Saturday 30 June 2018

Last Train by Sheila Ash


Photo by Stefan Stefancik from Pexels under a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license

Last Train

The last train chugs out of the unmanned, mid-line station
six quiet, overnight hours till it returns, cleaned up,
upholstery brushed up, plushed up for the morning rush.
Last from the train, I make my way slowly while
other passengers scurry homeward to waiting arms and warm beds.
My sleeping bag’s would-be warmth cold in my backpack.

The city lights had called me from the valleys
possibilities of contacts and contracts, of fortune and fame.
Instead, I busk by day and brave the lonely nights.
Found moons ago, my bench lies hidden,
safe from weather and prying eyes - a place to rest,
a place to forget the hardship of the dying day.

My last coins secured my sax. Its left-luggage luxury
far removed from where I settle down to dream the dream
- aspiring to greatness and celebrity, recording lights and playing Wembley.
In the morning I will rise, retrace my steps, collect my sax,
busk another day along my track to stardom
hoping coins tossed to its case secure tomorrow night’s return
to my safe suburban space.

© Sheila Ash, 2018

Sexist echo by Sheila Ash

Meccano? That’s a boy’s toy
But you can have Lego.
Disappointment tainted pleasure
Echoes of tomboy battles.

© Sheila Ash, 2018

Untitled by Sheila Ash

Strange, this aunt from far away
who came each summer to stay.
Given my parents bed
they camped out
the downstairs sofa spread open.

Her behaviour, foreign, yet familiar
displayed her heritage and grace
but also its other face
of empire and colony.
treating others badly
To my child’s eyes – despising?

© Sheila Ash, 2018

Saturday 23 June 2018

Poise by Sheila Ash

In disarrayed despair, her face fell.
Her elemental elegance lost to the moment.

© Sheila Ash, 2018

Friday 15 June 2018

W11 by Sheila Ash

With industrial baggage
our factories ravage
our beloved Earth’s insides.
The environmental clock
tick tocks swiftly on.
Population ever growing,
ever showing our increasing
indulgence . Production
churning out carbon dioxide
Its wrath grows warmer.
Corporations cut corners
Economic rape lies undiscovered
No escape. Smothered
in the burnt out precast blocks
Stark charcoaled
grey smoke filled days
The city shocked.

Let’s clad our towers in red flowers
not red flames of death
Let’s build instead Bosco Verticales
designed ethically
green oxygen giving breath.
Let’s plan avenues of acers in the air
boulevards of bromeliads
skyways of sycamores.
Let a garden city in the sky arise
a pensile paradise
praising vitality
a phoenix eulogy for the 72 who died
where those who survived can live with pride
healing deep, like the ground underneath.

© Sheila Ash, 2018

Monday 4 June 2018

A Mother’s Love by Sheila Ash

The jelly bag
like an upside down dromedary hump
Hung from a brush handle
laid across two spare dining chairs in the upstairs room.

Full of berries, boiled and sugared
Drip, drip, dripping
into the aluminium pan below
delivering their sun filled sweetness for the coming year with all a mother’s love.

© Sheila Ash, 2018

Saturday 2 June 2018

More Qit’a by Sheila Ash

Yesterday’s pen has run out of ink
Tomorrow’s pen tempts me before its time
© Sheila Ash, 2018

Untitled by Sheila Ash


Science Museum Group. Bronze hair curling tongs and trimmer, Egypt, 1575-1194 BCE. A634869. Science Museum Group Collection Online. Accessed June 2, 2018.

The wooden origami bird
Sings to me silently
Its tag number
Belying the number of its kind
The sole survivor
From a life long gone
In a country far away.

Today’s world recognises it not
Knows not its name
Its purpose
Not the stories it could tell
Of lives lived
Of loves loved
Of dreams now apparitions in the desert air

© Sheila Ash

Epitaph of a small winner by Sheila Ash

I am doing a course on Future Learn entitled “How to Make a Poem” 

The first submission is a “found” poem, that is a poem comprised of material found around you. Needless to say , sitting here in my study I am surrounded by books. So naturally I went for titles. This is what resulted.


Epitaph of a small winner

The last picture show
The dark, pale view of the hills
When I whistle
The silent cry

Death in summer
Such a long journey
The watcher in the shadows
Dances with dragons
I dreamt the snow was burning.

© Sheila Ash, 2018