Tuesday 19 July 2016

Desert Rose


Tonight the desert comes to Norwich
And I will dance the night away
Listening to the music
Remembering the starlight sky
Under which we slept.

Tonight the music will fill my heart
And I will sing your songs
To guitar strums
And pounding drums
And memories remet.

Across the world they travel singing
Songs of suffering and death
Of family and a nation lost
Of love and self respect.

Their message travels far and wideDesert-rose-big
From homelands turned to dust
Their voice a woeful desert blues
Of loyalty and trust.

For me they sing a memory
Cloistered deep within my heart
Of love across the desert
The sorrow of being apart.

Some say the desert’s empty
But they don’t have eyes to see
The wonders of its wildness
And the rose you gave to me.

© Sheila Ash 18th June 2016

Sunday 10 July 2016

Ode to the Halesworth 5


Standing proud the five triskelions
Raised by some night rapscallion
Tower above the fields and trees
Preparing to tumble with the breeze
In beautiful rotational symmetry
With grey industrial efficiency.

Motionless till the wind obliges
The gathering of nature’s prizes
Loved and loathed in equal measure
Perhaps a future Nation’s Treasure?
These acrobats in lycra
Bare, metallic, three headed hydras

Successors to Spender’s pylons 1
These new electrical producer icons
Move gentle through the air
With an abundant graceful flair
That belies the power they truly wield
To generate increasing yields
To satisfy our greedy demands
For power to power our idle hands
That every day require the force
To flip our screens and brown our toast.

© 10th July 2016 Sheila Ash

1 see http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-pylons/

Wednesday 6 July 2016


Carrying on our theme at our Creative Writing Group of looking at emotions, this weeks we tackled betrayal. Here’s my piece.

The wilderness of concrete blocks
Overgrown with grass and moss
Interspersed with remnant towers
Industrialised relics rusting down.

The corners, bare of buildings, stand
Desolate, deprived and sad
The only occupants of late
The hookers, dealers and the mad.

Lost generations, generating hate
Lives lost in an external wait
For betterment that never comes
For promises broken one by one.

Disappointment and dismay ingrained
Despondency ascends and reigns
Demoralised by poverty
Their only hope the lottery –

That dream of a chance to replace
This bleak and dreary wasted place
Of grey skinned gloom and leaden hearts
Once happy families torn apart

Let down by unions, banks and bosses
Suffering long and hard the losses
Of jobs, self-respect and pride
They grasp the last hope plebiscite.

Attentive to their inner voices
They put a cross aside their choices
And giving up their final prayers
Voted out those dammed betrayers.

© Sheila Ash 6th July 2016


Why we voted leave: voices from northern England from Guerrera Films on Vimeo.

Saturday 2 July 2016

A Poem about Fear

For one step the world stops,
time is lost to any clock.
For one step the only sound
her pounding heart beating down.
For one step adrenaline rushes,
around her veins her blood gushes.
For one step there’s unseen rampage
as lungs press hard against her ribcage.
For one step her grip is locked,
muscles rigid, hard in shock.
For just one step all courage mustered,
remaining calm, not getting flustered.
For one step she does not hear
the cheers of friends standing near
that sends her off along the wire
as camera lenses flash and fire.
Just one step to conquer things we dread
that only live inside our head.

© Sheila Ash 2nd July 2016

Friday 1 July 2016

Poems from 1998

I wrote these poems in 1998 during a holiday in Ireland with a friend who challenged me to write a four line poem, the first of the following was the result. The second I wrote after watching her write whilst on Inisheer, Aran Islands, and the third is for NB.

The Famines and the Troubles took her promised men from every generation past
Now like an annual Brig-a-Doon each May her bottom drawers lay strewn on every bough
Her greyed fingers scour the green in search of her own match never made in the Ireland
- A lady left alone by time


What secrets lie on pages hidden
Whose paper folds like memories
Storing, indexing, archiving and retrieving
better than any neural net
for jogging visual cortices?

How do they enhance, solicit and inspire
from visions held in cranial vaults
your pictures, poems and stories?



If I could see the stars you see
then that would mean you were here with me
or I was there with you.

When my sun is up, yours is down
this old world keeps turning round
to make my day your night.

We never see the same sunset
or feel the same breeze round our necks
or blowing up autumn leaves.

Maybe someday as time stands still
the distance between will become nil
and we shall see the same sunset
and feel that same breeze around our necks
as we kick up autumn leaves.

© Sheila Ash 1998, 2016

Iceland v England

Facing defeat the players froze.
Heads dropped,
Eyeing their own feet’s futility
Lacking in agility
Stumbling immobility.

They cower before the opposition lines
Love’s labour lost
Floored by the feats of others
Sapped by sudden equalisers
From that band of northern brothers.

Failed faces turned towards the turf
With ostrich like unbelieving
Leaden legs to jelly jaded
Their lack of skills paraded
Their lead relinquished, twice invaded.

In desolation they lie
Exhausted and dissipated
Ceding all thoughts of glory
Remaining ever stationary
Stuck in a shameful purgatory.

They slink off-field,
Off home,
Without pride.

© Sheila Ash, 30th June 2016