Hayden Murphy

We feature work by poet Hayden Murphy to mark National Poetry Day 2012.

Cover of 'Linked lines'
'Linked lines'.
Cover design by Hugh Bryden.

Hayden Murphy was born in Dublin in 1945 and currently lives in Edinburgh.

An arts journalist in Ireland and Scotland for over 40 years, Hayden edited the periodical 'Broadsheet: poetry, prose & graphics' from 1967 to 1978. 'Broadsheet' was the subject of an exhibition held at the National Library of Scotland during 1983. (See catalogue record for 'Making an exhibition for myself'.)

Hayden has had several collections of poetry published, including:

  • 'Places of glass' (Albany, 1979)
  • 'Wedded echoes' (Galdragon Press, 1995)
  • 'My son the poet' (Galdragon Press, 2005).

These following excerpts are taken from 'Linked lines', published by Roncadora Press.


Clouds Wear Feathered Gloves

I.M. Jacqueline du Pre: 1945-87.


Hands magnetise the cold of distance
From distant low-lying heat of hearth.

Fingers slide across the ocean-face
To fleck a wave back in an eye afraid
Of sea-horses pulling at the reins
Spun round the rings that starlit
The way wind-music loosely leads
To ease all movement into sound.

Full moon of fist curls up fright
Of strange new night on window pane.

At night gulls of white wool
Become swallows of black thread
Shadowing into a dip in the dark
Where a shudder of light lingers on
To connect with the light left behind
Amputating the hand from the blind.

Reputation wore a frail white veil
Steamed with the colour blue of day.



Fingers walk on water spreading
An icicle clasp on sea-buildings
Forming a spiral-staircase down
Where architect-whale cascades
A fund of familiar stars milking
The sentiment from the sound.

Stifled flowers in glass-houses grow blue
As an introduction drawn pre-paid.

Nails are eyelids closing down
Eyes of hands, fingers
Clenched are fists of a face
In an unfolded arm of a day
Straddling its seasonal limbs
Covering a festival of signs.

Hand's shadow glides out to wave good-bye:
Light and shade to grey-dust creased

Inside a feathered warmth of cloud.


National Poetry Day 2012


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