One More Walk Before the Year Ends
Rust sorbets the sun. Sheep lick clean the dew
of winter’s breath. A cardboard cut-out of a horse
stands against the thick hedgerow. Two magpies
pull themselves across the empty space of autumn
and summer. I stand within a holly of frost,
find my tongue hanging on to words it’s known.
Open fires wave smoke into a sky capped by
a brow of the wood. Starlings break themselves
into pieces as time hoovers each one until death.
Wood pigeons hold back soil dust, flap above
a forgotten plough as a robin smears the ice
that keeps a water butt round.
The hills apple my joints on the last walk of the year
as I head back to the slate polished roof.
A Long Walk Written Short
Yesterday tractors ploughed, unveiled purple soil.
Today I see snowballs of gulls, rummaging for grubs.
Crows mimic each other as they gather for a worm.
I’m far from home but only up the road. A sky is littered
with what I feel. Distant trees corpse last summer.
The field leads me to a road I know
but it’s the end, I now have to go.
Gareth Culshaw lives in Wales. He has 2 collections by FutureCycle, The Miner & A Bard's View.