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[Poetry] Two Poems by Mark Murphy

The Inundation of Dreams

The old man insists, the ocean will come back

while his grandchildren are dreaming.

While his sons prepare dawn nets in the dark,

ready for the morning catch.

He says when children dream, fish and coral

choreograph their own end, unperturbed

by rising seas, unfettered by the efforts of men

who would wipe out, then rescue the dying.

O we know our weight only as an afterthought

to the future, where the iridescent coral

of scribbleface and clownfish are only viable

in the camouflage of children’s stories.

We know the world can’t go back to what it was,

anymore than technique can turn back

the tides.


Perhaps we returned to you too late.

Green and lovely mother.

Unchanging mother,

buried in the oceans of the past.

Up to your neck in the slops and spoils

of enlightenment.

We’re no longer students of philosophy.

Poetry. Mythology.

We’re no longer the young poets

who wrote all the best lines.

Wanderers in the Minotaur’s labyrinth

of blood and illusion.

The queen of sea and shadow

has grabbed us now, as if by the balls.

But still we’re guided by a star

of hope. And only hope

can scupper or save us.

Mark Murphy is an Irish, LGBTQ+, neurodivergent, working class writer, currently surviving marginalization in the UK. Thank you for your time in considering my work.


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