Live Encounters Poetry & Writing, Volume One, December 2020.
A journalist, magazine editor, legal author and media communications director for 30 years, Anne Casey is an award-winning Irish poet/writer living in Australia. Author of out of emptied cups (Salmon Poetry 2019) and where the lost things go (2017), with a third collection and a chapbook forthcoming in 2021, Anne’s work is widely published internationally. anne-casey.com
How to survive an apocalypse
Practice social media distancing.
After every exposure,
heart (for at least 20 seconds).
Do not hoard
statistics — they have a short shelf life
and offer questionable nourishment.
Wherever possible, dress
Seek advice from trees.
Trust the judgment
of animals —
even the tiniest ones.
Practice free flight
in your head.
Become attracted to light.
If in doubt, dance.
Gather together and muddle through under a shifting light:
Spray of ocean on a predawn shore
Tender essence of slumbering child
Saffron strands extracted from sunrise
Dewdrops of first spring leaf-bud
Aroma of unfurling lotus blossom
Trace of breeze on sunlit skin
Wisp of cloud in cerulean sky
Compress of forest-floor underfoot
Heart of tree-shrieking lorikeet
Zest of gatherings past and future
Warm press of nestling dog
Lavender distilled from sundown
Sliver of skylight crescent-moon
Half-a-dash of shooting star
Wing of love over a bordered world
If ever you find yourself
in a place of unusual incongruity,
at odds with someone, something
or other, the whole universe, or even
take the time
when everything was grey
and all over the world
people were dying
of one thing
(but mostly that one thing)
—a disappearing as if
into an abyss:
a great grey abscess
which was an absence
and how: when it became clear,
a wave, small at first
then swelling to a
filled the whole world
with the understanding
and that was called
the end of times
because after it
came the beginning:
and the world
was made new,
if only we had realised
© Anne Casey