Paul Steffan Jones 1st


 

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I Remember Amnesia


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2019-12-07

The amnesia of politicians

the mule refusal to learn from the past

the expensive studied ignorance

leads to the bonfire of billionaires

and reparations for the original Americans

and those of us driven from

our lands for any reason

and all the silver gold coal

wildlife wages spaces and hope

they made us help them

steal from us in ongoing plunder

featuring in blockbuster movies

for which we receive no royalties

and this despite the proliferation 

of information

or perhaps because of it

the overload of data required

to thrive or even survive nowadays

I drive in the low hills of autumn

in their twilight coat of russet and orange peel

the low hills of this time of my life

until bird droppings in the shape 

of a salamander on the car’s window

change the view

I chose a path

but don't remember which one

Posted in: Poetry | 0 comments

What is the story of a bra jettisoned

on the white lines in the centre of a road

eyed by a bevy of starlings on a telegraph wire

while green wheelie bins line up 

on a mucky grass verge

like recycled squaddies at ease

or lazy cut-price Easter Island statues?

our parents used to exhort us 

to always wear clean underwear

to spare our blushes

in the event of emergency personnel

having to intervene

when some inattentive motorists

unseated us from our bikes

bish bash bosh

if you're free a week Thursday afternoon

why don't we start to dig up 

the clogged-up motorways

then do the same to their feeder roads

and the unclassified roads

and any slither of poor

potholed tarmac or concrete

for they are teeming and pollutant

not the fresh air and ideas

of the caravans from the Middle East

the old books promised us

instead we gag on the rank fumes

of millions of vehicles going nowhere

very slowly in the congestion of our lives

Posted in: Poetry | 0 comments

At The Home of an Unknown Great Aunt


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2019-11-02

A place of former habitation

now degraded

disregarded

and unguarded

its garden a tangle of bramble

a battle of nettles

forlorn thorns

and overthrown lawns

what enigma is hidden

beneath its heavy ivy overcoat?

what tale of abandonment will be revealed?

maybe its interior is derelict

unsafe and claustrophobic 

its rooms shrouded in 

a gradual accretion of dust

a pinafore hanging on a door

places set at a table

the trouble taken

over a meal never taken

toys sombre after childhoods

of excitement and exploration

curtailed by the games of adults

by the mystery of growing up

the heartbreak of having to decide

mundane objects

on shelves in cabinets

drawers handbags and boxes

or under beds

may have held a significance 

far outweighing their outward appearance

modest treasures promised to family members

keepsakes that were not handed down

a Bible open at a page

but what page?

what book?

its remembered names 

the family names

and those names

that were their own

no one else's

inscribed for some sort of deluded posterity

in the land of God and his enforcers

and the erasure of the seasons

the clouding of happenings

in the sedimentation of time

Posted in: Poetry | 0 comments

Island Life


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2019-10-10

On my cherished isle

of rainbows flecked with words

that were meant but not said

the loveliest in all the tides

salmon-swept and seal-circled-sealed

I nurse my wounds in

my Savlon non-Avalon

an eminence in a deepening ocean

whose delving trenches are becoming

an even greater mystery

a friendless dwindling rock 

where I can play king

so bring me my dynastic sword

forgive me 

but I can’t read the small print any more

and those untutored minstrels

of my language of 40 years ago

where are they now?

they burned brightly but briefly

fireflies those guys and girls

I half-heartedly search for them

in scant grainy footage on You Tube

like a different country and historical period

I may have met them there

but I don’t remember

the frontier of familiarity

breached and confused

in a mess of pencil jabs

and eraser rubbings

and unconscious cultural step changes

to be larger than life 

to give life up 

and live larger than that 

and what's a real sinner?

shoot to my heart in

the stupidity of dance 

that I can't resist nor

the stupidity of stupidity

I who win inconsolable

and customisable grief 

not that I needed

or lacked it or benefitted 

from its purported utilitarianism

Posted in: Poetry | 4 comments

By The Sea


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2019-09-25

The sun returning after churlish paltry rain

people wearing cagoules in humid heat

the end of summer tiding with the advent of autumn

the shortening days of strengthening shadows

the perpetuation of the population

is the bar going to open?

a radio is on but I can't quite make out the voices

though I recognise Walking in Memphis

the sea is close 

I can see it through and over railings

why do they have to culminate

so often in spear points?

a hotel employee vacuum cleans

after a lunch or an afternoon tea

the sky a faint blue cloud

seagulls glide about 

their cries remind us

that we are on the threshold 

of the kingdom of the gods of the sea

three hoplite-helmeted cyclists pass 

pumping their legs

as the sun makes one of its final showings

taking a bow on the roofs of cars

in the hair of women 

on the silver ever attentive sea

a child is being carried on his father's shoulders

both striding purposefully ahead

the time of his life

the time of the day

the time of the year

the pale faces the pale ale

Posted in: Poetry | 0 comments

Panic Station


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2019-08-06

How many pedestrians are arguably pedestrian?

how many drivers can claim to be driven

as the kilometer psychotically accelerates 

to that finite point when rust will return 

triumphant on the saddles of a troop of horses 

that will be the daddies and mummies

of the new heathen horsepower horde 

of carbon-neutral transportation?

flashing one's debit card in the twilight of plastic

in an era of multiple extinctions 

you could almost get a programme to aid 

a more user-friendly viewing of the shows

got Popol Vuh on the speakers 

Germans riffing to Mayan influences

how I like it how dead people still speak to us 

across the centuries of disease invasion 

and the most extravagant exterminations

I try to remember the names of people 

I used to work with

to stave off forgetfulness 

and the names of actors

I rehearse my new escape wings

awkward with still tacky glue

going around and around in circles before non take off

until I fall asleep my beak stilled on my chest

and birds fall on my garden their eyes bleeding

or did I just read about that on the web?

Posted in: Poetry | 2 comments

Kill War Not Time


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2019-07-19

It's theatre on a dead planet

a candidacy lost in space

the life lessons you need

from a black girl's reading list

there's not a cloud in the sky

so I'm going to give you what I want

a quarry in the steeper side of a peak

abandoned unworked unloved

except by us in our hole in the wall

with raven flight feather we don't fly

as our legs and loads are heavy

and anyway we're enjoying the view

and the fact that no one comes here

on the more challenging side of the eminence

where paths are of sheep

and water oozes from the skin of height

a week of resignations

an ambassador

a footballer

my sister

good for them

there's life after a life

especially when bullies are broken

and exit in wheelbarrows

and no one any longer knows

where the bodies are

I have collected two birds that crashed 

into windows and died 

a finch and a sparrow I think

one was still warm when I first picked it up

its eyes closed its beak and claws small 

unthreatening and alluring

don't know what to do with them 

and they're starting to smell in the heat

the fragrance of decomposition

moving again in temporary maggot propulsion

but I have begun to gather stray feathers 

and took a fancy to theirs too

receiving my treasure as it happens

and not after the fact

someone painted a large erect penis 

on tarmac near a cattle grid in the hills

on the day I come up with the idea of a wealth cap 

the revenge of the benefit cap

the revenge of the underpaid

the oppressed and the short-changed

it's all connected

I don't like the modern world

but it's the only one they've got

having to pay to view redundant antique war planes

that our grandparents surely helped to purchase

through taxation and maybe through blood spilled

in operating them in campaigns they did not subscribe to

a bit like the money they charge us to visit castles

after they succeeded in subduing us

the massive watchtowers of the conquerors

still invading our pockets so give me what I want

Posted in: Poetry | 0 comments

Field Marshal Me


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2019-06-30
Field Marshal Me

A collector

becomes commander

in his top secret militarised mind

a director

of virtual brigades battalions

and cavalry stallions

I revisit my childhood bedroom

its ceiling trailing plastic aircraft models

from drawing pins and fishing gut

how I made my own sky 

with dioramas of dogfights 

of Hurricane and Stuka

Flying Fortress and Focke Wulf

Spitfire and Messerschmitt

born of glue that got everywhere

until I gave them away to younger cousins

when I thought I ought to have outgrown them

(there were people who were still around then)

decades later I don decals

war paint and sloping armour

having returned to the wheat fields of Prokhorovka

amid the diesel and shell bursts 

of the battle of Kursk

sinking back into those earlier times

my 1970s reimagining

of the Great Patriotic War

the faces of my brave toy soldiers

of indeterminate racial representation

their frozen stances somehow

suggesting action

face each other in lines

their bayonets bent in the crush of packaging

loyal to me in outcomes I decide

never dying

I use part of my disposable income to rekindle

the fantasy campaigns of my childish days

acquiring  more solid diecast Panzers

half-tracks and anti-aircraft guns

in my camouflage under the radar

still at play in a world

in which my government is a supplier

of armaments that kill children

Posted in: Poetry | 2 comments
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