Monday, 5 December 2016

What are you trying to say Ms Hamilton?



You erect
as a doorway within a brick wall
a gigantic pair of buttocks
Clutched by a pair of hands.

You suspend in mid air
in front of a brick corner
a clothes hanger
bearing a suit
of brick patterned weave.

You place a pebble filled,
thigh high, high heeled
ladies leather boot
on a pedestal
with lichens and fungi
saprophytically seeping from its seams and stitches
like a decaying tree trunk.

These material juxtapositions
These unnatural pairings
Jar our eyes
Compel us to touch, to sniff
In expectations of flesh giving
of threads loosening
of polish smelling.
But that’s not what happens.

Instead our minds reel
baffled by the bum
confused by the crotch.
Should we put on the suit
and like an asshole walk through
some mushroom powered psychedelic trip
to unravel and experience the installation’s truth?

we just stand
bemused and bewildered by your art
asking “what ARE you trying to say?”

© Sheila Ash, 2016

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