Gareth Culshaw – 2 poems 


Sticking the stick inside

prodding it for a reaction.

Then they sprawled out

like blood out of a wound.

They ran with time, broken

and lost. Some sprinted towards

our feet. As we stepped away

like avoiding incoming tides.

Some picked up white eggs

and carried them back to the middle.

There looked to be disorder, panic,

a building on fire kind of panic.

But all they were doing was showing

us how life really is. When our minds

are poked by the unknown

and we try and settle everything down.

Back then we could have learnt more,

instead of allowing their false impression

turn our fears into fire drills.





He liked to go the allotments

and pick worms. Fishing was a way

out for him. Out of her house,

to sit searching at the edge.

I hardly spoke to him, even when

we passed in the street. His hands

were always in his pockets,

and his lips fluted together

to whistle songs only he knew.

Last week I was told

he had been rushed into hospital.

Remembering the thick hedge

on the front lawn, wall high, keeping us

out and him in. I wonder where his rods

have gone and the float he would stare

at. Those times now reeled in,

as he tries to hook onto

the last bit of light.




Gareth Culshaw 


Gareth Culshaw – 5 poems


the hawthorn hedges, kerb sides
of the fields. trees full of life

now black with damp and rain

I watch him melt into the view
as the woods migrate from the trees,

leaves let go, their colours on the floor

this is his time, perching on the horizon
keeping away the light as prey run, fly

away. his feathers are just scraping the sky

when he takes flight, not wanting to wave
back the sun. he waits on the hawthorn

in his long brown cape, not really alive

until he flies.




She brought him up at the top
of a hill, allowing him to see the

world below.

She took him down in her car
as they saw the doors of people

pass them by.

But today he is still up there
his hands in her pockets,

doing the things she cannot do anymore.

He is jailed, believing coming to work
makes him free, but her tongue

settles in his mouth.

His time is governed by her hand
passing numbers he does not know

does not tick tock.




Spoken words now in the carpets
crumbling to pieces like skin dust.

Windows agape, dead mouthed.

Paint flicking off in winds, tiles
slipping in rain. Doors aching to be

opened, locked, left ajar.

All footsteps gone, lost in the sun
dial of life. Swiped away when

the shadows left.

The building now waits to be buried,
name forgotten as the gravestones

of the people who had once slipped there.




you can tell they
are getting older
more leaves than

ever have fallen

the year lost
another ring added
more creaks to the joints

splitting in the bark

the garden is covered
in loss, leaves left
to the wind, to be blown

away, another forgotten year




our soil is just dead meat
crumbling of the earth

below our feet

miles away the concrete
and tarmac suck out the land

taking away hands we need

once vibrant hills now carry

lagging behind tractors

stone buildings sink into the view

barns vacant of touch hold
the winds for comfort

farms are just pens for lost people.


Gareth Culshaw


Gareth Culshaw – 4 poems


He was on the hawthorn limb
his heart split like an egg into a frying pan
which sung out a sizzling, whistling,
that mixed with the trees swish and sigh.

He was a bird with broken love.
Double opus, dual weight,
as he waited on the hawthorn limb.

Both songs scrambled into the light
bleeping from his vociferous beak.
Whirling into the air, the unknown
trying to make his song unite with another.



He walks towards me, his eyes dull.
Dense with passive motion.
Manipulated hooves clap the floor
applauding himself for his duty.

Mole hills of straw, leaden with dung
sit randomly along the path.
Children point, adults frown.
He carries his rear end like some backpack.

Rib cage, barrel shaped, full,
fermenting the meals of man.
Teeth ceramic tile thick, nostrils,
two tunnels that twitch, sigh.

His dozy expression lingers in my
own head. Belts, straps, a guide rope
held in the hand of a young lad.
That leads this beast up and down

the canal path. One kick could break
a man, one stamp crush a foot. But still
the lame animal walks towards me.
His hearse lumber carrying the

weight of death, death of his own kind.



I sat on a wintered bench
dreary canal behind, old bucket water.

Canoeists came and played jostling
with tempestuous rapids from the river
down below.

I sat still on the wintered bench
my mind swimming in the river
before a usual friend came to me.

A continuation of the ones I see everywhere
else. All connected in their colour and mould.
I put my ears away and watched his coughing
throat as if he was trying to gurgle something up.

A drowning swimmer coming for air,
disturbed bubble in a spirit level,
an undecided ball in a thermometer;

Each time I see one his song runs through me
throwing out the winds of winter that are stuck.



I saw the yawn of yellow
fading back into the green.
The bulb that is sat in the earth
sucking her back down.

Her yellow features are turning
sighing into themselves.
She has accepted defeat, slides
back to, limps to her death.

I needed her to shine forever,
give me light for many years to come.
But she allowed the bulb to take her
the yawning yellow, now gasping for air.


Gareth Culshaw