Song for a yellow star belt

In the square
they are beating men to classical music
last year they danced in this spot, the same children watched.

In the square
a local orchestra kneels before its composer
he is made to throttle the defiant celloist with piano strings.

All things pass,
ignore the old shoemaker covering the breasts of his dead wife,
in five years, he will watch from the patisserie as kids chalk hopscotch.

All things pass,
like the twitching general damned by the sleight seamstress.
He thought she closed her eyes but she snared him in a blink shot.

In the orchestra,
a solitary flutist set free an excerpt of the murdered crescendo.
I swear a whole crowd gathered in the square to hear it soar like black fireworks.



With five collections of poetry focusing on conflict Antony Owen is a well respected writer known for investigative poetry which took him to Hiroshima in 2015 to interview atomic bomb survivors. His subsequent collection, The Nagasaki Elder (V.Press) was shortlisted for a Ted Hughes Award in 2017.Β  This poem is taken from his sixth collection The Unknown Civilian which has just been published by KFS.