Guest Poem by Gareth Culshaw

Gareth Culshaw lives in Wales. His last collection, Somethings that have happened so far, won the Backlash Best Poetry Book Award 2022. He has been published widely across the UK & USA. This poem is from Acumen 107.

I Will Walk Before it Snows

Somewhere in the sky the heavy lightness of snow
waits. I snap my knees again hope my trouser belt
keeps me whole until I reach home.

My spine tries to balance on the legs, allow yawns
to grow through my windpipe, then release into the sky
as disturbed fieldfares.

Yesterday, clouds grated water, tonight, new clouds
pause the turning earth hold crusts of snow,
and in my hand is bread to break for the birds.

We have much in common, me and the clouds.
In death they fall into your grave when everyone
has gone, then carry you to the next portal.

Bleached snow starts to peck at the darkness, scrub
away what’s inside my eyelids. I cart a day’s work
in my jaw, see cloud crumbs fill gaps in the moon.