Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Let's Sing Together

Hey stranger
let's sing together
you and I
Why not!
We are heading the same way
at the same time
so let's sing and smile
because we can
and we should
and when we part ways
our reward of shared happiness
will go with us on a day
when we expected no such gifts.

inspired from a story by Michael Shaffer,
dedicated to the memory of Maya Angelou

Ken Owen   Van Niddy Press   May 2014

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Remembering A Dream, 7:30a.m.

I closed the garden gate
on a quiet early morning
and felt it close
something inside of me,

She stood there
alone on the path
as I looked up and said good-bye
with just a smile,

and as I left I realized 
these things that had consumed me
and blotted out the sun from my days
would hold me down as long as I let them,

so I looked to the horizon
and with just a few small steps 
to face the new day
I knew what I must do,

I would no longer look back
to measure myself
against the growing distance 
from my sufferings,

I would look forward
in days of joyful gratitude
until there was no longer a need
to measure anything. 

Ken Owen   Van Niddy Press   May 2014

Monday, May 26, 2014

When Thought Takes Wing

At some point
it happens to all of us,

a clever thought which struck us 
like a bolt of mental lightning
gets lost somewhere between 
the kitchen and the bedroom,

and while you may laugh
as your thoughts sprout wings
like uncatchable butterflies
after their metamorphous,

the poet will mourn and wonder 
if that thought might have become 
the one bit of poignant prose 
that made a difference.

Ken Owen  Van Niddy Press  May 2014

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Too Much Time in Chinatown

Meet me in the alley near Lei Po's Lounge
we'll wait for action and sit around
in smoke filled rooms far underground
in Chinatown.

The China girls are everywhere
with smiling eyes and raven hair
happy endings can't compare
in Chinatown.

The China men give puzzled stares
and wonder what you're doing there
white devils are not welcome here
in Chinatown.

Hiding out in Buddhas bar
enlightenment in little jars
when the funeral passes I'll be a star
in Chinatown.

The old drunks all seem wise to me
I bet they talk philosophy
and speak of how things used to be
in Chinatown.

Full moon in the midnight air
grandma's swaying silver hair
Tai Chi dancing on the square
in Chinatown.

Ancient secrets gagged and bound
for me there'll be no answers found
the city's mystic heart lives down
in Chinatown.

Chinatown, San Francisco, CA, May 12 & 14, 2014

Ken Owen   Van Niddy Press   

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Eyes of The Poet

Musings of the past
the world in words
as seen through the eyes
of the poet long dead,
visions and truths
universal and timeless,
I carry them forward
through my eyes now.

Inspired by Walt Whitman's 'Leaves of Grass'

Ken Owen  Van Niddy Press   May 2014

No Need To Speak

Smile at me in Italian
I'll smack your ass in Greek
Glare at me in Russian
There is no need to speak

Tango dance in Spanish
Waltz with Bavarian feet
Gaze at the moon in Mandarin
There is no need to speak

Passion fulfilled in Sanskrit
Drift off in a Mexican sleep
I'll leave in French before you wake
There is no need to speak

Ken Owen  Van Niddy Press   May 2014

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Point of No Return

There was a day not long ago
when I did the math and realized
more of my time has been spent
than I have left

a revelation
in personal lifespan arithmetic
that will cause you to re-evaluate
a great many things

so I have started asking questions
about everything
so I can understand
what I've missed

because I know the gravity of time
will soon slow me down
to the point where
I no longer ask questions

as I sit back and appreciate
the beauty of the simple things
that took my whole life
to finally see.

written at The Utopia Cafe, Chinatown, San Francisco

Ken Owen  Van Niddy Press  May 2014

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Pissed Off in Utopia

She sat at a table by the window
eating lunch in the Utopia Cafe
a lovely young beauty
who was clearly not happy
with the direction of things

and I thought

how unlucky 
to make it to Utopia
and be pissed off

and I hoped her fortune
would soon have her receiving 
good news from afar 
from a welcomed visitor.

Ken Owen   Van Niddy Press   May 2014

Thursday, May 8, 2014

To Dream (That Picture of You)

I dreamed myself
into that picture of you,
it was me
you were looking at,
and those smiling eyes
were telling me 
everything I needed to know
without words.

I dreamed myself
into that forest painting
where light bathed the church of nature
in silent serenity and calm beauty
as I walked in cool waters
and touched everything 
with the hand of God.

I dreamed myself
into the life of the beggar
whose head stays bowed
in the shame of his failings
so I could share his sufferings
and know the distance between us
is not so great.

I dream myself
away from this place
in search of magic and mystery 
amongst the visions
so I may know
comfort from my days
of lonely dreaming.

inspired by Amy Johanna Stenberg

Ken Owen   Van Niddy Press   May 2014

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The River That Sings

Time will make
The grass lay down
Under my feet
As I make my path
To the waters edge
Of the river that sings.

Time will make
The pain lay down
Go fast asleep
On my journey
From the quiet place
To the river that sings.

Time will make
The wind blow down
My troubles and sorrow
Will fall like stones
To the side of the road
Of the river that sings.

Time will make
The trees bow down
And give cool shade
As I listen and fill
My open heart with song
From the river that sings.

inspired by the story of the Yuchie Tribe
of Muscle Shoals, Alabama

Ken Owen  Van Niddy Press  May 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Lovers' Contract

forever joined in equal portion,
as thou hast loved so shall ye suffer,
payment due in full
in the wake of love's passing.

Ken Owen   Van Niddy Press   May 2014