PoemsStruggling 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 MoreAcquiring 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 MorePete 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 MoreA 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 MoreMy 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 MoreThe 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 More3 CommentsWhat 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 MoreAt 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 MoreKnut 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 MoreI 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 MoreMORE 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 MoreThe 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 MoreLet 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 MoreYou 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 More2 CommentsA 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 MoreThe 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 MoreMae 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 MoreDoes 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 MoreGrind 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 More2 CommentsThe 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 MoreView 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 MoreHe 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 More2 CommentsThe 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 MoreThe 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 More4 CommentsMORE 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 MoreMORE 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 More2 CommentsMORE 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 MoreMORE FROM PAUL STEFFAN JONES: CLICK HERE A brother and sister nine and five a weekend or a holiday it's their time that time of their lives they’re on a beach he’s lanky in trunks of nearly no colour she’s blonde and more effervescent they can’t swim so they play in the certainty of the shallows laughing uncontrollably at their repeated failure to retrieve their inflatable ring that the wind is blowing towards the estuary flip-flopping from their outstretched little hands they’re focussed on that inexpensive circle absorbed in their simple game by being...
Read MoreMORE FROM PAUL STEFFAN JONES: CLICK HERE I wait for a storm that has a name more known than people I know vaguely more known than me I wait for a storm that knows me that names me ... BUY 'THE TRIGGER-HAPPINESS' HERE
Read MoreMORE FROM PAUL STEFFAN JONES: CLICK HERE 5th November Remembrance Sunday then some wasteful argument about football players wearing poppies or not we escaped being defeated by German Wunderwaffe but still insist on such handbags I remember Jackie Leven a favourite crooner-writer who died in the same year as my mother I bought him a drink once the night he visited my county the kind of thing one does for one’s heroes when they make that journey when one makes that journey too ... BUY 'THE TRIGGER-HAPPINESS' HERE
By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2019-04-22
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 hopefuls have been voted in or out of this week’s show
that pantomime pause a menopause by the men of pause
he thinks it could be replaced by something like
Britain’s Got Tories
Britain’s Got Troubles
or Britain’s Got Right Wing Terrorists
these would be much more sincere and illuminating
especially if the same selection method is used
television as the Tower of Babel that moved like a demented crab
into a box then a flat screen and into our gibberish conversations
he’d like to have been a highly-decorated warrior relaxing
in a highly-decorated lounge but this was not to be and is not
instead he obsesses about militaria though he is ashamed
of how his Government uses its armed forces to kill civilians
in his name funded by revenue he was obliged to hand over
it’s almost a point of honour that he is or at least pretends
to be strong enough to offer to help friends to carry heavy items
also denies that he is feeling the cold despite the fact that it is cold
though this is getting harder as age planes away the resistance from his bones
and he appears even more ridiculous when inappropriately lightly attired
he tries not to get too hung up about about demarcation
though he has a door a gate a fence a scripture of passwords
and a clear understanding of where his personal space ends
he admits he falls foul of the Trades Description Act
existing on a small island in the middle of a tarn
of sodium hypochlorite like they did in the legends
afraid to venture out because of the risk of corrosion of his disambulation
the box sets abound
the anniversary re-release of albums
the anniversary re-release of an anniversary re-release
so touching the need to commemorate
to remember to empty pockets at regular points
the demise of former versions of the calendar
too much material collected and not offered in sacrifice
with more on the way
the fads the short-lived allegiances
squeezed into under places
a vacuum-packed heir with not enough memory
for too many memories
too much of him even
he forgets his PIN forgets his sin forgets the hymns forgets he’s him
he can breathe he can walk he can talk when he wishes
he can sleep he can wake he can see he can hear
he can hope he can know that flight has thus eluded him
so all bets are off
he reserves a special enmity for the super rich and is motivated
not to urinate on them when they inevitably combust and their reign is over
though hypocrisy will never expire there’s enough of it to go around
and we will squabble squawk and skirmish over their loot