Eulogy in Verse

February 24, 2013 § 2 Comments

Twenty years of age
and isn’t it an outrage?
A life cut short by celestial caprice

I never knew his name
until today
and isn’t it a shame
it took a crash
to spread his fame?

Amid the shattered glass and crumpled rims
I see a vision of him
Smiling, I can see the family traits

He might be buried
day after tomorrow
and isn’t it a shame
the best I can manage
is a cold and distant sorrow?

We never met
and it’s an outrage:
He was only twenty years of age.
I’m twenty-five
and still alive
Somehow it seems unfair

Two decades ago
he rested in the womb
of his mother
Now he’ll rest in another:
the tomb
where she will lay him.
Isn’t it too soon?


A Journey

February 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

You twist your fist at Future ‘cause it’s sketch
and cringe because the Present makes you wretch
nostalgic Past still somehow brings a smile
whose ends are anchored down with somber moods.
A little time, just need a little while –
still picking at insipid, vapid foods
piled high upon an ornate plate of Fate
and wondering how you’ve gotten to this state

“Remember, Life is something you must face
each day, without exception,” I’ve been told.
“Reality will put you in your place,
before you know it, you’ll have become old,
your youth reduced to ashes, son, I say.
You haven’t Time to mess around and play.”

Yet if Reality is nothing but
a fox so gallant from afar that struts
Though when it near approaches you descry
its rotting, oozing, cataracted eye
its macerated thigh and limping knee
Its bearing, which appeared so fast and free
reveals itself as merely cowardly
as protean, venal, changeable and dumb
and to your plaintive pleas completely numb.
You shoo at it; it makes as if to flee
but grunts with haughtiness before it go
and pauses, paws and claws, for all to know
You’re left now to the Powers that be (so pray!) –
But powers within or without.. who can say?

The fox being thus dispensed with, you foray
on further down the path, jaws clenched, brow tight
to meet th’illustrious fellow of whom I write:
Free Will, some call him, others Liberté
Still others know him by the name Ziyou
(All that’s beside the point: names count for naught –
What really matters is Love’s ebb and flow)

When you approach his shabby house you’ve sought
for hours, thinking it’d be large and grand
You find that you’d mistaken him immensely
and yearn to speak a word with him intensely
To ask about the meaning of the sand
that bolts, that jolts, that slips out of your hands,
and start to stop all human hist’ry spans

Today Free Will’s not interested in talking
He’d rather spend his time at the sky gawking
And every now and then pointing his finger
At eagles, hawks and falcons as they linger
Upon the firmament, arms all aspread
They glide and slide way up above our head

“Reality check, O monsieur Liberté!
I can’t just wait around here all the day.
I’ve got some pressing matters to tend to
and I can see you’ll do just as you please.”
So, seeing him thus resolved, he promptly leaves,
and off he goes to trample more fescue.
Yet as he walks away he notes a cry:
“You can do as you like, the same as I!”

When pondering those last words of Mr. Free
An interloper lopes in suddenly
Not tipping hat, not saying grace – in short,
devoid of all the manners we hold dear –
In spite of that, you notice something queer:
You’re not put off by sa négligence forte
but rather pleased by frankness, un coeur frais
par l’esprit vif et par ses mots si vrais

You eat, and he forgets to bare his head
Not out of disrespect or malice either.
“Your dear old grandma, what would she have said?”
“Why, nothing! Granny ne’er doffed her cap neither.”
He left and never stopped to say his name
but you knew it was Truthful all the same.

It’s time to go back home, though home’s no more
the refuge it once was way back before
you’d taken that strange journey circular
the episodes of which are now a blur
The hours or the months that you had spent
have now become an enigmatic fable
whose truths you’ll put to use if you are able
and veer away Ambition’s leery glint

For even writing poems that no one reads
has its own merit, satisfies some needs
So falter not when Life beseems fierce vandals
who’ll cast you down then run off with your money
Do like apostles: take off your worn sandals
Dust off your feet and laugh, ‘cause Life is funny.

A Pretty Poem

February 13, 2013 § 2 Comments

A pretty poem for thee I write
For I be not with thee tonight –
Whence cannot feel thy tender touch
Nor thy hand dainty within mine clutch

What poetry could clearly spell
The feelings of this ne’er-do-well
The tremblings which in him shake
And rumblings which in him quake?

Is fate a looming juggernaut
and which, once broken, must be bought –
Or doth she beckon gingerly:
“Come nigh; I have a plan for thee”?

Ought love, incessant, skip and dance
Or might it make a sidelong glance
At Life, and say with a small sigh
“I’m tired,” and then would Life reply?

The heart wandereth damnably,
Damnably and it cannot see
Down into its gloomiest pit –
For all one tries, one won’t forget

Thy cloak of finest caramel
Thine ornaments of ruby forged
Withal, truly one cannot tell
Love anemic from blood-engorged

Little Sparrow

January 27, 2013 § 2 Comments

Little sparrow! your song resounds deep in my heart;
You: a fine creature – singular and fair.
For though time be long and oceans do us part,
Still hear I your sweet strains a-fluttering in air.

Head cocked and wonder, your countenance draws me in;
Rifts me asunder – what pleasure and chagrin!
What I wouldn’t give once more those gleaming eyes to see;
One day I’ll fly back to you.. or else you first to me.

Being out of earshot won’t alleviate,
Mollify, pacify, nor even palliate.
Hardest, though, to bear is your silence eloquent:
A thorny bloom of love, wrapped in angel’s robes me sent.

It was your first gaze, surely, that then my downfall spelled;
Your song which has me nonstop as your abject captive held.
Were those last sad chirps from you, which made me stutter and gawk,
telling me that I’m no sparrow, but a brazen, rapacious hawk?

A Good Poem

December 23, 2012 § 4 Comments


A good poem’s like an old and tattered shirt
It’s seen its fair share of wear and smeared with dirt
Through zenith, nadir, neutral, good and bad
It’s ignorant of trend and cool and fad
Each day it fits more snugly on your skin
Like a cocoon you wrap yourself within

Old tattered shirt, poem, poetry, sonnet

Familiar, like the voice of your beloved
As tender as the touch of your beloved
It will not castigate you nor chastise
Berate or reprimand or moralize
For great poems are instructive but not pushy
Replete with real emotion but not mushy
A good poem stays good like dead pharaohs’ honey
and ain’t the sort of thing you buy with money.


poem, poetry, sonnet, handwritten, original

Handwritten original

© 12/20/2012, Joshua Owens

North Korea

December 20, 2012 § 5 Comments

Don’t hate me for proceeding from the North –
Korea, where the lies are driven forth
onto us from the very day of birth
then hammered, bludgeoned, wheedled till we’re dead
The propaganda floats inside our head
But we all know exactly what it’s worth
Don’t hate before you stop to scrutinize
Hypocrisy that spills out of your eyes
You say our power lies in hands of few
Whereas democracy is tried and true
Then, if I asked, what would be your reply:
What need is there Wall Street to occupy?
At least I’m not believing the mirage
That we’ll soon vanquish wolves in camouflage

poem, poetry, handwritten, original, north korea, fame

Handwritten original

© 08/2012, Joshua Owens


December 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

If I make a name for myself then where
Are granite benefits for plastic weal?
Will fame take grey out, put brown in my hair?
A tangerine, once eaten, leaves but peel.
Why strive, why bleed, for favor that will fade
Amassing gold in others’ hands to fall?
Why keep pretending in this masquerade
That That won’t come for me as it does all?
For those whose names do leave a tiny mark
It’s written onto brain, not onto heart
Or else engraved on stones heaped vertical
And then it’s worn away, no trace, no soul
I’d rather my name melt into the sea
To hold eternally my secret: me.

poem, poetry, handwritten, original, north korea, fame

Handwritten original

© 08/2012, Joshua Owens

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