Archive for September, 2018

How to hang medals in war or peacetime

Posted in Uncategorized on September 30, 2018 by antonyowen
silhouette of circus people

Photo by Mariano Ruffa on


I have seen how sheep are tagged by executioners
each number is random, an unwanted earring
and yet they queue one by one and soon
the tick tock drip drop blood stops.
Lights in their eyes turn to pearls
then another cage latch rattles
A border collie folds grass
playing with children
here come the Earls,
Bow wow
I have seen how Holocausts make hills of sewn limbs.
Each number is a star interwoven into our fabric,
they queued one by one till gone gone gone,
liberation is the latch of the caged mind
soil should not reek of charcuteries,
generals should not be fragrant
notes of musk or patchouli
but they did and they did
making love in medals
hanging love-wet
ghosting god
living holy
I have seen immaculate men be knighted with medals
Paedophiles garlanded with clean swords how poetic,
clean as a slave washed once for auctioneer scales.
I have seen fat hams of men with eyes like bone
run marathons and abuse corpses whilst at rest.
Are these the medals we want to hang?
Are these the people who never hung?
Are these the tolerable furies you hid?
In the Warsaw ghetto of Nazi songs
well I know violins, I know well
how strings throb and fasten
like meat strung for sale
that won medals for
tenderness for you
Is this tender
Is this real
Order of
Is this

What Fathers mean to us

Posted in Uncategorized on September 28, 2018 by antonyowen

I love this memory of my Father growing up. When I was a kid my Dad spent a lot of time down the shed and their was this old tree stump all rotten with a hole gouged in it full of dead woodlice. In the rings more woodlice would just go round and round until they ended up falling in this damn pool so I asked my Dad if he could help these woodlice and he looked all lost in thought then came out with a chisel and bashed a wedge in the ring and said that they’d be alright now. The next woodlice crept out through the valley my dad bashed into the tree and went down the bark saved. Later on when it got dark he told us it was a spaceship and we just bought it all because he made a whooshing noise that sold it. Years later when he lost his Dad he ripped that tree stump clean out the ground and watched it burn the night orange. My Dad became so serious after that but he’ll always be the man who saved the woodlice and occasionally see I was at heart a daydreamer making his way to that black water life had in store for me. Black rain and clear hearted.

Love your Fathers for they are spacemen.

Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Antony Owen

Posted in Uncategorized on September 26, 2018 by antonyowen

via Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Antony Owen

Holden never caught me in the rye

Posted in Uncategorized on September 26, 2018 by antonyowen
woman wearing white dress standing in the middle of grasses

Photo by Le Ngoc Tan on

The thing about rye is how it sticks to your clothes
I used to run through the braids like barbers in ghettos
had an old man that spoke to me like an old man, and I was
he told the skies over Montego bay were barbicide blue in winter
and they were, he died on the floor on young hair loved him I did, and I did.
The thing about rye is that it only takes a sawfly to bend it close to breaking
there are birds that fall from sky as blossoms are awaking.
Holden never caught me for he never saw me fall
some of us hide in plain sight that’s all.

The thing about rye is how the harvest is so short
some make scarecrows of a bad crop yet the crows are on to us,
Holden has lost his voice, lost his eyes, walks around in crop circles,
some will walk to the edge and there is nothing you can do but part the rye,
there is nothing you can do but let the bird fall but in the falling my love it will fly.

How Amy beat cancer

Posted in Uncategorized on September 22, 2018 by antonyowen


You described it as your body in a bad dream,

All the moons you ever saw became white blood cells

Some would devour all the sunsets you saw but that was okay

“I’ll beat this when I sleep and then it is I who will own the dreams”.


You described the inability to walk as a dance with God herself

she watched us wash you in preparation for stars and fell in love with you.

I have not understood this world but the planets that were your eyes have become, yes

I think that night your Father orbited them and knew heaven was a slum of auras.


In the final breath a calmness ate us but it was never cancer, it was nothing to us,

Amy died with the way she lived, eyes open taking the world in like it was the last tide.

The night David Bowie died

Posted in Uncategorized on September 21, 2018 by antonyowen
timelapse photography of moon

Photo by samer daboul on

The first girl I French kissed tasted of Indian summer rain

it came later than expected but when it came I was pure,

David Bowies voice flew across the cinema in octaves

he brought my lips to hers like a stray dog scratching a closed door.


The second girl I kissed bit my lips to be cool and Madonna

I pushed her over and her dress was covered in dogshit,

she later threw a drink in my face to be edgy and Mandinka

I was lost in my headphones trying to find Major Tom.


The night David Bowie died my wife and I laid in silence,

a moth bounced against the filament like wood on drumskin

and we talked about how cancer can never really eat us.

We played This is not America on repeat, then kissed like husband and wife.

Lidice – a peace poem by Antony Owen at Ink Sweat & Tears.

Posted in Uncategorized on September 14, 2018 by antonyowen



I will break your heart like a wave of refugees

Posted in Uncategorized on September 13, 2018 by antonyowen
black and white dead die diving

Photo by Life Of Pix on


In the click-bait plasma reel me in from the slogan sea

share me like whore bones for the sordid little trades.

I was a girl in a glass tide manger, your salt ballerina

dancing in the dark and this is how you found me.


In a tide of nylon the waves undressed me near Crete,

my clothes are behind me now swimming on.

I was a girl in a white dress my mother made

not white enough, the pins cut her lips.


I will break your heart like a wave of refugees

and waves leave black fingers sinking down,

they fizz like cheap prosecco on your lips

come to the shore forever a day more.


Look at the colour of my skin now.

I am white enough for a spade,

sinking into imported mud

to bury the invisibles.


Look at the invisibles

they are numbers

they are nothing.

They are me and

they are all you


at night







The stork of 9/11

Posted in Uncategorized on September 9, 2018 by antonyowen
woman on rock platform viewing city

Photo by on

Ten women who died on Sept. 11, and one in the Feb. 1993 bombing, were known to be pregnant.

NBC New York

Before you weighed up the choices of fire or fall

I think of that flame growing inside you

New York reflected in the windows

you reflected out of it, still.


The theft visible in your eyes, the eyes of your Mother

she is watching television glass, still, safe as houses

your photograph in glass, all American girl

you reflected out of it, still.


In stillness there is a movement inside our borrowed blood,

that embryo will be sun very quickly, I promise

you will fly into glass and you won’t feel a thing,

at home the photo-frame of you will suddenly crack.


We all go home to our Mothers, it does not matter how or when.

We all go home and we go there carried by hand or wind.

We all go home and return like salmon exhausted.

We all burn up like unseen stars, you were a world.


You were a world from your Uterus, a half-curved world oh babe,

you will never cry in her arms that were stork wings for seconds.

I hear the thud of jumpers in every earth shattering heartbeat.

I think as you fell that your eyes poured out your whole life.



Something beautiful happened

Posted in Uncategorized on September 6, 2018 by antonyowen

affection african american man black black and white

Photo by Joshua McKnight on


In the slow-mo of tube trains

two men French kissed beneath a clock that made them cry.

An oily gale blew out the Orpington train which took him away

yet something beautiful happened as a busker sang louder for them.


An old friend told me of trains

he said where the yellow line is faded the door will open there

and all these shoes with all their journeys shall congregate waiting

for the hot breath of overfilled trains where people migrate in headphones.


At Euston station I sat outside where pigeons eat Nando’s and hummus

and a man or was it a woman emerged from a sleeping bag asking for change.

I always get lost in Euston at the end of the tracks where London starts

and something beautiful happens when people meet at the screens


waiting for life

and their life

to begin again.