Below, read two new poems by up-and-coming poet Christina Murphy.

Christina Murphy lives and writes in a 100 year-old Arts and Crafts style house along the Ohio River in the USA. Her poetry appears in a range of journals and anthologies, including, most recently, PANK, La Fovea, StepAway Magazine, Pear Noir! and Humanimalz Literary Journal. Her work has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and for the 2012 Best of the Net Anthology.

Vincent Van Gogh and Wheatfield with Crows


Christina Murphy


The last week of your life

you painted on a double-square canvas

a wheatfield divided by turbulent winds

and envisioned as a canvas, too,

by crows determined to know

what bounty the fields held for them


You were the artist, the master

of the one-dimensional plane

where you placed your heart

and the brushstrokes of

a wild fantasy of essences

manifested in natural forms


In an angled vision, the crows fly

like dark angels released

from your desolate sense of

a world ending for you,

here in a wheat field bowing down

in gold to the final harvest

And always above, the clouds

of indigo darkness swirling,

responding to the energy

of the sky and whatever

vision of eternity or loss

the sky might hold for an artist

sadly aware of the nightfall ahead


Here the crows fly, like so many

wings spread into V’s, to catch

the wind and rise—so far above

the wheatfields that the crows

appear as broken twigs against a sky

made angry by darkness and cold winds


And you are nowhere in this painting,

but you were somewhere in this scene—

off to the side, or even in the center

of this perspective—watching

and sensing the light, the wheatfield, the crows,

and the eternal energy of the universe,

with so much tumult, so much creation

of form and spirit on canvases small and large


Wherever you were, the relationships hold and

make up the world of your creative imagination;

and wherever you were with your artist’s vision

as the last weeks of your life became paintings of their own,

you saw the darkness the path opening to the eternity

you longed for, bright with light and immune

to the dark sorrows of voids and planets spinning

from momentum to stillness, as silent and cold as infinite loss


Glass-Colored Birds


Christina Murphy

Motionless starlight

in a spinning universe;

how soft the contrast

as rain in blue luster

falls on mountain pines and streams


Emerald hillsides

dappled with wildflowers;

as the thunder echoes,

the dogwood’s red seeds

cover the ground like small flames


Rivers and hearts move,

like glass-colored birds,

through universal currents

on resplendent quests

regained by the heat of new life