Photo by Emily Murdoch
Click here: Current Poetry Archive to read more of my poetry.
The poems below are from my novel, The Bumblebee Project. They were written at the same time the book was written, inspired by the story line and the main character’s introspective journey. A few are below.
My hope, one day, is to gather all the poems into a separate book, Flight Patterns.
I rarely title my poems.
other horses, dogs and sire and dam
reincarnations of everything that meant anything.
a steady voice and a steadying hand,
suns to race and moons to drink,
power to burn and life to live.
fade from view: mountains of manure
and ribs that begged for food.
sore feet in need of a trim, cents a pound,
traded in. riding a truck that never ends
only to welcome it; now here I am.
coyotes gather in a magic circle to sing down the sun.
crows slurp the horses’ water bucket when their dusty backs
are turned. we wait for a sign that everything will be all right
but the sign is designed so that you miss it most of the time
because none of this is supposed to be figured out.
the dead tree is crowned with a Christmas star
keeping watch over hoofed snorts and faint dog barks,
the porch lights low, clouds like sheep in the unfenced sky
roaming around without a care in the world. silent night rises
in a spiral of stars left to spread themselves out evenly.
life’s answers crowd around as well, waiting for those questions
never posed, as none of this is supposed to be figured out.
barefoot and blind on this perilous journey, with fate a bear
who’ll eat you whole, drawing ever-widening circles of truth
turned noose to hang your heart, you hold on because the soul
cries out for weathering, for cold rain and fists shook at the sky
while God searches for signs of higher life, to figure it all out.
there will be fits and starts, with the most meaningful roads
snaking and surprising. study the stars, and moss on bark
and pray to the Gods like crazy.
do you burn right out because you burn so intensely,
insatiable flames tumbling down the walls? are you a shooting star
aimed for the heavens, careless in immortal childhood?
apple-whole in your dented skin, the future rises up,
you can’t say no. here comes the fork in the road,
ready or not, the life-altering choice, the hardest part.
these damn new beginnings
needing endings, first.
we’ll talk to photos on the wall
stroke the cat where it curls
smile at the snoring dog
wave flies off the old horse
loudly pace the kitchen floor
then wash, rinse, repeat:
breeze and sky and trees,
horse, dog, flower, leaf
light to dark, cloud to star
weeks to months to years.
she’d rather be like sea glass, herself,
tinting the world green or brown,
a large enough shard to see the world
from a new perspective, flat as a prized
arrowhead, its edges smoothed by the sand,
living in a pocket beside a lucky penny
and a zigzagged bit of ritualistically smashed
to be free as a leaf,
free to let go,
that sure of yourself,
holy on your own.
prayers fall like rain
and the trees hum along,
ribbon of Milky Way, smear of stars
across a parallel universe
where storm clouds form
the thunder that WAKES YOU UP.
how do you hug a wheat field,
or close the sky with its eyes full of stars?
how does a dog chase the tail of a tornado,
or a woman drink a cup of storm?
you can feel the world with your hands
or with your heart, but keep both open
to change. the dreams you hold,
the intentions you sail out into the world
will come back to you tenfold
when you don’t even believe in luck.
enchanting, to be still and let miracles happen,
to let life work out itself. my disbelief has flown from me
like autumn’s leaves, gracefully, my mind is free
and empty because it’s new. the push to move on to a dream,
living in your straw house far too long,
you’ll build your wise world out of steel,
the softest kind that you can find.
How to hug a Donkey.
(Don Quixote, a.k.a. Donkey, saved from starvation and neglect.)
© 2008 Emily Murdoch All Rights Reserved.