National Poetry Month – Scott Owens

Scott is the host of Hickory Poetry in Hickory, NC, and that’s where I first met him as I made the rounds of readings when my book was released a few years ago. He’s a great supporter of local writers and visual artists.

Scott teaches full-time, but also owns a coffee shop, Taste Full Beans in Hickory, where he holds the readings. These two occupations fit with what little I actually know about him, and what I read in his poetry – someone who is curious, who ponders things big and small, works his art and still gets excited about it.


Acts of Defiance

Just a boy,

not yet eight,

and knowing nothing

of the world,

I simply did as I was told

and reached my hands,

my forearms, long and thin,

even up to the elbows,

into the bloody back end

of a moaning cow

to grasp what I felt there

and pull,

and pull harder

when it wouldn’t come

until something appeared,

and pull harder still

until something became

a wet mess of calf

spilling into my lap

and my uncles laughing

and my grandfather,

his hand on my shoulder,

looking at me hard,

eyes full of seriousness

saying, Good job.

Good job.


A lifetime later,

at forty-one,

holding you

I finally understand

the weight of it all.

I look at your mother

spent in bed

and say, Good job,

and then into your own


just born eyes

and say again,

Good job.


From Thinking About the Next Big Bang

In the Galaxy at the Edge of Town, published by Main Street Rag Publishing, posted with the poet’s permission.


I want to be used up by life,

all resources expended,

all reserves exhausted,

thistle picked clean,

river run dry.

I want to work to the last

minute at making and giving,

and take nothing with me.


After my last breath,

if there is anything left

unused, I’ll feel I’ve failed,

and will only be saved by those

who need what I have

coming to carry it away.


Scott answers my questions ~

The first poem I remember writing was in 4th grade, and it was about my mother.

And I would tip my hat to Galway Kinnell, whose poetry taught me how to do what I had been trying to do for years.

Scott’s photo by Richard McGee

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1 Response to National Poetry Month – Scott Owens

  1. Claire L Poulson says:

    Nicely done, both blog and poems!

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