An Old Hut on Baildon Moor

It’s raining hard on Baildon Moor. We came here
today to make soup and watch a butterflies
dance in the rain. Like us, they wish
for shelter. Like us, they’re alive to the possibilities
of the flesh, wild and somewhat madly dazed.

We kiss through the afternoon and our kissing
robs us of our defences as we stumble and swoon
across the creaking boards to the bed.
Now the light filters in through gaps in the walls
and we capture our fleeting recollections

of the Bandstand that brought us to this place,
where long ago we danced and dreamt
as children of our future lives. We never guessed
then we’d end up here, counter-balancing
our two realities between the pots and pans

and stove where we would prepare our dinner.
So the divinities of this place seeps into our bones
and we’re mesmerised by the sound of rain on wood,
the sound of the brook, bustling and bubbling
on the stones below us, and the laughter of our friends.


Encounters with Modern Art

We look deep into the fire, see something childlike,
the desire to be loved by the other. Seldom do we look
this way when we first encounter, only the yellow
flames bring us up short. First we watch paper and kindling

flare up, and the scene is set in the small comfortable room
for conversation that is less than snug as we delve, reading
the ekphrastic verse of R.S. Thomas, the hesitant stares
reflected in the conflagration as the blaze finally takes hold.

We wonder if anything is missing as we leaf through
the pages, kiss in the glowing air. Of course, there’s no lack
of bravery in our curious scrutiny as we realign ourselves
in the artistry of the poet, his lines taking on new implications

as the lines between us blur and the conflict rises again. Now
its time to throw on another log, burn the certainties
we had taken for granted with hope as our guide as we undo
the suspicions of which we’re made, until with a crack

the fire draws us back to our earlier innocence, bright embers
.               burning in our eyes.


Mark A. Murphy was born in West Yorkshire in 1969. He has been published in over 180 Journals and Ezines. His first collection, Tin Cat Alley was published in 1996. His next collection, Night Wanderer’s Plea is due out next year from Waterloo Press in the UK.