"The poems are rooted deep in the daily struggle for human survival. Her birds are both real and emblematic, fit carriers of this poet’s desire to celebrate and transcend."—Paula Meehan, Ireland professor of poetry
"Eileen Casey’s poetry is so evocative. Readers meet orphan girls, following the promise of home, traveling to the ends of the earth. Descendants, decades later, are testament that some of these lasses lived lives filled with abundance while others fared less well in the newly-colonised land of Australia."—Christina Henri, artist and activst
Berries for Singing Birds
Sheltered by holly’s spiny leaf, birdsongs
hatch on promises of autumn’s harvest.
Such late bounty fruits abundant red
so thrushes full grown, welcome
as an emigrant’s homecoming,
return to glut these crimson pearls.
Pierced through, juice spills into slumbered
earth while in the blackberry’s thorny tangle,
warblers feast. Wing to wing. Beak to beak.
Old wives ink tales. Winter scarcities.
As if such abundance, like old sins,
must be punished. Even then, juniper’s blue
bleed is a truce of feathered music, sung
in remotest places, heard in bleakest hearts.
Eileen Casey has published three collections of poetry and a number of chapbooks. She received the Oliver Goldsmith Prize and a Katherine and Patrick Kavanagh Fellowship. She is editor of The Lea-Green Down, a response anthology to the poetry of Patrick Kavanagh.
Distributed for Arlen House
5.5 x 8.5, 92 pages