Owen Bullock: 4 poems

  Owen Bullock

  4 poems

  JPR 07


Forty-six years and never opened eyes underwater. This the sea and there was salt. The day I forced myself. A morning swim, before the heat. Time with you. Sand at our feet stretched, connected to beaches in Cornwall, Wales, places lodged. Colours and mists, fragments, shell. Now at each river and shore I see what I’m swimming in. That day we heard our brother died.

New play list 1 & 2

Breathy voice. Lyrics already heard; beat so simple; chords the same. Ephemeral treble-bound synth barely discernible reminds me I’m going to die soon – at least that’s something. Welcome to Cloudkid remix.

Swingin, singin, rhythmin. She violins in the garden with her angel wings on. They’re shakin the matchbox. What did you do to me? Alive. With the Boswell Sisters. When I take my sugar to tea sounds like do tea.

At the bus stop

He’s to go to the dentist, shows me his teeth. He went up to Oberon for the steam rally. His uncle’s building a shed and they’re trying to stop it. Canberra’s not a bad place when you get used to it. He’s been here all his life, 43 in a couple of months, sixteen years in the supermarket. I’ve seen you there, I say. Yeah, they can never get enough staff. He flinches at blaring vehicles, asks me if I drive. He hasn’t for eight years. One of his psychiatrists told him he should never have got a licence, can’t concentrate. He could do it if he had to.

Auckland ranges
the truck throb
a man unloads
packs of coke
ready since the get-go
croons hello
with the shop

the door of the truck
hung open

a dent
glides by

a sparrow hops

the truck backs




follow a car
down the street

Mekong Baby

Thai me up


your café
builds clouds
with eyes shut

carves toys,
befriends bearded men
with too many bags

Australian poet Owen Bullock.

Owen Bullock’s publications include River’s Edge (Recent Work Press, 2016), A Cornish Story (Palores, 2010) and sometimes the sky isn’t big enough (Steele Roberts, 2010). Two new collections are forthcoming in 2017: semi (Puncher & Wattmann) and Work & Play (Recent Work Press). He has edited a number of journals and anthologies, including Poetry New Zealand. He recently completed a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Canberra. He tweets @OwenTrail


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