Jason Conway

Jason Conway is a passionate eco-poet and professional daydreamer (freelance design professional, writer, poet, artist, photographer and creative mentor) based in Stroud, Gloucestershire. Drawing inspiration from social issues, mental health and the transformative power of nature, his mission is to encourage people to make a difference in the world, for the protection of the planet and the wellbeing of its custodians. Jason crafts design, art, words and photography to educate, challenge and inspire people to take positive action.

He is one of two directors of The Gloucestershire Poetry Society. Jason’s debut collection ‘Phoenix Rises’ was published in 2018. He’s performed at the 2000 Trees Festival, headlined at the Gloucestershire Poetry Festival and The Space In-Between Festival and has been published in The Blue Nib, Poetry Bus and The Poetry Village magazines.

Snowstorms

I came to you in later summer.
As I grew into a silver birch, 
I witnessed your autumn flames
consume you; 
green hills to scorched bristles, a
bounty cultivated by envy.

Your seasoned roots
began to frost when the
chilled, purging winds came to
leave beaten, wooden frames.

As the coldness crept,
unsettling our landscape,
bruised fruit fell to 
hardened ground and the
bite of bitterness 
burnt weak cheeks, as
powdered lace tattoos 
puffed away sentiment to
camouflage sculpted mounds, like
leaves smother the giving ground
in bleeding rusted tears.

I was an unwilling jury
forced to witness the
spiteful change in season.
You became judging stags
locked in a struggle of wills, as
glass sheets formed and
we all slid around a
rink without skaters,
each fall landed in haste;
emotional rocks
hurled like snowballs.
You smiled when the
hit home.

As most would sing round
comforting fires in carol,
you would celebrate the
repetition of loaded gifts
traded in blows of iced kisses,
holly handshakes to 
wreath flapping doors
that bellowed snowstorms.
I often dreamed, awake,
wide eyed and innocent, like a
rabbit between arctic foxes;
bloodlust to tapestry a wintery carpet.
Smacks of palms on cheeks served
psalms to ring judgement bells.

I loved the distraction to
lie in fresh snow,
flail my arms to mimic
boxing days,
your bugles spitting shards
to spark the hunt.
I imagined the impression
to be snow owls
impacting their prey,
beak first and wings splayed.
Falling talons of smited love.

Your winters were taught,
frozen lessons in a
petrified classroom, a
crystal lake of memory
for me to peer inside on
odd occasions.

I was blessed by spring.
The day I could charge the
slush of guilted ground;
embark on my own race for life,
sparkle my own snow globe.
I could teach others that 
spring is born from
prickling pain, the
pain that shaped me;
soft clumps carved from
forgiving clay.

Now I watch them slow
defying the inevitable
gravity of release.
As their days shorten, I see
stubborn oaks in a
love hate embrace.
They have grown to 
support each other’s burden.

I understand now, 
that soon, you’ll become 
wise acorns to
seed in cleaning soil. The
good times will be recalled,
allowed to flourish and celebrate the 
love that moulded into me.

My love is no longer crystalised.
When I wipe away the snowfall to
peer into your frozen lake,
all I will see are diamonds,
preserved and cherished like
shining snowflakes on
December days.

Agitated

I’m sitting in an 
uncomfortable chair,
bone hard,
pressing painfully into my
sunken spine.

I’m agitated, like 
twisted grass in a gale,
unable to sit still for 
any amount of time.

The view outside is 
drenched by a rain filled,
cloud full, sky of 
silvered fades.

I curl to ease my discomfort, 
stop the crawl of scales 
travelling up my back.

I see life continue outside,
the snaking wind 
rustling through bush and tree,
totems to the rain god.

People are hill walking, 
cocooned as they
wriggle along slippery fields 
over Slad Valley, lush in 
dripping colour.

Why do I sit here on a 
chair that stings like a 
varnished viper, when I could 
embrace the cold outside?
Stride across silver pavement to the 
squeak of damp meadow.

Callous conversations, 
spiked by my hissing 
shoulder sprite, are 
shattered by falling mirrors
claw tapping panes.

I will not listen anymore.
I’ll strip myself from these 
dust scaled walls and seek 
pasture in the pour.

I’ll be a magpie
spying beads, glitter for a 
curious tongue,
scavenging falling jewels,
mindful treasures to 
trinket my memory,

my wings to soak in 
Summer’s soothing rain,
cheeks fluttered with vigour,
lungs fanned by nature’s 
misted breath.

No, I can’t keep still for long,
as clutched prey
squirming on wooden jaws,
when Mother calls. 
She beckons me back to hunt
her primal wilderness. To
Shed my constrictive skin, and
Re-wild.

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