‘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.

Whatever

.

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

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