A black and white foto nothing less nothing more

foto©robcullen23082021

Little Granny

Trying to find you hasn’t been easy at all

there are none of your words recorded

married at fourteen your journey from Milford

carrying your first child in the places

you lived where he dug the coal

There are none of your words recorded

telling your story of the journey you made

you were my mothers “little granny”

I have stories but now you’re gone

a black and white foto of you standing in the doorway

….

Census records paper milestones telling a story

his occupation your age the language spoken

both of you Welsh a marriage certificate

you signed with an x the service in English

the children you brought into this world

There’s no headstone to tell the barest detail

your absence your lack of even a trace of a burial

of your eventual green grass paupers resting place

just a silence as if you’d never existed, never been born

a cracked black and white foto nothing less nothing more

©robcullen23082021

Resistance Poetry

Verse as Commentary

WRITTEN BY

Rob Cullen

Rob Cullen artist, writer, poet living halfway up a mountain in Wales walks daily with a sheep dog at his side. http://www.celfypridd.co.uk

Trees Are Watching Us

foto©robcullen13052021

Learning perspective
can be a hard thing
it doesn’t exist in reality

just a formula taught to see
one of many ways of seeing
another dry construct
ironing out invalidating
other understandings

Dense woodland surrounding
young trees planted
on shale waste

some days walking through
it feels to me
as if I’m submerged
in a sea of constant green movement

foto©robcullen13052021

Trees resist being seen
with perspective
an endless formula

of straightened lines
I remember being taught
to see the world in that way
ironing out invalidating
so many other ways of seeing
others understandings

I like to stand and listen
eyes closed for long periods
the unending sounds
of woodland around me
a world of so many lines
the wind lifts heavy rainfalls
spindle thin ash tops clash
lean in on one another

Trees are watching us

Photo by Author Rob Cullen

©robcullen13052021

a million pieces of shattered glass

foto©robcullen01072020

Have you ever heard

a million pieces of shattered glass

a dull mass move through the air

and in front of you its all you can see

and that last sound you hear

When people talk about PTSD

when I get those flashbacks

that’s what I see — no sound

just everything moving very slow

and suddenly it stops still just still

A dull noise starts movement begins

people moving but like in a very fast way

sound rushes in and feels physical feels

it’s really frightening it feels like my brains

exploding that’s what happens to me now and then

Still…

©robcullen23082021

Dwr

At the old house at Netherfield

foto©robcullen23062021

Gulls passing with the clouds

the scimitar shape of crows diving

thunderheads are building

above the mountains highpoints

a storm perhaps again today

Looking out at the forest

the Oakwood’s leaves are still

the storm is not close

Welsh for Oak – Dwr

always reminds me of thunder

There are photographs of me reading

one at the old house at Netherfield

on a bench under the Maple tree

I’m facing sunset casting the last light

along the West coast of Scotland

©robcullen23082021

Written by

Rob Cullen

Rob Cullen artist, writer, poet living halfway up a mountain in Wales walks daily with a sheep dog at his side. http://www.celfypridd.co.uk

A black and white foto nothing less nothing more

foto©robcullen23082021

“Little Granny”

Trying to find you hasn’t been easy at all

there are none of your words recorded

married at fourteen your journey from Milford

carrying your first child in the places

you lived where he dug the coal

There are none of your words recorded

telling your story of the journey you made

you were my mothers “little granny”

I have stories but now you’re gone

a black and white foto of you standing in the doorway

….

Census records paper milestones telling a story

his occupation your age the language spoken

both of you Welsh a marriage certificate

you signed with an x the service in English

the children you brought into this world

There’s no headstone to tell the barest detail

your absence your lack of even a trace of a burial

of your eventual green grass paupers resting place

just a silence as if you’d never existed, never been born

a cracked black and white foto nothing less nothing more

©robcullen23082021

When a man walks out on a hill

foto©robcullen15012015

There are many types of walking

people walk fast to where they want to go

others walk fast away from something

a past or someone only they know

I walk in my own time taking it all in

taking in what I can see, taking in

what I can hear, the soundscapes

surrounding me, submerging me

In my path I find objects thrown away

it’s only a small thing discarded

it’s journey is long and unseen

it’s journey is long the harm deep

©robcullen23082021Resistance Poetry

Verse as Commentary

Harvest at Lughnasa

foto©robcullen22082021

I got caught by some briar

as I walked out through the thick brush

of a place I’d thought about

through the long hours of night

Maybe it was in my dreams

the thought was still there

in the morning when I woke

in the darkness just after three

I bleed easily brushing crimson

smears away I thought it might be

revenge in some small way

for the creatures and plants

I’ve killed over so many years

I like to imagine my growing

is doing some good nurturing the soil

plants and pollinators in the best way I can

But I understand there’s a loss involved

wherever I stand wherever I lay my hand

©robcullen22082021

Past has meaning

foto un-attributable credit

Past has meaning

My great grandmother marked an X

on her marriage certificate

for her name

my grandfather left school

aged nine to work in the pit.

My father left school

twelve years old

my mother did the same.

Think about that

what it meant

what it means now.

She called herself

a local historian

described my family

as no better than terrorists

“After all it’s

what they were.”

Churchill called them

the two most dangerous men

in Great Britain

at a time of widespread poverty

fighting for a fair wage

when mothers starved

and infant mortality

an epidemic

She gave herself

a grand title

some might say

totally unearned

reducing the miners

fight for a living wage

to something dishonorable

from her understanding

limited as it must have been

to words on a page

A person responsible

for deaths

from starvation

of millions

is a terrorist

a mass murderer

ask the people of Bengal

I don’t need a book

to decide about that.

Our peoples history

isn’t taught to our children

history is past

they’re taught the history of class

a view from where the rulers stand

where our people are invisible

Past has meaning

the past hasn’t gone away.

Miners After the Vote to Strike Credit Rhondda Cynon Taf Library Services Photographic Archive
Two Most Dangerous Men Credit Rhondda Cynon Taf Library Services Photographic Archive

©robcullen11082021