Douglas Barbour & Sheila E. Murphy

Continuations CXXIII:

folds of time  of space
          	of cloth of representation
of what might (not) be said
          	the wor(l)d is too much
with us   as self defined   defrocked
          	too worn to warn or warm

much of the time
          	replication changes 
   how this butter hue means 
          	summer mind     
framed 	upon pale              surface
          	shifting           	speed of sight

a light  step
     ping pang of move
          	meant to get ahead of
sound barrier to upward
          	mobility   nobility
          		s quid pro quo negates

balance           	scaled to foster
          	equilibrium     	inner earful 
    of the ward          		the always 
          	upbeat 	   alderman
          		far from elders
          	cast aside

a song as a lament
          	for innocence as always
                    		lost    those eyes
peering    disappearing
          	robes of justice re(a)d
                    		in truth    and clause

in a sense, peers 
          	eye the robes of justice
	with cause           	in all ways
             luster is lost (with) cause
                    		while nations have their way
         meaning their ways and means

mean ways mean ways 
          	expropriate means
                    		to weigh the odds
against whom do such ways mean
          	so little     so much depends
                    		upon another red flag

fiddling while the latch
          	reveals twin pendants
                    		for the red climb
   toward a faraway
          	meandering retreat 
                     from many ways

of seeing    rad
          	a call out to whom
     ever more coos never
          	mort   all hearts worn
          	     on funny hats
                    		hitting out at

lunatic fringe ever 
          	artful 	addled 
                    		ad infinitum
treat with cooing sounds
          	the hit recordings
                    		called out of a hat

a house    a name   the same
          	damn thing fantasized
                    		all over the world
that if   stiff   so proud
          	of other(worldli)ness
                    		faith in things unseen

loud and not loud
          	orderly by standards
                    		the occasional tiff
   and selfsame           	manner of speaking
	dry with a twist          	the world with 
           and so forth(coming)

in a surge    an urge un
          	leashed     lashed
     to the flag pole
          	poll upon poll a
          	     greed   aggrieved
                    		that loss  (of face  (farce

ashen faces turn warm
          	at the reading of 
   glad eyes 	less urgent
          	day to formulate
      a whisper of relief
          	in hinging the polarities

oppositions so apposite
          	seldom arrive so beholden
     as someone might argue
          	any lessons therein
          	     could only be taught
                    		to minds willing

in the solarium
          	sons fight lessons
                    		that hold them
   seldom in position
          	to retrieve what first
                    		appeared mere poses

of questions   ever unasked
          	of elders    a relative
                    		loss    less
sinned against  than signing
          	screwed-up contracts
                    		for full contact sport

to license blazing forward
          	friction against floorboards
                    		ensigns under duress
 rue the day comparing
           one to next steps 
                    	in that habitual quest

a run in   to what fences
          	fancy takes    control
     as more metaphysical than
          	metaphor    met a
          	     foreign concept
                    		conscript to what war

antsy little forest fests 
          	reign still           	with scepter 
  to lean worthy windscapes
          	planted           	half angled to  
   downed fences 
          	and lantana

bright moments  or fright moments
     flower into sour mo(u)rning
          	daylight crashes into
muddied fields     torn  (or worn
    down     time   long time
          	no see(d)

despite memoranda of understanding 
           one heeds as if
                    	religiously        all flabbergast 
           gone tame now          	the work of
wry momentum
           taking us all too

sarcastically   let words fall
          	where they say
                    		more than the(y) mean
all balance gone    maybe
          	done     to a turn
                    		goat   shoved (far) away

          	feeling the oats more than
a will to change
                    		before the urn takes
           a powder           	with the real
           cloven ritual of lance	

that bird takes flight    (fright
          	from hill or plain
     all caught in stop-time
          	‘forever’   never
          	     quite lost in
                    		temples reforested

forensic efforts leave out
          	slim snarls on hillside
                    		tight maneuvers planned
    before slivers are 
          	caught between
                    		perception and perceived

dig in to dig out
          	the news as fashioned for
there might even be
          	an app for that
                    		maneuvered manure
          	     evidence piled high

crash test           	in crash course
          	near crèche 	and violations
                    		the oeuvre versus           	the work
          	    complained of
   wonkety wonkly post views though
           tidy tubes of glass

remains   retains an odor of
          	the lab    oratory
                    		just wont cut it
loose    or lose all reputation
          	as in initials signifying
                    		or just signing   off

shall purify          	by way of
                    		every story rounded
    off to its           	near nouns
          	revealed upon 	the tables 
              in the towns 

hip  a border phenomenon
     all walls   fenced in
          	neighborly like
or lack   as the new abject
          	shunned     shamed
          	      shut right up

like the shunt in the other
          	wise well functioning
                    		body           		well
    he used to be           	a stunner          	not this
          	abject fence dwelling
   prior painter yelling out           	shut up

Douglas Barbour continues, happily retired, to live in Edmonton, Alberta. His latest book is Listen. If (University of Alberta Press 2017). his occasional reviews (mostly of poetry) appear in Eclectic Ruckus (https://eclecticruckus.wordpress.com/).

Sheila E. Murphy is an American poet who has been writing and publishing actively since 1978. Recently released from Luna Bisonte Prods in 2020 is Golden Milk. Murphy's book titled Reporting Live from You Know Where (2018) won the Hay(na)Ku Poetry Book Prize Competition from Meritage Press (U.S.A.) and xPress(ed) (Finland). That same year, Broken Sleep Books brought out the book As If To Tempt the Diatonic Marvel from the Ivory. Luna Bisonte Prods published Underscore (2018), featuring a collaborative visual book by K.S. Ernst and Sheila E. Murphy. Murphy is the recipient of the Gertrude Stein Award for her book Letters to Unfinished J. (Green Integer Press, 2003). Murphy is known for working in forms including such as the ghazal, haibun, and pantoum in her individual writing. As an active collaborator, she has worked with Douglas Barbour on an extended poem called Continuations. Murphy’s visual work, both individual and collaborative, is shown in galleries and in private collections. Initially educated in instrumental and vocal music, Murphy is associated with music in poetry. She earns her living as an organizational consultant, professor, and researcher and holds the PhD degree. She has lived in Phoenix, Arizona throughout her adult life.

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