GARETH CULSHAW - POEMS
Gareth is an aspiring poet who has been published in various magazines. He resides in N Wales. He enjoys walking, writing, watching sport and being with his dogs.
I would place them one by one on a stump
where they waited like a swimmer on a
diving board, ready to split from life.
the logs were scattered in an awkward pile
listening to the splintering of bone near by.
I heaved up the axe and tapped the log
on the head as a father to son sort of tap.
before creating a line to fall back through.
slicing the sky in two then letting it drop
as if I am releasing my self from the board.
a dip of the knees and 'WHACK!' the log
would grip the axe and hold it tight, not
wanting anymore. I kicked it to release, the
threads creaking with a crackling wood sound
on a fire, before a half roll like a sliced apple.
We had just got out of the teenage tunnel
seeing new light up ahead.
Our bodies changing, so our minds.
Bent forward, elbow tight, feet firm
eyeball solid, as if glass.
acute or obtuse, angles were calculated
Striking one to nudge another, or blast or
tap, whatever you needed. Sometimes a shave
to slightly roll for the fish catch pocket.
Numbers added up on the board. It was
educational, allowing us to view the
rest of our life as we looked at the table.
Everything mapped out like the sea
treasure hidden, just needing to be found:
stormy weather and rough currents
taking us to places we couldn't get out
of. We did our best to work things through
but snooker is a life game, getting easier as
we sail along the years.
I always remembered him as the mortar man
On occasion he would come out, puff a ciggie
The big wheel turned sand and lime until it
Became a cake mix, water would fill from a hose
Splashing us in the eyes then we’d rub and rub
Until a burn would build up, an itchy burn
He would sit there on his sofa, a sandy sofa
One you could pat and see haze fill the room
A daily mirror rolled up, coffee stained mug
Bricks in a corner, broken bricks that is,
They would be thrown into the mixer to clean
any scum and crust that’s built up.
We would press dried mortar between our fingers
Feeling the grainy bits as if it’s our own bones
Fading away. Pushing the wheelbarrow in coffin
Heavy steel toecaps, the mortar man would
Watch us, puffing a rollie, watching the seagulls fly
Over and us, walking away.
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