I am so thirsty; I am so nauseous. This drought is more than I can bear. I am tired of deceiving myself, deceiving you. I hope for a 40 day flood, a flood to fill the valley, and I will hope someone throws me a life preserver so I can doggy paddle over to the mountain top. I know better than to try the breaststroke, because every time I try it, I sink like I’ve a millstone about my neck.

But what will I do should that flood come and I reach the mountain? I’ve been there before only to lose my footing.

Oh there I go lying again. Truthfully, the snow was just so pure, I grabbed a sled to enjoy the rush down, but how I wish I hadn’t. How I long to be back, but my body, my body betrays me.




“Oh it’s true I’d do anything to have you back,

So long as I can return with my pride in tact”

Oh the look upon Your face as an answer You return

“You’ve still got a lot of lessons left to learn,

Because without humility, you will never yearn;

Don’t you see, my son, that’s what you must learn,

Until I AM all you have, all else, yes, everything, must burn.

We’ll gather all the ashes, and place them in an urn,

Along with all your dead ideals like ‘love is something earned.’

You can write your name on an ivory plaque,

Your own epitaph: No Turning Back.”

“But, but, but…” I say—and you reply “away

With your excuses; they’re none of my concern.

My child, I watched you go astray,

But you are mine, and I shall have you return.”

I say “if you want me God, you’re in for a fight;

If you want me take me; wrestle me tonight.

“Do what You must do,” I said, in a final undefiant act.

I need to know if you are real and more than just abstract

You touched Jacob’s hip, and I feel you take me back.




It’s better to be broken and Yours than wholly my own

A grace I’ve never known before; to the world it must be shown.



(c)2011, jsm




Desperately, he seeks approval

For removal of his helplessness

Yet incredulous, he can’t accept

That he won’t be swept under your rug

A hug might be the spark plug

The caffeine in his coffee mug

The first shovel that has ever dug

Into his drug addled heart




(this was gonna be four lines, but they were running a buy one get one free special, so you get eight)


Four Lines

You may have noticed that I’ve been posting a some very brief four line poems lately. The first one was silly yet sincere, the second sincere yet silly. The third, just posted, is less silly.

I think I’m going to adopt these four line poems as a writing discipline for myself. Something to serve as a bare minimum of practice to write every day. It’s something to both challenge me and be fun. I’ll, of course, continue to write other stuff, but if you know me, what I need most is discipline to write something everyday. So there it is.

I don’t claim they’re any good; they’ll probably mostly be unimpressive, but at the same time, less can be more. I hope you’ll enjoy them for what they are. Even if you don’t, that’s plenty ok too. I will be tagging them all as “Four Lines”



As with the last post, I’m again posting a reading of a poem. I hope you’ll enjoy it. It’s part self-criticism, part making crappy ideas work for me. It’s a reflection of frustration with being unable to come up with unoriginal thoughts and then kind of saying, well, if that’s all I’ve got to work with, let’s do this anyway.

As with the last post, I’m again posting a reading of a poem. I hope you’ll enjoy it. It’s part self-criticism, part making crappy ideas work for me. It’s a reflection of frustration with being unable to come up with unoriginal



From the rising of the sun

To the setting of the same

I will fill my poem

With plethora of cliché

I’ll be preachy with my wording

Throw my beliefs in your face

When you’re bad, I feel better

Who needs tact or grace?

Or perhaps I’ll tell you about my motherland

And how I miss it so

But I’ve never actually been there

And really, I hate the snow.

I could tell about the tribulations

Of what it means to be a writer

While I live in privilege

And pain is one all-nighter

I could write of adolescent love

Convince you that it’s real

Teach you it’s a feeling

A heartbeat and sex appeal.

I could write some lines of politics

I’m sure that I’d be right

Thousands of years of man’s problems

I’ve solved them in one night.

I know it all sounds cynical

But I assure you it is not.

I want my words to make a difference

But clichés are all I’ve got



(c) 2011

Joshua Murray