by Joseph Murphy

The wind’s labored words smashed pine cone and shell.

White caps ignited, plunging
though gable, eave; eddying
within the hum of bees.

Light burst from the necks of jars, severing syllable and seam.

Death again crisscrossed our sandy lane; wove
through jetty, linked blood,
wave-battered stairs.

I lurched along seawall, beach; hid
beneath the sand’s sharpened tail,
wanting tide to split me; consume
my oddly shaped dreams.

But an oak’s scented bark
lent its voice to sea-rounded stones;
to furrow and seed.

A rhyme surged from star-weed, sprout;
pressed through the loam’s lush keel; sprang
from newly hatched lightening
and crumbled leaves.

Smashed stones rekindled; refreshed
the moon’s stalk; spoke the dialect
of pitch-black waves;
renewed me.


Joseph Murphy’s poetry has appeared in a wide range of online and print journals. His second collection of poems, Having Lived, was published in 2018; his first collection, Crafting Wings, in 2017. Murphy is a member of the Colorado Authors’ League and for eight years (2010-2018) was poetry editor for an online literary publication, Halfway Down the Stairs.

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