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CHRISTINE MURRAY

 

 

 

Christine Murray in Southword Journal

Chris Murray is a City and Guilds Stone-cutter. Her poetry is published in Ropes Magazine, Crannóg Magazine, The Burning Bush Online Revival Meeting (Issue 1), Carty's Poetry Journal, Caper Literary Journal , CanCan and the Diversity Blog (PIWWC; PEN International Women Writer's Committee). She has reviewed poetry for Post (Mater dei Institute), Poetry Ireland and writing.ie. Chris writes a poetry blog at http://poethead.wordpress.com which is dedicated to the writing, editing and translation of women writers. She is a member of the International PEN Women Writer’s Committee, and the Social Media coordinator and Web-Master for Irish PEN.


 

 

_____

 

 

Two Songs about War, and a Lyric

 

As If

Gernika

Sabine

Through the blossom-gate

 

 

_____

 

As If

 

 

It had not once occurred to her to ask (who) ?

Wherefrom is grace , and to whither it goers when

it departs ?

 

 

 

High-wordedness has stymied her sense of longing

in every colour from indigo to amber, amber to indigo.

 

 

As if , as if the jewels caught up in the blades of grass

were instead attached to the lashes of her eyes,

skewing her not-vision.

 

 

 

She peeked at herself in walking again and again

in that place. Only to be torn there,

back from those things most fiercely desired,

 

 

 

those hollowed-out things of indigo and amber,

amber , indigo, their very shadows mired by the

not-light

 

 

trees maybe,

 

 

_____

 

Gernika

after Picasso's 'Guernica'

 

I.

 

 

There are wounds.

 

 

Gernika is a scream

everything is pushed

into the front.

 

 

This is war,

 

everything is a pièta,

everything is a broken sword

or flames

that will engulf a breast

 

 

Her milk is stopped.

 

 

This is grief

and there is no space to breathe.

 

 

 

The women and men who will bury their young

 

are Sabine

are in Homs

are  In Tahrir

are Ughyur

 

 

or Gernika.

 

 

 

II.

 

 

 

A crude electric light

 

lights the scene

where she is come

into the room, this space.

 

 

 

Carrying her oil-lamp

 

it is too late now for her

for it is etching into her brain

the die is cast

She has seen war.

 

 

The milk is spilt.

The pièta howls

drowned by her ambulance of screams.

 

 

The night , an ambulance

drowns the sea of howls and crude light

in Homs

in Tahrir

in Gernika.

 

 

 

The women are Sabine,

there are Piètas

in Gernika.

 

 

 

_____

 

 

Sabine

 

 

Morning,

 

 

and his rust-coloured shadow

is cast onto the floor,

 

beneath it the stone flags

show their cracks and flaws,

 

they are brown

maroonish

or black.

 

 

That he may come in to wound her

that he may come in to love her

is the same thing.

 

 

There are two pots

There are bowls,

there is a pestle

and a short knife,

 

in the metal dish

is the featherless corpse

bathed in its blood.

He winged it

 

before he broke its neck for the pot.

 

 

That he may come to wound her

that he may come to love her

is the same thing.

 

 

He is a cruel child.

He has the cruelty of a child

 

who knows where the fractures are

he can trace them with his hands

 

although the fractures are silvered in their healing

for her, the scars sing.

 

 

That he want to wound to wound her

that he may want to love her

is the same thing.

 

 

 

_____

 

 

Through the blossom-gate,

 

 

and quite before the acid leaf unfurls into its meaning

we are subjected to the play of light,

working on our necessity to speak out

 

into a flowering. It is not yet warm  and

already the sun is playing at dragging up

 

and displaying those unwanted words,

elucidatory and garish in their babblement.

 

Its almost necessary to cut them

at their source. That well-spring

 

is a tree-wounded gash. The birds

disagree in their illuminatory chatter as

they may,

 

 

and cast all their circumspections to the breeze.

 

 

 

©2012 Christine Murray

 

 

 

Author Links

 

Christine Murray at Poethead

Murrays PEN bio page

Murray on the process of transcribing women's poetry

 

 

 

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