Poems by Mark A. Murphy

“Apologia to a Blue Marlin”
             By Mark A. Murphy

I address you, fish of the Atlantic sea
with my conscience– as it is
on the day the world ends– as I would dew
on a blade of grass.

Even as I close my eyes to dream a different life,
reasons, circumstances, glimmering nets,
the Gulf Stream
that brought you to this plate–

I can hardly confuse your destruction with fate.
The tall buildings, pavements
and eateries of man, offer no hiding place
for a pair like us.

You are like a coral-garden to marvel at from afar
and I, the vulgar killer
throwing shadows on that garden.
Brother fish… I can no more dream you back to life

than wish away centuries of overreaching. My words
won’t do. They simply won’t do.

“Architecture of the Absolute”
             By Mark A. Murphy

We spotted the first fly of the season today.
There was no need to kill it.
So, we left it buzzing away by the sash window.

Death took so much from us last year,
it hardly seemed worthwhile
acting on its behalf this spring to destroy a lone fly.

Curious how we let it live, with the thirteen corpses
of last year’s cull, still staining
the glass, three stories above the town.

We wonder what Daedalus might make of it,
or Icarus, flying so close
to the sun, his wings gave out?

What can we really do but reap what we sow,
except to say, the humble fly
owes no one its allegiance, in the seven degrees

of separation– linking the living to the world
        of the dead.

“Anatomy of Love”
             By Mark A. Murphy

for Nora


WAIT, she said, before you would break
my feet, my knees, my hips, my bole
STOP she said, before you would bind
my eyes, my eyelids, my lips, my tongue


NOW, she said: what remains today
of elbow and finger, ribcage and spleen
is pure as pollen; NOW, you kiss
dead bark, live bark, heartwood, PITH

- Mark A. Murphy is an Irish, LGBTQ+, neurodivergent, working class writer, currently surviving marginalisation in the UK.

Copyright©2023 by Mark A. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.