Joseph Murphy is a professional editor and writer. He has had poetry published in a number of journals, including The Gray Sparrow, Pure Francis and The Sugar House Review. Murphy is also senior poetry editor for an online literary publication, Halfway Down the Stairs.
The Shaman Meets With the First of the Dead
I preened my wings with a scented shell;
When a white-hot coal fell from my crest, wind
I soared star paths, wings wide: descending
When my keel’s timber cried, “The way is open,”
Even my spirits fell back
Claws engraved on my hull took hold;
Beyond a bridge the width of a final word,
The being appeared at a pillar’s top; below,
I offered a dream dreamt by a spirit my ancestors tamed.
The being grew brighter, churning
When it became a drum’s skin, I drew it
Began to beat in a cadence
The stronger my voice, the more I changed form: reeled
Photo by Moz Rauf