“self” by Stephen House

i had anticipated
my decline into poverty
would be worse than is

typhoon of failure
washing over me
could disintegrate ability
stifling me
into almost non-existence

i have found the contrary

from my financial decimation
associated shame
abandonment by some deemed near
and messy complication of nil self-worth
the splendid has emerged

on this empty beach
sheltering from winter
in tent and car i now call home
nurtures me more each day

i embrace it
this unwelcome lesson
in letting go
is a disguised gift
to be cherished

privileged man i am
in silent reflection
by endless sea

with nature
and self

finally free
from whatever i was


This poem, “self,” was commended in The Eyre Writing Awards and published in The Lincoln Times newspaper.


Stephen House has won two Awgie Awards (Australian Writers Guild), the Rhonda Jancovic Poetry Award for Social Justice, and the Goolwa Poetry Cup. He’s been shortlisted for the Overland Fair Australia Fiction Prize, Patrick White Playwright, Queensland Premier’s Drama, Tom Collins Poetry & Greenroom Acting Awards and many other writing prizes. He’s received international literary residencies to Canada, Ireland and the USA, and an Asialink literature residency to India. He’s been published and performed often and widely. Stephen continues to tour his acclaimed monologues. His chapbook of poetry, real and unreal, was recently published by ICOE Press Australia.



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