Delighted to have 10 poems published in Issue 8 of Fleas On The Dog. My thanks to Poetry Editor Hezekiah Scretch and Senior Editor Tom Ball.

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TEN (10) poemS poems poems poems

By Strider Marcus Jones


WHY I LIKE IT: Poetry Editor HEZEKIAH writes… Strider Marcus Jones refines a language all his own. While the arrested of us employ our word into service to project our modest biddings, communicating as best we can. His are formed to dance, prance, pluck and strum. Singing and swinging as though they are truly enjoying his penetrating, orphic-like process; happy in their work as they leap and bound off the pages and back. Revealing
themselves as they spring from his distinct and galvanizing lexicon, anxiously awaiting to be called into action, to snap to attention, and rejoice in a festival of words and featured imagery. But don’t settle for my pitch, screwballs mostly throw junk—spin googlies. Not Jones, he’s all cricket, he’ll bowl you over with lithe precision and lightning tempo.

MAVERICKS

you taste of cinnamon and fish
when you wish
to be romantic-
and the ciphers of our thoughts
make ringlets with their noughts
immersed in magic-
like mithril mail around me
stove dark forest, pink flesh sea
touchings tantric-
make reality and myths
converge in elven riffs
of music, so we dance it-
symbols to the scenes
of conflict, mavericks in dreams
that now sit-
listening to these pots and kettles
blackening on the fire
of rhetoric and murderous mettles-
before we both retire
to our own script.


TWO MISFITS

it was no time
for love outside-
old winds of worship
found hand and mouth
in ruined rain
slanting over cultured fields
into pagan barns
with patched up planks
finding us two misfits.

i felt the pulse
of your undressed fingers
transmit thoughts
to my senses-
aroused by autumn scents
of milky musk
and husky hay
in this barn’s faith
we climbed the rungs of civilisation
so random in our exile-

and found a bell
housed inside a minaret-
with priest and muezzin
sharing its balcony-
summoning all to prayer
with one voice-
this holy music, was only the wind
blowing through the weathervane,
but we liked its tone to change its time.


THE BLOOD THAT MAKES US BLACK

imagine yourself,
in a photo-fit picture
with every nothing that’s new-
minus in health,
quoting icons and scripture
under the whole black and blue.

optimum dreams
turn out fake in the mirror
facing what’s been like fallen heroes-
in so many scenes
like a ghost who is giver
passing on wisdom, who knows-

the blood that makes us black
of two from one,
is schooled by fungus fortunes
and faiths old hat
to be sold on-
like tamed-trained gangs, making golden dunes.


VISIGOTH ROVER

i went on the bus to Cordoba,

and tried to find the Moor’s

left over

in their excavated floors

and mosaic courtyards,

with hanging flowers brightly chamelion

against whitewashed walls

carrying calls

behind gated iron bars-

but they were gone

leaving mosque arches

and carved stories

to God’s doors.

in those ancient streets

where everybody meets;

i saw the old successful men

with their younger women again,

sat in chrome slat chairs,

drinking coffee to cover

their vain love affairs-

and every breast,

was like the crest

of a soft ridge

as i peeped over

the castle wall and Roman bridge

like a Visigoth rover.

soft hand tapping on shoulder,

heavy hair

and beauty older,

the gypsy lady gave her clover

to borrowed breath,

embroidering it for death,

adding more to less

like the colours fading in her dress.

time and tune are too planned

to understand

her Trevi fountain of prediction,

or the dirty Bernini hand

shaping its description.

THAT BLACKSMITH FELLOW

crumpling

crumbling

heart

war thump

peace pump

stall start

cave hunting

and gathering

in groups

to farms with crops

and hoofed live stocks

drink beer, eat meat and soups.

that blacksmith fellow,

with fire and forge, hammer and bellow,

is still the alchemist-

malleous like his mettles

when everybody settles

into civil lists.

in us now,

the subliminal plough

sets our furrows footsteps-

so summer’s run and winter’s plod,

with, or without god

in and out of upsets.

IN MAID’S WATER

we’ve left the well-footed

road,

the rutted

and rebutted

road

of shadows cast

by towered glass.

opened closed curtains

for fusty moths,

chanted white spells with Wiccan’s

goths;

left pictured

rooms and halls-

become un-scriptured

hills and squalls-

in maid’s water

pouring down her

erect chalk man,

like a wild gypsy,

love tipsy

partisan,

smelling of cinnabar

and his cigar,

swirling

like whirling

clouds

while the changed wind howls.

THIS IS THE FIELD

this is not the field

for truth to grow in.

its furrowed lips are sealed

with knowing

nothing can sing

in the wrong wind.

the crop is stunted

self expression blunted

opinion gagged

and head sagged

waiting for the final blow

from the farmer’s shadow.

the field hands

cut to His commands

and every leathered face

has served in its place

like all the others, for centuries

in these peasant penitentiaries,

without bolting

or revolting

in union, except for the Tolpuddle few,

who knew what to do

but were jailed, or transported

and thwarted.

WATER AND MIST

let the world do what it does,

and when the desert

comes for us

we will be water-

sow the seeds of new ideas

replace the wars and fears

of decadent thrones

spying on the homes

of those they slaughter.

bring on the people’s revolution,

that returns our stolen

land into our hands

from these swollen

fat cats, with their final solution

and fascist FEMA plans.

let the world do what it does,

and when the guns

are turned on us

we will be mist-

eclipsing everything they’ve done

when we resist.

strike them like ghosts

in the halls of their hosts,

topple their temples of sin-

dissolve all their banks,

then their missiles and tanks,

leave no corrupted survivor-

cleanse what’s within

for a new way to begin

by severing each head from this hydra.

THE DOOR

the door

between skyfloor

topbottom

is rankrotten

portalbliss

or abjectabyss.

it contains conversations

confrontations,

hiding loves two-ings

in lost ruins-

shuts us inside our self

with or without someone else.

we,

the un-free,

disenfranchised poor

have no bowl of more-

only pain

on the same plain

as before,

homeless

or in shapeless boxes,

worked out, hunted, like urban foxes-

outlaws on common lands

stolen from empty hands.

files on us found

from gathering sound

where mutations abound

put troops on the ground.

MIND’S AND MUSK

so now

we both came

to this same

branch and bough-

no one else commutes

from different roots.

me carrying Celtic stones

with runes on skin over bones-

and you, in streams

on evicted land

trashed ancients panned-

our truth dreams

under star light crossing beams.

in here, there is no mask

of present building out the past

with gilded Shard’s of steel and glass

shutting out who shall not pass.

the tree of life breathes

a rebel destiny believes-

we are minds and musk

no more husks and dust.


THE POET SPEAKS: I like the company of people but prefer solitude. I like to listen to people talk, the way they see it and say it. For me, poetry spans our past, present and future. These poems, and those in my books, are about the themes of love, relationships, peace, war, racial, economic and sexual equality, cultural integration, poverty, mythical romance, the magic of childhood and experience of growing old as a Bohemian maverick. The strings of chance and consequences meld with music and art in Spinoza’s orderly chaos of the universe.

Life is hard and uncertain for most of us now, but also rare in our corner of the universe, so I strive to express my own understanding of it. Thinking time is my creative cove. My English teacher, Anne Ryan inspired me to write poetry when I was thirteen. The poems have grown with me and reflect much of who I am now. Some poems sleep for years. Mere jumbles of words, themes and rhythms in subconscious gaseous clouds. Their form and meaning evolve in
Spinoza’s orderly chaos. Other poems just happen, triggered by a single word or phrase, a sound, smell, or shape that relates to something from our past, present, or future. Writing a good poem makes me feel like the artist who can paint, or the musician who can play – joy in creating something that others enjoy and feel inspired to try doing themselves.


My first poetical influences were the Tin Pan Alley lyricists and composers like Sammy Cahn, Cole Porter and Rogers and Hart. I love the fun, rhythm and interplay between lyrics and music. Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen influence my poetry in the same way, allowing me to experiment with metaphor, form and rhythms.


Relationships and love are one of the main themes in my poetry. Two books which have travelled with me through life are Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and Tess Of The D’urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy is a big influence on some of my work. My favourite poets who have influenced my work include: Shelley, Keats, Yeats, Auden, Dylan Thomas, Bishop, Szymborska, Langston Hughes, Plath, Art Crane, Larkin, Forough Farrokhzad, Neruda, Rumi and Heaney.


AUTHOR’S BIO: Strider Marcus Jones – is a poet, law graduate and ex civil servant from Salford, England with proud Celtic roots in Ireland and Wales. A member of The Poetry Society, his five published books of poetry https://stridermarcusjonespoetry.wordpress.com/ reveal a
maverick, moving between forests, mountains, cities and coasts playing his saxophone and clarinet in warm solitude.

4 thoughts on “Delighted to have 10 poems published in Issue 8 of Fleas On The Dog. My thanks to Poetry Editor Hezekiah Scretch and Senior Editor Tom Ball.

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