Gareth lives in Wales. He has his first collection with futurecycle in 2018.
THE CANAL OF LIFE
The canal brought movement to the stillness
a traveller born in the sky.
Then hearsed itself between the sea’s,
threatening to take away the leaves and light.
But then we turned up. Petrol strimmers, goggles,
karibina’s, strap clips, steel toe caps and spit.
We broke silence like a dentist operating
on sugar worn teeth. The strimmer shudder
was like a leaf miner eating away at my skin.
Burrowing away into the maturing fibre.
We swept weeds and grass, brought summer
to its knees. Spun thistle into threads
let them bleed under sunlight.
We created new space for the canal to widen
itself, build a sky upon its face.
HE STILL DELIVERS
He still rolls the newspapers
and threads the stories through
letterboxes. His wife helps,
they walk together with a bag
over each shoulder.
The strap is belt tight due
to weight. Until it becomes
loose as the lightness takes hold.
Around four pm everyday, carrying
the days events. Sharing secrets.
Seeing people come and go, doors
painted, gardens lawned.
He views the weather from the slates
that glimmer rain, hold sun, frown
winter nights. His sons all grown
up. I saw his hair thin with every
round when we passed.
The print of his years falling away.
Today he walks with a naked skull
soaking up more about the place
than anyone else in the area.
A LOST SOUL
I was told today an old name had died.
Killed himself with a bunch of pills.
I remember him whacking a boy
with a tennis racket. Then walking away
like a fox after visiting a chicken coop.
He took drugs before we knew alcohol.
The only verbs he used were started
with a swear word. He had a thin jaw
with unwashed hair. Saw alcohol as normal
as a cup of tea. When his mother died he
lost his organs. His skin keeping him
from falling to pieces. I hadn’t seen him
for many a year. He could dribble a football
and smoke at the same time. We thought
that was great. It wasn’t until we left school
that we realised what a lost soul he was.
We moved into work and such like, bought
new clothes and went camping. We found a map.
He stayed walking the same streets
hoping the dead skin he dropped would come
back, make him young again.
When the chalk squeaked
against the tip, a gas flame
blue dust fell to the floor.
We held the cue with wrapped
fingers, ninety degree elbow.
A photo stance. And the balls
stayed where we had left them.
The tip was used for kissing,
tapping, punching, smacking.
Our hips and legs argued
about which way to settle.
There were squints, eyebrow
raises, sniffs, smirks, false smiles,
roll of eyes, shrugs and all
the things that had yet to grow
out of us and into everyday life.
We were acted it out in the cloudy
dull light of a smoke filled room.
When we went again years later
the light bulbs that were once smog
could spread a light that made us
see every angle on the table