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3 poems by Owen Bullock

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

urban haiku


an old man quavers ‘La Vie en Rose’

on a violin

winter busstop

the schoolgirl bites her thumb

at a boy across the street

bus window

Il Pleut

by Apollinaire

the class without a sound . . .

footsteps echo

down the corridor


on the jetty

SESH was here, obviously

day off

spider threads

through the courtyard

look at this

golden light and a man

plays golf

on the pavement

in bright blue chalk and a child’s hand

Merry Christmas everybody!


sick of your wardrobe

use the floordrobe

do you know how tricky it is to handle an M16 with fake fingernails?

at ice hockey you’re that far away from men hitting each other with sticks

we made paper darts of the church newsletter

I’m going to eat my bizarre vegan sandwich

sewing to death-metal

me mincers are packin’ up

[mince pies: eyes]

he unfollowed me

I don’t want to control alt delete today

dirt on the windows

light makes cobwebs filigree

I want my mama!

some of my best friends are words

the shallow basket brimming with vegetables

this room stinks bad of sandlealwood and mediocrity sailors

we never know when someone’s listening

my husband calls me mum

not special in a negative way

it’s never too late to get bendy

is that a bag?!

happy is buying

I’m going to die tonight, see

maybe after, I’ll be very employable

Camping in a new place

So this is Australia, live ghost of a map. Red dust, families of kangaroos, red parrots, green

parrots, kookaburras, eastern rosellas, common brown butterflies on the shoulders of Mt


Tjanara’s welcome: everyone who comes here comes for a reason and we want to help them with their dream.


Cut back from trees (in the office). Brushing them with the wind, you merge. Humans,

grasses, moths. Buildings hollowed vessels. Walk to the lake, sit at lunch time on a fallen log under a stand of trees. Talking to you.


The campus an abstract to go in fear of.

we can have

fact and reason, she says

reaching for the tea

mark the tree

with our image?

no, a wallaby!

cup the severed land

six slots in the sculpture

to bracket the heart


crest feather

a perfect question

the eucalypt

grows around

its shield scar

Now you know it’s here, you can come back.


Paul greets us at the garden, its notes on uses, inherited knowledge. Sun slants, glowing. A

young garden, old. DNA, seed, idea. Peppery leaves can be eaten all year round. Indigo made into a paste to stun fish. You’re not the only one here.


Owen Bullock has published three collections of poetry, five books of haiku and a novella,

the most recent being Summer Haiku (2019) and Work & Play (2017). He teaches Creative Writing at the University of Canberra, and has a website for his research into poetry and process, at


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