Saturday, 9 May 2009

Michael Murphy: Allotments

The first of a few poems by Michael Murphy, first published in Allotments by the Shoestring Press. The chapbook is available from Shoestring here. Go buy.


Heaped in corners, waiting to be of use -
twin-tub bleeding rust, prams missing wheels,
the inevitable shopping trolley, the foot-
loose, vagabond, down-at-heel

ephemera World gathers to itself
like leaves dying for November, or light
consecrated to a conflagration of grapes
you burst against the tartared backs of teeth -

what is is implicit in what it's not.
Take these planks, the hull of a re-fitted tug
now raised flower beds, or this Perspex bus-
stop reclaimed for a tumbledown hothouse.

God knows, even pebbles here might put down
roots, and grow...

The Chinese refugees are putting down
roots, planning to grow nothing but green
for its own sake. It is a remedy
against nostalgia, the heartsick moon

pining for its reflection in the ruffled lake.
Tendrils grip the wire mesh like ropes
wound round a hawser. Learning to let go,
the sun impales the year on cemented brakes

of razor wire, necklaces of broken glass...
It is mind, says Hua-yen, that manifests
the intimacy of nature
in scattered fragments the wind disturbs,

awakening us from the loss of self
that gathers in corners, aching to be of use.

I will write the normal blogs in between these. Changes in tone are unavoidable. There is another poem by Michael on the writer David Belbin's blog here. Also a photo of Michael signing his book at its launch in Liverpool last year. C and I were delighted to be there too.

1 comment:

dana said...

Oh! (inarticulate expression of delight at poem)
Thanks for the heads up. I'll find his work. What a tragedy.