Kenosis – a poem by James Owens


Blown slantings of snow thicken 
on the ground and on the sides of trees.

When the wind shudders and buffets,
fence lines and brown volumes of cows

blur. At the river, the flakes, singular
as fingerprints, vanish into the fluent, 

downward rush of a beginning winter.
At last we understand: brief forms

dissolving in the formless, words given 
back to the air, intricate and breakable.

James Owens‘s newest book is Family Portrait with Scythe (Bottom Dog Press, 2020). His poems and translations appear widely in literary journals, including recent or upcoming publications in Grain, Dalhousie Review, Presence, Queen’s Quarterly, and Honest Ulsterman. He earned an MFA at the University of Alabama and lives in a small town in northern Ontario, Canada.


  1. DB Jonas says:

    Beautiful piece!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. James Owens says:

      Thank you!


  2. Powerful imagery in the first stanza

    Liked by 2 people

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