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New Poetry, Fiction, Essay

Our featured poet Felicia McCarthy

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Felicia McCarthy is a poet living in the West of Ireland.  She has been published in Ireland and internationally, online, in anthologies and magazines.  In 2017, she was shortlisted for the Dermot Healy Award, The Red Line Poetry Prize and the Over the Edge Writer of the year.

 

 

 

 

 

Famine Ship (for sculptor, John Behan)

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From the forge of his imagination comes a boat

out of the past, carrying our ancestors and our shame.

Flaunting it.  The sight knocks the wind from my sails.

Moorings loose, my mind slips as my body remembers.

 

Hands grip the masts of a ship too small to hold them all

and they ride the wind as if born to it.  Their open mouths

catch the ocean spray and cleans the slime of rotting spud

and the stain of seaweed ink from their throats.

 

Thin as the sheets of sailcloth they replace, their flesh

sways in the breeze like rags on a line whipped by the wind.

Larger than life they are, on a sea without a horizon.

It must be hope or despair that holds them there.

 

They have nothing left to lose but all of our lives.

 .

.

.

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Pomegranate

 

Nine seeds were all it took

to thicken the plot into a myth

that cut the year in half

and half again.

Sticky when wet, the pink

gold skin of the fruit is thin

but tough. A sharp blade,

a swift slap on the black

counter top creates a path

for the red juice to drip

along fingers and down wrists.

The bright seeds

glisten in the air as if

aching to be spooned.

 

Nine seeds consumed in the dark

were enough to cause a cleft

in the earth, allow the daughter

to lose herself to desire and find

her lover in the underworld.

The mother held back the wheel of time

while she covered the earth with her heart’s

frost until her daughter returned,

stumbling toward redemption.

 

 

 

Eclipse

 

Last night, a white clad moon called

me awake from my dream of Mars,

of fire, flames, and hidden reservoirs.

 

She called me down to the abandoned

street, out to the clean sweep of the strand.

Even the wind was elsewhere.

 

Like a voyeur I watched the slow

covering of light with dark, the formal

mating dance of the moon and her master.

 

The morning the moon rose

naked, but for a nimbus of gold

and never called me at all.

 

 

Scriptwriters of a Norse God

 

 

At dawn, a cloud of finger-winged crows

flies into the forecourt of The Osprey.

Like a bee swarm, it sails between walls,

waking us with joyous, if raucous calls.

 

This is Odin’s tribe, these his messengers

their feathers the ink, the air the page

their song the prelude.  The script is a fleeting

sketch of sacred geometry, a dizzying

 

Escher print animated and vocal.

Life, Death, it is all the same.  We are

carrion or soon will be.  Time for us

to wake, unscramble the design

 

drawn by a murder of crows

and listen to the song of a gypsy cabal

of birds, who prophesy the ending

without using words.

 

 

 

 

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