Two Poems on Walking

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.