A retired salesman from Malahide is publishing his first book of poetry at the age of 83 – after a course in meditation helped him to nurture his spiritual side.
Peter Owens will launch a collection of his works, entitled Mystical Path with Poetry, at Malahide Parish Centre this Saturday, September 29 at 3pm.
Dad-of-three Peter has been writing poetry for decades but it took some encouragement from a new circle of friends to nudge him to share it with others.
He told Dublin Gazette: “I started writing poems a long time ago but they were just consigned to a drawer. When I started meditating I started writing more.
“Then I started reading out some of the poems at the meditation classes and everyone was very responsive.
“They wanted to know more about the poems themselves, and about why I wrote them.
“People have said to me over the years, ‘Why don’t you write a book?’ but I just thought that’s an ego thing.”
Peter’s moving and deeply spiritual poems range from his appreciation for the beauty of the Irish landscape to contemplation of life and death.
There is also personal reflection of coping with dementia, as he cared for his wife of 54 years, Vera, after she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease 27 years ago.
Vera was moved to a nursing home 16 months ago and doctors told Peter he needed to look after himself and find new interests.
He said: “It was very difficult when she went into the home. I still visit her every second day.
“I was at burnout. I joined a pottery class, German conversation, bowling. It took a while to get into the meditation but I enjoyed it.”
The 70-page book includes 25 of Peter’s poems along with details of his “journey of self-discovery through words” and is available to order online from Amazon.
Peter said: “We have 150 books for the launch and I’ve already had relations in America buying it on Amazon.
“Once I decided to write the book I asked the Lord for more poems. It came naturally, it’s sort of a gut thing, the words just sort of surfaced.
“For me, it’s very much spiritual. If I love something I want to write about it in the hope that it can help others.
“I don’t know about a new career, I just think live every day as if it was your last, and I’m really enjoying it.
“I wrote another poem about Autumn in the past two weeks ago. That might well be for another edition. Who knows? We’ll see …”