Paul Steffan Jones 1st


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By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2018-06-30

A wedding of the unknown

kind of them to have invited us

drunk next to the River Avon

or Afon Afon as we’d have had it

river river dancing in the humidity of marriage

and the hurdles of obligatory congestion

of most journeys we insist on making

I got a Kurdish haircut

in the town that's nearest to us

a place where Gruff Rhys was born

and Suggs spent some boy years

no sign of boyars

in the land of xenophobes

Xerxes unwelcome here

sell out sell you

sell laptop speakers

to Flemish speakers

no need to thin out the population

they willing self-destruct

through unwitting lifelong dependence

on pointless manoeuvres

including funerary rites

the rites of the wrong

the wrongs of the rites

what's on the box tonight?

I hope it's not Ray Winstone

playing The Sweeney’s Jack Regan

via a modern potty mouth

the age of the hard man

usurped by the age of the sneer

a deformity that was born

depleted of future character

guts and class

I ate chutney

I ate cheese

I chewed and inflated bubblegum

I spewed my foetus up

the worthies get asked to talk

to an audience about their work

and how they go about it

I have no feelings of resentment

and even less interest

let them jaw away

while I war away

a way to while away the war

build new homes for old people

excavate wider graves for fatter corpses

give the undertakers a different challenge

the diggers a more avaricious arc

and tomorrow's archaeologists

more to aim for

the dwindling prairies of our dreams

the bison the birds the ants the soil

disappearing out of shot

on a conveyor belt

in an unintelligent looting

and tidying up exercise

the toothless teeth

keep blades of grass as mementos

in an old Quality Street tin

BBC weather used the word toasty

to describe a forecast tonight

dumb dumb dumb

or scorchio even

the laziness of language

the soporific state of minds

and the tongues they fail to control

bequeath the schools

the colleges

the universities

to the dragonflies

the gnats and the mayflies

they’d learn something

and perhaps we’d at last learn something too

a wife killer on the phone

to a lawyer on TV

he wants out of prison

in the worst kind

of cynical middle class accent

ambivalent to the end

hog the limelight with purported education

a criminal is still a criminal

even with a finance sector CV

his wife was from near the river

I know so well

river of mine

thine shine sign

signal singularity

shove elocution lessons

into the sonic industrial ovens

and force the enablers

the coaches

the leadership figures

who want identifiable regional accents

to be scoured from the mouths of their utterers

to view and listen to this outcome

I have booked my ticket

in order to observe and ratify their discomfort

saltcotes and induction hobs

discounted gin but not export strength

seagulls on chimney pots

on an island came to from another

the stepping stones from which

we would not wish to escape

fast road outside

town of roundabouts

get away from nothing

never never get away with anything

just go round and round

in delirious Celtic knots

live for the sun

the ease the comfort it affords

but it continues to wrongfoot us

that amnesia of a half century

of disrupted summers

stalked by soaked darkness

the beaches

the choices

the smiles

the light

the sweat

give me heat

give me T-shirts

give me chilled drinks

give me extensive panoramas

give me a few weeks in which

to live unleashed

Posted in: Poetry | 0 comments

Pictures of Us

By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2018-06-16

The painting “The Bard”

by Thomas Jones

his commemoration

of the suppression

of the poets of his nation

on the orders of the English king

the fan who calls for a statue

of the vocalist Tom Jones

to be erected in his birth town

footsteps on a beach


a family that took a walk

so very many families

before ours

their routes

their journeys

those hands held

a portrait of my great grandfather

youthful diffidence

nearly handsome

on the cusp of a confidence

robbed by

a dishonest business partner

returning to his impoverished county

penniless and

changed forever

this country of scribblers

of walkers



and singers in stone

these pictures of us

Posted in: Poetry | 0 comments


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2018-05-24

Mae patrymau dy glogwynau

yn adlewyrchu’r tonnau

dy daldra yn dalcen

uchel a syn

a haenau dy greigiau

fel blancedi lliwgar

wedi’u plygu a'u gosod

mewn cwpwrdd enfawr

anniben a hirymaros

rwyt ti’n croesawu’r morloi llwyd

i fewn i gysgod dy fae

sy hefyd yn gysur i ni

pan mae amser yn ein caniatau

ac mae’r byd dynol yn ormod

mae dy drysor

yn gemwaith lliwiau

seiniau a theimladau

anadliad y blaen llanw

sibrwd y glustog Fair

gwylanod yn pysgota

yng ngolau dyfriog

y wawr gynnar


The patterns of your cliffs

reflect the waves

your stature a

high and puzzled forehead

and the strata of your rocks

are like colourful blankets

that have been folded and placed

in an immense untidy

and long-suffering cupboard

you welcome the grey seals

into the shelter of your bay

that also gives us comfort

when time allows us

and the human world is too much

your treasure

is a jewellery of colours

sounds and feelings

the breathing of the high tide

the whisper of the thrift

gulls fishing in the watery light

of the early dawn

Posted in: Poetry | 0 comments

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
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