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.

“Sandymount Strand”

Sometimes I follow the tide
out across the strand,
wade at each turn
a stream that trails light
like a coil of fallen hair.
Out there could be
the heart of an ancient delta,
the far bank always
smooth, promising a collar
of white surf on the horizon.
Where I walk is wrinkled
sea floor at the brink of river.

From then on, I hear sand,
the call of a curlew,
one ear full of the sea,
the other, muted city.
On the ebbed tide wild geese
flock in the shallows.
I am caught in that stillness,
as the light goes,
measuring distances,
not knowing the time,
the way home,
listening for the tide’s turn.

(from the blue globe, Blackstaff Press, 1998 (link))