Lane Bank Spring


Running out of tears


Running out of tears

running out of fears

our hearts and souls are here


On the tree lined streets of Bucha

fallen bodies lie where they died

knocked over, mangled, distorted, shredded,

alongside carcasses of rockets

spent empty useless stupid lies

that call this war “special military operation”

The black crows gather and cower

but the birds still sing of freedom

in Bucha, Kharkiv and Marsupiol

the birds still sing of freedom

are you listening from your unmarked grave Federico?

The “black crows” gather and cower.



“I pay tribute again”


“On another day

I paid tribute

to Dylan walking

across town

from second avenue

to Hudson and 11th

in some kind

of pilgrimage

to the White Horse Tavern

and sitting

on the shiny

red plastic

covered stool

at that long

dark wooden bar

I ordered a beer

and recited aloud

the words

“Over St John’s Hill”


I much preferred

Finnegan’s Wake

on 1st and 73rd

I’d meet

the postman

a Ukrainian

late at the end

of his shift

we’d sit

drink Schlitz

and talk about

songs and hymns,

of the day

he ran from

the Red Army Choir

in Bute Dock

in Wales

then he’d sing softly

Ar hyd yr nos.”

From the long poem “I pay tribute again”


Athene Noctua

fotocredit robcullen 2010

Black boughed oaks, snow whitened hills

remnants of a great wood cut for Lydney’s iron mills.

I searched alone, a white haired boy,

catching unclean little owls with the slow sweep

of a green wool sweater.

I stared long into the eyes of Tawny owls

that in another age cured madness.

Jackdaws called my name from the river bank,

I saved them, from the waters rise,

 wrapped them clustered close, in a dark green jerkin,

fed them, and on another day let them go back to the wild.

I dreamt of eagles, hawks and falcons,

but Robins flew to my call, and sat still in my hand.


At St Anne’s long strand where Irelands east coast clamoured,

black Jack ravens clawed at my brow, trying to roost

in dusks gathering glower, and the tides rush

while I stood listening to the Atlantic rollers roar,

and the weeping sigh of the one I loved.


Walking with water

foto credit Rob Cullen route of the Cardiiff-Merthyr Tydfil canal covered over but the water still moves either below or above ground.

Jacques Benveniste believed water retained on a molecular level a memory that triggers antibodies. His hypothesis remains unproven. But his conviction stayed firm until his end came.

When I was a child I believed God lived in the skies.

it was the only way God could see everything

God was everywhere his proximity was frightening

I walked the mountains searching endlessly

I know I wasn’t alone in these beliefs

I’ve written fifty years and a day, written as they say

without knowing whether my words were listened to

so I walk these mountains listening to your words

I walk old pathways following mountain trails

I sing my words I sing my song to silence.

I reflect on our indifference

to the way we walk on water

we float on strata of sandstone

once beaches and layered memory

water filters and holds

breaching the surface

springs and dark pools.

And I walk endlessly

on the draining land

beneath my feet

examining the new

examining the past

walking with water

walking with love.

Erw Beddau*

has been desecrated

a place of burial

long forgotten by men

it was still there

when I was a child

amongst the panorama

of the plateaus uplands.

From those heights today

I cast an eye to the valley slopes

and see in the distance

where Errw Beddau* had once lain.

The spring, the well,

it’s clooty* tree remain.

It was said of the well

which stood

in that funerary landscape

of twenty five burial mounds

its spring water cured

ailments of the eye.

In this age of blindness

I sense an irony here.


If I could only see it now.

I tasted its spring water

many times long ago

when I was young

walking winding trails

in the steepness of the day

Erw Beddau*

the acre of untouched graves

remains a story hidden.

And I cross the silence

of the high slopes


parish roads and bridle paths

and when these end

the intricate web of trails

of hefted sheep

mapping out


the lands contour.

Do we mould the landscape?

Or has it formed us?

Walking with water.

Walking with love.

When I was a child I believed God lived in the skies

I walked the mountains searching endlessly

I wasn’t alone in those beliefs

I’ve written fifty years and a day, written as they say

without knowing whether my words have been listened to

so I walk these mountains still listening to your words

words and teachings no longer listened to

I walk mountain trails following old pathways

I sing my words I sing my song to silence

Walking with water.

Walking with love.

foto credit Rob Cullen – Oak woodland and a stream running through.

Dedicated to my daughter Beth Cullen who walks with water, walks with love – who achieved and learned so much in Ethiopia with the Karrayyuu pastoralist community and our shared love of past essential knowledge!

*Errw Beddau – Welsh for an acre of graves

*clooty – the Hawthorn tree found by the side of holy and wells from the old beliefs and strips of cloth left as ovations and wishes – and still practiced by people.


Day in the garden

Spent all day in the garden…walked to the far end of the Orchard throwing sticks with yon dog …our beautiful Collie…all blue skies and sunshine … and sitting there my writing head clicked on again! And amongst the line of Rhubarb a mystery…a clump of very beautiful purple Crocus! How did they get there?

fotocredit rob cullen 13032022.