Paul Steffan Jones 1st


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Where Did I Put My Country?

user image 2022-04-11
By: Paul Steffan Jones AKA
Posted in: Poetry

Jimmy Jangles would have liked 

to have been a highly-decorated warrior

relaxing in a highly-decorated lounge

but this was not to be

instead he obsesses over his fetish

for Dalek-like killing machines

and how he is obliged to hand over

money to bankroll violent regimes 

he doesn’t support 

by governments

he did not help elect

he tries not to get too hung up about about demarcation 

he has a door a gate a fence 

a scripture of passwords

and a clear understanding of where his personal space ends

he admits that he has at times fallen foul of the Trades Description Act 

existing on a small island 

in the middle of a tarn of sodium hypochlorite 

just like in the legends

afraid to venture out because of the risk of corrosion of his disambulation

he deplores TV programmes like Britain’s Got Talent

the exaggerated melodrama of slightly delaying the announcement 

of which hopefuls have been voted in or out of this week’s show

that pantomime pause 

a menopause 

by the men of pause

perhaps it could be improved by replacing it

with a different format such as

Britain’s Got Tory Parties

Britain’s Got Tax Avoiding Superstars

or at a push Britain’s Got Tommy Robinson

these would be much more sincere and entertaining 

especially if the same selection method is used

closer to the current democratic process than he could ever imagine

television as the new Tower of Babel 

that moved like a demented crab

into boxes then flat screens 

and into our gibberish conversations

he buys gin goblets from a budget foreign supermarket 

and is enchanted by the bell sound they make 

when brought together in a gentle semi pendular action 

he fills them up

throws in some handy botanicals

like consuming a boozy salad from a globe 

representing a swirling world without continents

it’s nearly Christmas though it has in effect been since the last one

for the last four decades or so

at least he can forget for a short while 

that many worthy companies 

feel motivated to make modern slavery statements

each Thursday he attends a workshop for those debilitated 

by post traumatic retail stress disorder

the hours in shops waiting 

his hands glued to his pockets

ignoring the signs 

the smells 

the sounds

the eyes

unnerved by showroom dummies 

sometimes feeling that they could be moving 

when just out of sight

some of them appearing to have been posed 

grotesquely in unrealistic human biological positions

still it beats working

although it is in its way a form of occupation

another usage of jangling useless time

in the name of the market 

in an age of continuous austerity 

when he gets the shakes he closes his eyes 

until he is taken far from where he is

back to the early 1960s

the bars of a cot surround him

the first feeling of imprisonment

of containment 

of being too safe

he's sleepy in this place too

riggings of snow grace the corners of a sash window

a draught making him shudder with cold

his first encounter with winter 

though he doesn't yet know what it is

and what it can do

his unseen mother sings quietly to him

something old

something of that location 

before the rest of the world 

and its non stop jukebox

would roar into the family life

he gardens industriously and ironically 

now that the UN has given the soil sixty years 

he could cry and allow his tears to water his parcel of land 

at least he'll be long in the ground by then

but he feels for the kids 

the birds the beasts 

the fish the insects 

the trees the flowers the forests

the wind the sea the streams 

the rivers the lakes 

the lovers and the possibilities

this morning his web photo provider sent Jimmy an image 

to remind him of this date one year ago 

a shot of an area of dampness on a ceiling

the reminiscing of an algorithm 

the inhumanity of technology 

there's no contest

even if the robots will take over as it appears they will

he chuckles and recalls the word clusterfuck 

that crops up in his news feed rather often these days

tonight he waits for a meteorite shower to arrive 

he knows this is an honour but he's a little impatient 

fretting that he's looking at the wrong patch of sky 

he need not worry for this has been done before 

and is still a thing of wonder