Avoidance

by on Apr 26, 2017

Waiting for catastrophe
I keep busy with things
that don’t matter,
avoid starting what
I might not finish,
try not to mourn,
or spend myself in rage,
wasting energies
I can’t replace.
Grief will come
when I think I have
outrun it.
I already have too many
sympathy cards
and sleepless hours enough
to find thousands
of bad endings
that become easier and easier
to imagine.

 


Mary McCarthy has always been a writer, but spent most of her working life as a Registered Nurse. Her work has appeared in many online and print journals, including Earth’s Daughters, Gnarled Oak, Third Wednesday and Three Elements Review. Her echapbook Things I Was Told Not To Think About is available through Praxis magazine online as a free download. She is grateful for the wonderful online communities of writers and poets sharing their work and passion for writing, providing a rich world of inspiration, appreciation, and delight.

Dis-Spelling

by on Feb 3, 2017

I remember that party
the one where cats danced
in circles
and wolves sang
beneath a bloody moon.

The one where we all took
strange communion
and neon visions bloomed
rooted in our bodies,
electric petals opening
wide enough to swallow
our lame conventions.

I remember how my heart beat
in a hard stutter
with the flash
of strobe lights
hyphenating time
deranging vision
until I turned
spinning like a dizzy girl
in a game meant to break
through
to some bright new world
beyond the walls of reason.

 


Mary McCarthy has always been a writer, but spent most of her working life as a Registered Nurse. Her work has appeared in many online and print journals, including Earth’s Daughters, Gnarled Oak, Third Wednesday and Three Elements Review. She is grateful for the wonderful online communities of writers and poets sharing their work and passion for writing, providing a rich world of inspiration, appreciation, and delight.

Ocean Watch

by on Oct 19, 2016

For days I study
the architecture of clouds
the prehistoric silhouettes
of pelicans chaining past
dark wings riding
invisible rivers of bright air

I sleep and dream the moon falls
into the arms of the ocean
their long dance ending
in this strange embrace
where the waves take her
and polish her to pearl
smooth and lustrous
unmarked by time
a promise just remembered
small enough to keep

 


Mary C McCarthy has always been a writer, but spent most of her working life as a Registered Nurse. She has had work included in many online and print journals, including Expound, Third Wednesday, Earth’s Daughters, The Evening Street Review, and Caketrain.

ECT

by on Aug 12, 2016

After their treatments
I woke empty and blind
as an egg, so fragile
I had to be careful
not to break anything
that didn’t belong to me.
I forgot my own name
but no one else’s.
Nothing would stay with me.
All my old associations
were bled out
reduced to strangers
I’d swear I never met.
What good was this cruel robbery
supposed to do?
Make me more careful
to stay inside the lines
and stop complaining
before you can come up
with another cure
worse than this.

 


Mary C McCarthy has always been a writer, but spent most of her working life as a Registered Nurse. She has had work included in many online and print journals, including Expound, Third Wednesday, Earth’s Daughters, The Evening Street Review, and Caketrain.

Skins

by on Aug 11, 2016

You wore me down
like sandpaper
reducing all my knots
and splintered edges
to a surface so bland
and smooth
no one would suspect
it had ever been anything
but innocuous.
Still I remember
that old skin
rough and graceless
marked by scars
and strange tattoos
like the autographs
of inquisitors
eager for confession.
Now I am domesticated
beyond suspicion
and I get no second glances
moving easily
among the wolves
perfect in this harmless
disguise.

 


Mary C McCarthy has always been a writer, but spent most of her working life as a Registered Nurse. She has had work included in many online and print journals, including Expound, Third Wednesday, Earth’s Daughters, The Evening Street Review, and Caketrain.

Dragon’s Breath

by on May 5, 2016

I have never been at home here
so when the dragons rise
in rows behind the streetlights
I do nothing to show
I hadn’t been expecting them

they are less strange to me
smoke and iron and ice
than you are
sitting here beside me
as though nothing unusual
breathes all around us

 


Mary McCarthy grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, studied art and literature but spent most of her working life as a Registered Nurse. She has always been a writer. She has great hopes for the future despite the horrors reported endlessly in the daily news.

Resting

by on Feb 3, 2016

I can smell the sun on your skin
taste the salt sea water left
on your lips
as we lean back
into the afternoon
as though it could hold us
safely in its arms
forever
as though nothing could pull us
out of this light

back to the dim rooms
where debt and obligation
line up in columns
long and dark enough
to occlude our dreams
and no one comes to whisper
sedition in our ears
with words strong enough
to break us back out
into the heat
into the light

 


Mary McCarthy has always been a writer, but spent most of her working life as a Registered Nurse. She has only recently come to discover the vital communities of poets online, where there can be a more immediate connection between writers and readers than is usually afforded in print.

Apex

by on Nov 3, 2015

And if I turn back
to the more familiar
places I was used to,
what will keep me
from getting lost again?
And if I fall
unable to find the small
ridges and crevices
that would let me cling
to this sheer rock,
will there be anything
left to pick up
and sew back together?
Up here my head spins,
and my nose bleeds;
the air is so thin
it’s work just breathing
and standing still.
But I will try and stay
here for you
as long as I can.
Maybe I’ll get used to it,
we are so close to heaven
and so far
from where we started.

 


Mary McCarthy grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, studied art and literature but spent most of her working life as a Registered Nurse. She has always been a writer. She has great hopes for the future despite the horrors reported endlessly in the daily news.

Bystander

by on Jul 29, 2015

The radiance of evil
burns the world down
to a fine white ash.
It settles on your hair
and eyelashes. You
breathe it in, you
taste it on your tongue.
You don’t know who
has been burned
but you are part of it.
You walk in ashes,
you find them in your
pockets, you rub them
out of your eyes. The streets
are deep with ash.
Women weep
behind high walls
until the air is thick
with grief. You
have not lifted
a finger. You fear
you will never
be clean again.

 


Mary McCarthy grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, studied art and literature but spent most of her working life as a Registered Nurse. She has always been a writer. She has great hopes for the future despite the horrors reported endlessly in the daily news.