Gareth lives in Wales. This year, futurecycle will publish his first poetry collection.
The Looming Night Sky
The colourful tree is leaving
being sucked away by the night sky.
A breeze lingers in the throat
of the lane, but it is draining away.
The voice is losing strength.
These days all I can do is wait;
knowing the darkness is boxing up
a place I came from.
Stars appear like shoots of cress.
While the moon shines fake light.
You might think there is new growth
but the roots are falling down
into the earth. I have no idea
where they will take her after this place.
Her years being lost to the night
that has been looming for a long time.
Her smile is crumbling as I wonder
about the words I have said. Have they
ever had any meaning, Mother.
Potting on, potting in.
Soil pressed into by the trowel
end. A block of connected
roots and compost
lowered into a new beginning.
Stand back in hope, look
to the sky and wait for sunlight,
pray for rain. Blow away
the wind. Raised beds in all their
formality. Belted earth, shored up
so there is a usage after all.
Each day we check to see
the leaves have took. We’re left to the dark
while we sleep in our own raised bed.
Knowing we ourselves will be lowered
when we’re clumped by roots and earth.
We were up a hill. Hidden in a cloud.
Ankle bones in mid squeeze. A fibre
of the land had been windswept.
The fields’ membrane was losing
itself in the clouds. Being blown
away by unseen winds.
We were here to build it back.
Knit a million years of hard rock
for the cows to know their lines.
Sheep gossiped at the top,
looking down on us as we tapped
and slipped, bashed and heaved
a wall that they knew was inching
into the ground. I remember the wet
fingers, shaking with cold as my throat
searched for warm air. Like when I
was pulled from the womb,
red faced, and thrown into the unknown.
Settling into the Unknown
A mist filled the known world
pin-pricks of light gave hope as we
headed into something for the shower rooms.
Metal rattled on a barn, electric hummed
from the house. A wind
decided to linger on the field.
It barged into our ten as if it was lost
in the dark. We thought of pegs
and guide ropes as we exposed ourselves
to the outer world. We looked as if we
were waiting for something. The sun ducked
behind knobbles of land. Our two seater camping
chair held our bones. A lantern grew in confidence
as we ourselves became more unsure.
I had never known faith before,
but this was the first time I had put
my hands in someone else’s memory.
Gymnast palm on a wooden plank
as it rested across a bench. I held with
nervous eyes hoping he wouldn’t slip.
His trombone arm was slow at first,
but quickly flowed until a stubborn
knot sat in the middle.
Snarling dog teeth growled,
the plank wobbled slightly, slipped
back and forth.
Sweat dripped. My hands
pressed, fearing a piranha bite.
He straightened up from the weight of life
that had gathered. Then it was released,
falling to the floor with a clattering tone.
We both smiled, I had passed my first test.