a poetry e-zine










Poems By James Owens


The boy waited out
the afternoon, sifting
palmfuls of sun-glint
road dust on the heads

of soldiers—disaster,
a caving dune
on their desert expedition
beneath the sun—

and waited for his father,
home, still black
from the mine, not
too tired then to chase a boy

laughing to a fall
on the grass, scuffing
cheeks with his coal
grit and daylong sweat—

his muscular breath
before going in
to lather thick as fat
in the basement shower.

The boy watched
this ritual. The father
sluicing work
from back and heavy arms—

who shuddered later
to pull the hardened air,
who lies stilled here
and pale, is no one now.

(Previously published in Bluestone Review)



James Owens lives in New Carlisle, Ind., and teaches writing at Purdue North Central University. Two books of his poems have been published: An Hour is the Doorway (Black Lawrence Press) and Frost Lights a Thin Flame (Mayapple Press). His poems, reviews, and translations have appeared widely in literary journals. He walks in the dunes along the southern shore of Lake Michigan and watches the waves and the gulls.

Copyright 2011  Chantarelle's Notebook