Monday 27 June 2016

An Elephant never forgets


An elephant never forgets
as neither will I.
The circle of cows around the unmoving new born.
The gentle prodding of trunks.
The Matriarch in charge
places guards to warn the herd
of approaching hunters.
Crouched down,
watching, transfixed.
As slowly through breath comes life
A stirring from the babe
A tonal change in sound from mother and her sisters
Time of the essence
The calf wobbles on its legs
tries to rise, fails, tries again.
Its first steps,
safe behind the herd’s protective wall.
The call goes up.
The whole group slowly moves off as one protective collective.

Friday 24 June 2016

Where once love lay

I do not want the morning sun to rise
To bring another day of bright blue skies
I do not want to face the ache of loss
The pain of past memories
Gnawing hungrily at my heart.

My face, against the pillow, lies
Smothered by the scent of absence
Drowning in the tears of loss
Sinking in a sea of sorrow
Suffocated by the silence
Of the void left by your voice.

Let me stay here in the dark
Where love lay so beautifully.
Reminiscing meadow walks
Replaying the touch of skin
Nestling in the curve of your caresses
Before it fades and vanishes.

Do not let the daisies grow in our special place
Where others walk now, in our steps,
In summer dresses,
faces smiling,
bodies touching
under a prematurely starless sky

I do not want the morning clock to chime
The radio to blare its love songs
Just let me lie
Shrouded in bedroom chaos
Maddened by misery
Anger raging unabated.

Do not lift the blanket
That covers me in the fog of forgetting
And keeps the world at bay
Do not let me hear the cries of our children at the bedroom door

© Sheila Ash, 24th June 2016

Monday 20 June 2016


At our Creative Writing Group this morning we were looking at emotions and how to write them. Today’s one was Joy.

Out of work clothes, hardly recognisable
he walks across the square, two kids in tow.
One in a chair, pushed in front
a balloon flying Pooh-like from the back.

“For a moment, please, I need to go pee”
he rushes off, leaving me with unrequested responsibility.
“Heads up Jamie” seems to be the key
the balloon the ploy to unlock lost eyes
into a moment of joy.

Goodbyes are said
I stroke his cheek
his eyes release a smile
that leaves me weak.

© Sheila Ash, 20th June 2016

Friday 10 June 2016

Untitled rendering

From out of the blue it came
washed up
left behind
a residue deposited on my shore.

Does curiosity reign supreme
prompting me to open it
this unsolicited gift
for contents which may change my life?

Does compassion compel
its lifting up
its cleaning
its repairing
its restoration to health and a fruitful life?

Do I return it to whence it came
its fate the decision of others
the uncared for debris of a life unfulfilled?

© Sheila Ash, 6th June 2016

Thursday 9 June 2016

Fenn Halfin and the FearZero by Francesca Armour-Chelu

Fenn Halflin and the Fearzero (Fenn Halflin, #1)

Francesca Armour-Chelu
The author is one of our local librarians and I went last week to her book launch party in our local Library and of course bought a copy to support her endeavours. Quite often after a few pages I find such books are not for me and give up. Not so with this one. I was hooked early on by the story Fenn the foundling babe found by the ship wrecking Halflin whom he grows up knowing as his grandfather. Marked out as a Seaborn due to his cut apart webbed feet, Fenn  has to remain hidden from the Terra Firma led by Chilstone who are seeking to stamp out Seaborn resistance to their rule following the flooding of most of the world because of climatic change.
This review contains SPOILERS - Inevitably there will be comparisons to JK Rowling’s Harry Potter, to the Kevin Costner film Waterworld and other post apocalyptic tales, but in my opinion Fenn Halflin and the FearZero holds its own. The reader sympathises with the boy as he sneaks out from his confinement to spy on his grandfather at work, empathises with him as he is sent away aboard a ship to escape the coming wrath of Chilstone,  fears for his wellbeing when set adrift in The Shanties to fend for himself. There Fenn ends up in a Dickensian nightmare reminiscent of Oliver Twist when he falls into the hands of Fagin-like Nile but the reader cheers on his camaraderie and concern for others as he shares his takings from selling rat meat with his companions to steer them clear of Nile’s wrath and maintain their rations of food. In this unlikely place he finds friendship amongst the other children working for Nile, but no sooner has he done so than Chilstone’s men are upon them again. As Fenn saves the day our story is again disrupted by the uncovering of Nile’s real reason for keeping the children working for him and where others have disappeared to. In a hilarious, yet heart rending, rat infested waterside scene the friends finally escape to unknown freedom. They go of in search of Fenn’s grandfather and a place of safety, but Fenn is now much more aware of the world, its politics, and his place in it and recalling his grandfather’s analysis of an animal’s options as being to kill, be killed, to hide or to run, he is not going back to hide but is going back to fight. His parting of the ways from his friends as they set of to find their safe haven, leaves him alone once more, but we hope not for long as the beacon of resistance is lit and Fenn and us await the world’s response to it in Volume 2 Fenn Halflin and the Rising of the Seaborn.
ashramblings verdict 4* Page turner! Excellent first novel. Really looking forward to Vol2.