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Three Poems...

I Will Give You Rest 

When you try to push the sky 

away and realise it’s the only 

battle in your life, just think 

that respite will come to you 

on the day of reckoning. All 

of your writings and your trees 

won’t be able to prepare you 

for the overwhelming sense of 

capitulation and resignation as 

events spiral out of control with 

only you fully aware of what is 

taking place. As acid rain melts 

vehicles and the gutters fill with 

the flesh of the recently occupied, 

the Millennium Cross will split in 

two and unleash the souls of those 

betrayed by heaven and hell. The 

graveyards will fill up with white  

horses who zealously guard the  

sites, their masters brandishing  

swords lit with flames and sporting 

cloaks soaked with the blood of Noah. 

As you consider the circumstances, 

you will only recall the moments in 

your life where your attempt to take 

the initiative failed. Lying to sound  

more impressive in job interviews.  

Trying to touch for someone who 

was always going to reject your 

advances. Living by yourself for a  

few months before your finances 

went awry. Trying to convince the 

shop assistant that you handed them 

£20 instead of £10. The overwhelming 

emotions of failure, humiliation and 

being humbled unite and cast an  

extensive, protruding cloak of suffocation 

over your existence. Living in passivity  

meant there was no chance of despair 

at the hands of oneself. Jokes nulled the 

tugging sense of isolation, and the lack 

of conversations meant you could have 

the most spectacular one-sided arguments 

in the world. Your envisioned opponents 

cowering with recognition at your wit. 

Spectres and storm clouds gather and 

descend on the hapless residents of the 

city who have managed to survive up to 

now. Skipping across the motorways, the  

ghosts cause head on collisions and then 

potter off as if the fun for the day is over. 

More acid rain descends, and soon the  

noise of the city descends into an eerie  

lull, followed by silence. The sort that can 

be heard whenever there is discontent. 

Under the arch by the Lagan, the homeless 

and the junkies sit in awed wonder at how 

quickly things collapse at the hint of trouble. 

Cracked skin slowly pulsating and their crusty,  

jagged toenails digging into whatever remains  

of their shoes. Nodding off into the ether.  

Now, watching the world collapse around  

you, and not knowing what to do, you go 

back to your envisioned arguments, entering 

another realm where you’re paraded down  

the street by a worshipping crowd with  

piecemeal skin, held together by eczema.  

Chanting your name until it morphs into a 

sound akin to an amorphous blob. And the 

sky no longer constrains your ambition. It 

is time for you to ascend. 



He died in 2018. At the height 

of summer. The ward looking 

over the city and the sunshine 

overwhelming, a beacon of 

positivity and life-affirming 

energy. I wasn’t there, as I 

didn’t want to see someone 

I’d known all my life reduced 

to a shrill, feeble corpse. 

Tonight, on Google Maps, I  

saw him outside the house,  

painting the gates. Absorbed  

by the task at hand, noticing  

every missed spot and how 

much excessive paint. Lens 

flare highlighting the gravel.  


Ghosting 101 

Validate your redemption here 

by bleaching your eyeballs and 

tattooing your skin every colour 

imaginable. Condition yourself  

for a life of humiliation and  

degradation by casting yourself 

as a post-repulsive hybrid of 

human and architecture. 

Once again, you’re lost in the 

underground as the green 

aurora by moonlight hardens 

your flesh into rigid, immovable 

chunks and your hair disintegrates 

into minute strands with each caress. 

While you ponder your next move, 

the ghosts of long murdered little 

children skip across the motorway, 

oblivious to limbo’s boundaries. 

Your phone morphs into your hand 

and your newsfeed appears in your 

bleached eyeballs. The iris and the 

pupil merge and display the relevant 

icons when scrolling. You lie transfixed 

the various tabs blurting out sounds 

that merge to create disjointed rhythms 

and chopped up vocals straining for emotion. 

After a while, you start emitting sounds  

not of this island, accent congealing into 

a yodel, and your delivery has been reduced 

to several sounds. Crossing the border, the 

troops (instructed to look for abandoned  

babies) see you convulsing and crying with 

gleeful sadness, struggling to articulate  

yourself. They fire their chemically  

altered weapons and, in the end, the  

process of your bones melting and your  

flesh solidifying into further rigid, immovable 

chunks allows time for the updates to install. 


Bio: Influenced by post punk and industrial music, and evolving out of a hidden desire to create anything, Christopher Owens exists in that moment between conscience and the sub conscience. And, after all, the two years leading up to the apocalypse needs a soundtrack. Published in Belfast, Punk Noir Magazine, Sweat Drenched Press and Outcast Press as well as authoring reviews for The Pensive Quill, Metal Ireland, Chordblossom and The Quietus. Debut collection appearing in 2023 care of Close to the Bone Publishing.

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