Poetry Week | Restart the Engine by Paul McCarrick

Restart the Engine

by Paul McCarrick


Discard any computer wires that kept you inside 

during your teens or twenties, even the current timeline, 

cut any cords that tied you down to tendencies of talking 

about polygons, and other distractions from the outside.


Go, rise from the seat that sank to new depths and leave.

Climb the tallest ladder in your garage and batter your phone. 

You simply just need to let go. Watch as its face cracks, in a second

tens and hundreds of lasting spider webs, never to be swept away.


Get a thesaurus. Become ferocious, vivacious, contemplative, 

anything else deemed desirable, or indeed necessary for seeming

interesting, important, inviting, or, rather, human. Read books

people argue over and decide who is right in your own allotted time.


Have a change of faith. Or a crisis of consciousness; both are acceptable.

Promise to go to church services, not including funerals.

Go praise the Lord in every house the Lord claims, synagogues,

mosques, Spring morning valleys watching a swallow’s manoeuvre.


Become asthmatic if not already so and relearn how to breathe 

and calm down. Be as happy as a winded baby, as still as the horse 

chestnut come July evenings, as confident as a mother watching 

the lottery, the Grand National, or their child’s bad decision. 


Listen to the voices around you, take in the way they rise and bow, 

tilt and lift over vowel and breathe. Take it in, all that is new and good,

all that isn’t important for the next ten seconds. But you’re still at the top 

of the ladder staring at the screen. Just one more minute, you say.


And then another after that.

Please check our submissions page for guidelines on submitting. To read previous Poems of the Week check out our Poetry Archive.

Cover photo by Ricardo Cruz on Unsplash