5 Poem Poetry Showcase from Stephen House

*note all 5 poems below were previously published in the following magazine/websites
“ditto” published by Pif Magazine USA 
“closure” published by Honest Ulsterman Northern Ireland / Culture Cult India 
“café of then” published by The Blue Nib Ireland  
“self-preservation” published by E Ratio USA
“thankful” published by Verse of Silence India / highly commended for The Robyn Mathison
Poetry Prize Australia*

ditto

crawling gentle on splintered wood
shards of trickle a smudge reminder 
of my still alive continuing

did a muffled dream breathe isolated
or was combination itinerant scribe
nature presenting elementary grasp

nobody knew i played with dangerous
why discard compensation ongoing
endure dependent relies on silent

it was murky rain on broken past
that spelt me your eyes meant truth
only a fox smiles of not eat fresh kill 

they must realize decades of try
to slap me down bred pointless
achieved their angst and my freedom

i’m no real poet of anything actual
an assembly devised in lockdown
became art form notorious slap

would the cluster believe joyful
comes from non-adherence be normal
essential queer chime takes final bow

ditto answers all when constructing
sliding chapters in pandemic scale
decades taught me heaven belief

closure

we pondered final cold parting
debated repeat inevitable flee 
two bodies stifled year sly passion
nil fact else glue seal tight stay
avoidance trick of never be closure 
rational discuss lost in bull-shit whine  
ritual words drown keep damp clinging
next sex muddle bed fake home 

so i pulled at pin grip tight near always 
pricked hope inflate squirm slippery in need  
goodbye whisper pack tremble escaping 
pleaded no call scream baby come back 
stopped slept empty alone beach hiding
cried as kid lost new toy in snatch
grieved be missing us body kiss struggle
hope tear brittle gone lope sliding waste

began roam swept coast bird-screech singing 
forest cloud trail growth calm give murmer
ocean flounder icy blue dreaming
sand warming pillow fall white stretch no end
inlet granite time old grow always
trees reach sway weather element life
mantra name silent supreme inner ancient
horizon arrive red-orange new cycle 

returned to corpse house once empty grip lover 
smelling lust-chaos tales more never will
ghost-me wet screaming memory ghost-you
life drift lame kind nothing now all
breathe in true wanting back me be only
calm alive here alone fleshing stable 
silence time beauty return wallow sacred
nil regret you naught never will me be

café of then

there’s a café tucked into a city nook
where i’d regularly be three decades ago
when i’m back this way   
i always stop by 
take my old table spot
float back 
to life of then

i’d skulk here to hook up late at night 
drop in heading home in wide eyed dawn
speeding crazy 
crashing low
nowhere to go 
needing somewhere be
boy dream soaring
hard morning pain
confused by not real
escape bad trick danger

a mate from that epoch appears 
i nip in and order bitter blacks
bump into an italian with now dyed hair 
who i knew from more than here 

shakes hard my hand 
recalls with worn grin
us in a dim city room with new-found trade 
on the game together 
a few times one year 
i chuckle wry at street-wandering ways			
he sniggers sly at what’s still not forgot

as years slide on 
and ways of vanished youth 
drift into psychedelic space 
i give thanks to run-away eons and after dark lads 
who faded out through fate and choice 

or kept going on like me and some
riding faded spontaneous memories
jolted along by almost old age  
struggling against blatant facts 
of a dwindling now

hidden stories of bygone reality
steering the remembered route
back to this café of then


self-preservation

silence knows conceal of stifled queer self-young 
kept tight vigilant under wrap in never give my all 
careful instilled damage residing in thrown chains 
dragged along by experience regardless as they dish
put down cards to remove shadow of privately safe  

so i floated away to hidden no name bliss destination 
for sweet acceptance relief from lectured draining calm  
to soft vision harmless shell of no expectation burden 
without abuse process adding toil to how and why path 
obvious returns in who cares elation of run fast escape  

and fuck their taught lessons since born glimpse told
instilled frozen dread of alone when human complexity
was not spun by doctrine heterosexual churching values 
or biding by rules of no choice made to cry sorry twice  
for me is not on offer to them of unnatural changing plan 

rhyming inner agenda through persuaded knot in mindful
by internal direction ordained psychology taught analysis
education in social norm drives convention in exist try
work living and expected interaction delivers cold tedium   
to view unfolding destroyed into obscured by adherence  

but self-preservation designed by realization life known 
without measured layer expectation drowning internal truth
offers combination of one-ness that is fact of all-together  
teaching avoidance of dictated pushed enquiry conveying be 
of circling still point in time universal honesty delivers win

thankful

breathing in 
real

ice sea-froth lap naked feet pinking
ramble be one follow winter grit beach

twist trail gum trees hike wild step pacing
screech birds flock-massing silent move gain

coffee two more shadow tall morning city
eyes blue-grey playful near switch click device

bag travel packing in wheels joining ramble
park scrub moon welcome lone slowing slumber

pink-red shiraz sip blue flute chill crystal
dark shadow dance once was i can as them

your you-voice sweet choir my fade tune sing missing
gaze look in dreaming rise float waning heaven

ocean submerge womb heal water still body
blood-drip set sunning sky envelope calm 

words written think verse take given by honest
universal be living celebration now with

smiling out 
thankful

Wolfpack Contributor: Stephen House

3 poems from Stephen House



Bio: Stephen House has won many awards and nominations as a poet, playwright, and actor. He has been commissioned many times, and had 20 plays, and several word and image exhibitions and short films produced. He has received international literature residencies from The Australia Council for the Arts to Canada and Ireland, and an Asia-link India residency. His chapbook “real and unreal” was published by ICOE Press Australia.His new book will be released soon. He is published often and performs his acclaimed monologues widely.
Stephen House | Australian Plays Transform (apt.org.au)








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