Sheila E. Murphy

The White Gray Trees

The white gray trees seize momentum 
by hand (whose hand) from scratch.
The smooth ombudsman smooths its hand
across clean bark on which to write

a letter of love with love, some imprint
of kiss points eavesdropped onto
our private space we walk past
and capture in large measure the beyond 

and clasp our hands and wait for birds
and watch the change as wind exhales
for you for me we settle on 
a view from here of everywhere 

that we decide equals some deity
from any miniature distance waving back
without warning that this is the place
to be and love and notice being, loving now. 



I am not sorry I do not swim well enough
It's something I do in an average way
When I swim
My brother swims as often as he can 

I do not especially enjoy being immersed in H2O
Nor does water seem to like me
I love the heat and prefer 
Not to require spritzes or splatter

One thing, though:
I like allowing myself to be average in something
I do not like or want to do
Something others appear to love doing themselves

The pool looks blue and glistening
I like to watch the tilt of the wavy water
Flex in answer to breeze or recent occupants
And add a little glow

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.
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  1. These two poems are wonderful. I enjoy being immersed in them repeatedly!

    John Levy

  2. These two poems are wonderful. I enjoy being immersed in them repeatedly!

    John Levy

  3. I loved these two poems as well.