Thursday, 18 August 2016

Coming soon... Harry Owen


Harry is a born and raised Englishman, who took the plunge and moved to the Eastern Cape in 2008. It is a move he has absolutely no regrets about. He is a widely respected and experienced performer, teacher and workshop facilitator. He host a monthly Open Mic session in Grahamstown called Reddits Poetry. He writes with” honesty, directness and humour about the world. His poetry has been described as “ ..poetry at its finest: luscious, almost tangible imagery, sharpened into perfect form” A handful of small stones for Bromley




I.

The milkwood moults,
melts its crisp brown leaves
into a terracotta husk.

From the thatch eves,
a thousand pearls of rain
string themselves
past the kitchen window.

This evening a huge armoured beetle,
spiky and black,
parks himself like a jeep
on the wall next to my bedside lamp.
I prise him, reluctant, into a glass
and repatriate him gently
to the African night.

Sunrise
and a silver-grey plastic bucket stands,
inverted like a helmet, on the wooden deck,
a Star Wars alien stranded
within the tropical greenery
of a real and natural world.

Surges of swarming ants clot the morning air.
From a high branch and crimson-faced with effort,
a barbet brays his rude challenge to the world.

Bromley is our smiling Ridgeback with a rubber face:
his mouth, when he sees you, draws back
into a broad, ingratiating grin,
his eyebrows sauntering about independently
like a couple of rambling caterpillars.

II.

Here, two branches of the big coral tree,
loosened by high winds while we were away,
hang like swords of Damocles over the rock garden.
Silent and camouflaged as leopards they lurk,
waiting for some unsuspecting prey
to pass beneath.

Equation:

a warm summer evening
four or five half-empty wine bottles
three people
an insistent scrizzling of invisible insects
one angular Ridgeback sprawled out on the stoep =

deepest contentment

Back briefly at Chintsa
and our evening geckoes line up
near the wall light
like the staff of Downton Abbey.

A genuflecting ocean,
shadows of palm fronds on the deck,
a rich sizzle of frying mushrooms

and one leggy hound,
no longer lost,
spread out on the carpet
in a jacuzzi of sunlight.

The ocean is rolling pewter,
the morning a hot cloud compress.

Down the road to the village
a skinny fig sapling begins
its possessive seduction of a coral tree

whose tears already drip
like rain onto the tar.



This is Harry’s second visit to McGregor Poetry- do not miss the chance to hear this wonderful man.