I first saw him as a meteor. His foot flare
blazing as he fell from the helicopter.
They became odd ornaments in an evergreen,
a camo-chute and matching camo-Marine.
I don't know why he stayed stuck up there;
snakes can shinny down a tree and so can bears.
But he seemed happy just to hang around.
Nonetheless, I reached up to help him down.
He said he had been raised in coal country.
All the men in his family worked in mines.
While he was suspended in the pine tree,
he was owned by air although he lost his shine.
How fresh the night tasted, how his lungs filled
with stars, how he never wanted to exhale.
Good Times Never Seemed So Good
The wedding party was ending.
Those still there were swinging glow sticks
to Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline."
"Ba ba ba!" They all swang and bobbed
like a bioluminescent blob.
Who among us wouldn't want to sing,
wouldn't want to be part of the magic
until the last snaking conga line,
remembering old loves and music,
as we stumble to our dark cars
and the perfect silence of stars?
Rejoice Young Capitalists
In a capitalist country fun is everything — Frank O’Hara
"In investment, even vultures, play a part—
tearing the flesh of fools—figuratively."
Sue is excited as she explains to me
the many ways into the money-man's heart.
"It all adds up," Sue insists while staring at me.
As if money and power were like lightning
setting fire to a tall long dead poplar tree.
As if the flame-dance and smoke were just waiting
for cloud orchestra and storm-music to start,
as if thunder was a clichéd timpani,
because all disasters are just entropy.
Sue is someone who seems really quite smart.
What I see is a blaze and dark birds, not Sue.
It's getting late and the last payment is due.
Paul Jones has published poems in Poetry, Hudson Review, Broadkill Review, 2River View, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, as well as here in Grand Little Things, and anthologies including Best American Erotic Poems. Recently nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and two Best of the Web Awards. Chapbook, “What the Welsh and Chinese Have in Common.” Collection, “Something Wonderful” (RedHawk, 2021).
Manuscript of poems crashed on the moon’s surface in 2019.
Inducted into NC State Computer Science Hall of Fame, November 2021.
To read recent publications by Paul Jones visit smalljones.com