the Soul that Sees

kevin casey



`Tis not properly the Eye that sees...`tis the Soul that sees by means of the Eye.

       —William Molyneux, 1692


Aphrodite lit the fire in our eyes,

and so those globes now stain each day. 

We draw the dawn gravid 

and urgent above the horizon

in a murmuration of photons

swirling and diving toward

the high-tint fields of noon.

The day saturates—we improvise

fuchsia spikes of loosestrife 

and fireweed, then tangerine traffic cones 

and whorls of tyre grey that bloom

at the feet of a shambled city.

Quick strokes of slate and navy

form a Shoreditch crowd; evening

shimmers oil across pavements

in bands of rainbow valances.

Once the canvas has been drenched,

store away the knives and brushes—

rinse them in the silence 

of another moonless night until 

we rise again to make tomorrow.




Kevin Casey is the author of Ways to Make a Halo (Aldrich Press, 2018) and American Lotus, winner of the 2017 Kithara Prize (Glass Lyre Press, 2018). And Waking... was published by Bottom Dog Press in  2016. His poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in Rust+Moth, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Connotation Press, Pretty Owl Poetry, and Ted Kooser's syndicated column ‘American Life in Poetry.’ For more, visit