Three Poems by Gareth Culshaw

Days out on the Train

Years ago train doors had windows
you could pull down, and we
would stick out our calf heads.

The moving air blew out
science and other school
subjects we hated.

Railway lines bumped along
the wheels as if passing
them to each other.

The carriage passed things
we never saw. The day ahead
was already in our minds.

All we had to do was press replay
to see if it was real. Bacon
sandwich in a café, a can of coke

from the shop and us carrying a strut
from our place of birth.


Hide and Seek

When the fog came out at night
we would treat it like daytime.
Hoodies up, hats on, gloves
inflated with hands.

Hide and seek the game counting
under a streetlight. Your turn
to find us as we melt into the dark.
Knee bends behind cars, hedges

garden gates. Lying flat on the tarmac
we listened to the underworld.
Holding our lungs until they popped,
and we let out slug speed air.

The fog had no clock to listen
for. We ran into it unaware
of what may happen. Whether
it was the next day or sleep

from the night before.


Bike Rides at Night

When the world was flat, we travelled
on mountain bikes. Read street signs
as we pedalled towards leaving school.

Our bikes gave us distance took us
away from living rooms that hemmed
in our words. Gears were clicking

on every hill. At night streetlights
shimmied on. Brought ‘V’ shaped
patterns of light to slow pavements.

Car headlights made us think.
Zebra crossings made us jump.
Pub doorways quickened our feet.

When we got home our legs burnt
away homework. Our minds bottled
up the bike rides turned them to chutney

so we could use them years later
on salads when we were bored in adulthood.

 

Gareth lives in Wales. He had his first collection out in 2018 by Futurecycle called The Miner. He hopes to achieve something special with the pen.

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