a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
red-black in the ginger warmth of stoep-gloam,
and a deep-snoring boerboel behind me:
not rain but dry leaves molesting burnt air.
A threat of thunder, but no more. Silence.
This is what it feels like having nothing
to say, so instead I peel shrivelled skin
from a toe and watch it bleed. God help me,
reduced to so much less than a true wound!
Yet today a murderer has burst in
to a synagogue, slaughtered blameless ones
celebrating the birth of a new child
(and the president jokes about his hair),
five people die in a helicopter crash
outside a football ground, a famous chap
years younger and much fitter than I am
suffers a heart attack, they still don’t know
who butchered a man in a consulate
when he tried to collect marriage papers,
his fiancée waiting for him outside,
while some god, some psycho, some Jehovah,
some divine prick, grins.
Storm clouds groan, great Thor. Breathe slow.
Originally from Liverpool, England, Harry Owen moved to South Africa’s Eastern Cape in 2008. Outspoken in his commitment to the natural world and to social equity, as well as a passionate advocate of poetry, he is the author of seven collections, the latest being The Cull: new and resurrected poems (Poets Printery, East London, South Africa, 2017). He has edited three anthologies with the same publisher – I Write Who I Am: an anthology of Upstart poetry (2011); For Rhino in a Shrinking World: an international anthology (2013); and (forthcoming in 2019) Coming Home: poetry of the Grahamstown diaspora. Harry hosts the popular monthly open floor event called Reddits Poetry in Grahamstown, where he lives, and writes a poetry column called Poetic Licence for Grocott’s Mail, South Africa’s oldest independent weekly newspaper.