The lacking is one of central themes of Murray’s poetry. The characters of his poems feel they lack something important in their life, the pictures displayed don’t satisfy the viewer and the landscapes lack important details.
In Absolutely Ordinary Rainbow unknown man surrounded by people feels like in a desert. “The man we surround, the man no one approaches simply weeps”¯ and people do not approach him as “the dignity of his weeping holds us back from his space.”¯Ā People describe in the poem do not approach each other. Despite they live in the same city, they are like separated by the wall:
”¦uniforms back in the crowd who tried to seize him
stare out at him, and feel, with amazement, their minds longing for tears as children for a rainbow”¦
People lack naturalness, lack the ability to uncover their feelings, open their hearts. In “Flight from Manhattan”¯ Murray describes the situation when people lack identity and borrow way of life from other countries. “Little we could love expanded to fill the spaces of high glazed prosperity.”¯ Unfortunately, borrowed identity and culture can not fill in the emptiness in the souls of people and they still feel this lacking.Ā “Employment and neckties and ruling themes ascended
Into the towers. But they never filled them.”¯ People perform much effort to fill in this lacking but they loose themselves in these attempts and gain nothing but another disappointment.
Natural objects are replaced by artificial things. Like forest in View of Sydeny is replaced:
South and west lie in the treeless suburbs, a mulch of faced flags,
North and partly east, the built in paradise forest.
Characters of the poems suffer, they aren’t able to find the things which make their lives incomplete:
“A man with no past has all too many futures”¯. When there is no defined purpose of existence all the search makes no meaning and routine actions bring only disappointment. “I take out a book, read a phrase,
Five times ”“ and put the book down.”¯Ā The theme of lacking crosses all Murray’s poems like a red line. The characters are not happy and they always lack something ”“ time, money, power but they forget they use them only to forget they lack real human feelings, attitudes and relations.