Jul 24, 2022

Poems by Rich Murphy


The beggar serves to warn
the busy worker who doesn’t read
for democratic purposes.

An ignorant majority buys into
the deserve storied architecture
and the self-blame cemetery plots
generations into feudal futility.

The server begs for tips
to a better life (casinos, horse races,
a buck?), pleads to assist with personal
belongings to belong,
a pathfinder for the panhandler,
moocher, bum, hustler, alms arms.

When the hand with the tin cup
listens to and obeys the boss,
help arrives for both: Win/bin!

The bottom-line solution
houses for the homeless:
A masseuse sleeps in every basement.


When the shell cracked open,
the O-zone oozed out
into the solar system and beyond.
Soon the rooster roasted,
and the chicks deep fried.

Shale and beef gas grazed
across the atmosphere
in rumbling trucks, trains
on plains from inside the shield
that would have shamed Achilles.

Fossils dinasaured an energy epoch,
a last gasp revenge on grave disturbers.
Scientists and technocrats scramble
for alternative fuel pools
and for chimney scrubbers with brushes
that reach 100 years into the past.

Don Quixote, buried in solar panels
and windmills, apologizes
to Sancho Panza the quiet wind bag
who wears a Speedo and flipflops.

Nuclear fission hands off to fusion
and barrels into a hole in the ground
to replace the animal imprints in rock
. . . but remains accessible to financiers,
the tag team at the breakfast table.


At the self-police station,
the once disguised DNA,
a turncoat on a spiral staircase,
hands out badges and ammo.

The fingerprints for emotions
record on a hippocampus
(friction ridges for melancholy,
joy, desire, fury, and good will)
for oncoming moods that creep
along a spine, flash from the eye,
or press from the outside
squeezing the cranium.

Flat affect and pointed questions
sign up for the uniform,
but the commitment required
that sneaky sleuthing begin
with foot patrol and a smile.

Anger piles in the morgue;
depression stinks in a crowd;
but compassion challenges
in any neighborhood.
Rumors and innuendoes
mumble from past experiences
and a love blind spot knots
to tomorrow the day after.

Ambushes and hideouts
complicate for the detective
tracking down grief instigators
to subdue tear ducts and a tongue.
Many times, strangers ID
before the cop spies a humor.

Poems by Jeffrey Side

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