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Second Poetry Prize Winner - Summer 2013



of York, Pennsylvania



“Creek Water Runs”

~by Joel Murphy



Creek water runs, it rushes and rolls

It thins over stones and swirls footbridge poles

It saturates its banks and goes dark where it’s deep

Skimmer bugs walk it, with magic, pin-feet


A branch blocks the flow, as best a branch can

With help from two boys and their boy-built dam

An oak leaf drops, flutters and spins

It floats down and down, to where sunlight dims


Leaf touches water just ahead of the falls

Seized by smooth whirls, circling, it stalls

Circling and bobbing, and circling

Circling and bobbing, and circling


Thrown stones, launched with gleeful force,

Cause a near miss, and chart its new course

The leaf drifts for a time, in vain, like a dream

But, creek water runs and steers it downstream


Channeled towards the falls now, the leaf surges on

With no moves, no resistance; its conclusion fore-gone

Over pummeled, suffering bubbling swirls

It sinks to others waiting, in a submerged, muddy world


Creek water runs, it rushes and rolls

It thins over stones and swirls footbridge poles

Overpowering their dam, it flows on, alone

As two boys, down the trail, throw it one last stone


By Joel Murphy

I am a professional writer in the fields of marketing and advertising, yet can't seem to shake this urge to come home at night and write about things that interest me, in forms that appeal to my creativity. I am a husband, the father of three, and passed the fifty year mark a few years back. 

This poem came about as a result of blended moments. As I clicked on the link to learn more about this contest, I was listening to an atmosphere-type CD with the sounds of a creek and birds woven into the music. My mind flashed back to long summer days exploring in the woods with friends. Reading about submitting an poem became connected with what I was recalling. "Creek water runs" was my first thought. Visit Joel Murphy's website at http://www.joelmurphywriting.com .