I Looked At Her

I looked at her and at
the grassy plain over
which the plover came
and went and swooped
time and time again
as fierce and enduring
as the wind or the spirit
of human generation.
Her nest was somewhere
about, no doubt, as was
ours, and we made our
way back home.


Julian O’Dea





Travelling home,
our trip out is reflected
in the mirror;

through the windows
the hills and rivers
seem changed slightly,
like memories;

and the lines of stock
in the paddocks
have moved like shadows
on sundials.


Julian O’Dea

Every Year

Putting on the same play
every year about
this time,
the blown blooms
on the branch take a bow
together like actors on
a stage after the show is done.


Julian O’Dea

In Her Old Room

In her old room they gather
dust behind closed curtains,
the glass fish that used
to swim in the light near
the windows, each souvenir
once the soul of movement
now beached in the stillness
of the room.

Julian O’Dea

“thou sluggard”

“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise”

Christ had a disciple

who was a drunk.

He could have been an

apostle but he was

always drunk.

Too drunk to deny Him.

Too drunk even to run away.

Too drunk to write a gospel,

even a short epistle.

All day he lay drunk by a date palm,

just watching the ants go by.



Julian O’Dea


behind display cabinets
at the department store,
a nicely wrapped shopgirl 
serving a customer,
turning like a ballerina 
in a music box, among
paint and mirrors


Julian O’Dea


The birds drop
from branch to branch
after spring rain
and to the earth
bouncing like brown
nuts on the ground
being the first
to move like figurines
sprung from a frieze.
Julian O’Dea