Some Days the Bird by Heather Bourbeau and Anne Casey

Source: the publisher
Paperback, 96 pgs.
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Some Days the Bird by Heather Bourbeau and Anne Casey have created a poetic conversation across continents and a pandemic. Over 52 weeks, these poets faced significant isolation and weathered a number of disasters even with COVID-19 lockdowns.

Readers will not be surprised as Heather Bourbeau’s opening poem, “The letting,” begins the collection with “People have become numbers, corridors are morgues/” and “Some things cannot be forgiven. The cheapening of human life,/” Whether in America or Australia, these poems are struggling with the pandemic but finding solace in nature and their own gardens. “The startling grace/of a rainbow’s full cascade,” says Anne Casey in “Coastal descant.”

Casey and Bourbeau’s poems read like the topsy-turvy, emotional roller-coaster many of us were on during the lockdowns and pandemic. “There are moments I’m consumed/by the jolt/of how our world has veered,/others bewitched by the hum/of wildness overcoming concrete.//” (“Some days you’re the seed, some days the bird,” pg. 16)

Casey also reminds us in “The stillness of dying,” “a hint there may be a whole world/of attachment beyond/our narrow understanding.” (pg. 19) Both poets look to their backyards to find some connection and in their poetic conversation, their poems speak to a need for calm, moments to be grateful, and to slow down. The poems call to us: “There is only so much outside I will let in./The dirt under my nails. The echoes of fog in my hair.” (“Some days you’re the seed, some days the bird”, pg. 16-7)  Some Days the Bird by Heather Bourbeau and Anne Casey is beautiful and lyrical and miniature snapshots of moments.

RATING: Cinquain

EVENT ALERT: TONIGHT 12/14 at Beltway Editions Anne Casey will be reading in Rockville, Md., Click for Details.

About the Poets:

Anne Casey is an Irish poet/writer living in Australia and author of four previous poetry collections. A journalist, magazine editor, legal author and media communications director for 30 years, her work ranks in leading national daily newspaper, The Irish Times’ Most Read, and is widely published and anthologised internationally. Anne has won literary prizes in Ireland, the UK, the USA, Canada, Hong Kong and Australia, most recently American Writers Review 2021 and the 2021 iWoman Global Award for Literature. She is the recipient of an Australian Government Scholarship for her PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Technology Sydney.

Heather Bourbeau is an American writer whose creative work has appeared in 100 Word Story, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Kenyon Review, Meridian, The Stockholm Review of Literature, and SWWIM. Her work has been featured in several anthologies, including America, We Call Your Name: Poems of Resistance and Resilience (Sixteen Rivers Press) and RESPECT: The Poetry of Detroit Music (Michigan State University Press). She has worked with various UN agencies, including the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia and UNICEF Somalia. Her forthcoming collection “Monarch” (Cornerstone Press, 2023) is a poetic memoir of overlooked histories from the American West she was raised in.