Eileen Murphy – Poems and Photographs
Bird of Paradise
Poem for a Bromeliad
Your winter moon shivers.
I watch your fuchsia tongue
unroll. Your dimpled chin is
filled with dust and leaves and what you stole in
purdah that foils
the men there. You are far from fair
like rags tossed out so worn and ratty
yet you’ve managed
to marry yourself to palms and bananas
commanding rain soaked sand
and mating unafraid
with gods in black lawn-lakes.
The Orchid Grower
orchids are misunderstood
they don’t want blood
they need the right
not soil but peat moss—
soft for tangled roots to cling to—
too much water
(and don’t let ants get in the pot)
then when she passes through the porch on her path to work
the orchids’ placid faces say:
stay here—it’s safe here—stay
What a shy smell
when one gardenia
lounges in a bowl on the
entrance table. And then lavender,
not in a bar of soap–but in a lazy, musky
bath–and fresh bought bread–the scents
expand to every popcorn in the
ceiling, every baseboard
in the house, until both of you are
enveloped by a
circle of sweat, half sighs,
and full moons.
As a visual artist who is also a poet, I am interested in the intersection of photography and poetry. I love it when my photographs can be featured along with related poems. I live in Central Florida in a semi-rural area, and the tropical plants and animals I encounter on a daily basis are so beautiful that I never lack inspiration for my photographs. The photographs published here are special because they are part of a series on Florida wildlife where I use Photoshop to manipulate the image to achieve a “painting” effect.
A former Chicagolander, Eileen Murphy lives on semi-rural property that must be mowed quite often, located 30 miles from Tampa, surrounded by the wild animals of Central Florida, most of them mosquitoes. She received her Masters degree from Columbia College, Chicago. She teaches literature and English at Polk State College and has published photography in Calyx, The Indian River Review, and The Thought Erotic.
(Featured image credit: Lipstick by Eileen Murphy)