Friday, October 1, 2021





The BBC Reports


for the first time

in history, manmade

materials now outweigh

all life on Earth.


I am a child of wind and rain,

stone and bog, stratified silt slipping

slowly into relentless seas,

too long gone now from the elements

that shaped me—too far

from my childhood shore—these bones

throb for home, to distance

themselves from decades

of these insatiable cliffs

of glaring glass and

crushing concrete—

floors and walls

consuming all

the wildness

that once made us.


The rain here speaks

the same language

as my own

although it falls

on altogether




We have lost our way

of hearing

its words.


First published in 'out of emptied cups poetry' collection by Anne Casey (Salmon Poetry 2021).


For Indran


We flew with the wind,

sank our feet deep

into foreign soil,

drank thirstily

from the poisoned

springs of these mighty

nations, worshipped

at the false altar.


As we look now across

all the tumbled wreckage

from your displaced

shore to mine,

might we wonder

how we have come

to this, to this, to this-

to this slow folding


-in to this abyss

of our own

creation: how we had

failed to mother

Earth, suckled

at the flaccid

paps of Mammon,

feasted on the spoiled


flesh of dying

species, fleeced

by specious


taken down now

not by those great

dreaded nuclear war heads

but by this-


this microscopic

Armageddon; still to be human

is to persist

even at this

infernal pass,

we will stir

the will to lean

into the light.


First published in 'out of emptied cups poetry' collection by Anne Casey (Salmon Poetry 2021).

A Terrible Beauty


"In the casual comedy;

He, too, has been changed in his turn,

Transformed utterly:

A terrible beauty is born."

'Easter, 1916' by William Butler Yeats


Breathing the same

cubic centimetres of air-

his navy eyes holding

mine and mysteries

I will never fathom-

two sentient beings

regarding each other

through a flimsy metal screen.


Just weeks ago,

I might have suffocated him

without a second glance,

this extraordinary creature

now keeping me

entirely entranced.

Master of hidden microcosms,

unexpected spellbinder-


before he turns

back to his communal duties,

spitting and piling

to conjure this structure

so uncannily like a bone

-white copy of a COVID-19 molecule

and I am abandoned once more

to my isolation—


and the faint hum

of mud wasps spitting, piling.

First published in 'Poetry and COVID', a project funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, University of Plymouth, and Nottingham Trent University


ANNE CASEY is an award-winning Sydney-based Irish poet/writer and author of three critically acclaimed collections published by Salmon Poetry - the light we cannot see (2021); out of emptied cups (2019) which was selected for Wardrobe Best Dressed 2020 (SAFTA, USA) and Books of the Year 2019 (The Lonely Crowd, UK), and where the lost things go (2017), with a fourth book forthcoming in October 2021. Anne has won poetry prizes in Ireland, the UK, the USA, Canada, Hong Kong and Australia, most recently the American Writers Review Competition 2021. A journalist, magazine editor, legal author and media communications director for 30 years, her work ranks in leading national daily newspaper, The Irish Times' Most Read, and is widely published and anthologised internationally - The Irish Poetry Reading Archive (James Joyce Library, University College Dublin), The Irish Times, The Canberra Times, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, The Atlanta Review, American Writers Review, Tahoma Literary Review, Australian Poetry Anthology, Griffith Review, Quiddity, Entropy, The Murmur House, Westerly Magazine and Cordite Poetry Review among many others. She has served on numerous editorial advisory boards. Anne holds an honours Law Degree from University College Dublin and qualifications in Media Communications from the Technological University Dublin. She is the recipient of an Australian Government Scholarship for her PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Technology Sydney.

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