What he gives

for Titi Robin

by Owen Bullock

a tree flies empty
the landscape of stones 
waves & wobbles
settles, and you stir
scoop strings and
one one   one-two   one one
don’t count, just follow
the body says, and it
doesn’t belong to you alone
but everyone who knows to dance –
on a busy back street
a voice cuts through, high
your lover, on a bicycle
hums a smile, one day, all you wanted
will clatter across the cobbles
this melody
grips you by the shoulders
friend, take a break
sit here, my compadres and I
will play music to wonder, to wander
to brave unfriendly faces –
they don’t want to act that way
they need to soften – guitar, oud, cajon
will do that
                   here by the table
with your tea, listen
                                listen to us

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 has a website for his research into poetry and process, at https://poetry-in-process.com/.  He is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Canberra.

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