They Came Home

Unsuspected cemetery

its thousand year sand graves

sifted away by storm

revelation

 

they had lived clasped

by the shore

and by the sea

vigorous and self-assured

that margin

 

on their oceanic trade routes

of exchanged objects

and the latest news from

beyond the dolphin-drawn horizons

 

of kings and their retinues

the gossip of far-flung tribes

precious stones and

famous sunsets

 

the bones of the infants

unusually survived

loved in the cuddle

of the cist

laid down with seared hearts

 

they said their toes pointed inwards

bunched that way

by the embrace of

disappeared shrouds

 

The Elixir of Preparation

The elixir of preparation

and the preparation of the elixir

the moving air

the flies on hot roof tiles

science as an aspirin

 

to be a crow

then one crow to another

an imagined conversation with Nick Cave

in the cemetery of celebratory dead

 

1.6%

c273

in Arden Forest

the view through a green glass sphere

“better do it now than wish it done”

Of The Fields

I am of the fields

the ones in which my grandfather

used to toil and hunt rabbits

to feed nine mouths

 

always close at hand

in the distance

the horizons

 

the cattle-hooved mud at gates

the perpetual feeling of trespass

among the thistles nettles

and cow pats

the trees the largest objects of that world

 

my parents had left the meadows

to live in brand new local

authority housing

and benefit from modern technology

and labour-saving labours

 

the fields followed them as

lawns borders hedges weeds

wallpaper and cemeteries

 

I am of the fields

I played at soldiers there

and honed the loneliness

of the imagination

and learned how to die

 

Lull of The Bull and The Trigger-Happiness-where to get them

My two poetry collections Lull of The Bull and The Trigger-Happiness are available on the Starborn Books website:

http://www.starbornbooks.co.uk/sb_authors/paul-steffan-jones/

and also :  https://americymru.net/paul-steffan-jones2/store/140/the-trigger-happiness

 

and : https://www.facebook.com/psj61/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

For Fire

 

A cat hunches under a parked car

screws that don’t turn don’t want to

the sound of an apple falling heavier than the object

crashed fox grins at roadside

geese heard overhead but not seen

still on a stepladder

 

new rain

33rpm

drum rudiment

inadvertent touching of owl feathers

 

suggest a jester

I’m buying socks

this is as good as it gets

a punch in the guts to start doing what I want

 

hitting a door to give my left hand a chance

no big deal

it hurts but not for long

and the poor quality door will survive me

 

don’t treat anger

use it as a tool to shape the days

lifestyle fashioned from vexation

a gift given to you

 

for bones have their own bones

and everything is a part of something else

 

the long flat views

                                                                        we never realised we were so high

 

 

the change from one season to the next

from Druidism

            to Catholicism

from Protestantism

            to Nonconformism

from hunger

            to consumerism

from farm

            to factory

from Welsh

            to English

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

more slavery than at any other time in history

pirates command whole seas

Colonel Gaddafi as Bob Dylan

G.I. Gurdieff in downloaded loads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was thinking about my mother

how to remember her

how she used to look

smell sound laugh and walk

when we roamed the savannah together

all the things she told me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

lost at midnight in the vicinity of villages

with “Moat” in their names

I remain underground

don’t get noticed

don’t meet eyes

my imprint already known

 

hillocks of washing up

the wrong graveyard

in a never-ending episode of Red Dwarf

Matt’s here with the weather

 

local produce

she said she’d been waiting

for a tall man to come along

I handed her the milk carton she required

she pushed her trolley away

 

walking over a footbridge

there’s nowhere else to go

behind a young Indian woman

pushing a push chair with good legs

 

they wore shorts with tights

and intoxicated me

I wore a jacket with a torn inside pocket

full of a letter from a mental hospital

 

autumnal arousal

she gets in touch

apology envelopes

a rumoured body

a known feint

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

women

omen

men

me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

            (bedtime story)                                                 he lay unable to sleep

thinking about a hundred things he could now do nothing about

whirring around inside his washing machine skull

as revellers loudly made their way home in the street

 

he couldn’t remember the last time he’d had a good night’s sleep

he wondered how much total darkness

there was in his life in life

his heavy eyes closed and he settled into a half comfortable position

 

(began to dream of an embrace

a tryst he had imagined many times

this time more real than ever

deliciously feeling limbs surround him

the heat of another body

he inched closer into the cuddle)

 

a toenail scraped his shin

his fantasy was over

somehow there was someone else in his bed

a shape with an unknown face

who had come to lie beside him

he withdrew his hand from the other’s arm

heard their steady breathing

his own quickening respiration

his body grew cold though the stranger remained warm

cosy in a threatening way

he asked in a weak whisper

“who are you?”

no reply he asked again again no reply

he tried to wrestle free from the hug

but strong fingers gripped his elbows

his feet pinioned by athletic legs

 

the union of terror lasted until first light

when the intruder vanished in a moment

or so it seemed

he got up cautiously clammy with sweat

the bedroom door was still locked

he nervously searched the wardrobe under the bed behind the curtains

he peered carefully through the window

and saw that nothing was out of place

nothing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(unfit Inuit unit intuit into it)

 

reality TV

an adult adult on the cusp of a cusp

and how long does a long hard look take?

 

I assert my right to silence

                                    to oddity

                                    to isolation

to think about instantaneous evolution

until it cajoles all other thoughts from my thinking

 

the trigger-happiness be upon you

the heat and torpor caused by weight gain

the bacon brought home

dropping hot cakes

conventional oven

a butcher’s apron

for a three brain roast

 

bishop as penis penis as bishop

a word that is unable to give its word

toss but sexy in the modern way

castrated babies dodging dogging sex

 

where will bonfires reveal themselves

in the coal of the countryside?

the smiles of women on horseback

sunshine on tall brightly painted seaside houses

 

life is getting some money

spending some money

having pleasant and unpleasant interactions

 

I conclude that I must now be working

for Goldman Sachs

capitalist punishment

grateful servitude

to a cancerous authority

me too at times a joke

international banking conspiracy

of no specific ethnic origin

 

sacking me sacking you

handmaiden to a regime

misunderstood mantras repeated

 

 

race to the bottom

to impoverishment

as others make a profit out of the gap

between us and them and us

the near-mirage effects of changing the hour

 

I’m rusting

invaded by a single celled mould

it’s that time of our lives

they are surprised to see me

still amongst the transplanted population

 

when we were human

we stood with livestock

milked slaughtered and salted our way

through iron ice and snow grass

revered our ever present ancestors

opened our eyes when we looked

at the uninterrupted night sky

the way we weren’t

 

the syllable factory still in business

see a man about a headstone

and tolerate zero

 

I need someone not something

not a postcard from a postcard

“wishing you had posted me”

 

broken vein

haranguing God

dimming down

insects at windows at night

in a dry kind of aquarium

 

bigger clothes for the expanding universe

the men have the same names

they stopped taking photographs of their children

after the age of ten

 

gin and bath tonic

what’s “reindeer furniture” in Finno-Ugric?

what do I know?

 

let everything that moves move me

 

 

 

 

When You Smile You’ll Be a Dog No More

 

I wake up

I wake up dead

I had been dreaming of cardboard

home made signs on unclassified roads

which directed me to 20,000 saints

or 20,000 whores

it’s hard to decide

everything is everything else

nothing is nothing

let me sleep

my bed my kingdom

I’m sick of having to make sense

if there’s still such a thing

the holes and the cracks

that await filling or recognition

I am overdue a bombweed and overgrown motte

Grand Tour of Europe

with a redundant cinema gravedigger hunchback

to disinter Nazis to kill them all over again

mould and its cousins

fungicide and its offspring

the art of leaning on a farm gate to view

wood lice jigs

tail end of a hurricane

the select few cut-up cut-out

cry when miners die in the sides of hills

in the tombs of the underworld

in the caress of water

cry when they say your name

when the pain overpowers

when the clues expire

cry as men cry

faces to the wall

the tears of candles

the clowns of town down

the anti-condensation flotilla at full tilt

freelance apologists freely lancing

cwtsh into the huddle

taste her tears so near

impressing me as much

as I had expected

but not in the manner anticipated

women with bruised faces

the views from floors

fight for your smile

you know the one

and I will fight for the right to fail

and the secrets we think we are keeping

removing my shirt though it’s cool

nakedness of diaphragm

for what I am

the long arms of brambles through fencing

Impressionist paintings in river reflections

the source of the Nile

the source of fibre

persisting with bent nibs

everybody lies

everybody smells

everybody disappoints

everybody’s done loot

this town’s got much to answer for

eat what you are

food replaces sex

those poached brains

shopping as sport

lions as lambs

distance will bring us together

 

Winner of West Coast Eisteddfod 2012 Online Poetry Competition

Published in The Seventh Quarry 17