The Storm song of the Hawthorn tree

Rob Cullen Mar 8

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Storm song of the Hawthorn

Gales come and gales blow
Its winter out on the hill
Gales come and gales go

Streams and rivers filled
The land flooded and full
Rainwater has nowhere to flow

And we hope for the lull
But still the storms blow.

And the Hawthorn still sings
Mankind you are killing Earth.


foto©robcullen2016Resistance Poetry

Verse as Commentary

Rob Cullen

Rob Cullen artist, writer, poet. Rob runs “Voices on the Bridge” a poetry initiative in Wales. Walks hills and mountains daily with a sheep dog at his side.

Resistance Poetry

Resistance Poetry

Verse as Commentary

Enclosure

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foto©robcullenjanuary2016

Out on the mountain wind lifted and the rain swept in
from the Severn Channel — I feared I’d be caught
walking peat boggy ground on the old Miskin Estate
I stood watching the rain filled white grey shroud
smear the dim domed lower hills and pass me by

I found myself listening out there to the wind blow
soughing its sighs through the conifer woods remnants,
blasted and flattened by the New Year gale that felled
the woodlands on the hill tops, the frosted high slopes

and in the morning after it looked as if a war had been fought
while we slept off the New Year party in the quiet of the hills lee.
after walking through the forests desolation I was reminded
of the bleakest Paul Nash painting, those shattered Ypres trees
and now fifteen years later the trees lie still jumbled and broken
the walls of the estate built to enclose common land
have fallen too and are now used in places to make paths
where the land is wet and poached by cattle hooves.

But although these long dry stone walls have tumbled
we have different kinds of walls to enclose us today,
the relentless addictive industrialised consumerism
that inflicts its message from the first day of a child’s birth
you need, you want and you will never get enough.


©2020robcullenResistance Poetry

Verse as Commentary

Written by

Rob Cullen

Rob Cullen artist, writer, poet. Rob runs “Voices on the Bridge” a poetry initiative in Wales. Walks hills and mountains daily with a sheep dog at his side.

Resistance Poetry

Resistance Poetry

Verse as Commentary

The Law of IT (continued)

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foto©robcullenfebruary2020

Etudes 1 (Après Ravel: Le Tombeau De Couperin — 1. Prélude)

A fish only exists on the flat screen
a lion only exists in surround sound
an elephant is only real in digital form
although a 3D moulded form can be provided
if they are dying out they have been recorded
of course the smell is absent
but that doesn’t matter
they are not a part of our world
they are not a part of It
the disconnect between animals and It is permanent

Etudes 2 ( Après Debussy: Images #1, L 110 — Hommage A Rameau )

Space is constructed
from flat lined edges in digital Wi-Fi time only
Earth has decided
to wrap itself in plastic (plastique)
Earth has brought It upon itself.
So It must be so.
The laws of science
of how It has all come to be
means only misery
Deep Time has no meaning

Etudes 3 (Après John Coltrane After The Rain)

The first law of It is “more”
The second law of It is It’s never enough
The fourth law of It is out of sight out of mind
The fifth law of It is there is just today
The sixth law of It is there is no consequence
The seventh law of It is worrying is pointless
The eighth law of It is don’t talk about your worries
The ninth law of It is that there are no Laws
The twelfth law of It is that there is no It.

Etudes 4 (Après Arvo Part — Stabat Mater for Choir and String Orchestra)

Earth is burning
my soul is crying
Earth is in flames
and there are not enough tears
to put out the flames
Earth is burning
my heart breaks
but we must defy IT
no more excuses resist


©robcullenfebruary2020Resistance Poetry

Verse as Commentary

Written by

Rob Cullen

Rob Cullen artist, writer, poet. Rob runs “Voices on the Bridge” a poetry initiative in Wales. Walks hills and mountains daily with a sheep dog at his side.

Resistance Poetry

Resistance Poetry

Verse as Commentary

What do we say to our children?

What did you do daddy?

when the butchers

knocked at the door

sharpening their knives

to cut with their smiles

What did you do daddy?

 

What did you do daddy?

when the thieves

in grey striped suits

sat at the cabinet table

ready to cut with their knives.

What did you do daddy?

 

What did you do daddy?

when the nurses and doctors

worked too many hours

and had no more time

to look after us or you.

What did you do daddy?

 

What did you do daddy?

when all the teachers

working too many hours

had no more time

to teach your children.

What did you do daddy?

 

What did you do daddy?

when all those liars

with their crocodile smiles

did what they did

and wanted to do anyway.

What did you do daddy?

 

What did you do daddy?

When all the taxes you paid

bank-rolled the bankers,

the liars who thieved our Services

and skinned them to the bone

What did you do daddy?

 

What will you do daddy?

Now the services are gone

and the rich get richer

and the poor get sicker

and no one’s listening to you.

What will you do now daddy?

 

What will you do daddy?

When Covid-19

Is killing the old and the young

And all the others in between

And the nurses and doctors

Have no protective kit

Have no masks to shield them

And there’s no tests

Cos everythings run to the ground

Are you clapping daddy?

What are you clapping for?

 

©robcullen2020

First published in Rob Cullen’s collection “Uncertain Times” 2016 with update.

The year of magical thinking…

Rereading a review by Hilary Mantel of CS Lewis’s writing on grief – Guardian Saturday 24th December 2014 I came across a quote from Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking…which led me to another…

“This is my attempt to make sense of the period that followed, weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I had ever had about death, about illness, about probability and luck, about good fortune and bad, about marriage and children and memory, about grief, about the ways in which people do and do not deal with the fact that life ends, about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself. I have been a writer my entire life. As a writer, even as a child, long before what I wrote began to be published, I developed a sense that meaning itself was resident in the rhythms of words and sentences and paragraphs, a technique for withholding whatever it was I thought or believed behind an increasingly impenetrable polish. The way I write is who I am, or have become, yet this is a case in which I wish I had instead of words and their rhythms a cutting room, equipped with an Avid, a digital editing system on which I could touch a key and collapse the sequence of time, show you simultaneously all the frames of memory that come to me now, let you pick the takes, the marginally different expressions, the variant readings of the same lines. This is a case in which I need more than words to find the meaning. This is a case in which I need whatever it is I think or believe to be penetrable, if only for myself.”

― Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking