Day 34 of 365 – Anne Casey


All Souls


A citrus swirl of myrtle crosses my path
as three skulking brush turkeys scatter dramatically
into the understory
Crushed sandstone scrapes under flagging sandals
blending with
the tick-tick distant and more insistent chitter and chirrup
perpetual Trisagion against
the far-off clamour of trucks and cars morphing
this second day of November into
the roll and thunder of mist-capped surf on distant shores

————————————-And there’s the sharp salt catch at the back of the palate
————————————-My mother standing
————————————-arms thrown out against the Atlantic’s roar
————————————-embracing the world with a desperate love
————————————-like Jesus
————————————-after the delivery of her death sentence
————————————-and before her crucifixion
————————————-Too far away too long ago
————————————-but still the piercing and the gush of water
————————————-The salt rub of old wounds crossing time and space

————————————-The quick chirp
————————————-of a message from my father
————————————-eleven hours behind but instantaneously dispatching
————————————-me to the fiery pits of hell where
————————————-starched sisters must surely be burning
————————————-Pharaohs in their hooded head-coverings shepherding
————————————-the little children and their unmarried mothers
————————————-through famishment into lightless catacombs
————————————-saving an anointed few borne nameless
————————————-in Moses baskets unto the Promised Land

A kookaburra laughing
carries me home through the clearing
where the wattles are bursting
their golden crowns dancing
against a brooding backdrop and
rainbow lorikeets will swoop
in later lifting our hearts
out of emptied cups and
away with them into
the heavens


From out of emptied cups
by Anne Casey
Published by Salmon in 2019
Copyright © Anne Casey 2019



Originally from west Clare in Ireland, and living in Sydney, Australia, Anne Casey is an award-winning poet and writer, and author of three critically acclaimed poetry collections—where the lost things go (Salmon Poetry, 2017), out of emptied cups (Salmon Poetry, 2019) and the light we cannot see (Salmon Poetry, 2021). She has worked for 30 years as a journalist, magazine editor, media communications director and legal author. Senior Poetry Editor of Other Terrain and Backstory literary journals (Swinburne University, Melbourne) from 2017-2020, she serves on numerous literary advisory boards. Anne’s writing and poetry are widely published internationally and rank in The Irish Times newspaper’s Most-Read.

She has won/shortlisted for poetry prizes in Ireland, Northern Ireland, the USA, the UK, Canada, Hong Kong and Australia, including: the American Writers Review Contest; The Plough Prize; ACU Prize for Poetry; Henry Lawson Poetry Competition; Women’s National Book Association of USA Poetry Competition; 25th Annual Melbourne Poets Union International Poetry Competition; Hennessy New Irish Writing; Cúirt International Poetry Prize; Overton Poetry Prize; Bedford International Writing Competition; Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest; Tom Collins Poetry Prize (Fellowship of Australian Writers, Western Australia); and, Fellowship of Australian Writers Queensland Literary Competition.

Anne passionately believes that every poem, like all art, should leave us changed by the experience. Her poems feature internationally in newspapers, magazines, journals, anthologies, broadcasts, podcasts, music albums, stage shows and art exhibitions—The Irish Poetry Reading Archive (James Joyce Library, University College Dublin), The Irish Times, The Canberra Times, Australian Poetry Anthology, Griffith Review, Atlanta Review, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Tahoma Literary Review, Quiddity, Entropy, apt, The Murmur House, Barzakh (State University of New York), DASH (California State University), Connecticut River Review, The Stony Thursday Book, FourXFour (Poetry Northern Ireland), Westerly Magazine, Cordite Poetry Review, Voices of Women and Plumwood Mountain among many others.

She holds a Law Degree from University College Dublin and qualifications in Media Communications from Dublin Institute of Technology (Technological University Dublin). She is the recipient of an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship for her PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Technology Sydney.

Website: Social Media: @1annecasey

Visit the Salmon Poetry Online Bookshop to read more about this collection, including more sample poems