Poetry ~ Joseph Murphy
A New Beginning
Loneliness stalked me:
Jabbering, finger-pointing; hoping I’d release
My last set of wings.
It took the shape of sandpaper, smashed candles;
Became the pages of books
Erased, scratched out − molded
From the dampness of an empty house.
So many mornings I’d wake in its shoes, worn thin
From retraced steps; watch the same mirror
Cringe as I drew near.
But you returned: our voices
Steadied, paralleled; a daisy surged
Through a crack in the asphalt.
The breadth of our memories no longer wounds us.
We’ve filled a jar with water; tossed a line
From prow to pier; ignited
Once, like you, I was a drawer
And I contained a moon,
a blossoming cherry tree…
But when I began to dream,
my hopes freed me.
Hands that burst through the walls
Tear your life from its hinges. Your hopes
have become playing cards
held in vain.
Don’t empty a drawer
that took so long to fill; your life is a vase
than the flowers it holds.
Remember the years packed away; ignored.
Your future is a table
that can finally be set.
when he hears your name.
He’s amused at the way
you try to balance
so much upon your tongue –
He’s waiting for the day
it all comes crashing down.
He knows you’ll make a good rung
for his broken ladder.
Joseph Murphy has been published in a wide range of print and online journals, including The Ann Arbor Review, Northwind and The Pangolin Review. He is the author of four poetry collections, The Shaman Speaks, Shoreline of the Heart, Having Lived and Crafting Wings. Murphy is also a member of the Colorado Authors’ League and for eight years (2010–18) was poetry editor for an online literary publication, Halfway Down the Stairs.