Catherine Phil MacCarthy

Catherine Phil MacCarthy is a native of Crecora, Co Limerick and has lived in Sandymount, Dublin since 1987. She has published five collections of poetry, and a novel, and is a free-lance tutor in Poetry and Creative Writing. Her poems explore from several angles the idea of ‘threshold’ or ‘the liminal’, the state of being in transition from one moment to the next.


Daughters of the House

Daughters of the House

The Invisible Threshold

The Invisible Threshold


Suntrap (2007)

The Blue Globe

the blue globe (1998)

How High The Moon

How High The Moon

One Room An Everywhere

One Room An Everywhere (2003)

This Hour of the Tide

This Hour of the Tide

For more details on these publications, click the cover thumbnails.

“Touching Down”

When your flight touched down,
I was coming home
from Bartlett’s antique shop
at Ringsend Bridge that Christmas
after buying five black and white
china kittens for my niece.

The street trembled with
jet noise. A seagull lost
altitude and buffeted,
went into a perfect glide.
Clouds over the city turned to brine.
A juggernaut roared by

Reminded me of Tenth Avenue
and Eighteenth Street, a flat
on the corner, shaking
to the foundations into the night.
I tossed and turned, unused to
intense heat and noise.

Over the waters at Ringsend
I closed my eyes, imagined
you standing there, and my feet
moving against the earth’s pull.
For a whole minute I held you
in my arms, hold you still.

(from This Hour of the Tide, Salmon Poetry, 1994 (link))