Writer In A Coffee Shop

from my poetry blog

Coronets For Ghosts

Writer In A Coffee Shop

Nobody sees as we do
— a conspiratorial attempt at flattery,
rising up from the books on the slanted shelves.

Vinyl albums are fixed to the ceiling,
you can get a stiff neck 
searching out the soundtrack to your life.

Upstairs the sound of a tattooist, 
reminds him of the dentist,
sets his teeth on edge,
running ravines
of mottled brown.

He hears it still, that night
as she lies with her face to the wall,

a tree brooding in the back garden;
across the rooftops thoughts dissipate
into silence,

yet still, that sound,
transmuted slowly
into goose flesh






©AndrewJamesMurray

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Savage Sky

from my poetry blog.

Coronets For Ghosts

Savage Sky

In this savage sky,
in this ragged hour,
a low, winter sun
glazes soft
all flesh of inordinate pallor,
embarrassed by impotence.

Unravelling powder blue ribbons,
colouring brittle braids
blown among briered 
mountains of white.
Black cattle bellowing
in coarse vernacular
a dumb language of instinct, lust.

And crying like a child, each insipid sow.

You can smell the sea,
but not see it, 
cupped in hands of granite,
cold, loved.
Suffering the separation
of centuries, more.



©AndrewJamesMurray

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In Greece; Forever England

Since City Jackdaw has been flying, I think I’ve probably made a Remebrance Sunday post every year. Except yesterday.

As usual we spent the day, which coincided with the Armistice Centennial, by visiting the memorial on which the names of past family members are listed. It’s this personal connection that gives context to the wider impact of that war.

As I didn’t post yesterday, I will share this photograph today: it’s from when I visited the grave of my Gt Grandfather, Timothy O’Sullivan, in 2007, ninety years to the day since he died. He is buried in Thessaloniki. A plot that is forever England.

R.I.P

Hearts For Hearts

While at the football stadiums all around the country players and fans are observing a minute’s silence for tomorrow’s Remembrance Sunday,  I just learned that Heart of Midlothian (Hearts) was the first British club whose players signed up en masse for World War One.

Sixteen players enlisted, and on the first day of the Battle of the Somme three died. Of the sixteen in total, seven died in the war and seven were seriously injured.

That’s the kind of statistic that brings home just how devastating that war was.

R.I.P

Where In The Tree Is Vivien?

My favourite actress would have been 105 years old today.

City Jackdaw

I recently finished reading a biography about possibly my country’s greatest actress: Vivien Leigh. Triumphant and tragic, always lovely, ever fragile, her most difficult part was that of her own life.

image

My post on an old movies site on Facebook provoked a conversation about her being England’s greatest actress. I was asked what it was about her that made me of this opinion, and how she faired in comparison to the likes of Dame Judi Dench and Dame Helen Mirren. (The question was asked in all innocence, purely out of curiosity, as it was posed by a fan of Vivien’s who was curious as to why I hold her in such similar esteem.)

I replied that both Judi Dench and Helen Mirren are fine actresses, (Elizabeth Taylor too), but to me there seems a certain gravitas in both Leigh’s performances and in her attitude towards her craft. Most of her…

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