Mark Antony Owen

the poet

Syllabic poet Mark Antony Owen writes exclusively in nine original forms – sometimes, with variations. His work centres on that world where the rural bleeds into the suburban: a world he calls ‘subrural’. Based in East Hampshire, Mark is the author of digital-only poetry project Subruria, as well as the founder, editor, designer, sound engineer and publisher of iamb.

  • Subruria
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the poems

00:00 / 00:30

Every petal on their skin a mouth

for the light, digesting the sun

to make it sweet, make it edible.


Alchemy at work in the slender bones

slipping from dresses, print by print;

lawns showered by the tattering silks,


the scatter of magnolia feathers.

The trial of the bloom begins.

Reward us for the rains, for the heat.

00:00 / 00:34

A dog escaped from its yard,

straying from the bounded woods,

you drop like a ripened fruit –


slip from your disguise of fog

to reveal the awkward wedge

of you, disrobed and alert.


The sprung trap of your leaping;

desperate kick at the wire

wall that separates our worlds.


You are willing me to freeze,

be you, and instinctively,

my muscles seize with your fear.

00:00 / 00:57

You are in a designated public place,

watching a thin stegosaurus of bunting

get battered by the wind. The Jubilee beds,

crowned by grey roses; the never-ending rain.

This time of year there would normally be stalls,


bouncy castles, young mothers wiping picnics

from the faces of toddlers. Look up and you

might see swifts, winding invisible maypole

streamers round the shifting contrail of a jet.

Today, swings unswung, slick, unclimbable frames.


You are in a designated public place,

yet you’ve never felt more private in your life.

Come again when the bins are dizzy with wasps

and the bandstand buzzes with hits you can hum –

before that old gaoler winter chains the gates.

Publishing credits

All poems: forthcoming to Subruria

Bloom: nominated for The Pushcart Prize

  by the readers of Black Bough Poetry

Muntjac / A designated public place: Places of Poetry

© original authors 2021

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