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Ships in the Night

Uma meets Sam Hunt at a gallery in Wellington 2014.
I imagined him reading it aloud as I was writing it.

He met a girl called Uma

once upon a time

when words you could touch

and liked very much

were written by hand

no need

To rhyme

She met a man called Sam

who said he once knew

a girl called Uma

as he held us in the palm

of his hand

to understand

why some of us are here

or perhaps not

I forgot

They met each other

surrounded by art

by Frizzell

in the form of words

playing a part

Together

In a sea of talent

above and beyond

like a brief dreamy delight

as Yates once said

This can’t be the end

of a beautiful friend

ships in the night

beyond belief.

© Ash Cheyne 2021

Adeline

He thinks he sees her

at the exhibition of surrealist dreams

perfect hair flowing serenely

through the semi darkness

shining at times

amongst the curious visitors

on opening day

Alone in solitary thoughts

messages that matter

in her back pocket

not like Magritte

more like reality

on a Sunday afternoon

Beautiful memories invented

unreal

dissolving before us

like words and pictures

shared dreams in boxes

He waits for her at the end

unsure of his persistence

of memories that never were

after all those years

Still miles away

©Ash Cheyne 2021

Sunset 92

Going down to a familiar place

where it’s easy to see nothing

at all not even

some sense of reality

Remembering the first time

little virgins eating ice cream

in the middle of the night

Little Tokyo drinking tea in mugs

with no handles in the day

Being told about the importance

of good teeth

not the danger

of fermented fruit with vodka

and dancing with strangers

as Sinatra sings for 50 cents

from the juke box of a biker bar

Having nothing really stupid to say

about a fake drive by

or someone’s Grandma

getting kicked out of the bath

on account of some drunk British guys

springing a bladder surprise

Indiscretions in phone booths

or jay walking in bare feet

sitting next to Pfeiffer

then  sniffing her seat

Looking back from the Griffith

and up at it all

observing from the brighter stars

that it’s all over now

© Ash Cheyne 2021

Sydney

No real surprise that

flights were all cancelled

cause of the wind in the night

that made us feel like the house

could be airborne any minute

Or was that the glorious wine

from Patrick’s private collection 

that he brought to the stormy dinner?

It was a long weekend

not for shortening

so we took a cab back into town

had breakfast in Joes Garage

then crossed the road to see

what Warhol had to say

pretending we had arrived

without a hitch.

Rain like in the movies

straight down

and bouncing off the concrete

like we were

at the thought of being together

in Manu’s restaurant

in record stores

sharing spells with witches

and vodka martinis at Morrisons

Late in the evening

home in the early morning

© Ash Cheyne 2017

Someone

Everyone is someone

way or another

It’s a question of whether or not

you’re bothered about the others

or what someone else makes of it all

when they take a bad fall

and need someone else to blame

for what they never became

No one can get away from that

as we’re all famous for fifteen minutes

for good or bad

It’s all the same

© Ash Cheyne – 2021

Paris – Riot City Bleus

This was the calm before the storm. Paris had been ground to a standstill by striking workers.

Stepping out of the beauty of the Musee d’Orsay, I got very different impressions at the site of “tooled up” Gendarmerie waiting for a riot. I took some shots of the peaceful demonstrators and the armed police with my iphone and posted them online.

They all mysteriously vanished but fortunately I had my Nikon with me.

© Ash Cheyne – 2020

Fake

Fake it till you make it with that tan

you didn’t have yesterday

Making all the fake news

spraying it across the media

between adverts for platform trainers

that you can’t run in

unless it’s in an election

Where there are only two clowns

you can 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 just all head to the ocean

and feel the spray

for real.

©Ash Cheyne – 2019

Busker

One way or another I’m gonna get ya

to the city that never smiles

not even yellow cab drivers arguing

about who pays the Tribeca toll

Crashing at the Pennsylvania

just across from the Garden

I’m wondering if I can go the distance

before blowing my mind

We walk and walk and walk

clutching cheap vodka

disguised as lemonade

blisters on feet

all the way from Brooklyn

where empty towers

have vanished from the eye line

Gives me hope behind a dumpster

in the village of lost souls

in return for half a dozen beers

and a trashy tee shirt

to go with that thousand yard stare

With a crocodile tear

I listen in faint disbelief

as I hear her say

I’m not enough for her

I smile at a dead body on the sidewalk

and think of home

Which you don’t get anywhere else









© Ash Cheyne 2017

"Busker" features in the poetry collection "Pretty Real," available in the Shop