Sample Michelle's poetry here and keep an eye out for her new book coming out in the fall!

Quiet Spot by the sewer worker

I have found that quiet spot
Where storms rage and waves crash
But barely a grain of sand is moved
Music rises out of it
Passing sound thoughts
Flow on
Totally dissipated
The sound still there.
In the silence
As is all life
And death

We Are Irish by the sewer worker

We are drunken Irish fools
We are freedom fighters
From overly devoted dysfunctional families
Losing loved ones to the sauce and the English equally
We love you
And we hate you ferociously
With the same breath, in the same day
We write poetry that moves mothers, lovers, and nations
And sing with voices that’ll squeeze the last tear out of your heart
We have God in our confessional and the wind is at our backs
We roll with our ancestors floating over our shoulders
Doing the jig on Margaret Thatcher’s grave
Our banshee voices crying out to them
And to Mary, Mother and Joseph
We have scrapped for our lives
For every beer, potato, and child
We are Irish
And we are beautiful

The Awakening by the sewer worker

Something is happening
To me
I no longer need to open my eyes
To see
The mountain sunrise,
The excitedly swaying trees,
The ancient ocean.
The wind is bringing them to me.
Even inside,
Its caress
Keeps bringing me vision.

The Ripple by the sewer worker

Night after night he takes his turn
Rolling out of bed half asleep
Pulling his tiny daughter out of the crib
Leaning back, with her on him, chest to chest
He dozes
Not thinking that it isn’t just for that night
He is laying a blanket down for all of the days to come
Covering the grass on each clear summer morning
Providing the picnic basket
His slow and steady breath merging with hers
In sleepy time, carries that safety and love
Far into the future
Writing a ripple of lasting calm and stability
Into her diary and all that she will touch

Life is Funny Sometimes by the sewer worker

Life is funny sometimes
You said painfully
"You can love anyone so maybe i'm not the right one for you".
Wearing your worry for any lack of recognition of your uniqueness
Like a coat to be taken off in the summertime
When the hot sun is rising
When the shit hits the fan
Do you play the same role over and over?
i'm still stuck loving the character you portrayed
You an actress playing a part
Me in real life giving my heart
But if none of it was to be lasting and true, for you
Is that why you worried? you knew?
That i loved only a fleeting figment of your imagination.
Well.....i still do.

Love Just Is by the sewer worker

What difference does it make
If the universe is
or 16 billion
years old
a day
or a lifetime
as long as

Gossip by the sewer worker

There’s a poison that seeps from every human heart
Like the drip drop dripping of a leaky faucet
Tapping the stainless steel at night
While we listen listlessly
Too tired to rise and stem the flow
Left to its own devices
It circles harmlessly down the drain
Back to the sewer
Where it belongs
But band several of us, walking primates, together
Bleeding out our gossip
And soon those tiny little droplets become a raging river
A pulsating vibrant artery
Feeding our meaty black hearts

But there are truths that the human eye can’t hide
That tangle in the teeth like branches stretching towards the sun
That get caught in leafy shadows while putting pen to paper
It is here that we should begin our search
Fearlessly seeking
Eye to eye
Without blinking

The Observant by the sewer worker

There’s a time of year
When the newborn horseflies
Swarm the sewer truck
As it enters the station
Something moving
Something different
Bite! Attack!

One learns to stay in the truck
Learning of life and
Joni’s paved paradise
On the radio
Until the tempest dies down
The angry buzzing stops
The flies lose interest
Or start to fall asleep
On the windshield in the sun

To the observant
Deeper meaning
Life’s most basic lessons
In all that surrounds us

In that Moment by the sewer worker

And in that moment
I saw God’s invisible hand pass by and caress the open field
Over and over
Green grasses bending wavelike and popping back up
Nature repeatedly genuflecting
Small creatures in the current stirring
My soul awakening
The earth purring
Love for Love

It is in that moment that I want to live
That’s the moment that I want to give
To you

Home Safely by the sewer worker

Home safely
But no one’s there to see
The storm that rages outside
Sows an unsettling seed

Home safely
But no one’s there to care
Kind thoughts flow from other places
But no one’s hearth they share

The hang there hats in silence
Dust off their frozen coats
As solitude it blankets them
Like fresh familiar snow

A blizzard of activity in so many other homes
God saves a special place for them
the ones that live alone.

Forever Changed by the sewer worker

One minute you are marching in the parade
Dancing with the music from the passing floats
Swaying to the Double bass
Laughing with your loved ones
Living life in all its many dimensions
Daily dramas, shared intimacies

And then
The unimaginable
The impossible
The “it can’t be real” moment
The phone call
The knock on the door
The vision of lifelessness
The thunderous earthquake
That demands of us “your life will never be the same”
And suddenly none of it matters
And yet all of it matters
The “it can’t be real moment”
Insists on teaching us
This immensity
Like a sledge hammer
Driving the lesson home
Into our wrists

And then you are on the sidelines
Stunned into immobility
The parade just keeps going by
The floats keep floating
The cheerers keep cheering
But you’ve lost your voice to sing
You’ve lost your legs to walk
And you wonder
How long before you can hear the music again
And you know that when that moment comes
You will forever be hearing a different song

A Soul Has Lost It's Mate by the sewer worker

heart overboard
a soul has lost it's mate
there'll be no sailing safely back to harbor
no port, in this blinding storm

only the stomach clenching
can't get enough breath
heart wrenching
timeless waiting
now and forevermore

endlessly searching
through the thick, heavy, pea soup, fog
of grief

if wonderous love is not re-found
mistress hope truly dead and drowned
it will be captain sorrow's journey to re-live
a seasoned amputee
ignoring the throb
from a part of himself
that's no longer there

coasting night after night
over the same sweet, salty, area of sea
"how did it happen?"
"how could it happen?"

peering squint eyed
through the dim light
of the unanswering stars

book book guitar closeup mountain mural mountain mural

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All content copyright 2014 by Michelle Murphy and Deborah Nicholls.