Paul Steffan Jones 1st


 

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Anti-Aging Cream


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2020-02-15

I hope I don't grow old and declining

running out of ideas

running out of running out

depleted of free will

knowing that I will depend on others

burdened with unreliable memories

irredeemable consolation prizes

and an unreachable hole

where I used to be

with people who have since left

there's little certainty

a leaf lands where it falls

then is moved by a breeze

or the industry of insects

the tramp of shoes

I am but a leaf

from a great tree

called family

I will land where I will fall

Posted in: Poetry | 0 comments

Tŷ Unnos


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2019-12-21

It was always night

would always be so to him

how it crept to become his friend

after childhood dread

tonight with axe and hammer

(or bwyell and mwrthwl in his language

somehow sounding less edgy

and threatening but almost comforting)

in that tongue

in their hands

choosing the longest spell of blackness

cold clear close to Yuletide

they began their work

Thomas David

Jacob and Joseph

trusted masons and joiners

from the scriptures

timber and thatch

nails and planes

saws and chisels

grinding gouging grunting

cursing as bats reconnoitered low

he knew that David would later admonish him

in his good-natured avuncular way

by his ironic use of the word “holidays”

to describe some of the more wayward/

strokes/of/his/adze/

despite the urgent energy of this shift

the desperate grip of the haft

when at last their task was complete

and they were done with checking the horizon 

for the first sparks on the anvil of sunrise

and had kindled their own warmth

in the newly installed hearth

the cloud of their exertions shrank

back into relaxing lungs

they clapped each others' backs

before nursing their aches

and extricating splinters

smiling broadly as Mary came over the rise

bringing the dawn in her basket

of bread cheese and ale

the first rays of a new day

a new life in her smile

and Christmas was coming

Posted in: Poetry | 2 comments

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
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