Saturday, 16 April 2011

Poem: The Profile and The Craic: SJ Murphy

I’m 5ft 9 with too many pounds,
I get miffed when people miss their round,
My feet are set, firmly on the ground,
My bank account? Never enough pounds.
Film beginnings, many I’ve seen,
Ice cream ? Yes please, with praline!
My car, my van, neither pristine,
If only I’d caught, the final scene.
Reggae, classic, metal and rock,
All are loud, even gridlock.
Read lots of Larkin but don’t know Pollock,
Couldn’t spot a piece of Baroque.
A pint of Best, never a half,
Most important, I like to laugh,
You’ll never see me, wearing a scarf,
Winter warmth afront the hearth.
Never one, the fun to spoil,
Life’s too short for many a roil,
Murphy, oh mur-ik-oo, Seac and Somhairle,
Handsome chaps, easy to spoil.
Don’t ask for money, I seldom lend,
Money I’ve said, is there to spend,
Never been one to set the trend,
So I guess for now, that’s the end.
1. oh mur-ik-oo is the pronunciation of the Irish Gaelic translation of Murphy – O Murchu
2. Somhairle [somoil] and Seac [shawk] are the Irish Gaelic translations of my son’s names [Samuel and Jack]

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Villanelle - For Steve by Ruth Grimsley

I had a lovely surprise during the week and received a villanelle written, for me [big smile], by my lovely friend Ruth Grimsley. Ruth and I met via The Red Baron who's blog I started to follow a few months ago, Norman Ross aka The Red Baron, put us in touch from across the pond in Florida. Ruth and I have been exchanging emails and reading each others poetry, we like the way each other writes: our chance meeting inspired Ruth to write this poem. Ruth has invited me up to Sheffield to read at one of Words and Things group meetings, which I am really looking forward to - if a little nervous [I very seldom get up in front of groups of people so it's kind of unnatural for me but I really am looking forward to it !].

Here is Ruth's villanelle and thank you so much Ruth, I was over the moon to read it, I was over the moon you have taken the time to write, about me and us meeting, I really don't have the right words to express my feelings, thank you;

If there had never been the Internet
Though both of us write skilful poetry
Most likely you and I would not have met

We owe a quite immeasurable debt
To someone’s blog in Florida so free
If there had never been the Internet –

Keats’ unseen wings of poesy now set
Into a beautiful reality –
Most likely you and I would not have met

Electrically we’re now tete-a-tete
The net thrown out has caught both you and me.
If there had never been the Internet

There never would have been our sweet duet
Of consonance and luminosity:
Most likely you and I would not have met

And that would have been cause of great regret
Since we are quite near in geography.
If there had never been the Internet
Most likely you and I would not have met

The viewless wings of poesy” – from one of Keats’ odes. “Ode to a Nightingale,” I think. “Viewless “ doesn’t really mean “unseen” now: nowadays it’s a word you’d only apply to a crap hotel room. Perhaps it never really did mean “unseen,” and Keats was exercising a bit of poetic licence. He did mean “unseen,” however. That’s clear from the poem, whichever one it was.

Copyright (c) Ruth Grimsley

Friday, 8 April 2011

Red Kite [villanelle]: SJ Murphy

I sit and look and watch the sky,
A Red Kite glides in search of prey,
I ask the question, how and why,
Do you hunt and poach in town? You do not fly
Or hunt your prey, where once you may:
I sit and look and watch the sky.
Be gone to rural hunts and say goodbye,
Go hunt your kill not here, but far away.
I ask the question, how and why,
Do you glide with so much ease? Now high
Above the rooftops searching: awaiting melee,
I sit and look and watch the sky:
A single beat you use to amplify
Your height in search of prey.
I ask the question, how and why,
How long before you see, you spy
your kill, then swoop and eat your prey?
I sit and look and watch the sky,
I ask the question, how and why?

Thursday, 7 April 2011

To go or not to go ? That is the question

I've started a new blog over at Wordpress and I like the slick look and feel of it. I'm wondering whether to move over there or stay where I am - any comments would be much appreciated.



Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Fleeing Blackbird [Haiku]: SJ Murphy


Eye to eye it lands
Blackbird shrieks it's warning call
Fleeing for safety


Monday, 4 April 2011

Remember: SJ Murphy

Remember the ghosts,
That haunted rooms,
Where memories strayed.

Remember the joys,
That left you breathless,
Where nothing else could fill that void.

Remember the things,
That make you breathe,
And blood pump through your veins.

Remember these things,
That they may never be there again,
And that is why you grab, hold tight, and don't let go.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Iota Magazine - Rejection

I got a response from Iota Magazine during last week: I submitted 6 poems to Iota on 10th January [I'm pretty good with dates - don't forget many birthdays] and was expecting a response sometime soon: a letter was on the doorstep when I came in from work on Wednesday I think it was, I looked at the handwritten envelope and thought I like that handwriting and then realised it was mine, that was quite cool, I like my own handwriting. So I worked out it must have been from Iota - I don't send many letters to myself - and opened expecting to see the words sorry but on this occasion you have been unsuccessful. As a very funny man I've known of for many years [Kevin "Bloody" Wilson] would say in his broad Australian Accent, it was the nicest "get fucked" letter I've ever received and that's pretty much how I feel about it. I was not expecting to get my first submissions to any poetry magazine published, it would have been lovely of course, but hey ho, such is life.

I'm writing when I get the time and have even started experimenting with poetic forms, so who knows, the next batch of beauties I submit to a poetry magazine might stand more of a chance. I was reading some Christopher Reid poems in a bookshop the other day and an awful lot of the poems started with verbs which gripped me straight from the off, so I'll make a point of doing that over the next few weeks and see what I come up with.

I'd be interested in other people's rejections - maybe start a Nicest Rejection Letter Club or some hashtag on twitter #nicestrejectionletter - I'll put a few quid on that not trending :)

The rejection thing is pretty much the reason I went on and published my own book through Lulu, maybe a publisher would have liked them, maybe they wouldn't and I'm a pretty impatient sort of character so waiting 3 months for publishers to reject and then submit and wait for the next publisher was not an option for book 1: now I've got a book in print out of my system I think I'll be a bit more patient next time and what with the, dare I say it, studying of poetic form I'm doing at the minute maybe they will stand a chance.

Anyway, any rejections you'ld like to share please don't hesitate to comment below.

Onwards and upwards !!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Fingertips [Haiku]: SJ Murphy


Sand falls through fingers
Looking for reality
Gone without a hope