‘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.

Thought Of

Today it snowed

layer upon layer

hour upon hour

so I stayed home

let the flakes

do their thing

dancing on air

as they are wont to do

.

I sank into

the luxury

of slow

wrapped in the

silence only

snow brings

.

My day passed

like a good dream

soft edges

and feelings of ease

.

As afternoon waned

the phone chirped

to tell me

that my neighbours

were heading to town

in their SUV

and did I need anything?

It’s the kind of offer

I’d make to them

a circular kindness

we care to share

.

The glow of this

spontaneous gift

lasted into the evening

a final piece to

complete my day

.

Happy on my own

and even happier

to be thought of

.

By Carys Owen

Bear Tracks

.

Bear tracks

fresh and clear

like cookie crumbs

on the forest floor

we know he is there

so we call to him

let him know we are here

sharing his evening air

.

We never see him

but we sense his ambling gait

we never smell him

but conjure up the muskiness

we never hear him

but his snorts skirt our thoughts

.

We fall into calmness

imagining his quest

for secrecy and berries

among the trees and ferns

wearing the evening

like a cloak

.

By Carys Owen

.

Footnote– I read this poem at a poetry

evening on Monday then on

Tuesday morning I saw a bear cross

the road just ahead of me- the

only one I’ve seen this year.

Did he/she hear me?

Frog

Frog came visiting

croaked her wisdom

reminders of

beauty and freedom

.

sang a song

of becoming

taking on a new form

perfect and delicate

.

told a tale

green and gold

of rainy days

and hidden pools

of sunshine

warming tired skin

.

of knowing

how to begin again

.

Frog came visiting

.

By Carys Owen

.

Whatever

.

Whatever we do

let’s do something

let’s not be the ones

who do nothing

though things may

be wrapped in darkness

and sheep’s clothing

let’s keep looking

let’s keep finding

feeling with our hands

listening for the hidden

revealing the mystery

moving intuitively

and doing whatever something

comes to mind, body, heart

perhaps a movement

maybe a sound

possibly a work of art

refusing to let

darkness win the day

refusing to lay down

and do nothing

.

Let’s put them all together

our offerings of something

and hold them as

a shield and a banner

to overcome

whatever lies ahead

.

By Carys Owen

Scenario (i) & (ii)

At first, I thought it was like this:

But soon I realised it’s more like this:

In solidarity with the people of Ukraine. And keeping the people of Yemen, Syria and all other war torn nations front of mind. Carys Owen

Where is the Love

.

Today all I hear is

‘If you’re not with us

you’re against us’

but where is the love?

where is the humanity?

the kindness

the Human-kindness?

that ties

and unites us

with the momentum

to move us beyond

disagreements and

difference

.

Having thus far survived

the great pandemic

of our times

why are we so bent

on being right

that we won’t listen

to each other

hear each other

and enact our

mighty

Super Power

of Love?

.

By Carys Owen

‘Heart Song’ (Block Print) by Carys Owen

Tree Dance

.

Hey Tree

will you dance

with me ?

reveal your story

of how you grew

in this round about

mysterious way

made of folds

and pleats

wrapped like

ribbons of time

around thin air

holding great energy

in stillness

.

.

Hey Tree

it’s easy to believe

you once danced

on these cliffs

mirroring waves

~ ripples and curves

taking the shape

of a body

and mind ~

grain-like muscles

and outstretched limbs

moving gracefully

through space

and time

.

.

Hey Tree

will you dance with me?

sing your name

above the surf

a reminder that

this is enough

this moment

this aeon

as the ocean booms

I trace your bark

full of years

etched with stories

and we spin

into the blue

.

.

Hey Tree

how does it feel

to be anchored in place

witnessing tides

listening to whales

blown by the wind

as you grow

careful and slow

sequestering carbon

harbouring energy?

.

~ are you saving it

for a rainy day

for one final

emphatic display?

or a time when it feels safe

to be yourself again?

move with the rhythms

of the Earth again

let loose your roots

cast your spell

with a shake of leaves

and choreograph

your own

harmonious dance

of life

.

By Carys Owen

.

Tree- Ucluelet BC (Photos by Carys Owen)

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