Antipodean interlude

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Thrilled shrieks
pierce still blue
a party in the garden:
saffron, crimson
emerald slivers
swirl from overhanging
branches as
lorikeets cluster
to feast on
teeming liquid
-ambar seed pods and,
embracing these welcome
minutes’ distraction
from distancing measures,
calls from ‘home’
half a world away—
a fourth family
member lost to this
silently creeping curse,
I spread wide my arms,
stretch heart skyward,
breathe deeply under
overarching boughs
and open my eyes
to a small universe
of grey-brown spheres
gently swaying
midst the frenzied
each one so like
a tiny spiky
Death Star⎯
a perfect
wooden replica
of a COVID-19 cell.


(First published in Boyne Berries 28, Summer 2020: The COVID Issue for Poetry Ireland Day 2020.)

on monday, i ate three strawberries, a pear, a palmful of sunflower seeds & one nicely ripe banana

the next day,
i ate nothing at all:
i just curled up in a sunny
corner of the veranda & waited
—when my saliva had thickened
to a pearly gloop, i probed it out
from under my tongue: slowly, slow
-ly allowing it to dry as it met the air:
to form a thread that drifted almost
invisible against the early afternoon
sun & starting at the very backs of my
heels i slowly wove those soft billowy
folds around and around from sole
to crown, a semi-translucent worm
-like pouch: i am in here now, warm
& cushioned from outside sounds,
my skin softening within its silken
sheath, cells melding: all of the
holding in me seeping away
until one day when the
world has settled
back on its axis
and the time
is right to re

(Awarded 3rd Prize in the Poetry Day Ireland Competition 2020 in aid of Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital, with support from Poetry Ireland and the Research Institute.)


Anne Casey is an award-winning Sydney-based Irish poet/writer and author of two collections. 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 internationally – The Irish Poetry Reading Archive (James Joyce Library, University College Dublin), The Irish Times, The Canberra Times, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Tahoma Literary Review, Australian Poetry Anthology, Westerly Magazine, Cordite, among others. Anne has won/shortlisted for prizes in Ireland, Northern Ireland, UK, USA, Canada, Hong Kong and Australia, and serves on numerous literary advisory boards.

Sydney, Australia 

You can follow Anne on Twitter and read more of her work here!

Life in Quarantine: Witnessing Global Pandemic is an initiative sponsored by the Poetic Media Lab and the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis at Stanford University.

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