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Sharpen your ears to soul



Selected poems



We are as leaves

We are

As leaves

In flowing water







The black cockatoos

You sat

In the young forest

Of eucalypts

And slowly emptied out

Sandstone boulders breathing

With the setting sun


You heard them first

Calling, some distance off

Prying at the veil as they do

Peeling boards from the floor


And then you saw

Moving in slow motion

A gang of rowdy thieves

Lifting your grip

On the concreteness of it all


Black against the sky

Shadows cast by shadows

From the other side

Waking you to the bigger dream



The wind

The wind

Taps me on the shoulder

Like an old friend

Gesturing towards the natural world



Shit and bliss

You were writing

And needed to shit


Your heart was full to overflowing

With the first whispers of spring

The bees, the birds, the blossoms


Passing by the old tree

You looked up

To the hills

To the West

To see


Two eagles hunting, circling, soaring

And you stopped

And you wept with joy


And then you went

And took that shit



The stone Buddha

The stone Buddha

Is wearing his water coat

Over mossy tan

This morning



On poetry #5 

The words are wings

To the lost one

Inspired to flap

Destined to glide

Perhaps even soar


He starts

In a darker place

Unfamiliar, haunted?

Each step an act of faith

A prayer in search of ground


The words are little gods

Morsels of will

Carrying contracts

Seeking signatures

Or partners in crime


He longs to belong

Follows the scent of bosom

A place to call home

Each breath announcing quietly

I am here


The words are orphans

Disconnected and afraid

Each alone defiant

Each a snarl of instinct

No possessions, other than being itself


The words are wings

To the lost one

Inclined to flap

Destined to glide

Perhaps even soar



Sharpen your ears to soul 

Sharpen your ears to soul

And hear

God dropping pins

Like tropical rain




Sing me your song

There is no escaping it

You'll be mud before long

So spare me your theories

And sing me your song




Flesh is both doorway and boundary

Mind the hall of mirrors

Time a way to hold infinity

Peace: death with a view.



Letting God listen 

Some distance from the crowds

Amongst yesterday's containers

You found solace

In a darkened place


Far from the gaze of

Mummy and Daddy and

Far from the pulse of progress

You gave away your weight


On an upturned apple box

By a stained brick wall

You came to rest

You closed your eyes


And your prayer was to be

In unremarkable silence

In this unremarkable place

Letting God listen

To your listening



Sean O'CarrollSean O'Carroll lives in Melbourne, Australia. He works a psychotherapist and academic. His research and writing are driven by a keen interest in the relationship between human psychology and the natural world. Lucid Nature is his first book of poetry.

Topic tags: poetry, Sean O'Carroll



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Existing comments

Morning thanks

Peter Goers | 12 December 2017  

This was particularly cathartic, or should the right word be 'emetic' (in regard to 'Shit & Bliss')? Great thanks, O Sean!

Michael Furtado | 12 December 2017  

Sean, I love these verses. Thank you.

Stephen Daughtry | 12 December 2017  

Michael. You got it right with "cathartic", Emetics induce vomiting! "Flesh " and 'Letting God Listen" are cracking good modern poetry. Although worlds apart from it, in its word associations this reminds me of the great Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins' work. And Yeates reckoned Hopkins was the greatest poet of his age! So you never know Sean O'Carroll!

john frawley | 13 December 2017  

resonant and captivating, even with use of the word "shit"!

alan roberts | 13 December 2017  

World's apart from Hopkins indeed, but not so far from e e cummings, some pound, and some haiku if they had had just a touch of the Australian natural world. In a noisy city I'll carry a little inner quietness today after reading.

Anna Summerfield | 14 December 2017  

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