Stephen House reads his own, ‘driftwood mountain’

Poet Stephen House has won awards for his plays, films and poems. This poem won 2nd Prize Poetry at Sawmillers, Australia and was published in the Poetica Christi anthology Wonderment. Find the poem in his chapbook, real and unreal, by ICOE Press.


driftwood mountain

he collects driftwood from the windswept beach

ties it up with rope and drags it through the scrub 

to his campsite

i gather driftwood for my cooking fire

he lives in an ragged tent amongst coastal gums

i sleep in an old car moulded into sand-hill bush 

walking today

i come across a clearing in the growth

not far from his campsite

i stop

see a driftwood mountain reaching up to the sky

as high as the tallest trees around it

i sink to the ground

drawn into its enormity and beauty

to what i feel it says about him and i

surviving in nature by the sea

i cry

i’m not sure why

i see him sitting in the scrub 

watching me moved by his driftwood mountain

as the sun sets i stand and wave to him

leave the man with his mountain

hike back to my car through wilderness

immersed in the songs of settling-down birds

past grazing kangaroos and emus

at my camp i make a driftwood fire

cook my food

warm my body

write a poem 

about a driftwood mountain that changed my life.

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