Sheila E. Murphy & K.S. Ernst


Garden left to itself 
Seeds tear open, bloom
Bees and other insects join
Sleepy buzz of monotony
Birds sweeten the air above
Love songs to one another
How is spring so like summer

Dance quietly arranges how we are
Gathered near the river
Just here apart from praise
Taking in the life of breath 
Patches daylight with lamp feeling

We forget all words all thoughts
As night comes on 
As night lets go 
Becomes young light
Again again 


Instruments of peace everywhere
Birds and wheels and light silvering
Through trees their branches barely moving
Near the yellow flowers 
Afternoon berries in a basket

Nestled in the quiet
Patterns emerge
This mind seeking to blend
With the rest of seasoned routine
Lightness made whole with gentle fibers 

Softly this moment arrives 
Clear skies freed from speed
As sunlight gentles its way
To a lasting thing that also lifts
Toward fading also a gift 



Nothing ever was better than this
The next to the last time I saw the stars
The beginning was farther away
The edges of atmosphere around each instance
Of blooming and glow that changes
Where we walk and breathe
Where we bump against a spark of life

It is keepable but I learn
You cannot keep a thing
You can only love it 

Time is a virtue 
Moss grows clouds move
Crows flap through summer mountains
The river passes by

I love whatever I love
In this way
I listen to you do the same
We can scream or whisper

The message is the same
We are forever
Here and where
We will be

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:
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