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Tim Murphy was born in Cork and lives in Madrid. His three previous chapbooks are: Art Is the Answer (Yavanika Press, 2019); The Cacti Do Not Move (SurVision Books, 2019); and There Are Twelve Sides to Every Circle (If a Leaf Falls Press, 2021).


Barricades of Pain

I wandered into a cannonade of nations.
I saw lamps of democracy and wings of liberty.
I saw a crown, a cross, and a spear.
There was Hellenic delight and anarchist passion.
There were Christs, boy-priests, and soldiers.
The children of kings remained 
shamed and dissonant,
like the wildest oranges retreating
before the memory of snow.

God knows how far the spray 
of the holy bloody sun
will overhang the flowers of Genoa,
God knows how long each bright bird 
will sound a discreet cry of dull woe.
A blossom moon fills inviolate rights 
with waves of terror.
Narcissi drown in a bay
of treacherous mirrors.
The curved green weeks cannot save
the bitter sea.

They have slain the soul of my brother,
they have robbed his young mind.
His eyes roar and rage
but the hour of his reign has passed.
What has been written
has burned and died.


Flow, ink, flow—take me
To an inland forest in spring,
Near mountains and hills
But far, far from the sea.

Flow, ink, flow like a river
Or a stonecutter’s chisel,
Towards the horizon
And deep, deep into the world.

Flow, ink, flow—carry me
Into the vast air,
Amidst the stars and the clouds,
Carry me, ink, carry me there.

Praise for the Author

“Young in the Night Grass glitters with rare intelligence and a mysterious otherworldly quality. Murphy treats poetry with the respect it deserves, and in turn, has been rewarded with handfuls of gleaming, occult, treasure.”

Charlie Baylis, poet and critic, editor of Anthropocene

“In Young in the Night Grass, Murphy writes of edgy truths that can only be conveyed by the nuanced meanings of risk-taking speech — truths garlanded by love, nature, and the lessons of hurt.”

Patrick Cotter, author of Sonic White Poise.


“Barricades of Pain” is a cut-up of two poems by Oscar Wilde: “Sonnet to Liberty” and “Sonnet Written in Holy Week at Genoa”. Both are included in Wilde’s 1881 collection, Poems, first published by David Bogue.

“Charioteer” is a cut-up of three poems by James Joyce: “Song”, “This Heart that Flutters Near My Heart”, and “I Hear an Army”. All three are included in Joyce’s collection, Chamber Music, first published in 1907 by Elkin Mathews.

“Bound Composition” is a response to an exercise suggested in the chapter, “Stray Thoughts on Roethke and Teaching”, in Richard Hugo’s book, The Triggering Town (WW Norton & Company, 1979).

“Tinkling Wound” is a cut-up of two poems by Seamus Heaney: “Blackberry-Picking”, from Death of a Naturalist (Faber and Faber, 1966) and “The Grauballe Man”, from North (Faber and Faber, 1975). 

The epigraph to “Minotaur in Green” is from Joyce Mansour’s poem, “Pandémonium”, in her collection of the same name (La Nueva Foglio, 1976). The English version given here is from Katharine Conley’s translation of the poem in the journal, Dada/Surrealism, No. 19 (2013).

“Sultry Hooves” is a cut-up of “On a Picture of a Black Centaur by Edmund Dulac” by William Butler Yeats. The poem is from Yeats’s collection, The Tower, first published in 1928 by Macmillan & Co.

Background, cover image and cover design by Michelle Moloney King.
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