Jill Jones

Temperamental sonnets

Signs & Portents

Finally you’re faced with a sign
that says “free beer”, and some one is yelling
“put th’boot in” – it’s not like your mother
said as she soothed the knots in your head.

One day some books will speak about us
if there are books and another “us”
which didn’t go soft like a pashmina shawl
at the end of the alley, as winter chugs over
the bandstand and we’re kissing on the grass
ignoring time and its mate, the lunar wash.

Someone with cobalt hair attacks the rain
with a kind of “bottoms up” fervour.
But we stay inattentive, our body heat catching
us, and this is still important.


A small appreciation, to possess such things,
the equivalent or the local, a metal leaf
is enough to translate its world,
the pressure of wings enslaved at the shoulder,
the fervent and continuous moth of enigma,
intelligent as elephants in summer mud.

Longitudes, Mediterraneans, species! Now
is the hour for a poetry of remarkable absences.

Therefore, take an inch of an antidote
for the extended and zealous flashes
of the whiteman in heat, while we hunger
for the original sap within the rock.

Whoever has the lucky ticket should leap
into what’s left of each wave and tree.

Whale songs

Insurance lends a hand to the dream
but the dice is pretty much the way it is
much like the famous dog and its day,
just as driving an old Taurus takes guts,
you’ll need at least fourteen portions
of crystal and bat sheen, gingery flooze.

All those blustering gentleman, shining
balls on their whites, still can’t play
it straight in an uncomfortable clime
at the end of ages, as the whales approach,
now on foot and inconsolable, unable
to digest the folderol of the high seas.

The ice slides into disrepair and the acid city
finally measures the alarm.


Any pain the book can repair
has lost out to chronology’s fashion.
There’s annunciation under rain
the talk of an end to work
though much of the ground is disowned.

This isn’t a preliminary, no sir
we have the requisites and the excess,
though our good will’s gone hunting
heaven’s special stays on message.
The old becomes extraneous
the sufficient is simple and pleasant
even in our pretty uniforms.

Youth is approximate if not
the time that loves you.

Summer Holiday Charms

Dreams fill with letters, chockers with transition.
Do you get the sea change, lazy lagoons,
dogs running at the big tide, like old bulls.
The dead man’s chest is shining, preened
with coconut oil and foamy precipitates.

Once we were lording it over time
our feet sensitive to lava and doubt’s trip
over the shaky levels, countdowns,
the way the pub band yells, hey kerang!

There’s nothing ardent amongst the skinny shrubs
the sweet and sour balancing on paper plates.
In each hand there’s always a critic and a room
flushed with smoke and narky bandits, checking you, mate,
unhanded. Like, fuck significance!

Finally, Whispers!

With just a little science we can disturb much
in the time-space continuum
if you stay beautiful, and I’m steady, game
in the gravel — rendered from loneliness
my world pushes its conundrums, worming
clarity, dumb intelligence, animal feeling.

Do you remember how it felt after
the motion, or the mediation? Will it be
the goods or their absence, massive temperatures
between thighs, oceans and hot abdomens
sarin gas, river fevers, flash memory, girlie flush.
It’s guts, glory, then we’re famished, o tasted and gone!

Diversions, combustions, the changa-chang
everywhere! White teeth, sloppy kisses. Such words!

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