Iceland late April

Peter Owen-Jones

These planks these

bricks and buildings begged

with fish wrenched

from night

and wool heaved from

unswept stones

and wreaths of

infant bitter moss

and the wind cutting crosses written

into the skin there in the pages of men

who sit and wait and wait

for spring still living

with stoves and horses

knowing the many names of water

Who will bride the boy

holding ice

in his hands for longer

than any London man

sweeping Fulmars

from the sky

who knows the mountain

as his mother

her warm saliva in his eyes

held by her complexions

and mute

as she speaks in rain,


Peter Owen-Jones

The warm flesh

of the forest speaks

formed and spun from sleep

did you not know

you emerged

from broken stones

contaminated scent with words

and cried

the dead bound husks of grief

into the ground.

See he will break every door

to find you

bringing thistles for your feast

parched grass

to quench your thirst

these are the crumbs of splendour.

Peter Owen-Jones is an English Anglican clergyman, author and television presenter.