Archive for June 4, 2018

The night before Grenfell burned

Posted in Uncategorized on June 4, 2018 by antonyowen

Photo by Juan Pablo Arenas on

“Wisdom has built her house; she has set up its seven pillars.”                      Proverbs 9/1

At the Grenfell summit rolls London cumulus

These make do for mountains we left in Jamaica

I wear a necklace of aeroplanes and close my eyes to land.


I do not know why my wife bought net curtains and hooks

We live twenty-two floors up and only God can see us

Perhaps he can see into our bedroom, clever wife.


A fire engine shoots through roads like a street mosquito,

Blood red it drips over the snaky Thames then vanishes,

People disappear from here all the time in a puff of smoke.


Tonight, when you’re home I will listen to my son kick your ball,

Hear your water bathe his red body and if I am lucky

I will see his fingers scroll your skin like a love letter.


I am in two minds whether to change my nightshift to morning,

We need the money so I will go out to work, yes, it is done

Tonight, I will marinade chicken thighs for you wife.


At the Grenfell summit we sway in siren lights to dead man’s jazz,

I glue the spine of your grandmother’s gospel according to Ava

It is important to pray with a bible that isn’t broken in half.