The Open Mouse

Eileen Murphy; two poems


The Rain Has Lost Its Mind

The dying grass waits with its tongue burnt.

Rain begins to fall on the orange groves,
fingers tapping hollow walls.

Suddenly, the rain loses its mind.
Fireflies explode in the night.
Elephants trample the clouds.

Wind tears away weakness: here the aloe
that soothes mosquito bites, there the shed
where birds nest
in an old tool belt.

Electricity out.

Dog hides
in the bathtub.
I’m just a wee creature.

I find oil lamps
& coax the dog into their light.

the tattooed man

his right shoulder says carpe diem

symbols for infinity
& musical notes
are sprinkled up & down
his right arm

on his left arm, cry havoc
& let slip the hounds
of war

he got that in iraq

he’s a drummer
not great, but enthusiastic
he drums lightly on his dog’s ribs
making a hollow sound

the dog loves it

Copyright © Eileen Murphy 2017

A former Chicagolander, Eileen Murphy now lives 30 miles from Tampa with her husband, three dogs, and one cat. She teaches literature and English at Polk State College in Lakeland.