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 Speaks to the Mother of the Sea Beasts
I rose on wings the weight of a wind-borne seed;
All my spirits within me: fixed to sinew; coiling talon.
I dove the emptied fathoms; followed
The guardian moved aside:
Unscathed, I descended
I leaped a coral wall
I was sure I could soothe her; straighten
She, in rags, pressed fin to stone; gouged her scales.
Fangs lunged for my crest as I grasp a comb: my spirits
I brushed out broken shells; spoke of hunger,
She answered through my spirits’ chants,
I fashioned a harp from fallen quills:
The waters began to clear.
I swept sea mountains’ peaks, smoothed
So many to feed.
Finally, all the creatures she’d hidden
My spirits woke me
I had lain on burning coals,
I rose, said to those who circled:
Photo by Moz Rauf