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House in the dark wood.


This house stands on the six hundred foot contour,

cradled amongst a wood of blackened, bare boned Oaks.


An Atlantic weather front had brought rain all day,

it was a bad storm we get every other winter,

but this one was worse than the others.


That night — I listened to the wind throw spatters

of rain, hard at the windows, I can remember those first years now,

when gales blowing in off the mountain, clattered slates

of the old roof, that needed replacing, but we couldn’t afford it.


And in the morning, the roadway had been turned into a stream,

but it was another winter without damage and we knew we’d get through.


On nights like this, another storm, and I sit reading, unable to sleep,

wrapped in a shawl, listening to a neighbour’s dog howl,

worrying about my daughter and hoping she’ll recover.



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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