Sunday 27 November 2016

Strictly Story

A dialog of voices round a table offers choices
for a poet sitting searching for that all illusive rift.
As Saturday night to Sunday morning shifts along without much warning
what poetry is there forming from sounds which coexist
to set themselves adrift in a form that will persist like those of Dumas?

The TV is on for Strictly so maybe I can quickly get some words down.
But distracted by reactions in the Twitter stream to dances
I succumb to interactions with some faceless clown.
He thinks Ed Balls’s a winner instead of a beginner
She grins at Judge Rinder as he tries to convince her
that the panel isn’t biased by scoring Louise the highest in the cha cha cha.

Ed nudges closer to a zero making him a bigger hero in the public gaze.
They watch bemused like Darcy by low scores from Craig’s harshly
raised paddle while continuing to babble about Danny Mac’s 40s.
Now they miss the best of stories, all the flashing flights of glory
coming from the greatness of Claudia’s strength and straightness.
They even fail to fathom AJ’s disguise of the chasm
between the levels of their hips amidst amazement at the lifts leaving us all a-gaga.

Their acrobatic Argentine tango to sultry sounds from one piano
playing Cry Me a River sending me into a shiver as they beautifully deliver
to Justin Timberlake. I’m waiting for the room to shake. Not for a 36!
I look askanced at it, a mistake perchance is it? Utterly entranced by it,
I would say it’s perfect, no way to correct it, they should have got a 10 for it
Professionals give praise for it, AJ take a bow for it - ta-dah!

© Sheila Ash, 2016
Posted 27th November 2016

Monday 21 November 2016


Long days and even longer nights
Rushed by out of sight
Vast swathes of lands I’d find
as names on the school map
Now pass as grains of sand upon the wind
That howled through holes
Saturating lost and sorry souls
Crushed in the back of a lorry
Stuffed like notes in wallets
Nothing could forestall its
Passage in through every crevice
Of this human haulage service
By which I made my way.

Cramped up in trucks
Herded around like geese and ducks
Crammed in with donkeys and hay bales
Slammed in their jails
Down and down we sunk
Tossed around like unwanted junk
Dampened in the holds of boats
Struggled to stay upright, afloat
But I made my way.

Money spent, papers lost
I daren’t count the actual cost
Clothes torn upon my back
I beached up like an unwanted sack
Desirous only of sleep
These islands of Greece
Offered no such peace.
So on as before
Knocking at every border door
Via Macedonia and Serbia
Through Croatia and Austria
Closed out of Hungary
Plodding through the drudgery
Slogging through the snows
The blizzards took my toes
Boots cracked with overwear
Walking on roads to no one knows where.
I continued to make my way.

On today my fourteenth birthday,
This loose tarpaulined canopy’s my house,
The sky is grey but bombless
In this jungle metropolis.
I try to stay dry but constantly cry in dismay.
I stare out across the sea
To where I want to be
With the only living soul I know
In a dream called Glasgow
I go to school, attend class,make friends and play.
I just need the chance
Some additional finance
To ensure a way to pass through this Port of Calais.

© Sheila Ash, 2016
Posted 21st November 2016

Monday 14 November 2016


All the things I never said
that still remain inside my head,
the feelings left inside my heart,
unexpressed, so never felt
by you as we went along life’s path
lie now upon the winter’s snow to melt.

© Sheila Ash 2016
Posted 14th November 2016

Sunday 13 November 2016

The room closed for 30 years is open…..

Stepping out, I should rejoice
but sky shouts so much noise
rebounding off surfaces sharp and hollow
not like my dream this tomorrow.

Part of me wants the room I know
another part just wants to go
into the car her arms take me
on route my legs betray me.

Blues, greens,
yellow sirens,
flashing flashing never stopping.
My god! my ears are popping.
My brain’s flooded by colours -
I thought the world was duller.

Inside the car I hug its surface,
Have courage. Remember purpose.
A life never the same again
Remember I want to feel the rain.

© Sheila Ash, 2016
posted 13th November 2016

Fairytale Rap

Once upon a time in a land not so far way, a door that had been shut for 30 years was opened……..

Waves of light upon an ocean
dust specs dancing in Brownian motion
enlivened by the new commotion
when magic words were spoken doors flew open

Cobwebs woven by spiders’ threads
spun over a chair, across a bed
spread like a blanket thick and warm
spun over years by the spiders swarm

A mask of dust covers the Prince’s face
fingers fumble with arachnid lace
in prophesy he puts his trust
in his mouth the taste of dust
disrupted by the lightest touches
his hand reaches out and gently brushes
back the veil of time’s cessation
revealing Beauty’s suspended animation
dreaming sleeping lying unattended
by the witch’s spell suspended.

All it takes is just one kiss
for that spell to drift to mist
she awakens having dreamt of this
her very own Prince and eternal bliss.

Drrrup drrrup drrrup

Stop for a moment to rethink this
she awakens having dreamt of this?
No way do I want your tryst
bonded to you in domestic bliss!
I say no thanks to a life like this.
Me I’m off to a life I prize
Seeing the world through my own two eyes.

© Sheila Ash, 2016
posted 13th November 2016

Wednesday 9 November 2016

Rap lessons (1)

3 imperfect attempts at writing rap from our lessons with Kiran yesterday evening.

Exercise – use the words bottle, silence, power

Over the streets so dark and mean
flies the man in the mask unseen
Flooded are the streets with violence
Drowning in a well of silence
Out along the watch tower
up to the pinnacle of power
standing high the Batman
Surveying the city of Gotham.

Exercise – free topic

Tonight’s the night - gonna make it right -
when America decides on a rollercoaster ride
To grasp the chance to get down and dance
to the tune and the beat and the stomping of feet
in an era of change, with the heat of the range
Turn it up. Pump it up. Vote for Trump!
or to bring it on down at the cold light of dawn
to the great White House amidst all the noise
and elect the first of many a woman called Hilary.

Exercise – write about Dreams

My city of Dreams is not what its seems
Saturday nights hitting the lights
deep in memory the days of yesterday.
Limos outside Cool dudes aside
Abuja and Suya a star from the bar
in the Hausa man‘s hand. Viewing his land
where Oyibos meet the African streets
Chicken or beef Chilli and heat
Takeaway or stay Night and day
The food of the people from minaret to steeple
delicious staple in the place without paypal

© Sheila Ash 8th November 2016

Monday 7 November 2016

Crumdrum - conundrum

Today’s mystery object at our creative writing class

Crumdrum - conundrum

Brass handled
pan handled
collector of crumbs
into its drums
from the restaurant table
the spills of Fred and Mabel
Rolled up
Stored up
then taken away
to the waste bay
out of sight
done just right
by the table boy or waiter
unseen by the eater
maître d' on point
in a first class Victorian restaurant.

Sunday 6 November 2016

The Surveyor

He opened his eyes. He felt quite rested but lay still. With a slight sideways glance he saw she was still asleep. The curls of her long red hair draped like silk across the pillow. The curve of her hips visible even before he lifted the duvet. She didn’t stir. He looked at her longingly, remembering the previous evening. It would be so easy to stay, to rouse her, to have her astride him again. He gently let the corner of the duvet back down, got up, pulled on his boxers and left the bedroom, quietly shutting the door behind him.

After meeting at the club, they’d arrived at her apartment in the early hours wrapped in each other’s arms. Their hands already on each other in the taxi – to the driver, two well-heeled, slightly intoxicated and very probably high, high fliers heading home after a night on the town. He’d kissed the back of her neck as she took her key from her bag, and opened her apartment. As she’d dropped her bag on the hall table and turned to face him, he’d pressed her hard up against the wall, devouring the scent of her neck, his hand exploring the leg of her panties. Her left hand worked him and their breathing increased in unison as their desire for each other grew. Her eyes remained closed as they kissed. He noticed this as he watched her right arm stretch intuitively to punch in the alarm code before she broke off to guide him to the lounge.

Once there, she had brought him wine, good wine, from her kitchen and their crystal glasses stood now on the mantelpiece of the fireplace, one still full, the other empty. Her lipstick colouring its rim had him recalling where else those lips had been. He caught himself dreaming in the mirror and quickly turned his concentration back to the room, his eyes landing on the Hockney on the opposite wall. Very nice. Management consultant, she said.

He slowly walked the room, taking in what he had first seen when she was getting the wine. Moving to the art on the far wall – a collection of 20thC British watercolourists he noted now - he ambled past the top the range Sony HD TV towards the mahogany display cabinet. “Sheraton possibly”, he thought. It had to be a family heirloom, as it certainly didn’t go with her modern décor. A closer look this morning revealed it to be packed full of more crystal and glassware - some stunning Art Deco pieces, his eye resting for a moment on black enamelled dripped liquor set; some 19thC Chinese Peking Red glass bowls; numerous 19th, potentially 18th, century glassware judging by what looked like a series of goblets with folded feet – “No, it couldn’t be a Ravenscroft, could it?”

Back in the corridor lined with a series of political cartoons , he recalled her glorious sense of humour that had made him genuinely laugh so much the previous evening. He checked the other rooms – a second bedroom, a third – no, a home gym. No wonder she was fit. He’d first felt that taught bum on the dance floor and later he’d held it in both hands as he had carried her along this corridor, her long lithe legs wrapping round him before he’d laid her on the bed, turned her over and thrust himself into its firmness.

The next door opened onto an exquisite wet room, the next to a sauna. Thoughts of her wet warmth flooded his mind. He could sense her in every room. He wanted her in every room. He envisioned himself licking her off in that sauna. This woman, he thought, had really gotten to him, was already becoming a distraction.

On the other side of the corridor, a door opened to her home office. Very neat, well organised. A few papers were out on the desk, some business magazines lay on a chair. The far wall housed another painting, this time an oil. She certainly liked her art, exquisite modern with an irreverent edge, just like her. He’d already noted a Peter Doig and a Bridget Riley in the apartment. He deftly slipped his thumb and finger along the base then looked at his finger as if checking for dust.

He headed for the kitchen and put the percolator on. He diced up some fruits and berries into a bowl, topped them with granola and a couple of spoonfuls of the yogurt he’d found in the fridge. He squeezed some oranges added a passionfruit for a touch of panache, and loaded up the tray. Tiptoeing in, he placed it on her bedside table and sitting on the edge of the bed, he stroked her hair and kissed her gently on the cheek. As she roused, the relaxed softness of her face beamed up at him. “You’re up? Come back to bed.” As he bent over to kiss her again she pulled him down. Amidst their embrace, his hand found its way under the duvet and between her legs. Morning glory. He headed down and made her come. He looked up to that smile he was finding so alluring. “I have to go” he said rising. Once standing, her effect on him obvious. Her eyes moved from his face to his penis then back to his face. They seemed to playfully say “Do you really?”

He dressed as she watched. She nodded approvingly as conjuring up a silk tie from his pocket, he tied a perfect Oxford knot without the aid of a mirror. He acknowledge her with a blown kiss, turned and walked out the door, grinning. The unsaid words bellowed after him. At the apartment door he instinctively checked his jacket pocket – the new mould nestled in the pink silicone within a small cigarette style case in his inside pocket of his Armani jacket. Mobile phone in hand he walked out into the summer morning feeling on top of the world. This job would be sure to bring in a good finder’s fee. Work had its up sides occasionally. She would be one of them, for a while, a bonus till he cashed it in.

Posted 6th November 2016

© Sheila Ash, 2016.