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‘Malvern Hills in June’ and other poems by Ethan Owens

By: Ethan Owens

Malvern Hills in June

This little cabin and your long nose make me feel at home
Among the crumbling beams, white but blue.

On this chair lies the greycoat, forgotten like the red before him,
Rolled and wrinkled by star-speckled plows, button thieves, grave diggers.

Is this civility, you ask?
Desecrating thoughts fall upon the field like white snowy bombs
As ants flee Lee with fear and terriers suck reddened banners clean.

Hands thrust from beneath bloody green carpets,
Wrapping their tendrils round passerby-ankles,
Dragging souls down to fiery heaven, sweetly delicious.

Mad, mad, mad they are.
Slice their skulls and take their thoughts.
Cleanse them in the Robert Lethe!

Thank you, Lynchburg.
Peace, peace; debt and peace.
The babies cry for peace, I tell you.

Their fathers gone,
The war un-won,
Until those waking devils come.



Don your winged shoes, beloved,
and carry me with you.
Fly west and take us to those heavenly gates, Gibraltar’s bosom.
Dare not delay. Though the view may entice,
Our eyes deceive and always the Earth flees those
Who wish to tame her.

The sky-gates shut at dawn,
the clouds close with a shattering clap,
the key locked and swallowed behind the doors.
The atmosphere becomes glass
on which to tap, but never crack.
Our hearts become copper, they smell of metal now.
The cores become ends of our bodies,
There is nothing left to open.
As dawn breaks, so will our mettle.

We have no place below,
our place above uncertain.
Resigning our wills to indecision leaves
Zion’s pithos unopened.
The choice to know must always be made,
the apple always bitten.
Curiosity must become our means to heaven.
By destiny, not pride,
We fly ever closer to the rising sun.



Crumble, soil and rubble:
trickle down my back and
crack open the egg-heads below.
Yokes, they require; some substance, I think.
Those men do naught but squat on stumps.
Nothing pure will leak from their heads and
drip out their mouths, heavenly mucus,
life-giving soup. What’s the use, then?

I am a reluctant doctor.
Like Washington, I give my diagnosis.
Can it be swallowed or injected,
a gyrating dose of potential?
Can it be learned,
or is the zygote faulty?
Is the sperm lackluster?
Consider our program, then.
You may be weeded or cracked,
but is that not risked by any man who walks?

Look up at the sky,
for it is rising, not falling, and
we must meet our Maker
(though he flees the scene).
Is there no yoke,
no core in him?
No peak?

Strike him,
let whatever he contains gush forth
like a gargantuan Cadbury egg.
Let us stab our twenty-three.
Let us drink matter straight from the goblet
of the devil.

Wonka himself arrives
with a fistful of bath salts and
some sweets for your sons and
their friends and
their grandparents.
Distribute them!
I tell you with these yokes we float to God.


Tell Him Dear, For Your Sake

Today, not unlike any other, mind you,
I seek through creaking grounds some
respite from my headache.
And ache it does,
like a great gong signaling a Chinese feast,
reverberating with sounds of pounding feet.
They fall and shatter, these glass globes of crystallized thought.
The cogs are frozen over once again, and
when the wheels attempt to churn, they crack
like spinning plates of china.

Sister or mister,
God kiss whichever soul heals my head.

Prescribe me something, Doctor.
Help me to sleep, as you sleep.
Help me to die, as you die.
O Lord, what a thing am I that I may call myself I,
as if I could be anything other than an I in the great eye
of my stormy amalgamation of mind-shards?

What’s that?
Who’s there?
Is Papa knocking on my skull again?
O Papa, you know you can’t come out now.
Leave me be, go to sleep.

It is not the season for reason, fellow men. In fact, it is the crux of the issue at hand. Smash it to pieces, that boring ball of reason. Every man must each shatter it inside himself. A fork in the eye, a chip of the tooth; we possess no such primordial flaws. Follow me into the void. Leave yourself behind. Drift simply. Simply be.

O Storm, hold me.
Mountain, mold me.
Farmer, grow me.
Lover, loathe me.
Teacher, show me.
Father, know me,
for my head is most holy.


Shattered Memoirs of One Mr. Phineas Gage

A streak slips across the left wall of my room.
Scar of blue, slit my face in two and peel back the skin for
my bald innards twitch and quiver with thought.
A blackish beam reveals more than any candled moment with you.
Golden speckled flakes of dawn spatter my floor and
singe the bottoms of my feet.
A geometric motorbike rumbles in the street outside.
The houses lay in neat rows like trimmed bushes and
the air smells of asphalt and paint.

The sky brushes itself with spirals of pure green,
there is nothing jaded here.
Pick the strings, open the garage.
The sun burns smoothly down my right shoulder.
Though it may be light, a ghastly gray fog seals my eye.
Curl the wisps with hot metal, sear the sight in my mind.
Resurrect this steely body, this boxed soul.

Who will revive me?
Electric pulses revitalize frogs, am I so different?

Shock me, bake me.
This town is too orderly for this wiry heart.
Its red velvet cords lash out with
great bursts of rebellion only to be cast still in cold iron.
I must crack the casing, spread like wheat,
my core can sprout roots, you know.
Keep your petty change, your dimes and nickels.
I only require a mallet and sickle.

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