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.
THE STOLEN GIRL
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.
Antony 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.