Update and big thank you!

©robcullen03082021

A big thank you to people who follow my posts and an update. Since a serious health problem caused me to be shielded and a prolonged lockdown in March 2020 I’ve been writing my second novel which is two thirds complete.

Over the past month I’ve been re-editing my first novel – a crime novel of the Noir type which I’ve finished this week and decided now to go all out for an agent. In the past two publishers have told me its a film and I need an agent – nice letters but ending with the line we won’t be publishing. Heart wrenching! So I may be a bit silent in terms of poetry and short story publications. But you only have one life as the saying goes so live it to the full…

So here we go good people and tally ho!

Rob Cullen 13/082021.

Light Blue

EthiopiaRiftValley©robcullen151010

Light Blue

It’s the colour of forget me nots,

a beautiful long light blue shawl,

used now as a tablecloth,

a way of remembering

those days I suppose.

It hangs on the wash line,

stained by a spill of red wine,

remains of the house party,

celebrating your birth

and the four years since your return,

memories of Addis — more distant,

maybe not — somethings still vivid.

I regret the spill, despoiling the blue,

the stubbornness of the stain

lingering still, hanging on still.

An evocation of the way,

life turns unexpectedly.

The accident of your creation,

the battle of your birth,

the fight for your life

and the way you grew.

And now look at you,

there are no regrets of any kind.

©robcullen03082021

In tribute to my daughter Beth Cullen and her work with people over this Earth

.Resistance Poetry

Verse as Commentary

Back to Normal

one-handed chuck and click foto©robcullen151169

What does back to normal mean?
There’s been no change
it’s still the same
everything’s the same
nothings changed

Getting back to normal
is a denial
about what’s happened

What’s happened
didn’t happen
nothings happened.

foto©robcullen240915

There’s nothing to learn
nothings happened
it’s still the same
it’s the way it’s always been.

It’s always your choice what you believe
keep a hold of that
when you’re told to do
what others want you to do.

©robcullen100821

Old War Blanket

©robcullen06082021

A dark grey blanket of course rough wool following you
It had followed you from the camps on your repatriation

You’d broken out somehow after you’d thirsted and starved enough
making your way to the American lines you laughed about that

Losing your way you said you ended up in the Russian lines instead
You were like skin and bone when you wound your way home at last

The grey blanket covered our beds in those winters of shivering cold
Maybe it’s a good luck charm so you kept something you’d never let go

Foto©robcullen15072015

The blanket’s still following, I can see it hanging on the wash line now
Draped over the bright green plastic wire drying on a hot summers day

Unfurling with each gasp of a warm light wind its heavy wool cloth
Lifting above the bright red Montbretia flowers another legacy of love

Taken with sadness from your mother’s garden at Netherfield Farm
A memento of another kind, another place, we hold such things dearly.

©robcullen06082021

Before the Moon Rises on Lughnasa

foto©robcullen24072021

Before the Moon Rises on Lughnasa

There is not enough time to say
What we have to say, need to say

There is not enough time to hold
A kiss, hands held firm, caressed

There’s not enough time to confirm
our love, to cherish our life together

To cherish one another
For Lughnasa is not far away.

©robcullen19072021

  • Lughnasadh or Lughnasa is a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of the harvest season. Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Traditionally it is held on 1 August, or about halfway between the summer solstice and autumn equinox.

Our shadows fall

foto©robcullen19072021.

Our shadows fall

In the coal fields of Pennsylvania

On the cold streets of Penrhiwceiber*

Our shadows fall in the same way.

In the hot winds of Matahara*

In the wild fire hell of California

Peoples eyes search endlessly for rain.

In the flooded rice fields of Dhaka

In the flood destroyed homes of Westphalia

People wonder is this the new future.

In the ice fields of Antarctica ice sheets break away

Seas are rising, the world’s weather is astray

But we choose our way, we choose our future.

Our shadows fall in the same way.

©robcullen19072021.

foto©robcullen19072021.

Footnote:

Penrhiwceiber* a small former mining village in the Rhondda, South Wales.

Matahara* a a small township on the road from Addis Ababa, Ethiopa to Djibouti