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GERRY MURPHY

 

 

Gerry Murphy in Southword Journal

Gerry Murphy was born in Cork in 1952 where he still lives. His latest collections of original work are My Flirtation with International Socialism (Dedalus Press, 2010) and Muse (Dedalus Press, 2015).

 

 

 

 

Photo © John Minihan

 

 

 

The Life of The Nomad

(after Amir ‘Abd al-Qádir)

 

 

You who prefer the busy town

to the solitude of the desert,

you who despise the nomad’s tent

because of its lightness,

not heavy like your bricks and mortar

and their illusion of permanence,

but airy and ephemeral like life itself,

if only you knew the secrets

of the wilderness.

Waking at first light in the Sahara,

striking your tents and setting forth

on an undulating sea of sand.

Breathing an air that lengthens life,

an air that does not blow to you

across the town’s fetid garbage heaps.

Hunting from horseback all day long,

chasing down gazelle and antelope

and bringing home enough to feed

an entire encampment,

already set up in a well-chosen spot.

At night, eating under the teeming stars

and reciting verses of the hunt and the fray

and of our beautiful women, houris made flesh.

Our horses are always saddled for battle

and we are ready to help those

who seek our aid against the least tyranny.

We are kings, every one of us,

we live in the swiftness of our horses

and our gleaming, unsheathed swords.

No one wins fame in the town,

eternal renown is won

under the limitless desert skies.      

 

             for Hamid Bendali

 

 

 

©2016 Gerry Murphy

 

 

Author Links

 

Poems and audio of Murphy at Poetry International Web

Poems and audio of Murphy at Dedalus

Profile of 'The People's Republic of Gerry Murphy' (YouTube)

 

 

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