Baz McCarthy, Poet Bristol

The ghost of myself is haunting my life

The Poems of Baz McCarthy

These are a selection of some of Baz McCarthy’s poems. Most poems were written in and around Bristol.  He doesn’t like writing at home, he says he needs the flurry of people rushing or sitting around, doing or saying pointless things to fill in their lives…

He’s always been a massive people-watcher and eavesdropper, so if you see some bloke furiously scribbling into his Moleskine on the table next to you…

Completely irreverent and lacking any formal training or respect for anyone who has, he writes from the gut and the heart and performs his poetry in the same powerful, yet carefree manner!

This year, 2023, he’s performed aplenty, around Bristol, in places such as El Rincon, The Bristol Fringe, Coffee#1, Eldon House, Fat Goat @ Jafra and Grain Barge and the poems get honed by audience reactions (shout-out to the many lovely, enthusiastic, patient and welcoming people who suffer at my poetic hands!).

Also, some these poems may well have changed by now and even grown into bigger and better poems, although I’m not saying bigger is always better!

Swimming on Wednesday 11 to 12

So I quite alcohol back in December 2022.
Part of my recovery was lots of exercise, including swimming every Wednesday at the Uni pool, a cycle ride away, down the hill.
The quietest time was Wednesday between 11am and 12pm.
My cycle ride took me past many churches from multiple faiths.
Read the rest


I wrote this poem from a hotel room in The Lakes, looking out at the mountain, covered in trees, as the light faded down…


Look up hill

In front of my window
Banded white
Dark vee
Reaching up
Fading light

Formally blue
Previously green
Feathers rise up through the gloom
Slopes to me

There is small kindness hiding in all

Canopy heaving dark green dreams
A slow breath

I have to get up
Turn the lights off
No longer black
Never gone

Carpet climbs fingers
Up to the moon
Clasping each other
In desperate love

Can’t fiddle, with the mountain

Drape your blanket of sleep
Across my blue paper fields

Burnt sticks
Charcoal dreams of dawn
When fire again
Releases me

My City (unfinished)

Standing in line
Quietly monitoring
The thoughts
Of moths

Grey veins
Stitched together
By bright yellow tailors
One-wheeled lines
Doing cartwheels
Down the street

Of my city

Here and there
And every
Now and then
We plant seeds
Growing benches
With men
Growing dogs
In between

The gathering
Sucked out
Of their doorway
And into
The scene

And paint it, with your eyes
Fizzing art
Dizzying surprise

Now I’ll go out
Standing on-side
Messed up
But joined
In the chorus

To my city

The all-buzz
A million lights
Plague our dreams
Trees amongst men
Stand tall
To the wind, That isn’t wind

When it’s wet
New stars are born
And wander the streets
As an army of bees

The day
Is blurred, walks, runs, turns
To ink
Splattered gardens
Charcoaled dreams

From my city

The last mountain

With no emotion
because I see it every day
“You probably have 6 months to live”

Well, it’s different for me
I don’t see this everyday

I’m tough as old boots
I’m sure I’ll be fine
I will fight to the end

I’m going to climb a mountain
Maybe for the last time
Or maybe I won’t last

I’ve lost a lot of weight
But I’m going to get it back
When my chemo is over, I will bulk up
I will go to the gym
I will do all the things
That I am supposed to do
to bulk up
to get bigger

Big enough
to climb the mountain
I’m already
Climbing a mountain
which is about as big as it can be

The biggest mountain I’ve ever climbed
Maybe this
is my last mountain

Maybe I won’t reach the top
But I’m going to fucking try
because I’m tough as old boots
And I don’t give up
And I’m not going away

I will climb

My last mountain

God’s fast food

The cheeseburger of heaven.

Squashed clouds.

Squashed sun.

Squashed land.


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