The Dying Bullfinch

foto©fionacullen5102020

A Bulfinch pillar box red caught my eye
fluttering helpless in the broad bean rows

took to my open held out hand with no fight left
opening its beak to weakly peck its only sign
of resistance and with one last gasp took flight
into the heaped bush where the Sparrow flock
goes crazy at the intruder’s sorrowful mistake.

And so we shroud ourselves in Pilate’s cloak
wash our hands of the stain of all responsibility
and look out on this world with all the disdain
the falsely blamed feel and what’s left — silence.

Silence…

©robcullen14062021

foto©fionacullen5102020

May trees

©fotorobcullen02062021

May trees

May trees are in flower again

it was this time last year

the news came of your passing

When the May flower white in the woodland

reminds me of the poem you wrote

it was about this time we heard too

so many people were dying from Covid

I was recovering, shielded and frightened

I didn’t see anyone for nine months

living here out on the country road

on a hill surrounded by Oakwood

Shopping was brought to the door

the man always asked if I was well

he kept his distance the boxes left

two metres away he always looked worried

May trees are in bloom again

so I think of your sudden death at this time

back then I was going over your work

while it rained through the night

I listened to its hiss sound on the skylight

a beautiful sound to fall to sleep to.

©robcullen02062021

©fotorobcullen02062021

Freedom for my fellow countrymen

foto©robcullen02022016.

Freedom for my fellow countrymen

Remembering that Ireland only became a Republic in 1948,

only then, when the English Governor vacated his seat,

was Ireland able to focus itself on what really mattered.

When I was a small child “going home” like all children travelling

on the Irish ferries,— cattle boats my older sister said —

we became smugglers, food wrapped under our coats.

Ireland was struggling, and we played our small part

to help our families through bitterly hard times,

for England did not entirely let go its grasping hold.

It is a lesson to be remembered as we consider

Wales’ future as a people and a new country.

England will not be a comfort in our time of need.

Here we are a disordered people

Living in a disordered land,

Living in disordered times.

And this disorder is from others lies.

Let’s go about changing all that.

In this new land, this new Wales,

let’s have done with English politicians

parachuting in, parading themselves,

spinning their Brexit lies, a matter,

after all, that is no concern of ours.

It is a conspiracy inflicted by “little Englanders”

forever dreaming of lost causes,

old wars they are still fighting

and an Empire based on slavery

they crave and badly yearn to regain.

In this new land, let’s have an end to food banks.

If there’s a fight for freedom,

let there be a fight for decency.

There’s a fight for friendship too!

We must look beyond our borders now.

We must search other borders for our friends.

It is what Wales has always done.

We must hold others hands.

We must break out, break down

old prejudices, narrow conceits.

We must walk away, walk tall, walk again,

in this new land, this new Cymru.

©robcullen01062021

foto©robcullen02022016.

Resistance Poetry

Verse as Commentary

THe rules are (must not be broken)

foto©robcullen19012015

The rules are (must not be broken)

Rob CullenJun 3 · 2 min read

In the hospital wing

I follow signs to ACEU

two bays with welcome posters

on pale blue pastel walls

Every second seat

with red and white crosses

a hand written note explains

social distancing rules apply

Sitting on my own for a long time

I listen to nurses along the corridor

chattering in a distant office

I wait for my name to be called

An older woman is brought in

brushing past her feet touch mine

she apologises with a smile

pushed on a wheelchair and left

The nurses chatter becomes a drone

a distant low level thrum without end

a door closes and opens now and then

I read the posters over and over again

I wonder when they will miss us?

or when we will be missed?

Remembering my father saying once

rules are the words that bound us

my training said observe the behaviour

pay less attention to words, words are easy.

©robcullen25052021.

foto©robcullen19052015