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Best Famous Chris Jones Poems

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by Chris Jones |

Moth Collectors

 When our moggy brings in moths, she squeaks
through the kitchen, tips between her teeth,

and scoots upstairs to scuff under the bed.
If we find these blow-ins they’re usually dead though a number dust the floor with tatty wings or unfurl from sheets like pencil shavings, furry woodcuts, a lime-green surprise – still tremulous, and slight enough to fly.
We hold our fluttery palms to the window, weigh each one’s chances and let go – though tonight you pinch up slivers of moonlight, and creatures whirr from room to room like sooty sparks, or tightly sprung toys glancing our low-lit angle poise.
We lie in almost solid heat; these hours you turn with fists and feet and cup my hand against your side to feel the shape, the quiver of a beating heel.


by Chris Jones |

The Emergency Drill

 We sat in the belly of the aeroplane
and held out for sirens to swerve across the grass;
men with cutting gear and masks.
No-one came.
On a back seat, Mr.
Phillips bandied jokes to pass the time; the dark air cooling our arms and scents like burrs stitched in hair, clothes.
In the distance we swore we heard alarms before HQ radioed the fire-drill’s close, and we emerged still feigning breaks and scrapes led by teacher bandaged and bad at the hip, attentive to this miraculous escape.
Our shadows thin creatures from the Mother Ship.
* That view of Bob Phillips’ dance down the steps comes back when I think of him alone on the fairway, trailing scarves of breath as he lugs clubs beyond the lake-side ninth for home, and feels sharp tingles, then a rip-tide through his arm that swells to pains across his chest.
To stand there, cry out above the calm, and wait for hands, a touch – but Bob is destined to collapse in thick grass, lie wide for the day in a hide and seek open to everyone.
No-one for miles comes close to play.
His big face surprised the world is taking so long.


by Chris Jones |

Work

 I caught rumours of some internal hearing
then you appeared with tears squeezing your eyes,
hands scrunched up like a child's, rice paper skin.
That work mates complained was a big surprise as you were office sunshine, shafted no-one, and turned your quick mind to the broadest cause.
But there you were, a whisper finished…gone, scooping reams of data from cabinet drawers, your kiddie snaps stacked face-down on the desk and none of us sat safe enough to speak.
That night I helped a cleaner bin the mess.
Our chief would hire a temp inside the week so I kept back your tissues as a wee bequest.
Sometimes I think I should have wiped your cheek.


by Chris Jones |

Name

 His name has been ghosted over the fence,
leaving an alias, burn, prison clothes.
I'm half the man, he says, not my sentence, waiting on time that other people chose.
From their windows men sing out numbers, names, hands to the grille light for the come-back call, but words get lost, change allegiance, and blame's out of their mouths, love's over the wall.
Later when I phone home and catch your voice I think of slipping out to wind and rain, to burning winter lights, and city noise, to waiting on the platform for the train, the slow bus climbing toward our terrace house, and in that space, to reach you, say your name.