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Two Poems by Bruce Owens

Updated: Nov 30, 2020

stormy sea, image by Dimitris Vetsikas, on Pixabay

(stormy sea, image by Dimitris Vetsikas, on Pixabay)


I am at home here

among the soft blue waves

and I will linger here awhile

with the gulls and white herons,

even among storms, I will linger

and then I will be found

In the beauty that created us,

at home in that thankfulness

In a house built

by a throne

of stars ...

​© 2019 by Bruce Owens


West Cliff

On the sheer cliff,

tucked under the wind,

preening cormorants,

their heads tucked under the wing

covering the wild eye from assaulting spray

and cold salt tinge.

Beyond the vast horizontal west,

petrels on the winter edge of a storm

make for sandbars and sanctuary amongst

the reeds of turbid estuaries.

These seabirds scurry in the face of the torrential downpour,

the turbulence that churns the oceanic surface

already gone black with the night.

Epiphanies of light

splinter the dark wet. Somewhere out there

nature flashes white teeth. Out there

on the surface of the deep, beyond

the continental shelf, the Spirit,

the nisus flex that binds the sky with ocean;

cloud colored water; steel-grey and black.

Inexorable purpose unfolding within the source of things.

The hidden One. Not the nerved rote of seabirds

caught on the shrill cry of their own plexus. No,

the hidden One in all

His acuity rides the storm in a chariot of fire;

the wet scintilla of quarks.

I look out on the water that retains light of the set sun.

Lavender pools in the white foam of a broken wave,

a cormorant bobs on the roll of high tide,

slips under an incoming wave that shudders into the cliff.

A line of dark cypress at the edge of the cliff;

an old windbreak of a former time,

and behind my shoulders, across a short span of street,

the Victorian is now a house for priests.

The chug of a motor scooter. Rap music

blares from open windows of passing cars;

downshift of gears and pride,

the bare stride of the jogger

panting on the air. Lovers

arm and arm take in a stroll,

nuzzling for warmth,

take no notice of the cormorants

a few feet away

tucked under the lip of the cliff

nestled in their own warmth.

The jogger pumps the brain with blood,

the helmeted bicyclist leans into the curve

and glides like a gull on the wind.

Tacit couples linger near the sounds of evening

and are content.

Little do they know

that this lapse novas

and affluence dims the tide;

that pragmatic presumption invites tyrants.

A piece of sandstone dislodges in the face of the cliff

and crumbles as it falls to the churning water below.

© 2017 by Bruce Owens

(Bruce’s poem “West Cliff” appeared in his book Across the Light: New

and Selected Poems, published by Middle Creek Publishing and Audio.)

Bruce Owens has been writing poetry for 50 years. He has been a guest lecturer at various colleges in California, lecturing on the nature of the creative process,

and he has conducted poetry workshops, mainly with young adults, especially

those struggling with various addictions or having come from an abusive household,

poetry both as an instrument of discovery for self, and as an entry into the world

around us. His collections of poems include Eddies in the Rush (ISBN 0-971256-0-0)

and Across the Light: New & Selected Poems.

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