Alan Sullivan

With Alan in the Wilds

With Alan in the Wilds



      Though I endure the shore
      Moorish villas
      surely I love you more

      by waterfalls than fountains
      for our friendship
      came of hardship
      wandering the mountains.

Persisting in Madness

Persisting in Madness1


Alan was still writing songs in the 1970’s, while I turned out historical narratives in iambic pentameter. We were much influenced by the Greek Alexandrian poet Konstantin Kavafy, and his sexual candor. We also admired A.L. Rowse’s exposé of Homosexuals in History and  Mary Renault’s historical novels. Such reading inspired this poem, which was my first sonnet.



The Crossroad Tree

The Crossroad Tree

Friends are getting old; their children, married.
We’re driving out for nuptials at the lake.
Childless, I feel fraudulent and harried
attending vows we never meant to take.

Fields flow past. A landmark elm appears, broken.
It must have spooked the cows that felt its thump.
In rain and thunder, rabbits rudely woken,
darted from their den of shattered stump.

Last Supper

Last Supper
  — i.m. Vince Murphy

In the house where a father lies dying,
grown-up daughters and sons
have begun surreptitiously grieving
while hospice nurses, like nuns,
murmur their grave observations:
the patient has passed beyond pain,
beyond intransigent passions
and the filial bonds that remain.

Timothy Murphy

Timothy Murphy's books are The Deed of Gift, Story Line Press, 1998; Set The Ploughshare Deep, Ohio University Press, 2000; Very Far North, Waywiser Press (London), 2002, and Beowulf, A Longman Critical Edition (co-translator with Alan Sullivan), 2004.

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