No More

From my poetry blog, written fourteen years ago on the death of my father.

Coronets For Ghosts

This poem appeared in my book, Heading North. Though it 
doesn't explicitly say so, I wrote it on the 
death of my father, fourteen years ago today.

No More


No more. No more bleaching white

the nicotine stained flesh

of your fingers,

picking at the sterile 

veneer of cordiality 

amidst the well-thumbed

scattered deserts

from which ruins strive to rise.


No more counting down the markers,

elbows jostling territorially,

courting, sequential swans

rising in toasts, triumphant.

Your slow, inexorable withdrawal 

left behind a vacuum,

the equilibrium of a table

out of kilter.


No longer the trumpeted parading 

of the heir apparent,

the tedious repetition 

of vine and tongue,

reproduced seasoned lines 

framing the true inheritance 

and held to likeness.

Casual comparity no more. No more.



©Andrew James Murray

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Pumpkin

A timely post from my poetry blog.

Coronets For Ghosts

Pumpkin

a hollowed out,
 rictus grin
 placed prominently
 at this liminal time

a curious crossroads
 of old and new
 with but a cursory nod
 to the peaceful host

frail shelter
 from this Samhain storm
 a rail of russet leaves 
 and borne
 the broken limbs
 of oak

and scorned
 a single flame,
 faltering


©AndrewJamesMurray

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Midnight, July

From my poetry blog.

Coronets For Ghosts

Midnight, July

We writhe
with a rage to know
the unknowable,

blind to great masses
that dance in dark orbits.
And a soft, summer wind
on a night beneath stars
is no balm.

From somewhere a whistle 
casts a line,

a fragile camaraderie 
in a world
fell silent,

where white moth-wing 
is riotous

and a spider's touch
carnal.



©AndrewJamesMurray

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Indian Summer

Something new (and late) over on my poetry blog.

Coronets For Ghosts

Indian Summer

Indian Summer,
golden and implausibly charred.
Only one pot holds flowers 
to reach for the sun,
all of the others contain
withered wraiths
of long-spent blooms,
their calendar clocks
denying the possibility
Of these late September days.




©AndrewJamesMurray

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City Escapes, In Starbucks

I’ve been in Leeds for a few days, but I’m hoping return to Manchester tomorrow. Hope my usual seat is free.

City Jackdaw

Today was a good day.

I spent much of it in Starbucks, in Manchester, drinking spiced pumpkin latte and reading accounts of adventures in such far off places as Tangier; Haiti; Ischia; New Orleans.

Sitting directly opposite me, oblivious to my mental escapes, was a young woman, wearing a blouse of long, black-laced sleeves, locked in an insular world with her bespectacled beau. She looked comfortable enough in their interactions, but had enough self-conscious affectations to suggest that their love story was still in its infancy.

Whoever they were, they weren’t local, and their story had brought them here.

Perhaps they were from Tangier, Haiti, Ischia or New Orleans. You know how sometimes coincidence plays itself out.

Sometimes I find myself people watching, wondering, creating, until I realise I am in danger of becoming the Shopping Centre Creep and shake myself back out of my reverie.

I plunged myself back…

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Come On, Aileen

The first storm of the season, named Aileen, is due to hit tonight. For perspective, Aileen is no Irma, but still. I’ve taken down the hanging baskets and an outside lantern which is as much as I can do with no hatches to batten down.

The afternoon I spent working on a second poetry collection I’m trying to put together, while listening to a group from my favourite music period.

I have a friend who loves the eighties, and would instantly recognise the nod given by the title of this post. My own go-to listening preference stretches from the mid-sixties to early seventies. The Beatles; The Doors; The Kinks; The Rolling Stones; Tim Buckley; Cream; Cohen;  Dylan, I love all of these and more.

Being born in 1971 means that in my youth I’ve never been in vogue, musically. And don’t even mention my dress sense!

Listening to music helps when I’m writing. The group I was listening to today was Jefferson Airplane. Why do I like these?

Go and ask Alice. When she’s ten feet tall.