Nathanael O’Reilly


Golden Fleece

Regaining consciousness
on the grimy floor inside

a Golden Fleece petrol station
outside West Wyalong

I observe other customers
observing me, all of us

wondering why I am
no longer standing in line

waiting to buy the Lifesavers
and the can of Fanta

which have escaped my hands
and rolled towards the door


Moreton Bay

Four boys and two fathers,
we set up our rods and tackle
on the fishing platform
near the end of the pier
at Redcliffe. Baiting my hook,
I stepped backwards
to avoid a mate’s cast,
tripped over a rod and fell
into the depths, righting myself
as I sank, watching the light
above fade while I descended.
a hairy fist gripped my wrist,
dragging me towards life.
Another hand grasped my belt,
hoisting me through the surface
out into the air where my father’s
hands grasped my armpits
and pulled me to his chest
where he knelt on the planks
surrounded by open-mouthed boys.



Nathanael O’Reilly was born in Warrnambool and raised in Ballarat, Brisbane and Shepparton. He now resides in Texas. He is the author of two chapbooks, Suburban Exile: American Poems (2011) and Symptoms of Homesickness (2010), both published by Picaro Press, and a recipient of an Emerging Writers Grant from the Literature Board of the Australia Council. Over one hundred of his poems have been published in journals and anthologies around the world, including Antipodes, Australian Love Poems 2013, Cordite, LiNQ, Blackmail Press, Harvest, Transnational Literature, Mascara, Windmills, Postcolonial Text, Prosopisia, Red River Review, Tincture and Social Alternatives.