Paul Steffan Jones 1st


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Princes and Princesses

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By: Paul Steffan Jones AKA
Posted in: Poetry

The river flows

the river always flows

the villagers earned a living of sorts

hewing anthracite

separating the hard coal

from the damp underworld

below the restless bed of the Black Cleddau

that seeped through the mine walls

and into their concerns

flowing haughtily past their daily lives

they shuffled with deeply felt reservations

into that space that afternoon

after they and their protests

were turned back by their employer

ruthless rising water

penetrated the roof




into and through them

a terrifying combination

and confusion

of explosion

gust tide and flood

among the trapped dead were

some who had been unaware

that they were the descendents

of the princes and princesses

of their country

impoverished and estranged

by the fortunes and accidents

of dynasties and birth

by the loosening

of the ties of kinship

and the ratcheting of

the new ways of exploitation

and impersonalisation

abandoned to an unroyal fate

on a lonely peaceful bank

a short distance from wading birds

whose beaks ply the sullen mudflats

there’s a modest monument

like a headstone

that’s overcrowded with names

remembering the date

Valentine’s Day 1844

listing those men

and their children

and unidentified women

and child miners

who never came home

to their festival of romance

but these veins flow

these veins always flow

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