K.S. Ernst & Sheila E. Murphy

Three Poems

Dark gray in the east 
Bright mild sunlight in the west,

an invitation to dusk

Relict insistence different from 
mere adaptation.
The forest shivers. An owl hoots.
The evening begins to breathe.
A moment - the magic of what happens.

Where has warmth gone?
Inside the home to reinvent the protected.
The sisters hold hands.
Watch fracture of once sky
Now felt across, with/in

The moth, the mother, both,

Ersatz giving in.


Shapes curve between
Early intonation
Of wheels and flat land
Thin fragrance of buds 
Reveals a morsel of thin sky

Windblown memories
Enchant the present until the
Child in the window
Breathes an alternate current 
a small canvas patch
Awaiting text or
Picture free of frame
Brushed with nature’s forenoon


A package of breath
Left over after
Ever after
After the close
When nothing closes.

The ballerina
One small foot
One toe, one spot.
Sky shields us
Maybe it has softness
Maybe it perspires
As it dances.
One branch of the bonsai plant
Shows a little green
Following rain -
The forest still 
dark lean sticks

Much of K.S. Ernst’s work is painted, collaged, or digital, and she uses three-dimensional letters to create freestanding sculptures. In addition to literary magazines her pieces are often exhibited in galleries and museums. Recent books include Drop Caps and Sequencing: (both from Xexoxial Editions) and The Last Vispo Anthology (Fantagraphics). Books with Sheila E. Murphy are Permutoria and Underscore (Luna Bisonte Prods) and 2 Juries + 2 Storeys = 4 Stories Toujours (Xexoxial Editions). Sites housing substantial collections of Ernst’s work are Ohio State University Avant Garde and Experimental Writing Collection; The Poetry Collection of the University Libraries, University at Buffalo; and Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Website: www.ksernst.com.

Sheila E. Murphy’s most recent books are Sostenuto (Luna Bisonte Prods (2023) and Golden Milk (Luna Bisonte Prods, 2020). Murphy is the recipient of the Gertrude Stein Award for her book Letters to Unfinished J. (Green Integer Press, 2003). 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). Murphy has authored 45 books of poetry. Based on a background in music theory and instrumental and vocal performance, her poetry is associated with music. Murphy earns her living as a management consultant and researcher and holds the Ph.D. degree. She has lived in Phoenix, Arizona throughout her adult life.

Her Wikipedia page can be found at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheila_Murphy.
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