BN Oakman

SAD SONGS

On Friday mornings he performs in an alleyway
by the supermarket, a hard-worn man who sings
sad songs with splintered voice and plays guitar
with such phrasing, dexterity and attack to hint

at green years shrivelled in quest of bright lights
that somehow never shone on him. Old velvet,
once crimson, now paler than unrequited love
and much nibbled by moths, lines his battered

guitar case. His smile when I drop a few coins
is a solitary brief blooming in a garden of dead
dreams, while notes flutter from strings pliant
to fingers’ caress and skitter across the surface

of a fathomless sink of sorrows. I give money
in hope he’ll go on singing sad songs, not only
for me but for every wounded nobody who in
silence keeps the stern and lonely vigils of grief.

BN Oakman’s poems been extensively published in literary journals, magazines and newspapers in Australia, the UK and the USA and recorded for ABC Classics on Peter Cundall Reads War Poetry. Since taking up poetry in 2006 he has published two chapbooks and two full length collections the most recent of which is Second Thoughts (IP 2014). In 2016 the actor John Flaus recorded 25 of Oakman's poems for a CD titled What did I know? He lives in Central Victoria and once upon a time was an academic economist. www.bnoakman.com

BN Oakman’s poems been extensively published in literary journals, magazines and newspapers in Australia, the UK and the USA and recorded for ABC Classics on Peter Cundall Reads War Poetry. Since taking up poetry in 2006 he has published two chapbooks and two full length collections the most recent of which is Second Thoughts (IP 2014). In 2016 the actor John Flaus recorded 25 of Oakman’s poems for a CD titled What did I know? He lives in Central Victoria and once upon a time was an academic economist.  http://www.bnoakman.com