Rich Murphy

A Gander

Peering through a peep hole poked
in the all-enveloping blind spot,
the consciousness stimulator alerts
and the childish senses excite until owned.

Trees, sun, moon burst upon the scene
surrounding the spying species
who found home inside a hill,
and refreshed understanding
when the precious sky dropped water.

The habit in peeking squeezed
at the torso until the fat head
joked about a cane and tin cup.
Planting food crops, flowers,
and a flag, the imagination conquered.

A mountain man, carrying rocks
in pockets and rockets in a future,
invented with the city parks and glass.

Floaters fluke by from tear ducts
toward cataract and glaucoma
reminding for one long night.


Thick Glasses

Symptoms soon host upon the nose bridge
with graffiti ink or mural brushes
and watching for a way ahead:
A clue cues after the accident.
In perceiving and acting,
the secret injury effect chafes
against other cripples.

The guardrails along expressways
scrawl with long signatures to hold
a tribe, a culture, a society together.

Some vehicles spark all along the way
in breakdown lanes past pileups to the junkyard.
Other anonymous travelers without a ding
fall into sleep mode to rest into rust.

At every turn and every straight away
experience taints in harmony with hurt
whether a sensibility belongs
to pilgrim or to tourist.

Denial teams form too refusing to investigate
the rear-view mirrors that dangle within eyeshot
while calluses give away the map to the pain.
Loveable also here where anger spins wheels.


Rich Murphy’s Meme Measure, a collection of poems, was published by Resource Publications at Wipf and Stock in 2022. His poetry has won The Poetry Prize at Press Americana twice — Americana (2013) and The Left Behind (2021) — and Gival Press Poetry Prize Voyeur (2008). Space Craft by Resource Publications at Wipf, and Stock also came out in 2021. Books Prophet Voice Now, (essays), by Common Ground Research Network, and Practitioner Joy, (poetry) by Resource Publications at Wipf and Stock (2020). He has published several other collections of poetry.