Anne Casey – Hope spell

Anne Casey profile Dec 2020

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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.

How to survive an apocalypse

Practice social     media      distancing.
After every exposure,
thoroughly wash
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.
Love immoderately.
If in doubt, dance.

Hope spell

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
just yourself,
take the time
to remember
when everything was grey
and all over the world
people were dying
of one thing
or another
(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
tremendous roar
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,
with that
that had
once been

so greatly

if only we had realised

© Anne Casey