Most pictures and words from Anthony C Murphy

Sunday, 31 July 2011


Unruffle your plumage you geese people
You hissers
There is room enough upon this pond
We squawk from positional privilege
Declare who should belong yet
Short of space and memory span
And attentio

Monday, 25 July 2011


Lead us to the berries
For we have only bones
They use us like floozies
They smoke us to the foam
They bleed us wet and juicy
They try to clip our wings
Yet we fly all day
Raw with luck
And still the syrinx sings
Lead us to the berries


Wednesday, 20 July 2011


If you come into town by train
The dome of St. John’s Catholic Church
Is the first thing that you notice
The huge silver blue curves sit
A little incongruous on top of
The right-angled redbrick structure
That nestles the monster
It has always looked
An occidental accident
A mosque in a mask
To those who knew the pre-Pakistan
Days of Tweedale Street
When they remembered
The Paddies raising their buildings
Not just drinking curry
These towns have always needed
The onslaught of labour
A too hotbed of industry
That went global before you were born
Ghandi’s white dhoti was made in Blackburn
Now Dutch soccer balls
Are stitched in India
But blown up in Oldham

Go through St. John’s wood-heavy double doors into
Byzantine pretension and Victorian sheen
A brilliant mosaic dizzies the mind like optical frankincense
Covering one half of the interior of the dome
Above the altar
Is a scene from the apocalypse
The four Evangelists loom in gold leaf
With a dangling lamb like an offering
The human
The lion
The ox then
The eagle
All winged
And barefoot
Two-dimensional giants
Who have outgrown their tetramorph
Dead eyes ignore the congregation
Unconcerned with little people beneath
Apostling homage
To the Pantokrator
At last seated on his throne

Christ too is passive
And a little Eastern of aspect
And very foreign to an English child
Of six in 1977
The boy sits in his pew and is entranced
To him at this time
As holy as the dome itself
And with just as many evil thoughts
In his golden head
They are Harryhausen creations
That could turn their creaking necks
And stare directly into the soul
At any unwatched moment
But then Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger
Is playing at the ABC in town
And for some reason
It is the saints’
Naked floating feet
That frighten him the most 

Thursday, 14 July 2011


There is the space
Between forefinger and thumb
Where I sat
In expectation
Of some dark pressure

Whilst in this place
I heard a raucous call

There is a charming voice
After all 
These years
Have depth
Like light 
Like yours

Monday, 11 July 2011


I met her in Canada
We were soon at a wedding
The second night she invited me
To her hotel
In the morning
I had to use the bathroom
And that Ontario toilet
Was not ready for me
I tried but
I just could not unblock it
She said it was fine though


Saturday, 9 July 2011


These are the things
That you think about
When you think around things
That don’t make sense
When you have lost all balance
They are the things
When that’s all there is
Like a cup of tea
Or bacon and eggs
And a walk
On the hills
And little else

Friday, 8 July 2011


I wake and wonder
Where my dream has gone
Wonder why it should be

Odd to hear blackbirds
Two in the morning
Even as they repeat

Your all is not lost
It did not exist
Love is only want’s need

I have to crack on
Relentless like dawn
Late it will come to me

Thursday, 7 July 2011


I love you
What does that mean
Does it mean more than
Why are we here
Or where the hell are we
And all the old jokes
And wish washy philosophies
To stand atop a vantage point
Yodel ‘You’ll do!’
Is that what we are about
Us men 
We women 
Seeking an echo
Is that reason for our insanity


And when all feels lost and night becomes the mood
You can look into the deep blue from the hill
See the evening stars burning out
If you are blessed
Forget yourself for a while
Without the need for a drink or company
Listen to the rodents in the walls
Scratching out an animals existence
Put on some Louis Armstrong, what what!
If you’re fortunate enough
Forget yourself for a while
And think about the distance between all of us
Take a bath and draw deep record-shattering breaths
Underneath fathered feathered lathered suds
If you are lucky enough
Forget yourself for a while
Whilst you dream on all that has gone
Regret that you are here in peril
The instant is the thing and there will be more to come

Tuesday, 5 July 2011


It is cold
Bluebird flew again
From the shallow south
To New Work
Where the song rings true
Or at least loud
And independent

It is cold
And skeletal trees
Leave us coverless
Here in an old country
With only tradition for comfort

It is cold
Now that she’s gone
And I pray for snow
For a difference to life
To blank it out
Or smother like a duvet

It is cold
With no warmth
From her mouth
No wit now
Or no kisses