Saturday, December 21, 2019

How To Be

I was having a dream 
that I could not sleep
quite strange I’m sure you’d agree, 
‘cause I couldn’t tell 
who was more confused
the me in the dream or me.

So when I woke up 
I decided
not to question the things that I see,
but enjoy the millions 
of miracle ways
that things know just how to be.

There’s no sense in telling
a river how to run
or a mirror how to look,
and I’ll never tell
a map where it is
or how you should end your book.

I’ll never direct 
the wind to sing
or teach birds how to fly,
there seems no point
to tell rain when to fall
or ask clouds to leave the sky.

As I walk amongst 
my brothers and sisters
I won't tell them how to feel,
but remind myself to question not
the source of love's appeal.

When flowers bloom 
and die too soon
I’ll smile as seasons change,
and let my dreams
say what they will
and not think their message strange.

Ken Owen   
Van Niddy Press   December 2019

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Thing I Have Said (Late for Dinner)

“I need to see you.”

“It’s late, you should stay.”

“How do you like your eggs?”

“So, dinner tomorrow?”


“What, what’d I say?!”

“No no, that’s not what I meant!”

“I’m sorry, really.”

“So…ideas for dinner?”


“Geez, what crawled up your ass and died?”

“I was just kidding, seriously.”

“I don’t think I’m the one being unreasonable here.”

“oh fuck.”


“I’m not hungry.”


“It’s not you, it’s me.”


“It’s not me, it’s you!”

“Yeah? Well, maybe you won’t miss me, but your family will.”

“By the way, your [mother, father, sister, brother] is crazy.”

“I’m taking the stainless steel frying pan.”


“Well, what a nice surprise. How long has it been?

"I was sorry to hear about your [mother, father, sister, brother]."

“Ah jeez, that’s messed up.”

“Did you get a second opinion?”

“Doctors, what do they know; they’re all just guessing!”

“Fine, fine; well, I could complain, but we’d be here all night.”

“If there is anything I can do, anything at all...”

“Tell your family I said “Hello”; I always liked them.”

“Well, gotta go; I’m late for dinner.”

Ken Owen 
Van Niddy Press,  December 2019

Monday, December 2, 2019

Snoring in Japanese

As I lie in bed between dreams 
in today’s early morning hours
I could have sworn you were snoring 
in Japanese

I found this to be 
particularly amazing feat
since I am fairly certain 
you do not speak Japanese

then I realized 
I had no way of knowing 
if it was Japanese or Mandarin 
or Cantonese for that matter

your sounds had 
what seemed to me
all the proper inflections of 
an Asian language with its rising and falling
like small gentle waves where 
everything seemed to end 
like a question I could not answer 
since I did not know the language 

Now wide awake and
listening to the indecipherable 
while studying the lunar landscape of
the bedroom ceiling
I got up to have a glass of water

and upon my return I noticed 
your language of sleep had changed
from a personal dialect 
to the sounds of a small purring kitten

and just when I had done 
some preliminary analysis of this new development 
my stomach began to answer you with 
its own language comprised of 
a series of internal sounds generated
most likely
from warm pipes complaining
of cold water

there I was
listening to our conversation 
with it’s rhythmic call-and-response 
that neither of us had any control over
and I was disappointed that you were
sleeping through the whole conversation

I just thought you 
should know.

Ken Owen   
Van Niddy Press,  November 2019