The Saturday poem: Less

A new poem by John Murphy

Poet John Murphy

Poet John Murphy


When did you last feed the plants?

The rose on the sill is dying of thirst.

Who mislaid the car keys, the children,

the house? The birdcage needs cleaning

out. And the quiet after the singing,

the laughter, the shouts, is as arid

as the tumbling dust that washes

through the rooms like a tide.

Now the sounds are retreating from the silence.

They drift from room to room on motes of light.

Collected, they exit brief formations of time,

leaving in the empty measures of space a wake

of silence, a sack dragged over a polished floor,

the sound of a sound of silence chafing for more.

John Murphy’s second collection The Language Hospital (Salmon) was published last year. He won the Strokestown International Poetry Prize in 2015 and 2016