Wednesday, March 21, 2018

It's the instances when....

.... Coleman Hawkings
plays Man With A Horn 
in the room where my man sat
listening to Coleman Hawkings play
Man With A Horn.

Something about that tempo,
the tenor sax solo
shreds the heart into knots
of grass.

It's the instance when I hear
Bill Evans on My Foolish Heart
when above my head my man blows
his horn, one brow rising to say "hi" when
I walk by.

Something about that solitude
makes me a tiny boat tied up
inside a craggy cave of
sloshing melody.





Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Altar

I could kneel here for hours apologizing
     for what I didn't do so well

or not at all.

Though it was no crime at the time, now
     the pain of deadly loss

makes it so

and the price I pay is huge––the icy quiet
in the house he's made,

the joys I'll never see again;

the end of ease.

What's the point?

Today's the point. 
It's the whole beautiful point. 
First the gorgeous silence when I wake,
the silence of an old sleeping swan. 

The coffee without sound, made without
a single thought and I lean
against the sink to feel 
the tender quiet slip around 
my shoulders with a hug

A friend texts: Meet on the bay

And before that cobalt sea I bend,
the friend chatting beside me.

I want to hear her every word 
but the rise and fall and the rise and fall 
and the rise and the fall 
of waves, waves, more waves 
coax my ears away 
and all my cares tip-toe 
toward that shore--
to get a little break from me.

How sweet, how thoughtful 
my cares can be. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Dead of night


This is a poem about that night.

It could be about my mother,
my father,
my brother,
or my man
because all died
in the dead of night.

For a long time, it was getting ready
to happen
and then it happened
at the exact time when nothing
is supposed to happen.

They all got that dry nose and
startled look, twilight
dimming from day to night,
to the very dead of night,
one by one, decades apart,
all got that puzzled look,
a match flame in the iris,
bodies mushed as pumpkins in June,
becoming the ground,
placed in their boxes–my people,
now the fruit that sweetens
their compost.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Her voice

Between sips of French Roast, words 
dribble 
into this white space
and wiggle to life,
to become perhaps 
a poem 
or the last leg 
of one. 

I can do this all day. 

I am in no hurry. 
I can get up any time for a stroll 
then sit down again here 
or in some other cafe 
and read Sharon Olds' confessions 
to loosen my shy tongue 
until words sprinkle around 
and I see some consoling truth 
emerge in this or that phrase 
and then lean back, 
sip more coffee, 
hear thoughts meander 
out of their caves 
down my right hand 
onto this page, 
just as I magined 
all those years 
sitting in that high rise 
looking down on cafes 
where people at small tables 
like this one 
sat for hours 
eavesdropping, 
scribbling. 

Someday that will be you, 

a voice consoled. 
That voice of longing 
that won't die in me.

My new chapbook, Moments of Our Parting, available on Amazon





ttps://www.amazon.com/Moments-Our-Parting-Ellen-McCarthy/dp/1976348765/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1509291183&sr=8-1&keywords=ellen+mccarthy+moments+of+our+parting

Comments from readers:


Thursday, November 9, 2017

After the trial

After the trial, and what a trial; 
one manages to stand up again;
life wants to go on.

Odd isn’t it?
To love life even though it takes and takes.

When the raft floats away, we refuse to sink
but clasp life’s hand like a drowning child.

No one buries their beloved and leaps off 
the roof. 
Not even Edgar Allan Poe

after loosing the beautiful Lenore,
the light of wants remained lit in him.

Our bodies, these lamps of desire, endure,
tho awake all night, naked and stiff.