Monday, February 25, 2008

Time Saver

Time Saver

A stitch in time – and then another
and pretty soon time is all sewn up;
holes patched with moments of distraction
and remnant ends of daydreams –
a catnap basted on over that rip
the vodka put in Saturday night –
a bit of needlework and dark thread
and the damned hole is darned
where some fool tried to save daylight.

Maybe there’s a way to reweave that tatter
you got crawling under the barbed wire
of religion’s prison-camp.
An immigrant sweat-shop sewing
fourteen hours a day might fashion
a garment to hide the amputation
of your high school years and,
if your timing’s right, you could mend
that time you tore from someone’s dream
when you wouldn’t believe.

Just you,
sitting on the calendar’s broad deck,
patching the sails of day after day
as the heave and the swell of
an ocean of years hisses by.

Just you,
putting another stitch in time.
Sewing a new watch-pocket
onto the long-legged
setting of the sun.

- Ralph Murre 2005
From Crude Red Boat, Cross + Roads Press

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Don'tcha Ever Wonder About Dragons?

Ice Sculpture by Adrian Murre
Don'cha ever wonder about dragons up to their scaly knees in deep snow on Viking stavkirks, or dodging, in their serpentine way, the fireworks of a Shanghai parade, or gone all mossy somewhere in County Clare and the whole while trying to remain mythical as gods in science labs?
You have to wonder, don'tcha, about fire-breathing? About methane production and the chance of a spark before belching became boorish? About the odds of singeing a few ancients? I mean, you have to wonder, don'tcha?
And just because somebody finds their bones and calls them dinosaurs, doesn't mean you can't wonder.
- Ralph Murre
click on photo for detail

Sunday, February 17, 2008

No Direction

no direction to the light
in this snowstorm in these woods
no strength for the shadow
no black for the crow
no color, but for this cardinal
balanced on a thin branch
- RM

Monday, February 11, 2008

Movie Time

Scenario for a Short Film

Storm clouds part
As skiffs and scows
Ply their trade
Dotting this northern port

Messengers, sailing
Shore to shore
Through veils of mist
Sometimes appear

A piano is moved
To a house on the hill
And played by four hands
Who know it well

Chords of harmony float
To weathered docks below
Where old men tend the ships
That carry their hearts

Sweet berries ripen
In the brambled thickets
Of the hidden
And sheltered coves

While some wait there
And understand
The things that drift in
From open waters beyond

Nightfall reveals
Sistine constellation
Of outstretched fingers
Almost touching and

Those who watch the sky
Shake their heads, for
This is not the season
For these stars

- Ralph Murre 2005

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Entangled In The Web

Today, as one of my friends celebrates the second anniversary of her blog, another celebrates the second day of hers. I'm very proud to know both of these good women, and to include them in the links from this page.

Sharon Auberle, with whom I've shared several publications, (most notable on-line: "Poetry Dispatch") has just wrapped up two years worth of one of the most beautiful things I've found in the width of the w w w, Mimi's Golightly Cafe. Sharon is the author of four books of poetry, and is working on the next. She's also an amazing artist and photographer.

Julie Eger has just begun her blog, Jukota's Place, but has not, by any means, just begun to write. Her poetry and prose have appeared in a number of high quality journals and she is the deserving winner of several sought-after awards for her work. I am honored to share space with Julie in the anthology Other Voices (Cross + Roads Press, 2007). I foresee great things in her blog.

Stop by and visit both - links appear on the right.

- RM

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Aw, Maisy

Aw, Maisy

How do I know you
when you change so fast,
when you grow right past
the little girl you were
when last I looked?
What sort of chef cooked
this bubbling kettle,
what metal can be worked this way,
what clay can smile and joke?
What flesh and blood from mine
brings a bloom to bud,
a flower opening over mud?
Is this the part where I
compare you to a bird about to fly?
Am I too late? Can a grandfather
ever state how happy and sad
are stirred inside when
a bouncing kid begins to glide?
Grow, my dear one.
Take a hug, friend; a kiss.
You can write the end of this,
I think. You can write the end.

- Grandpa Ralph

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Sad to say, we are cancelling tonight's Fond du Lac reading due to predicted foul weather, the loss of Mary D.'s voice, and the loss of an acquaintance in an accident on last night's slippery roads. We will try to reschedule for April 1st.

Stay home, do a little reading, do a little writing, hold someone you love.

- Ralph

Sunday, February 03, 2008