Poetry by John O’Meara Dunn


Matters Arising and Cold War Sequence


	To those which hold
one to another, carefree,
the fragmented is 
	a sun
is a flare in the distance
	on an open causeway.
That day, you dived headlong
against a memory, 
	to which you dive headlong 
Rhythm is not the same as repetition, 
I saw it in the eyes, the left 
			the same as the right.
That word change is only
	affected change,
in place of change
	giving off nothing except
the desire to be desired, as light
	like a dangerous fortune
spent by palms,
	lost in a crystal.
That you are not your own,
	is covetous:
you chose your own
through time, but
	they’ll say, someone else’s.
memory lies like a lyric 
is the rush of these
petals that play
	about the face.


An island breaks 
horizon and dangerous
growth to defend
with warheads wider
than the sky
good to refuse 
the lover’s vest 
on that morning
panic in motion
over a red hot


shower between skin
and skin, pealing
away in the
daylight, tower rising
for, a god
without a name
an age that
slid under a
hollow sun, a
man crawling on 
his quarry, these 
are lilies of
the field: daily 
they reinvent bonds.


Four of them
not one in
a line concrete 
and collapsing into 
a future and
what they were 
once to simplify.


The end of
days and history
when what would
have gone off
just went off
an anarchy sacred
in my beat
in this past
skipped a beat
better catch a
daily rhythm it 
would collapse in
order this tower
to contain some
kind of modern
hope for the 
centre more generally

Becomes a test
for more hopeful 
calls to follow
that simple growing
entity, an endangered
species, was never
quite the event 
like a chest 
mapped the flaming
tongues of what 
we were playing 
a screen between
my hope and yours
is normal and 
the sundown tastes.


There can be
no accidents in 
this time entirely
at odds with
roles we played
as kids dressed
in someone else’s 
memory rags 
he was to 
perform destruction then 
and there before 
it even happened.

A nuclear deterrent
we might add
like a photograph
summons the dead
in a live way
to an obsolete
species that grows
only in order 
to grow to 
its natural limits
which might be
the human tomorrow.
But I live
in the present
at least I 
bend my back 
to that idol
a kind of 
stain human at
water’s edge the
pebbles each a 
sphere onto itself
a thick brow 
of a stranger 
like a ridge
of sand for
objects to go
off in like
as human as 
intention is despite
irregularities in that
metaphor, we had 
ignored all the 
signs to get
here and pushed 
if not the
button, our horizons 
and kept ourselves
to each ignition.

2 November 2016