James Murdock

In Death, Music

At the end of the earth,
nothing wept. No song
of praise, no alter. A rumble
not translated as sound.
No eyes to see, no tongues
to utter. Only stars flipping
empty pages. Only light
dancing on mineral oblivion.
Yet, in that void, there was
a humming. With no ear to
hear, a telling. The wind,
the breath, lungs. In the
rhythmic stream, a
beating. A face carved,
 a graven image in
the stone. In the rapid
water, drinking. In the fire,
dreaming—the dream
of you. The dream of us—
of we. In the clay, the
lightning, the stirring
of the mud, a calling,
an echo, a reverberation.
A returning. In death,
music. From stillness,
movement. Out of
nothing, something.

James Murdock is a writer, naturalist, and English teacher from Jasper County, Georgia. He is a current MFA student in narrative nonfiction writing at the University of Georgia. Murdock writes mainly about nature and agriculture, and how such topics intersect with the human spirit. His first poetry book, Think, Dear Daughter, was published in 2019. Murdock lives on a farm with his family an hour east of Atlanta.

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