A fighter falls to his knees—bloodied, all but broken.
A big man with small hands stands
stock still, unsullied.
Two lovers kiss, a humming bird
touches down on dust-palled ground.
Dragnet chases crisscross cityscape;
a dragged woman paces, hands on hips; coffee drips;
a shrieking toddler races.
Noodles drape wooden sticks like
wool unspooling from knitting needles.
A puffed-shut eye bleeding,
burning man reeling from a flame-swathed house.
Breathing in, breathing out—all around
a hundred heroes battle, hunger, thirst
—ordinary lives exalted
against a hundred unjust power-lusting
Pitch and thrust—
a blue-black plume;
one hundred, two hundred
souls rise and fall—
two hundred, three hundred years,
a myriad voices elevate the call,
Mozart burning bright—
a requiem—for good,
for the fall, for the rise.
One thousand, two thousand,
a distant age—whispers in a cave
fighting this one fight
for the throng, for the long run.
Two thousand, three thousand feet in the air,
hissing into demon-occupied night—
svelte armour beaming light—
an ice-tipped angel
Faces alight, three hundred hearts expand in darkness,
pale rose blooming
out of gloom as
CX303 hurtles towards
a Hong Kong dawn.
Irish-Australian, Anne Casey has won or been shortlisted for poetry awards in Ireland, the USA, the UK, Canada and Australia; she ranks in The Irish Times Most-Read. Author of where the lost things go (Salmon Poetry 2017, 2nd ed 2018), her second collection is forthcoming from Salmon in 2019. For over 25 years, Anne has worked as a journalist, magazine editor, media communications director and legal author. She is Senior Poetry Editor of Other Terrain Journal and Backstory Journal (Swinburne University, Melbourne). Her poems are published in The Irish Times, Entropy, apt, The Murmur House, Quiddity, The Incubator, The Honest Ulsterman, The Stony Thursday Book, Into The Void Magazine, Autonomy anthology, Cordite, Plumwood Mountain and Verity La, among others. anne-casey.com @1annecasey
Featured photo credit: Amanda Ollinik @Allunderonemoon