Owen Bullock

being human
“what is your death / but an old belonging” Anne Sexton

“a recurring wave / of arrival” John Ashberry
courted by the dying
working from a list –
where’s life
escaped to?

a strip of night
gets into the room
a soft touch
he opens the curtain

into blasted morning
lightning threatens retinas
it’s Sunday

she tells him
imagination and subconscious are one
he’s educated
but still must work

and their lives in the world
are the same

a monster lizard
rises over the scrabble board
jaws dripping
ten feet to a scrabble tile

he tells the advertisement
he doesn’t want a Rolex watch

birds sing in the oak tree
it’s getting light

he’s hungry
here’s the day

text of clay
for Brian

the old pit has filled with run-off
turquoise green
from the mineral in the clay
my brother is floating there
under the surface
his hair fans out
limbs alert but resting

his eyes are open wide
and he shouts
fuck you, I can breathe under water!

living in a tent

I arrive at Chapel
the last wall still standing
curse the way
it never housed the poor

               I asked for nothing
               but respect

pews bleed
names of the despised
who wore yellow trousers

               those similarly ostracized
               helped with digging
               the getting of furniture

times have changed
I see the charms of the rich

               what’s gone is gone
               into sweat and dewdrops

new experiences
flood the plains

               I swim back
               to camp

Owen Bullock has published a collection of poetry, sometimes the sky isn’t big enough, two books of haiku and a novella. He has edited a number of journals and anthologies, including Poetry NZ, and taught students of all ages. Owen is a PhD candidate at the University of Canberra.
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