‘Into the Ordinary’

Several years ago I gathered my courage and showed a selection of my poetry to a local ‘Writer in Residence’. The most powerful message he gave me was to continue writing with my ‘ordinary words’, as I called them. Since then I have been on a journey to continue writing using ordinary words, which come from the heart.

Garden Life

.

I twine my fingers

amongst green leaves

feel the pea tendrils

tug at my arm

.

my fingers sink

into soft soil

as I thin the kale

and ease out weeds

.

strawberries watch me

fat but still pale

bobbing on their stems

as garlic scapes curl

.

the busy silence

slows my pulse

and brings me gently

down to earth

.

in my mind I shrink

Alice-like

and walk the rows

feeling cool rain

on my face

seeing tender leaves

bend overhead

.

I am immersed in green

watching the chlorophyll

brighten like starburst

hearing bees

bumble about the flowers

.

I soak up the lushness

of this garden life

and drink in the

newly minted air

.

reluctant to resume actual size

I feel so at home

in this garden life

and wonder what fruit I would produce

were I to stay and

lay my roots down here

.

By Carys Owen

This Way Up

.

Hold my heart

this way up

don’t tip it

or drop it

don’t leave it in the sun

.

Hold my heart

this way up

don’t rattle it

or poke it

don’t leave it outside all alone

.

Hold my heart

this way up

don’t shake it

or test it

don’t wait too long for love

.

By Carys Owen

While you’re here, please check out

my ‘stories’ page where I have also

added a new poem.

Grow Joy

.

Take a tiny seed

a memory

~ dried up and dormant ~

of something

that brought joy

.

re-enact the scene

re-engage the feelings

the sights, the smells

the fullness of being

.

a walk in the woods

a visit with a friend

a song long forgotten

your own secret recipe

.

practise it faithfully

though joy may feel far off

practise it faithfully

a few minutes a day

.

be there, be in it

let your body remember

let your heart recall

how good it feels to connect

how good it feels to create

.

grow some joy

from a simple act

~ even for a moment ~

place a kiss

on your hurts

and delight

in your soul

.

By Carys Owen

BLM

‘Oh Shit…’

.

This world is f*@#ed up

when our young men and women

when our black men and women

when our racialized men and women

are told to behave or be shot

like they’re not worth a whole lot

are told where to put their hands

how to hold their  heads

which words to use or not

.

like it’s somehow their fault for being

for walking down the street

for driving to the mall

for sleeping in their beds

for jogging down the road

.

like they’re othered

and not allowed to be afraid

and not allowed to mess up

or mis-step

the way a white man can

.

and parents try to teach their kids

the impossible, ever-changing rules

of how to make themselves small

in the presence of police

.

and parents try not to show the fear

they feel each time their child

steps outside the door

.

they are not even rules

they are the arbitrary whims

of whoever is inventing the code that day

they are the sum of fears and refusal to care

.

no wonder the black body is terrified

to be stopped by the cops

to be expected to know the dance

that is waiting to be choreographed

.

the dance they know might end

in a river of blood

in a severing of oxygen

.

‘Shit, I just shot him!’

Taser / Gun

Gun / Taser

it’s not like mixing up salt and pepper

.

there is no ‘silly me!’

no ‘oops, my bad!’

no chance to start the conversation over

.

there is no life left

in the one who fled the rising danger

unarmed, unheard, unprotected

.

what happened to talking it out?

why this quick lunge for hate?

.

there are answers standing right here

in front of us

about history

about slavery

about racism engraved across generations

.

we are all witness to this never-ending horror

we are all listeners to this gut-wrenching narrative

why does it feel like we’re walking underwater

where no one can clearly see or hear?

.

I want to spill my blood in apology

I want to shed my white entitled skin

I want to stand between you and the gun

.

I raise my hands and cry out loud

‘WHY REACH FOR HATE WHEN WE CAN REACH FOR LOVE ?’

by Carys Owen

Carry It

.

Like a snail

I carry it with me

wherever I go

.

this home is a place

inside of me

not a table and chairs

not a carpet or teapot

or a settee

.

it is the peace

at the heart

of me

.

it is the laughter

that illuminates

each room

.

it is the love

of a lifetime

written on my bones

by Carys Owen

Forget

.

Forget the dark clouds

they are not worth it

you are sunshine

and starlight

the secret ingredient

that makes the taste right

.

you are the final note

in a perfect song

the laugh

that travels airwaves

and the shine

on a drop of rain

.

you are the surprise

of blue sky

after days of grey

and the snowdrop who appears

one January morning

fully formed

.

you are the breath of fresh air

that everyone needs

in these dark, foetid times

you are all and nothing

the sweetest soul

the wisest word

by Carys Owen