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  • By Martin McCarthy

Waves of You & Other Poetry



Waves of You I want to hold you, long and close, where waves break in twilight. I want to hold you, long and close, and feel your skin gleaming with joy. I want to hold you, long and close, in the tiered fragments of a vision. I want to hold you, long and close, whenever you come back to me on the froth of the tide.


Gasp


I did not expect to find you here,

among these little shells and things

that move from shore to shore

in a vast eternity of sea-foam;

but here you are, light years

from when I met you,

seeing the sea with eyes

that are still open to astonishment.


I did not expect to see you,

with your face lit up in eager joy,

or feel the fading day being charged again

by a sudden voltage of your touch;

but here you are, as the night undresses

in an alcove of dreams and moonbeams,

uttering the long tidal gasp of a longing

that is echoed from every shore.


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, and Lighten Up Online. 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, and these poems are taken from that sequence.

9 Comments


Emilio Tarsa
Emilio Tarsa
Apr 10, 2022

Hi Martin: you asked me to read your poems, so here I am. I must add that I was most moved and intrigued by the first poem, so I'll focus on that one.


I am attracted to the images evoking the ephemeral, the fragmentary, inbetween-ness and so on.


I am not sure, then, what to make of the second line in the second stanza because it is 'transparent', whereas the second lines in the stanzas preceding and succeeding the second stanza are in some ways evocative of the numinous or, if this is too much, the ineffable or obscure regions of experience. (The never graspable horizon where wave and twilight meet, fragments, and so on.)


Yet, the second line in…


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martinmccarthy1956
martinmccarthy1956
Apr 11, 2022
Replying to

I love this. Getting encouragement from someone who really understands the nuanced craft of writing is always a special joy

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Carrie Griffin
Carrie Griffin
Mar 08, 2022

These are astonishing poems, Martin!

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Hannah Dare
Hannah Dare
Feb 24, 2022

I love the mystery and magic of these poems. Beautiful work, genuine and heartfelt.

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martinmccarthy1956
martinmccarthy1956
Feb 25, 2022
Replying to

I just want to thank you and the others who commented on my work. I know that a poet, after writing for many years, should be somewhat indifferent to comments (good or bad) but I am not that person, and I do appreciate the positivity of these. As Leonard Cohen once said: 'And here's a man still working for your smile.'

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Alessia Troisi
Alessia Troisi
Feb 24, 2022

Beautiful poems with such strong imagery. I have always felt a strong connection to water, and I feel as though both of these poems put into words something I have always felt but have never known how to express. I love the last two lines 'whenever you come back to me/ on the froth of the tide' the connection of relationship to the waves is powerful. Craft like this isn't easy to come on these days!

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billy
Feb 24, 2022

These are beautiful poems, the repeated line running like the tide and the striking language choices. “...feel your skin gleaming with joy” is such a compelling line. It almost shouldn't work and yet works wonderfully. Is it the skin that that's joyful? Is it the poet, at feeling the gleaming skin?

I love, too, how the second poem echoes the first, or entrenches it. This is poetry of a high order, I think, full of passion, an obviously erotic tinge and careful crafting. The prospect of a long sequence (Book of Desire – what a title!) continuing these meditations is an intriguing one.

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