Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Gifts of celestial truths
he brings to them,
charts, orbits, trajectories
- order and meaning
to the chaos
that is
the cosmos.

Long years observing,
plotting, deducing,
God's universe
for those whose eyes
would never see
further than their

by way of gratitude
remove freedom,
God-given rights.
Father of Science,
strident follower
of  trails of stars,
now trails strides
between portals
in prison-home

Bereft of confiscated
tools of Science,
nightly seated
by high barred window
intent on Tuscan night sky.
Eyes dart to locate
Sirius, Jupiter, Mars.
Memory telescopes,
repaints the universe
in all of its celestial majesty.

An AllPoetry contest entry, the theme "Telescope"

Galileo Galilei, known as the Father of Science, was a scientist and astronomer, whose theories on heliocentricity ( earth revolving around the Sun, rather than vice versa ) led to his being put under house arrest by Pope Urban VIII .

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Sink or Swim? ( a Piscean fish tale )

I swim simultaneously
in both directions
a synchronized confusion
at once clear-thinking
and muddle-headed

It works.
Most of the time.

Thoughtlessness and compassion
compete, I feel deeply for those
less well off than I,
but have to force myself to remember
to actually do something

My love of music drives me (crazy...),
my laziness ensures mediocrity, at best
I strum and sing
And promise myself
I will learn the harder things.

Next week, at the latest.

My fertile imagination -
a breeding ground for grand ideas
which scuttle off of the page.
- once I've finally
found a pen.

Indecision my Nemesis.
So many great ideas
for things to make
friends and family happy.
Or would they?

But for my acceptance
of who I am
and who I'll never be
I would stop swimming

And sink.
To the bottom.

This was another AllPoetry contest entry, one of a series of Astrological themes, this one being obviously "Pisces".

As a General rule...

He's paid a hard price for his sins
Cavorting with seductive twins
Advocate for one, the other, lover
A tale not too hard to discover

For orders causing devastation
No censure here, just adulation
'twould seem that death is not so hateful,
Just make sure that you're not unfaithful

... or if you are, just be discreet,
and keep your misdeeds 'neath the sheet
For once your exploits reach the media
You know that to the shark's they'll feed ya.

There might be those who'd cut him slack
But for one certainty they lack...
"We won't let his deceit dismay us
... but did David ... betray us?"

This was written in response to a Contest prompt on AllPoetry.com relating to the news events surrounding the former CIA director Gen. David Petraeus.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Who Are You?

You, you who wage this war
spatter children in the rubble
piss on your conquered enemy
torture and humiliate your captives
speak lightly of 'collateral damage'
while pieces of families
are fumbled from crumbled concrete
Consider this.

You are an accident of your birth.
It caused your allegiance to your country,
to the fundamentalism of your religion,
to a taught hatred of an enemy
whose birthright is also accidental
who hates and wants to kill you
because of where you live
and the God you believe in.

Strip away your flag.
Remove your pious garb.
Forget for a moment
Your ancestral dead.


Wednesday, March 02, 2011


Hush now.
The time is near for all your crying.
Stand proud
for one more hour,
your quiet company is required
for one last journey.
Mother Earth
has opened her brown belly
to nurture him
for new beginnings

Weep now.
Wake the dead with all your wailing.
Sister Fates
have torn your soul apart.
The world is emptied
but you must stay,
among the faded grey
which once was colour,
the shallow sighs
where laughter used to be

Look now.
You see his smile and you are smiling.
Father Time
has brushed away the years.
Your tears are spent,
the sweet is married to the bitter.
The sword no longer twists
at just the thought of him
and memories are edged
with green and gold.

Monday, April 19, 2010

You Know Who I Am

Commanding the stage
and the fine musicians
bestowed with the honour
of accenting your wisdom
you spill your honeyed words
into our eager consciousness
serenely smiling
like a holy man

In your seventy-fifth year
you sing your psalms and stories
with the voice of a God
but soothing now
no questions asked
but an acceptance
that there are
no answers

You were the crutch, the mainstay
of my thoughtful youth
a comforting validation
that someone more austere than I
could strip away veneer
and see the sewers and the sunsets
the sinner and the sainted
and cosset them in blankets
of words rendering them timeless

Thank you, Leonard.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Way of You

I love the way of you....
The night, the day of you
The yesterday and today of you
Tomorrow and all of my tomorrows
I will stay with you

There is no hour of any day
where you are not with me
Your face before me, even when apart
Your heart beats in me

In every place, your love within me
No trial and no sorrow can defeat me
Life cannot beat me
At any time I can retreat
To where your warmth will greet me

I love the light of you
The everything's alright of you
Each blessed sight of you
A reminder you are part of me
The soul and heart of me

I love the sway of you
The dance of life that we
Will share for all eternity
The song of love I play
Is just to say
I love the way of you

P.J. Murphy
Copyright ©2005 P.J. Murphy

Website: www.guitarsongs.info

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Twelve Angry Men

* Bronze Winner in the AllPoetry.Com annual Raven contest 2007, from over 800 entrants *

returned from lush olive mount
there was a sated glow
about her - both of them,
in fact, irradiated;
the gathering observed only
that she was changed;
stood sternly in salute,
exchanged a greeting.

with crimson discomfort
she made pale excuse -
an urgent kitchen duty;
kissed Him awkwardly
on either bearded cheek
left them bristling
visibly at table with
twelve sullen scowls

sidling sly glances
Gethsemane grumbled
as He watched evening
shadow bathe her beauty;
apostolic jealousy intense,
but muzzled as each held
bless'd broken bread,
and puzzled at His Words


This was written for the Allpoetry Annual Raven Contest 2007 http://allpoetry.com/contest/2362382


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Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Ok, so we've
lied a little

They need our lies -
our reconstruction
of the fables
is what keeps them
hanging on to
the dream

The faithful.
Bless 'em.

Follow us
on the
to Heaven

They swallow it all
- transubstantiation
( literally...)
the whole
omniscient and
all-loving God



Divine Mystery

Say it often enough, it acquires substance
Two thousand years of repetition
create an article of faith most absolute
for those in fervent need of absolution

We make the world
a better place
as fear of Hellfire
and damnation
( did I mention 'Vengeful?' )
keep them in check -
a docile flock
the Good Shepherd
the silence
of the lambs

So we will continue
to fire our canon
at the ninety-nine
who suckle on it's
perpetuated by this
Papal Bull.

Ah... Men...


This was an entry for an AllPoetry Contest "Take a step back ( Round 2 )" http://allpoetry.com/contest/2374596 and won Gold for 1st place


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Aurora Corporalis

bursts of
flame's glory
in moments
ember fades
and dies

explodes -

Magdala Red
Orange -

the colours
of a soul


This was submitted to an Allpoetry Contest "Prewrite Party", - http://allpoetry.com/contest/2370102 and won Gold for first place.


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Tuesday, September 08, 2009


If I
could but
induce Zeus
to rearrange
the heavens...

I'd have the
night sky dappled
with your eyes



of quixotic

polynesian dance


on soft
Tahitian sand

my hands
drip with dregs
of spilt exotic

by lustrous lagoon
hynotic tune
and rhythm


waves lap...


mood of





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Okay, I appreciate that you've
been always there for me
through each long tortuous,
restless, sleepless night

And brightened up the gloom
each time I broke down when
some floozy made my fickle
foolish fragile heart a mess

And yes, 'twas you who kept me
company when no other friends
were there to offer comfort
in my deepest darkest night

But, right now I just feel
That I can't furnish any answers
to your sad fixation with this
fiery, feisty object of your lust

I must point out to you, in fact
that you have chased this hot
and haughty goddess, with no ray of hope
for thousands of millenia now

And how much longer, my pale friend
Can you sail sadly through the night
hoping for a glimpse or sight of she
who always dodges you till dawn?

And ~yawn~ you know it's really late
I don't feel great and need my sleep
I'd love to keep you company but
We both know she'll hide until you're gone

Just one last piece of genuine advice
- there are millions out there who
are twice as nice, and like to hang around
with you, I've even seen them swoon...

So goodnight moon, aw - please don't cry
There's plenty more stars in the sky...

This was written for an Allpoetry Contest "Goodnight Moon", - http://allpoetry.com/contest/2368322


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For making me feel that my weaknesses
are part of my boyish charm
For lending me your arm
When my excesses get the better of me
For beaming your pride at my triumphs
And withering those who would demean them
For picking me up from my failures
Moulding them into moral victories

For fashioning two precious daughters
from the warmth of our passion
Somehow passing me the credit
When all that was required of me
Was to love those images of you
Who, swathed in your young mother love
Knew nothing but to return bubbling affection
while my heart burst with pride

For filling me with youth when I'm old
Finding the boy in the weary man
For blinding me with beauty
Which is no reflection of the past
But a new and vibrant vision
The pictured lover of my dreams
Beside me when I wake each day
A startling and a wond'rous reality



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P.J. Murphy poetry, Cleansed

I came to wash away my woe
in the grand and glorious Ganges
your wise and wizened eyes
beheld me, held me transfixed
betwixt my anguish and your calm

The balm of cooling currents
easing dark, troubled spirit
soothing dried, tired skin
a kinship unforeseen, furnished
from burnished ivory, liquid gaze

The ways of Gods are mystery
our histories for centuries entwined -
I find soft succour in your presence,
your essence nourishing, uplifting
No longer drifting; I am cleansed.


This was written for an Allpoetry Contest "Amazing Race - Round 2 (Picture theme)", - http://allpoetry.com/poem/3349628


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Liquid eyes as dewdrops
on pinkening petal-cheeks
lips suffused, smolder with promises ;
intoxicating fragrances
permeate sepal, buds, corolla
of this exquisite Celtic bloom

The sanguine Spanish sun,
accustomed ever to smile upon
a well-stocked rose bed of it's own
reflects the radiant glory of an Irish rose
nurtured by it's balmy bounty
and has the grace to blush.


I am from Ireland, and this was written to my wife, whose beauty flourished and was burnished exotic in the warm and splendid Spanish sun - the fiery beauty of Spain, in its turn, was enhanced by her presence.

Sometimes you need to transplant a rose to a sunnier place to realise how very beautiful it is.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Praefectus Iudaeae

He troubles me, this Nazarene,
His humble words do not accord
with anarchy or insurrection
yet these others call him Lord.

He speaks no hate for Caesar's Rome,
Yet Jews would have me crucify
This man who's calm serenity
Does Judas' calumny belie

Were't not for the Sanhedrin's ire
My Prefecture would stay it's hand
and send this strange but gentle man
to exile in Judaic land

But yet they bay and thirst for blood
With blasphemy as their defense
These Jews hold no respect for Rome
Their hatred for Him makes no sense

I thought their anger would appease
Once I had sent Him to be scourged
But with His bloody body shown
"He must be crucified" they urged.

I think myself a humane man
I view their bloodlust with distaste
I wash my hands of local laws
But bitterly decry this waste ...

~ ~ ~

And now my days are numbered short
I wander, and my eyes grow dim
I pray to Pluto, as I should ...
And yet my thoughts are fixed on Him

~ ~ ~

This was written for an AllPoetry contest "Close Encounters with Jesus", ( http://allpoetry.com/contest/2454343 ) where the task was to write a rhyming poem in the first person from the perspective of someone who met Jesus, giving their feelings and reactions to the meeting, and to the situation. It won Silver for second placing.

Some Limericks

A Selection of Limericks....


The squirrel's an odd little chappie
He's normally placid and happy
But, no if's and but's
Put your hand on his nuts
And he'll riddle your ass pretty snappy

He's usually spotted in trees
Which he climbs with the greatest of ease
You think he looks cute
'Till he takes aim to shoot
And you suddenly find you've no knees

A stroll in the woods can be pleasant
Watching rabbit and peacock and pheasant
But you really should worry
Get out in a hurry
'Cos the squirrel can get quite unpleasant

To conclude, if with woodland you're charmed
I suggest that you should be alarmed
Though you feel no foreboding
The bugger's reloading
Watch out - those damn squirrels are armed!


I knew a girl from Tipperary
Who's legs were incredibly hairy
The hairs grew in size
from her toes to her thighs
After that, it was just bloody scary...


A corpulant woman from Delhi
Had a body that quivered like jelly
From her couch she stood up
And her poor little pup
Had got lost in the folds of her belly

A lady who hailed from Madras
Was a really voluptuous lass
She's searched for her pet
But with no success yet
'Cause he's wedged in the crack of her ass

A voluptuous girl from Kirkut
was distraught at the loss of her mutt
Her search was in vain
The poor dog was in pain
He was trapped in the cleft of her butt


Note: This was an entry for an AllPoetry contest, where the image was the contest prompt, and won the Gold Trophy for First Place in the contest


I once fed the family poodle
With some leftover stale apple strudel
The dog promptly shat
and the texture of that
Was exactly like Chicken Pot Noodle....



I hope you'll enjoy this short ditty
Of a girl who was potless but pretty
She does end up rich
From becoming a bitch
Which was really a terrible pity

The tale's of a girl from Des Moines
Who hadn't a note or a coin
She took to the streets
Meeting sailors from fleets
And now her bank balance is 'foine'

With her ill-gotten gains she felt plucky
so she bought a stud farm in Kentucky
The horses, she reckoned
would come first, or second
- and she'd still get a ride, if she's lucky.....



It may have been foolish to go
Mow the lawn in a downpour of snow
As well as the grass
I cut half of my ass,
An elbow, two shins and a toe



I'm really obsessed about rhyming
Writing words that are pealing and chiming
So a contest like this
Is a real piece-of-piss
.. so long as I stay completely focussed and concentrate on my timing.......


5am Semi-conscious Burlesque

The Gladiator righteously professes my disdain
Episcopal aloof both sacriligeous and profane
With serpentine precision searing hollow in my brain
Sorrow is sublime, but uneventful

Valentino and his mistresses flamboyantly carouse
With Freudian abandon bring Narcissus to their house
While Cleopatra makes a move on Oedipus' spouse
Plato is suspicious and resentful

Geronimo commands his tribe to dance and pray for rain
Noah shrugs his shoulders and prepares the Ark again
Maupassant protests that he is really not insane
P.T. Barnum just makes sure he has his tent full.


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Sunday, September 06, 2009

What Lies Beneath

Never terribly
far away, they
clamour constantly
to make their
presence felt..

just below
the surface,
they jeer this
veneer of
stolid, solid

"Hush", I tell them
this is not
the time nor place
to show your face
and we are not
as young as
we once used to be

I guess
I'd always
just assumed
that they would
fade away and die
dissolving with
the remnants of
my long-lost
misspent youth

But no, they tease
and taunt and pester,
these ghosts of
rampant yesteryear.

"Someday", I promise,
"I will let you
out to play again".

And then, By God,
let the world beware...

This was written for an Allpoetry Contest "Where the Wild Things Are", - http://allpoetry.com/contest/2367950


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Sands of Time

P.J. Murphy poetry, Sands of Time

Run by water's edge
waves crash splashing, playful,
hands held shyly
fingers awkwardly entwine;

Cuddle, kiss,
caresses shared
selfconsciously ;

Barefoot on white sands
two minds plan and plot
a future stretching miles ahead

~ ~ ~ ~

Stroll by water's edge
waves lap languid, lazy,
gleeful grandkids gallop
white horses in cascading crests;

Arms twine tenderly,
around shoulder and waist
protectively ;

Barefoot on white sands
two hearts relive lifelong love
footprints stretching miles behind


This was written for an Allpoetry Contest "Amazing Race - Round 1 ( Relaxation )", - http://allpoetry.com/poem/3265788


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Indigo Child

As the transient Age of Violet ends
Indigo child (she has no friends) is seen to be
just wild (A.D.D.), tempestuous, stubborn.
She has beautiful clear purple-pea eyes
is sensitive (always cries) but self-assured
creative (that can be cured) but undisciplined
has a mission ( we have our suspicion) and a purpose
she knows but will not share with us
(she doesn't care) where she is going
Self-empowered, psychic, ethereal,
( she doesn't feel ) unaffectionate,
dodges hugs ( is she on drugs? )
She won't conform, she hates routine
( she's just being mean ) and sees the better way
She waits ( I think she hates us ) patiently
For the Age of Indigo.

P.J. Murphy
(c) P.J. Murphy 2005

Note: This was an entry for one of a series of Allpoetry.com contests with colour themes, this one being 'Indigo' see - http://allpoetry.com/Poem/1251549


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Ides of March

Languished in imperial robe
with precious amethyst trimmed.
Hands clap impatiently
for Nubian slave to pamper them
with plump Etruscan grapes
and blood-red wine,
figs and pomegranates

The two, in regal lavender attired
lips now stained violet
reminisce as soldiers
of proud victories in Gaul
and triumph over Pharsalus.

A rendezvous agreed
in Pompey's theatre
One rises, gives salute,
prepares to leave

Unconsciously his hand
slips toward his scabbard
his thoughts to future glory
nobility and riches
when the deed is done.

On his left temple
A single vein throbs

P.J. Murphy
(c) P.J. Murphy 2005

Note: This was an entry for one of a series of Allpoetry.com contests with colour themes, this one being 'Purple' see - http://allpoetry.com/Poem/1245291

Julies Caesar was murdered on the 15th March (The Ides of March) by his friend Brutus and others. This piece depicts Brutus' final meeting with Caesar, sharing his friendship and wine, but with treachery and murder in his heart


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He remembers a time
when he was the centre
of the circle.

A social hub, a club
close colleagues, no -
more than that -
firm friends...

sojourns to the pub
on Friday evenings
...just for a quick one.

Rolling home
at Eleven-thirty
bursting with
and a full bladder.

A pleasant institution
in their voluntary
Public Service

So hard to
stick a pin
in the point
of change



All leading toward
this unfamiliar place
sharing space with
strangers with names.

in halls.

Next Friday
they will
toast his health
tell bawdy
stories, badly.

Exaggerate his
Present him with
their heartfelt gift

( travel vouchers
he will never use -
he has no heart for travel
since he lost her.
How would they know? )

the alarm will ring.
He will turn it off
one final time.

He will accept
well meant
to future
Friday frolics.

one Friday
the strangers
will have no names.


This was an entry for an Allpoetry contest where the prompt was the line "strangers with names", and won the Bronze trophy for 3rd place in the contest


Sleeping Beauty

In the sorrow of your smile
I wandered for a while
wistful, wishful, heart-concealed
in the bitter of your tear
I washed away my fear
flesh and spirit nakedly revealed

To the silver of your speech
I listen, as you teach
wisdom pouring from your honey-lip
in the comfort of your breast
I lay my soul to rest
as deep into oblivion I slip

From the golden of the dawn
is your sleeping beauty drawn
the soft perfection of the waking sun
in the amber of your eyes
I find, to my surprise
the joy and sorrow of the world are one

P.J. Murphy

Copyright ©2004 P.J. Murphy

Website: www.guitarsongs.info

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Saturday, September 05, 2009

.... And Hell Followed.....

They have been among us
for some time now
You could have passed
any of them in the street...

Discrete, they have been waiting, waiting
they flex an occasional muscle
independantly devastating
a portion of humanity
communicating transcendentantly
to apportion synchronicity
each one having wrought
a limited, controlled vengeance
without thought of consequence
cold, purposeful malevolence

Preying on the weak
playing on the weakness
of the lowest of mankind
to further bind their vile finality
our reality is that in a while, soon
they will fashion soul's destruction

Our sole defence is to commune
the forces of collective compassion
to pit the milk of human kindness
against mounted apocalyptic horses
and enemies of man, long recounted...

P.J. Murphy
(c) 2005


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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Nycola Murphy and Marc Hillis Wedding Celebration

My beautiful daughter Nycola married Marc, the love of her life, last Friday, August 21 2009.

I will be using this post to share video and photo moments from the day

So far, I have uploaded a 5-minute video of wonderful moments from the church ceremony, recorded and edited by Nyc's talented cousin Paul O'Brien, and a really poignant slideshow of magical moments captured by Paul's sister Linda. Also there is Cathal Beale's hilarious speech/poem, a clip of Nyc and the bridesmaids on stage for "The Promise", and a clip of their first dance, to "At Last".

August 28 - added a (very) amateur attempt to make a video montage from some of the snaps supplied by guests, with The Shins "New Slang" as backing track.

August 30 - added a clip of Marc standing in on drums for Jimi Hendrix' "Fire" with the fantastic "White Chocolate".

Sept 2 - added the brilliant "White Chocolate" first dance to T.Rex "20th Century Boy".

Sept 2 - added clips from Nyc & Marc Wedding - Part Deux, the fantastic session on the 'day after', featuring Cathal Beale's definitive version of Kings of Leon "Sex on Fire", and Phil's magical headbanging to the band's rendition of Rage Against the Machine "In the Name Of".

Sept 4 - added my "Father of the Bride" speech. Reluctantly.

Sept 5 - added another slideshow "I only have eyes for you"

Just scroll down to get into da groove....!


Paul O'Brien's video moments:

If you can't see the embedded video above, you can watch this on YouTube at Nycola and Marc Wedding moments with Arcade Fire "Wake Up"


Paul's sister Linda compiled a fantastic photo montage, in a video with Ben Folds "The Luckiest" as the background music. If this doesn't spring a tear to your eye, you have no soul! Linda captured exactly what Nycola and Marc wanted, unposed and natural images, with a gorgeous soundtrack. We've had to have the mop handy everytime this has been shown to family and friends.

Again, if the embedded video doesn't display correctly, you can view the slideshow on MySpace at Nycola and Marc's Wedding - photo slideshow with Ben Folds "The Luckiest". This one comes with a warning - watch alone, and with a full pack of Mansize tissues.


At the reception, Nycola and the bridesmaids ( minus poor Sinead who had sustained a photo-opportunity leg injury early in the day ) threw some shapes to Girls Aloud's "Promise", this is a short clip of their slick moves:

If this doesn't display properly, you can see it at this Nycola and Bridesmaids dance to "Promise" YouTube link.


This is the happy couple's first dance as husband and wife:

Any problem, view it on YouTube at Nycola and Marc's Wedding - First Dance (At Last)

I made my first attempt at creating a Windows Movie Maker Video using edited photos I got from some of the guests, with The Shins "New Slang" as the backing track:

Get it direct from YouTube on Nycola and Marc Wedding: guests photos


Marc (Harvey) rocking it out on drums with the best wedding band EVER - White Chocolate with a cover of "Fire" by Jimi Hendrix.

The YouTube video link is Nycola and Marc wedding - Marc drumming with White Chocolate


One of the songs on Nyc & Marc's signature wedding CD was The Flamingoes "I only have eyes for you". You have been playing the CD, havent' you??! Hopeless romantic that I am, I made a short video which tries to capture their 'special moments', with this song as the backing track. My 2nd attempt at Movie Maker, with photos supplied from Linda, Eileen, Liz, Marion and Sara. Keep the hanky handy...

Unfortunately the YT thought police seem to have blocked this, if the embedded video above doesn't play,
YouTube it here' Nycola and Marc - I only have eyes for you with a string version of the song which managed to get past the filter-monkeys.


Cathal, one of Marc's groomsmen had the crowd in stitches with his contribution to the speeches - a poem celebrating the many good times they've shared over the years:

This is the text of Cathal's speech


I have to say, I've had really nice feedback on my own speech, despite the fact that I had Elvis "Shake-a-ma-leg" syndrome, and I was never gonna be able to put in words how magical it has been to be Nycola's father all of these years, nor how delighted I am that she chose Marc as her husband. But... embarrassing as it may be, this is what it sounded like:

Again, it's on YouTube at Nycola and Marc wedding - Father of the Bride speech


The wedding band "White Chocolate" were a huge hit with all guests young and old, from the first song the crowd hit the dancefloor, and never sat down again! This is the band playing their opening song, a brilliant cover of T.Rex's "20th Century Boy".

This clip is available on YouTube at: Nycola and Marc Wedding - White Chocolate play T.Rex "20th Century Boy"


As is the trend these days, it was a two-day wedding celebration. After brunch at the hotel, and ( for most ) an afternoon snooze, we'd organized a musical extravaganza for the Saturday night in the Wicked Swan, with Blue Moose providing the mainstay of the music, and multiple guest appearances by the hugely musically talented friends of the bride and groom.

Here is Cathal (again) giving Kings of Leon a run for their money with his rendition of "Sex On Fire":

Any problems, check it out on YouTube - Cathal rocks "Sex on Fire"


And, of course, the night wouldn't have been comple without Phil headbanging to "Rage" - 'In the name of'. Video clip courtesy of Becky ( just passing the blame here... )

Any problems viewing this, just go to the YouTube link at: Phil rocks Rage Against The Machine "In The Name Of..."

More soon!


Sunday, April 19, 2009






Monday, November 24, 2008

Lumber Paralysis

"The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference." Elie Wiese

feigning oblivion
to sprawled
lifeless lumber,
fallen, felled

Our limbs loft
rigidly erect
proud, aloof,

we gaze skyward,
haughtily avoid
awkward vista of
wretch stretched

uncouthly oozing
sap solution
over our exclusive
deep-pile carpet

If anyone

we heard


( If a tree fell
in the forest
and everyone
not to notice,
would it
make a sound?

Are bears

the pope
in the
woods? )


Queen of Ghosts

Triumvirate Deity, exalted by Zeus,
Hekate Queen of Ghosts am I,
Goddess of moonlight and magick,
Protectress of the wilderness

In Phrygia and Lagina
devout acolytes pay homage yet;
the lost and the swollen pray
for safe deliverance; safe delivery

Favouring ever my faithful,
sorcerers and necromancers
beseech favour: howling hounds
herald my intercessions

Wary traveller lost, receives
Divine guidance at crossed road,
Titan torch throws illumination
to light the righteous path

Queen of the Night, traversing
that precipice betwixt the worlds;
nourished by obeisant offerings
lost souls I steer to Hades' haven


Tuesday, January 29, 2008


P.J. Murphy poetry, Amber

Arboreal sap
oozes lazily;

Embroiled in
glutinous trap,
unwary arachnid
an ecosystem
long ago erased

in resin

through millenia:

Primeval life-secrets revealed
as learned spider men gaze
through translucent windows

of amber

This was written for an Allpoetry Contest "Dirty Brown", and won the Gold Trophy see - http://allpoetry.com/poem/3105100


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Man, you been a naughty boy....

P.J. Murphy poetry, Man, you been a naughty boy

tho fragile
I have
not yet

scrambling clear
of a dozen
some near-miss
crack squad
shell attacks

out of the firing line
into the (friendly) fire
bubbling in hot water,

sitting ducks lay, while
the chicken's safe in it's coop


this will not
be over easy

Mister Bush

I am the egg man
There's a one-legged man
You have the war lust

goo goo g'joob...


This was written for an Allpoetry Contest "Egg", - http://allpoetry.com/poem/3285188


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Sunday, January 27, 2008

I'll have you to remember...

Through the heavy clouds of grief
The melodies still find their way
The voice ageless, sweet, comforting
The songs, old, familiar friends
Lifting heavy hearts in the long days
Lulling loved ones to weary sleep at night

The glittering trophies reflect the joy
In the hearts of all who heard her sing
And the deep pride of her loving family
Her rock of support for each performance
Marked with hushed respect while she enthralled
And rapturous applause when song was ended

'Sunrise, Sunset', 'Sweet Sixteen',
'When I grow too old to dream'
'Yidisha Mama', 'Summertime', 'Croce Di Oro'
Old songs, classic songs, sung by many
But imbued with her innocence of youth
And wisdom of age, assumed a new and vibrant life

Her family was her world, and now her legacy
Fine people, kind-hearted and compassionate
Filled with her spirit, strength and courage
Her music, the expression of her love for them
Truth rang timeless in every breath of her singing
It's echoes resound as long as there are memories


For Nan Cullimore (my late mother-in-law), her spirit and her voice live on.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


P.J. Murphy poetry, Pop

Bobbing among the giggles
Transparent, but with rainbow hues
like sprites they magically appear
and dance misshapen by puffcheek winds

Filling the room with luminescence
and small throats with laughter
dismay at pings of evaporation
replaced with tentative replenishment

reflecting the flickering candles,
and bright and shiny birthday things
restless and impatient to be gone
they wend their way relentlessly

into memories


This was written for an Allpoetry Contest "Where does it go?", see - http://allpoetry.com/poem/2019038


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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Minstrel (Than Bauk Climbing Rhyme)

P.J. Murphy poetry, Minstrel (Than Bauk Climbing Rhyme)

fingers pluck strings
soft he sings of
the things to come

bass notes hum low
with drumming sound
his queen crowned by

profound love rhyme
in waltz-time with
sublime soft voice

that his choice may
rejoice, her knight
croons of night tryst

by light of moon
they will soon be
in tune, as one.

This was written for an Allpoetry Contest "Climbing Rhyme", and won the Gold Trophy see - http://allpoetry.com/poem/3189416


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City Lights Fade

Inert gases
tout tawdry

paved paths
to hellish

Bad intentions
in sin soaked
stagnant pond

dazzle -

illicit felicity,
fun and frolic
unfurled in
neon netherworld


forges Ford
- final glance
at pallid promises -
- Gomorrah still
glows gaudy

Firefly flits,
points pathway
to reality,
to civilized

In rear-view

Along with


This was written for an Allpoetry Contest "Errant Panther's Race - Round 3", - http://allpoetry.com/contest/2370172


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Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Iceman Cometh

Pressing onward
through unbreathable
crystallized air
- feeling in
most limbs
long disappeared

Lower digits
blackened, inside
thick snowboots
- gangrenous concerns
pushed to back
of numbed

the driving force
- the team
reduced by one -
interred in icy grave
with scant

Ultimate destination
still several
hundred miles away
but driven, like this
frozen, solid air,
forced by Arctic winds
into reluctant,
pneumonic lungs,
they trudge

Thoughts of home
- wives, children,
parents, friends -
pushed to backs of
tired, demented minds
focussed on the quest
to forge claim to
a barren wilderness
- for a country
and a world
who could care less..


This was written for an Allpoetry Contest "Moraine and Poganip", - http://allpoetry.com/contest/2370348 and won the Gold Trophy for first prize


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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Face Down

fondly imagining
it gave him
an attitude;
a mark of maturity
placing him
apart from
those kids
he'd outgrown;
he stroked it
imagined how
the girls
would be impressed
at it's splendour.

lost in
lascivious thought,
oblivious to
the knob
on the
bathroom door

started at
his brother's
sardonic voice -
"what's with
the bum-fluff
... dork?"


This was written for an Allpoetry Contest "Face Down", - http://allpoetry.com/poem/3277680


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Monday, June 11, 2007

Samael ( One foot in the Grave )

There is an angel balanced on my toe
my leg is taut and aches so much.
But I cannot ask her just
to go. I do wish she might
be just a little bolder -
after all it's not such
a long distance flight to reach
my shoulder.

Beside my ear, such a handy spot
to make the purpose of her visit
clear. And it's pretty much where
you'd expect her to perch
if only to be circumspect.
She'd also be a lot less prone to
topple if one suddenly were
to lurch .

As well one might.
It's not that it is such a
very common sight - an Angel
perched on one's lower digit.
Giving rise to this strange and sudden
urge to fidget. Oh, at last, she's moving,
now perhaps I can ask about my
present, and my past .. and what's ahead

Oh God...

I'm dead.


This was written for an Allpoetry Contest "Angel Balanced on my Toe" see - http://allpoetry.com/poem/3105100


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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Cimmerian Night

In endless shadow
between the Caucasus
and the Black Sea
are we, Brem and Bolg
Gimirri, royalty.

Conquerors of Lydia,
of mighty Phrygia
and it's Golden King,
we ride tirelessly
under obsidian sky

Our ebon steeds from
Hades fires freed
with raven feathers plumed.
No need have we
for Helios' ray

In doleful day
and pitchblack night
we wage our wars
and rule, where onyx
masters gold.

This was a contest entry in an AllPoetry contest, theme was "Cimmerian Night": http://allpoetry.com/poem/3224922,

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


God's beauty over timeless tabled mountain
Spectrum colours burst in bright magnificence
A stunning skyscape charged with prism splendour
But somewhere stirs a half-remembered promise...

A token of a Covenant, sign of a Deity
No more will Nature's aqueous power be deployed
for destruction, anguish, death and devastation -
where now this Contract, this Divine benign Treaty?

Was some expiry date in smallest print disguised?
In Illinois, New Orleans, South East Asia
forlorn faithful pore through dampened Bibles
For Heaven's indemnity of solemn promise broken

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The moving finger writes.....

( Containing a line from Theodore Roethke )

I have tried to write my life's story
dynamically, as it unfolds
from early childhood memories
Warm and cossetted, cold and scared
through aching adolescence
with hopes and dreams
First loves, lifelong friends
and shatterred illusions
then adult years, struggles and drudgery
joys of true love, new adventures
Unbounded miracles of fatherhood
with all of it's accompanying terrors

A work-in-progress, no rush to final chapter
I hope for many pages yet to flow
but "I have known the inexorable sadness of pencils"
No editorial control on these flowing lines
but pushed by unseen force to write this chronicle
with no eraser, no choice to reconstruct
events a Cosmic Author has prescribed
And as the graphite, piece by piece is broken
and the pencil pared to useless stub
I know the inevitable hour will come
A new pencil sharpened for a new page
Another narrative, another voyage

( Entered for a 'Stolen Lines' contest )

(c) P.J. Murphy, 2005

Thursday, October 20, 2005


They handed me the bundle,
I took it gingerly
Oblivious to the throbbing
of pain-crushed fingers
"It's a boy" the nurse said,
"... I think you'll find it's not"
I deigned to challenge
Her gynaecological expertise

Umbilical confusion sorted,
I gazed in awestruck wonder
and unparalleled joy
at the pink, splotched
wriggling beauty,
cossetted in my protective arms,
crowned with night-black hair
that was my daughter

I know that there were many
important, sad and tragic events
In 1980. The world lost
John Lennon, Steve McQueen
Hitchcock, Durante, Sartre,
Mae West, Jesse Owens....
I just remember that I
gained the world. And was reborn.

P.J. Murphy
(c) P.J. Murphy 2005

Note: This was an entry a contest on AllPoetry.Com where the theme was '1980' see: http://allpoetry.com/Poem/1296264


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Monday, October 17, 2005


Black - the ebon shade, the anti-shade
to some a portentous and an ominous hue
doleful, funereal, depressing
Casting sinister and sullen thoughts
In minds where light has been excluded

To others the contrast against which
life's palette gains a new black-magic glow
Obsidian stars, an impish onyx moon
Dark skies filled with sable cloud
Mysterious beauty on a pitchblack night

To all, a moment's fraction ere the universe began
When all was raven-black and tranquil
Soundless and eternal nothingness
Interrupted by savage and spectacular explosion
A dazzling beauty, only by immortals seen

And raucous life,
With splendid spectrum colours
From blackest dark
Was born

P.J. Murphy
(c) P.J. Murphy 2005

Note: This was an entry for one of a series of Allpoetry.com contests with colour themes, this one being 'Black' see - http://allpoetry.com/Poem/1246506


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Saturday, October 15, 2005


Bloodied but unbowed
he licks his wounds
bruised and bleeding
from earlier skirmishes
appraises his diminished resources
in readiness for new assaults

No respite forthcoming
his foe rapidly renews attack
fashioning what could be
the final, mortal blow
a salvo fired, not in anger
but in smug assurance of victory

He stares into the vacant eyes
of this inhuman adversary
shark's eyes, cold, unfathomable
devoid of caring or compassion
pale glow of predatory compulsion
to devour the weak and lame

His gut churns nauseously
primal fight-or-flight mechanisms
unbidden, unconsciously deploy,
rush of blood gushes to throbbing heart
sinews twitch and dance inside
he fights to outwardly project bravado

His hour has come, his last hurrah
he breathes a mouthless, silent prayer
to fickle Gods for just one more indulgence.
A final check on his weaponry -
One Bullet, one Hook, two Clubs
And howls again his clarion war cry...


P.J. Murphy
(c) P.J. Murphy 2005

Note: I am a passionate, and moderately successful gladiator in the glorious battleground that is No Limit Texas Hold'em Poker. For the uninitiated, Bullet means Ace, a hook is a Jack, All-in means you are betting all of your remaining chips. For the short-stacked player, going all-in on an Ace/Jack of Clubs is a typical example of attack being the best form of defence. This was first posted on Allpoetry.com at: http://allpoetry.com/Poem/1363850


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Tuesday, October 11, 2005


My two 'Helen of Troy's
( .. the spit of their mother )
She smoothly decoys
( .. she makes up wonderful stories )

Box full of toys
( .. asleep at last! )
Absence of noise
( .. Ah, blessed silence... )

A lover's sure poise
( ..God, she's beautiful )
To hell with the boys
( ..I can play poker anytime )

Play the songs she enjoys
( ..I love her so much )
My bringer of joys
( ..I could watch her forever )

..Wrapped in turquoise

P.J. Murphy
(c) P.J. Murphy 2005

Note: This was an entry for one of a series of Allpoetry.com contests with colour themes, this one being 'Turquoise' see - http://allpoetry.com/Poem/1257054


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Friday, October 07, 2005


He speaks to her pathetically of his father-love,
Seeking her forgiveness for his regal lunacy
No answer from her once-honey lips returns
while salt tears nestle in his tawny beard
Still dampened from the aureated waters of the Pactolus.

He reaches out to touch her once-flaxen hair
She doesn't flinch or brush his hand away
Accusingly she stares, silent, unfathomable
Her gilded eyes, created by this alchemist,
Their lustre mirrored in this lavish surround -
Grotesque golden garden of a greedy Phrygian King

To Dionysus, God of life-force, he stumbles a prayer,
To return him to that time before his avaricious folly
That she would not be doomed to stare at him forever.
The Golden Child stirred, dimmed luminescence, roses red again
And Midas touched her caramel cheek and wept.

P.J. Murphy
(c) P.J. Murphy 2005

Note: This was an entry for one of a series of Allpoetry.com contests with colour themes, this one being 'Gold' see - http://allpoetry.com/Poem/1254998


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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Potter's Field

Rome's Eagle, head of Melqarth
adorn these shekels of Tyre
The legal price of a slave
marked for purchase of sacrifice
but handed out for infamy

Pale argentate moons lie randomly,
scattered in tormented anguish
by perdition's fated son
upon the floor of the temple
whence they treacherously came

Silvery spring sun detects
metallic glint from halter buckle
swinging from a desolate bough
reflects the lustre of thirty Tyre shekels
The price of a Potters field grave.

P.J. Murphy
(c) P.J. Murphy 2005

( The 30 pieces of silver offered to Judas for his betrayal was significantly the purchase price of a slave. A despairing Judas threw back the shekels before hanging himself with a halter - the coins were subsequently used to purchase him a Potters Field grave )

Note: This was an entry for one of a series of Allpoetry.com contests with colour themes, this one being 'Silver' see - http://allpoetry.com/Poem/1249142


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Sunday, October 02, 2005


Up ahead scampering,
newly-begged coins held trophy-like aloft
flight paths locked into their destination
- an emporium of confectionary treasure -
long minutes considering rival treats
of chocolate, ice-cream, penny sweets
brief moments of envious rivalry
before an honourable trade is reached

Coins obsolete, crisp notes now
handed over with mock-begrudgery,
for pampering in hairdresser and beauty parlour
long hours appraising graduation gowns
to grace the arms of lost young brutes
mortified in ludicrous outmoded hired suits
but pride scarlet in their cheeks
as they display their radiant prize.

They've grown.
We have not lost them, only loaned them to the world
and bask in their reflected glow.
We tried to give them all we never had,
yet protect them, keep them happy and secure.
As they walk the high-wire of life's circus
we are their safety-net.
And should they make a life that grants them blessings
only half what we have known,
our work is done, their happiness assured.
They've grown.

P.J. Murphy

Copyright ©2003 P.J. Murphy


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Saturday, October 01, 2005

Brown Study

High-backed walnut chair sits empty
Mahogony rolltop desk with
Sepia parchment blank, unblemished
Henna ink drying on rusting bronze nib

Beige curtains, fawn carpet for restfulness
Earthenware mug of coffee gone cold
Ginger Nuts and Chocolate fingers
Inviting but unbitten, await

The fugitive's return.
Mise-en-scene complete, but he
Sits by a toasty bar-room turf fire,
Amber bottles strewn around

In a brown study.

P.J. Murphy
(c) P.J. Murphy 2005

Note: This was an entry for one of a series of Allpoetry.com contests with colour themes, this one being 'Brown' see - http://allpoetry.com/Poem/1243164


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