Chiaroscuro Longing by Mark A. Murphy

We are not given readily to loving,
but turn instead
to the familiar pain
of the heart in a state of dislocation.

Though not still young,
we are no more
middle aged than we are free,
obligated by time’s momentous fancy,

we see the world in chiaroscuro,
feel love in a vacuum
of giving,
hardly able to tie the evening’s cravat.

Pitiable really, to think any new love
could overturn
thirty years of longing
in the tear stained, bleeding eye.

So we turn inward against all advice,
let the church bells
ring out misgivings,
their melancholy proclivities,

we have no need of their sad favour,
rather we would sing
of the insolent dead
who drew us to kneel at the alter

of passing, unable to move forwards
or back step
in some full and vain retreat,
unable to see the light for the dark.

Mark A. Murphy

Mark A. Murphy’s first full length collection, Night-watch Man & Muse was published in 2013 by Salmon Poetry, Eire.

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