Sunday 27 August 2017

Sunday Morning Market Nightmare by Sheila Ash

Dogs to the left of you,
dogs to the right,
still more unseen in front of you,
hidden from sight.

Dogs at eye level
trying to lick your face,
more dogs still behind you
straining to give chase.

Dogs on long leases
of leather, rope and chain,
a thousand tripping hazards
to drive a man insane.

More arrive each minute,
still they’re crowding in.
the road’s too small and narrow
for all to fit within.

In the crush somebody stumbles
but luckily does not fall,
it’s worse than in the sales
at some big retail mall.

Impatience mounts to a crescendo
two men lock shoulders like two stags,
barging at each other
two old frustrated dads.

The crowd behind has halted
crumbles fill the air,
someone calls for them to stop,
someonelse is heard to swear.

The air is rife with tension
luckily soon dispersed,
no fisticuffs ensued
from this showy outburst.

But the dogs had got excited
they’re straining to break free,
there’s no policing presence
that anyone can see.

The summer Sunday morning
totters on undeterred
but below the surface simmers
annoyances unheard.

So if you come to fairs and markets
please come on your own
or with your wife or husband 
but please leave all dogs at home.

© Sheila Ash 27th August 2017

Tuesday 15 August 2017

For T by Sheila Ash

Red eyes of salt water memories
swim in the blue Caribbean Sea
over bottomless coastal shelves
a thousand fish stream by
like days long gone.

Did you remember to the end
the shouts of joyous jumping into cavernous cenotes
filled with the tears generations?
Or did fog again obscure the peaks
around the volcanic beaches of Ometepe
leaving only the eyes of languid cattle
to watch us without understanding?

Did you remember to the end
the resonance of the hillside church bells,
the mariachi street bands singing as we ate dinner
the whispers from sultry jungle nights ?
Or did the tangles muddle
the sounds of Star Wars in Spanish
our breathless running the gauntlet of raging mosquitos back to our tents?

Did you remember to the end
The magic of marketplaces, rhythmic swathes of kaleidoscopic colours
dancing like a salsa winding its way through the streets of Merida?.
Our merriment at Colunga’s surreal seats,
the laughter of Guatemalan washer women as we staged a photoshoot
Our childish games among the Mayan columns
the white hot sand of Caya Caulker grinding beneath our feet?

Did you remember to the end
or did the decay of neurons rob me from you?
Your arm around my shoulder once mended my shocked soul,
Mine unable to mend your mind in return.
Your smile once brightened my mornings
as every sun rose so now it sets
for I remember your joy, my friend,
and it will shine within me always.

© Sheila Ash 15th August 2017