Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Three Poems by James Owens

a thousand encounters in the sky

i used 
to wonder 
why i never 
meet people 
like me

lying alone 
on the hot roof,
watching clouds
merge and part
i understood --
it’s because 
they are like me

there were 
clouds 
the next day
too
and the next
 
 
 
abandoned house, manitoulin island, ontario

she was a doorframe
she was the window in his blood

she breathed slowly by the sink
and thought of a tree in bloom
a warmth in her thighs
against the snow of the day
sunlight quavered in a bowl of water

he held the phrase matrimonial privacy
a mouthful of nails to hammer a stair toward the bedroom

winters later
he curls no larger than a loaf of bread
under strips of wallpaper
mewling for home
 
 
 
late in the year

shelterless bird song
floats through rain,
darkens clouds

still, you can find me

the dandelions I dedicated to you
shine in wet grass

*

like young girls, one after another,
trembling --

each skittish tree
lights and rustles 

under the sky’s
reckless caress

*

still in the mind of the beloved
the leaf is trembling

green on the black branch
even after

this sky swallowed
the winter wind
 
 
 
James Owens divides his time between Wabash, Ind., and Northern Ontario. Two books of his poems have been published: An Hour is the Doorway (Black Lawrence Press) and Frost Lights a Thin Flame (Mayapple Press). His poems, reviews, translations, and photographs have appeared widely in literary journals, including recent or upcoming publications in The Cortland Review, The Cresset, Poetry Ireland, and The Chaffey Review.  He blogs athttp://circumstanceandmagic.blogspot.com

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