Three Poems by Richard Murphy

Ogre Augury

Useful for censorship,
information-filled front-loaders
empty onto a vital word:

Advertisements, public relations,
app upgrade instructions,
system reboot, reply popup,
games, trivia and big data
bury alive for Earth Movers Inc.

The educated precariat tunnels
while the final exam for helplessness
beads on the minor foreheads
from factory-fled towns:
The left-to-depth and debt in school
burrow through strange books,
gig for room and board.

Mount Hopelessness erupts into fire
and ash where the mass grave
diggers wearing headlamps dis-cover
in foot print the understanding.

An archeologist with spoons
and dental pick may touch
about the key to a crisis
or the solution for stopping
the blood-letting in cities
centuries too late.

Extras in the Congregation

For crowds without vision and leadership,
the cunning and cruelty baseline comforts.

Practicing whistling while setting up the trap,
the schadenfreude society member
learns to smile at an early age.
In easy chairs butchers point out
the ancient ameba and the swamp
while envy and resentment chop through
redundant neighborhoods to splay useless people.

Only the prime ribs stand for opportunity,
well-connected at private schools
unless lightning strikes success
for supposed helpless livers.
Bank priests select between stock and flock
to herd for barren earth and wolves
to present to dopamine starved sheep
sheared and slapped into couches.

Appearing live on CCTV,
the inessential personnel perform to prove
personal ineptitude for the honor; when crouching
during the screening process in living rooms,
the plots thicken in competition.

Cult Credit
“Capitalism is a purely cultic religion, without dogma.” – Walter Benjamin

At the capital cathedral
the bishops gesture
with incense and holy water
for parishioners to congregate
at the banks on the river me.
Nuns impressed with black and white
drive by gunning engines
so that envy rises over the rood
to where in gods we trust
and resentment rulers
strike at neighbors.
After the haircut, the sheep
celebrate for the mass chop:
Dominus vobiscum.
Gargoyles buttress for success
by scaring the poor away.
The sacristy gambles on investments
going unnoticed among vestments.
Knaves with two invisible hands eke
through green tablets in walls
to taketh from pews and giveth
to the vaults and sanctuary.
The excommunicated worship
on knees with paper cups
along the sidewalk on the Appian Way
where the sold bipeds roam.