Anne McCabe – Three Poems

poetAnne McCabe spent most of her life telling stories as a television director in RTE and TG4. She is now Artistic Director of the national Irish language theatre, An Taibhdhearc. Her secret passion is writing and her first novel, UNDER THE AVALANCHE was published in 2011. There are more waiting under the bed…



Sand blast my brain
In roaring waters slamming the shore
Where puffballs of foam inch crabways
in marching motion over wet sand, and
Coloured houses on the headland lean
Reflecting earth to sky
In contorted mirror
Blazing, pristine.

Sand blast my brain
Fog it over
Apply abrasives
to scour and clean
to disremember
Those tentacles of tangleweed
Infiltrating neuronic lobes
Making impossible
clarity of thought or deed

Sand blast my brain
Then dust it over to obliterate
Monsters from the deep
exhaling noxious breaths
of doubt guilt and blame
in wracks of slapping seaweed-
Sand blast it smooth
Using only wind and rain

Sand blast my brain
So poisonous passion
cannot contort this puppet
swept along the shore
as Sea soars in icy turquoise
and strong long waves of endless furls
beat, beat, oh beat
white on the shore of ages.

Sand blast my brain
So that I-
shadow on the tideline, speck-
will be just one more fleck
of foam which the wind whips
Up and over, out and beyond
To infinity
in swoops and dips

Sandblast my brain
So that, in the end,
Cloudiness disappears
And glass is worn
Smooth and dry
By all the batterings
To a translucent coin
The colour of sky.

Ventry 30.12. 2014


It is very easy
For the undergrowth to thicken
For weeds, scrub, thorn,
Such entwined things
To proliferate
And prevent
Easy access.

But we find
Cloven hooves across the trail
Secret signs
From within the forest,
Where paths lie and sink
in deep green light,
hide an empty quiet
Deer tracks disappear without an echo-
Perfect cover for the soul

And so,
We ascend to the top-
Boots scrunch on
Loamy soil of copper hue
Shot through with silver shale
On the way up, and up, up
To the top of the world-
And then, breathless-
Is there reward for this exertion?
Oh Yes

Lark song in heather
Sunshine gratefully bathing all
Of hill and dale and peak
To all four corners of the known world,
As the pines sigh and cough,
Sough, softly, scenting the silence
Healing balm.



A surprise of snow
swirls downwards
on my upturned face
Just as thick as the forest of stars
jewelling the night
in golden layers of forever
as I lay down
The snow unstoppable
Falls in silent grace

Day breaks
To the sky softening in lacy feathers
Smothering and curling downwards
The snow blankets our world
To obliterate

The mountain opposite stands bold
His bald side out
Hewn in clear delineations
of outcrop, screed and cliff
His carved brow chiselled over cheeks of quartz
Is now silvered and sugared
He too, hoary, is halted by the ineluctable

Gift of snow
Which falls
Swirling in pure
As even the birds too,

Wicklow, March 2014

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