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  • The Itch and The Scratch


    By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2021-02-20

    Had a bit to drink so I began to think

    what had happened to my ancestors

    what is happening what has happened 

    and is likely to happen to me

    the right to protect the half memory of half lives

    to live and earn a living among one's own kind

    to put a brake on the creeping amnesia

    that separates us from who we are

    who we are from who we were

    and where we came from in the longer view

    newly arrived faces discovered our legends

    animated as though they had known them all their lives

    and not told by their mothers as we had been

    in places our grandparents sold them

     in which we used to play used to laugh

    used to love used to dream used to remember

    but they are not afflicted by the itch that resulted

    nor the scratching that persisted into

    the fantasy of growing up

    I await analysts to tell me where I have been going wrong

    pathologists to reveal my causes

    and detectorists to definitively pinpoint me

    Posted in: Poetry | 0 comments
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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.