Publish date:

Poet, painter and wide receiver, the Rams' Bernie Casey sees people one at a time


Look at The People (Doubleday) is the title of a new book of poems by Bernie Casey, a former pass receiver for the Los Angeles Rams. The book also contains reproductions of nine of Casey's paintings. It is a fine book. It costs $4.95. Go buy it. There is not much more a book reviewer need say. If a poem or a picture is good, it speaks in an authentic voice. Casey's are; they do.

Still best known as a football player, or an ex-football player, Bernie himself says that he is primarily a painter. He holds a master's degree in fine arts from Bowling Green State University and has been teaching there as a graduate assistant for four years. However, at about the same time Painter-Student-Teacher Casey's first poetry was being published, Poet Casey was also finishing up a movie,...tick...tick...tick.... Casey sees no reason for a man to he limited, even by his own definition of himself.

As for his poems—it is too bad to have to choose among them, but here are two.


periodical paradox
lifted between the
fir trees and
there is no noise
in the house.
sequestered animals
peer from behind luminous
curtains as
ghosts go stomping
through my dreams
awakening the neighbors
and wreaking havoc
with the
red cross.

And Look See, from which the book takes its title:

look at the rain
one drop at a time,
look at a tree
one leaf at a time,
look at the grass
one blade at a time,
look at the people
one person at a time.

And the final lines of I Thought of You

...the look on your face
when you discovered the race
we ran
is a tie.
winner take all,
why not?

The other poems in the book are very different from these and from each other—but they are all as good. Then there are the paintings. So again, go buy the book. Among all those other things, Mr. Casey, though no longer catching passes, is more widely receptive than ever.