• paul steffan jones banner.jpg

  • 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...

    Read More
    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    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...

    Read More
    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    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...

    Read More
    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    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...

    Read More
    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...

    Read More
    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    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...

    Read More
    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    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

    Read More
    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...

    Read More
    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...

    Read More
    3 Comments
    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...

    Read More
    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...

    Read More
    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...

    Read More
    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...

    Read More
    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 roof crashed over under into and through them a terrifying...

    Read More
    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...

    Read More
    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...

    Read More
    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...

    Read More
    2 Comments
    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...

    Read More
    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    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...

    Read More
    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...

    Read More
    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    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...

    Read More
    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...

    Read More
    2 Comments
    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    The Levels


    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

    Read More
    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    Plastic Heroism


    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 disassociation aniseed:any seed the self-inflicted wounds of the second half of the 20th century health care and diet conflict scribble scratch out the words see what they reveal...

    Read More
    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    Otherlander


    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...

    Read More
    2 Comments
    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    Fetter


    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

    Read More
    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    (When) We Were


    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 exploring...

    Read More
    4 Comments
    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    The Ministry of Loss


    MORE FROM PAUL STEFFAN JONES: CLICK HERE 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 eyeless wordless the new wildlife in its pews...

    Read More
    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    How Guns Change Hands


    MORE FROM PAUL STEFFAN JONES: CLICK HERE My father once received from his father a semi-automatic pistol that could have been a German-made Sauer M1938H my grandfather in turn had been given this weapon by his brother when he had made up his mind to take his family to the other side of the world never to return home again I have an imprecise recollection of it as it was surrendered in a gun amnesty before I got to be familiar with it before it could become a favourite toy but I recall that it fascinated my cowboy and Indian-obsessed mind the solid cold...

    Read More
    2 Comments
    Paul Steffan Jones AKA

    Inundations: Battle of The Atlantic


    MORE FROM PAUL STEFFAN JONES: CLICK HERE (For Captain Jenkin Evan Jones 1904-1986, Thomas Jones 1898-1986, Captain David John Jones  OBE 1896-1973, Daniel Owen Jones 1904-1936, Henry Lloyd Jones 1911-1985, Charles Ellis Jones 1914-2005 and James Jones 1901-1969) Closer to your men now these breathless damp survivors in a lifeboat you have to remember that you are the master that you remain in command the abandonment of your vessel a torpedo followed up by 21 shells from the deck and AA guns a different kind of rain waves of unkinder weather the steel from another...

    Read More
  • facebook twitter google+ pinterest tumblr

  • cover_2.jpeg

    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.