Stephen Oliver

Stephen Oliver’s latest collection of poetry is titled, Either Side The Horizon, Titus Books, Auckland / Sydney, 2005. His next collection titled, Harmonic is forthcoming from IP Interactive Publications, Brisbane, in 2008. IP is to release his CD recording of poems read by the author, to music composed by Matt Ottley, November, 2007. The CD is titled: KING HIT Selected Readings. 



An Avenue To The Sea

Knowledge comes by indirect paths,
found addresses, by moonlight’s note left on the

back doorstep, molecular puzzle

of pigeons (brown and white potsherd)
in the high air at mid-day over this raucous town.

By panels of light cantilevered off cloud
that signal the departure of angels to earthly realms.

City of property investors, real estate mania.
City of rack renters and home renovators.

City of bladed light and blue-grey harbour.
City of broken contracts and sybaritic compulsion.

City of up-front rip-offs and council rorts.
City of jasmine and the eternal summer party.

City of shimmer dreams-sans-memory.

The most famous of living poets remain anonymous
and unrecognized in foreign towns,
                   ghosts before their time.

An avenue of artists, philosophers, poets, musicians
leads from the city square out through suburbs,

past terra cotta, yellow, and liver-brick villas –
(smoke twists through pine and laurel grove)

an avenue wide enough for a phalanx of soldiers
or two tanks grazing side by side.

Flags of spiritual battles won and lost adorn poles
set at intervals, diminishing
                     whitely into distance,

where it is observed that a central point at the close
of the avenue, bright as diamonds streaming in

the light, (barely larger than your pupil) is the
sea burning in its cauldron of watery fragmentation.


For Night To Roll Its Camber Over

The ruddy glare,
         yellow, blurs its palette in rain,
at the boundaries of vision

flaring to white, blindingly, passes on (reassuringly)
          into darkness, a rubbery hiss.

August is the windiest month,
west, sou’ westerlies rattle the Sydney basin.

Light beams search down through underside
of cloud where planes lower unwaveringly toward

          North East, South West runways.

A machine screams slowly backwards over rooftops
(a sound that moves away-and-toward)

pushing space apart, seemingly swallowing itself.

Reverberations directly overhead wrap around
the room you’re in and rooming under

            for night to roll its camber over.