A walk in the park

Foto credit©robcullen22102021

Walking with yon dog with leaves the size of dinner plates…and then the wind blows!

Sorrowful walk.

foto©robcullen19102021

West slanted gold tinted light

white and black smudged clouds

scud in from the North along far off hilltops

bringing the grey gathered curtain of rain

that sweeps through the trees

on the path in the valley where I walk

thinking of you again

and this thing that invades

your brain and your life

without warning from time to time

I listened for several hours

as you spoke of your fears

the terror with which you view

the risk that it might return

you now believe it’s as inevitable

as the rain on this Autumn day.

Distant dim voices

the sound of laughter

the smell of burnt fat drifts

across the river from the Trattoria

I watch leaves fall

hastening the end of another year.

©robcullen19102021

foto©robcullen19102021

How I ended up in art school

foto©robcullen2010975

How I ended up in art school

Facebook is a mystery sometimes

always

reading the class reunion page

in a sort of disbelief

the gushing praise

of a certain teacher

the one who’d order me out

at the beginning

of every class

for an unknown reason

knowing though the consequences

if I was found

by the head teacher

was a certain beating

it was my best subject

English

she was the new teacher

so to avoid the certainty

of my fate ironically it seems

I hid in the Art room

with the Art teacher’s

quiet agreement.

Resistance takes many forms

its consequence uncertain.

©robcullen18102021

foto©robcullen20051973

Resistance Poetry

Verse as Commentary

Avenel

cover foto credit Edmund Shea

Avenel

On the flyleaf I wrote Avenel, New Jersey

twenty first December seventy three –

Rommel Drives On Deep Into Egypt

Richard Brautigan.

a Christmas present to myself

ninety five cents

alone along with Frye boots

bought in Connecticut

it had been raining all day

in the night snow fell.

Books on the shelves

each dated and signed

negotiate my travels

pinpointing those days

it was a bad year

I’m still affected

by your betrayal

this year talking about it

with a friend

another element revealed

The Frye boots lie

in the attics darkness

I have no idea

the reason they stay.

©robcullen19102021

Verse as Commentary

Life removed from reality

foto credit Bob Brewer Unsplash

click “next step”

click your profile picture –

it’s the profile picture in the top right of your inbox

the Garden Warbler is rather non-descriptive

but then it sings

click add account –

it’s in the bottom left of the drop down menu

Chiffchaff the bill is thin and needle like

the legs are black

click “more options”

Siskin can be recognised in all plumages

by the broad yellowish bar on the dark wing

click “create account”

the Serin is flushed

with bright yellow on the head

enter your new account information

click “next step”

scroll down click “I agree”

Kestrel in flight long tail and shallow beats

Of long pointed wings distinctive

….

click continue to….

click continue to….

click continue to….

foto©robcullen15052015

©robcullen22092021

This is a love poem for you

foto©cullenarchive24082021

….

this is a love poem for you

Love is a story told

in the tight fold of families

told in the cwtch

when you hold

a child through growing

love is a beacons

starlight shining through darkness

a closeness no oppressor

can out do or overcome

love is its own brightness

when you hold

when you cwtch* a child

this is a love poem for you

©robcullen24082021

Cwtch* is a Welsh word with no English language equivalent. It is the place in the crook of the arm where a child is held from infancy onward…young babies and infants are held by their mothers using a woolen shawl wrapped in the “Welsh way” which allows both arms to be free. The child is held next to the mothers heart and listens to the mothers voice and much else beside. The cwtch is a place of reassurance and comfort — and love.

©robcullen24082021

Love is at the heart of radicalism. Love is at the heart of Resistance.

©robcullen230921

Lockdown Fragments

fotocredit©fionacullen21042020

On 9th March 2020, I suffered heart failure. With a heart rate of 257, I was rushed by ambulance to the Accident and Emergency of the local hospital which luckily for me had not been closed by the machinations of the Health Board bureaucracy.

My life was saved. Within four days I had two heart operations and a pacemaker defibrillator installed in a kind of skin flap on my chest linked by wires to my heart. Following the operations on the fifth day following admission I was discharged to home and six months of shielding to look forward to. Followed by a lockdown, a short period of what people called “normality”, followed by another lockdown and before we knew it we were into 2021. The time we found ourselves in could definitely not be described as “normality”.

fotocredit©fionacullen21042020

In the isolation framed by shielding and lockdown I wrote.

I completed poetry which has been well received and prolifically published in the US. I re-edited my first novel and made good headway on my second.

I gardened as best I could…I cooked meals. And walked the hills around my home accompanied with my faithful sheepdog Meg. But most days I spent alone with my wife returning from her teaching in the evening.

I also wrote in Journals and notebooks. The following fragments are excerpts taken from my Journals. 

It also contains observations, thoughts and early workings and excerpts of poems. These are just a few beginnings.

We live on the steep side of a hill

when winds blow in from the North

the days and nights are always cold

this winter and spring

the winds have turned

a cold wind from the North East

not blowing from the Southwest

as they normally do

I saw one Swift caught

by a sudden winds gust

it was my first

of the year.

A gale still blows on a spring day

the crop covers bedraggled

blown over the kitchen garden

scattered wherever their taken

looking to the house

the smoke from the new lit fire

swirls in the fast wind of these days

white smoke from Ash kindle

new gathered not yet dry

still burns with a bright flame

as Ash will do

a spring day trees fully leaved

open to damage

and these silent “lock down” days continue

No jet trails cross skies

in this year of contagion

TV news cast politicians headshots

empty phrases assumed lies

like north westerly winds

there’s no let up or restraints.

One book

a replacement

for the lost original

I know not where

last seen it sorting through

shelves of books of lives

not seen in an age

another mystery unsolved..

©robcullen05102021

fotocredit©fionacullen21042020