Sunday, March 19, 2023

Resurrection—Murfin Verse for the Vernal Equinox

A newspaper photo in a local weekly paper taken at my job as head custodian of Briargate School in Cary, Illinois when my collection We Build Temples in the Heart was published in 2004.

It was a bitter and blustery day in McHenry County yesterday, much like one more than 20 years ago when I was walking to the train station to get to work in the next town the line early one cold equinox morning when I was struck with this which was included in my 2004 Skinner House collection We Build Temples in the Heart.



From that frigid morning

     when the fog of humanity

     hangs palpable before our faces

     and that fat red sun pops

     before our eyes at the far end of

     the reaching blacktop,

then, when from the highest,

     barest twig the cardinal sings

     his whistle in the graveyard,

our hearts know resurrection and murmur—

     Yes, Yes.


We are a cold people in a cold land,

     and every creeping inch

     of yellow willow hair,

     every footprint

     in newly giving earth,

     every ratchet tap of woodpecker

     on lifeless wood

resonates with resurrection and nods recollection.


It is no wonder that in hot lands,

     perpetual in green,

     moist and ever fertile,

     the natives snickered at tales

     of a hanging god,

     turned on naked heels,

     and ran to sensible deities

     who would not abandon them

     only to hound them on return

     with foolish promises.


But here, at turning time,

     our arctic hearts surrender

     to the sureness of the resurrection

     that surrounds us,

     and in the echo of this miracle

     understand redemption too,

in the merciful thaw

of our glacial souls.


           —Patrick Murfin 

Autographed copies are still available from the author for $8.00.  Facebook message me or email me at for details.

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