Poems by Dermot McGarthy

Dermot McGarthy

Valley Of Wonder

It’s a long way to Valparaiso,
It’s a long way from here,
From these four walls of the Iron Mountain,
To Brooklyn’s Brighton Pier.

A hairless scalp denuded,
Etchings of life without the caves,
Stone ruins like ancient dolmens reveal the passage graves,
Of barefoot boys and shoeless girls,
Leading to other grey monuments in Highgate, Woodlawn cemetery and beyond.

From these four borders of lake, mine, upland peat, and stony river,
To the far distant corners of our earth,
Their song is the past, and,
It will be sung forever.


(For Peter Kay 1951-2015)

You told me poems were prayers,
Gift wrapped with all your cares,
Your star travelled gently in silent pathway,
Across the universe of the spirit and what’s in it,
Of those destined for an hour, decade or even a minute,
Under your gushing cascade,
Of love, faith and truth,
Those that sought you out chose that route,
Without knowing as you did, and do now,
That belief is the soul’s true compass,
Never asking why, only asking how,
You are now in that place,
Mingling with the many and the few,
Sailing on that far off ocean,
This prayer is eternally,
For you.

The Search 

Seagulls congregate like taxis along the Liffey walls,
Lovers lock lips for September memories,
As street beggars inspect their daily hauls.
A man trudges homeward under the heavy burden of guilt,
Another searches for his conscience, in vain,
Among the city’s filth.
Youngsters sail by in innocent guile,
Judge, jury and defendants in some far flung, future trial.
Life’s sinful soldiers eagerly possessed,
Mingle freely with the sorrowful, the gentle, the repressed.
If the volume were turned down,
Then we could see the true color of this town,
No beeps, screeches, or engine noise,
Just windows of the soul in clear and earnest eyes.
Some blank, some ornate, some decorated in blue,
Some green, some gray, some brown,
Through which I peer,
In an endless search, for You.