Anthony Costello

Remembrance Days

i.m. Anita Marsh


The colour red is all it takes:

red lipstick, red ring, red dress, rouge,

and I remember the Millennium Bridge

and Howard Hodgkin at the Modern Tate

where (after churches by Christopher Wren)

you talked art, and colour photography.


But now, memory of red is checked

by (black & white) photography:

the Emerald coast, France, double-selfie,

my Van Gogh beard and your paint-brushed cheeks

muted, our red hats and crimson scarves

a shade of brown in the dying season.


Comrade Svejk


In a Bavarian jacket (from a second-hand store)

he rides the Metro to Johan Teslak’s apartment

like 60s Europe, Cold War, or a movie star

from Prague going AWOL at Gents,

a drunk (asleep in the Rosenberg Gardens)

dreaming Hans Christian Anderson and Kierkegaard

attend Glyptoteket and Brondby v Copenhagen

as friends in life, death, football, art.


‘Soldier Svejk’ to the ticket guards of Tivoli,

‘Tramp’ and ‘Prince’ and ‘Ghost’ in Kongens Nytorv,

‘The old emigrant’ to prostitutes, former “lovelies”

and Johan’s velkommen a truth, cliche, epitaph:

‘Life is a journey Svejk, not a destination,

           a journey, not a destination’.


* Glyptoteket – museum of art

Kongens Nytorv – region of Copenhagen

Tivoli (Gardens) – 19th Century amusement park.


Weekend Break


It felt like Bloomsbury had eyes

and the high buildings listening,

the plane trees gossiping,

a Turner sun observing

until we walked the dark sides


of London’s streets.


A generation from war,

no killing gas or blown limbs

blocked our way, just lovelessness,

argument, conflict, how light

turned to dark and love, rancour.


©2015 Anthony Costello


Anthony Costello  is a poet, writer and translator. His first book of poems, The Mask, was published by Lapwing in 2014. The Poems of Alain-Fournier, a collaborative translation project with Anita Marsh and Anthony Howell, is forthcoming in 2015 with Anvil Press.