Carol Casey

Carol Casey lives in Blyth, Ontario, Canada. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has appeared in The Prairie Journal,The Anti-Langourous Project, Please See Me, Front Porch Review, Cypress, Vita Brevis and others, including a number of anthologies, most recently, We Are One: Poems From the Pandemic and the TL;DR Hope Anthology.

Warm Tea with Honey

Pushcart Nominee 2022

Flower, bee, nectar, proboscis,
furry hind legs, dusty with pollen
tickle pistils to life,
transport nectar to sweetness.
Crocus to chrysanthemum
your year turns on the pattern of
flower, honeycomb, hive, queen.
What makes you so obedient,
while I am befuddled with choice,
stuck in boggy syrups of indecision?
I could tell you that I long
for your simplicity.
But that would not be all of it.
I love to ride the carnival of drama;
abandon honey for cotton candy
until there’s no sweetness left
to ease the passage.

What if?

To be alone in the world,
nobody to rock and soothe,
kiss the compound lashes of loss,
the fall, the not getting up.

Is this what angels are for?

I insulate myself against inevitabilities
with distractions, fight the letting go,
the simplifying down until
only ragged breath is left.

The market says save, invest,
against all eventualities.
Saints say there is something else
when all else fails.
But what if? What if?

What if? Those conjuring
words cast spells. The fool says, have faith,
there’s more to you than you think.

I think Krakens, Medusa,
Medea and her children.

Ha, that’s thinking for you,
the fool suddenly sprouts wings,
there’s more than that,
beauty that’s deeper
and no less disturbing.

An Abstraction on the Tangible, With Trees

First Published in Better Than Starbucks, February 2021

I tend to wander through forests of abstractions
to reach the tangible. The old hump-backed chair

in the living room. The knots on the pine floor
speaking the steady code of trees. The pictures

on the walls with trees in them. The trees framed
by windows. The dream catcher in the window.

The picture of the stag, in trees, my abstraction
of maleness, an invitation. Then you came to plant

trees, catch my dreams, sit in the chair and slowly
make the abstract tangible, as if you had emerged

tangible from some abstraction of mine but
that would only be the part that was not you.

The best part is you.

The Forest

“The forest knows where you are. You must let it find you”
David Wagoner

First published in The Mindful Word, Summer 2021

The tatters and tears
of raking exhaustion
catch up at the end of a road
entangled in underbrush.
Where am I going in such a hurry?

Why not stand still, rest a bit,
maybe climb a tree
listen for water,
let birdsong grow canticles,
check the hieroglyphics
left on rock and trunk,
breathe pine and blossom,
let the forest tell me where I am
tell me that I’m not lost
that I never have been.

I may choose to go back
the way I came.
There is no shame in that.
Sometimes backward is forward.
The forest knows this.


First published in The Sublunary Review, 2020

The sunlight on the porch
has found a filament to play,
a tiny light bobs here, then there,
widening, narrowing
on invisible currents
like an incandescent ball thrown
and caught that sometimes
becomes the net
then unfurls into a
photon straining
to break out in color.

I’m entangled in the cunning
of a handiwork that catches
sun, water, victim
in simple gossamer.
Sometimes it’s the beauty
other times the cruelty,
or hairy legs crawling,
or patient waiting,
unflagging industry,
or the unfailing rhythm
life, beauty, death.