‘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.

Thin Skinned

.

They told me

don’t be thin skinned

you need to toughen up

not take things to heart

.

But how will the feelings

get out

or in?

.

How will I know

I’m alive

be myself

love completely

show compassion

empathize?

.

It sounds like the advice

of a frightened soul

or someone who’s been told

that emotions are enemies

to be contained

or shunned

to save the energy

of burden sharing

of gathering someone in

of maybe feeling things

~I mean really feeling things~

for the first time

.

They told me

don’t be thin skinned

you need to toughen up

not take things to heart

.

But how will the feelings

get out

or in?

.

By Carys Owen

Respair

.

Repair

Revive

Rewrite

Recover

.

Receive

Repeat

Remake

Rethink

.

Revolve

Reinvent

Reimagine

Rediscover

.

Reunite

Rekindle

Relax

Reclaim

.

Reconfirm

Recreate

Revisit

Reconsider

.

Remember

Reset

Reconnect

Restore

.

Regain

Refresh

Reinforce

Replay

.

Rebuild

Revitalize

Resolve

Respair

.

REPEAT

.

By Carys Owen

.

Respair is fresh hope; a recovery from despair

(from an article by Susie Dent)

Don’t Buy

.

Don’t buy the sparkle

the fake snow

the glitter globe

.

Don’t buy the shiny new

the latest phone

the ‘must have thing’

.

Don’t buy the hype

the ramped up hopes

the excess of desire

.

Don’t buy

the un-buyable

the love, the friendship

the laughter, the joy

.

Give it all away

freely and wildly

and feel it return

in soft unspoken ways

in surprising, unplanned acts

in ordinary kindness

on more than just one day

.

By Carys Owen

Pleat

.

Fold back time

like a pleat

in a blanket

shifting sunlight

to morning

and hauling evening

ever closer

.

Living the same hour over

a luxury to savour

a bonus hour to play with

or sleep seamlessly through

.

Time to think of hibernation

slow things down

turn up the heat

read a book

bake some bread

learn to knit

walk the dog

.

Fold back time

like a pleat

in a blanket

to a simpler way

of being satisfied

unconcerned with trappings

or looks

.

Waking with the sun

embracing the day

.

By Carys Owen

Naming

.

Hey Trees

I don’t know your names

I’ve been walking here for years

enjoying your shade

breathing in your exhalations

feeling the contours of your bark

loving the green

loving the green

but I don’t know your names

.

Hey trees

I used to know your names

but somewhere on the path

I let them go in favour of

drinking in your beauty

feasting on your exquisite forms

breathing in your exhalations

loving the green

loving the green

I used to know your names

.

Hey trees

I brought a friend with me today

we tried to recall your names

and think you might be hemlock

and you are definitely cedar

we quibbled over Oregon grape

and salal which I always confuse

we breathed in your exhalations

we loved the green

we loved the green

we tried to recall your names

.

Hey trees

will you teach me your names?

in the rustle of your leaves

the whisper of sap rising

the wind in your branches

the brush of needles as I pass

the runes engraved in bark

the kiss of your exhalations

the lovely green

the lovely green

will you teach me your names?

.

by Carys Owen

Scoop

.

Scoop up the happiness

from each special moment

gather it gently

pull it in close

let it wash through you

brightening the greyness

.

Take in the medicine

knowing you are worthy

this is the sunshine

you have been waiting for

this is the love you can

reach for on lonely days

this is the place you create

for your tender heart

.

Scoop up the happiness

let it run through your fingers

feel the weight

and the lightness

watch it come

watch it go

.

Store the warmth

in the safe house

of your bones

.

By Carys Owen

Faster Every Day

.

The tide crashes

in and out

throwing up spray

pulling my breath

with every wave

slowing my pulse

soothing my nerves

.

The wind plays

in my hair

lifts the feathers

on nearby crows

tousles and buffets us

promises coolness

and clear skies

.

The night draws in

faster every day

shaving slivers

off the sun

trading bright light

for a soft blanket

speckled with

stellar fragments

and messages from

other worlds

.

By Carys Owen

Lullaby

.

My broken heart

longs for a lullaby

because how much

can one person cry

for the monumental mess

humankind has created ?

.

My heart hurts for

the children stolen from

their loving families

.

My heart hurts for

the villages burnt to the ground

in apocalyptic flames

.

My heart hurts for

the whales and fish

broiled in an oceanic fireball

.

How stupid is this?

How selfish is this?

How avoidable is this?

How shit is this?

.

My broken heart

longs for a lullaby

because how much

can one person cry?

.

By Carys Owen

Do I Matter?

.

I see you and you see me

on days when we are blue

on days when we are glad

on days when we just don’t know

on days when we wonder

do I matter?

.

in the mirror of our friendship

we reflect love for each other

we see the smiles we are lacking

.

in the messages of caring

we echo the wisdom and kindness

we have learned from each other

.

in the phone calls we share

we speak each other’s names

we say ‘You matter greatly’

.

in our own separate worlds

we remember these words

and know our worth

.

By Carys Owen

So Tiny!

.

So tiny!

He looks brand new

just born

we slow right down

turn off the engine

and wait for his mum

to decide which way

to lead

the tiny fawn

~ landed on

an alien planet ~

testing his legs

for the first time

all irregular angles

and bewilderment

.

We will let them choose

one lush verge

or the other,

tall with spring rain

filled out with flowers,

Mom can’t decide

perhaps it’s her first time too

.

We marvel at

the fragile newness

the perfect miniature

as a massive truck

crawls to a halt

and waits in reverence

while mom and baby

select their exit point

.

The pick-up passes by

with tender slowness

and we continue quietly

on our way

amazed at the care

of the drivers on

these winding roads

who stop with love

for deer and bear

.

Who never tire

of the wonder

.

by Carys Owen

(a true story)