Friday, January 31, 2014

In Passing

broken flower
battered by destiny,
lie still now 
in beauty and sadness
and dream
of gentle spring rains.

inspired by a biography of Gene Tierney

Ken Owen   Van Niddy Press   January 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014

Paper and Ink

everyone wants to die 
peacefully in bed
at the ripe old age of 95,

except, of course,
the person lying peacefully in bed
at the ripe old age of 94,

but I will not argue that decision
with the great source of Universal kismet
that aligns such events,

and I’ll ask 
but one thing
of those I leave behind,

bury me with paper and ink,
my spirit free from encumbrance
of the mortal shell in darkened tomb,

so I may offer the views 
from atop rainbows and clouds
and the other side of sunsets,

and let not the end of earthly walks
cease my attempts
at the indescribable.

inspired by a letter by Giacomo Puccini, 1920
dedicated to Pete Seger

Ken Owen   Van Niddy Press   January 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

Just A Thought

When you drive home 
from work each night
on that long and winding road
into a cloudless sunset
as the sky turns red,

that's the time
I drive to work each night
on that long and narrow bridge
into the heart of The City
as the skyline glimmers like stars.

We're pretty lucky, 
don't you think?

Ken Owen   Van Niddy Press   January 2014

Sunday, January 19, 2014


there will be a picture of you
holding two new babies,
one gently cradled in each arm,
your eyes glistening
wet from tears of joy 
as you marvel in their perfection
with a smile powered by a heart 
filled with love and gratitude 
for the wonder of new life.

And when I see that picture,
I'll smile too.

for alicia and tristan and their families, January 19, 2014

Ken Owen   Van Niddy Press   January 2014

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Rainy Day

In early morning surprise 
as sidewalks puddled
and drinking lawns gave thanks,
I thought, perhaps 
one of the reasons
we have droughts
is to remind us to appreciate
how beautiful 
a rainy day can be.

Ken Owen   Van Niddy Press   January 2014

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Great Race

I had to laugh the other day
when driving down 
a windy mountain road,

I saw an expensive sports car
stuck in traffic
behind an electric hybrid
only slightly bigger than a bread box
(though I don't recall 
ever seeing a real bread box),

probably being driven 
by a tourist with his wife holding a map
(though I don't remember 
the last time I saw a paper map),

or perhaps a middle-aged hippie 
trying to reduce their carbon footprint
(though I've never seen 
a carbon footprint, big or small).

We've sent men 
from the earth to the moon
in a great race to leave 
real footprints in the sand 
of a galactic dessert,

we've developed great machines
and sent them into space
so we can instantly send
pictures of the new baby
from New York to Hong Kong,

but in this age 
of technological wonderment,
it just goes to show
we are still only as fast
as the slowest guy
on your way down the mountain.

Ken Owen  Van Niddy Press  January 2014

As You Know

This morning started 
like any other morning,
coffee and email,
the dog staring and wondering
why we wait for the sun
to get higher in the morning sky 
before we walk 
now that it's winter,

but then
in a surprising turn of events,
I made the perfect omelette
and you weren't there to see it.

It was a thing of culinary beauty
and as you know,
something I've been trying 
to perfect for a while,

well, this morning
perfection showed up 
when I had no reason to expect it,
perhaps I had reached 
the 10,000 hours
they say you must do
before you can be really good at something...

...only tomorrow's omelette will tell

and as you know,
you won't be there 
to see that one either.

I still try to practice my gratitude
for the daily gifts we receive,
so tonight's celebration -
where I raise a glass
to the accomplishments of the day,
will be dedicated to this morning
when perfection came,

and as you know,
you won't be there
to toast with me 
and share the triumphs of our day,
but I'll be grateful 
for the memory of you
I'll have forever
in all the simple things I do.

Ken Owen   Van Niddy Press   January 2014

Friday, January 3, 2014

The List

Before she left on her trip,
the dog and I 
received a very detailed 
list of chores 
that she should find completed
upon her return.

After placing her bags
in the trunk of the car,
we gave heartfelt good-byes 
as she drove off 
to her next great adventure.

Try as we might,
the list produced
no such sense of urgency 
in either the dog or myself.

We looked at the list,
we looked at each other,
and the unspoken decision
on our plan of action
was immediate and unanimous:

Nap Time.

We accomplished this task
that had been mysteriously
left off the list 
without encumbrance or delay
as we left our chores
for another day and rested
with dreams of our
next great adventure.

Ken Owen   Van Niddy Press   January 2014