A Wilfred Owen Pastiche | Gareth Culshaw

up the lane, shadowless roads the muttered way
to the station,
stepped on trains from an unwritten day.

lost their tongues have nothing to say
the thinning of a nation.

wood pigeons watched and a full bellied rat
sniffed the air,
its eyes more alert for the railway cat.

the engine triggered when men sat.
the imagined snare

the night hid, questions muted, they chugged.
wedged apart:
sent by a whistle the wheels slugged;

gone were the wives they hugged
without their heart.

will they come back to beer and song
on gasping trains?
the left, the left, some left to say its wrong,

will sneak back in before the bong,
and distant rains.


Gareth Culshaw lives in Wales. His first collection, The Miner is available from Futurecycle. His second is due in 2020. His main critics are his dogs, Jasper & Lana who prefer sticks to poems.

He can be found on Twitter at @CulshawPoetry and his website, gculshaw.co.uk

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