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Anniversary

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One of John Jones on his anniversary.  There's no date on this poem so I'm not sure when it was written.  It's called Mr Fantasy and I've taken the liberty of doing some light editing on it.  I hope no one minds!

It was around the time

That beer had a password and

the mattress was strained 

with the thoughts kept from priests,

That I first ever listened 

to the quality of your wisdom.

I had no means of understanding

the sadness from your guitar,

for hadn't I yet to compete

in a game that wasn't cricket.

I hovered; and wasn't to know

there would be blood on the mistletoe,

and no one in the bandstands,

save for Timothy

clutching a well-chilled bottle

of shoplift wine.

He would be looking forward

to the soup run

and I would have to pray

to the moon for him

because it's not much fun

either side of the ladle;

That the kids in our footsteps

would wear badges and earrings,

and all their heads 

would be full of emptiness.

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Weddin

Wipe out

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I've been feeling wiped out recently and now I'm off work with the worst dose of flu I've had, in quite some time, as if the interminable gloom of January wasn't bad enough.  We've had some snow recently and it is a welcome sight to see the white dusted fields of Croaghan Hill and the ermine covered shoulders of Knockavoe.  It certainly helps to relieve the grey misery of the longest month of the year.

If I wasn't so sick, I'd be off to Gortin Glen with my camera but my energy levels are at their lowest and a even walk to the local shop feels like a marathon.  There's nothing I hate more than being sick, except maybe the Tories.  Hmm, I think that's a good sign, the political pulse is still working! 

Anyway, I was to post more of John's poems over Christmas but between work and the general strains of the season I didn't get around to it so here is another one.

This poem is called FOR SEAN, I don't know who Sean was, I'm assuming he was a friend of Johns and it was written in June 1977, the year of the Queen's Jubilee and the Sex Pistols,  Vive le Punk Rock!  I remember it well!

For Sean

Your shoulder stuttered

under the varnished pine.

The weight was elsewhere.

It blurred the aisle

with your rampant tears.

Helpless from a pew

I looked on at 

a bearer conceived 

at a healthier happier time.

The sun was stubborn,

out of place and order.

It was a sad day in May.

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Weddin

John Jones

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 14 Dec 2014, 18:34

A while back I put up a poem written by a young man named John Jones who died at the tender age of 22.  His nephew found the poem on the blog and contacted me and then put me in touch with his mother who is John's twin sister.  We've been keeping in touch and she has given me permission to put up the rest of the poems so I said I would do that over the month of December.   The poems were all written back in the 1970's and this is the first of them. 

Conditional Surrender

Some want

A curfew on laughter

Graffitti void of frolic

Oil slicks for seafaring dodo's

Crimes for every handicap

Multiple pile-ups on easy terms

Mutual interest in select perversion

An empty ledge for every desperate man

Others

An audience for the crocus

An encore for the rain

A meal for every stomach

An end to human pain,

A mother for each baby

A truth for every dream

Lovers for the lonely

Peaches with ice-cream

Stalemate again:

In trenches near and far

January, October 1976

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John Jones

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Thursday, 5 Jun 2014, 16:02

A while back i was given poems that were written by a young man callled John Jones from Enniskillen in Co Fermanagh who died in 1979, aged just 22.  Tomorrow is his anniversary so I thought i would put up one of them.  This is my favourite one and perfectly captures the dark misery that was 1970's N. Ireland.  It was dated Oct 1978 and this month also has deep resonance for me as it was one of the darkest periods of my life.

The Town I Love So Well

They sipped from cups of steamy welcome tea

and fag ends hissed as they hit the water.

The traffic lights were amber, the cinema closed

As they plunged once more with twilight sneaking.

The peckish crowds drew lots for a better view, 

Their consensus instability, despite his tender years

and that Daglish would surely hit the thirty mark.

The paper boy dripped when they brought him up.

His feet were encased in two large pumpkins

And already the pike had nibbled at his flesh.

He left no note and no one mentioned murder.

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