Rita Hayworth and other poems by Antony Owen



In Blackpool they kissed like Parisians

orbiting beef paste sarnies and planets of mirror balls.

That night she buried her lips on bog roll for him

and they made love by making do with simple words like

“You moved like Rita Hayworth tonight pet”


In Paris they kissed like Brummies when they trounced Villa

she ordered Escargot for it sounded dead posh,

and they spoke in French accents till the snails came

but refused to eat that bloody muck blaming the French

for ruining their night and threw in Dunkirk.


In Birmingham he danced her to Buenos Aires through

scratched tango’s and quicksteps of her failing heart.

Later on in a grey frock of ash she danced in the four winds

and she moved like Rita Hayworth, everywhere.








I was born by the summit of bone and black fly

a yellow bloom in the vase of broken waters.


I was made in the shadows from queuing Fathers

who planted seeds with knives to trembling throats.


I have climbed the hill of an elder’s breast

where both of us drank our eyes white milk.


I have left my lifeline in the cracked skull of Africa

watched heads return as pails, eyes return as wells.


I have heard the lullaby of a hundred mosquitoes

and died on the breath of Sister O’Flanagan.








This black headline

this white journalist

this white anchor

this white noise

this black shadow

this black blood.

This sponsored history

this advertisement break

this can’t say this

this can’t say that

this threat to pull deals.

This white page

this black ink

this frightened mouth

this trouble maker

this broken scale.

This imperfect poem

this imperfect man

this black and white poet

this last line unread.







Anthony Owen imageAntony Owen is from Coventry and credited with three poetry collections since 2009 by Pighog Press and Heaventree Press. His poems have featured in several respected domestic and international literary magazines and he has work forthcoming in several anthologies including Poetry International Europe. Owen’s work has also been exhibited at The Hiroshima Peace Museum. Owen is a past poetry competition finalist for both The Wilfred Owen Story (UK) and The Shine Journal (USA). His latest collection The year I loved England (Pighog) was collaboration of poems with Joseph Horgan published in 2014 and was a recommended read for Summer 2014 by The Poetry Society.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.