Stephen House

Stephen House has won many awards and nominations as a poet, playwright and actor, including two Awgie Awards from The Australian Writer’s Guild, Rhonda Jancovic Poetry Award for Social Justice, and The Goolwa Poetry Cup, and nominations including, a Greenroom Best Actor Award, Tom Collins Poetry Prize, Patrick White Playwright Award and Queensland Premier’s Drama Award. He’s received several international literature residencies from The Australia Council for the Arts and an Asia-link India residency. His chapbook “real and unreal” was published by ICOE Press. His next book is out soon. He performs his acclaimed monologues widely.

built to offer

wherever i stop my wandering
to stay for a stint in another place
be it new room or share house
caravan park or tent site
or in the bush alone away from others
whatever country i’m currently in 
i create a sort of shrine or altar
outside my inside sleeping spot

during morning walks and swims
i collect rocks and stones and shells 
driftwood and dry sticks and bits and pieces 
of natural materials washed up or fallen to ground
as long as they’re not living for i won’t ever kill
and i add the treasures to a pile over a week or so
until i know somehow the piece is complete
standing approximately half the height of me

from then on whether for weeks or months
i worship what i call the Supreme energy
ultimate destroyer of illusion 
all that is and was and will always be
what remains when all else has vanished
that within everyone and everything
creator of the environmental elements
through the deity object built to offer thanks

people have watched my constructions form
over many years in countless places
some with curiosity or displeasure 
others with interest and delight
and i’ve been questioned and accused  
by sceptics and atheists arguing its existence
but also i’ve seen others place offerings 
of incense and flowers as i do each dawn

i’m not religious or of any one faith
and many observers have asked of my practise 
it is the collection of materials found with love
placed with care and upmost respect 
to somehow represent nature and the gift it is
the wonder of each breath and glimpse
and this is my decades approach to worshipping
the Supreme energy through a created configuration   

Yoga (at sixty-two)

dawn calling all-weather in nature awaking 
day harmony rising respecting environment 

moment time follow outside trees surrounding 
sip hot tea warm cold natural gratitude beauty 

birds singing chirp gabble bell chiming horizon  
reflection gift glimmer union element living

joy morning share incense begin always practise 
in devotion pray thankful Supreme being known  

truth ritual spontaneous stretch slow morning limber
tight body extremity gentle moving free loosen 

warm up once by choice now need older descending  
care body as given method cautious essential  

sun risen mat lay down hard grounding foundation
remind born to expire return in time grant by source

sun salutations repeating gratitude be each sequence 
asana awareness change day as revolving 

as seasons drift sliding appreciation life presence 
adjusting of slowing grow acceptance self-being

pranayama different cycle control inhale exhale 
essential span force vary years sameness wander 

physical less complex albeit meditation extended
reflect age soul-dwell calm mine Yoga (at sixty-two) 

learned wisdom of voyage known ego departing
mind body relaxing divine one-ness in conscious

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