Archive for November, 2018

All the thick kids

Posted in Uncategorized on November 28, 2018 by antonyowen
people walking on street near building

Photo by Paweu0142 L. on

For Rob


In maths class

all the thick kids drifted into sky,

I was too busy working out the Algebra of starlings,

one day in May I cracked the code that all of them were pulled

each weaved trajectory was a huge nest from the Tigris to Jatinder’s house.


In other sums

my Dad never worked me out right

he said Drama was Dandy with his Factory swagger.

One day fate subtracted his Father and he wept dry like men do,

each yanked breath sounded like a child inside a man going grey like highway snow.


In Rob’s house

I was myself in a chrysalis of music.

He made new equations of music remixed into dreams.

One day he became a Dad, and a Dad, and a rock star of Cov song,

he worked out all the clever kids were jailed in status symbols and faux achievement.


Hey, all the thick kids

I’m raising hell and a glass to your nectar,

Claire and Shelley in Maths class who drew in the sunlight,

Neil and his crush teacher whose blouse missed a second button,

all of us were smart enough to know we were wagging it in plain sight yawning in class.


Hey, all the thick kids

all your kids look warm and loved and happy.

Claire and Shelley in Maths class who draw out the sunlight.

Neil in Nuneaton market selling massive houses to small minds

all of us were smart enough to move into our minds and leave the shithole of riches.


Posted in Uncategorized on November 27, 2018 by antonyowen



When lands were claimed by empires

Atlas dropped the world and it smashed into borders


When hands were maimed by Sires

A child curled into oars as ships smashed into sawdust


When ships were fat with gaunt slaves

There white masts stole breaths of imprisoned flesh and sky


When whips groomed plait rode horsehair waves

Blood red castes like embers from coal bent weak as flames of rye.


I saw a white man lead a caravan of singing chains

I saw a long shadow of one being, of human being

I saw a black man lead a clan of man from shipping lanes

There shoulders sailed through crewmen fleeing


Man is boat

Bone is mast

Home is being

Human being cast


The feast of yemen

Posted in Uncategorized on November 24, 2018 by antonyowen
grayscale photography of human skull

Photo by ahmed adly on


Watching skin on skeletons row arms like oars to cameras

I am sharing a boy or a girl it is hard to tell my friends

I have fifteen hundred friends and need one now

this sharing of the feast are human cuts

reduced to meat remember the bird,

the patient vulture by the babe

waiting for him to die so it

could pick at its remains.

I am a vulture of rank

the cleaner of dead

come to my feast

hands are cutlery

a cannibalism,


of self,








to consume.

I am watching Yemen

it unfolds like Vulture wings –

the concaved ribcage is interrupted

by Jamie Oliver cooking a Christmas Turkey.

These are strange algorithms in stranger times.

I am forced to watch this advert before I can continue,

my hit is registered and Yemen is fed by Jamie Oliver I think

he would like that very much because everyone deserves to eat.

Everyone deserves to be consumed yet who wants to stomach Yemen?

Who wants to dine on eyes too big for sunk in sockets that stare too deep,

into you, and I of the Brexit underprivileged who fear austerity, a Yemenly state.


I am thinner today than ever before.

My eyes are fat with the starved.

My Mother’s Pregnancy

Posted in Uncategorized on November 23, 2018 by antonyowen


brown and blue bird on body of water closeup photography

Photo by Monique Laats on


I think of you in the Rhyl grey sky

pressing thread veins from your thighs

inside I was knotted into the calm audio

breaking through water like a kingfisher feeding.


I think of you watching kelp waves thickly falling

My Dad and you hugging it out stretching his cardigan

he was fretting about money, and you worried about me

what if I was like winter arriving too early and cold?


When I was born a smoke cloud came and went

they doused me in flannelette, you held me like silk

we are perfect in a single moment then never again

I was raised in a nicotine mist and working mans fog.


I think of my Mother missing her Mother long gone

it is time to stop living in Tru-print coloured photographs,

my mother is getting older to the point of bending like polaroids.

It is time to gather the bones of my Mothers pregnancy and

say what I shall not say “you were the kingfisher, starved”.


A black man laid naked in the snow

Posted in Uncategorized on November 17, 2018 by antonyowen
person holding hands

Photo by on

To me you were never the hate crime
you were darkness in the fracture of snowflakes,
a man who loved a man who was white as a slave ship mast.

To me you were always the love crime
who melted in his white frame like blood into pure snow.
I thought of you last night when a robin drank from a stone angel.

Five days from now I will be forty-five
you would be sixty one and in another place we would be us,
I would read you war poems and we’d leave our skins on our shadows.

Man I never knew, I loved your death,
the flowers of fibula that covered your bludgeoned face
your beautiful face which conquered twenty-two blows of two men.

To me you were never the hate crime,
You were the eye-white snow that saw you and closed your eyes.
Tonight I will kiss my brother on the lips and draw him closer than breath.

The Fatherlands

Posted in Uncategorized on November 15, 2018 by antonyowen

photo of person holding his baby



“Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk.”

Carl Jung


There are only moments that feel like Father and son

for us it was a solitary swan pinching the edges of pond like silk

if a swan sings then it’s dying, her neck scythes in sky on still water.


Swans love for life you said, they stroke the water and God falls asleep.

Dragonflies drop like beads of paint from Chagall in glorious fury,

my Father and I are not talking, we are communicating perfectly.


One day I will be going about my day and all this will cease to be.

A rush of blood will chink from my spine like stolen rubies &

someone will say the words you are gone and I’ll thaw out.


Find a place and name it the Fatherlands where you were one,

let the first ocean that pulled your ankles take you back –

when your Father was Atlas and he carried you on shoulders.


In the Fatherlands I will shave your face so gently to the sound of waves,

we’ll remember the clouds and dusk from shaving foam in water.

You will trust me around your throat with a blade, and I inevitably will cut you.

All the doomed youth

Posted in Uncategorized on November 12, 2018 by antonyowen

After Wilfred Owen

A widow’s breast leaked whey
her curtains were drawn it was Mid-May
and even the hardened didn’t know what to say
but they dragged her away and her babe of wet clay.
When the end of war begins
Men came home in different skins
And Churches offered God and hymns
to men with medals hung deep in their limbs
And All the doomed youth congregate like field mice
some of them shaking like Beckett in lice
buy the lie they will sell it twice
after fire should not be ice.
And all the doomed youth sit faceless on benches
no one touched them but threepence wenches.
Look at David’s face, skin like yellow sap,
his whistling nose with a two-inch gap
For a widow, the Lords grace –
a daughter in gauze without a face,
a two-minute pause in borrowed lace
skin peeling like Kitchener pointing at his race.
Play me the anthem one more time
spray birds out from the eleventh chime,
let all the doomed youth walk wounded in rhyme
falling further from sun as nameless graves climb.

black chess chess pieces close up

Photo by George Becker on

Antony Owen’s Poetry

Posted in Uncategorized on November 12, 2018 by antonyowen

via Antony Owen’s Poetry

So what now for Remembrance?

Posted in Uncategorized on November 7, 2018 by antonyowen

american back view burial cemetery

Photo by Pixabay on

The first poem I ever wrote on conflict was when I was 12 years old at the height of the cold war in 1985 after watching nuclear documentary Threads which was the seed of me as a writer. Of all the testimonies I have heard or researched many stand out but two of them always reduce me tears because of the sheer tenderness born from the brutality suffered. Soon it will be 100 years until the end of World War One and I want to look at what we have learnt and in terms of remembrance, what now? Where does remembrance go from here. Before World War One let us look at the Napoleonic war where many of the fallen were put in communal pits and buried with a focus more on preventing pestilence than remembering them as predominantly poor people including slaves and immigrants dying for the great thief called Empire.

Once upon a time in Afghanistan there was a village and some soldiers shared their candy with them. There accents made the children laugh and they were welcomed, a connection was made away from the conflict. One day when the soldiers went a sweet wrapper got stuck against a plant and flapped against some thorns alerting someone who laid waste to the village for accepting candy from the enemy. That sweet wrapper in the thorns eventually was freed by the wind and like so many crimes it would get trapped in another bush, and another, and another. This is why remembrance can never and should never be branded. This is a place of opium, of poppies but to remember, to share the way a life was lived and the way a life was taken is to clear the path of thorns?

Here are two of my thorns of hearing of war

Thorn 1 – Hiroshima

One memory I cannot shake is a story of a mother who went to search for her daughters remains in the days following the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Unknowingly the mother suffered primary radiation poisoning as she walked through the two-kilometre atomic flats yelling for her daughter. Littered all across the land were lamps of organs spilling out of human shapes, some trod in rib-cages and had to dislodge their feet and the smell was described as metallic and fishy. Eventually she saw a single clogg swaying from a shard of wood. All the clocks were frozen at 8.15am the time of the bomb blast yet this clog swayed like a pendulum for ghosts chiming like glockenspiel against twisted metal pipes. The mother noticed that the knotted fabric and the pattern of the fabric on the clog was that of her kimono. At this point she knew her daughter had no remains, that she was carbonised by the 5000 degree Celsius of heat near ground zero. The clog found her. I think of this account often.

Thorn 2 – To save a body

I can’t talk about this easily it rakes up a deep grave but sometimes soldiers do not save lives, they save bodies so parents can bury their children with dignity. I will say this only, if a mother and father can see the face of their son and kiss it then it is worth risking a life for. Those who do this are heroic but that is a jail of PTSD with no keeper. Soldiers are civilians so help them, give them a job and if they drop the F-bomb in front of a posh customer do not tell them off, protect them like the sharpest most broken pieces of glass that they are. Remember if you touch glass and bleed on it then it becomes stained yet also it is cleaner because you touched it and knew if would hurt you for doing so.

Where do we go from here? I think reconciliation, forgiveness, acceptance and acknowledgement. The folded flags are those who bend over graves mourning their loved ones lost to conflict, refugees, soldiers, the husband of Jo Cox to all the those battles we do not know of and should listen without prejudice to. I will not mention fascists because what is human is all that matters and we are the humans so let us remember and connect regardless of our race, culture and beliefs.








The racists bonfire of Grenfell

Posted in Uncategorized on November 5, 2018 by antonyowen

Lovingly how you exhibited your hatred –

brown paper for heads a giveaway of white darkness.

I have read of what people do when they choke from fumes

in Hiroshima they wrenched a man’s mouth from a water pipe

in Nagasaki a mother resembled an eagle taking off as she shielded her babe.


You do not re-make Grenfell with black tape and dirty white paper,

the foundations wake up burning shouting out to the dead,

a loved one wipes water from their foreheads, holds them

until a fire peters out yet they lay like embers stoking

each other and sometimes she dreams of his smile.


You of the racist hearts can never see or feel or understand this poem.

You who fly the English flag make Britannia a heretic of effigies.

Go to the good wife who tends to her husband’s grave

waters the fire of daffodils in bloom, her swelled belly,

a red flame inside her uterus will be yellow by Winter,

this is the Grenfell fire you cold-hearted bastards.

abstract art blaze bonfire

Photo by Pixabay on