Owen Bullock

returning, I check that things remain

van Gogh’s chair
in the National Gallery

earts in the lanes

white peaks as you approach
St Austell

stone hot water bottles
for sale
in the Market House

               this time
               the Market House

four chairs

the general sat in white wicker
planning the attack
smiling at you over tea
talking about the tractor’s engine
a strange bird cry heard in the night

the director relaxed and pushed back
the crucial shot captured
he wanted to surf the place he occupied
with uncertainty as a board

the nursing teacher eased a right turn
as she asked the young apprentice
why did you want to be a nurse?

the boy sat for his birthday treat

till the alarm rang
on his childhood
in an empty tin


that refused to become anything

birth certificates
letters of thanks
unusable adaptors
a picture of Mozart by a five year-old
a white feather
a rare letter from father
calligraphied lines from Blake
the key for tuning the drum

a guarantee

Owen Bullock’s publications include River’s Edge (Recent Work Press, 2016), urban haiku (Recent Work Press, 2015), A Cornish Story (Palores, 2010) and sometimes the sky isn’t big enough (Steele Roberts, 2010). He has edited a number of journals, including Poetry New Zealand. He is a PhD Candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Canberra.
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