3 short poems

by Neil McCarthy

In the Garden of the Asylum


I have watched from my window the foliage

wither then leisurely fall from these trees,

often sat beneath gazing up through

their emaciated limbs imagining God had

thrown me a ladder.

In the garden of the asylum, leaves are

left to decay, growing stiff with dreams of

being swept away; only the watchful remain,

cursing the wind, pleading for stillness.

Black Water

Say the word and I shall become

a photograph;


phosphorescence in the black water

of your memory,


then gone.

Café Hummel, Vienna


She insists on paying separately,

although she has just dined alone;


the unoccupied seat across from her

poker-faced to her verbal onslaught.


He regards me with my computer,

mutters something disapprovingly in


Wienerisch. I try to explain that it's

because I can't read the newspapers.


He explains he doesn't understand.

Perhaps better off talking to a chair.