Sunday, July 28, 2013

somewhere a bell

somewhere a bell

and within
a dim and smoky lantern

swinging still
from its nail

the ship
plowing forever

into night
the sea


the stars still

the universe still

~ ralph murre

Friday, July 19, 2013

More Crude Red Boats in The Harbor

Scout’s Honor

Merit badges for tying knots -
the bowline, the sheepshank, the clove hitch.
Merit badges for whittling the likenesses
of dead presidents and woodland animals, and
of course, for assistance given to the feeble
in their never-ending quest to cross the road.

Maybe they should keep handing them out.

The badge for showing up every day
right down to the day they tell you
not to show up tomorrow.
A merit badge for the day
your infant son needs major surgery.
Another for that day he’s grown
and buys his first motorcycle.
Badges for each of your daughter’s tattoos
and piercings. Diamond insets
if you can’t really mention what’s been pierced.
A merit badge, or, at least, a colorful neckerchief
as your party loses another one.
( But it could be taken back if you move to Canada.)
Bronze medals for burying parents.
Silver for friends.
You’d rather die than win the gold.
A merit badge and letter of commendation
the day you actually give up your abuse
of anything, or anyone.
And a little badge of semi-precious material
for every day that you get out of bed
and wear a brave costume.
One for that confident smile on your face
as your knees tremble beneath the table.

                                                               ~ Ralph Murre

Good news. That's just a sample poem from my first book, Crude Red Boat, which has been out of print for a while and pretty hard to find.  But.  I've just been able to purchase some archived copies from the estate of Norbert Blei.  His Cross + Roads Press was the publisher.   He'd probably be disappointed to know that I was letting any of them go for the cover price, but that's just what I'm doing.  I'll send out a few of them for $10 plus $3 for shipping and handling, and when I feel my own supplies have become dangerously low, once again, the price will escalate sharply.  Interested?  Drop me a line at (put Crude Red Boat in the subject line).  Any of my later books also still available at that address.     ~ RM

Monday, July 08, 2013


detail: louis sullivan bank - sidney, ohio

the banker asks
what use is a butterfly
having forgotten his childhood
the poet asks
what use is a bank
having forgotten his old age

~ arem

Tuesday, July 02, 2013


At his memorial

how pleasant we all are

dressed nice
a glass of wine
the blue of the sky

these shimmering women
this sultry day
almost as if

these fine shirted men
this striped awning
just as if

on a holiday
as if he'll be in
the Adirondacks

for the summer
Europe,  maybe
Bon Voyage!

how pleasant

~ Ralph Murre

It may be too much, all this going on for the passing of one friend.  I'd promise to stop soon, but I may not keep that promise.    ~ RM