All the little plagues

Posted in Uncategorized on March 19, 2020 by antonyowen

Last night we saw a pipistrelle

it shot across the clean white sky like spilt ink –

no aeroplanes to quill the corona dusk in familiar font

just a Cessna coughing its way to Coventry Airport still open for enthusiasts.


I looked at you and said “They eat birdsong and bats in China because they can”

I told about the bunting of the Ortolan and you never believed me

how the romans poked out their eyes so it would eat more seed

how they drowned it alive in Brandy then torched it singing.


Last night I walked on the bones of Brinklow Castle and consumed the starlight

I was not alone, there was a buzzard making a corona then swooped.

In the distance was a stillness of more buzzards and the sky,

so still, it made me stop and all the little plagues were gone.

man walking on the empty street

Photo by Alex Fu on

The hounding to death of Caroline Flack (poem)

Posted in Uncategorized on February 15, 2020 by antonyowen

I picture your ammonite bones
curled shield maiden slain
raindrops can sound like stones
sticks and stones have no refrain.

I picture your phone Instagram warm with pings
your cold body, warm baby eyes
the shrapnel of a troll then a bluebird sings
tweeting crow today she dies.

I picture an under-sheet moulded from your slumber,
did you choose to be deaths valentine?
An island without latitude, number or line?

I am talking about the hounding to death of Caroline Flack
the red badged news and the pack and the pack.
I am talking about trolls and the armchair jurors
I am taking about hate island and the online Fuhrer’s

We need to talk about the hounding to death of Caroline Flack
and how pigs turn on wolves who stray from the pack.
We need to talk about the ending of life that cannot come back.
We need to talk about the death of Caroline Flack.

abandoned alone blond building

Photo by Rene Asmussen on

This is what a nuclear weapon does to flesh

Posted in Uncategorized on January 6, 2020 by antonyowen

33230171512_0cfcf07793_k (1)

Cast our Disney-eyed wonderment away to truth
for this is what a nuclear weapon will do to flesh.
Give me a photograph of your lover, thank you for the gift, I shall begin.

I’ll save your lover from the fire by choosing an Iranian new-born,
already we feel relieved and consider escaping
this is your last chance; will you save yourself?

The insignificant Iranian baby was born near perfect –
apart from a birthmark which shall offend a star
but perfect he is and made from love and human oils.

The baby will split like atoms seen only by puking Gods.
Give me photograph of that apple you are peeling
that baby is that apple now boil it to 5000 degrees for seconds.

We are not done! The baby cannot crawl from flames.
Am I being unreasonable? Shall l turn the fire down lower?
Butane-blue is not a colour to attract crowds at the Atomic Motel.

Check in to the Atomic Motel and let us see the deaths,
how the colour of hair paints into inferno reds and browns.
Look, I just trod into a chandelier of a ribcage, its red lamps.

Shall we move on to other examples or leave it at infanticide?
Genocide? Humanicide? God will decide, or maybe not.
It is time for me to go I outstayed my welcome at the title.

Have you gone? Go away, I am fanning atoms of babes into jars.
I shall present them to God and tell her I was once innocent,
Hell is nothing to fear, we hold it in our very hands willingly.

New Iranian Proverbs

Posted in Uncategorized on January 5, 2020 by antonyowen
person holding a burning news paper close up photography

Photo by Connor Danylenko on

The first oil was a baby in birth scarlets
Taking a mother’s breath away is no theft
That shall come later in the thieving winter
A house of five generations will grey tongues of unmapped towns.

The second oil was two black circles as her breasts wept into linen
No one will fight for this oil but Mothers.
The fathers curse useless hands and yell
Each moon without babe’s stone them pale.

Breathe, let us change the form of this poem like forcibly changed lives
let us allow the human to address itself in us,
a firefly does not burn it is a trick of nature
a human does not drown in liquid Androids.

The last oil was not yet crude, was made up of fish souls and shells
I can hear a baby whisper in its blackness
I can see a billion fireflies emerge like stars
Hiroshima zombies with skin hanging from fingernails.

The judgement of affluent war criminals we elected

Posted in Uncategorized on December 8, 2019 by antonyowen
adult aqua art athlete

Photo by Pixabay on

God in her mercy took you in

dangled a robin to pulse from your chest

to show you the songs you never gave the world.


God in her disgust threw your teeth to barren soil

and told you they would smash the rising raggedy sea

to show you Aphrodite’s clothes is seaweed on dead refugees.


God will play you the ice chimes of a grieving piano

She will tie white people on the black keys and vice versa

You shall listen how black and white work together as you weep.


If I were God, I would not take you in,

I would paint dusk with the Robin’s breast

and the song would be silence as I drop you to fire.


I f were God; I would denounce myself unworthy

I would rip out your heart like a grandfather clocks pendulum

wait at the shore for refugees in kelp coats to wash you in their limbo.


If I were God, I would stare upon earths autopsy and weep

but I am not God, I drift like white snow into the listing nothingness

Zaragoza Dusk

Posted in Uncategorized on December 1, 2019 by antonyowen

For Reuben Woolley


We last spoke of wrens singing moments after Armistice

dotting sky like a blue egg they returned from the baroque earth

and made globe shaped nests with splays of khaki and hardy gorse.


You told me that you always preferred brutalist sculptures

how Coventry rose from the ashes not as a phoenix but as man

he came from Krakow, County Armagh to build the great grey bird.


You told me that in Zaragoza the oranges are dull as they should be,

that they are full of pips and grow like stanzas in the silt of a dreamer’s mind

you dropped a C-bomb on an unsuspected crowd and a poem exploded meaning.


Upon hearing of your death, I saw twenty-two children chasing a white ball,

they reminded me how words looked scattered in your poems

one of the boys never celebrated his goal and I felt you there.


Tonight, in Zaragoza the sky looks nothing special and you would like that.

Tonight, on the Ebro are fireflies knitting light into the neon unnoticed

they are of the dark, of the other world. They emit your lights.

photo of man standing against city buildings

Photo by The Lazy Artist Gallery on

How to live in America

Posted in Uncategorized on July 16, 2019 by antonyowen


How to live in America

For Viv


A Mexican boy in the barbed wire sky

twisted sun like a faulty bulb and

little did he know he made dusk

Guantanamo orange for the free.


Nobody is free but the eagle with mange

it tears out her feathers for the stars

flies into the wall to break both wings,

a Mexican will bury it with prayers.


A native American scalped the hirsute sun

“it is the last star of the lost tribe” he said,

all of the birds lost the will to migrate,

Eagle, Hawk, shit-birds of the soffits.


A white American guard is guarding the dream,

have you seen the pelts of fog across Savannah?

It is as if all the ghosts of America came to pass

it is as if the mists of dead natives left there oils.


God bless the Eagle, god bless the journey of dreams,

a black man dragged from his heels by a mustang

the lie on every lip that is a gibbet for the truths.

God bless America, the stars are beads of sweat from slaves.


God bless the fake tan president, god bless the pilgrim tide

and god bless the stone faced presidents eyeless on the mountainside.



architecture daylight famous landmark geology

Photo by May Guo on