In this place there are empty shapes.
Spaces, moving. Here, there, everywhere.
Spaces moving among us, about us.
The shape of the missing,
we no longer hear, or see.
People we once knew, touched,
talked with, laughed with, cried too,
they were features of this place, this town,
they are missing now. Do we miss them?
Do we have a sense of the empty space they once filled?
Once, not so long ago, a month or so,
when I was engaged on my daily walk,
I would meet older people, some very old,
Late 80’s, early nineties…
“I, who felt the horror of mirrors
Not only in front of the impenetrable crystal
Where there ends and begins, uninhabitable,
An impossible space of reflections…”
Jorge Louis Borges, Dreamtigers 1962.
Tomos had taken the long path around the beach edge that afternoon. The walk had become a routine that began at the old harbor, heavily silted by the river these days, so that only small craft were tied to the jetty wall. He walked quickly past the old large former houses of shipmasters built in more prosperous times and now rented out as summer houses for holidaymakers but during…
Driving through the city late at night he’d become aware of the vehicle following — and its increasing closeness. The car had gradually become so close, almost bumper to bumper. It was dangerous. The line of vehicles in the next lane prevented him from pulling over to let the car overtake. He looked repeatedly in the rearview mirror. His attention moved from the close proximity of the vehicle to the driver. He noticed that the man’s face had an extreme pallor — a yellow ivory whiteness in spite of the glow of his rear lights. After five possibly six times…
Darkness comes darkness goes then there’s grey
sometimes some people can dance through darkness
Some of the time some people hide in the darkness
apparently- there’s no light to look into the darkness
A boy dances to make the woman his mother smile
she is lost in the darkness he wants her to laugh or dance sometimes
do anything to see her smile a boy dances for the woman
who closes the door the door closes darkness closes in
The woman re-appears fully dressed shopping bag in hand
closes the door says I won’t be long…
Silences vacancies empty spaces
lemons yoghurt spuds
The silence of the middle class again
think you can close the door
you are deluded
What is the message?
This message of silence
What are you trying to say?
What are you trying to tell me?
With your silences.
Your non replies.
Is it that I haven’t lived
the times I’ve worked through
driving past lorries filled with coal
convoys of lorries on the motorways
filling up the power stations stores
to break the miner’s strike
to break a community
to break a…
Nights were light, nights were long
back when the sun held on to all the skies
unwilling to sink below mountains dark lines
but darkness came all the same as it was bound to do
each long day, as it must do each and every night
when we were young and brightness filled our eyes
Standing with clouds
it was a time of childhood a time of innocence
of days walking hillsides and high mountains
there was no other time there was no other place.
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.