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Sep 21st
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The Poems of Nicholas Murray

ae PoetryEditor’s note: Nicholas Murray was born in Liverpool and now lives in Wales and London. He has written three poetry collections and critically acclaimed biographies of Bruce Chatwin, Matthew Arnold, Andrew Marvell, Aldous Huxley, and Franz Kafka. He has also published two novels, “A Short Book About Love,” and “Remembering Carmen,” and books on Victorian travelers, Liverpool and Bloomsbury. He runs the poetry imprint Rack Press and is a Fellow of the Welsh Academy. Visit nicholasmurray.co.uk.

Orang-Utang

We tense at each collision

as you strike the bars.

Those orange wisps of fur,

the bruised, black nose,

the eyes that plead

as if I held the keys

that could release you,

from this narrow cage.

ae EarthAir3

East

Did it come on the wind,

through the thickness of ancient forest,

at her grandmother’s house by the lake:

the announcement of Spring,

the different taste of air,

and the chant of renewal?

Did she read, in the rustle of leaves,

or the cry of rooks in a high elm,

the first drafts of truth?

 

Bear

The quiet civility of chess

absorbs Sofia’s central park,

the players wordlessly absorbed.

Light early summer air,

new flowers, girls in groups

flirt with the nervous boys.

The noise of an accordion

a glum and ragged bear,

led forward on a chain.

His master orders coffee, 

yawns, and yanks the chain;

business is bad, the world and its compassion!

Someone must suffer: let it be the bear.

Who at the next pull staggers up

and claps his dirty paws.

 

Icon

These angular, sad men

in pointed beards

and rivuleted cheeks

take down their Christ

and fondle him

like tender lovers.

Their pained eyes

ingest his agony,

their pinched hands,

gothic-arched,

seek pardon

for this imposition,

this surrogate hurt

that should have cut

their flesh not his.

 

Vole

Small forager and fossicker

beneath a drift of leaf;

twitching snout alert

for food, ears to danger,

fine whiskers pricked,

dark bright eyes alive:

a dainty dish to set before an owl.

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The Peace Equation

Sunday is the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, a global peace-building day when nations, leaders, governments, communities and individuals are invited to end conflict, cease hostilities, creat 24 hours of non-violence and promote goodwill. Monday is Autumn equinox as the Sun enters Libra (right relations with all of life). The Soul Year now begins. We work in the dark part of the year (Persephone underground) preparing for the new light of winter solstice. Tuesday to Wednesday is the Virgo new moon festival. We know two things about peace. “The absence of war does not signify peace.” And “Peace is an ongoing process.” In its peace-building emphasis, the UNIDP, through education, attempts to create a “culture of peace, understanding and tolerance”. Esoterically we are reminded of the peace equation: “Intentions for goodwill (and acting upon this intention) create right relations with all earth’s kingdoms which create (the ongoing process of) peace on earth.” At noon on Sunday, in all time zones, millions of participating groups will observe a moment of silence for peace on earth. Bells will ring, candles will be lit, and doves released as the New Group of World Servers recite the Great Invocation (humanity’s mantram of direction). To connect with others around the world see www.cultureofpeace.org    Let us join together with the mother (Virgo). Goodwill to all, let peace prevail on earth. The dove is the symbol for the day.
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