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  • Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    I Remember Amnesia


    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...

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    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...

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    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    At The Home of an Unknown Great Aunt


    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...

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    Island Life


    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...

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    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    By The Sea


    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...

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    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    Panic Station


    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...

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    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    Kill War Not Time


    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...

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    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...

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    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer


    Tunes of vigour soar in that chapel in the Simple Round-Headed style raised by your great grandfathers in a confluence of overworked meadows and sparse whitewashed settlement the Word and its compositions its words verses and choruses among friends and familiar worshippers joining in with your sister at the organ as Mrs Angel falls to her knees in her fervour praying as tears escape down her face while outside the minstrelling of blackbirds the hymns of wind the sighs of boughs and the symphony of waves approaching then breaking do their bit as a tailor you earned...

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    The Mothered


    Those men who have lost their mothers and who live like men who have lost their mothers gather at a rock on a unclassified road that dispenses warm weak grateful ale and incremental amounts of confidence as they rub shoulders with ascetics and saintly aesthetics but still feel inadequate in comparison with their forebears among their number but standing somewhat apart somewhere between the sugar and the salt and consuming a more spirited beverage is the monumental mason Tomb Jones no relation who keeps a creased miniature image of his loved one secure in the treasury of...

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    1837


    Mighty mere of tears the tears of migrants the tears of slaves the tears of the great whales at the side of your pregnant wife and small children so excited to be going on such an adventure you watched your brothers friends and neighbours and the coastline you knew so well dwindle then disappear from view for a final time horizons imperceptibly changing never drawing near but falling away your place of birth observed as though via the wrong end of a telescope doors closing as others opened you sailed with hope and piety and escaped the pity and the poverty of your...

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    Where Did I Put My Country? (Avalon)


    Struggling to find the end of a roll of Sellotape despite his best intentions for this not to happen again he’s all fingers and thumbs just as he is when trying to open clear polythene bags in a supermarket the energy expended on the need to trim his finger and toenails the time taken to get around to doing it and feeling good when it is done maybe life would be better in a kind of standby mode only waking up when an act is about to take place he deplores TV programmes like Britain’s Got Talent the exaggerated melodrama of slightly delaying the announcement of which...

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    Acquiring useful things has become more important in his later years of reflection and bigger pictures as he unpacks the black and yellow hard plastic case that conveys and conceals a Combi drill pulls it out fits the battery into the hand grip poses with it briefly pressing the trigger a short whirr of the bit making him believe he’s in a remake of Bladerunner that he could some damage with this power tool whilst considering how many of the current crop of Members of Parliament could do with an injection of honesty good manners and humanity stored deep in an unremarkable...

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    Conversations with One's Heroes


    Pete Shelley and Mark Hollis from Leigh and Tottenham the very best of England die in their early 60s older than me I looked up to them especially when I was a youth aware that they too were young a little like elder brothers I never had lost in their post-rock sounds making me meander in fever contemplation and fervid word formation I accept it’s OK to cry it’s OK for your upper body to quiver and convulse it’s OK to feel it’s OK it’s OK to be you accept the gift the warrior puts on his socks in the hushed pre-dawn camp he’s unable to see what he’s...

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    Change Hands


    A pound found on the ground on which he'd parked the car he spends it or 99p to be precise in a charity shop on a Fred Astaire CD for his mother in law the remaining penny goes into the collection box on the counter in the dwindling town centre still warm with coffee and giving he is happy with the symmetry of the day the chance findings the changing hands his changed needs a different sort of payday his changed self recycled now like everything that once existed exists now and is to exist

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    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    I Thought I Had More Time


    My tribe my place in it the island of our existence and patriarchs entitled John John David David Evan Evan Rees Rees Owen Owen Thomas Thomas they did not have many names and never questioned why it was so long ago when there were fewer words available to be connected to people who had no names who were our ancestors Dylan Marlais Thomas they forget the middle name in the land where you need three names to be identifiable from the next Thomas the next DT somehow there are two suns in the same sky the primary school yard is overlooked by a house in which I...

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    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    Bag for Life (Don't Sell Your Dreams)


    The fear of Christmas of the retail hell we've made it and dying in a giant impersonal shop-hangar wearing unclean underwear after discovering that a product one has just purchased was cheaper elsewhere the anxiety of missing out on a bargain of losing a receipt of not finding a car parking space the tyranny of opening and closing times of time itself inching forward unstoppably impudently fretting about leaving items in hotel rooms letting a fire go out and not having funds for unashamed continuous consumerism worrying about saying the wrong thing and forgetting...

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    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    Out of Control


    What you wish for is not always careful a glib handover in an ambient Tiger tank in shadows of oboes on an European coastline you know so well a meaningful vote devoid of much meaning not the kind of leaving you had in mind when you let that paper drop into the aperture we’ve been mis-sold overblown oligarchies and demoralised democracies so let’s invent pop up monarchies and subvert history as it is all made up as it stumbles along or at least that’s what the fecklessness of many of our leaders seems to suggest and remember to schedule a tour of our shiny...

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    At a dinner party after about a couple of glasses of Rioja he spills out what he’s been thinking for some time suggesting that everyone should return to the place in which they had been born his own birthplace approximately 436 metres from that table according to Google Maps eyebrows are raised accompanied by upward glances sighs and uncomfortable virtual jokes about racism   he smiles expecting these reactions   he finishes his dessert thanks the host and leaves for home 301 metres away a fortress mentality was how a parliamentary committee had described...

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    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    Low lie Land


    Knut Madsen bad lip cop dressed his bride in a brick wedding dress thinks he recognises people he used to know in how total strangers look in far-removed locations lip bad cop black electric vehicle hybrid hymen hymnal chasing all the flies around the effluent that attracts them sticky on his wheels round and around still can't shake off those pony tricks and scrotum athletics in an inner sanctum in a jam an electric eel gets an electricity bill wrongly addressed bin credit rating predicts no future cop bad lip what's for dinner? breaking out of his...

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    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    In The Museum of Peace


    I pledge peace not knowing where it is as fighter planes roar through the valley I am deaf beneath behind their slipstream their scorched air feel the change inside don’t know if it’s going well it’s too stony for me to cry keys fall down a drain fast-moving mountain streams flow back on themselves the commodification of the remembrance of our war dead the steely eyes smart uniforms glinting bayonets the choreographed floral tributes one of the things we do best the massive architecture of cathedrals oppresses with displays of power the building blocks of...

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    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    Princes and Princesses


    MORE FROM PAUL STEFFAN JONES: CLICK HERE 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...

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    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    1938


    The Great War had not shaken them from their faith had not deflected them from the path they had followed more assuredly since the excitements of the latest Methodist Revival if anything the conflict and its aftershock had helped them make sense and come to a sort of understanding of the new world order that now came looking for them in their previously unknown collection of fields barns and cottages they still respected the word and feared God's judgement remembering past transgressions while processing current discomforts there had been talk in the vestry the...

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    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    Unilluminated Ruminations


    Let rage ride a ragged pony around the fenced-in final Site of Specific Scientific Interest its legs buckling under the combined burden of foaming resentment short-lived joust-tirades and knee-jerk dismissal of potentially good things but when you’re born you get a life you get a name you have to live with that name that life with all of its expectations its meanings fortune and misfortune I am almost alert and will not sleep as long as the death watch beetle holds me in its sway reminding me of the terms and conditions of worms and munitions and the hum of...

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    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    Country Man


    You seem to have featured in nearly every photograph taken in your bypassed village in the years following the Second World War you appear bemused as though surprised that you have survived still strong in the weakening that old age invites in getting used to a world that has changed and people no longer being around you have white hair black eyes a black suit for weddings funerals and snapshot opportunities an unconscious caricature of film negatives and the light and shade of the photographic prints of your era sometimes you are standing at the side...

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    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    Gravitas


    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...

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    Pictures of Us


    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 fossilised 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...

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    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    Ceibwr


    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 Ceibwr The patterns of your cliffs reflect the waves your stature a high and...

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    Osgoi Ffordd Osgoi


    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...

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    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    Anger One


    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 disappear 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...

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    Paul Steffan Jones is a Welsh poet and author.

    Paul Steffan Jones was born in Cardigan in 1961. To date, two collections of his verse have appeared, Lull of the Bull (2010) and The Trigger-Happiness (2012), both of which were published by Starborn Books. His When You Smile You’ll Be a Dog No More won first prize in the 2012 West Coast Eisteddfod Online Poetry Competition.

    Over 100 of his poems have been accepted for publication by periodicals and anthologies including Poetry Wales, New Welsh Review, The Rialto, The Seventh Quarry, Roundyhouse, Red Poets magazine, Seren Books, Hanging Johnny, The Slab, Eto, Poetry Cornwall and The Western Mail.

    He has recently worked with the artist Chris Rawson-Tetley on a project entitled Gwaelod which responds to the Cantre’r Gwaelod history and other notions of identity and diaspora. He has also collaborated with Glenn Ibbitson and other artists in a work called Room 103 which attempts to consider the relevance and importance of the ideas of George Orwell in a modern world of inequality, surveillance and manipulation of information. He is in the throes of assembling two new collections of verse under the working titles Otherlander and I Thought I Had More Time and regularly performs readings in Northern Pembrokeshire and adjacent areas.

    Paul has had some success in writing song lyrics. His most recent is Ar ôl Yr Angladd/After The Funeral, a response to a request from the rock group Datblygu. A song he co-wrote with the late Charlie Sharp, Bombstar, was released on the AA side of a single by Datblygu, Cân y Mynach Modern/Song of The Modern Monk, on Ankstmusik Records in 2008. He was one half of the underground folk-punk duo, Edward H. Bôring, who achieved a small amount of notoriety and a session that was broadcast by Radio Cymru in 1980. A track he wrote and recorded in 1981, Byd Heb Tywydd (sic)/World Without Weather was recently re-released on Recordiau Neon.

    He used to be a Civil Servant and Trade Union activist. He believes he is descended from Owain ab Afallach, the semi-mythical originator of the Royal House of Gwynedd, Alfred the Great, Charlemagne the Great and William the Conqueror and is pleased to count Owain Glyndwr and St David as distant cousins.