Harry Owen


Someone has measured a length of duct tape
along a perfect straight edge, marking out
limits to the day beyond which no one
may lapse, a skirting between sea and sky.

Swathes of gannets, gleaming silver darts in
lowered light, plunge like impulsive brainwaves
into the ocean’s mind, pluck these beaming
Attenboroughs swift and clean from the deep.

So lucky to be here to witness this –
double luck that quite unexpectedly,
wholly unannounced, a rainbow dances
above the surf. People can’t deal with this,

can they? Or with me. This nobody, me,
this rank invisibility. And now,
just like each moment, nothingatall stands
up and calls, ‘Here we are – look around you!’

Originally from Liverpool and the inaugural Poet Laureate for Cheshire in 2003, Harry Owen emigrated to South Africa from England in 2008. He has published six poetry collections, the latest of which is Small Stones for Bromley (Lapwing Publications, 2014).

He has also edited I Write Who I Am: an anthology of Upstart poetry, featuring the work of nineteen young poets from disadvantaged township schools in the Eastern Cape; and the international anthology For Rhino in a Shrinking World, in support of efforts to save this iconic animal from extinction. (http://rhinoanthology.wordpress.com).

His work is widely published in journals and anthologies throughout the world, including Magma, Orbis, The Kalahari Review, The Bastille, Stanzas, New Coin, Plume, MadHat Lit, Poems for Jeremy Corbyn and many others.

Harry Owen lives in Grahamstown, South Africa.