More Poems by Stephen House

“driftwood mountain”
             By Stephen House

he collects driftwood from the windswept beach
ties it up with rope and drags it through the scrub
to his campsite
i gather driftwood for my cooking fire

he lives in a ragged tent amongst coastal gums
i sleep in an old car moulded into sand-hill bush

walking today
i come across a clearing in the growth
not far from his campsite

i stop
see a driftwood mountain reaching up to the sky
as high as the tallest trees around it

i sink to the ground
drawn into its enormity and beauty
to what i feel it says about him and me
surviving in nature by the sea

i cry
i’m not sure why

i see him sitting in the scrub
watching me moved by his driftwood mountain

as the sun sets i stand and wave to him
leave the man with his mountain

hike back to my car through wilderness
immersed in the songs of settling-down birds
past grazing kangaroos and emus

at my camp i make a driftwood fire
cook my food
warm my body

write a poem
about a driftwood mountain that changed my life

“beach walking (alone) in winter”
             By Stephen House

layer up
peel off garments as needed
don’t stress about carting unworn attire
stash clothing under a bush
drag behind or tie around
wave in the air celebrating self
free yourself from reality as needed

don’t permit dark clouds to press down on you
replace their weight with joy
ride within them
become one with their dense complexity
remember times you have tried to push them away
and realize they disappeared in their own time
go beside them and understand their place

rain will pass
you know showers are temporary
don’t give into the notion of forever wet
drenching is a part of experience
glimmers of sun will appear
dry and warm will follow
if you are soaked keep walking
you resilience is incredible
see nature in discomfort beyond your control
relish how weather just is
how you just are

remove shoes
dance on wet sand
paddle in icy shallows
see your feet turn blue in lapping seas
you are one with the elements
but have been encouraged to forget that
the truth inside of you is yours
as your feet become numb so will you
to what doesn’t matter
and there is so much insignificant
so live and be

sing with the wind
the seaweed and sand blowing
is in the choir of wilderness with you
stretch up and out to the unseen source
call loud the sounds held inside
your essence is more ancient than time
remember that you transcend doctrines and rules
worship the unknown as you sense not as told
turn into the instinct of being
pace by the open sea as your display of freedom
relish the gift of liberty a cold squall gives

and as you take rest from beach walking (alone) in winter
rejuvenated and reborn
remember that before long
you will be beach walking in spring
another season
changes to what has been
new moods and views
unexpected colours and light
no greater or less than
as powerful and real
as the place
you have journeyed before

- Acknowledgements. “driftwood mountain” 2nd prize Poetry at Sawmillers Australia / published, recorded and broadcast by The Blue Nib Ireland / published by Poetica Christi Australia - in Wonderment. “beach walking (alone) in winter” published by Ponder Savant USA

- Stephen House has won many awards and nominations as a poet, playwright and actor. He’s received several international literature residencies from The Australia Council for the Arts and an Asia-link India residency. His chapbook “real and unreal” was published by ICOE Press. He’s published often and performs his acclaimed monologues widely.

Copyright©2021 by Stephen House. All Rights Reserved.