Paul Steffan Jones 1st


 

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Category: Poetry

Theatre of The Ordinary


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2021-08-19

(Curriculum vitae)

he cuts the lawns of an empty property 

the cable of the mower in his hands

is the microphone lead of a famous crooner

on a 1970s television light entertainment show

cracking the whip on kitten backing singers

what will the neighbours think

in their own private theatres?

in the evening when it is more seemly

he pours two glasses of rosé wine

equally mainly by sound 

and during subsequent replenishment 

he thinks he can hear the chorus

of the hymn mae’r Iesu yn geidwad i mi 

(Jesus is my saviour)

in the meeting of drink and glass

the music that follows work’s end

in vino veritas or so it is said

Posted in: Poetry | 1 comments

Not Welsh Not


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2021-07-18

This is not a Welsh Not

but a Welsh is and always will be

raving over higgledy piggledy slates

with fingernails of demons scraping

screeching out a lost non rock and roll

and not a low flying bomber

in sight or sound

tipsy on communion wine 

and a quick fumble

in the ecumenical jungle

dog tired dog collars loosen

to a beat of life lived

and not analysed

not a sermon planned

nor an afterlife awaited

submerge into sublime harps

inherited from the elders

never understand 

but defined as Corvid

not COVID

avoid their Larsen traps

and their booby traps

with our Weapons of Non Destruction 

Peter Hurkos a Dutch psychic

and y Mab Darogan

(the Son of Destiny)

and how about a little of Twm o’r Nant

or David R Edwards ?

we have become strange bedfellows 

but at least it is touching
 

I am not the National Poet

and I know it

I know my place

but not where to find it

we are all the National Poet

but don’t know it

we don’t know our place

nor where to find it

this is not a Welsh Not

a Welsh Not not

not Welsh not

I am not a Welsh Not

Posted in: Poetry | 0 comments

Square Mile


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2021-06-28

Nothing to see

not much here just a disarray of stone 

and multi coloured corrugated iron

splashes of spilt paint among

the day to day ordinary rust

it is our land where we always were

out of the way but easily found

when loot and recruits were demanded

(Geraint Jarman sang of Ethiopia Newydd 

but where is that now?)

it's a Sunday afternoon 

a half century ago

at the home of a relative

who was already old then

they treat me well

dose me up on sugar lumps

and familial kindness

it's sunny and dream-like

and fruit fattens on slender branches

but they failed to warn me 

about the rising wind and sea levels

about the idea of a future

and how sweetness flatters then corrodes 

and that thorns never really leave your skin

Posted in: Poetry | 1 comments

Replacement or You've Been Farmed


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2021-05-16

He'd never heard of replacement theory

but he was still sitting there

cowled in a no good hoodie

a cheap light grey like his complexion 

he who used to receive final demands

by lowering a bucket from an upstairs window

unhinged by losing the family farm

to irresistible forces

to inevitability 

those were the days
 

narrow old men trying to get the most

out of their narrow old tractors 

slim and puny workhorses 

when compared to the monsters

that superseded them

but still running on an idea

of efficiency through regular oiling

the treadmill of inheritance

the hoped-for success of repetition 

their pinched sunned faces

squint at the diminishing returns

their loosening holdings

with sloping ploughed fields

whose pious furrows end in

mists that could conceal sea 

sky a rainbow’s terminus

or Gawain’s green chapel

he won't budge until the undertaker

is booked and his pockets gone through

loss adjusted to nought

a vacated shell colonised 

by curious new creatures 

a beast among other beasts

brittle flinty had

Posted in: Poetry | 0 comments

Names on Lanes No One Knows Now


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2021-04-16

On his laden career bicycle

Johnny Onions or Sioni Winwns

meets paramours and cousins 

the names the lives of names

the routes of commerce

way from Armorica to corner Cymru

an unnamed lorry driver

flat cap trim moustache

hooded eyes 1956

registration number PO 5384

brake lights brighten pre dawn hedgerows

in the squeal of stopping

on a stretch where the farm is unseen 

he carefully steers metal milk churns 

from the concrete stand

to the flatbed of his vehicle 

replacing them with empties 

the mornings will lighten then darken

then back again for this employee 

dependable essential anonymous 

on leaving these lanes forever or so

our Emrys as Ambrose as Ambrosius

us as Arthur yr arth the bear

is he with Glyndwr awaiting the perfect dawn?

I don't know but sometimes pretend I do

to conceal my plastic bag full of fault lines

I don't happen I don't occur I don't figure

I a mere carrier of bags

a haunter of yesterday's hedges

nearly everything’s changed 

but the grass still grows

in places it should and should not

and the land that sustains it is unmoved

I walk away from away 

I thought I recognised you 

but I was someone else



Posted in: Poetry | 1 comments

Career Opportunities


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2021-03-16

So what if he'd won big on X Tractor

that night with the other grinning hopefuls

of the combined Young Farmers of his county

but fame and its fickle flame didn't burn long

with the fattening catalogue of demise

and enough freshly signed death certificates

to fill a library of uncomfortable learning 

he should have been sated

busier than ever with 

the practiced condolences

the pressing of the flesh

and the liaising with 

the dependables of the funerary industry

despite this unexpected windfall

Tomb Jones was restless

seeing no end to a career 

of infinite possibility and beginning 

to despair even as his ISA multiplied

he spoke granite rather than Italian marble

and his wife complained that he was not urbane

enough for this stage of their union

fretting that she had not succeeded 

in niggling and nibbling away

all the burrs and bumps that constituted him

as ever he completely misheard her

confusing "urbane" with "urban" and snorting

"of course not dear we live down a farm track!"

he who had thought that Cinzano Bianco 

was somehow linked to that stranger Quixote 

hamboned enough to charge at a windmill

but when the day was over

the battered container of gossip emptied

and Death and his wife put to bed

his thoughts turned to a change of career

a new dawn a higher calling

on the reverse of a large used envelope 

propped up by the lectern of his pyjamed thighs

he began to draw the outlines of a combine harvester

sketching the insignia of the Red Cross on its flanks

and pencilled in military grade syringe-cannon

that could fire small darts of vaccine 

accurately into the unsuspecting arms

of anyone within a hundred yards 

doing away with the need for any sort

of organisation other than a simple timetable

and allowing thousands of health workers

to return to their wards to relieve their colleagues 

whilst ensuring that everyone was vaccinated

whether they wish it or not

he fell asleep satisfied that if he put his mind to it

he could harness his agrarian past

to a bright pharmaceutical tomorrow

and help broker a sort of medicated peace

a freedom that no one would suspect existed

Posted in: Poetry | 1 comments

The Itch and The Scratch


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2021-02-20

Had a bit to drink so I began to think

what had happened to my ancestors

what is happening what has happened 

and is likely to happen to me

the right to protect the half memory of half lives

to live and earn a living among one's own kind

to put a brake on the creeping amnesia

that separates us from who we are

who we are from who we were

and where we came from in the longer view

newly arrived faces discovered our legends

animated as though they had known them all their lives

and not told by their mothers as we had been

in places our grandparents sold them

 in which we used to play used to laugh

used to love used to dream used to remember

but they are not afflicted by the itch that resulted

nor the scratching that persisted into

the fantasy of growing up

I await analysts to tell me where I have been going wrong

pathologists to reveal my causes

and detectorists to definitively pinpoint me

Posted in: Poetry | 0 comments

Castellate Me


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2021-02-14

They said "high" but how high

turned out high enough to keep out

the locals the subdued other types

sufficiently lofty to conceal the life

of the enemy and too tall for us

to peer over even with the aid of a leg up

the despised and the besieged

the attacked and the defended

the architecture of oppression blotting out

the horizon and eclipsing the sun and moon

the domination still tacit at times

we sullenly embattled our invaders 

with haircuts language and time 

until they were redeployed to another outpost

another link in the chain mail empire 

the arrow slits squint

the curtain walls loom

like a citadel of giants' tombstones

a reminder of tumultuous centuries 

now muted and disarmed

recalled in the names of streets

residences and the sides of vans

Posted in: Poetry | 0 comments

Cabin Fever


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2021-01-17

Steam escapes from tears

the dream of the sleep punk

those guitar solos based on choruses

lull me to lullaby absence

my participation on the edge 

of the plantation of easy guilt

trying to keep safe in the attacking air

dry in the angered rainfall

as water percolates from the eaves

roads that meander through the forest

and around its scraped-out mines

its quarried foreheaded depressions

also leak and leach generously 

they’ve left a few trees standing 

in the meadow to remind us of trees

the mirage of a cared-for landscape

the deception of orderly lifestyles 

the ludicrousness of plans at times like these

Posted in: Poetry | 2 comments

A Wedding


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2020-12-13

Near-deserted lanes mid way up low hills 

the sodden escarpments of unfashionable zones

unvisited by most who know of their existence

in this interlude when a shadow cajoles our attention

the damp hushed houses of this year’s departed

dust on shelves weeds between paving slabs

awaiting tidying up and reinvigoration

and the lengthy sigh of a decision reached

(starling darlings lingering watch unwatched)

among the personal effects in those corners 

not accessed in a period compromised 

by the seizing up of bones 

and the disorder of failing and forgetfulness

an antique from the top of a wedding cake but whose?

two figures a bride and her groom

he minus his head his sacrifice 

making them equal in height

(can mementos metamorphosize into voodoo dolls?)

how had he come to lose his head? 

how was he relevant to the widower 

in whose former home it was found?

who and when did they represent?

what I am to do now that this imperfected tribute

this broken inheritance is in my possession 

the only one that has raised its head to me?

Posted in: Poetry | 2 comments
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