A Poetry Showcase from Owen Bullock

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Lady of the gentle bombardment
for Christian Bök

The church of funghi frisks the rainbow
for its amino acids and 50c pieces,
breaks down the coins and sings an arrow
winged like a bomb to fuse and appease
the lady who set fire to noise and lamplight,
who asks you to join her, though you fear handcuffs,
your isolation in the ward’s long night,
trussed by straps and the torch’s bluff.

Her face appears on sliding strings,
follow her will across gorge and water
to redoubts hidden deep among seedlings
and the false assumptions with which you thought her.

You begin your work, rehearsing blind lanterns
till proteins meld and stained glass ripens.

Stubs

cigarette stubs in the bird’s nest

she picks other people’s flowers

tap tap 

             knock knock

                           come in

                                     you were only twelve years old back then
                                     I didn’t hide your sweets under the stairs

goodbye, January
you did your best

albino eye
I’m nervous of falling . . .

a poem is not the place
to find closure

nangs we laugh about 

she’ll never understand they didn’t want me there
I didn’t belong in a family 
where learning was suspicious
where academic success was failure

           in the warm
           I sit on the park bench
           too long

the oneth of Feb

not emphasis, audience

red trousers & strelitzia

annoyingly good

After

after the arguments
light magic chords

           roadside
           another discarded
           mask

you fall in love with new people
then forget all about them

Once I was satisfied I’d sufficiently wasted my time artistically, I stopped.

I’ve never known such delayed gratification: seven years working towards our goal and we’re still a long way off – maybe.

the gull 
doing a good job
skimming over water
(& not at all
socially conscious)

she says, oh wow
as she takes my change
(in a state where it’s months
since we had new cases)
and how are you?
long after obligation had passed
& she really meant it
& I said, okay, 
finding it hard getting my head back into gear

              legs over wave tip
              which way
              down

beyond self the silence of sky

Growth

                       bush garden
                       a butterfly 
                       winks at me

I could grow here

prostrate grevilia
Royal Mantel

midnight stroganoff

Tonight on Bottom Gear, I paint my Reliant Robin to look like John Lennon’s psychedelic Rolls Royce, Donald samples some fine new disinfectants, and Greta puts even smaller wheels on the front of her tractor.

Tonight on Bottom Gear, I suspend social media for the governments of Myanmar and India, Donald gets his arsed kicked on the Mexican border see-saw, and Greta rides to school on a solar-powered skateboard.

WORK HARD
That way the slack bastards can ask you to do a little more.

FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY
So the capitalists can sell you the many guns you’ll need. 

Mid-fire lumina

             meditation –
             a pleasant rant
             today

Everything’s gone quiet & end-of-year-ish

What were the songs? he says
looking for his poems

I work in spasms

            hand to pocket
            he scoops out a fistful of change
            and plops it into my outstretched hands
            I spread it out on the ground to count
            I’m better at counting than my older brother
            72 pence
            decent spending money
            for our holiday
            to Butlins

what do you know
a collage with not much in it!

Shuddup, me!

I see your eyes
stealing my ideas

It’s spittin, Barry!

his gayzeebow collapsed
under the weight of rain

           NOT alarmed *
           the TV Buddha
           watches itself

           my jar
           inverts the Buddha
           reflection

          even upside down
          the Buddha’s necklace
          hangs right way

all our windows fogged up
we can’t see out
we can only see in

yes, I am
the wild cabbage flowers

receiving many tears today

no need   to assert

We want the excitement and drama of things to realise, things to renounce, but really there’s nothing to be done.

             patina
             hands rough
             from the clay



Note
* A reference to ceramicist and glass artist NOT: https://notonline.info/

Lamp

lamp’s chain 
hangs straight
shade slightly 
tilted 

light bulges 
through blue
stem 
an iron branch

base glows 
bronze
like the statue 
of a buddha

arc of light
mocks 
the horizon
                              
whichever 
that is


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 


 











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