Right from the beginning of lockdown in March I started writing again. Two sequences of poems, each on a linking theme, are still under way and several single poems got themselves written too. Here are three of them, all very much in first draft form…


Here I am, said the old man
still young, trapped
between ship and shore.
Now, I understand that
we’re always on the gangplank,
having just arrived, or just
heading for departure. And
I know too that there’s
always someone to talk to,
someone pausing to put
that suitcase down
and rub chafed hands.
“I’m heading south, old son.
Didn’t work out over there.
East, west, home’s best, eh?”
Yes, I guess so. And I turn
to watch a flag shimmying
at a masthead. All to play for
across a monotony of waves.
No suitcase for the next guy.
He’s a hero under a hundred-
weight of rucksack, thumbs
in the straps. “I’m off to Kasol
to join my girlfriend.
The most beautiful place
on earth, she says.” Yes,
I guess so, and I turn to watch
the only cloud pass behind
the funnel. Fortune favours
the brave under a limitless
certainty of sky.

§§ §§


Anarchists should open cafes.
Spill the ill-assorted chairs
and tables onto the pavement.
Go heavy with the red paprika,
shower down the black pepper.
Have trans and Gypsy waiters
to glide between the tables,
taking orders couched as poems.
Decorate the walls with graffito
pics of Emma Goldman, Patti Smith,
Pete Kropotkin, Allen Ginsberg.
Sit the refugee next to the barrister.
Welcome dogs of all persuasions.
Usher in the teenage truant.
Request that anyone in uniform slip
into all-encompassing rainbow robes.
Feed the snap-trap eager-beaver
TV MPs vegan burgers ‘til they go
all Paulo Freire, shouting, We are
new in heart and soul, come to
change the way things are!

§§ §§

GRIEVING (from and wait for an echo)

a man has
his hands
on his face
the heels across
his working mouth
that sound is
told in an
animal’s voice
one brought down
but not yet dead
he has to
enunciate the pain
so he selects
a sort of cataract
of vowels to drain
the airtight sack
of his grief
his wordage is
of the blown foxhole
the riven trench
i heard once
of a soldier
running along the
duckboards his jaw
taken away
by shrapnel
the story was
of the sound
he made
he who once
knew words

§§ §§


About Dick Jones

I'm a post-retirement Drama teacher, currently working part-time. I have a grown-up son and daughter, three grandchildren and three young children from my second marriage. I write - principally poetry but prose too, both fitfully published. My poetry collection Ancient Lights is published by Phoenicia Publishing ( and my translation of Blaise Cendrars' 'Trans-Siberian Prosody and Little Jeanne from France' (illustrated by my friend, the artist, writer and long-time blogger Natalie d'Arbeloff) is published by Old Stile Press ( I play bass guitar & bouzouki in the song-based acoustic/electric trio Moorby Jones, playing entirely original material. spotify:artist:07MDD5MK9MnRGSEZwbsas9 I have a dormant blog with posts going back to 2004 at Dick Jones' Patteran Pages - - and I'm a radio ham. My callsign is G0EUV
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7 Responses to NEW POEMS

  1. Glad to hear that Mistress Muse has deigned to come calling again. I especially like the anarchist one. (Incidentally, I’ve recently done some acting – on Zoom – the first, barring end of term pantos etc, since The Mysteries.)

  2. Dick Jones says:

    Thanks, Dave! Not sure the anarchist one is finished yet, but I thopught I’d give what’s there an airing. Very pleased that your thespian muse is still intact! And on Zoom, no less… What was the role?

    • My friend Graham from teacher training days is a prolific writer and since lockdown has written many short two-handers, and inveigled his various friends into performing them. I played a husband who’d just had his send-off after retiring from a school where he’d taught 40 years (so not much acting ability required on my part) talking to his wife. I was nervous and awkward at first but got into it. He puts them all on Youtube, but I doubt if anyone watches them (including me).

  3. sackerson says:

    That brightened my evening! The anarchist café one reminded me of the café at the Baltic art gallery in Gateshead. It used to be really humdrum, I thought (it’s really good these days – I’m going back years). One day we went in to find it completely changed along the lines you suggest in the poem! I told the proprietor how brilliant I thought it was and how it used to be “really crap”. Without batting an eyelid she told me how the café hadn’t changed hands, that they’d had an artist in residence come in and transform it for a month after which they were putting it back to how it used to be.

  4. Dick Jones says:

    Link, please. This has got to be seen!

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