Poetry Drawer: small pleasures by Stephen House

disarray bustle as they group slide off bus
treading quickly holding useless bundles
spouting too many words to register as real
carrying reasons unrelated to time as is
into blend of light rain and cars too loud

a laugh or shout or scowl binding a pinch
as truth unfolds while spilling into veins
of pathways and roads for next attempt
at situation that could easily go unnoticed
in body mass of many separating in light

and me in my after-covid fog no better
clutching at strongest black coffee found
relishing seat at too wobbly outside table
trying not to return to thought of sick bird
flapping in my overgrown back garden

another bus stops and out they fall again
and i become locked in why happenings
the corner fight between two meth-heads
my partners kind eyes when concerned
and has bird already been killed by cat

a guy asks me for a cigarette and i jump
and instead of sorry mate or i don’t smoke
i nod a feeble decline and he mumbles off
while i gulp coffee aware of small pleasures
crowds on buses and a dying bird’s plight

Stephen House has won many awards and nominations as a poet, playwright, and actor. He’s had 20 plays produced with many published by Australian Plays Transform. He’s received several international literature residencies from The Australia Council for the Arts, and an Asialink India literature residency. He’s had two chapbooks published by ICOE Press Australia: ‘real and unreal’ poetry and ‘The Ajoona Guest House’ monologue. His next book drops soon. He performs his acclaimed monologues widely.

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