All to the Right

Fake it till you make it

with that tan you didn’t have yesterday

making all the fake news

and spraying it across the media

in between adverts for platform trainers

that you can’t run in

unless it’s in an election

where there are only two clowns to vote for

who make each other look good

yet no one is laughing.

Someone call the cops

in the middle of the night

and stop the circus

before the big top comes crashing down

or let’s all head to the ocean

and feel the spray for real.

© Ash Cheyne – 27 June 2019

Word of the Day Challenge – Spray

FB and the Lighthouse

Shuffling through the warm surf towards the lighthouse

thinking of Kenya and the giggling boys

jumping into the sandy brown estuary

to cover their innocence from the sudden white man.

Trying not to remember the look on your face as I slipped that day

smacking my head on the wet boulder

hearing you shouting at me that I looked old

wiping the red trickle angrily away from my fat lip

helping myself up, the sand grinding in my teeth.

Whispering something softly to your sister’s man

in French of course in order to conceal the sting

walking into to La Mer and thinking how much I hated you then

not in any foreign language but in spite of everything

you thought I didn’t understand.

Like how all those years ago

Lydia, used to turn my bed down each night

in return for very little and the hope maybe of a big tip at the end of it all

and how she slept in a hut outside the grounds with the others

whilst we complained about the insects and the lack of ice in the gin.

Smelling sweetly despite all that, she was a pretty girl with a kid

and no real future without the likes of  us who keep coming to get away

standing all day in the scorching sun

selling her wares for a fiver and a big bottle of beer.

Leaving me with something like pity and a note to say thanks

I know not for what except that I hardly knew her

but that she would have held my head I’m sure

and gently dabbed my salty cuts, like everything and nothing.

Ash Cheyne  – © May 2019

Jocasta

He lays in the empty French bath

with his torn suit and dirty boots on

a rolled up cigarette hanging from his cut lip

making him wince when he tries that endearing smile of his

in the cracked shaving mirror.

Paul Kelly on vinyl hisses and jumps

the aroma from the lavender field outside the window

penetrating the stale booze and the memories

of a night that went predictably wrong

the moment he fell off the red rusty bike

trying to avoid Jocasta

and one too many shots of Dutch courage.

Bad luck in the right place at the wrong time

a word or two out of place

a punch in the face

a shotgun blasts

he pulls his jacket over his head

but it’s only to scare the birds

away from the grapes.

She sits on the ledge staring at him

like he should know better

than the last time

they crossed paths.


© Ash Cheyne 2019



Lost in Translation

I’m sitting in this installation by a Japanese woman

well I think that’s the idea anyway and if looks could kill

I’d stare at something, anything

as I’ve now got an hour to waste with no pen

although I do have a spare hand to write on

I have an internal moment

about being an artist and why some of us

or more likely our agent

will talk in riddles explaining

what its supposed to be about

If you got handed the card that says

good with words

then maybe music is still a noteworthy option

but you are probably rubbish with a paintbrush

which is a shame as you’d be useful to yourself

and those talking an interest

My, what big hands you have

thinks the lady in the gallery shop

who has a pen

and a very small piece of paper

and some sushi

© Ash Cheyne  

February 2019

Rear View

They wait patiently at the lights

red like their tired skin

blue from the odd troublesome vein

Hunched over

he has a concentrated stare

far into the distance

occasionally at her

with a slight curl of the lip

She grips her bag

resting on her new hip

like the rest of her life

depends on the contents

The walking man appears

and suddenly they move off

overtaking the odd snail

waving to patient drivers

a couple of survivors

For the amusement of the crowd

his lip broadens into a wide smile

as he pats her on the big pants

in return for a swipe with the handbag

A wag of the finger

says life isn’t always as it used to be

or what it may seem

strangers alone

red

blue

green for go

Not that they notice

fully fake tanned

faces buried in technology

as if the rest of their lives depend on it

Screams follow the sound of shattered dreams

the helpless hopeless realisation

that to get to the other side

you need to look up

and miss the bus

© Ash Cheyne – January 2019 :

Depth Perception

She said he was shallow
and that their love was as thin
as the nonsense about supermodels and footballers
that he obsessed about in the daily tabloids

That he had failed to see
the possibilities
of last chances
he had not yet taken

He said that he once felt love
as deep as idle thoughts
at the bottom of the ocean
and a lack of motion
in a boat with a hole
in its backside

That she had never failed
at anything
she'd never tried



© Ash Cheyne - Jan 2019



Ruby

Hypnotised  by the teasing flames

 dancing  their own little opera

Staring at the heat enveloping all that we are

as stars above sparkle in the clear black night

The odd one falls to earth

satellite pollution maybe

thanks man

Delightful place to be alive

defying gravity from twelve thousand miles away

from where it all began

The constant struggle to survive

punching through cotton wool clouds

in the darkness

Ash Cheyne – December 2018