Eileen Casey – The Accordion Man

Eileen Casey LEP&W V3 Dec 2022

Download PDF Here 13th Anniversary
Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Three December 2022.

The Accordion Man, poems by Eileen Casey.

The Accordion Man

Fuchsia bridesmaids’ dresses on tailor’s dummies;
a white gown veiled by yards of tulle. Dry-cleaned
regret? Betrayal from a tin man’s cold heart?

Bellow strap undone, the accordion man widens
accordion pleats, releases trapped notes.
Somewhere Over the Rainbow flies
birdlike over Main Street.
His ringed fingers slide across buttons,
glossy as a black swan’s feather.
Notes on hold an extra yard, swoons us
into dreaming spaces. Beyond Bucharest
bushels of walnuts fall into green grasses.

I enter Sue Ryder’s Charity Shop,
chorus strain on replay follows me inside.
Over and over and over that rainbow;

leather strapped handbags sag on a hook.
Clasps have enough engine power to drive Sunday
buses to Knock Shrine. Women finger rosary
beads, pray devout tunes. Lacquered perms.
Rouge on cheeks and lips. Ham sandwiches
washed down with flasks of tea. Recipe cards
shuffled with Patron Saints, Queen of the May.
Gossip sucks down like boiled sweets.
Bitter-sweet lemon drop taste.

I exit the shop; Dorothy in search of her Emerald City.
The accordion man smiles, a dazzle of gold glints.

© Eileen Casey

Originally from the Midlands, based in South Dublin, Casey’s poetry is widely published in anthologies by Dedalus, New Island, Faber & Faber, The Nordic Irish Studies Journal, Jelly Bucket (USA), Orbis (UK), PigHog Press, Abridged, The Ulster Tatler Literary Review, Poetry Ireland Review, among others. Poetry awards include: The Oliver Goldsmith International Poetry Prize, The Hannah Greally Award (Roscommon Libraries), and a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship, among others. Received an Arts Council Agility Award, 2021 and a Heinrich Boll residency (Archill Island). She is a regular contributor to poetry journals and magazines. ‘Bog Treasure’ (Arlen House), her sixth poetry collection formed part of an exhibition ‘The Strange Case of The Irish Elk’ in collaboration with Canadian Sculptor, Curator, and Anthropologist Jeanne Cannizzo. Supported by an Arts Council Project Development Award, the exhibition went on show in Vancouver (BC) in September, 2021.

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