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foto©robcullen16012016.

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…


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credit: Norse research project.weekly.com

Puca watched his brother Coyote

Fall from the tail of White headed Eagle again,

Fall far from the Sun and Immortality un-gained.

Another of Coyote’s tricks unhinged another fall.

Puca knew Coyote would take on another shape,

Always with the same voice, wise people would not listen to.

But the poor and wretched needing hope might.

Puca watched Coyote transform into another form.

As sure as night followed day, a trick would be played,

So that Coyote would reach the sun and immortality.

Puca smiled it is the endless game the Trickster plays,

Puca feels restless, there’s always another game to be played. …


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Foto©robcullen18092020

Turning, or maybe returning, to you.

I remember the first time

I listened to your words, your voice,

hearing the sound of another lover

Of words and the search for a meaning.

Your words gave an assurance.

I studied your verse without rhyme,

lines with their own meter and chapters.

At a time when my skin betrayed me,

days when I felt the hurt rejection brings,

I needed to find someone like you,

and as if to order, you emerged, only you.

Your accent was always familiar,

though harder edged than my father’s,

and now I seek you out…


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credit Amnesty International

Your soul is a bright shining flame,

A beacon illuminating darkness.

For those who stand in days brightness.

It will never light those hiding in shame,

Your spirit is the brightest of stars,

sparkling glowing in the night sky,

your brightness shines through the lie,

of those who took you in their cars.

Your name and life will be remembered.

Poems will be written about you,

Love songs will be sung to you,

Your name and life will be remembered.

This is a love song to Giulio Regeni,

And to all those who disappeared,

Whose lives and memories are…


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fotorobcullen042015

-

I don’t expect you to understand.

It was as if a door to a hidden room

had suddenly been opened.

I had no time to prepare myself

for the sight of what lay within.

-

It was a store, where old things

had been locked away for so long.

It’s not that I would have preferred

that room to stay locked and closed.

But I didn’t know the past would cause so much pain.

-

Memories that still hold power

to stun the soul with hard shafts

of cruel unrelenting shame,

I had to begin to pick through,

to break each memory down again. …


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foto©robcullen012016

You cannot call my name.

We will remember for all time the summer of this year

when last Spring, woodlands and forests had a quietness

almost an expectation

as if the trees knew and were waiting.

I would not describe it as tenseness,

the quiet wasn’t peaceful either.

It was what I would describe as resignation

if I were to attach it to a humans form.

After the heavy rains of winter,

people described them as exceptional,

rains the like of which no one could remember.

No one had seen such rain who was still living.

……


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foto©robcullen2010

Two days of hard blown snow fall,

mountain roads are blocked now,

it’s two days since your long phone call,

but without the help of a snow plough,

I’m unable to keep my promise.

Today I walked down from the hills,

waded through drifts of deep snow,

to reach the chemists for the pills,

but everywhere I went was closed,

I found it hard to avoid or dismiss,

Your loneliness — the sadness of your grief.

It was the first time you’d spoken,

of being in this world without the belief,

of being a healer and in touch with the…


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foto©robcullen210216

There’s a tide in the affairs of men,
A moon in the affairs of women.

Death and Nightingales ­- Eugene McCabe.

Without respite, a month’s worth of rain fell over a day, through a night.

Unrelenting from lead black skies, in truth, it felt like a judgement of spite.

After the flood waters had fallen, I walked the debris-littered river beach,

tattered plastic festoons hung from trees branches, fluttering, wind strewn.

Where white-grey sand had lain, once flecked with old red sandstone,

brought down from Pen-y-fan*, to rest and lie for a while on the river shore.

……


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Foto un-attributable origin-the image shows a young mother standing above the Senghennydd Colliery Pit Head waiting for the news of who was dead and who survived…where was her husband, her father her brother?

A hidden stream runs deep

through the soil under this town.

There is the river, of course

churning through its channeled

constricted, structured way.

But there is another web,

of hidden streams,

a ream of unwritten rivulets,

unrecorded culverts and drains,

that ooze in black gleamed silence,

beneath the stones and roads,

that carries through the ages,

those familiar names and voices,

and streets laced with that great,

intricacy of an unintended design.

An interlocking mesh of unwritten

words, of so many hopes,

and deeds of long forgotten

lives, toiling endlessly to ensure,

that food and clothes are…


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foto©robcullen2017

-

The riding of skateboards on the platform

is prohibited under the Railways Act regulation 30.

The person may be prosecuted.

If you see anything suspicious spot it, bin it, sort it.

The tidal bore rose along the tracks

Between platforms four and five,

water seeped over the rails,

rafts of bladder rack,

moved in on the tide

-

The height of the tidal bore,

took everyone standing,

on platform five by surprise

some smiled.

-

The crowd of surfers grinned,

surfboards in hand waiting,

for the wave to crest,

and then dive in.

-

Dolphins dived in and…

About

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.

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