Horse of God

robbie coburn



I am waiting again while the night comes

circling and directionless.


my breath riderless, carrying the knife-wielding hand

closer toward the wrist

and faltering before the stilled mouth of dark blood

untouched by the trees, unmolested by the violent grasses


I would like to be like the sun, faceless and distant again,
burning unbridled inside the sky’s ceiling and braying silently

a long night in a city bar traced across the paddock’s edge

and forever returning to try again.


night comes, night comes fast 

drowning the rider first and then the nag 

you say your brother has killed himself

and I am the murderer

I am a drunk and a drug addict.

without a rider the horse spooks
as gunfire sounds inside your skull and claims you 

drowned words fading with the hooves

pounding against a stark dawn.


a horse without dreams of childhood trembling

in the cold air until being taken 

and forced into a barren field

a horse running wildly into nothingness. 


I thought my eyes opening and closing
in the humid night were a passage to forgiveness. 

I thought I was somebody else.



Robbie Coburn is an Australian poet based in Victoria. Robbie’s poems have previously been published in places such as Poetry, Meanjin, Island and Westerly, and the collection The Other Flesh was published by UWA Publishing in October 2019.