Love overall

David G O'Sullivan

I love you because regardless of how hard the world is

You continue to love

And continue to breathe the air as a child does,

With wonder, hope, and joy.

I love you because seeing a rainbow makes you excited

And you tell me it’s the most beautiful rainbow you’ve ever seen,

No matter how many times we see a rainbow.


I love you because you have never seen a shooting star

And you make me promise to show you one, one day.

I love you because you are allergic to dogs

Yet love my dog.

No matter how cold, you walk me to the bus stop.

And I love you because when things hurt me,

they hurt you too.


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The lunatic sings the truth

David G O'Sullivan



She came along with a dirty dress hanging around her like a curtain

Torn from a derelict house.

Her hair was dirty and her face was beaten

By time and God knows who.

She noticed me and screamed

That I must work hard to be good,

Love Jesus and look after my loved ones.

She stopped and looked me square in the eye and repeated:

“Be good to your family.”

Then she walked on.

She stank and the air was fouled by her presence.

My publisher sat next to me and watched her go.

“She gave me a manuscript once, years ago.” he said.

“It was well written, the grammar was perfect,

But it was so boring. The characters, the events were so boring.”

“I would have bought her lunch,” I said. “if I knew she was a writer.”

We laughed, but deep down I knew

She had…

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The young poet

David G O'Sullivan

In a small house on Rumber Lane,

a boy lived with his mother and sister.

This boy spent his time in books

And dreamed of composing lines of glory.


The young poet, standing in the hall with the last shadows of day,

Watched the beetles make their way across the stone floor.

Looking up as the trees turned gold in the last rays,

He saw the neighbour coming home from work.


The neighbour, a big man, carried his bag on his shoulder

And smiled arrogantly at the women passing by.

The young poet watched how the man moved,

 With the wideheavy motions he made.


The neighbour’s daughter would meet the boys by the river

On Sunday afternoons

And raise her dress for them.

She wore no underwear.


The young poet was never invited, but

By hiding in the trees

He had…

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An old man remembers his days

David G O'Sullivan


What happens to our time once it’s past?

Weeks melt into years

Success and tragedy,

Lunch and dinner,

Trips overseas,

Love affairs

All eaten up by time

Until Sunday night comes and silently crying

You wonder where it all went

And you are lucky to take another breath

At 85.

He was lucky to succeed, only out of university by five years

And already managing his own branch.

Flying in and out of Europe,

Nights in New York.

She always had shiny hair

And all the money she wanted.

Her baby was born healthy,

he held her hand as they left the hospital.

But he drank

And she was selfish.

He died one night in the rain

When his car crashed into a tree.

She was shocked for a while,

But life goes on.

She married again,

And had another child.

This one was not so well.

Her black…

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Death of Chad Jones

David G O'Sullivan

When Chad Jones died

From an asthma attack while climbing Red Hill,

His father, Doctor Jones,

went into Chad’s room and gathered up all the belongings.

He picked up the trophies, books

He carried out the table and chair, computer, bed and the sheets

And threw all these things into the backyard.

Dr. Jones returned for Chad’s clothes and in great piles,

Laid the clothes out.

Chad’s mother pleaded with her husband not to do what he was doing,

But he continued, working hard

Until all the boy’s things were lying in the afternoon

Like a pyramid pointing to the sky.

Dr Jones then struck a match and lit some paper

And the things began to burn.

Black smoke filled the neighbourhood

The fire brigade arrived to see the mountain of melted plastic and wood

Raging in the backyard.

Doctor Jones’ daughter,

Who some years before, had watched the bonfire…

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poetry reading

David G O'Sullivan


We went to see a poetry reading

In a pub up from the ocean by a few blocks.

We had woken early for a swim,

spent the day walking the streets

And now it was late, and we were tired.

We took a seat toward the back of the room

And ordered some drinks and some fried food.

Soon the room was full of people sitting at small round tables

Talking and laughing, drinking expensive wine.

A woman with short spiky hair went to the front of the room,


Then announced the beginning of the poetry.

A thin man wearing a hat and a bow tie

Ran on stage, the crowd cheered him.

He taught literature at the local university; he said hello to his students in the crowd

then he began to read poetry about sex.

He went on about the women he knew

And the sex…

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Ms. Honeywell

David G O'Sullivan

-This was Simone’s office

Mrs. Herberton said showing me a small room

With a table, a computer, and a leather armchair

That looked out of place.

-She was a good friend of mine, helped me a lot when I needed it.

I nodded. Simone had been very popular at the school

But she had lost her job over an indiscretion.

I put my coat on a hook and sat down at the desk.

I had been out with Simone,

We had gone to the XYZ bar, off Towners Street.

We talked about our lives,

She kept drinking whiskey.

She praised the student captain,

A boy named John.

She spoke of him a lot.

I was glad when the night was over.

I tried to imagine what would happen to Simone,

Years in the future,

As I sat in her dark office.

All I could picture was a person

Lonely at…

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Cold on the moon

David G O'Sullivan

There were the times long ago

When she would wake me in the night

And take me walking down the lanes and across fields.

Gently she would lead me through the dewy grass and mossy stones.

Once she pointed to the sky

And said: “It would be so cold to live up there.”

I looked into the sky where the diamond moon

Shone through wispy clouds.

Years past and there were Christmases, birthdays,

And holidays on the beach.

These moments of happiness seemed to slow the sadness that passing days always bring.

Later, I would visit her, and she would start up from her bed

Wild hair, searching eyes

She would cry out for a pet

That had been dead for years,

She would call out its name.

I would try to explain that the pet had died

But it would not calm her.

Other times she was scared and…

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David G O'Sullivan

Sitting on the side of the highway

dozing in the front of my car,

I blinked awake and noticed the sky turning red

as the sun set over the empty lots and heavy cranes of the industrial park.

I had hours left to drive.

By the side of the road

Six birds danced

Pecking at seeds and grain spilled on the road by farm trucks.

The six birds were of two different species,

Two were galahs; they stood together.

Four were rosellas.

The galahs moved slowly, like fat angels,

Their pink feathers

Shone like morning time.

They ate from their claws, holding the seed to their beaks.

The smaller birds

Looked like moving rainbows,

Their feathers of blue, green, and red

Made them look like French Kings.

In busy steps and hops

The birds climbed onto the black road.

I raised my hand to honk the horn, to scatter…

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