Mother Hiroshima, Deportation, We met Charles Bukowski in lockdown, How men unmade the world—Anthony Owen
Antony Owen is a writer of conflict translated in English, German, Japanese & Dutch. His work has been recognised internationally including a full collection translated in 2021 by Thelem Press and an award in the British Army Poetry Competition in 2018. His work has also been shortlisted for The Ted Hughes Award for new work in poetry.
She asked “have you ever seen three dwarf stars melt purple into a line?”
Moon was a blister, sun an open sore and then the devils welt,
I carried heaven in my water until it ran down my legs,
a river of black rain that returned Hiroshima.
I did not lose my baby until Spring
my tumours were blossom pink,
the colour of our rebirth.
We are going home now
a prefecture of sky
my shadow flies,
black no more.
Sent to Coventry or Rwanda
But never Westminster
your silt sorrel skin
like the Thames
too dirty for us
There is a white plague
a Sotheby Jesus sold
to new blue Romans
fat on the spoils
of secret deals
in plain view
We met Charles Bukowski in lockdown
I wish I could take my daughter to Cape Canaveral
punch a hole into heaven with a rocket-ship
to show her the world is still moving
and we’d float like lost ships
claiming each other.
I wish I could take my daughter to Jerusalem Square
to eat supper as dusk is given like a red roman cape.
I would show her cuckoos stealing our olives
that came all the way from Palestine.
I’d take the pip and plant it for her.
I wish I could take my daughter to meet Charles Bukowski
she could feel at home in his homelessness and prose.
I could learn a thing about the art of patience.
My daughter would turn his rum to water,
turn sweetness into alcohol happiness.
All my wishes came true when her name danced on my tongue
three syllables like rain bouncing on a dry river bed
those splashes exploded into crowns of water
my coronation as your flawed Father,
Jupiter as my scarred jewel.
How men unmade the world
Last night in the whispering rain
I heard Allah and Jesus
both were in tears
sewing each other’s lips.
All the lambs have left the farm
some were numbered in dye
the others are mad in grief
you can’t see it though
not unless you look hard
Last night I couldn’t get an erection
there was no pleasure in my body.
All my memories hung like mosquitos,
pinking air with their abdomens
My heart in soulless pixelations.
All the sheep are following the shepherds,
and a shepherd has a flamethrower
he has shorn the black one
and writes upon it all the crimes
“Palestine, Aleppo, Afghanistan”.
Last night in the moon
I saw bones of man.
Thank God then,
an eighth day
aglow yet cold
an illusion of warmth;
Sun behind a barren rock
the spunk of a million stars
birthing a deserved darkness.