Jacob Rees-Mogg retires for the evening, by Antony Owen

I think of all the people who slouched on something green –
two lovers high and naked on Woodstock grass
awaiting Armageddon, Simon & Garfunkel
arguing out of sight about bass
screeching “fuuuuccckkk you” to each other
then singing Bridges over troubled water
in perfect harmony like  those two lovers
making mothers of ill-fated millennials.
If only their bodies never burned like hashtag Amazon
but alas, they were in love like James Dean and death
in love with love like film stars and the parts that played them.

I think of other people who slouched on something green –
Lee Harvey-Oswald on the grassy knoll or person X.
a little girl dropping her slush puppy on tarmac
exploding like a Presidents head onto Versace,
a bullet screaming like Onassis in blood-smoke.
I think of Cuban cigars bluing Havana cafes
two strangers dancing bossa-nova
dancing like Kennedy was never USofA
no holding on to each other in bossa-nova,
like Onassis to long dead ideal
Like Eagles to mice
Sioux back to eagle
It is too late but
fuck you man.

I think of Jacob Rees-Mogg slouched on an olive bench,
smug as the hierarchical vulture first to the meat
and what is the meat it is real people at foodbanks
trying to be people and they are, people still, just.
I think of sitting next to Mogg clamping his nipples,
the nation’s poor feeds from the lycan, he pales.
He pales into insignificance and the sun makes dust.
He sways into diamonds, yes he would love that.
He would love to be something of jewels, of riches.
I think of his nipples feeding the poor and watch.
I sit upright and record the moment, never slouching, not once.

Poet Laureate, by Antony Owen

I do not accept your bulldogs leash around my neck 
I am the son of a toolmaker and know this trade
take that sword and keep it from my shoulder
I am the head of state you want to cut off,
my tongue of wet fire is mine alone,
letters lathed from a world I read –
your unhappy endings of empire.
Take those jewels Elizabeth
put them in the eyes of a
colonial slave boy and
wait like the vulture
on Athena posters
hanging like poets
with poems that
burn like heretics
fireflies of light
poems you can
never, ever
my poor
Take your stolen sword and jewels from India’s heart,
tame a poet of skin not white to be anthems slave.
I am with Zephaniah and I have skin like nylon
It creases with daily pressures of life Ma’am
ages like Grenfell unseen and listen, hush
my tenements are my ancestors subdued that
lived in Stoke brick tombs war took away
and welsh-cold houses hugging a bay,
a bay where Longshanks came
burning a part of the cross
leaving stone emblems
on hills and heaths.
Oh, conquerors of
Kings and Queens
I am not your
laureate and
you are
not my

When you knife someone to death, by Antony Owen

There are only two blood types –
one a midwife wipes from you at birth
secondly the one a paramedic uses to stem the knife wound.

There are only two types of lives –
the one two people make through an act of love
and the one a pack takes through an act of hating everything.

When you knife someone to death
a gaping hole appears in the mouth of a victim’s Mother
she will want to save her child like the first time he or she fell over.

He, or she will not be getting up from this one and neither shall you.

There are several types of love –
the one given to the lucky and the one denied
if you decide to stab someone you are denying what is denied to you.

There is only one bad decision
the one where you plunge into blood and the abyss
the one where you send the victims family to a jail of incarcerating grief.

When you knife someone to death
a mother will pray to the shunning gods in desperation
her heart will sink into her gut and so my fiend will your mothers.

You and they will not be getting out of this one, it is a sentence of hell.

The Stabbing, by Antony Owen

“He was a difficult birth but his death, the nature of it kills me each day, over and over”

Over possessed houses where chairs lay in ghost sheets
a platoon of geese flew in a broken V
there is beauty in the Badlands,
there is an outline of John
stab-red and rain pink.

Over council-grey favelas a helicopter looks for three boys
they are found in the glue woods hiding in infra-reds.
There is an outline of John’s murderers
all of them are zombies and zombies
do not run they are dead and alive.

Back to John, last night he watched night make the reservoir grey –
a man made this he thought, but not the sun, not the bloody sky.

Killers in velvet – a lament for brexit, by Antony Owen

No Brit voted for Aylan to leave Syria
No Brit voted for Britain to leave Iraq
No Brit voted for Britain to leave Afghanistan
No Brit voted for Private Jones to not die in a shopwell

No Brit voted for Britian to leave Aden, Anguilla, Australia
Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Basutoland,Bechuanaland,
Bermuda, British East Africa, British Cameroons.

No Brit entered tarpaulin to see organs in bathtubs,
No Brit voted for the homosexual Nigerian hanging
No Brit voted for potatoes to exit Britain for Ireland
No Brit voted for the Private Smith to repair the war inside.

No Brit voted to turn the Atlas pink but rich conquistadors and
every ruling class Brit voted to rape the world with white monarchs,
No Brit voted for the culling and slaving and robbery of British Guiana
British Honduras,
British Somaliland
Cayman Islands
Cook Islands
Falkland Islands
Gold Coast
Grenada (Windward Islands)
Hong Kong
Maldive Islands
New Zealand
North Borneo
Papua New Guinea
Pitcairn Islands
St Helena, Ascension Isl. Tristan da Cunha
St Lucia
St Vincent
Sierra Leone
South Africa
South West Africa
Trucial Oman
Turks and Caicos Islands

Millions of Brits voted to leave Europe
Millions of Brits voted to stay in Europe
Millions of Europeans sail in my British Blood,
Normans, Vikings, Gauls, Barbarians, daughters of Boudicca.

Who will vote to stay human?

The Sea Keeper, by Antony Owen

The clocks tick like Fukushima sushi
inside our bodies swirl Isotope bracelets
they penetrate fish armour and yes, we shall fall with oceans.

I know a man who saw the flower of his bones at Christmas Isle
he saw gamma ray purples lash his bones
by Easter he vomited himself into a coma.

You cannot shock people these days in the skim-read tragedies
A genocide slithers off the liquid screen and
We slide into Kylie Jenner’s meltdown over followers.

I keep having this dream of Aylan Kurdi swimming
his arms are getting heavy and the sea is gentle
the slow roll of tide resembles a garland of lilies.

To ban a Niqab, by Antony Owen

In Wetherspoons, men talk to her breasts and ask them questions,
this woman has green thorny eyes like a flower exploding into bloom yet –
he talks to her breasts and asks them where they work and that they are gorgeous.

Let’s talk about her eyes some more and only the eyes and all the things she has seen.
A year ago, her Mother took her last breath in them and was held there in water.
let’s talk about how the moon over Mill Street and how it lit them up.

Outside the butchers, a man shouts terrorist to a woman with a name in a Niqab,
this woman has hazel eyes draped in night black like the moon in stanza two.
He asks her questions, face exploding rose red, a Brexit rose in bloom.

Let’s talk about her veil, focus on the blindfold that English gents from stanza three wear.
Last year her eyes were bruised black by an assailant with their whole body covered
they did not want to be seen committing an act against a Mothers eyes.

In Wetherspoons, women talk to women and let their guard down to feel seen
a man approaches and hides how he is nervous, becomes a lad to be liked
he doesn’t talk and she opens her mouth and like a doorway he enters.

Inside number eighty-six Mill Street a woman removes her Niqab
he has already been seen by the fruiterer and sewer
removing her niqab nothing has changed here.

Trump Baby, by Antony Owen

For Debasis Mukhopadhyay

to scale sky, I will happily give you my breaths
take them baby and rise over English hedgerows where migrants nest safely
think of them as walls separating the otherworld to false heavens, cast the angels out.

to scale palace, church, mosque, synagogue and the black honeycomb of Grenfell
think of these things as valuable as Lord Sugar tweets a joke you would love about Senegal.
Take all of these riches. our stars, the stripes of an airliner heading to Mexico, dusks blood anthem.

There is a Nicaraguan man invading someone’s space in Camden Fried Chicken but its all good,
He was offered a seat by a Canadian woman and they really hit it off I think they’ll make love,
She will grab the back of his head and they will kiss like interracial humans and she will be with child.

Let the wind be your weaning, the Palestinian boy yelling for peace your meaning
Let the senate of my lips on my lovers be a parliament of lovemaking like lennon and yoko
Fly Trump baby, fly into a pylon ring and let the iron man explode with your empty insides of boom.

Syrian Poems by Isabel Palmer and Antony Owen

I would like to submit two new, unpublished poems to I Am Not a Silent Poet. The first is my poem about the current crisis in Syria and the second is by Antony Owen, who says his poem was written in response to mine and is happy for me to submit them together. Antony and I are currently working together on a new, collaborative collection about the last hundred years of war.

Kakistocracies, by Isabel Palmer
Noun: Government by the worst people

 This is the house that Trump made,
its drains and gutters over-run, his words
rat-droppings in the night.

This is the child, legs folded under him
like a cat’s: thorns, forgotten
for a hundred years, in its paws.

These are the dogs of war,
off the leash, rolling over
Syria, licking their balls.

This is the girl, cow-eyed
and crumpled under the hose,
bubbles bursting from her mouth.

These are the airways all tattered
and torn, sooty spit dredged
for each breath gone missing.

This is the priest with his Bible,
all shaven and shorn. This,
the cock’s crow three times denied,

cruise missiles pecking
in the dust of cluster bombs,
chlorine and white phosphorous.

This is Big Ben, the scaffold built,
his hands cut off, his tongue removed,
his prison for MPs empty, under lock and key.


A Syrian slam poet dies with her mouth open, by Antony Owen

A Syrian slam poet dies with her mouth open
words leave her mouth white as blood-foot ballerinas
like the Moscow symphony at Scene IV when Giselle slips away.

Just weeks ago, a Syrian slam poet screamed her poems under her breath
She knows how Kalashnikovs sound like her Father banging her door,
When once upon a time she French-kissed a forbidden boy.

A Syrian poet lived with her mouth open often,
The first time she read Rumi and he read her back as a bridge
The first time she touched herself into a woman to let the girl go

Just seconds ago she performed her poem to the tomahawk sky,
These are not real tomahawks for they would scalp the top of the world
Remove the brain and see that its swirls are the very fingerprints of God herself.

She screamed to the sky I am woman, a goddess of the shooting star
The trebuchet light that swirls into sycamore to be one with earth
To be (poem burns from left to right then blows into the sky).


Isabel Palmer is co-editor of Flarestack Poets. Her debut pamphlet Ground Signs was a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice and her first full collection, Atmospherics, with a Foreword by Andrew Motion, was published by Bloodaxe Books in Home Front. Both collections were written in response to her son’s experience of detecting IEDs in Afghanistan. In March 2018, she was the overall winner of the National Army Poetry competition, with a second poem runner-up in another category.
Antony Owen is from Coventry, England and is the author of five collections of poetry. His latest poetry collection,The Nagasaki Elder was shortlisted for the 2017 Ted Hughes Award for new work in poetry. His poetry has been translated in several languages and in March 2018 was announced a category winner of the British Army Poetry competition for Armistice.

Donald Trump Makes Jesus Wait, by Antony Owen

In twenty-twenty came a vision –
a rainbow breached the Trump wall
rain engulfed into bridges of green and indigo
a million people scaled that bridge cleansing them when it came crashing down.

Meanwhile Donald Trump turns ultra violet cross-eagled in speedos
an aide says “Jesus from Fake News is waiting for you Mr Trump”
Donald makes him wait and Skypes the Godly bridge over his wall
he talks down to Jesus with a slum tongue by the Founding Fathers.

Jesus came to America in a coughing Buick with Mexican dreams,
he used to drift back home watching his clothes at the laundromat
nothing smells of El Tapatio except for the soil in his fingernails .
He talks to Mrs Xian of home and how one will find them.

Back to the rainbow, it faded in minutes.
It faded like the stars and eagle on the white house carpet,
it faded like the eyes of Jesus when he left a perma-tanned Judas,
it came apart like the eyes of Mrs Xian deported by an American with a gaelic name.

The painting over of Guildhall by Antony Owen

Council officers have claimed whitening the panels between the vaulting ribs in the undercroft ceiling would have been part of the original medieval building, to maximise the restricted natural light.

Coventry Observer


In battle,
Boudicca painted her ribs
her eyes orange by burning garrisons.

In defeat,
Queen of Scots died a rose
wearing all red she painted the cobbles.

In Coventry’s Guildhall
Queen of Scots dreamt on silvered hay,
moonlight broke through bars freeing her.

I picture her laying there,
ribs like painted beams, tusks of stolen ivory,
the council of the day offended by her pungent fumes.

In battle,
Godiva floated on Pegasus naked as zodiacs
the council of the day jeered by lowly wing-less Saxons.

I picture the painting over of Guildhall –
a man’s arse crescent hanging out as he Duluxes the beams,
Moonwhite the vulgar shade oh yay the centuries reduced to this.

In the city of culture
a Guildhall welcomes Volgograd,
the sign that twinned us, covered in phoenix feathers and shit.

In the city of culture,
a poet like me will not be thanked
for telling you of the very foundations of culture.

#Psalm 17 by Antony Owen


Birth is violent
we arrive bloody
primal and pure.
Sever rope


In America
Sever children
Filicide and milk
They depart bloody
American death is violent


Sinking slowly
The seventeen atolls
Once upon a time in America
Pilgrims arrived in wooden cribs
Rising slowly they made children in salem


Shoot sky
Seventeen times
God will not return fire
the mothership burns in the black sea
seventeen gun salutes blow gods head off.

The Violin Killers by Antony Owen

In the Zyklon hills a guard yawned
Blowing halos in lukewarm sleet it was a long day
To mine a mouth of gold and Yiddish begs takes some doing
I have so many questions like why are they burning violins to warm their hands?

Hitler was a poor painter and his masterpiece ran all over the world erasing you,
So many questions like why did the ovens glow like new-born’s?
Why are you burying stars in a mass grave of strange crops?
Those portraits of war should be framed with starlight.

In grey zyklon fog you posted a death that arrived in twenty minutes,
they never died in queues and the mothers clutched at instinct,
babies cradled tight to chests in a shroud of maternity
I think that got to me the most as I flowered.

And so it is, the squelch of Russian boots in mud and ash did come,
The living bones queued and their shadows were like hoes
Raking up the debris as they walked slovenly to sunlight
I remember you, I mourn the life and muddy stars.

A black man laid naked in the snow by Antony Owen

To me you were never the hate crime
you were darkness in the fracture of snowflakes,
a man who loved a man who was white as a slave ship mast.

To me you were always the love crime
who melted in his white frame like blood into pure snow.
I thought of you last night when a robin drank from a stone angel.

Five days from now I will be forty-five
you would be sixty one and in another place we would be us,
I would read you war poems and we’d leave our skins on our shadows.

Man I never knew, I loved your death,
the flowers of fibula that covered your bludgeoned face
your beautiful face which conquered twenty-two blows of two men.

To me you were never the hate crime,
You were the eye-white snow that saw you and closed your eyes.
Tonight I will kiss my brother on the lips and draw him closer than breath.

The Shithole Countries by Antony Owen

What makes a shithole country?
A hurricane with a white man’s name that voodooed Haiti and Orleans?
If I spoke Creole and something poetic would it re-home the numeric refugee?
If I un-spoke what makes us human would my tongue weave the word shithole country?

I read once that America was made by an ideal
The redcoat savages who spoke politely were defeated by an ideal,
The redskin natives were massacred by migrants, white as the wolf-skin moon.
I was read once by a woman from the Marshall Islands nuked by America sixty seven times.

Is this what makes a shot hole country, I am so confused.

What makes a shit person in a shitty world?
Is it when people are reduced to automated slavery?
Is it when the sacred land of its ancestors exhumes oil through bone?
I heard a girl called Malala once speak a whole world unto her precious tongue.

What makes a shithole country?
Is it when blind people fail to see the human beings and their souls landscape.
I believe what truly conquers a person is the spirit in which the skin and bone reside,
A white and black person are the same in the atlas of an unjudging God and she rules me.

The Slapping by a Palestinian Girl by Antony Owen

If you wish upon a Palestinian star I don’t think of David in Goliath
but I think of Ahed the girl who slapped a soldier and hit the nerve.
If I think of the moon I do not think of a sea of tranquillity aglow,
I think of gum on Palestinian tarmac trampled on by soldiers boots.

I want to stamp my lips like a visa on to the lips of weeping parents,
I want to tell them that border lines were drawn by wars drunk devil.
When I was the age of Ahed a doctor slapped my veins for a syringe,
he told me it wouldn’t hurt and lied but when I awoke I saw the fib.

Tonight the sky looks wondrous and the city lights invade its beauty,
I have to look harder to see that stars of Bethlehem are not the brightest.
In truth they are not yellow or white but made up of Gods and magnesium,
if we apply humanity I guess what makes them shine is to share them

I want to slap the idiots who use twitter as a platform for policy,
men who slap asses and grab vaginas like they are gods and hucksters.
I want to slap the war mongering peace makers and shout “wake the fuck up”,
We do not give away Jerusalem or drink the Nestle rain to profit from pain.

When I was a kid it was Bethlehem that took me to something more than Trump,
It was a soldier who died like Macbeth after Duncan and I saw this as sad.
When I was a kid my Grandfather told me that to catch a star you must dream,
Last night I dreamt of Ahed and she slapped a door that shut away the free world.

We are here Ahed,
You are not there.


The story behind these poems by Debasis, Antony and myself can be found in the following link:


Meghan Markle’s Dress by Antony Owen

To clad a sister of Grenfell would not look as lovely as you.
An oak panelled council room disputes the two costs of blood and monetary,
a three-bar fire can keep the poor coin-warm and Grenfell had twenty-three tiers,
and a million tears, to dispute the two tiers, and precious tears shed of fire and water.

How very left wing of me.

To clad a red-blooded woman in a dress that could fireguard a thousand mere subjects,
I did the math over my cornflakes and very Un-Brexitly sighed at my patriotism,
hard to deny how the warmth of your glare billows into the cold at the Prince
not dissimilar to all the little princes and princesses asleep in the choky robes.

 How very body of the bird of me.

To keep a homeless man warm a rich boy can set fire to ten pound notes and guffaw,
the queen is burning in front of his face with the fat of her lowly animals
and his laughter is glowing unknowingly into an I-phone of a stranger,
look, I’ve found a province of England but cannot claim it with a flag.

How very bird song of me.

The dimming Sun is telling the alleged world of Meghan Markle’s ‘braless dress’.
I remembered a mime in Hyde Park wash away the face that paid her rent,
she lived like Rapunzel in a grey tower that an evil witch kept her in,
They smelt her hair in a different way that her lover did on Saturdays.

How very un-right wing of me.

I like being a citizen of the world and of nowhere as Theresa might decry.
I like Harry and I like Meghan but that dress makes the world look ugly.
In a few months you’ll light the selective tapers in Westminster Abbey,
pass the murderous frescoes in a beautiful dress and remember them.


How very human of me.

The Society of Happy Poems by Antony Owen

I’ve an army of followers on twitter she said,
strange how all of them were poets not soldiers.
She asked me when I’d write something happy
people do not want to read invisible atrocities.

I’ve an army of followers on twitter she said
they sometimes fight over the golden perch,
and each tweet rips a feather from the wren,
the wren that sang in Ypres for followers of no man’s land.

An army of soldiers gave away candy to children,
they had nineteen followers shouting me, me, me.
One of the sweet wrappers was followed by Jihadis,
stories of war and wren song do not end happy.

Two years ago, I followed the stories of ancient children,
one of them collapsed at the plane that killed Hiroshima,
a film crew followed her and hung her privacy for all to see.
Her son rang from Tokyo, “now the whole world knows” he said.

I’ve an army of followers on twitter she said,
so Antony, when will you write a happy poem?
I replied when more poets follow the soldiers and
civilians who can’t be found in the places you look for art.

I’ve no army of followers on twitter and survive in concealment,
there is a posh ointment jar filthy with flies and a fingerprint maze.
in the artform of funding applications I re-read a war poem by Anon,
the ink has almost faded yet her world is never more vivid.

In Response to the Daily Fail who Mock my City of Culture by Antony Owen

You portray rats as refugees like Nazi propaganda,
we take them in like mothers do scent to their kin
they paint our grey city as a portrait of sanctuary,
take that in for a moment and let it absorb like ink.

You report there is more culture in a yoghurt than in Cov,
like the yoghurt and milk from foodbanks under our ring road?
Or yoghurt adverts on your website interrupting fake journalism?
Did you know that twitter is a nest where some vultures circle?

In my city is a Rastafarian man washing his hair in a library sink,
he reads books and reads people then begs for change yet changes us.
it is people like him with his cap filled with rain and loose change,
that make us the richest city in all the right ways you fail to see.

My grey city was mixed with two tone to get to this colour,
a colour you can never see so why not come and feel its palor,
all of us shall welcome you like real people in the real news.
We are making a tide and a shore, shaping the rocks for all to stay here.

Come and see.

Jerusalem by Antony Owen

Earth was born a small stone from sling shot stars,
belonged to all before borders were fault lines.
Goliath was a giant hailed in the yellow sun, star,
I think all the stones have melted like ice in fire.

This is the age of walls being built or knocked down.
I dreamt of cuckoos in Jerusalem threading Acacia from Gaza,
they nested in the safety of mosque, spire, and synagogue and
I think the peacemakers with guns never heard that peacefulness.

Oh Jerusalem, a fool sang a ballad and asked wise men to dance to his tune,
and the fool saw a king so vain he was throwing crumbs like stones.
The stones looked big in the disappearing wastelands beyond the wall,
A slum child watches her breath shrink in the window pane and sees Palestine

Oh slum child, Gaza is an abacas made up of stones a little boy once held.
You live in skin that is not disputed yet it craves a place to be childhood.
Oh Jerusalem, your compass pin breaks at west yet your true north is all,
I am not going to tweet the songs that have come from your millennia’s.

There is a white house where an ass hee haws to the birds in Gaza
Once upon a time lived a family who lived to live and feel alive sometimes.
Nobody would know how a man excavated the shape of his son in linen,
How death wax leaves a fossil of who we were before the claiming.

Oh Jerusalem, the peacemakers with pens and guns will meet in the world,
land cannot be disputed if we are built of bone and the same blood.
I want to negotiate that I will decide as a citizen of the world
That I will not become a citizen of nowhere, I decide this.