Paul Steffan Jones 1st


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Osgoi Ffordd Osgoi

By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2018-05-10

Does dim palmant

dim marciau ffordd

dim ffordd ymlaen

dim ots

allan yn yr anialwch peiriannol

ceir yn erbyn ceir

gyrrwyr yn erbyn gyrrwyr

y milltiroedd  yn ysu amser

y byd yn gul

yn ein drychau

byd cul

ein dyddiau

dw i am gerdded

tuag at y cyntadau

a chrwydro’n ddifeddwl

diamcan a diystyr

a byw ar lethr

wrth ochr y draffordd

gyda’r ehedydd a’r barcut

yn ymyl y chwyn

yn sgîl y mygdarthau

y twrw

y damweiniau

y niwed

a’r ceudyllau sy’n uno

i greu un twll enfawr

ac anfarwol

roeddwn yn arfer edrych allan

am arwyddion ffordd

nawr dw i’n chwilio

am arwyddion ffydd

dw i am gerdded

ond mae’n rhy peryglus

heb balmant

heb farciau ffordd

heb ffordd ymlaen

dim ots

Avoiding a Bypass

There’s no pavement

no road markings

no way ahead

it doesn’t matter

out in the mechanical wilderness

cars against cars

drivers against drivers

the miles consuming time

the world narrow

in our mirrors

the narrow world

of our days

I want to walk

towards the ancestors

and wander thoughtlessly

aimlessly and meaninglessly

and live on a slope

by the side of the motorway

with the lark and the kite

among the weeds

in the wake of the fumes

the tumult

the accidents

the damage

and the potholes that are uniting

to create one immense

and unforgettable hole

I used to look out for

road signs

but now I search

for signs of faith

I want to walk

but it’s too dangerous

without a pavement

without road markings

without a way ahead

it doesn’t matter

Posted in: Poetry | 0 comments

Anger One

By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2018-05-06

Grind my teeth down

mortar and pestle

molar pestilence

at the dentist

get a new set

a horse look

my masculinity blurs

whatever it is or was

weight piles on

semi-industrial consumption

of ill advice

that amorphous shape

my eyes dim with tears

my ears struggle to keep up

everyone wants

my money

my effort

my support

my attention

my input

my time

my vote

my life

while the flora

and the fauna


memory as a sequence

of half snatched-back vignettes

that perhaps I was never in

we can’t escape our parents

they’re in our faces

our ways of moving

of hoping

their bad luck

their diseases

their misjudgement

in the diaspora of kids

leaving home

the energy of synergy

in hangars of anger

the anchors of rancour

with truncheons of tension

in Anger One

anger has won

Posted in: Poetry | 2 comments

The Levels

By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2018-04-14

The land bridges

were always handy

if not at hand

each time of asking

of hoping

we walked across water

swam over land

I walked with you

you walked with me

from Iberia to Hibernia

from Arcadia to Armorica

from Camelot to California

from Cantref Gwaelod to Catterick

from Stonehenge to Stenhousemuir

from Doggerland to Sunderland

and from Tir na n0g to Tintagel

with a lioness from Lyonesse

all over the place

we have been practically

all over the place

so walk with me

please carry on

walking with me

Posted in: Poetry | 0 comments

Plastic Heroism

By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2018-04-04

View all history

the voices tell me

sing to me

member or not

the murder of St. Valentine

the lie of neoliberalism

not my kind of people

barely humanitarian

nominally human

buying clearance items

in rancid opera intervals

what brought us here?

need a new gun amnesty

the dafties

the smokies

the medicinal use of whisky

prescribed medication

prescribed loneliness

planned isolation


aniseed:any seed

the self-inflicted wounds

of the second half of the 20th century

health care and diet conflict


scratch out the words

see what they reveal

what they see

bad weather is coming

anxieties about planned journeys

if we don’t get there

we don’t get there

wait for the snow

wait for the snow to fall

wait for snow to fall on plans

wait for water to freeze

wait for water

water for the wait

water the waiting

await the watering

hold things up to the sun

in winter to dry them

always wanting something to evaporate

I fought with monsters

I fought with my teeth

I fought with uncertainty

I fought with time

all the time

in Guadalajara

Rizla Deutsch

Stone Tony and the others

the hot air balloons

of my way of thinking

where is spring?

show us your spring

notes for a future

the future of notes

the life and aftermath

of gift wrapping

does it boil down to this?


lung versus kidney

cancer versus everything else

pricking oneself lightly

with a French knife

versus not trying

Joseph of Arimathea

earth tremors

encouraged by the nearing end

but the scaffolding is still up

the rock and roll dream

the technology dream

the medical dream

a mental illness epidemic

the pills bonanza

in the streams of unconsciousness

it’s not touching me





a postcard from a lost village

to some Swedes with axes

wish you were here

in these isles

that have become aisles

the great retail swindle

buy your way out of unhappiness

bondage and not belonging

the places I used to work

used to work

never go back

keep facing forward

for fire


a country music funeral

the air always there

always air

hope they don’t tax it

that air

promote sanctity

promote scarcity

promote something special


see the ink run out in a pen

no loyalty anymore

wait like an animal waits

wish I could

de rigeur or an actor

out of context

out of time

wear a head

always wear a head

to bed

wake up with it

modern jazz wolverines

creatures that eat other creatures

passwords for heaven

fall out of love with plastic

something to do before I die

Posted in: Poetry | 0 comments


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2018-04-04

He came from a lost village

he couldn’t remember which one

or how it came to be missing

as it was so long ago

perhaps it had been a frowned

drowned sort of place

or a bulldozed overdosed one

somewhere that wouldn’t be missed

he had been wet behind the ears

but soon fitted in with

the new strangers

although they spoke differently

and seemed disinterested

in anything that was other

his parents never talked about

their origins

and stayed that way until the end

those nights when he could sleep

deep in the cosy burrow of forgetting

he dreamt of a place

that smiled

that worked

that knew its history

what he couldn’t know

was that everyone else

was dreaming

of returning to somewhere

they had never been

he got over it

there had been many villages

lost for various reasons

that’s the way it was

people becoming unwitting

pieces on a giant chess board

that used to be their country

Posted in: Poetry | 2 comments


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2018-03-03

The wealth of our princes

in swords bent

and thrown into meres

in the feared wildernesses of their time

when they were deposed by invaders

their leaderless subjects

lived similarly fettered

until liberated by learning

the alchemy of the word

the occasional brilliance of finance

like sunlight in a forest

I break the legs of my poems

to prevent them escaping from me

in my hobbled search for

my private Excalibur

Posted in: Poetry | 0 comments

(When) We Were

By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2018-02-22

The hunters came from afar

to the vacuum of

scraped and scratched mountains

and scourged and scoured valleys

uninformed but brave

confident and hardy

they would stay

finding something that contented them

where the land ran out

in the north west of the continent

they had crossed as ice mass melted

their skins black against white

the waters gushing

through territories re-emerging

after their long concealment

they built homes

started families

harnessed ploughs

husbanded beasts

worked together

to engineer and erect

monumental structures

sailed the coasts


and sharing products

and ideas

they used whale bone

flint and tusk

to fashion tools and weapons

hunting some creatures to extinction

their shamen helped them

to know how to revere

and commune with their ancestors

the stars

the sun and the moon

thunder and lightning

and the munificence of the fauna

of the ocean without end

in time that sea rose around them

cutting them off from their wider family

leaving them stranded

and forgetful of who they were

where they had come from

prefering to tell a new myth of island isolation

those mothers and fathers of ours

Posted in: Poetry | 4 comments

The Ministry of Loss

By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2018-02-18

What lies beneath the surface

below the wake of cheerful pleasure craft

and the hopeful lures of anglers

this privileged day of summer?

the old village now lies silenced

its windowless buildings

have wide open doors

that permit brown trout

to enter and leave

this street of skulls

forgotten in the march of progress

stepped over by big money

eels coil around the rusted railings

that contain the cemetery

the dead sleeping

the disturbed sleep

of new surroundings

the chapel



the new wildlife in its pews

that does not understand

it had gasped its last hosannas

in bubbles of oxygen

that escaped its ancient walls

on the day it succumbed to deluge

the final ministration of loss

pike skulk in the classrooms

of the primary school

silt is forming over the white lines

of its playground

the lilt of lullabies

the echo of children’s boisterous songs

stifled by millions of litres

of industrialised water

the shop had been run by

a man surnamed “Shop”

on its shelves

Great Pond Snails colonise

large glass jars

that used to dispense

sherbet fountains

Parma violets

and pink and white mice

the pigeon holes at the post office

have become the domain

of smooth newts and gudgeon

managing as efficiently in their way

as had the former postmistress

who was nicknamed “Post”

the practical and descriptive

naming conventions of a people

who had loved to describe

in an inaccessible corner of the lake side

a sheep wool-snagged

barbed wire-topped fence

disappears into the depths

still taut

still connecting the abandoned homes

to the life that persists on the hillside


Posted in: Poetry | 0 comments
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