Wednesday, 12 July 2017

4 poems by Gareth Culshaw


The sea is lost within
itself. Dawdling in timeless
thought, we walk a broken
coastline. No direction up ahead.

Gold clings to the gorse
like pollen on bees’ legs.
Our words are forced back down
our throats by one of the winds
that holds a tissue against its nose.

There’s movement, sweeping
the air, flying out of the banks.
Their pushed-back wings
show a fishing ledger body.

The sea that surrounds our lives
has compassed a visitor, to ignite
our feet, make us stride together.

We watch the sand martins chase
the wind, as if it has pinched their shadows
and they want to take them back.
We walk along the eroding coast
not sure when we will fall away.

Gareth is a published poet with his first collection by futurecycle out in 2018. 

First published 19/01/2017

Empty Headed

The box sat on his neck
is the coffin of his father.
His eyes have not woken
since that last turn of spade.

He is vacant of the world
like a hand in a glove.
He walks the aisles as if in a

The different voices that come
from his grave gut. Sometimes
make you wonder if he knows
what he’s saying.

When will the door be opened
to allow him to leave I do not know.
But we are all dead to him
just like cattle awaiting the hook. 


First published on 18th August 2016.

Passing Trees

I see old friends like passing trees
their lives spreading maps and rings.

One, for all his strength, stare and growl
was struck by a storm that brought him down.

Some sprouted branches like sea anemone
gasping for air, gasping to be seen.

Another has left behind a skeleton of himself
having been and gone, life too short.

I see old friends today as I pass by and by.


First published on 9th February 2016.


Once there was life upon you,
growing up, growing strong.

Until you came to a stop
setting out your figure amongst the rest.

Today your shadow weakens
as you erode back to the earth:

As a child I came to you for support
to build my cartilage and bone.

Your rock face in morning light
deep in slumber, ravaged by weather.

For years we have walked all over you
pushing you deeper, further away.

One day you will be gone
then we will walk in silence, grieving.

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