Mark O’Flynn

Mark O’Flynn has had eight plays professionally produced with such companies as Q Theatre Co, La Mama, MRPG, The Mill Theatre Co and Riverina Theatre Co. His play Paterson’s Curse was published by Currency Press in 1988. He has also published a novel, Grass Dogs, which was one of the short listed manuscripts in the Harper Collins Varuna Awards program. He has also published two collections of poetry, reviews and short stories. His new collection of poetry, published by Interactive Press, was published at the end of 2007. Mark was awarded a residency at Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland by the Australia Council in 2007 to work on a new novel.



The Great Slime Kings


After much rain

the congress of frogs

summoning each other

sounds like frying bacon.


The creeks and puddles

shrinking to their usual drains

pulse and sizzle

with the electricity of frogs.


From the foetid mud they hatch,

on the prowl,

as grateful as I to snatch

a break in the weather.



Calligraphy of Moss


The wayward letters my son scrawled with his finger

in wet cement all those years ago have every day

reminded me of his name.


Not that I would have forgotten.

Silly observation

Their presence is like the presence of air.


After the rain and the opportunistic streak

of living things; (the mosquitoes, the leeches),

the misshaped letters have filled with a calligraphy


of moss. The green is startling,

adapting to the concrete vagaries of the host.

Moss too has a toehold in our lives.


It is like the presence of air,

the presence of earth. The green

footprint of his name existing beyond the odds.



Wallowing like a dog in gravy

the great blue groper, king

of Clovelly Bay, rolls on his back

for his tummy to be rubbed.

Floating over sand like a dirigible

with fins he eyes the snorkellers above,

silhouettes against the bright sky.

One of them, he knows, will dive down

soon to scarify the sand, loosening worms,

or else dismember for him a tasty sea urchin.

All the vivid little fish dart in like hyenas

or frenzied gulls, but it’s the big blue

groper, neon as a burglar alarm

that we have come to see

to measure, in the breathless safety

of the bay, how far out of our

element we are.