These two engaging  poems by Catherine Phil MacCarthy come from her 2012 collection, The Invisible Threshold (Dedalus Press, Dublin).

Educated  at University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin, and the Central School of Speech and Drama London, she is also a former editor of Poetry Ireland Review.


High up among the pines

at Glendalough, above the falls

at Coolnabass, past hazel, willow

and birch, past oak, yew, and larch,


there’s no one to be seen.

Voices echo from the ridge,

or from somewhere below

in the valley, dappled laughter.


Rabbits nibble the sunny verge,

stilled by the beat of our footfall.

As we halt, young deer grazing

on sphagnum along the edge


turn heads and gaze with eyes

of liquid wonder. In seconds they lift

long forelegs and vanish

into deep darkness of the forest.


Time and again their curiosity

gives way – once they sense

we are human and share

the same earth - to dread.


The tree is shaking its head at the wind

and throwing up empty hands in fury

and the wind, the wind is running  away,

legs gathering speed, running

across the far fields to the sea.