Two Poems by Bruce Owens

February 11, 2020





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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