Friday, November 25, 2016

The Haunting


Since I could 
not put an end 
to the
haunting 

I have decided 
to become
cordial 
with the ghost.

I've made my way 
back to 
the edge 
of the chasm

where we 
can now be
civil and
exchange 

heartfelt 
greetings 
and 
well-wishes

from across the 
unspoken forever-space 
high above the ruins of
our smoldering bridge.

Not what I had imagined,
but it's better this way
as long as you don't
look down.




Ken Owen   Van Niddy Press        November 2016

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Beauty of Dying


There seems
a rural
mystery,
an unwritten law
amongst people
who live
out in the
country:

they let
old barns
die
at their
own pace.

There is
something
about an old barn
past it's prime
abandoned
alone
in a field

it is
architectural death
in slow motion
on public
display.

There is an instant
fascination
when we see a barn
crooked
stooped
held up by
the wind and
visions
of its
former glory

that causes us to
pull over on our
Sunday drive
and instantly
award ourselves
the title of
artist
or
historian
and take a picture
to document
the beauty of dying
slowly
in a rolling field

and we think
to ourselves

all it would take
is one good
push
to end the
suffering

so
why
don't they do it?

The Japanese are
famous
for the
respect
they bestow
upon their elders

but we hide our
old folks
away
from places
they want to return

in places
they don't know

and pay people
to make sure
they stay there

while we turn
away
from discussions
of suffering
and one good
push

yet

we let
barns
take their time
dying
where they have
always been
and we
pull over
to watch.


Ken Owen   Van Niddy Press   November 2016

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

You Know Something She Doesn't

I have always
thought
that if sex could sing
it would sound
like Mavis Staples.

I have also thought
yet
I carry no
supporting evidence
that Mavis Staples is
most likely
a deeply religious person
who would bristle
at the very mention
of that analogy

Chances are slim
at best
that I will ever
get the opportunity
to meet Ms Staples
but even if I did
I would
never
see myself
telling her this
even though
I'd be dying too

so that creates an
unwritten comfort
out there
in the dark:

Mavis Staples
will live out
the rest of her days
never knowing
I think her singing
sounds like sex

but
now
you do.


Ken Owen   Van Niddy Press   November 2016

Monday, November 7, 2016

Fall Haiku 2016


In formation: birds
     fly south effortlessly above
crawling freeway cars
          ~~~~~


Golden light of Fall
     dances upon still waters--
High tide at sunset.

-West bound on the San Mateo Bridge, October 2016
          ~~~~~


Without reflection
     the mirror holds no answers.
Become The Mirror.
          ~~~~~


Fall quickly, blossom,
     and embrace your destiny 
in the world beyond.
          ~~~~~


The old dog sleeping--
     twitching limbs, quivering lips,
dreams of love and war.
          ~~~~~


Waves upon the shore
     proclaiming a steady pulse---
the earth's beating heart.

-a day in Pacifica, CA
          ~~~~~


Oh sleepy suburb,
     Tonight, 8:00pm, Magic!
Country AND Western!

Live Music at Bird and Beckett  Books and Records
San Francisco, CA
          ~~~~~


Experiencing
     his image in the mirror,
what would the dog change?
          ~~~~~


Let impermanence
     bring not fear of tomorrow 
but joy for the Now.
          ~~~~~


Leaping to his death,
     the leaf hit a spider web;
"Stick around," said Fall.



Ken Owen   Van Niddy Press   November 2016

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Sharp As A Tack


One morning
as I was
walking into a local
burger place for a
breakfast sandwich
a white haired gent
was coming out.

He looked happy
but he was shaking his
head and saying

"My oh my oh me oh my oh."

He didn't notice me
until I said

"My sentiments exactly."

Startled, he turned
looked up
looked me over quickly
and said with
a big smile

"Yeah, but I'm retired!
Are you retired?"

I couldn't figure
what that
had to do
with anything.

"I'm working on it"

was all I could
come up with.

"Great pun!"
he exclaimed
with an even
bigger smile.

Retired
Happy
Crazy

and sharp
as a
tack.


Ken Owen   Van Niddy Press   October 2016

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Large Puddles of Rain

Ruby, age 3: "Popi,
we should go to
the park and see how
the swings are doing."

Popi, age 58, laughing:
"Well honey, since you
put it that way,
sure.

Just then
Grandma came for a visit
and in the excitement
all thoughts
of checking on
the swings
were lost

so Popi sat back
in his chair
at the backyard
picnic table
opened a beer
and watched his girls
continue to play in
large puddles of rain.


Ken Owen   Van Niddy Press   Sacramento, Fall 2016