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  • By Martin McCarthy

Forever & Other Poems


Forever


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.

17 Kommentare


martinmccarthy1956
martinmccarthy1956
19. Juni 2022

Thank you for your comment. It gives me great pleasure to see that my work is really connecting with people and they too feel the same way about someone special in their own lives. To be in love is a truly marvellous thing, and once you've experienced that, it's there forever - there's no disappointment anymore, and no despair. That's probably what you mean by the 'eternal echo'.

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Gast
19. Juni 2022

It can be very relatable, and at time his words can have a sort of eternal echo to them.


Often it reminds me how lucky I've been to land a good relationship with a good person.

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martinmccarthy1956
martinmccarthy1956
19. Juni 2022
Antwort an

The comment above is meant for you. I'm a bit tired and I put it in the wrong box.

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ajsedia
17. Juni 2022

I particularly enjoyed the parallelism in structure between the stanzas in "Forever." The consistency gave it a musical quality.


As far as richness of expression goes, "Entering the River" evokes thoughts of the eternal in the simplest language. Indeed, a philosophical poem is cloaked in an erotic veneer. Well done!

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martinmccarthy1956
martinmccarthy1956
17. Juni 2022
Antwort an

Like you Adam, I do listen to a lot of music, so I'm glad you picked up on the musical quality of the poems. I was once in a band and I wrote the lyrics and I modelled my song-writing then on Lennon/McCartney. One of the greatest lessons I learned from them was that simplicity isn't that easy to do and still make an impact. But you're right also about cloaking something philosophical (and spiritual) in an erotic veneer, this too is part of my process and hopefully gives the work a lot of depth. Thank you for your very perceptive comments.

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Gast
10. Juni 2022

Raw and beautiful, and moving. Thank you Martin for sharing your poems. It’s a joy to ready them.

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jm6783685
jm6783685
14. Juni 2022
Antwort an

Yes, our egos are dangerous things. And need constantly to be mortified. Without our becoming unnatural, because even there our egos can enter in. ('I am mortifying myself more than you are!') Best just to acknowledge the ego's presence and give it its due and then quietly move on to more important things. And above all avoid all cultural manifestations where egotistic self-display is at a premium. Poetry at least gives us opportunity for constant self-examination. Yeats could boast and show off in his poetry. But then would immediately attack himself for that. And so come across as lovably human. Eliot's chief fault is his unexamined snobbishness. Just as Auden's is his unexamined vulgarity.

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Gast
10. Juni 2022

This poetry is very accessible to the average person. It evokes a lovely spiritual feeling, particularly 'Two Small Pebbles'. I like the imagery, 'Let us go where the stars undress'. Thank you. You brightened my day.

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martinmccarthy1956
martinmccarthy1956
10. Juni 2022
Antwort an

You've brightened my day, too.

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