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CATHERINE PHIL MACCARTHY

 

 

Catherine Phil McCarthy

Catherine Phil MacCarthy grew up in Co. Limerick and lives in Dublin. Collections include This Hour of the Tide, Salmon Publishing (1994); the blue globe (1998), Suntrap, (2007), and a first novel, One Room an Everywhere (2003), published by Blackstaff Press. She is winner of The Fish Poetry Prize, Bantry 2010, and a former editor of Poetry Ireland Review. Her next collection, The Invisible Threshold is due for publication.

 

 

 

Turning Right

 

The road swerves and dips, slants south-east,

straight as a compass for miles between two ditches

alive with finches, fields on both sides of lambs and flowering gorse,

(now sweet musk, pollen-breath of summer)

 

and straddling the end of that line on the horizon

as if it were designed, the Blackstairs,

a pyramid, only green, edging off the windscreen

as the road wound a slow descent

 

towards the river. That afternoon

as we strolled along, it was all sheer sunlit glitter

and fish jumping where we came to the din of a weir,

a lone heron stalked,  keeled neck fully outstretched,

 

mimed such a motionless procession

that we stood there, listening to the rush of streams,

happy water weaving over stones, the ascending

chorus of plain chant, a wordless uplift,

 

as if time stopped and we were open to pure being,

indivisible from loved ones’ gone,

in the same place maybe as the gates

of heaven, so when the breeze

 

lifted sally leaves in small bursts

in the ancient woods behind us

and let them drop, we fancied

we might hear the voice of God.

 

 

©2010 Catherine Phil MacCarthy

 

 

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