Saturday, April 29, 2006

Thank you, and ...

Grand Scheme or Random Event, God, Allah,
or Great Spirit,
Holy Myth or Happy Accident, we thank you
for your generous contributions to our planet.

Due to unforeseen crises which have developed
since the onset of our species, we must now ask
for your further assistance.

We hope you will again find it in your heart
(or whatever)
to increase your endowment to help us, as we
endeavor to sustain this magnificent facility.

Your ongoing benevolence is appreciated.

- Ralph Murre

Monday, April 24, 2006

Towhee and Murre

two birds

he rummages the wooded floor
noisy, these mornings
behaving exactly as the book
says he ought
yet, he's clearly his own bird
by the code of some

I rummage the crowded shelf
quiet, these nights
but cannot find the book explaining
my behavior
no field guide's colored illustration
looks like me
my code, perhaps, out of print

- Ralph Murre

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Happy to announce that one of my poems appears today on Tom Montag's good blog, The Middlewesterner.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

On the Gaiety of Spring

Suffering in Translation

Ah, Spring . . . showers and flowers
birds and bees, motorcycles and
mercury rising and everything
flowing, flowing – sap and streams
and hormones and young men’s
fancies turning toward love and
some turning toward fancy young men
and Christ dieing on the cross
so we could be dying eggs of
fertility on the first Sunday
after the first full moon of spring
sing it with me – SPRING –
you know the tune – and rising again
to remind us to feel guilty forever
but he really was a nice
young man, fancy, I suppose
what with the halo and all but
when he said “suffer the little children”
I don’t think he meant it like that
I think it was more like allow
the little children ‘cause I got
some stories I wanna tell
- but you know how it goes when
you’re translating from Aramaic
into King James’ English – allow
the little children to hear the stories
and then stand back and allow
them their fancies and I really
don’t think he meant they should
suffer if some of their fancies
are different than yours or they’re
marching to the beat of other birds
and bees than you’re hearing ‘cause
if I’m wrong why would his
wise old Dad have created Spring?

- Ralph Murre

Wednesday, April 12, 2006



these thoughts
consumed by impossibility
as surely as flame
gnaws at dry cedar
still fueling desire
as surely as cedar
becomes hungering flame
quiet madness where
brick on brick
of a life well built
wants mortar
admitting blades of light
slicing at a dark interior
crazy as an afternoon
meeting evening
over still lake mirror
and laugh of loon
all purple and gold
these thoughts
and night coming fast
and night no cure for the sleepless
and night no cure for madness
and morning; so far off

- Ralph Murre

Friday, April 07, 2006


must it all make sense
dreaming or waking
question or answer
death or birth
this earth ?
do you see what I see
little drummer ?
is it good morrow
born of the past
or the flash at last
of dark to come
a rum pa pum pum ?
it's all in your drum

- Ralph Murre

Thursday, April 06, 2006

International Design Competition

To the Individual or Group Submitting the Human Body

First, and overall, let us say: Well done!

Rather appealing design ideas evident in even utilitarian aspects, though not without a few questionable details.

- Observations:

While most entrants in our mammalian division chose to cover their models in hair, often beautifully colored and patterned, you opted for the naked look. While this may work well for earthworms, we have to wonder about the practicality in anything warm-blooded. Range of operation may be severely limited if some sort of covering is not devised. It appears that most entries in this division, with less hair, were intended for aquatic use. Yours simply don’t have the lungs for that application. And frankly, we believe that something more cuddly would be an easier sell.

Eyes appear adequate but lack good peripheral vision – take a look at what’s going on over in insects.

Ears – functionally acceptable, but least appealing aspect of your entire presentation. You’d have done well to have tried something like they’re using on Labrador retrievers. To your great credit – you have shown us a nose which may be the best looking in all of mammalia.

As to the teeth – if you have the technology to replace these once, as you’ve demonstrated in the growth process, why not keep replacing them every time there’s a problem? This appears to have been an economic decision which we cannot condone. The shark gets high marks in this area.

Very, very nice work on the female breasts, though we wonder if the decision to make them so attractive to the male may not lead to problems in the long term. And why, please tell us, do you mammal designers insist on putting the little pseudo-breasts on males? These seem a peculiar affectation, akin to portholes on Buicks.

Genitalia appear functional. (You did not choose to demonstrate the birth process, and some of our members wondered from exactly which point the spec'd 7.5 lb. baby would emerge.)

Buttocks - oddly attractive, particularly on the more slender samples submitted.

While the feet look pretty good, and one of our committee was quite taken with them, we question their suitability in rough terrain or harsh climates.

We do feel that ALL members of the primate design group should share a special award for their work on hands. While we initially questioned the group’s efforts to stand these creatures on two feet, we’ll be happy to admit that the opposable thumb feature may well have been worth it. We expect great things of thumbs. A brilliant concept - dare we say it? - an intelligent design.

- Outcome:

We are pleased to announce that you have been awarded an honorable mention for your entry. As in the past, all top awards went to species with tails.

Watch for announcements of upcoming contests, and keep trying!

- Ralph Murre, writing for the committee of the judiciary

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

at sea

a stranger at sea
in the light of a new dawn
so far, the warm shore
- arem

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Just One More

Go, my children, fight the fight.
What right have we to live
without killing, what right
the unwilling to stand
in front of rolling tanks,
no thanks offered to gods of war
and banks? No donations
to defense contractors? We
need these arms, not farms
and food, not tractors
and schools. What’s the point
of education? Shoot first,
then interrogation, that’s the order,
that’s the way old John Wayne
taught us – brought us through
bad times on silver screens.
Movie queens await the victors.
Football games and Jordache jeans.

Go, my children, fight the fight.
What right have we to throw wrenches
in history books? Let them write
of death’s stenches, the glories
of amputations, and reparations
to those who need them least.
Go now, feed the beast
that swims on tears, what fears
are worth a hero’s worry?
And hurry, don’t miss the chance
to be heroes – standing tall
on a returning flight, or at night,
lying under flags, the way
so many heroes do their flying.
Yes kids, it’ll be a better world,
stars and stripes unfurled, everywhere.
One more war should do it.
Your kids could get us there.

- Ralph Murre

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