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

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