Stephen House

Three Poems – Stephen House

control games

pull away life constraints
bound upon was child framing

turn into direction of escape
mustering power of caught up not

substitute told with own story
sing building self-roam tight hold

etcetera is their avoidance trick
delete the push of instruction false

walk softly seeming blind
collating passage in blur pretend

dance public lost appearing
charlatans reveal feign at trickery

disguise secret flee mapping
cover tracks self-survival gain

as their extremity grab builds
resist spouting wisely best held

bird crowing gives cat confusion
mask own angst whimsical create

expect devised fake wept chaos
slide not further from plan deviate

as instructions given twice
ignore rules smeared with blood

know their control games sneak
formulated for dragging all to follow

float away in devotion restored
their illusion invalid delivers naught

march quietly strong direction
reject guidelines nurture knowing

sky murmuring honest always
redemption choice owning to hold


of the Ocean

I am of the Ocean and I say that not lightly or as a guess or an association stabbed at to find meaning within a realm so often without meaning for I know the Ocean has held me near and I the Ocean special and dear for as long as I can remember and that is proof enough to know that the great planet force is somehow attached to my being as my daily relationship with the Ocean for decades must demonstrate much more than just a like or recreation and if I assess what my swims and walks and beach mediations and draw towards the Ocean gives and teaches and tells me and if I acknowledge the happiness that washes over me when with or in the Ocean then I never doubt I am of the Ocean for as humans give themselves links such as country or race or gender or sexuality or name and more identifying factors chosen or assumed the instinct of knowing I am of the Ocean in this life in the context of all other I could be of or with or from is logical and sane and I note sane as I once said to a stranger I am of the Ocean when they said they were of a country and race which saw them look at me like I was insane though in saying that I will add humans who love me or know me well are fully aware I am of the Ocean


her tissue


fluttering tissue on track
track tissue flutters forever

rolling tissue ball at beach
beach tissue rolls repeating

screwed up tissue stopped in garden
garden tissue stops still staying

floating tissue downtown road
road tissue floats free forward

flattened tissue sticking on jetty
jetty tissue sticks stuck staying


two women are walking on the beach
one woman wipes her nose with a tissue
nose tissue wiping wasted
drops tissue on beach
beach tissue dirty dropping

i turn around and jog towards her
you dropped your tissue
no answer
they keep walking

with seaweed i pick up her tissue
put it in a bin
her tissue bin putting parted


a seagull smiles at me twice
distant clouds sing melodic
her tissue going from beach beauty
beach tissue gone
i go


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.