Saturday, May 19, 2018

As Much As I Can Remember

     "As much as I can remember"

keeps changing.

I have this sneaking suspicion 
memories are escaping 
through some unlatched gate
but I can’t remember 
which ones have gone missing.

Sometimes my friends will 
bring one back and we unwrap it 
like a forgotten Christmas present 
and watch it sparkle briefly 
like a movie flashing 
through a dusty window

and I quickly tuck it away
before I misplace it again
and then scold myself 
for letting it escape.

But sometimes they bring back
ones they insist were mine
that don’t look familiar at all
and say

     I remember it like it was yesterday.

     Don’t you remember?

     I’ll never forget it!

I’m amazed 
they’ve remembered
and they’re surprised
I’ve forgotten.

If I remember back
far enough
sometimes I’m not sure
if memories and dreams
left unattended all these years
have jumped the fence and are
playing together in the dense fog

but be they dreams or memories
they seem perfectly content
to stay right where they are.

My earliest thoughts
my oldest visions
don’t move.

     "As far back as I can remember"

never changes...
                                I think.

Ken Owen 
Van Niddy Press   May 2018

Community Service

Saturday morning
and some well-dressed
well-intentioned folks just 
rang the doorbell.

I didn’t answer,
but it got me thinking.

Good people go
and offer to help you
find Jesus.

That’s a powerful testament 
to faith and conviction
and a lovely sentiment

until you realize 
their idea of serving humanity 
is hours and hours of peddling 
a 3,000 year old mythology 
created when we had
no answer for thunder or sunsets

that will bring light to your life
and answers to your troubles
and all it will cost you
is the suspension of 
all logic and reason.

What if we had
those same good people
going door-to-door
asking things like

How’s it going?
Is everything ok?
Do you need help with anything?
Anything you need to talk about?
Here’s my number, call if you need anything.

No myths.
No deities.
No worship.

Just caring.
Just compassion.
Just community. 

Just someone
in the neighborhood 
you could talk too
to let you know
you are not alone.

Why is religion
the only community message 
we sell door-to-door?

Ken Owen
Saturday, May 19, 2018

Thursday, May 17, 2018


I stole her secrets

small bottles of courage
carefully hidden
throughout the house
to get her through the day.

I must have sent her 
scurrying in frustrated panic
to remember hiding places
she could no longer trust
with no one to tell
her treasures were gone

yet her secret
was no secret 
to anyone.

We played 
Hide and Seek 
with knowing looks
and no words spoken

until her secret
followed her 
to the end

and secretly 
no one believed
what they wrote about her
in the paper that day.

It was not until 
much later in my life
in a moment of sad clarity

before I realized 
I had inherited 
her secret

and it still
was no secret
to anyone.

Ken Owen
Van Niddy Press   May 2018