Black Lawrence Press
April 10, 2014

National Poetry Month Spotlight: Helen Marie Casey

Here at Black Lawrence Press we are celebrating National Poetry Month with a poem a day, featuring a total of 30 authors from our list. Today’s featured poet is Helen Marie Casey, author of My Dear Girl: The Art of Florence Hosmer and Inconsiderate Madness.

New World

Fog swallows the ocean, the sky, everything
but sound. Waves thunder.
Nearby, oak, maple, fir, pine, juniper.
One great horned owl.

Seagulls. Sandpipers. Plovers. Salt froth.
Fog swallows the waves, the shore,
everything but sound. Nearby,
birch, fir, pine, wild rhododendrons
brilliant as rubies.

It begins again every year,
the loneliness.
I have readied my garden and wait for seed.
How quickly cultivation
is conquered. Parasites. Degradation.
Sky of no color.
Does nothing happen as often as something happens?

Hibiscus, anemone, larkspur,
rhubarb, martyr, yarrow, angelhair,

The membrane holds.
She chooses not to be born.
Motherwort. Blue cohosh. Fennel.
Uterus. Pain. Water. Blood. Fear.

Seed finding a home.
Limbs. Lungs. Liver. There will be promises and lies.
There will be some darkness. And dreams.

The dying completes itself.
The landscape goes dull. There will be days
the color of boredom. There will be days the color
of flame. No one knows what is coming.
Will we go soft as overripe apples?
Will we sink inward? The sky rearranges itself.
Grackles converge.
Dead pine needles absorb secrets.

I lie down in the shadow of death.
I do not find him ugly.

Casey2Helen Marie Casey is the author of My Dear Girl: The Art of Florence Hosmer (Black Lawrence Press). Her chapbooks include Fragrance Upon His Lips, a series of poems about Joan of Arc, and Inconsiderate Madness, a series of poems about Mary Dyer. She won the 14th National Poet Hunt sponsored by The MacGuffin and judged by Thomas Lynch, the 2012 Barbara Bradley Award of the New England Poetry Club, Second Prize in the 2013 Frank O’Hara Poetry Prize competition of the Worcester County Poetry Assoc., and a Third Prize for the Tara L. Masih Intercultural Essay and the Tilia Klebanov Jacobs Religious Essay in the 2013 Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition.  Her poems have appeared in numerous publications.