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  • By Martin McCarthy

Forever & Other Poems


We are way out here on the edge

of town,

and a breathless, gushing ocean

clings to your tidewash of shards.

We are way out here on the edge

of darkness,

and your smile diminishes

all the graves on the hill.

We are way out here on the edge

of tomorrow,

and other lives come back to us

from the spindrift of another time.

We are way out here on the edge

of love,

and you have been forever the wind

that carries all my songs.

Entering the River

Because of the dirge in the dance,

because of the salt in the wave,

because of the fading glow

of the perfect ring,

you have rarely shared

the full warmth of your love,

but now you do so;

now, in the sunset spell of something

that is still silently sexual,

at the end of a day

that is not the end of us,

your eyes say to me:

"Let us go where the stars undress,

let us feel the flow

and risk of the eternal river."

Two Small Pebbles

Two small pebbles washed up together

at the same time, in the same place,

after a whole tidewash of transformations;

two small pebbles named me and you.

And we could call it a miracle,

or an accident; but no matter which,

the vastness of the sea still clings to us,

and we are close enough now to remember.

Martin McCarthy lives in Cork City, Ireland, where he studied English at UCC. He has published two collections: Lockdown Diary (2020) and Lockdown (2021). His most recent poems appear in the pandemic anthology, Poems from My 5k, and in the journals: Drawn to the Light, Seventh Quarry Poetry, Poetry Salzburg, The Lyric, The Road Not Taken, The Orchards, WestWard Quarterly, Better Than Starbucks, Blue Unicorn,Lighten Up Online,The Chained Muse and The Madrigal. He was shortlisted for the Red Line Poetry Prize, and is a nominee for the 2022 Pushcart Prize. At present, he is working on a long sequence of love poems, titled Book of Desire.

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