The fluid nature of water is one of the most concise methaphors for life itself...
                                                                        Just Before Dawn

                                                                               (a pantoum)

Out this morning just before the dawn,

I gaze adoring at the moon's soft glow.

A lone bird calls out--the sun comes anon!

City lights still shimmering in the valley below.

 

I gaze adoring at the moon's soft glow

Backlighting the distant mountain ridge.

City lights still shimmering in the valley below,

A wisp of cloud forms a celestial bridge.

 

Backlighting the distant mountain ridge,

The silver orb slowly begins to dim.

A wisp of cloud forms a celestial bridge

From heaven's backyard gate to canyon rim.

 

The silver orb slowly begins to dim,

A lone bird calls out--the sun comes anon!

From heaven's backyard gate to canyon rim.

Out this morning just before the dawn.
Writing amazes me...

Writing amazes me, confounds me, surprises me, and saves me.  Good writing takes my breath away and leaves me in awe of its artistry. 

When Shakespeare wanted Hamlet to be depressed, he could have written his line as, "Man, I'm just so sad about it all."  But he didn't.  Instead, he wrote, "O God, God, how weary, stale, flat and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of this world."  And when Milton described the domain of Satan as "darkness visible," he reached for a phrase that had never been used before. . . and it worked for generations to come, as did Frost's choice of the road "less traveled by" and Whitman's cry of "O Captain, my Captain!" 

Writing amazes me because we cannot resolve scientifically--even with all our super-technology--why one particular word order is more pleasing, more poignant, more satisfying, more profound than another.  Nor can a machine, given every dictionary entry known to the language, replicate the creativity, the subtle dance with words that a writer produces with a simple pen and paper.  Writing is a mystery to me because a craftsman with words can so set the stage that two words may bring us to tears. . . or to our knees:  "Hey, Boo."  "Jesus wept."  Writing amazes me, enthralls me, and heals me, because when I write, I become entranced, and when I emerge, finally, there lies my soul across the paper--for all the world to see.
My Beloved Disorder

(This poem was published in The Homestead Review.)

I put words on a page.

It is at once my compulsion,

My passion and my redemption.

 

I extract them from my brain.

I do not skip after them with a butterfly net,

Nor do I coax them out with small tantalizing treats.

 

I pick them out with tweezers,

Squeezing indelicately between the

Anterior frontal and left parietal lobes,

 

Then wiping the bloody tongs against

An already yellowing sheet of newsprint

Or a molding journal page.

 

Sometimes I use a cauterizing scalpel,

Ignoring the odor of burned flesh

As I slice off long, complex sentences,

Pressing them into the pages of a book.

 

I often scream in agony during the brutal process.

But I never allow myself the relief of anesthesia;

One must experience every excruciating throe

In order to appreciate the exhilaration and elation

Once the procedure is finally over,

 

Which is why I keep going back to it

Again and again and again.

(Click here to read my blog at http://www.skaymurphy.blogspot.com.  But do return at your leisure to read these pieces as well!)