Poetry



The Rainmaker’s Wife, Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2017

“A Rainmaker was a shaman in indigenous cultures: in the 21st century a Rainmaker is a financial wizard, making money for businesses. The poems in this collection record the distance we have travelled from a world where human beings were seen as part of a precariously balanced eco-system, and contemporary corporate culture which sees the environment as a resource to be exploited.  The poems deal with the constant pull between our instinctive, spiritual selves and the practical, scientific and economic realities of the everyday.

Many of the poems were written on a journey to the remote Pacific islands of Haida Gwaii where the Haida Nation are at the forefront of environmental activism in British Columbia, others from travels to Russia, New Zealand and the Middle East.”


Kathleen Jones reflects on so many of the questions we should be asking about our planet and how we live on it.
Avril Joy, Costa Award-winning novelist.


The Rain-maker's Wife

Naked in the dry hull
of our marriage-bed
we hold to our separate weather.

He is the element of water
I of fire.  The old paradox.

I am ungentle, sudden, electric,
a lightning bolt, a super nova
in the darkness of far space.

He spends time in the garden measuring
precipitation and talking to clouds.

Not in favour of ritual dancing,
or invocations, he prefers dry ice, and crystals
of silver iodide and salt.  Seeding the sky

to make tadpoles of electric rain wriggle
across the window pane.

I love the rhythm the rain makes
on the roof when I wake in the night,
and every green thing it brings.

But not its cold drench, the shivering
misery of the damp, the hiss and suck
of the north sea in January.

There is something disturbing about
the blind surface of deep water,
the drag of its tides and currents.

I refuse to go down into it like a diver
frog-legged, breathing gas.

But when he touches my skin, with a cool hand
our fatal chemistry could vaporise an ocean.
We are each other’s counterpoint,

both there at the beginning, the light shining
on dark water, and in the dark he moves
inside me, swimming gently, towards the light.

© Kathleen Jones

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Mapping Emily, Templar Poetry, 2017

Winner of the Iota Shots Pamphlet Award, 2017

Written in landscapes as diverse as Haworth moor and the Alpi Apuane of Italy, these are poems about love and the relationships between people and place.

These poems often express the disjointedness and brokenness of daily life, but at the same time the human need to hold things together, to make sense of ourselves and the world we live in – poetry as a kind of map, to show us where we are and where we (think we) are going."
G.P. Stoker

Rowans

In the hopeful half-light
of early morning

berry-red beacons torch my way
up to the moor like promises –

easing emotions rubbed
as raw as weather.

Is love anything more
than chemicals swirling in the brain?

I imagine you, on the other side of time,
every touch, kiss, word, exploding like quarks

in the atomic soup; our selves
dissolved into a universal whole.

Can the smallness of us
and these feelings,

the scarlet berries and the tree,
be codified in mathematical equations?

Or have we missed something important
not expressed in numbers? Something present

in the way uncertain light changes
as the sun approaches the horizon;

the unseen, uncalculated
matter that contains us;

the knowledge every atom has
of its mysterious beginning;

the sap that trees share underground
root to root, nurturing each other

in a way that is like love, if such a word
could be scientifically proven to exist.


© Kathleen Jones




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Not Saying Goodbye at Gate 21, Templar Poetry

Winner of the Straid Award, 2012

“In these poems Kathleen Jones shows us departures and attachments, journeys and encounters; some come from an attachment to place, the mountains and lakes of Cumbria, others from the longing to be rooted in one place and feelings that tussle with a passion for travel, new experiences and a fascination with the lives of people met.  And there are also different kinds of departure, more personal; the breakdown of relationships, the deaths of close relatives.”  Alex McMillen

Title Poem: -
Not Saying Goodbye at Gate 21

Wellington: September 2010

The final call
for boarding
hand-luggage scanned,
the last, forgotten,
canned drink binned.
I watch him through the glass
walk to the door and hand
over his printed pass.

He waves,
makes the clown’s face
that means ‘Cheer up,
this time, I won’t be gone
for long’. He turns,
then turns back, lifts one hand
to the terrorist-proof glass. We place
palm to palm
remembered skin
on either side of the cold surface.

Abruptly,
already past tense,
he has wheeled off towards
the journey and, unlike Orpheus,
not looking back,
I watch the swerve
of his head, his coat flap. Then
the screen says
‘Gate closed. Boarded’ and
I walk away with his absence.

© Kathleen Jones




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UNWRITTEN LIVES, (Redbeck Press) 1996


`All the poems in this hard-hitting but also beautiful book are good . . Her language is spare, the words being quiet servants of the images' Anna Adams

`. . .darker poems . . penetrating in their exploration of domestic tensions and responsibilities.' PQR

`strong work here from Kathleen Jones'. Gillian Allnutt, Poetry Review



GINNY

The brothers
swill the farm dirt
from their torsos
at the kitchen sink
and sit at table
watching their sister
lift the heavy silver pot
to pour the tea.

Embroidered hollyhocks and roses frame
the text upon the parlour wall.
Christ is the Head of this House
The Invisible Guest at every meal.

Ginny carves the bread against her breast
dealing the slices to her brothers
seeing her father’s shadow at their backs
putting her school prize on the fire.

The parlour clock ticks away the unused time.
Hollyhocks smother the window’s light
to a green dusk.
Ginny smooths her grey reflection
in the teapot’s face
passing her brothers the cake
without a word.



©  Kathleen Jones
Unwritten Lives (Redbeck Press)
First published in Writing Women
Featured in the film ‘The Mind of Man’

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