Poetry Showcase for Owen Bullock

Bio: Owen Bullock’s most recent publications are Impression (Beir Bua Press, 2022), and Uma rocha enorme que anda à roda (A big rock that turns around), translations of his tanka into Portuguese by Francisco Carvalho (Temas Originais, 2021). His other titles include, Summer Haiku (Recent Work Press, 2019), Work & Play (Recent Work Press, 2017), and Semi (Puncher & Wattmann, 2017). He teaches Creative Writing at the University of Canberra. His other interests include juggling, music and chess. https://poetry-in-process.com/ @OwenTrail @ProcessPoetry 

Latest found

drink a tankard of sweet Williams

spin-passing a rolled-up blanket

hide –

a common bird

lands miraculously


skim dark water –

set resin

he’s caught a tree

will sending flowers to myself boost my serotonin?

no more crossing the suburbs

except for old pebbles

and lines the birds brought

cloud on cloud

I dream I’m dreaming

you might not have any eyes

a bouquet of orange

You hold out your hands & take it. It collapses, spreads, your feet soaked with the colour, you start running, running over day, you lose weight, you feel great, you’re young again. Some of it splashes off on your friend Serafim & she’s climbing, climbing the ladder to put the finishing touches to her sculpture, a thousand pom-poms made of wool, one bounces down & bobbles to the feet of a child, who picks it up & gazes, suddenly her hand is sore with hope, her eyes gleam seablue, seablue rides a sleek canoe in no time over rapids, lands at the base of the mountain, meets a boy in a barrel, gives him a bouquet of pink.

ghost bears

dressed to the teeth

guilt mechanics

the consequences are not immediate

it’s a work on

the hardest step is over the threshold

squeezing the stone


online psychic’s side-kicks

the orthopaedic surgeons are more like carpenters


on the power box

open your 3rd eye

the architect thought of the building as a sculpture

the sculpture thought of the architect as a building

the building thought of the sculpture as an architect

the thought of architect as a building, the sculpture

of the thought as the architect building a sculpture,

the sculpture building a thought as of the architect

of the building, as a sculpture the architect thought,

the thought building as a sculpture of the architect,

the sculpture of, as building the architect a thought

a conversation with the garden

what do they do when they’re a fuckwit?

For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge

(Fornication Under Consent of the King)

or Old High German: to strike

(tips, golf and posh also aren’t acronyms)

I’ll just give you the wave tops

skype call unanswered –

not one of Philip Glass’


somebody came into my house and used my deodorant

I linger

For a word. For eye contact. For the assurance I’m not crazy. For the knowledge that you had something like this with your mother, with your father. Mother comes first, always. Mother. I linger in the hope you’ll need a hug of comfort. I linger so you know I’m here, listening, even to the trailing off sentence. I linger because you were kind to me once.

Sweating in the sun of summer.

Noticing the age of autumn.

Accepting long nights of winter.

Walking in the meadow of spring.

Poems are easier than small talk.


did you ring the hospital?
did you phone the dentist?
did you book for Monday night?

I dare do all that may become a man

you could pull the curtains . . .




this morning’s

graffiti wisdom

Feelings of power deactivate parts of the brain responsible for ‘mirroring’, which underscores empathy.

I like to autumn through my schedule

my other life as a teacher

kiss the grim reaper

a new comprehension

poorly equipped poem

on a bus with nine other poems

making unreasonable demands on the commuter

collected in lever arch files

linger   long after day

   evening moon

admin –

you gotta go through us

to get a patch


at the Buddhist Training Centre

everything is offensive to someone

Australians all let us rejoice

For we are old and . . .

de-emphasising the ego

preparing for death

I’m the one who goes around

turning the lights off

take the frustration out

make notes for the anthropologist

I let my music take me

where my heart wants to go

They say losing love

is like a window in your heart

Men wanted

for the Alpaca a cappella group

To save a day

the deejay said Karm
I say ‘deejay’, it was
the graffiti artist
MC of the street

The phone rang. It was a diptych. I eyed it with both eyes. The phone rang again. A triptych. I got confused (though dramatically satisfied by the hint of three-act structure). I went to the window, one scene: trees, mountains, grass. I took several paces back, a run up, crashed through the glass. Out. 

I get in step with the water dragon . . . twitch my tail like it . . . tilt my head . . . scamper forward a few centimetres . . . I am old    I watch the water   I turn my head   I watch the water   skittle forward & when the crow comes I run a while and hey a cormorant pops up and I watch and scoot on the red gravel     people talk in the park, the cormorant dives   ripples spread till you can’t see anything   except the ripples that were already there     a pukeko struts, coots bob     the water dragon comes back     I’ll have to go soon     the water dragon edges close   waddle-walking    green bobbles   its jagged crown

I fantasise telling them the only way to make amends for this latest round of time-draining admin cock-ups is for the boss himself to come over with a handmade fruit cake. When I come back from lunch there’s a cake sitting in the kitchen. I missed the boss, it’s a bought cake and it’s not fruit, but . . .

it helps to know
that in some parallel world, 
some memory or Youtube clip
Roger Daltry is still running on the spot
Pete Townsend swinging that arm
for the power chords
and the crowd taking up the chant
of teenage wasteland

be careful crossing the road, she says
forgetting I usually pole-vault over

so much to be
anxious about
the floodlights
reflect in the lake
like magic wands

By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

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