Benjamin Cusden

Ben Photo

Benjamin Cusden was a successful television programme editor until health issues led him to two and a half years of homelessness. His poetry has appeared in various UK publications including Acumen, Prole, The Dawntreader, and Under The Radar; as well as publications in the USA and Brazil. He has been shortlisted for The Bridport Prize and The Live Canon International Poetry Competition. He volunteers at Lumen and Camden Poetry raising money for cold weather shelters for the homeless.

Cut the Black Rabbit is a tough but tender read, with Cusden being one who knows how to ‘camouflage your being with evening air’ and how to scrape by ‘with laughter and lager’.” Katrina Naomi

Doorways Are For Daytime Sleeping

As the natural light segues into night amber;
when nocturnal beat and chatter

replaces daytime-drone, it’s time to sink deeper
into shadows – smooth as water to find a way

to seep through unseen cracks, become less
than silhouette and feed your form to darkness.

Navigate away from well-worn tracks, nimbly mask
your scent – camouflage your being with evening air.

As night falls, sympathy’s a starving bird, empathy
an unknown world. Fear is a hyena’s hunting pack.

before dawn on the moor

neither rhythm nor hum
are real
merely blood and air circulate

sky is empty and ground doesn’t exist
matt-black locks are jet-black jammed
together in bite

silhouettes of sound are hidden
by tight lips of earth and sky
only heard from inside life’s throat

before dawn on the moor
heart and lungs
are silent