Sunday, 2 March 2014

Life Fragments: a letter from Paul A Murphy (aged 19) to Paul A Murphy (aged 40)

F.A.O. Mr Paul A. Murphy

Friday 20th September 1991

Dear Paul,

These are the words of someone 20 years your junior — don’t worry, they say life begins at 40! 
(Well, I wouldn’t know about it)

I sincerely hope that this letter finds you in good spirits and wearing well. From this young callow whippersnapper’s point of view, 40 is a long way off, and I suspect I will be a different person by then. As I look in the mirror at the moment, I can report that the face is wearing well. Life was, as you know, pretty rosy as I write this — you are a week in Orpington College, which concerns a fair wee bit of your life at the moment. I trust you have made your life relatively trouble-free. If you haven’t, don’t worry, I can sympathise really!

Contained within this box are certain fragments of your first 2 decades on this planet — most were garnered pretty recently but on the whole it will all seem pretty distant to you! Remember them in the spirit intended, not as pieces of a (perhaps) better, halcyon past, but as thanks for what is basically a good life up to 20. 

Can you sit there and say that you got the goals in life I want now? Perhaps you didn’t, but I trust that your priorities changed for the best in the situation.

I hope you are married! I cannot envisage being alone & 40. If you are married, do I know your wife yet? (God, I hope not!) There must be a lot of things that matter to me now that must seem gloriously irrelevant to you. I hope this box of trivia serves to remind you of these things. If they bring nothing but regretful misery, well, you’re only 40! There’s still time to change. THERE’S STILL TIME TO CHANGE!
I’m round the corner, if you try. 

I hope you can look back at the time I wrote this as the start of a classic life! 

Best Wishes for the Future, 

Paul Aloysius Cainnech Murphy

Age 19 years 360 days

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Captain Scott: a poem.

I am moving house at the moment. While disinterring and transferring all kinds of things from boxes perhaps best left unopened, I found a folder full of poems and other bits of writing dating back to the early Nineties. This poem comes from 1993, so I was probably 21 at the time. Forgive me. 

Captain Scott

Ill with ‘flu and lying in bed one day
I was struck by an alarming thought
about the final entry in the diary
of Captain Robert Falcon Scott:

“Had we lived I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance and courage of my companions which would have stirred the heart of every Englishman.”

The story that hitherto for me was legend
suddenly took a human turn of thought
as I realised I could never comprehend
the feelings that could make a man write
not of regret at a lost chance of glory
but his life in past tense before he was dead. 


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Between 6AM and seven: a poem

Between 6AM and seven. 

For one moment

(and maybe more than one)

everything — the potential — is yours.

The Emperor of dreams, fading

the King of silence, preceding

a Prince of darkness, diminishing

the Lord of birds, awakening

a Knight of day, dawning

squire of a squirrel, enquiring

scullion, cook, fast-breaking

your humble servant, counting


and lightening the hour.


Sunday, 18 August 2013

These are the things that cause confusion: an anti-poem.

These are the things that cause confusion.

When people

with pretensions

write phrases

that are short

and stacked

the one

on top

of the other

so that when

you read it

the breaks

create pauses

that get


for gravity

and then 

call it ‘poetry’

we’re in trouble.


Monday, 15 July 2013

Oh well, whenever: a poem

Oh well, whenever.

The single-worded message,
the frown in sympathy,
even a kiss within a dream
elicits a breath unbidden, sharply caught.
A reaction more erotic
than anything thought.


Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Block: a poem

Because when the music isn't coming, words are all there is... 


The passion, dissipated,
contemplates indolence.
The doleful absence,
a sense of hiatus
and high dudgeon
and does no good. 


Monday, 17 June 2013

Gazelle Twin CD review.

Please find my review of Gazelle Twin's CD The Entire City here.