Two Poems by John Muro


Like schools of cut-throat,
tail lights clot the doll-
house floodgate in a
communal muster of
ruby glass and chrome.
One by one, the cars,
crypt-quiet, slip into
the windless current
that drifts between the
narrow fjords of crushed
gravel before they’re
safely harbored and
moored to parking-meter
dead-ringers – compact,
bee-box speakers – sound
crackling thru metal gills,
and all eyes are soon
transfixed by immense
silhouettes drying like
blue frescos upon the
near horizon until the
last spray of phantasmal
light played out and the
night faded back to musky
silence and the distant
drum of muffled thunder.


Claude Monet, 1923

“To see green again, red, and,
at last, an attenuated blue,” he
wrote late in life with a clarity
born from darkness and made
manifest in these haunting
apparitions convulsed to canvas;
the loud laments of color and
tangled ephemera whose destiny
is decay; convinced of the need
to uncoil and recast ornament
with an abstract palette where
dusk spools in Neolithic dark
and phantasmal vines descend
and flicker in purple-gold waters,
delicately entwining the last of
light in eerie undulations, and how
the abrupt anguish and erosion
of forms readily displace those
calm confections that once drifted
beneath the luminous tapestries
of willow, an arched expanse of
bridge and the lush sanctuary of
his orderly, well-tended gardens.

John Muro, resident of Connecticut and lover of all things chocolate, is a two-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize and, more recently, for the Best of the Net Award. He has published two volumes of poems – In the Lilac Hour and Pastorale Suite – in 2020 and 2022, respectively. Both volumes were published by Antrim House and both are available on Amazon and elsewhere. John’s poems have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including Acumen, Barnstorm, Gray Sparrow, River Heron, Sky Island, Sparks of Calliope and the Valparaiso Review. Instagram: @johntmuro.

Two Poems by John Muro


Welling up from ditches
like caretakers of loss,
they ride thermals
with large eye-lashes
for wings and long-
stemmed fingers
delicate as coal dust;
relishing the idle drift
into black kettles of air,
travelling half asleep
for miles in search of
food using only wind
for lift. Disciples of decay,
they nest with death
and indulge a life of
dark leisure, as meals
arrive without effort,
wind dispersing the
curious odors of carrion
and neglect from farther
fields, back roads or dumps.
Roosting in barren trees,
their naked heads appear
like enflamed gullets,
drowned in the colors
of garnet red or weather-
worn brick, stripped of
both feathers and flesh,
like the lives that still
follow them, weight-
less, up into alien air.


Disheveled autumn’s deftly
side-stepped winter’s grasp,
carrying in wide, blousy
pockets slumbering bees, brittle
nests and the easy currency of
pungent musk lifted from tea-
brown pools of leaf-rot and
acres of decay. Arrives poorly
attired in a worn, tweed cap
and thinning hair, mud-caked
shoes and a shawl of drab-scarlet
woven from wool, blithely
traipses through the well-worn
paths of woodlands, dank ruts
of orchard and rain-glazed
pasture, and, bojangle-brazen,
turns wind-ward and pivots
on his crooked walking stick
as he nimbly rises and entwines
with phantom light, pauses amid
the mottled luster of leaf-scatter,
drinks in the bright applause
of interloper crows and then
bows meekly before sauntering
off into the upsweep of gray
gusts like a happy grief.

John Muro is a resident of Connecticut and a two-time 2021 Pushcart Prize nominee. His first volume of poems, In the Lilac Hour, was published by Antrim House (2020) and is available on Amazon. John’s poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Barnstorm, Euphony, Grey Sparrow, Moria, Sky Island and Sparks of CalliopePastoral Suite, John’s second volume of poems will be published this spring. You can contact John via Instagram @johntmuro.

“Detachment” by John Muro

Because things often come in threes,
I await the conclusion to this trilogy
Where items are accumulated by the
Act of subtraction and there’s a certain
Enchantment found in moments of desperation,
Like the time a plane, slipping into unhurried
Descent, expelled a wheel that rolled, bodiless
And at a blistering speed, down the runway;
Or the time, years later, when a compact car,
Exiting the turnpike near dusk, ambushed
My windshield with a fountain of autumn-
Orange dazzle, the rear tire having lurched
From the axle and fled like a convict, hurdling
Knee-high guard-rails into the underbrush.
And so I await the third and final flourish
That’s taking shape in my mind – where
Fear’s softened and I’m approaching the
Periphery of some other world upon an
Exquisite chariot that’s veered off course,
With only one wheel, having reached the
Right true end of a journey with too
Little recovered and too much lost.

John Muro’s poems have been published or are forthcoming in numerous literary journals, including Moria, River Heron, Sheepshead, Euphony, Clementine Unbound, The French Literary Review, Sparks of Calliope, and others. A life-long resident of Connecticut, John’s professional career has been dedicated to environmental stewardship and conservation. His first volume of poems, In the Lilac Hour, was published last fall by Antrim House and is available on Amazon.