THE MAN WHO ATE THE WORLD
After Fred Voss
If the street played a violin it would sound like secrets from damned men and throb like bones of sparrows sighting the axe. It would deafen like the howling pack who grieve for earths pale Mother bloodied in the days last throes. If our roads were flesh they would be lifelines of migrants hands painting asphalt Picassos from meadow to sky scraping abbatoirs of lions and lambs. If our sky was for sale the stars would be sued by Murdoch for breach of copyright, if the sea was a woman there would be no islands and her bed would be made by all who slept there who once were conquistadors looking for new worlds. If the whale could speak through a million lamps it’s voice would be shaking through the light asking why to man. If the soil was a soldier it would lay down it’s bones in the shape of letters in words that make no sense. If the trees were a man he would gasp on a ventilator till his veins became twigs, if the gods were born again a dipped quill would kill them, a shorn dove would fall in a fat man’s throat who just ate the world.
Antony Owen’s work generally addresses national identity and the consequences of conflict in 21st century Britain. His latest collection The year I loved England (Pighog, 2014) is a collaboration of urban poems with Irish poet Joseph Horgan which was a recommended read by The Poetry Society (UK).