31 October 2018


Looking for me?
I posed for posterity.
I used words to cover my tracks.
Did my sincerity
sufficiently conceal my truth?

Can you deduce what I was then
from idiosyncratic verses
and a few ambiguous titles?
Can you deduce what I am now
from what you have deduced from then?

Is that too much like sifting ancient light
to find a long-gone distant star?

Then, I was X (I marked my spot)
modified by youth and age and vanity
and love and suffering and indifference.
Now, I am X modified by my purposes,
as you are Y trapped in your own contexts.

Where X equals Pure Me,
and Y equals Pure You,
there is nothing stands between us,
only time.

14 November 2016

Finding The Join

You can't,
You won't.

But if
you are curious
about what happens

what goes into
the crack separating
the last of May
the first of June,

you are in for
a lifetime of
sideroads and
and strange people
and stranger
experiences and

perhaps after you die,
it will all
become clear and


11 November 2015

My War So Long Ago

image from the Peace Pledge Union www.ppu.org.uk 
My station built,
So many round me leading
And I not led.

My living spilt,
So many round me bleeding
And I unbled.

My sorrow's quilt,
So many round me crying,
My tears unshed.

My touch of guilt,
So many round me dying
And I not dead.

14 August 2015


Autumn Tree- Mull
© Judith Murray
I sat
And sought
The tree-ness
Of the tree
And found the tree's
Own search to be
The me-ness
Of the me.

13 May 2015

The Auld Enemy (last of four short poems)

               It's not so much that we

have long memories
as that it is still
happening to us.

16 March 2015

For Robin Oliphant 1933 - 2015

Today we say goodbye to Robin Oliphant, Artist (and Grandpa's wee brother) who died on Sunday 8th March at the age of 81.

The Magic Door

Step lightly through the magic door to friends,
Nor yet regret the room you are to leave.
Dream more of new beginnings than of ends.

Though going, and your imprint's loss offends,
And you ever reluctant to bereave,
Step lightly through the magic door to friends.

And if the blanket of the past descends,
Seduces you to sorrow and to grieve,
Dream more of new beginnings than of ends.

Those old men cashing wisdom's dividends,
Recalling what a foreguard can achieve,
Step lightly through the magic door to friends.

And, seeing with perception that transcends
The images myopic eyes perceive,
Dream more of new beginnings than of ends.

Consider then, as your last pace impends,
The greetings you are likely to receive.
Step lightly through the magic door to friends,
Dream more of new beginnings than of ends.

25 September 2014

Before The Holocaust

So society puts a small boy with ambition

In charge of a button marker DANGER,
And knowing that he is a smart politician
Goes back to its trough and its manger.

But a small boy plays games, adopts roles and acts parts
And, as boys do, grows up tall and broad,
Plays with diamonds and spades and with clubs and with hearts
And has been been known to play God.

And sometimes a role or a part doesn't suit,
And here are the visions that linger:
The petulant stamp of a petulant foot
And the petulant thrust of a finger.

17 July 2014

A Course Of Action

Something must be done!
Something drastic, something
to assuage the bleak, black guilt
felt for all the whales, the dolphins
flown to their icarus suns,

for all the black babes in Africa
metamorphosed into
matchstick men by fat, white
market forces everywhere,

for all the blistered lungs,
the profitably powdered
living bone, the purple pulp
of the imploding, pulsing flesh
of peasants in three continents.

Something must be done.
Something personal to me,
and enraged symbology,
a protest with posters,
a suicidal leap perhaps
from a ground-floor window.

13 June 2014

How About A Poem

Something of beauty
in its sounds,
in its images.

in its meanings,
in its insights.

of deep feeling,
of soul-searching.

A touch of melancholy
for the melancholy man.



Intent on telling the tales
of the saint who grassed
to the secret police
on his father's politics,

and the angel
in the bar of Heaven,