Saturday, 15 June 2013


You begin with a design:
the artist’s strokes
a kind of preening that elicits
frictive glosses from your close-up wings.
Whoever drew you also caged you,
this freehand desert-colour time-box
partly pinkish, like your eggshells.
Through a set of lilac lines,
and dawn, and dusk,
you look sideways.
Sweet, invasive and entirely silenced thing,
I’ve company to place beside you –
not yet.
Passerine bird,
in your passage from Persian to English
you’re no longer a nightingale, though you’ll warble
and curl your toes.
While you perch,
I’m minded to bring you a tree and a night
and a song to be yours: the memorable one
flung out by your namesake from a moonstruck twig
that time our deaths were forecast on the news
so we went for a walk, and rested in you

our everything lyrical forever.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Emperor by Nick Owen (second draft)

Just a sketch
Guidelines for street art
A welcome for the Spanish Governor

And the most compelling object in this old museum

These are the lines of battle                                 
Lines of sorrow
And defeat

No face has endured more

His eyes
Look back into his soul
Look outward in fear

His will to power holds him hanging by a thread

His lips
Set firm
Are yet resigned to what must come

The crown sits awkwardly
Tipping backward from his forehead
Ready to fall

He knows nothing of surrender to the Self

He holds high his sceptre
An almost empty threat
A sword without an edge

He will never know the peace of letting go

His body bent
Right foot inching forward
His head torn sideways

Death distracts him from left field
Armour and authority
Hold no sway with this assailant

The orb, the world
Held in his hand
Is eaten by shadows

His liver is all shadow
This wounded King knows
Nothing of the grail

His inner world
His outer world
A wasteland

Only fear
And an ego of steel
A habit of rulership

Fight off the darkness

He needs to feed on the world he mastered
Draw its mother milk to his embrace
No sustenance comes

Soon he will be food for worms

Despite his conquests in this world and time
He must return again to dust and slime

For in this portrait we can clearly see
He found no moment in eternity.

©Nick Owen 2013

Updated Readings for June gallery Readings

Gallery readings for June 15th
12.30-13.45      14.30-15.45

Poet                  Name of poem              Object                         Gallery

Gabby Tyrell            Netsuke (Manju)                    Netsuke                                      ?

Nick Owen                Emperor                          Emperor (Rubens  sketch)         Dutch gallery

Jennifer A McGowan    Morning at the Maru-Aten Temple  pavement painting          Egyptian Gallery

Andrew Smardon       Aestel                             the Alfred Jewell            Room 41 England 400 - 1600

Giles Watson            Morrigan         Bronze Raven's Head- Shaped Spout,                                                                                
                                                                                  First Century B.C. Hod Hill, Dorset.  Gallery 17                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                        (European Prehistory)

Olivia Byard       In true Colours.    The forest fire by Piero di Cosimo     Renaissance gallery.

Diana Moore    PAN AND HIS PIPES          PAN LISTENING TO ECHO                        WESTERN ART, GALLERY 43

Vahni Capildeo      The Last Night, A Nightingale    Red-vented Bulbul.     Gallery 33, Mughal India.

Paulette Mae       no title yet               The Cast Gallery... the casts in general  around the 'Old Fisherman'.

In True Colours (‘The Forest Fire’ by Piero di Cosimo) by Olivia Byard

I have always known such creatures
prowled in the forest; felt their flint eyes
watching; sensed them stir behind
thick boughs. Now here is proof.

Spilled out by fire into the fading day
they scatter in search of other lairs.
The cannier, with human face, look
almost shamed to be exposed like this;

yet lions and lumbering bears
race out unthinking beside a bellowing
domestic cow. In such a scurry
nightmares dissipate

to their fragmented parts. Yet
when, the fire tamed, plants begin
to reclaim those scorched-out tracks,
these creatures sneak back in,

conceal themselves in undergrowth
nest among burgeoning branches,
and wait, with silent intent,
for the dark dreams to quicken.

Olivia Byard

Published by The Flambard press