time of departure





a dull color of sleet on my face
this winter is snow, mist, and storm
i see through the window’s clear grace
how safe is inside, and how warm

the world gives me time now to see
to sit through the days quite alone
my children are snowflakes and free
and i hate to call on the phone

this winter has been here before
but sunshine will come back again
i see through my mind’s inner eye
what is, and what yet might have been

my future is pale though, and thin
while memory is firm now, and sure
this day when i look close within
inside where it’s warm and secure






a man needs a collection of tools
extensions of his hands and eyes
manipulators of the problematic world

it should be heavy with metal for a man’s work
with power of lever to hold and turn

it should be light and electronic
to fix the machines that record and show


a man needs a collection of fools
a net of comedy tuned to holy ways
clowns to touch and heal

clowns to emulate
appreciating their nonsense
the chaos, aped by man
and minimized by laughter

murphy remembering getting the heavy bag from the trunk of the car






hands creep their time, it is always now
no noise, and evening shrinks to nothing
winter become gray soot left by candles

calendars have not the days of my holidays
they observe the stars and i do not
i waddle my own way down the twisting road
stubbing a toe on the roots of a gnarled oak

my progress branches in passing shadows
and i sometimes note the cars that pass
i like to think the drivers look down on me
within the trees stripped of all their color

sun sprinkles the treat of temperature
the afternoon extends the dimming light
icy cold this ending, this december
to suspend my thoughts of time and fate

murphy wondering why he always hurts






grilled octopus      retsina and cheese
drunken buzz      the hellenic sun

gnarled tree of olives      adroop with age
patient in place        sagging with proffered gifts

an imagined villa          high escarpment
the wisdom of age      an inner landscape

murphy replete with whatever comes his way






i met an old lady at the subterranean bar
just down the street are crazy folk
the weather doesn’t faze them at all
galumphing through the asphalt
they have all seen it all

but this old lady is particular
memory be the game she plays
filled with former meaning
she swaps her tale of woe
we have all seen it all

she tells her unique stories
and i hear them one and all
through her the older stories
swishing around my head
which purports to be the all

the almost never heard from
the self i hid at sunrise
and remember til this day
set free and now reheard
the all i still remember

murphy in his immaculately clean apartment






it’s all there perfect with you and your friends
toss one off perceptive and witty, unique

one’s own tone odd vernacular
one’s own hand that scribble-scrabbles meaning

one’s own voice formal, chatting away
one’s own self that still and yet fills life

murphy scratching in the dirt around the campfire






memory is a fragile sense in modern times
sight and sound mechanical, digitalized
destroying the will to internalize and own
machines our hippocampus, discs our associations

new words to google, every keystroke magnetized
held fast only as long as electric, as long as decoder lasts
but what of how the human animal found its way
what of the arts of not so long ago

song and rhyme, pencil and oil
the long practice of words to indeliblize
what of the strengths we found so necessary before
what will be the forms of our new creations

thoughtless snapshots of a summer beach
quick videos of a baby crawling
tweets of ever fewer words
abbreviation instead of studied depth

no longer to hold a newspaper and read
no longer to turn the page in a book
the touch screen of idle conjecture the norm
the very shape of our future a finger’s swipe

murphy dawdling over morning coffee and jameson in lyon, frace






mist of morning       dark hot coffee
feet on railing        bare and carefree

constant foaming       constant movement
now is all things      now is always

hair is blowing                 thoughts asunder
soft sweet breathing     air of wonder

murphy on his private balcony, alone






rainbow westward        ache of color
slow dissolving        senses vanish

all the wave forms        deep down under
all the motion          felt and not seen

why the moment         crystal forming
why the ending        when now so charming

murphy soon to be in south america






the sacred heart of all i am
strikes sparks on swollen seas
the dark descends as waters crash
the beating waves of passing mes

i stare outside the shell i am
to failing light that i can seize
the last of time that i will have
come bringing new felicities

i seldom find the time just so
that floats away and vanishes
the way life does when all we know
is left behind, and all that is finishes

murphy nestled on his balcony






the sound it is which lulls the thought
and shapes it to its end
surprising with its formal lilt
its sense and sound to blend

the hand it is which forms the streak
and crab like makes its snake
coiling with its deadly threat
its wit and bite at stake

the mind it is controls it all
with habit as its math
greasing slick the slalom trail
in well formed ice of path

the muse behind the stab at truth
advances past her veil
tempting sure the poet’s will
to fill his ego’s sail

murphy laughing loud, and dancing






they would just bubble up
the thoughts that swim
come from nowhere
come from steep within

become and just be there
the certainties of strife
here with us always
and always all our life

what could i ever do
the mind that swims
kicks up from under
brings its life anew

what will all the world become
the ants that crawl around
getting and grabbing, tomorrow
wanting some more, and then some

what will it all become
before the sleeping eyes
squinting in passively viewing
loosing our dreams to the night

murphy blowing smoke as always






we think differently with our hands writing with a pen
there comes a liquid quickness of sound
a rhythmic continuance of dancing hand’s beauty
a mellifluous floating of sound imagery
a more inclusive outreach of appositeness
a forming of a pleasing geometry on the page

that doesn’t happen with a keyboard
at least not so much with me
except when i can put my feet up on the desk
keyboard on lap, eyes squinted toward the screen
a leisurely tapping of detail
occasional throughput of phrase a quickness
then back to the tap, tap, tap of soul

yes, you think differently with pen of ink in hand
the true test to hold the page half turned before a lamp
to trace the flow of falling right hand push
then imagine writing chinese characters down the page
the wrist a pivot turning
not to close a right hand screw
but to fall with the graceful ease of water’s will

murphy enjoying thanking no one day the less






words are specific delimiters in their snake trail
the feet of the follower catch in their footprints
thoughts caught and wrapped in an exactness
a rocky impedance, a frothing of feeling’s flow

the dam of thoughts sent as order of sounding
the ear of the hearer bent by harmony
the feeling raw and entrapped in the waves
a throbbing expending in spasm of sense’s glow

the gate of welcome wrapped in skin’s hug
the home of the heart warm in the holding
the care in the touch enswaddled and soft
a shielding of comfort, a silent glitter of snow

murphy listening to the gusty winds of winter






working through the fog
brings sureness of touch
the mind fine tuned
unhinged then by choice

walking well worn path
brings perspective
the scene rethought
put into place once again

wandering through a bramble
brings toughness of skin
the self well guarded
hidden even from self

wishing for an outcome
brings oblivion of a sort
the trail of thought derailed
so seeds can grow again

wasting moment’s fullness
brings how it all begins
each and every second
leaves, then comes again

murphy imposing pattern deep, a hologram






the rumbling thunder
distinctive smell of rain
summer ozone splashing down
turtles’ color bright in the grass

rivers in roads run down the hills
windows open to fresh cool wind
searching eyes for signs of life
sips of whiskey from icy glass

the tang of lethe to dull the pain
the scars of age, the ache in heart
having come this far to let it all go
as water washes the hours that pass

murphy doodling his time away in blue ink






the insects are banished from my sheltered cave
screens on the windows, seals on the floors
poisons target the intrepid intruders

my roof doesn’t leak, my doors all have locks
the firse glows inside when i turn on the gas
the ice box is electric and cools all the time

the water runs hot, the water runs cold
tame ions do chores without my control
i let it all happen and imagine i’m home

the earth is our mother and messily feeds us
she whips us with storms and floods now and then
when angry she wrinkles her crust to tear down buildings

we came from her womb with all of its insects
we shut ourselves off from their world and we lose
no more can we hope to keep out the germs

all those small lives that we battle that change as we fight them
all those large lives we end as we force their extinction
all those dreams that we have now lost in the warming

a globe has no sealant, it circles a welcome
direction to center is all that it takes
a determined trajectory aimed at its target

so why build up walls, why not open our systems
survive as we must by accepting complexity
there is no way to screen out the bug

murphy staring out the window in la storta, italy






the dime of death short stops us all
the tracks to follow disappear
there comes this impenetrable wall
beyond which is nothing but fear

i talk and say noise to hide my guilt
alive and well, hurting but game
regarding future deeds still unbuilt
still on my focus, still on my game

but time has brought a fading crowd
those that i knew can’t talk any more
gone to where i’m no longer allowed
the only thing left, the final score

murphy sitting shiva in absentia






the fug of tobacco tastes the room
tries to settle time within its cloud
allows the ease of rambling concern
heightens the sense of alcohol’s bite

old cuban men sit in their preferment
sipping old rum, watching the rain
nothing is rushed, not even the wind
bringing the clouds soaking the air

old cuban men without their senoras
seizing the life they left far behind
tasting the room abiding their being
smelling the changeless future they’ll find

murphy ensconced in union city with the gusanos






i’ve come to the time of departure
and seeing my friends disappear
not wishing myself to be burden
seeking exit, muted, demure

the leaving this party of life
should be quick, decisive, and clean
not drawn out, extensive, but sudden
wave of the hand, quick gulp of beer

the image behind such a closure
not sadness prolonged, not sun’s setting
not twilight to ease end of day
just a snapshot, focused, and clear

murphy watching the breeze in the leaves






i’ve found a cave to hide within
a small window lets me see outside
though the view allowed is much too thin
my thoughts can soar both deep and wide

i stretch to find a lazy stance
that eases twist on tired old bones
though aches abound in last life’s dance
i trust my words won’t sink to moans

i love the fight and hate to lose
the small bit left for me to have
i love the fact that i can choose
the soft warm nest that is my salve

murphy sipping chinese wine in rome






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