Thursday, February 1, 2024



I'm Getting Old Now


i'm getting old now-

you know,

like that tree in the yard

with those thick cracks

in its skin bark

that tell you

the surface of its lived-in secrets.

my eyes,

have sunk too inward

in sleepless sockets

to playback images

of ghosts-

so make do with words

and hear the sounds

of my years in yourself.



riding a rusty three-wheel bike

to shelled-out houses bombed in the blitz,

then zinging home zapped in mud

to wolf down chicken soup

over lumpy mashed potato for tea-

with bare feet sticking on cold kitchen lino

i shivered watching the candle burn down

racing to finish a book i found in a bin-

before Mam showed me her empty purse

and robbed the gas meter-

the twenty shillings

stained the red formica table

like pieces of the man's brains

splattered all over the back seat

of his rambolic limousine

as i watched history brush out her silent secrets.


Childhood Fires


late afternoon

winter fingers

nomads in snow

numb knuckles and nails

on two boys

in scuffed shoes

and ripped coats

carrying four planks of wood

from condemned houses

down dark jitty's

slipping on dog shit

into back yard

to make warm fires


early evening

dad cooking neck end stew

thick with potato dumplings and herbs

on top of bread soaked in gravy

i saw the hole in the ceiling

holding the foot that jumped off bunk beds

but dad didn’t mind

he had just sawed the knob

off the banister

to get an old wardrobe upstairs

and made us a longbow and cricket bat

it was fun being poor

like other families


after dark

all sat down reading and talking

in candlelight

with parents

silent to each other

our sudden laughter like sparks

glowing and fading

dancing in flames and wood smoke

unlike the children who died in a fire next door

then we played cards

and i called my dad a cunt

for trumping my king

but he let me keep the word.


The Ascent Of Money


the stars are those

we have forgotten

both living and dead,

floating in clustered constellations

not labouring in rows-

with hair growing grey

and teeth going rotten

singing songs, God's godless pray.

harvesting crops.

chants drowned in clocks

of tobacco and cotton,

the peasants and slaves of civilised nations

duped by liberty

in recent history-

dug out canals, made railways and roads

out of tarmac to tread-

into factories

like tribal junkies

hooked on cheap gin and beer instead

of joining the cholera's watery dead-

ten to a room in a slum and lead-

like human batteries,

sleeping without moonlight

on sarsen stones,

or druid voices in their homes-

where thoughts have no dreams or flight,

just sleep, recharge, get bled.

you have to be poor,

to think utopia

can be something real-

not to exploit or steal

that ambrosia aura of women and children and men

for the spoken wages of despair-

that suck you in,

glad but grim

when times' clock punches that card by the door

and mass myopia

conditions all to labour, keyboard and pen

for food and shelter with a roof and fourth wall

shanty made out of cardboard, wood and tin

in sunny Sao Paolo, where the samba rain leaks in

while orphaned children beg and play

eating the forage of capitalist waste

dodging death squads night and day

imitating Socrates at football to hope to taste

what's inside the cold, glistening towers

casting invisible powers

behind the smoked glass and soldiers of stone

leaving blood and bleached bone

from over there-

where the ascent of money doesn't care

about it all

because its infinity is small.




STRIDER MARCUS JONES – is a poet, law graduate and former civil servant from Salford, England with proud Celtic roots in Ireland and Wales. He is the editor and publisher of Lothlorien Poetry Journal. A member of The Poetry Society, his five published books of poetry reveal a maverick, moving between cities, playing his saxophone in smoky rooms.  His poetry has been published in numerous publications including: Dreich Magazine; The Racket Journal; Trouvaille Review; dyst Literary Journal; Impspired Magazine; Our Poetry Archive; Melbourne Culture Corner; Literary Yard Journal; The Honest Ulsterman; Poppy Road Review; The Galway Review; Cajun Mutt Press; Rusty Truck Magazine; Rye Whiskey Review; Deep Water Literary Journal; The Huffington Post USA; The Stray Branch Literary Magazine; Crack The Spine Literary Magazine; A New Ulster; The Lampeter Review; Panoplyzine  Poetry Magazine and Dissident Voice.

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