IP Banner

Store     Orders     IP Home     Contact Us

In this audio book selected from BN Oakman's latest poetry collections, In Defense of Hawaiian Shirts and Second Thoughts, we have brilliant readings by one of Australia's best known performers, John Flaus.

Ranging from the philosophical title piece of the anthology, through medical associations in "Neurosurgery", to wartime reflections in "Ypres on Boxing Day" to the personal family pieces like "A Note for My Daughter", this selection of the author's best work is certain to please the ear.


BN Oakman

John Flaus

Formerly an academic economist, BN Oakman started writing poetry in 2006. He has published many poems in Australia, the UK and USA.

He was awarded a grant by the Literature Board of the Australia Council. His work is recorded on the ABC Classics CD, Peter Cundall Reads War Poetry and he reads his poetry at various events and festivals.

His work has been nominated for The Pushcart Poetry Prize 2015 (USA).

John is one of Australia's best known film, television, radio and theatre performers. He has appeared in over 100 films and TV productions including Tracks, The Castle, Rake and Jack Irish.

John's instantly recognisable voice may be heard on innumerable voiceovers, advertisements and promotions.


ISBN 9781876819446 (CD, 30 minutes playing time);
(release date 1 June 2016)

AU$25 US$18 NZD $27 CA$20 GB £12 EUR €14
ISBN 9781876819606 (mp3 anthology; downloadable from the IP Store) AU$9 US$9 NZD $11 CA$9 GB £6 EUR €7

Don't read (his poems) in a coffee bar; you may well embarrass yourself by shedding justified but unseemly tears.

– Geoff Page, The Canberra Times

There is a gentle, but occasionally disconcerting, power in all of Oakman's poetry.

– Peter Cundall

Oakman writes poems for those annoyed by poets.

– Geoff Lemon

Oakman's poetry moves deftly, but no less aptly, between the commonplace and the insightful, the particular and the universal. Moments of frolic are shot through with wisdom, as elsewhere a purposeful ruggedness leads on to refinement. So many poems are distinguished by their final line: demonstrations of organic closure – conceptually retroactive, forceful yet elegant.

– John Flaus, actor and critic





B N Oakman's website



Heart’s Desire

You urge me. Go. Hasten to Spain.
Return to my heart’s desire. Heed
the fandango’s beat. Dwell not

on your capricious health. Tarry,
and be infirmity’s wall-flower.
‘I’ll still be here’, you say.

Imagine me, prowling the Prado,
knocking on Unamuno’s door
in Salamanca, catching whispers

of Lorca in Andalusia, resting
on Belchite’s abandoned stones,
wandering the maze and Mihrab

of Cordoba’s mosque, placing a palm
on pardon’s portal in Santiago,
pausing by graves only the brave

dared name, listening to Spaniards
talk politics in a taberna,
my book on a table, an empty chair,

bread gravel in my mouth, oil
rancid on my tongue, the wine
vinegar to unkissed lips.

Listen it on Soundcloud

A Note for My Daughter

for Penny

After I am ashes wait
until your tears have dried.
Choose a day when the wind blows hard
and take the urn (or box or bin)
to some convenient lofty site
(a handy rooftop will suffice) and there,
without ceremony, words or prayer
fling my dust into the flying air.

No declarative stones or lettered brass,
no rosy plot for ruminations,
but in gusts and zephyrs, puffs and squalls
you may remember me
and smile,
your every breath my name.

Listen to it on Soundcloud

On Waking

I wake
each morning
to the curve
of your body
lips pressed
to the nape
of your neck
and wait
for the sun
to tint the room
with gold
and wonder
if such as you
lies here
how shall I
ever know
I’m old?

Listen to it on Soundcloud

Read more on Google Books