Right On

Right On

A dead overturned beetle can look as if
it's feeling in several fob-pockets at once,
checking the beetle version of time
when the ticking stopped on cue.
A dead beetle looks as though
there's nothing left to do, supposing
it stayed alive. Dead and complete.
While the squashed face of a bog-man
like a school satchel run over and over
never looks, does it, as though that's it,
as though this is exactly what Ending
had in mind? Even untainted saints
in their glass pods outsmarting
conclusion are 'sleeping', as we say, that's
as far as words take us, this time
A trite thought on a sunny
morning, the tiny carapace rainbowing
as your big finger flips it over.
It was alright being a beetle, the sun
says off the still bright back, there was
nothing round here not actually done.

From Lucky Table (Victoria University Press, 2001), © Vincent O'Sullivan 2001, used by permission of the author.


Vincent O'Sullivan

Vincent O'Sullivan Reading from his Poems

1Blame Vermeer

2Small Talk

3Blonde Ink

4Seeing you Asked


6The Grieving Process

7July, July

8Saying Begins It

9In Time of Thanks and Praise

10The Child in the Gardens: Winter

11Child playing drafts

12River road, due south


14The monastic life

15Right on

16Elegy: again

17Dark night on the lake

18That's the story

19Talking of stone

20Not one to let on

21A dream of my father, winding our watches together

22Goldilocks - off the scale

23Being here

24Late praise for Nurse Smythe

25The Case Against...

26No Time for Portents


28Witness 217

Books by Vincent O'Sullivan