June 20, 2013

Featured Poet - James Owens

Would you like to be a featured poet?  Then send me 3 of your best poems and if I like ALL of them, you'll be chosen.

Featured Poet - James Owens/June 2013


Driving yesterday past an ordinary field of soybeans,
their leaves had aged to the yellow gleam of lemons

in the sunlight -- like the waxy sides of lemons, clean,
sharp glints under the afternoon sunlight--

wide swathes ruffling in wind to the horizon 
and somehow recalling, in the fraying of color

toward sky, the purple lavender fields 
of Provence where we will walk one day.

Crows shifted nervously from the road
to the field’s edge as the car passed, honing

their small, stubborn gift for elegy on the high fence wires 
and glancing toward winter, a far mirror

to be scratched by sleet and emaciated vines.
Now, as long shadows bleed from the roots of trees,

stop and think of Provence again, slowly.


Outside with bare feet.

The stones cold, but dry,
yellow leaves flying the just-light.

Already a woodpecker searches the big stump.

Beside a stone, one dandelion, downy and intact.
How is this,
after wind has stripped so many branches?

Crows somewhere. 
I want you to know the particulars, the now.

What else matters?
A falling leaf brushes my shoulder,

and I turn toward it,
as if you have breathed beside me

or taken my hand again on a distant street.

A bird I know but can't name, close, 
makes one sharp note over and again, at small intervals.


It is going to rain. Remember rain?
And the earth’s breath that goes
before the rain and touches

your face? Lightning wrenches
to flee the blinded thunder,

and the wind finds its gray, minor tone,
as if you were still leaving.

Robed in hushed sparrows, the maple
longs for a violence that will tear
loose a near-forgotten cry.

In those leaves that have already fallen,
a red rustling worries.

James Owens divides his time between central Indiana and northern Ontario. Two books of his poems have been published, and his poems, translations, and photographs have appeared widely in literary journals, including recent or upcoming work inPoetry Ireland Review, Flycatcher, The Cortland Review, and Honey Land Review.

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