A collection of poems by Philip Jones


Death brings a painful end

To a life lived in warmth and care;

And yet an absence like a friend

Stays and moves. Always there,

Utters silent words, responds

And jokes and even reprimands.

There is absence in her favourite chair

Which eased a stubborn pain;

Marks upon the stairs left

By the heavy climb to sleep;

Slow moves preparing food to taste;

An absence in the barren seat

Warning of limits to official speed.

Absence lies on the pillow in the bed

A single silver hair shed by chemo

Left unsaid. All around absence

Is there to listen to my choking words

To console or reprimand. Death

Is neither heaven or absence

To be there with us to the end

Believing is Seeing

I felt in some magical way

I would find you there.

Sighting the lost ear-ring

Beneath your favourite chair,

Your dark glasses, strap loose

And curled, a half read book

Abandoned on a lonely stool,

A glinting strand of silver hair;

I faltered through a maze

Of thoughts, regrets and flecks

Of pained pathways in the brain

Oscillating small bubbles clashing

And spilling warm tears

From half expectant eyes

Of what had been;

Eyes that must now close

Knowing always

What they have seen.

The Body Idles On

So many years were the acts

To perform,

No time to dwell

On what would cease

To be...

Pills to take, each one

Questioned and espied

Jumpers to be stacked

And folded...socks to sort;

Bodily functions carefully


Failure to mark

Small spots of beauty


Now all gone...

The body idled on

Meditation by the Mulberry Tree

It is now a feast of sorrow

From now until tomorrow;

Leaves filter sunlight

And muffle songs of bird;

Moist eyes yearn for signs

Of tender times now gone.

But we cannot stay and pine

Nor linger here too long

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