7 Nature Poems by Owen Bullock


“our layered world” – John Allison

the sun dies 
to the estuary
replaces words
as if it ever needed . . .

as if we . . .

might be explorers

mud closes
around bare footprints 
the ooze and pull –

oh to be a mollusc 

to be what’s next . . .

how to let go
of guilt
at clinging onto
what others haven’t


waves fold and shush
crush a crash
colours undulate
lines they scape 
of the sun all morning


staring into carpet
wrapped in a blanket
at the end 
of a word-jammed day
summarising reports
for the computer’s blazing eye
the clock’s numbers
the reader’s unseen     fingers


first cuppa
after yoga, journalling
the haunting cold
like the echo
from an empty shed
you, the child
left the womb
the sea
the bed
to wriggle into dawn light


turn the corner
fold like a wet shirt
into steamy woods and lake

watch noisome coots
black swans	
interrogate quiet hands for food
(without so much as a beep-honk)

minds drift, water evaporates
kids shout greetings 
about bright clothes 
from across the water


3 a.m. wakeful
rain slides through the courtyard
you hear the silent sun 
ask questions
between trial and error
day and day 

heat surrounds your body
as lightning threatens

branches rain down

you tear off your shirt
to the downpour

I’m still here, you wail

at the centre 
of the edge

The river and the still

falling half-fathom
willow green
leaves drag the stream bed
emerald black

backwater under pussy willow
where blackberry hunts
the eel hovers, facing upstream
shimmering like wet rock

deep cut under the bank
eels tussle
you hear them from the camp
wonder if a fish

above, below waterline
the only distortion 
that momentary parallax
as one meets the other

body bath
the eyes see this or
bend with perception
best a lens, a mask
to view crayfish
bigger, cockabullies
brown trout, green bellies

at night, the brightest of all
latia (limpets)
give off their bio-luminescent slime	 
to distract predators –
it floats away                                       in bubbles


“Back to our real selves” – Oz Hardwick

wandering the burras
the villages
like worms 
in the bank

dancing to a band
in the musical air   
                              from stage to woods –
                              what will the wind do
                              with notes and beats?

birthing     unbirthing 
                 how waves unfold
                 stiff limbs
                                   how mother will
                                   stroke your hair

I don’t want to let go of the moment
covered in wet clay
                                 I refuse to let go of the moment
                                 throbbing with sound
                                                                     I give up the moment
                                                                     thrashing the ocean

burras – Cornish dialect for the mounds of sand that are one of the waste products of china clay mining


oxygen, shade
you’re cool across lands

shelter, timber
home for moss, lichen, epiphytes

insects, birds
preying mammals

you mark lands
nursery crops

receive bee blessings 
worms, mycorrhizal funghi

fold a cushion of mulched leaves
for fruit

in my dream
you’re the mansion prepared for me

where I lay me down
under boughs

The island of the dead

Inspired by Ethel Spowers, The island of the dead, 1927 linocut, printed in coloured inks, in the Japanese manner, from seven blocks.

where the dead go
                                   to find peace
                                                             in their blues & greys
                                                             green gold light
               they don’t see     each other
they have each     the island
alone            able           and enough
                                                             a relief
                        the total
                                              at last
              the unswollen tide
seeps in
              takes them     drowns them    in glint
                                            eyes          no different          to
sun     stars     the choicest pebbles on the beach
                                                                                  they pick them
                        they don’t have to take them home
                                                                                      any more

Bio: Owen Bullock’s most recent publication is Impression (Beir Bua Press, 2022). His other titles include, 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), 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

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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