Saturday, December 19, 2015

No More Poems About Rain

...and when the rain finally came
you could feel the collective
sigh of relief rolling through
the 9 counties all the way
to the Central Valley
like a ripple in a pond

Brown lawns
got stoned drunk
and lie there giggling
while flowers could
finally relax and watch gutters
protest that break time
was over

That morning
folks rewarded themselves
for years of conservation
with guilty pleasure showers
that lasted an extra minute or two
while dreaming of reservoirs
glistening blue and full again
in a hot summer sun

It would be alright
to stay inside and let the clouds
remember how to do their thing
while we gazed wide-eyed
from the other side of the window
and stayed out of the way
and off the streets
and out of cars
because the only ones
that know how to drive
around here when it's wet
are you and me.

With so much
in the world
to worry about
at least
it was raining again.


Ken Owen   Van Niddy Press   December 2015

Friday, December 18, 2015

Gun

(A Modern Tale)

He brought a gun
into the garden.
The days of sassy 
hydrangea were 
about to end.

He brought a gun
into the barbershop.
If he had to wear 
his hat when he left
there'd be trouble.

He brought a gun 
into the bookstore.
The clerk had better 
be able to explain 
e.e. cummings 
once and for all.

He brought a gun 
into the jazz club
and demanded a 
recognizable melody.

He brought a gun
to the circus.
He enjoyed the 
trapeze act while 
keeping an eye on 
those creepy clowns.

He brought a gun
on his commute 
and fixed all the 
broken turn signals.

He brought a gun
into the parking lot
and gave lessons 
on parallel parking.

He brought a gun
to work and presented it
as his status report.
(They got the message.)

He brought a gun
to the movie house
and all the cell phones 
went quiet.

He brought a gun
to the grammar school
and made spirits
from angels.

He brought a gun
to the high school
and made heroes
of the innocent.
(He was neither.)

He brought a gun
to college because he
was incapable of 
higher learning.

He brought a gun
on his date. He finally
got her attention.

He brought a gun
to the Army base.
They never saw 
it coming.

He brought a gun
to the Bible study group
then showed them 
what he'd learned.

He brought a gun
to the ocean and 
issued his demands.
(There would be no negotiations.)

He brought a gun
to his bedroom
and made the demons 
sleep forever.

for James


Ken Owen   Van Niddy Press   December 2015

Each Day My Love

When you dream of love
in visions clear and true,
delivered from above
a precious jewel to you.

Beneath the evening sky
as lover's stars align,
hearts take wing and fly
bound in endless time.

Each day my love
you'll see through shining eyes
burning with the passion of the sun,
each day my love
will hold you when you rise,
to know our hearts forever beat as one.

From our lonely hour
searching souls repealed,
behold the highest power
the grace of love revealed.

Delivered to the light
that keeps us safe and warm,
a love to fill our nights
in love we are reborn.

Each day my love
you'll see through shining eyes
burning with the passion of the sun,
each day my love
will hold you when you rise
to know our hearts forever beat as one.


for Mitch and Hilary
inspired by the lyrics "This Kind of Love" by Mitch Polzak


Ken Owen   Van Niddy Press   December 2015

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Conversation

(I'm Cool with Walking)

so, do you have any loves?

no.

how come?

  I’ve lost the nerve for battle.

love is not a battle.

  then i guess I've never
  been in love, cause they
  all felt like battles to me.

are you at least looking?

  you mean the interview process?
          trying each other on for size? no,
          i am not holding auditions.

so that’s it, you just give up?

  there comes a point in your life
          when you realize that the bus doesn't  
          stop here anymore and it’s time to
          walk and see what there is to see
          without having to explain to someone
          else what the fuck you're doing.

what the hell does that mean?

  it means i’m cool with walking.

well, thats depressing.

  i’m hungry. you ready to order?

sure.


Ken Owen   Van Niddy Press   December 2015

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Between Storms (Still Still)

In the park
between storms

the dog stands
statue-still
one paw raised
at the front door
of a gopher hole
waiting to deliver
the end of days.

In the park
between storms

a Chinese grandma
doing Tai Chi on the
baseball field slowly
keeps 80 years of
toil and hardship at bay
while exorcising demons
of bad calls at home plate.

In the park
between storms

majestic trees shake
themselves off to
purge their dead then
stoically pose as if to
say to the passing rain
"how do you think I've lasted
all this time?"

Back home
between storms

the spider living
in the corner of the ceiling
hasn't moved in so long
that it's hard to tell if she's
sleeping or the last one to
die of her entanglements.


Ken Owen   Van Niddy  Press   December 2015

Saturday, December 5, 2015

First Impressions


At my new job
my Manager's Boss can't
remember my name.

His face goes blank
and his head tilts slightly
whenever he sees me.
He is a busy man with many
things on his mind.

My name is not one of them.

There is another person at work
who keeps calling me Tom
which is a fine name that
I would have no problem with
had my parents given it to me.

The last time I quietly corrected
this person, I made a point of
telling him how much I like the name

and that he should just go with it
and call me Thomas in his best
English accent when he sees me

that way way he could shout at
me like King Henry and say things
like "Good God Thomas, are you mad?!"

He looked at me with a degree
of bewilderment that is hard to describe,
but I think I finally made an impression.


Ken Owen   Van Niddy Press   December 2015

Friday, December 4, 2015

I'll Be Your Baby Tonight

Now when someone
suggests that song
her image
comes with it.

Last time it happened
him and I looked at each
other and grew quiet
remembering her gone

then he said

Now she knows something
we don't

Soon enough,
I said.


for KKG


Ken Owen   Van Niddy Press   December 2015