Owen Bullock

Ancient and modern
for Paul Collis

The ancestor’s language falls like rain, settles. Heat escapes the air.

You, the child, ground the elder – a surprise that hops away like mimicry.

You take the lift and as doors open into the red land, the red land comes flooding into you – only your grandfather’s fine rain keeps you from choking. You open your eyes in defiance of the sting. City blocks assemble. You find your way to the fireside, the two-bar heater, the space buzzing with dry or sickly discourse.


full moon
the ghost of my past
doesn’t land

                after the rains
                coriander seedlings sprout
                in the doormat

dazed by grief
I think driftwood pieces
are people

                watching the helicopter
                the little girl


it helps to be feeling unhappy
when you drive the car
so you can concentrate
and not be excited by flowers
or possible worlds
which make it difficult to notice exit signs
& road markings

I try to screen out signs
too much information
but not when I’m unhappy
then I give them my obsessive attention
I accept the signs
like awkward cousins
I do what they want me to do

I like it when I’m unhappy
and find driving easier
normally, I hate driving the car

A tribute to neo-Liberalism

The library tells me they sent the journals to an offsite storage facility. They consulted faculty before they removed them from the shelves. I ask around, no one was consulted.

Another set of journals goes missing. A woman who works in the library tells me the first set was pulped – these will have gone the same way. She describes a collection of books that disappeared, how she fought for them first. ‘You do realise some of these are the only copies in Australia,’ she said to them. They looked at her like she was an idiot.

Clouds arch, green and black; the air turns cold. A red hand reaches out, grabs my throat. One slit from that claw and I’d be a gonner.

Owen Bullock has published three collections of poetry, Sometimes the sky isn’t big enough (2010), Semi (2017) and Work & Play (2017); four books of haiku, Wild camomile (2009), Breakfast with epiphanies (2012), Urban Haiku (2015) and River’s Edge (2016), and the novella, A Cornish Story (2010). Owen currently teaches Creative Writing at the University of Canberra. He has a website for his research into poetry and process, at https://poetry-in-process.com/.
previous page     contents     next page


Post a Comment

<< Home