Author: B. N. Oakman

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A few crumbs from a table of plenty

    • B. N. Oakman
    • 09 October 2017
    2 Comments

    He's not difficult to find. Black men stand out in rich barrios. He'll be standing outside the supermarket, smiling, a self-appointed doorman selling a magazine nobody buys. His name is Samuel. He's from Ghana. His father is dead. He sends what money he can to his mother. He has no papers and no work because he has no papers. Madrilenos offer small change after shopping.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Called or shunned by Vietnam war conscription

    • B. N. Oakman
    • 10 November 2015
    7 Comments

    I'd never met a Vietnamese, couldn't figure what we had against them. But we were raised in shadow of returned men, the shimmer of lapelled bronze, a presumption we in our turn would go when ordered ... Most of us dodged gap years of sweat and khaki, missing madness, maiming, napalm, agent orange, learning how to kill and to piss ourselves out of fear. Instead we were granted head starts with women, front marks in the greasy pole dash, a less congested clamber to unremarkable lives.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Unready for sudden fatherhood

    • B. N. Oakman
    • 01 April 2014
    5 Comments

    My father took a train to Melbourne, watched his Swans play, fell asleep on the homeward journey, missed Bungaree, and walked miles from Ballarat to his parents' farmlet in the heart of the spud country. I see him tramping an empty road, blackness mitigated by a wan winter's moon, hear the clash of leather boots on bitumen, the baying of disturbed farmyard dogs; him scarcely more than a big boy who played bush footy.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Guttered brotherhood

    • B. N. Oakman
    • 08 December 2009
    1 Comment

    Our town nuisance, eyes bulging from a hollowed head, trousers like tattered flags half-mast on broomstick legs, a pest to the tourists ... a handy arrest for the police

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Guernseys of sackcloth and ashes

    • B. N. Oakman
    • 15 July 2008
    2 Comments

    There's more silver in my teeth .. than in our trophy cupboard .. Gravestones bear witness to our only premiership .. Every year we leap for the heavens .. and flop in the gutter .. My football team is hopeless.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Country war memorial

    • Bob Morrow and B. N. Oakman
    • 22 April 2008
    1 Comment

    A bunch of plastic pink carnations.. two white roses, limp.. scorched by frost.

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