Golden Boy (from Second Thoughts)
When Daedalus fastened those home-made wings,
first to himself and then to his golden boy,
he warned how wax would melt should they soar
too near the sun. ‘Fly close by me’, he said,
‘and we shall flee this tyrant of a Cretan king’.
The architect of the labyrinth was not the last father,
lofty designs in ruins, to lose a son to death, exile,
estrangement, even madness, and be taunted ever after
by albums that frame a boy, blank pages for the man;
shrivelled blooms, a makeshift cross, a roadside ironbark;
the unrelenting silence of birthday telephones;
a risen sun’s first gilding of the Icarian Sea.
Published in Meanjin
BN Oakman was formerly an academic economist. He started writing poetry in 2006. His poems have been published in The Age, The Australian, The Canberra Times, Meanjin, Quadrant, Island, Antipodes (USA), Going Down Swinging, Mascara, Cordite, Tincture Journal, TEXT, Australian Poetry Journal, Eureka Street, Social Alternatives, LiNQ, Acumen (UK), Poetry Monash, Post-Colonial Text, Famous Reporter, Arena Magazine, Dissent, Burningword Literary Journal (USA),The Warwick Review (UK), Shot Glass Journal (USA), Best Australian Poems 2014 and 2015, and elsewhere.
Bruce has published two full length collections, In Defence of Hawaiian Shirts (IP 2010) and Second Thoughts (IP 2014) plus two chapbooks with Mark Time Books. In 2016 the distinguished Australian actor John Flaus recorded 25 of his poems for a CD titled 'What did I know? Currently he is working on his third full length collection.
He was awarded a grant from the Literature Board of the Australia Council. Second Thoughts was best IP poetry book of 2014. He was a Pushcart Prize (USA) nominee for 2015. He reads from his work at writers' festivals, poetry gatherings and by invitation.
Bruce wrote short fiction for a several years before turning to poetry. All his stories were published and most were awarded prizes. His favourite, 'Notes', may be read by clicking the 'Short Story' button above.
He lives in Central Victoria Australia with his partner, the analytical behaviourist psychologist Dr Barbara Coish.
In Defence of Hawaiian Shirts, Second Thoughts and the CD What did I Know? may be ordered from Interactive Press: BN Oakman (ipoz.biz)
The chapbooks Chalk Dust and Secret Heart may be obtained from Bruce.
Contact Bruce: bnoakmanpoetry(at)gmail.com