Author: Christine-Elizabeth Murray

‘Lifelike’ and other poems by Jennifer Matthews

Family Portraits   “With skin like that, you don’t have to open your mouth.”   Muting praise; Mother twirled back the sardine-tin key of his sister’s tongue.   Richard Avedon, embryonic photographer fixed his Kodax Box Brownie on Sister, to exhume her from her own beauty.   … she believed she existed only as skin, and hair, and a beautiful body …   He sought sun, the negative of his muse in hand to place on his shoulder: used his own skin as a contact sheet for the image to burn into him, to carry her as widows clutch framed photos of loved ones lost to war.   ok   1.   His tattoo: a stitch of self harm, a barcode, a brand, a word he wants so badly to replace his own skin that he signs consent to be burnt blue. He lies down to give his flesh to the upper-hand, the cruel beautician.   2.   Beauty is nothing but a flaw so stunning it can’t be ignored. Its twin image burrows into …

‘The Last Fire’ and other Poems by Helen Harrison

CROSSROADS   Nineteen forty-five was like that Free-wheeling to the crossroads; Fifteen miles later; her own birth-place; Travelling was the best part, the wind at her back, A greeting ahead. News from home….   Roaming the familiar lanes, sisters Continuous chatter; away from the Clatter of feeding hungry hens, pigs and Cows. She could roam without children, For a day: To pause for some rest.   A small slip of time away from the chores That shaped her life. No sooner had the Ceili begun, it was time for the door: among Promises to write, feeling satisfied to have rested Those tired limbs. She’d set off, her frame;   Feeling heavier, cycling up hills, the thrill Of the annual visit finished; her spirit slightly Diminished, yet younger. She’d relay through letters, How when she got back to the crossroads….the First thing she’d hear; to spoil her wonder   Were her pigs squealing with the hunger..   PASSING SUNSETS   Evening, and there is nothing To tempt me indoors.   Warmed from a day spent in …

Made of Nothing’s Lucid Play? Christine Murray’s Tree-Step

Originally posted on On My Contemporaries:
EDIT 1 “bind” if there are birds here then they are of stone draught of birds / flesh bone wing claw in grass rilled etch gathers to her nets dust and fire / tree-step (again) bird claw impinge and lift. surely light would retain in silica’s cast or flaw ? by Christine Murray from Deep Water Literary Journal 2015, Issue 2 This small poem — “bind” by Christine Murray — carries the jolt of discovery in its small body. It resists the imagination, as Wallace Stevens would expect: but only to that fine degree that aids discovery. I’d say this poem has “the shape” of discovery. It has the inner form and concision of an archaic anonymous “fragment” from Homeric times: it brings us close to the origins of the craft of poetry. It opens with a note of critical mindfulness that recalls a pre-Socratic thinker against the mythical poets: “if” there are birds here they are not real birds, they are of stone. Is “here” the poem? Does…

‘Bind’ by Chris Murray

Bind   if there are birds here then they are of stone   draught of birds / flesh bone wing claw in grass,   rilled etch gathers to her nets dust and fire / tree-step (again)   bird claw impinge and lift.   surely light would retain in silica’s cast or flaw ?   bind again   it gathers outside the perimeter not wanton gargoyle nor eagle it is  of-one-piece       seamed   migratory pattern of   umber dawns rolling a black frenzy down condensed corridors   bind I and bind again were first published in Deep Water Literary Journal (August 2015) Thanks to Tom and Eve O’Reilly at Deep Water Literary Journal for publishing ‘bind’. The new DWLJ is online now and it is well worth a visit. I am adding here a link to Tom D’Evelyn’s blog. Tom wrote about the ideas in ‘bind’. I am, and have been very grateful to Tom who has written so graciously about my work for sometime now. Poets require readers who react to and understand the work, especially when …

‘The Dream Clock’ and other visual poetry by Susan Connolly

Susan Connolly’s first collection of poetry For the Stranger was published by the Dedalus Press in 1993. She was awarded the Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry in 2001. Her second collection Forest Music was published by Shearsman Books in 2009. Shearsman published her chapbook The Sun-Artist: a book of pattern poems in 2013. She lives in Drogheda, Co. Louth.