Monthly Archives: November 2014



The cuticles on each of my fingernails are torn.
The tender skin has been ripped into jagged edges
By teeth desperately trying to block the words
Flowing from the back of my throat,
Stuffing my mouth full of my flesh
…As if the taste of my own blood and body has ever stopped me from doing anything stupid before.

My hands are ugly.
In Grade Ten, a boy said to me, “You have the kind of hands that never look good wearing rings.”
I thought it was an insult
But really, it was a prophesy:
My hands really have never looked good wearing rings,
Because rings are promises,
And my hands have learned to block out promises like curtains blocking out sunlight.
My hands leave things behind
Like streaks of bread dough, unsent letters, flakes of nail polish
Like lovers’ DNA, slicks of cocoa butter, splatters of acrylic paint.

My hands are ugly.
My fingers are short and stubby.
My wrists are thick and wide.
These hands have bathed the dead.
They have wrapped shrouds and tossed clods of dirt onto caskets.
These hands have always done what has been needed:
Shoveled fly ash, cupped vomit, sliced onions, scraped up change from countertops.
They have held up protest signs and clenched in fists,
They have committed acts of petty theft and vandalism.
My hands are purposeful, not pretty.

The cuticles on each of my fingernails are torn.
I chew on them mercilessly instead of saying what I want to,
Things like:
My hands may never look good wearing rings,
And I’ve never been good at believing in promises,
But when I look at you,
I remember that my hands have also cupped the luminous corona of a child’s head splitting wide its mother’s vulva,
Picked handfuls of herbs,
And traced stories on the backs of those who pressed their bodies against mine.
So, please – give my hands more beautiful things to do:
Let them hold onto yours for just a little while.

My Hand
This is actually my hand. I’ll spare you the close-up of my cuticles.

Creative Commons License
This work, “Cuticles” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


A Thousand Love Letters


I could write you a thousand love letters on my skin
Promises etched into the backs of my knees and the palms of my hands
Endearments printed on my inner thighs
Soft cries of passion painted down the slope of my spine
But what good are words committed to flesh
When grammar remains uncaressed
When syntax remains unstroked
When you are not here to read all that my body has to say?

 If you want me
Trace the angles of my script with your fingertips
Decipher my logograms with your lips
Scrape every diacritical mark with playful teeth
Suck on the edges of my alphabets until I am no longer coherent
And language becomes a mere accessory
Read me all night
Read me until you can no longer keep your eyes open.


Creative Commons License
This work, “A Thousand Love Letters” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Featuring At Urban Legends Poetry Slam!


I’m not going to lie – I am supercalifragilisticexiali-excited to be featuring at Urban Legends Poetry Slam in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. If you are going to be around, you should totally come out and say hello!  Urban Legends has a reputation across Canada for being fierce, diverse, and  (respectfully) competitive – it is going to be a huge treat for me to watch this slam go down. I’m so honoured to feature at this event that I am buying a new dress for the occasion!

Me at Last Chance
Photo By: Lindsay Alley © 2014

When: November 14, 2014
Where: Carleton University (1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa Ontario)
Other Stuff: 3 open mic spots
9 Poetry Slam spots.
Arrive early to get on the list.
All ages.
Carleton University
Location: To be determined.
Sign-Up 6:30
Start time: 7:17 pm

Facebook Event Page


Grace Through Apostasy


You are not my church,
And because of that,
I still have faith.

My knees may be bent,
And my lips may move with silent invocations,
But I no longer pray to you.

There are scars on my body where I have whipped myself to show devotion,
Punctured my flesh through multiple crucifixtions
Believing that if I arranged myself on a cross just so
My offering would finally mean something to you.

I light candles in the shadowy corners of cathedrals,
But I no longer hope for your vision to appear,
For you to deliver a sacred message of hope,
Or to place your banner of love over me.

You remain un-transubstantiated,
No amount of worship has turned your hurts into holiness.
There is no chant to turn the wine in your veins to blood,
No possible reverence that could turn bread into bone.

I no longer make pilgrimages to cold, concrete chapels,
Hoping to find you, curled childlike, sleeping on a corner pew.
The tearstains on my prayerbook remind me that the Devil walks the earth with mala beads
That Evil can look like an angel
And that Hungry Ghosts are never satisfied with incense, rice, or peaches.

You are not my church.
You are not my home.
You are not my constellation of stars in the night sky leading me to glory.

You are the relics of a long-forgotten superstition,
Rusted over and reclaimed by Nature.
Let the rains wash away the letters of your name.
Let falling autumn leaves cover over your memory.
Your spells are undone,
Your curses have been erased,
And your blessings have become irrelevant.

Now, I can begin to believe in the one, true religion…

Is this your picture? Please let me know and I will credit you.

Creative Commons License
This work, “Grace Through Apostasy” by Beth Murch,  is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.



I knew you before.

I carried you in my salt-water womb,
Birthed you between mighty thighs
With a roar that frightened dragons from their hiding places in the cliffs
And sent them soaring into sapphire skies where they turned into mythology.
I severed your umbilical cord with my teeth,
Placed your hungry mouth to my breast,
And fed you milk made of starlight and moon glow.
I gave you the Earth and the Universe as siblings.
I formed deities to be your dolls and carved volcanoes from mud to entertain you.
Mother and Child – the most sacred of all unions:
How could I forget you when your placenta’s blood still stains my hands?

I knew you before.

 They called us “Gemini”
We were two bright stars;
The immortal twins
Forever stretching across the infinity of black sky to touch fingertips.
Our sacred geometry created plasma that crackled St. Elmo’s Fire,
Giving Tesla’s butterflies blue halos and promising that not even the gods themselves could sever our connection.
Together, we were luminous.
How could I forget you when I still hear the hissing of your electricity in my ears?

I knew you before.

 We were The Lovers,
Naked and unashamed.
We played beneath the golden glow of angels,
Finding pleasure picking fruits from orchards,
And licking sweet juices from each other’s chins.
It was all so blissful.
Our bodies were ripe and perfect.
We could not stop gazing at each other,
We admired our reflection in each other’s eyes.
The lovemaking we shared then led to the intimacy we would always feel ever after
Tumbling forward lifetime into lifetime.
How could I forget you when I still carry the taste of your kiss on my tongue?

 I knew you before…

…And I will know you ever after.
We are bound together through synastry,
Our individual energies destined to continue forming special relationships
Regardless of incarnation and manifestation
Thanks to a karmic magnetism that is timeless.
My inhalations are your exhalations.
You are engraved on my heart like a line on my palm.
How could I forget you when our planets intersect,
Our houses align,
Our natal charts overlap,
Our hearts beat in rhythm,
Our footsteps are in unison?

I knew you before.
I will know you again.
We are never really apart.


Brangelina – is it written in the stars?
By the way, if this is your image, please let me know and I will credit you.

Creative Commons License
This work, “Synastry” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.