Beautiful and Smart

David G O'Sullivan

She was a city lawyer,

Beautiful and smart, she was all that the city holds up as prime.

She killed herself.

Her body was found in the trees behind her house, a thick group of trees

Where people go to sniff paint and dump rubbish.

Her body was found by a man involved in the search,

She was in the tree where she took an overdose of some drug.

She was found folded over a branch, her beautiful long blonde hair hanging down like gold

But her skin was turning purple.

They suggested she killed herself

Because some foolish man had ended a relationship with her,

And she was so upset she could see no over way.

But she was so beautiful

And smart.

Perhaps things were too much for her

Perhaps the pressure was too much

And the bolts came out, letting the cold water flood in. I think…

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That Queen, The Moon.

David G O'Sullivan

She started to stay away,

That beautiful woman,

And she didn’t share with me those sweet secrets she used to,

So the terrible feeling crept in like winter wind under the door.

I set out to a friend’s farm to keep away for a while.

I would lay awake in the morning, watching the sun arrive

Pressing against my open window, putting a foot inside warming what he touched.

Early, early, I would set out across the dew-wet grass,

toward the mountains, toward the pine forests.

Even as the sun rose, the moon still sat in the sky,

Like a queen, not moving, not being told to leave,

But pleased herself to walk in night dripping with diamonds

And to stay in the day, watching over that fool, the sun.

Slowly she would leave, unhurried, in her own time

To sleep in her private chambers over the hills.

In the…

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These are the poets

David G O'Sullivan

Poems are born from wild times,

From struggle, love and anger,

from men with soft hearts and hard fists,

from women whose smiles are like gold,

whose dreams are larger than the moon

And harder to reach.

Poems are not soft or weak,

They die if given 9 – 5 jobs

And secure homes with understanding friends.

Poems live at 2 am, drinking liquor and waking up in strange rooms with strange people

They live on new cities, tough attitudes,

Unplanned journeys, tall beautiful women on short dark streets

And fist fights with broken glass in their mouths.

Poems don’t live with old men who never danced in the fire

They don’t share a bed with someone who has never been broken

Poems see the devil and laugh.

Silas the famous poet, leaped from the ship at Troy

and dug his feet into the sand, his eyes surveyed the lines…

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A walk home

David G O'Sullivan

Walking home from a meeting,

Where a man had screamed at us, telling us how to vote

And who, in those greedy seats of power,

We were told, had the best interests of the people at heart,

I saw a mechanic at work in a small garage on the edge of town.

The sun was dipping low, the clouds were red and yellow

And the tall, thin man, covered in the black blood of automobiles

Slowly stepped out from under a car lifted high

And switched on his lights so he could see by.

How hard he works, I thought,

Long hours and hard labour

I could see the lines on his face,

The hardness of his skin

The thin hungry look he had,

No tax funded office, no chauffeured car.

Long hours into the night, oil, and bleeding knuckles.

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Her Beauty

David G O'Sullivan

Her beauty spills the wine from my cup

it brings the tide upon the shore

it burns the forests

it keeps God interested

it breaks the ice apart.

She sits there, her legs crossed

and my eyes wander across her thighs

like little men climbing to the moon.

But if she but laugh or wink

that haughty moon would crash into the sea

crushing all, crushing me.

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The lights in her eyes

David G O'Sullivan

At university

I took a few English literature classes.

I would sit in the same seat each week, usually alone

But I would read all the texts

I would hand in all the assessments

And I did well.

I loved the poems, the novels, the short stories.

I took a subject called literature and the screen.

Every Wednesday night the class would attend the campus cinema

To study a movie on that big screen.

I met her on the first night

She had dark black hair and sat just behind me

Her face was gentle like an angel’s

And beautiful.

The dark cinema, would throw pure white light upon her

showing her brown eyes.

She wore woollen tops, and the sleeves would be pulled down over her hands

She wore jeans that hugged her beautifully.

We would talk in the darkness

And she would make me laugh

Her perfection would…

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Side of the road

David G O'Sullivan

Simon and Robert were walking along the side of the road heading home. The road was quiet because it ran no where but up past a few old houses and then some farms.

Simon lived next door to Robert, their houses backed onto a forest and the boys spent a lot of time walking through the trees, swimming and playing.

A truck had been down the road recently, they could tell because it had run off the road and left huge tire tracks on the dirt.

“I wish the school bus’d come down here and drop us off, instead a makin’ us walk all the way from the highway,” Simon said throwing a rock at a fence post and hearing the satisfying clang when it hit.

“Yeah but I spose for just us two there ain’t much point. I like the walk anyway, it’s a good half hour I don’t…

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Kindness of the saints

David G O'Sullivan

The maniac Simon Freidland creeps along the city street; his pants splashed with mud.

A tattered coat little defence against the cold, he sleeps on a mattress outside the train station,

His beloved wife left him when the money ran out, and the booze took hold.

He saw Saint Patrick last night

Between the Woolworths and the liquor store.

The Saint had nodded and understood all at once

How unfair life had become and this kindness of the Saint filled Simon with a warmth

That faded into a soft light at two a.m. just as the gentle rain began to fall.


Simon’s wife, only blocks away on the thirtieth floor of a high rise building

Rolls over in the warm bed

And runs her hand between her legs and along her belly.

He is in the bathroom and in this moment of reflection,

She looks in the mirror and…

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On my mind

David G O'Sullivan

It’s the sweet things in life

The new things

The first time you see her after work,

Or seeing things make her happy, that beautiful smile.

Seeing her undress in the soft lights of dark night

In the room together with the world shut out.

It’s the gentle words she has for you alone,

The fear she has that you’ll leave

That makes you feel so secure

And happy.

The story she tells you about the time some other guy did something so bad

And you just know you’d never do that to her.

It was the time she watched her favourite movie with you and she cried

And held you so tight

Because she loves to touch you; Loves to be with you.

I’m sure nearly everyone gets the same happy feeling sometime in their life

And no matter what color they are, what they believe, or who they…

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The meeting in the reading room.

David G O'Sullivan

In the reading room of the library,

Under the dome of the white and golden light

Where timber desks surround a great central platform

And students sleep next to their laptops, their devices keeping their laps warm,

An old man sits alone with white eyes, half blind.

He laughs to himself as if an angel is telling him jokes.

As I pass, I see a book of poems open before him,

The page he has open, features Blake’s great poem.

He sees me and says;

‘If only all God’s followers were prophets.’

I stop and look into those wells of milk

And he smiles again, a black smile of soft lips and moisture.

‘In the end, we are all alone, but we can always have the words,

The poems never leave us; it is we who leave the poems.’

He wants me to say something; I can see the desperation…

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