Rich Murphy’s poetry collections have won two national book awards: Gival Press Poetry Prize 2008 for Voyeur and in 2013 the Press Americana Poetry Prize for Americana. In 2020 Practitioner Joy will be published Wipf and Stock Publishers and essays by Prophetic Voices Now by Common Ground Research Network.

Rich Murphy


Tai Chi to the Promised Land 


Around the globe on a good day
rainforests and oceans inhale and exhale;
behind the pipers animals follow.
All in one breath, the lung enablers
chant and hearts beat: Organism 
harmonics, organism harmonics.

Every class and species, genus and ilk
practices at aum and ah, or dies.

When cough and choking interrupt
the meditation on planetary planted plants,
oil threatens to add mammals to fossil
deposits, frogs and birds to coal veins.

The cynics at the gas pumps, competing
with developing countries melt poles
and raise all boats, forgot that leadership
in anusara brings home Namaste and Gesundheit.

Photosynthesis from the lotus pose
opens up osmosis and cherry blossoms
for walking a mile in shoes from the closet.

 


Knowledge to Bear


Reflexes tent for decades in a library 
reference room to prepare for the bias test.
Even then nerve-ending bundles escape 
from exercise routines daily:
Top shelf calisthenics, how-to passages,
and theme spirits miss out on a nose
and heart sleeping in for look-alikes.
Midnight oil fury fails to keep up 
the worst students who, exhausted, fall 
behind Oxford English Dictionaries
but arrive with fresh daisies to the church 
fair for cheeky preemptive strikes.
Prejudice, racism, xenophobia, sexism, 
the vents for status slippage and shame
howl with violence all around the scapegoat
who brings peace and a justice finally.
At an altercation altar mobs, who dignify 
the homo sapiens, beg for the CRSPR,
and ignorant scientists listen and map:
If it can be done, it must be done.