The Allotment Guy – Gareth Culshaw

He grows his leeks upside down
as he says the world is inside out.

A row of carrots shoulder the soil,
The holes in his jeans are from

the knuckles of bone that have become
crooked with every shovel lift

or wheelbarrow rumble. The weather
sits in his eyebrows, and time

creases his skin. But he doesn’t care.
He grows his onions in a zig zag

so he can walk like a cat when pulling
them up. His turnips are brought

out of the raised bed like a district
nurse holding a baby. Tomato’s

picked like tomorrow is only a dream,
spuds forked up when he wears

a belt. The pegs hold the guard in case
the shape decides to run away.

But he doesn’t care as he knows
the world is inside out.

Gareth lives in Wales. He had his first collection published, The Miner, by FutureCycle in 2018. He has been published in various places across the UK and USA. His two dogs, Jasper and Lana, help redraft his poems.