Sunset with moonrise and birdsOn our way to our private gardens,
the landscape, turning hostile, heaves
our asphalt; the sun and moon
crumpled each cheek.

Balancing upon a puzzle piece,
we duck the mammoth blackbirds,
while our faces are pressed into riverbeds
between the tumbling source and its rolling mirror.

Riding into the only evening
on a covered wagon full
of parking lot paint and hanging plants,
the magicians of the solar system
pretend there are no flying ridges
of flint or any mountain passes:
we are the family of ducks
flicked at by a marksman's concession for UFOs.

In a conservatory behind a marble god decoy
or bag of cow chips, each of us is surprised
by the inexplicable rock
that we wish we'd thrown.

Copyright © 1992, Rich Murphy
First published in Seattle Review

Image Credit: Bob Jagendorf, some rights reserved

Rich Murphy’s poems have appeared in such periodicals as Rolling Stone, Poetry Magazine, Grand Street, New Letters, Confrontation Magazine, Negative Capability, New Delta Review, forpoetry, Inertia Magazine, Voltaire’s Inkwell, Salamander, and Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review.

Rich Murphy’s collection of poems titled The Apple in the Monkey Tree assume that each Western man and woman is a “monkey in the apple tree:” Darwin’s monkey in Adam & Eve’s tree, suffering Christ’s pain in Einstein’s epoch while applying a salve from the East. In an era when we have Catholics, evangelical Christians, Muslims, and Jews on the news and Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and E.O. Wilson weighing in with books, Rich Murphy offers this collection of poems. The Apple in the Monkey Tree has been called “provocative and enticing” and “hypnotic and enlightening” by one contest editor. Another contest editor has said that it “is such a fabulous manuscript, filled with poems that beautifully crafted, wondrously imaginative, challenging, and often quite moving. The manuscript as a whole is thoughtful, affecting, compelling, and completely fresh.”

He is pleased to announce that Great Grandfather, a chapbook of twenty-three other poems from this manuscript, will be published by Pudding House Publications.