Socially Shy

Brianna Bullen – Deakin University

She lived in a shack she had built

In the hollow of an old eucalyptus tree

On a hill that elevated and sunk:

The ground’s healthy beating chest.

Twelve kilometres in diameter,

The hill convened with a brother

And a sister, the middle child, together

Creating part of a curvy body of land.

On this land the girl lost

Track of meaning, distance and space.

Her days were spent

Taking photographs of rabbits

Through a single, circular window:

Framed clock-face, without time or expression

From which she captured kittens in flight,

Bouncing in a lens fogged-up

With imagination and curiosity.

She was afraid that if her camera broke

All those moments of love, death and joy

would be lost forever. Charged with compulsion

That camcorder shot down animals, birds and trees,

But she was much too afraid to fire at people:

She didn’t want to take their essence, and she knew

That her camera could not hold their vibrancy in forever.

Like herself, the photographs could not comprehend

The beautiful people that occasionally meandered into her life.

So like a coward, she hid, praying for the courage to one day

Face them away from her pretences of photography and work.

On the day she could, she left that shack she had built

Too long ago in that hollow of a tree and walked down that hill

To finally be with the people she had loved from afar

For almost two decades, and threw away that camera,

Whose battery had gone flat from isolation. She was free: free and happy.


Brianna Bullen is a Deakin University student with a passion for creative writing. She is a feminist, gaming enthusiast; and lover of British comedies, Pink Floyd, anime, science fiction, and modern poetry. She aspires to be a screenwriter—perhaps a greater aspiration than her childhood dream of becoming a Yoshi.