person Joseph Murphy, three poems

Joseph Murphy’s poetry has appeared in a wide range of online and print journals. His second collection of poems, Having Lived, was published in 2018; his first collection, Crafting Wings, in 2017. Murphy is a member of the Colorado Authors’ League and for eight years (2010-2018) was poetry editor for an online literary publication, Halfway Down the Stairs.


Celebration of Being


Under an equal moon
I see the mountain lake
as an infinity of reflection
as the center
of a boundless faith

I see the lake and the stride of the moon
loose from me
like vapor
loose from the cove of a skull

These images
without distance
out deep in time

As I remember
I know
the angled wheel
from which my own self
is spun


From a rooftop
I watch gulls weave
over seawall and pine
over a village’s
well-worn paths

Scrub oak
a web across the heavens
light rain
refreshing me
as galaxies tumble
where the universe
is yet

On Sunday
with all the churches locked
I touch pulpits in the nosey weed

On the planet
of our earliest days
walk as a shadow
each night
spin words
spun by stars

Those fruit
loose upon the void
never homeless
while I still must wish
hope and dream


I am the only one to hear
I shout
the breath that blows cool winds through November
is my perfect being

the soft shadow of all things
slips through dawn
feels the dew pitch loops of silver
across my heart
as I remember
I must
the angled wheel
from which our whole self
is spun

As I stand
amid fallen leaves
a full-grown child
transparent in a rambling wood
a child and poet
slung with verse
blown homeward
In a subtle autumn

I grow fruit in ice
I grow I remember I must
equal to it all
standing here there
young and open
a bay for words
my translucent voices
my soft
and perfect tears


I Feel Love Silver

I feel love silver
eat snow wind
and milk

shed talon
and shroud

As this island planet
grazes on the soul
of all star creatures

As I wait
knee deep in tide
fingers open
on the roiling
haunted nations
of the sun


Hoping That You Will Miss Nothing

Hoping that you will miss nothing
I will give you nothing

As you pass through this gate
I know it is not easy
Each moment has become
A final chance

I know that our era offers no simple answers

Even in our longest days
I see gardens
Cold with snow
Horizons made of stone

I have walked out
Seeking a different answer
Out on grey mornings
We have all clutched each another
Stealing love with warm fingers
Our mouths full of sweat

our crusades
Have managed the destruction
Of the holiest of places
Left fewer and fewer
With any respect
For breath

And yes
I have found
Telescopes in the dust
Cites wet with blood
And voiceless men
Contrived to forever
Destroy the spring
While we few orphans
Ready to rise
Have no histories to follow

Except an infant’s vision
Of the sun


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