January at Five in the Afternoon Sun on snow too bright a shine: blind- ness, migraine, glister of frostbite, all day as if we lived in the mind of a child tirelessly saying the word white. As evening lowers over the fields of snow that earlier burned in merciless purity, we find a kind, scumbled greyness now, sleep in the child and in the sky, growing heavily.
New Year's Elegy Ending in Blankness The will to close this winter poem— “Snow veils flounce in stubble fields beneath the steel-grey dome of troubled sky, as once, in other weather, the subtle scarf wind teased free, that bound her hair up red and then loosed itself to the air's rapacity....” —is not in me today. Snow blows down, wind-shapes twist, untwist, no trope to bind the spirit, gone as fallows whiten fast.
An End Some goddamned Thursday dribbles from the clocks. What pulse, what dim rhythm, stumbles and locks?
James Owens’s poems and translations appear widely in literary journals, including recent or upcoming publications in The Christian Century, Dappled Things and Vita Poetica. He lives in a small town in northern Ontario.