Archive for February, 2019


Posted in Uncategorized on February 25, 2019 by antonyowen
close up of a sign against white background

Photo by Tayeb MEZAHDIA on


Met a woman from Hiroshima whose skin hung from her fingernails

she watched it blow like voile in the purple gamma fog

nobody wanted to hear her tale, “move on” they said.


I wrote an important poem about her and sent it to “The Albino Hare Journal”

They were looking for poems on syntactic compounds of conflict

I broke a rule of not choosing Times New Roman, 11.5 font.


Met a man from nowhere you’ve heard of who put out a blitz with his eyes,

he was just a boy you passed as an old man and you never batted an eyelid,

when he passes on his epitaph will be in any old font, his life was a poem.


I wrote an important poem about the dirt in his fingernails he couldn’t wash off,

“it’s all I had left of my Dad when we planted garlic in fleece and soil”

It was rejected by Guy Perkins-Tott at “Academia Tote Journal”

It was accepted by war dogs with clean teeth and dirty nails.


Met a man who runs a hundred poetry events but no poems for all the above,

it is important to write arts application forms like poetry then write poems.

it is important to come across important so that people who don’t matter

Can keep important things locked inside because they are deemed unimportant.


What is important is poetry magazines with important sounding names.

More important than Brenda so I’ll resubmit and call her Francine Lezanne,

she was peeling pears instead of spuds when the bomb made her black,

her house was a chateau and the winemakers wounds were vermillion red.


This is the poem that will be accepted in poetry magazines with important sounding names

My Mum was strong and stable

Posted in Uncategorized on February 5, 2019 by antonyowen
empty damaged room with mattress

Photo by Wendelin Jacober on

For Anne Biddle


The night my Nan left an ashtray of her lips she was neither strong or stable,

in the morgue of his overalls I watched how a woman grieves honestly

it broke my twelve-year old heart and an egg-wet robin came out.

I still have her fingerprints on a Nat King Cole thirty-three

sometimes he lifts me to the sun – it’s her fag goin out.


The night my Dad lost his Mum a Macmillan nurse made weak tea as he wept,

he was trying to be strong and stable but the factory man malfunctioned.

He planted a rosebush for her and snapped it when his legs faltered.

Recently my Dad and I had a conversation with a prolonged look,

these are the moments he sees my soul and I see his all raggy.


The first time I saw a strong and stable woman was my Mum against the waves.

She learnt how to swim the same way I did when I was in her water,

this woman made me strong and stable, she gave me my first coat,

blood red and warm in the hospital cold we were strong, stable.

The last time I saw her the sky was burning like an ashtray.

When a library dies

Posted in Uncategorized on February 4, 2019 by antonyowen
woman sitting between bookshelves

Photo by Lucas França on

“A city without libraries is like a graveyard”

Malala Yousafzai


In my city of peace born of fire and grey

a phoenix rises on emblems, letterheads

and library books where Kuldip read How to kill a Mockingbird.


I only know how common birds are killed,

when a library closes – a blackbird caws from blossom then dies,

and books become bridges for those who lay the dreadful weave.


In my city of 2tone I hear city of culture,

I hear the twelve bar blues from a busker’s rain scarred guitar.

I hear the door of a library moaning as it closes in Earlsdon.


I see a dead poet smiling exhumed for a city of culture bid

and wonder if those businessmen know poetry at all

where black and white make grey our symbol.


In my city of culture a man washes dreadlocks in a library sink,

looks into the mirror and reads me, educates me,

places of books are where poems are made and read.


In my city of culture a care home waits for the library bus,

women wear their best clothes for shabby books made new,

it brings them the road of real and make believe.


I only know that when books breathe they resuscitate a city,

dead dreamers breathing from spines that hold it together,

if you kill a library you make a cage from the ribs of a phoenix.


This is our city where musicians and poets sing for a tuppence

and those who decide our fates muzzle mouths of artists and woodwind.

Leave our libraries be,

let our city sing,

let our city be Malala’s song.

Androids and body snatchers

Posted in Uncategorized on February 2, 2019 by antonyowen

“You live in the same kind of grayness as the filthy stuff that formed you.” 
― Jack Finney, Invasion of the Body Snatchers

blue bubble calamity clean

Photo by Daniel Frank on


Beneath the ice of I.phones I saw the human drown,

I saw them at the five fifteen outside the closed down butchers

and I watched them rise from the pale light as they walked in front of cars.


Last week in the Serengeti of zebra crossings a human zombie got ran over

a man in a van was too busy looking at his phone and hit a man, looking at his phone

then a man with a phone filmed him dying so that men on there phones could share it.


I have seen Sadako in Ringu emerge from a television screen from the well in a rage

and all that looked upon her became contorted like the Oak at Morrisons on Progress Way

I have seen how it plays out when I smashed the ice of my phone and lived free for one day.


In that one day I looked up and there was a world extinct of people who were sleepwalking,

they functioned so well and I went to the drought to await my new sea of glass and

though I never wanted to choose this life it was the life chosen for me so help and goodbye.