Ted Mc Carthy




Drawn by a warmth beyond the temperate,
some creature has been rooting near a culvert,
patient, persistent, methodical – a scrape
long and straight as a brake mark.
Leaves tell where it scattered,
surprised by morning and voices.

How many joggers passed,
eyes fixed, wishing unease
could be diverted like floodwater,
that only the tangible be real?
It works; they become their own rhythm,
all stitch and breath, the cushioned joint
on gravel.

             Not for us. Turn down

toward the cool where moss has swallowed
the tracks of mushroom-foragers, the year’s fad
already dead. Here light
is never whole, there is a heart
unmapped, it shifts like a portal
to a dream of the primal – wild boar
fattening on beech mast; a litter of acorns
where pine needles are a threadbare fabric
on mud.

             It is always the lost now

we feel on air. Are we too old
to be thinking of the timeless?
Is there too much to remember?





Tilt the reading lamp toward
the floor, away from the shadow
of your undressing. The air
is still, between whistles, the window
pretending its perfect
fit. Why does the radio

broadcast on delay? This
is now, yesterday, last week,
and how to tell? Yes,
the remembered ending of recent books,
a glance at an opening sentence.
Or a new meaning of the word forsake.

And the struggle not to be tired
of it all, how it wanes
and waxes, sometimes by the hour,
blue night and first silver moon
astonishing on a hidden shore
some other child, some consolation.