Philip Casey’s publications include the verse collection The Year of the Knife, Poems 1980-1990, published by Raven Arts Press in 1991. He has also written three novels: The Fabulists, which won the inaugural Kerry Ingredients Novel of the Year; The Water Star and The Fisher Child, both published by Picador. A member of Aosdána, he initiated and maintains the websites Irish Writers Online and Irish Culture Guide.
Dialogue in Fading Light
The moon sits in the chilled zenith.
Emptied of everything but your grace,
night long I stare at its mask of light.
I recall ice dripping into a drain.
The drain is deep and the sound faint;
the measure of the drip is ominous.
Our sun is many times the size of the earth,
and red giants like Beltegeuse dwarf the sun,
and for all I know Beltegeuse is a mote
in the scale of Creation. Yet we belong.
The eye craves rhythm and colour.
There’s no healing or ease
in a vista where nothing coheres.
You renewed me by losing yourself
to our deepening dialogue in fading light.
To stardust we shall return.
A pink moon rose as we parted,
its presence over the rooftops a focus,
a celestial light through the dust of pollution,
composing all that had been in isolation.
My Masculine Skin
I would as soon not shave or shower.
I’d rather remain pre-Victorian,
and leave my hair for birds to nest in.
It would be good to lie on in bed
for weeks, letting the sheets slowly rot,
a sprawl of worthless books quarter read,
the mould on the dishes getting drier.
However! Happy as a pig in flight,
though still disdaining deodorant,
if I smell only
of my acidic masculine skin
and not of a stinking netherworld
I would wallow in,
it’s because you draw me to the light.