Xmas Wedding

Aretha Franklin, Buddy Holly
Christmas marriage, oh my golly
Festive joy - Aretha Holly

An Oregon Christmas

It’s wintertime in Oregon
The clouds have all come back
Most leaves are gone, the moss is out
And all the ducks go “quack!”

Roamin’ Candle

I do not know the story’s source
Of poor old Mr. Smith
Who drank a fifth July the fourth
And couldn’t go forth July the fifth

Xmas Verse

Santa Claus has got it made
Though some of us may grouse
He never pays for parking cuz
It’s always on the house

Identity Crisis

One of Bethlehem’s“wise men”
Was a woman, I’m afraid
And chances are you know her
She was the myrrh maid

Rom Pom Pom Pom

That Christmas kid who’s throwing fits
Can certainly annoy
That’s why the people say that he’s
The Little Drama Boy


At Halloween time
It should not be ignored
Every pumpkin
Thinks it will be gourd

November Thoughts

So now that we’ve reached November, all U.S. citizens are required to use the word “holidays” at least once in every conversation until Christmas (24 holiday shopping days left at the end of the month). No amount of denying or ignoring it, is going to make the season go away, not that you would want to, Mr. or Ms Scrooge.

Moving to standard time is the first big holiday prep event of the month on the 6th. Don’t forget to set those clocks back an hour. Before doing so, it would pay to check and be sure that the clock you are setting back is not one of those “self-setting” ones. A holiday prep you might want to try is a good “fall back” technique for the next two months. Go into your bathroom, grab your scale, and set it back about 20 pounds. Though you won’t be any lighter, it’s almost certain you’ll smile the next you hop on it, especially if you wait a while and forget about the “turning back” thing. Remember, feeling good is what the holidays are all about, so by doing this, you’re getting into the “spirit of the season.”

Xmas Verse

The snowman family has problems and
They’re worrying out loud
Because it seems on Christmas eve
That Frosty’s gotten plowed

Autumn in the Valley

Oh how I love our weather, wow!
The clouds are near the ground
This fog looks like it’s here for now
Why is your face in frown?


When goosing a ghost
It’s not complete
Unless you get
A handful of sheet

Egg Noggin

Last night was very loud
I hope today is quiet-y
Because my head is hurting
The result of auld langxiety

Summing It Up

The Easter season’s over, yup
A great big church event
For nerds who gave their spreadsheets up
It was an Excel-lent


The month of June’s the longest one
At least in terms of light
The solstice brings a sun that steals
Hours away from night

Go Forth and Multiply

Adam and Eve’s children
Were born in the summer - all
And there’s a very good reason
Autumn is when the leaves fall

Xmas Verse

For my wife, I sought a toaster
I should have planned ahead
I couldn’t buy the ten slice one
I was running low on bread

April Thoughts

With the excitement of National Noodle month behind us, we leap forward to April, the first month of the year with 30 days. Why, you may wonder, do the months vary as they do in their number of days? Thankfully, for the space I have to fill here, the answer is not a simple one. The Roman calendar originally had 10 months of varying lengths starting in March and ending in December. Winter, which now includes January and February, didn’t have months back then. That wreaked havoc on collecting bills for cable TV, so in 713 BC, King Pompilius added January and February and the latter had varying numbers of days. When Julius Caesar instituted the cleverly named Julian calendar, he decreed months would alternate between 30 and 31 days. Making the 4th (April), 6th (June), 9th (September) and 11th (November) months be alternating is probably something only an emperor could understand (or get away with). By the way, April originally had 29 days and only got its thirtieth day with the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in 1582.

April is best known for its showers, its fools, and its taxes, not necessarily in order of significance. It’s also the month that major league baseball gets into full swing (har!) and the NBA and NHL begin plodding through their interminable playoffs. Bingo anyone?

September Thoughts

Remember, back in the middle of January, when you were scraping the ice off the windshield of your car and that Arctic blast thought you were a wind tunnel? Summer sure sounded pretty great then, didn’t it? And now, with the beginning of this month, it’s the Labor Day holiday, the traditional end of the summer vacation period. Over the past three months, you’ve sweated buckets, peeled off a couple of pounds of fried, sunburned skin, strained muscles you didn’t know existed, had heart arrhythmias induced by your air conditioning bill, gained more than twice the weight of the skin you flaked off, had a vacation that lasted all too short of a period of time, and you’re ready for . . . . . a break from summer?

September is the start of a 9 month launch pad aimed at shooting us off into . . . next summer. It’s well disguised in that role, at first taking us farther and farther away from the past summer until it is so far away we forget how uncomfortable, tired, cranky, and ready for it to be over that we were just a short time earlier. Fortunately, we have almanacs to remind us (writer bows).

Stocking Suffer

At Christmas time a pirate
Plays Santa Claus, you know
And you can tell it easily
Cuz he says, “Yo Ho Ho”

Flower Power

A ghost was sentimental
On every Valentine’s Day
He’d go and get his sweetie
A very nice booquet

Picket Lyin’

With Santa’s helpers now on strike
He cannot help himself
I’m thinking that this Christmas time
Will be the first Noelf

Xmas Verse

They asked if I could put the tree up myself
I thought that was strange to presume
Why wouldn’t I do it like everyone else
And put it up in the living room?

Holiday Spirit

The holiday season’s here
A time for happy gatherings
With food and fun and family
And all their many blatherings

Say It Out Loud

The letter ‘e’ found presents down
Beneath its Christmas tree
The others letters all got coal
Cuz each one was not ‘e’

Snot Over

The wintertime is over, man
And it was hardly fleeting
I’m happy that I finally can
Stop giving sneezin’s greetings

Sick Leave

My friend the hypochondriac
At Christmas gets a sting
Cuz nobody buys her gifts
Since she has everything

Xmas Verse

The brightly twinkling Christmas light
Says his savings all are gone
Because this holiday season
He’s been working off and on


Each new year for some
Means a lack of sobriety
But for me it’s dread
I have auld langxiety

An Ode to January

Corvallis winter’s one month in
No arctic blasts, it’s scary
So odd to have such mildness at
The end of January

August Thoughts

Besides being mostly hot and a popular vacation month, August isn’t really known for much. The end of vacay time is on its horizon, which means the start of the school year is approaching, an event typically viewed oppositely by parents and their children. In the West, it’s a time of wildfires, events viewed oppositely by seasonal firefighters and homeowners. Christmas is also inching ever closer, an event viewed oppositely by advertisers and the rest of the world - only 116 shopping days til Xmas at the start the month.

So August is really hot and dull with a lot of opposites and come to think of it, ‘hot’ and ‘dull’ are opposites as well, if we’re talking about bedtime clothing, sex symbols, and inspirational speakers, but not knives, solar power, or jalapeño peppers and don’t even think about stolen property. You’re wondering about stolen property now, aren’t you?

Xmas Verse

Santa likes his picture took
It gives him quite a kick
And now he does it by himself
With his new elfie stick

Xmas Verse

A very wise person said to me
That crime really never pays
Consider the Advent calendar thief
Who just got 25 days


Of pumpkin juice
I have these words
It is the nectar
Of the gourds

Haute Tub

Global warming is for real
Don’t say that I’m a fool
I know because Santa now
Lives at the North Pool

Down the Drain

My costume for Halloween
Is really first rate
I’m a storm sewer cover
And I’m gonna be grate

Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde

So now it is the holidays
And I have just one thought
At Halloween you pretend you’re a monster
At Christmas you pretend you’re not


Christmas sweaters
I love them scads
Though I think we should call them
Fleece Navidads

Rush the Nut

At the Halloween gala
I sought hors d’oeuvres
So I dressed as a tennis ball
And was the first one served

Spring is Sprung

On February second
Each one in France should go
To look and see if the groundhog
Sees its own chateau

New Year’s Daze

My head is aching, such a fright
It is a horrible feeling
I think it must have been last night’s
Dance upon the ceiling

Xmas Verse

And speaking of elves, old Santa Claus
Used them since he began
He easily could be described
As a real elf made man

March Thoughts

“In like a lion, out like a lamb,” or so some would have you think. March is a transition month, and so, is prone to extremes. It’s a pretty good month, though, as months go, unless you happened to be Julius Caesar. Turns out he wasn’t the only one who had to beware of the Ides of March, as that date was also the time that Romans were supposed to settle their debts. In the U.S., we have the same feeling about the Ides of April. Ten forty, good buddy.

Not only do the seasons change in March, but the clocks do too. For reasons known only to Congress, the U.S. decided to get a jump on the Daylight Savings Time (DST) bandwagon a few years ago and moved “the change” up to the second Sunday in March. This year, that is on March 13. As a result, folks may still will be groggy on the Ides of March. Beware.

July Thoughts

The month began with fireworks loud
Those pops and rocket sights
And people shouting out, “Oh wow”
For all the summer Knights


Thanksgiving’s a time
Where just for fun
You can give the bird
To everyone

Xmas Verse

There’s so much more to Santa Claus
Than Dasher, Donner, Prancer
In fact, I hear he has some very
Talented pole dancers

July Thoughts

July is the height of summer fun and the time patriotic Americans celebrate and proudly display their independence by launching “bombs bursting in air” and firecrackers that are mostly, um, uh, made in China.

Xmas Verse

One of Santa’s reindeer
Drinks too much and it shows
The others call him Brewdolph
And he has a big red nose

Xmas Verse

A shooting at the North Pole
I’d advise that you stay tuned
Early reports suggest it was
An elf-inflicted wound

Ether Or

When asked by a judge
If he was a ghost, truly
The spirit replied
“Not ghouly”

Oregon Winter

It’s winter here in Oregon
With all of us resisting
Depression from the fact we’ve had
Two months of non-stop misting

Xmas Verse

An ornament’s in treatment now
For addictive-type disease
Word is he’s been fighting it since
Getting hooked on Christmas trees


Autumn’s a time
When every hour
Zillions more leaves
Start looking like flowers

Boom Town

I love my fireworks
Please don’t knock it
Although the prices
Can skyrocket

August Meditations

Oh summer, how the time we savored
Such great fun with you
A brief release for good behavior
But ending, now it’s true

Xmas Verse

The winter cold of Christmas eve
Is just how we prefer
To recall all of the memories
Of the way we brrrrrrrrr

Xmas Verse

On Christmas eve, I tied one on
I guess it was a case
Of really sleeping like a log because
I woke up in the fireplace


It’s Christmas season
That’s the reason
Everyone is merry

Fall Leaves

It is that time when
Leaves are fallin’
And old man winter’s
Voice starts callin’

Boogie Man

A snowman in the grocery store
To the carrot section goes
And makes a scene each time because
It’s where he picks his nose

Cold Front

Frosty Snowman’s favorite song
Leaves him all feeling mellow
So little children, sing along
“Freeze a Jolly Good Fellow”


My Wyoming vacation
Was better than most
I give thanks to Casper
A friendly host

New Years Daze

My head is aching, such a fright
It is a horrible feeling
I think it must have been last night’s
Dance upon the ceiling

Deck the Halls

The cop who worked at Christmas
Wasn’t feeling all that sad
She said she’d do it again next year
Police Navidad

Quiet Type

An introvert ghost?
You’ll never hear it
Cuz they are only
There in spirit


For Halloween
I bought some treats
To give to all
The little sheets


With Easter coming
I’ll end my stint
Giving up Hershey’s chocolate
For Lindt

Miracle on 53rd Street

(Co-written with Indira Rajagopal - for non-Corvallis people, the fairgrounds is on 53rd street)

’Twas the night before Christmas as I drove around
Admiring the lighting strung up in the town

Getting Some Boos

At Halloween, a ghost said he
Was acting on a whim
He worked quite hard at fooling me
But I saw right through him

February Finale

The February days are few
Think groundhogs and valentines
With Mardi Gras between the two
And Presidents’ Day signs

December Thoughts

You might think this is not the month to be a Scrooge, but perhaps it is. If you’re a Scrooge in January, saying “Bah! Humbug” is kind of silly, unless, of course, you’re tired of the New Year or the Martin Luther King holiday. In either of those fits you, you’ve got a problem (and you’re a grouch). No, if you’re going to be a Scrooge, December is the PERFECT month for it because by the time the month rolls around, most people know EXACTLY where Scrooge is coming from and, if they could, they’d invite him to dinner. They’re tired of Thanksgiving leftovers, coming up with gift ideas, office holiday parties, wrapping paper, and songs that go “pah rum pum pum pum.”

Now maybe that’s bit negative. Christmas also has mistletoe, sleigh rides, people happily singing “Let it Snow,” flying reindeer, and a jolly old guy who lives at the north pole and leaves once a year to deliver toys to children all over the world. The only problem is that those are all fantasies, you know. Think hard - when was the last time you roasted a chestnut on an open fire?


Mist and fogs and splitting logs
And walking in the forest
Goblins, ghosts and cinnamon toast
The autumn’s now before us

PSL Not So Well

Autumn is the time of year
For breaking out one’s sweaters
But if friends obsess with pumpkin spice
Send them season desist letters

Xmas Verse

One thing that Frosty will not drink
Is hot chocolate on a whim
The problem as he states it is
It goes right straight through him

Mask Arrayed

My friends at Halloween advised
So I could not ignore it
“Dress as a turkey,” they said to me
And I was sure game for it

Xmas Verse

Crabs below the ocean
Like Christmas time because
It’s when they all get visited
By good old Santa Claws

February Thoughts

Congratulations! You made it through January, a month many consider the cruelest one. You may not agree, but January unquestionably is the coolest one, at least in the northern hemisphere. So, we exit the month that left us with hangovers of a year we’d just as soon forget and plunge into . . . the weirdest month.

In February, we get 1) President’s Day - a holiday that isn’t a holiday unless you’re a federal employee and is the time retailers have decreed is when houseware sales should occur (?); 2) Groundhog’s Day - a holiday that is a non-holiday unless you live in Punxsutawney, PA, where an innocent groundhog gets drug out of its warm and peaceful burrow once a year to get its picture taken by dozens of photographers while being held by a man in a silly hat; and 3) St. Valentine’s Day, a holiday with religious roots and dedicated to courtly love that absolutely no one gets off. The man for whom the holiday is named was a 3rd century Roman who happens to be the patron saint of . . . . . (wait for it) . . . . (you’ll never guess) . . . . EPILEPSY (look it up). So how did February 14 become sweethearts’ day? You don’t want to know. At least February is the shortest month, but even that is weird: 28 days in three years out of every four when it has 29, except only in century years evenly divisible by four when . . . oh never mind.

Caching a Cold

I do not like the cold
It’s summer I prefer
As far as I’m concerned
It’s the month of Decembrrrrr

No Mas

When Christmas season comes around
Those folks with musical tones
Should give consideration to
Their name - The CaRolling Stones

Happy Holidays

Grandma got run over by a reindeer
And sadly passed away
The hospital packed her up into
A one hearse open sleigh

Farewell to May

May the 4th be with you all
We heard just weeks ago
From Star Wars hipsters big and small
And others in the know

Xmas Verse

I eat too much at Christmas time
And it treats me most foul-ly
That’s why they sing this time of year
“Tis the season to be jowly”

Happy 2021

’Twas the night before New Year
Here in my hometown
The sky wasn’t clear
The rain pouring down


New year’s eve
Give it a shout
When guests and the old year
Both pass out

Egg On

So Easter day is finally here
And I now take a stance
Marshmallow bunnies are a food
Can we give peeps a chance?

Dublin Down

For some of the Irish
It’s beer and dizziness
But for all the rest
St. Patty’s is whiskey business

St. Patty’s

St. Patty’s Day is here today
A time when I have seen
Everybody’s happy with
The 50 Shades of Green

March Mudness

March Madness is March Mudness here
But everybody knows
That this is just the time of year
Preceding pollen woes

Silent Knight

The psychiatrist said
That it is clear
His Christmas song fave
Is “Do You Hear What I Hear?”

Go Bro

As for my brother’s Christmas gift
I’ll have to modify
I thought a penguin was perfect
But that idea won’t fly

End of the Season

New year’s Day is here oh golly
Time for resolutions
So pack up all the trees and holly
Christmas’s conclusion

My Ghost Story

Everyone has ghost stories. They almost always seem to involve someone who knew someone who was related to someone, etc.

Xmas Verse

When the unwrapping is done
I’m sure you can guess
It is the time to celebrate
The true meaning of Christmess

Day of the Dead

November first, we celebrate
The Day of the Dead

And on this day, most notably
It truly can be said

Xmas Verse

The snowman’s kid at Christmas time
Is in “timeout” I found
Apparently it seems that he
Was having a meltdown

No, Virginia

In Santa that kid will not believe
I do not know the cause
I guess it’s safe to say that he’s
A rebel without a Claus

Autumn’s Up

I’m making Halloween egg nog
It only takes a minute
Just like the stuff at Christmas, but
It has more boos in it

The Hope of Spring

The sun is shining, robins sing
It cannot be too far from spring
When hope displaces dark despair
I love that more than anything

Privacy Issue

Tracking Santa’s easy, kids
Even if you’re Web rookies
Cuz he’s well known around the world
For always accepting cookies

Xmas Verse

Computer gamers in Bethlehem
Could make our Christmas stranger
Instead of a kid and three wise men
They sing “A Wii in a Manger”


A certain salmon that I know
Screwed up at Christmas time
Instead of going shopping, he
Did all his work online

I Resolve

I resolve this year . . .

To focus much more upon my waist
And try to be a bit more chaste

Quality Control

With Christmas time arriving soon
I take it as my mission
To ensure the candy canes we have
Are all in mint condition

Howl Movement

We must be careful on holidays
To watch what goes inside us
Cuz eating Christmas decorations
Can give us tinselitis

Change of Season

The cold and flu season already
Is wearing very thin
But I, for one, am not ready
For allergy season to begin

No Yolk

The Easter Bunny is a nut
And says it with clarity
“The way the stuff comes out my butt”
“Is rear eggularity”

Xmas Verse

A Christmas tree believes, you see
With its last Earthly breath
That there is more to follow
You know, lights after death

Deco Rated

The tree surgeon said
My Christmas tree sight is
Not so good
Cuz it has tinselitis

Xmas Verse

Santa cannot find his wife
Since she reached menopause
He chalks it up to experience
Knowing she’s a lost Claus

High Times

A school asked me to talk on drugs
Sometime late in October
I said it would go better if
I spoke to them while sober

Wait Loss

I think I’ve found the secret
To happy holiday living
I turn my scales back 15 pounds
The night before Thanksgiving


The January arctic blasts
Try our endurance. Can we last?
The days are slowly getting longer
Optimism growing stronger

Xmas Verse

And when it comes to dinosaurs
One way to make them vomit
Would be to mention Santa Claus
And the reindeer known as Comet

October Thoughts

October is the tenth month of our year and “Oct,” of course, means eight so, uh. Hmmm. There actually is a logic to it and those of you who have been paying close attention to these monthly epistles can figure it out. Hint - it comes from the Romans. Another hint - the calendar isn’t the same as it always was. Last hint - the Roman calendar started with March (go figure). Yes, yes, you brilliant hint taker you, October was the 8th month in the Roman calendar and only later, after January and February were added, did October become the 10th month. September (Sep = 7), November (Nov = 9) and December (Dec = 10) have the same Roman roots as October.

How do you have a calendar missing two months of the year? Leap months. That’s right. You know that expression “spring forward and fall back?” It actually comes from the Romans who liked the fall months so much they would sometimes repeat them and it actually helped to keep their calendar aligned. Though it wreaked havoc for people like almanac makers, historians, astrologers, wedding planners, and (Latin) word-of-the-day creators, it worked great for procrastinators of all kinds, like last minute Christmas shoppers, homework doers, and renters (“But I paid you for October’s rent - here’s my receipt”). Fortunately, Roman lawns didn’t grow in the fall months

April Sours

The Easter bunny left some sweets
They said in Sunday School
But when we went to find his treats
It cried out, “April Fools!”

The Bhagwan’s Christmas (1985)

(Baghwan Shree Rajneesh was a cult leader in Oregon when I was a graduate student in the 80s at Oregon State University. I wrote this about him)
‘Twas the week before Christmas in 520ANot a stir bar was stirring, the students were away
The buckets were placed on the floor with great careTo catch all the rain falling down from upstairs
I in my jacket and Kai in his coatHad just settled in to research in the moat
Then at once on the roof there arose such a fussI leaped from my lab bench to see what was o’er us
The moon on the top of the shimmering poolGave the image of an ocean on top of this school
And then what to my wondrous eyes appeared faintWas the hint of a man who thought he was a saint
He strode on the roof like a man on a missionIn his hand was a pole, I thought he was fishin’
He was dressed all in pink from his head to his toesAnd looked like old Santa, except ‘round the nose
His hair reeked of incense, his breath that of quicheI knew in an instant, it must be Rajneesh!
He drove not a sleigh, but a fancy 4-wheelerPurchased by his old friend, Ma Anand Sheela
He filled not our stocking, nor brought us some toysHe just carried specs for his brand new Rolls Royce
I knew at that moment that for Christmas this yearThe Bhagwan alone would have all of the cheer
He called his disciples in a voice with duress“We’d better get moving. Here comes the IRS.”
Well that’s how it was that magical dayWhen Rajneesh arrived and then went away
He went off to India, I assume to regroupMerry Christmas to all. Bhagwan’s blown the coup

Jnauary Gloom

January brings winter chills
And all those unpaid Christmas bills
Some people hoping for solutions
Atone by making resolutions

Snow Big Deal

The wintry weather happening now
Can sometimes quite amuse
When blizzard forecasts get described
As problems with flake news

Xmas Verse

St. Nick to me is wonderful
All loving, kind, and gentle
My emotions overflow for him
Cuz I am Santamental

January Thoughts

It would be easy to dismiss January as the “hangover month.” It certainly starts out that way, but hangovers don’t typically last all month and in all of recorded history January has, so there must be a better description. Things that last all of January include holiday bills, football, coldness, and the desire to be in any other month. Unlike months which either have something notable about them or that lead to other months that do, January doesn’t do much but deliver us to February and, as you’ll see next month, that’s the weirdest one of the year.

January is named for the Roman god Janus, who was the gatekeeper. The month had a troubled childhood, not even existing in the earliest Roman calendars, and it came into being only to help keep the rest of the calendar in line with the actual astronomical events giving us seasons. January is the time of resolution making and breaking and is welcomed gleefully by owners of gyms, diet products, running clothes manufacturers, and is rued by alcohol producers, dessert makers, and cigarette distributors. By the end of the month, those groups switch places thanks to the fact that resolution breaking is one of the great American pastimes. Makers of products like Spandex think January is super, since it seems to win with both groups of people.

June Thoughts

June is the month of cycles. By now, you hopefully have recovered from the May-hem (HAR!) of Memorial Day festivities and are midway through the repetitive activities of watering, cursing, and mowing the green stuff in front of and behind your house. If this year is typical, the cycle will be repeated a good 20 or so times before the growing season ends, varied only by the occasional act of edging and interrupted by the ritual of the annual family vacation. When people talk about “getting away from it all,” they are often referring to grass, which is why beaches are so popular.

Lawns are the only battlegrounds where armies dare not tread, lest they trample the grass upon it. Peace on Earth would be real if the money that went to generals was given instead to lawn growers, though different kinds of battles would break out, given suburban competitiveness. Unlike the rest of the biological sciences, in the sport of Homeowner Botany, having the tallest, most biodiverse lawn is frowned up. Similarly, although “pet fertilization” is a simple, natural, and low-cost prescription for healthy grass, champions in the lawn sweepstakes eschew bio-organic treatments, dancing instead to the somnolent tune of “Weed and Feed.” Two, four indeed!

Change of Season

The cold and flu season already
Is wearing very thin
But I, for one, am not ready
For allergy season to begin

Can we jump from March to the summer?
I’d welcome that change a lot
Spring can be a great time of year
But a lot of the time it’s snot

Twas The Day After Christmas

Twas the day after Christmas
And all through the house
We were looking like proof of
The theory chaos

Presents unwrapped
Their papers askew
Children not playing
With toys – they are through

Stockings once hung
By the chimney with care
Could not now be found

I with my hangover
And Ma sipping tea
Were starting to talk
‘Bout taking down the tree

Then what to my tired, bloodshot
Eyes should appear
But a ghost of the Christmas
Coming up this next year

“Oh no,” I exclaimed loudly
“I thought we were all done”
Said the Ghost of Christmas Future
“You’re not the only one”

“I try hard to lay low”
“But it gets worse each year”
“The season starts earlier and earlier, you know?”
“Hey – could you grab me a beer?”

I went to the fridge
And poured him a draught
He gulped it down quickly
And let out a laugh

“This gig is a joke”
“The pay, just a pittance”
“Happy New Year I say”
“To this season, good riddance”

Dublin Down

For some of the Irish
It’s beer and dizziness
But for all the rest
St. Patty’s is whiskey business


Autumn’s a time
When every hour
Zillions more leaves
Start looking like flowers