Poet for Peace
Antony Owen is a poet and a Peace Education Patron for 'CND Peace Education UK' http://www.cnduk.org/information/peace-education. 'CND Peace Education UK' provide free, downloadable learning resources for schools.
Antony has hosted poetry workshops for festivals and schools with a particular focus on peace education and war poetry. In 2016, he interviewed survivors of the Coventry Blitz, working closely with media students at Cardinal Newman secondary school in Coventry. In 2015, Antony undertook a trip to Hiroshima recording testimonies of A-bomb survivors and visiting schools in Hiroshima.
Poem: THE ART OF WAR (I)
First published in The Beacon Magazine, 2016
The old Hiroshima trees in Autumn scratch the ill wind
till it bleeds in time for Spring when the dead each blow a petal
and their fragrant inferno engulfs a man coughing blossoms
of blood from weak boughs of bone, but, he, is a strong root.
He told me when Spring leaves Hiroshima all that remains of trees
are fingers of the dead, holding birds that swept across sky like ashes,
throwing their urn of shrieks to a red sun hurling the war of blood inside.
Every year, the cherry blossoms get redder and no longer whisper.
The rivers in every petal are a map of souls who drank the wrong rain;
they are redder each year for the shadows that are lighter, which spilled
like ink pots of unwritten lives. Hiroshima streets are a Pollock* canvas.
From shockwaves of clear Hiroshima rain, the drip drop dragonflies
brush watercolours on grave-grey rivers and dusk-fall is an easel, yet
the saddest artist of them all twice drew a black orchid on a blue face.
*Pollock refers to the works of artist Jackson Pollock.
Antony is delighted to be connected to the 'Peaceful Schools Movement in the UK'. He said:'In Hiroshima peace education is taught in every school so that past victims of war are remembered and memorialised by today's generation, in the hope that nobody else suffers like the victims of atomic bombs. I am proud to be connected to the 'Peaceful Schools Movement' because they are cementing learning pathways to that road of peace which we all must find regardless of our differences.'
Antony Owen was born in Coventry in 1973 to working class parents. He is the author of four poetry collections by Heaventree, Pighog and Hesterglock Press. His poems have been published worldwide in several literary journals including translated work in war poetry anthologies, notably by Poetry International (Europe) and Coal Sack Magazine (Japan). His fifth collection titled 'We Are Made From Beautiful Atoms' is scheduled to be published and translated in 2017 by Coal Sack Publishing (Japan).