Milner Place Shakes His Head

Mark A. Murphy


Undiminished, grimacing from the window
of his old cave, Milner Place will smoke another cigarette,
pluck at his grey beard. pull the hairs from his nostrils
            whilst the street corner orators
denounce the pulchritude of whores in back alleys
 and another failed revolution,
where the morally defunct prey on the weak
            and the ancient wrangle unfolds
between musicians and poets. There are no hours to steal
of particular significance from the intelligentsia
who claim to have seen tomorrows abundance, no gods
            or the creatures of God
 waxing lyrical about the paradise of angels.
Our poet scratches his beard, diviner of the elements, 
curer of old age, carrying the weight of time,
            ripping at the roots of life,
unveiling the world as it shrivels to an old man’s breast –
whilst the shackling of a young boy and girl stops
under the dripping branches of an olive tree on the slopes
            of Mount Etna as two hearts become one.


Mark A. Murphy’s poems have appeared in Poetry New Zealand, Poetry Scotland, Quarterly Literary Review (Singapore), The Warwick Review (UK), Struggle (UK), Istanbul Literature Review (Turkey), Paris Atlantic Journal (France), Poetry Salzburg Review (Austria), Litspeak (Germany), Contemporary Literary Horizons (Romania), Munyori (India), Taj Mahal Review (India), The Tampa Review (US), Del Sol Review (US), Left Curve (US), The American Dissident (US), The Stinging Fly (Eire), Crannog Magazine (Eire) and on the deaddrunkdublin website.