ONE POEM – Stephen House

Photo by The Nigmatic on Unsplash

who we are

i’m walking along the beach
with my mate of twenty years
as we do most days
when we’re both around

we chuckle at a dog and child playing
watch a pacific gull hunting for crabs
paddle together in the shallows

he takes my hand
i’m not as steady on my legs as he is

a young man and woman jog together towards us
pass us at the water’s edge
fucking faggots he sniggers
disgusting she adds
they keep running on their way

he lets go of my hand
it hurts
more than their abuse did

we keep walking
maybe fearful of touching
in front of others
unable to be completely who we are
two men with love
happily growing older

he smiles into my eyes
i smile back at him
we continue on our beach walk

i grab his hand
he squeezes mine
we know what we feel for each other

it’s beautiful
not disgusting


Stephen House has had many plays commissioned and produced. He has won two Awgie Awards (Australian Writer’s Guild), an Adelaide Fringe Award, First Prize Rhonda Jancovich Poetry Award for Social Justice, The Goolwa Poetry Cup, First Prize SA Writers / Feast Short Story Prize & Second Prize Poetry at Sawmillers. He has been shortlisted / highly commended for Overland’s Fair Australia Fiction Prize, Patrick White Playwright and Queensland Premier Drama Awards, the Tom Collins, Robyn Mathison, Eyre writers, Mindshare, Rhonda Jankovic Poetry Awards, Di Cranston Script Award, and a Greenroom best actor Award. He has received Australia Council Canada and Ireland literature residencies, and an Asia-link India literature residency. He has seen his plays and poems published, including by Currency Press, Australian Script Centre, Australian Poetry Journal, Third Street Writers USA, Page and Spine USA, grey border magazine Canada, The Blue Nib Ireland and many websites internationally.  His poetry collection “real and unreal” was selected for publication by ICOE Press Australia. He travels widely and continues to perform his acclaimed monologues, “Almost Face To Face” and “Appalling Behavior”. ‘Who we are’ won The Rhonda Jancovic Poetry Award for Social Justice in Australia.


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