Ted Mc Carthy


Take an hour, a breath, the length of a recording,
the time it takes for emptiness to make itself felt.
Yesterday I passed a low wall where gravediggers
filled the day with an easy rhythm; for them,
time was the fullness of light or the space between showers.
And the ground was virgin: no skull would be thrown up.
A discarded jacket, a flask, a litter of mugs.
Not so different from any kind of harvest.

And the music I hear tonight is bone and sinew,
the striking of nail on string, a withering
to grow again. And I grow again, a day
older, into the complete vacancy of night
and the certainty that in Missouri, say,
a room gathers music as earth its warm rain.

Ted Mc Carthy

is a poet and translator living in Clones, Ireland. His work has appeared in magazines in Ireland, the UK, Germany, the USA, Canada, and Australia. He has had two collections published: November Wedding and Beverly Downs.