Archive for August, 2018

How schools ruined poetry for everyone

Posted in Uncategorized on August 31, 2018 by antonyowen


abandoned alone blond building

Photo by Rene Asmussen on


I had to unlearn what I was taught to know poetry.

For me it was my Nan taking down the nets after Grandad died

show, don’t tell the readers what happened to tale heavy eyes of a widow,

show, don’t tell those who look in to what they see are just keyholes of worlds.


School nights for me were moons that dropped like aspirins into a big grey drink,

factory men used to look at me like kin they must seen a poet in me,

they must have seen the malfunctioning child becoming stuck.

They showed without telling me that they were poems.


Classroom 4B, 1984 and a teacher chewing an onion and a poem by Phillip Larkin.

He told us all what Toads were and we jumped to where he told us.

He told without showing us that Larkin was a man of metaphor

that day I remember Ian Chapman fell asleep on blank paper.


Classroom 1F, 1985, and I was told not shown that Robert Frost was a genius.

I felt the snowy wood of my blood capillaries when my Nan disappeared,

she would stare across the Rothmans fog lost, and picture him reading .

She showed me that love is a sect of two people in average rapture,

milling skin to make life that will ultimately pale to city grey.


This is how schools ruined poetry for everyone.

This is how I was shown literal metaphor,

its always a woman with the blood-keys

opening the way, the road of one.

If your head must be cut from your shoulders

Posted in Uncategorized on August 28, 2018 by antonyowen
art beautiful bloom blooming

Photo by Magda Ehlers on

After Israa al-Ghomgham 


I recall the solitary scarlet flower I took apart as a child

standing out from a gilded vase of flowers boasting their erect penises.

I recall ripping off its head and a red fragrant spray waxing my fingers.

Standing in the crime scene accused I blamed it on my brother.


I vividly remember how a snail left a silver road to where it rested in peace,

it was in my nature to interrupt that calmness and end its life with my shoe.

I recall the gold of its guts and the sound of an insignificant thunder,

that night I felt so bad that I watched them in the rain drag home to burials.


As a boy, I remember having no interest in the colours and meanings of flags,

except for one in blue-collars who hoisted me up to the proud godless sky

who told me that I was a spaceman of suburbia in a hand me down cape,

I had these powers once and I saved the world of a thousand lowly snails.


Soon in Saudi Arabia, a beautiful country where sun shines its whole face,

there is a woman burying her head in her hands awaiting man’s decision.

Her fate is of the snail, of the scarlet flower that lost its proud head and home.

I remember my mother making me wash the vase and the throwing away of limbs.


I remember feeling inhuman

I remember it all my friend,

the stench of petals,

thickening water

life gurgling

in drains.

Landing at Hiroshima Airport

Posted in Uncategorized on August 27, 2018 by antonyowen
grayscale photo of airplane

Photo by Samarth Singhai on


In the avalanche of cumulus

ten thousand feet over Hiroshima

I saw them in the foothills floating as rain.

The clouds were like poems burning at the edges,

the tiger-eyed sun was not itself fading into better stars.


Nine thousand feet up at night we descended in breaths,

I felt the boys last gasp as he fell apart like plasticine,

the umbrella makers scream as the tyres hit tarmac.

nine thousand feet up I watched it all unfold

like wings of a wounded crane.


Three thousand feet up the homes resembled baubles

and streets were a bleak tinsel, then mountain black.

I have dreamt of this place so many times

and used to sleep with the light on

but now I’m awake in darkness.


In Hiroshima no one writes poems about trivial things,

they have seen worlds end on every street

they have walked bones in buckets,

they have found them in trees

red ribbons tied to scalps.


In Hiroshima a student guided me home when I was lost,

her pumps were gum-grey with a scuff of fresh blood.

She walked me to the breasted ground of bodies,

it was there I suckled air deep into my lungs,

so deep I drew a fly that I swallowed like black rain.




An old woman makes love in her dream

Posted in Uncategorized on August 21, 2018 by antonyowen

After Audra Mae

elderly old person scarf

Photo by Pixabay on

Only one man could braille her skin

and lift her down like hay in a mournful gale.

Only one would sail in her like words from Anaïs Nin

and leave a babe from whey mixed with lies and London gin.


Only one left her flesh a campfire of bone, of blood and marrow

to make her feel alive through the making of such ruinous love,

a boy from thresh of grain to birthstone eyes of sad sparrow

and through the dead we learn to survive yet still is love,


still is love when she turns the bed like a mother’s heart

still is love when she turns the key in her car that won’t start

still is love when she touches herself and misses the yearning

still is love when she screams like clams as tide is turning.


Still is.


Cottage-lands and the very real issue of Anti Semitism.

Posted in Uncategorized on August 18, 2018 by antonyowen
angry bad john art black and white emotion

Photo by Jan Prokeš on

And all the poets and singers cawed over wrongs instead of singing

hanging their opinions like Walmart tinsel from anti-social courtrooms of Facebook.

An immigrant president with ultra violet skin deported wrong coloured immigrants

desecrating true American graves as the sun threw its headdress to comb-over eagles.


And a true Brit told me there is nothing remotely British about tea.

its roots are pulled like tusks of ivory and chopped up like India into granules.

And all the poets and singers shared views instead of poems and songs,

a proper poet slated a poem posted about refugees by Jeff for not being a poem.


And a proper singer went to Israel to sing about peace for two million dollars.

Meanwhile in Hull a crap poet called Jeff posted a poem about a child in Gaza,

how he died from dirty water made holier by a pure mouth that drank it whole,

how his piss was so yellow that it throbbed like sun as it left his urethra.


And a proper poet from Palestine who was imprisoned was labelled an anti-semite,

I heard that her tongue never shaped a poem but the sharpened mind it left from.

Last night I wrote a line that never worked about the territory of her purpled lips,

how her husband asked to trespass them and she permitted him a brother for their son.


And crap poets wrote crap poems about her which were liked by a handful of people,

and these handful of people had never heard of Heaney or Larkin but felt poetry in life.

And talented poets discussed anti-semitism but chose to read poems about the cottage-lands,

And Jeff took a Megabus to Bristol to read his crap poem and came fourth in the slam.


In the cottage-lands smoke blackens the blue sky like Samsons strewn hair over the holy lands.

I am sending Jeff a private message about how the pure alps look like Ku-Klux Klan members,

he is replying to say he is posting a letter through a letter-box painted colonial red,

he is replying to ask me what I think about the comment by Boris on the Niqab,

his is posting a letter to the cottage-lands.


The happiness of Palestinian children

Posted in Uncategorized on August 15, 2018 by antonyowen

silhouette of boy standing near barbed wire fence during golden hour

The happiness of Palestinian Children

“Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.”

Jim Morrisson


Through honeycombs of chicken-wire sky

you flick stars to your sister and her skin glitters

like sea-salt on sailors flying on top of the blue skinned conqueror.


Our ancient country gets younger each day now nineteen years old

and you are but eight with eyes that leave two dug graves.

At night you sleepwalk pissing an octopus.


In ten years when the ice caps have melted unnoticed like Palestine

you will walk upon Galilee and drag Jesus from a fishing net,

if he walked upon water then he was truly a refugee.


In ten years we’ll be eating Palestinian olives as rare indulgent delicacies

and the tree we came from will be the dashboard of an Aston Martin,

A Saudi prince will rest his twinky on it and order cut price bombs.


In ten days you will add to the median average of nineteen years old,

I will be recycling plastic which will be the last thing you’ll see

bobbing up and down as your breath explodes in bubbles.






To cover a human face

Posted in Uncategorized on August 12, 2018 by antonyowen
backlit dark face lady

Photo by Pixabay on

Once upon a time only yesterday she felt a human face

this is my brother she said, the dropped fog made him silent,

they covered the face of our Father with his shirt of blood rust.


Once upon a time everyday she covers her face to see through people,

the civilised men in suits who tut-tut in Costa through newspapers

men like these hid their faces in brothels that day ITN came.


Once upon a time every night she remembers how silk became tourniquets,

how to stem a wound they would use dead children’s clothes and

when they were done used the same garment to cover their faces.


Last week I saw a photograph of ten men discussing matters of the womb

their leader grabs vaginas like Las Vegas dice and sells us for votes,

I saw women lined up naked once, a camera captured the acts.


Once upon a time my Mother unbuttoned her blouse through a covered veil,

she fed me milk in British Home Stores as an old man stared disgusted

it was in my mother’s nature to undo him like her blouse.


Once upon a time tomorrow and the next day, and a Brexit year from now

I want to see an England that celebrates the women in short skirts

I want to break bread with her and not talk of race of Niqabs.


Once upon a time a Brexit year from now I want to hang my niqab on the line

sit in complete and utter darkness naked as dusk filling my rural lungs,

take in England, take in life and say I love you to my uncovered face.

To ban a Niqab, by Antony Owen

Posted in Uncategorized on August 11, 2018 by antonyowen

via To ban a Niqab, by Antony Owen