BN Oakman's poetry has been widely published in Australia (including in Best Australian Poems 2014 and 2015) and internationally. His collections include In Defence of Hawaiian Shirts (IP 2010) and Second Thoughts (IP 2014) plus two chapbooks. In 2016 the distinguished actor John Flaus recorded 25 of his poems on a CD titled What Did I Know? He was awarded a grant by the Australia Council. He was a nominee for the Pushcart Prize (USA) in 2014. www.bnoakman.com
Early European settlement, Yandoit, Central Victoria, Australia
My country is of ragged trees, thorny scrub, scattered
bark and heat and dust and fire and silence.
They may have said This is not mine and set about
grubbing stumps, sowing exotic grasses, importing
cloven-footed herds, building homes of hand-hewn
stone with ivy rooted by the doors and no verandas,
mere adornments in the alpine uplands of their hearts.
See them ruined now, those barns and farms of stone
profiled on brows of hills, relics some call 'picturesque'
where beasts with pale-faced calves now safely graze
and drop dung where hausfraus tended cabbage beds.