Archive for July, 2018

The end of British riots

Posted in Uncategorized on July 31, 2018 by antonyowen

For my brother Tariq

 

grayscale photo of road closed on roadway with gray fence gate in front of city

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For you he comes when you least expect him,

in the milkshake pink of Birmingham dusk day blows out

the city is dark and a car tyre screeches to a halt and he is there in sepia.

 

It has been a lifetime my brother since you carried grain on weary shoulders,

that was the weight you felt when he sat on your shoulders long ago.

This grain is for Syria and all that makes sense is weight.

 

Oh Tariq, you were the last man to find England before Brexit was a thing.

I know what England was when you told us to all go home

everyone left but you, your home is a tyre-print maze.

 

It has been a lifetime my brother since I told you I loved you as a human.

Last night two kids ate chicken wings and remembered the riots

they called you the man who stood up and said summat.

 

Sometimes a poem stops being a poem the minute you undress it in detail,

like paramedics pouring water on blood that flows pink to the gutter,

we have to think of the purity of water, of roses cut too soon.

 

Oh Tariq, you were the last man to give us back England as you took the thorns,

I hope you find what the stag did in that Montreal woodland I saw

it stopped at the edge of the city holding moon in its antlers.

 

Riding with boys on Choppers

Posted in Uncategorized on July 28, 2018 by antonyowen
grayscale photography of boy and girl standing near wooden bed inside room

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In the year when Bobby Sands bled from the corner shop wall

We were colours running through lanes of Oreo grey

Signing our place in the world by skids and cuts.

 

In the year when Peter Sutcliffe was renamed the Yorkshire ripper

I tore a piece of paper and drew a heart for Paula Stafford

She threw it into a bush and a wren crumpled into sky.

 

In the year when Diana became a servant from a Princess and woman

Our street threw a party and we were lost as the ‘nice Irish couple’

Politely refusing tea and prince heading for their doorway.

 

In the year I was riding with boys on choppers I was never yours Britain,

We were children riding into the moon like Elliott and ET

At peace with illegal aliens and America never saved us.

Hiroshima she said

Posted in Uncategorized on July 25, 2018 by antonyowen

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You pulled me out just in time,

wet as a calf suffocating in its sac

steaming from the heat of birth

“Hiroshima” she said, “Hiroshima”.

 

You told me I was not myself

waking wet and slippery like eels

splitting their skins from bodies

“Hiroshima” she said “Hiroshima”

 

I found myself in an old photograph

That boy in Malta chasing his shadow

A cloud swallowed the light I was lost

“Mummy” I said, I’ve lost myself

 

“Hiroshima” I say, “Hiroshima”.

 

You ask me to return back to bed,

I awoke looking for all my lost dreams

When did I forget how to dream I ask?

Hiroshima she said, it was Hiroshima

New poems and blog at Peace insight

Posted in Uncategorized on July 24, 2018 by antonyowen

Some new poems of mine and Isabel Palmer’s up at Peace Insight who are the world’s leading resource on local peace-building providing a vital network that connects peace builders with international actors and organizations. (editorial below).

https://www.peaceinsight.org/blog/2018/07/poetry-and-peace/

Instructions for lost Father’s

Posted in Uncategorized on July 19, 2018 by antonyowen

 

blur cartography close up concept

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When I was born the blood of my mother glued me into your hands

and the swirl of your fingerprints became our bloom and thorny maze

for two days I was clay in your hands and each tear shaped us as one

your fucked-up lungs were my lullaby and I heard Indians wail in you.

 

Sons know early that the colour of their father’s eyes are our first sky

If you look closely those black pupils are rosary beads in a splash of thorns

Sons know early how to sense if their makers were made for them

I was lucky because he always pressed me into his bones like a thistle into chapters.

 

When my grandfather was born, moon pulled tide back so far that a whale was marooned.

gulls turned it white and waited for the breaths to pass like a still brook.

I like to think inside the sea was a whale chorus willing it back

I like to think that my grandfather grew poison to protect us.

 

Sons know too late that they’re made by everything which unmade their father.

A mother will look back on a journey and know footprints are maps and treasures,

She will carry her children through fog and find her way to a new clearing,

The father and son remain lost in each other and yet. these are the very instructions home.

blur cartography close up concept

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All the football matches that mattered

Posted in Uncategorized on July 12, 2018 by antonyowen
soccer goal net

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Mexico VS USA

Though you lost I remember the free kick

They built a wall but you smashed a ball through it

A Walmart truck driver from Tijuana felt the riches for a moment.

 

Faroe Islands VS Denmark

Though they thrashed you like waves on hulls on your trawlers

Your sweat glimmered like fishes in the goal net five times in floodlights

By Wednesday you returned to the harbour and three men gave you a heroes welcome.

 

England Vs Croatia

Though we left Europe like a rope frayed from snapping

We found our way home through dirty blue shallows and Brexit

Our country meant something and white and black skins replaced red white and blue

 

Five Girls Vs Four Boys from Walthamstow

All of you won the moment you decided to play

Jennifer skinned Raj and they all took the piss laughing for ages.

That night when the moon was full and their bellies rumbling with thunder

They picked up the ball in a hedgerow of drug foil and chose the right path home.

Cave dancer

Posted in Uncategorized on July 10, 2018 by antonyowen
low angle view of man standing at night

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For Saman Kunan

 

Gagarin of the watery space

I picture a calmness in the subterranean heavens

in beads of oxygen your breaths shot like stars around your stillness

and for a while your whole life fell around you impatient as stalactite dew.

 

Nureyev of the musical chamber

I see your desperate pirouette as breaths dance upwards

This is not your legacy, this is not your honourable death so rest friend.

When they recovered your bloated body, they held you like a glass buddha

 

All the children breathed air made of wood and orient sky fire pulling in night.

They are going to remember you and one of them will sleep for fifteen hours straight

Trump Baby, by Antony Owen

Posted in Uncategorized on July 6, 2018 by antonyowen

via Trump Baby, by Antony Owen

Driving through the lane one midsummer morning

Posted in Uncategorized on July 5, 2018 by antonyowen

After Robert Frost

road amidst bare trees

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We drove through the half-eaten wilderness

watched trees quiver to a petrol blue mist

I have never seen such gold spray out except sun

Beautiful like the jellyfish mating with shrink wrap

Confused like the jellyfish mating with shrink wrap.

 

Forget the world as drive through the lane this midsummer dawn

Fling out an arm and weave the wind for the felled tree

Be the root my love, take a chance like the slow old man at amber

Do not sound your horn but turn up the sky-drunk starlings

Let’s talk about what the gods see as they look down from heaven.

 

You said the gods see a star belt of androids that suddenly go out

You said these are boats of refugees as I phone surfed for a ‘like’

You said let’s drive through these lanes forever for they swerve like hair,

I said we have to go to work and forget all of the above

I said that things rhyme badly at the end of a poem like love.