My Poems

Here are a few of my recently published poems…

Growing into Myself

Yesterday, a small green bud
sprouted behind my left ear.

Today it began to unfurl,
curling out of itself, reaching

for the light. Tomorrow it will
become a perfect leaf – veins

leading down into my core,
spreading its cytoplasm

mucus-like, through blood
and bone. The leaf will grow,

then more leaves will appear,
blooming like tattoos gone wrong

from every pore, stretching out
to catch the rain as I walk,

spread for sunlight, precious
as air, slowing me down,

as I root myself in solid earth,
in welcome ground. I will grow

into myself, climbing, steady,
grip by grip, leaf by leaf,

dropping my wilted fronds,
head high in my canopy.

Copyright © Rachel Carney 2017, first published in The Open Mouse


Coming Home

Bridal ghosts of cherry trees
welcome me home:
still, mute, white omens in thick night,

their laced branches held out
like an offering – a glimmer of serenity,
a brittle bridge leading me back

into a tunnel of trees that stretch eternally:
copper beaches, burning at sunset,
yews that darkly cover over graves,

a lilac opened up, at the border
of childhood, birch trees shedding
their soft skin, exposing their souls.

Copyright © Rachel Carney 2018, first published in Ink, Sweat and Tears


Three Selves
after a self-portrait of Johannes Gumpp

the faithful reflection
of truth

and the art –
the artist stands,
a shadow

with brush to transform
what is there

to what
he wants
to be there.

His eyes
look in
three directions –

at himself, at his
work and us.
We become a part

of the circle, the
link, included because

we are necessary,
not because
we are good.

Without us he would
be merely
himself, but

in our gaze he is
something more:
he is three –

we are four.

Copyright © Rachel Carney 2016, first published in The High Window Journal


on visiting a Lucian Freud Exhibition

They are unashamedly naked, stretched
out for us, waiting for us, daring us.

We take slow breaths as we move
from one to the next, and on, growing into

their world. They gaze at us, more
real than us, contemplating us.

We examine our arms, each other’s faces –
skin a multitude of shades, and stare

at the one unfinished – paint layers
upon itself, eating itself, completing itself.

Copyright © Rachel Carney 2016, first published in Sarasvati Magazine, published by Indigo Dreams

How to Start a Book BlogYou can see more of my poems in The High Window, Sarasvati Magazine, The Open Mouse, The Ekphrastic Review, The Wales Haiku Journal, The Seashores Haiku Journal and ‘I am not a silent poet’. I was also longlisted in the Indigo Dreams Poetry Pamphlet Competition in 2017, and I have poems forthcoming in The Cardiff Review, the New Welsh Review, Acumen, Atrium and Poetry Salzburg Review.

I’ve also self-published a book – How to Start a Book Blog: A Step by Step Guide, with advice for anyone interested in book blogging or anyone planning to create a writer’s website.

A recent project – Crossing Points – involved taking photos and writing poems in response to them, then displaying the photos and poems together in the window of a laundrette. This was commissioned by the madeinroath arts festival, funded by the Arts Council of Wales, who receives funding from the Welsh Government and the National Lottery.

Crossing Points - Rachel Carney poems and photos