Paper Town

Lying here in the afterglow

watching the moon pass slowly over the southern alps

awaiting the deliberate procession of stars

and Venus then Mars

I think of how far away they all are

like the town where I was born

and, some say, failed to grow up

Where, as kids we ate ice cream on sandy beaches

by the cold North Sea

getting burned by the sun we were unacquainted with

Where, in teenage uniforms by day we played for money or pride

In Adidas Sambas by night to the pub drinking beer and rum and black

fighting boys from posher schools till we were sick

Pushing old tramps around in shopping trolleys

stealing trinkets from unlocked cars

or putting a lager tiger in their tanks

Where we watched the best bands of our lives

in tiny bars with older girls

we couldn’t afford to get within a nautical mile of

cause we had no oil money

Just a grey granite twinkle

and a degree to come

a ticket to ride

The oil is gone, consigned to history

like the paper money before it

A town that did its best to educate us

that used us up

but never once spat us out


© Ash Cheyne 2017

Daily Word Prompt Challenge – Educate





I should know by now

after all these years

of saying the right things

to the wrong people

Drowning in crocodile tears


I try them for size

Maybe a good fit

not quite composite

but nevertheless I’ll memorise

what I think they want to hear


It’s no laughing matter

standing here, alone

bearing your soul


Remember to enunciate

so they’ll appreciate

the time it took

to get their attention

a mention in dispatches

Passing comment at football matches


He’s all right he is


©Ash Cheyne 2017

Daily Word Prompt Challenge – Memorise





Every Third Bite



Every year

they disappear

leaving the mother

to die

Every third bite

depends on their species

and as it passes our lips

they succumb to diseases

The vanishing

nature crying out to us

of the deadly danger

Warning us

like Steiner

a hundred years ago

of the loss of the creatures

to mans deadly chemistry

Homage to the bees

for life on Earth



© Ash Cheyne 2017

Daily Word Prompt – Homage










Rabbit Politics 101

All the top rabbits inhabit nice hutches in a gated community. They eat top grade organic lettuce and carrots and generally have a nice lifestyle. The have vet care if they get sick although they don’t really need it. There are several exotic breeds in the community; some with really long ears and fur of varying shades. As they are considered elite, no one cares about the different shapes, sizes and colours.

Outside the community there is a tree lined avenue where the middle rabbits live. It is also nice but smaller and expensive to keep up. Any rabbit can come into the avenue but is expected to abide by the rules. Some of the middle rabbits have health care but others can’t afford it as their hutch upkeep takes most of their income. They will never be top rabbits unless they win bunny lotto or steal from a bunny bank. They could also get laid off from work and have to go live with the lower rabbits.

These lower rabbits live in the park, which is nice but they don’t own it. They can maintain it if they want to but they don’t have much incentive. They mostly want to work but they don’t have the right skills. They don’t eat well and tend to live on what the top supermarket won’t sell. Sometimes they are forced to steal to make ends meet, especially if they have lots of babies. This makes the middle rabbits fearful of them and unwilling to help.

The top rabbits are called right wingers which is weird as they don’t have any. They are also multi coloured which then makes no sense. Many of the right wing rabbits don’t read, despite all the good carrots they eat. A lot of them are actually left wingers because they want all rabbits to be healthy and happy. They can afford to think like that but they often don’t take action to achieve change.

The lower rabbits are mostly left wingers but there are a few who have lost the plot and want big changes. They seem to hate the top rabbits and want to be just like them at the same time.

The middle rabbits work away until they die and hope that their offspring will have a better life. They are neither rich enough to choose nor poor enough to get help. Eventually, all the upheaval in other areas caused by the top rabbits trying to get more will result in outsiders flooding the area. The middle rabbits will move away to cheaper hutches far away and the lower rabbits will take over. Years later, artistic and musical rabbits will come to the area and the price of hutches will go through the roof. The lower rabbits will move back to the park and continue eat poor carrots.

©Ash Cheyne 2017

Daily Word Prompt – Inhabit




ooze with confidence 

booze has all answers    

choose life down pub  

clues looking for

queues long as arm           

refused entry       

use fire exit door

two’s not company 

views from the stage  

boos from the crowd

lose the plot  

confuse the bouncer   

snooze time

ooze from the nose   

on the news


© Ash Cheyne 2017

Daily Word Prompt Challenge – Ooze






Remind Me

When you think you’ve come a long way

away from the demons

that you dreamt up for your own self torture


When you think that that is the stuff of Hollywood

and that in order to be a good person

you just keep doing the things you do

and the rest will take care of itself


When you think just the right amount

and know there are people you can count on

who will hold onto you as you are dragged back

to somewhere deep in your twisted memory


When you think all that

is when you are most vulnerable

and the trick is to be on your guard always

and not in some sort of comfortable trance

because there’s always something there to remind you

of who you used to be

who you could be

and who the fuck you think you really are


© Ash Cheyne

Daily Word Prompt Challenge – Trance


The envelopes unfurl

some slowly with trepidation

others with great force

Nervous excitement

after the months of study

and the long wait

to see what the future holds

for the learned

Our future


The wings unfurl

From these unpredictable, beautiful creatures

White Letter Hairstreaks

not seen in Scotland

for a couple of centuries

Things have warmed up

and it’s safe to come up here now


The monks unfurl

from prayer and meditation

following in the footsteps of the Bhudda

keeping to their spiritual devotion and principles

Symbols from a thousand years ago


Misunderstood now


The Nazi flags unfurl

dredged from the past in ignorance

or perhaps in full knowledge

of what they stood for

The unread

who hate what they see

what they are

or have yet to become

Yet lack the intellect to

change anything

for the good




© Ash Cheyne

Daily Word Prompt Challenge  – Unfurl

Imaginary Friends



Just like that

in a jiffy

the blink of an eye


There’s no more you and me

no matter how hard we try


You see someone stole the interweb

a cyber criminal it seems

and we’ve crashed with no insurance

into the luddite of our dreams


I just don’t remember a thing about it

without Google


Looks like we’ll have more time though

to make those calls


Proper long distance conversations

with friends in other nations

that we haven’t seen for ages


We’ll be writing letters

and eventually getting better

at reading things

other than just porno mags


Someone will spoil it

a hacker or a spammer or a pfisher


Some odious little prick you’ve never met

but who keeps droning on

above your head

making you think it’s all just fine

Without him



© Ash Cheyne 2017

Daily Word Prompt – Jiffy

Orange Disorder

I’ve made a glaring error. It was cheaper to get an Uber at this time of day but I should have learned from my week of scams and poor judgement.

It was of little consolation that I was able to make the call to book the thing in the first place. My mobile provider had seemingly and somewhat astonishingly employed a known hacker and given him access to subscriber’s details and data. Maybe both, I don’t know. It’s not working now anyway.

Oh and the apartment I’ve been staying in has a kitchen but I’m not allowed to cook in it. Not even for a €1000 a week.

I’m reduced to reading the news on a good old fashioned newspaper as we bump along the road to my show at what seems like breakneck speed. This guy’s in a hurry and oblivious to speed limits. How I long for the good old Hackney cab from last night.  He drove beautifully and talked non stop, spending most of the journey looking into the rear view mirror at me; probably to see if I was awake.

My current driver seemingly thinks he’s in a roller disco and constantly asks me if I dig Michael Jackson. Wherever he is I don’t want to join him or dig him but my requests to slow down get lost somewhere between Billie Jean and Thriller and my head hitting the roof.

I glance at my paper at the traffic lights in a rare stationary moment when I’m not fearing for my life. Seems the Protestant Orange Order aren’t keen on the words Rest in Peace on grave stones. They reckon the Romans had a scam going back then in getting Catholics to pay for the notion of a good death and encouraged prayers for the dead. The Orangemen are more black and white and believe you go straight to Heaven or Hell – no Purgatory for them.

We arrive at the gig, just in time.  I consider working the Orange story in with the Trump crackdown on opioids into my act. Surely that orange man will go straight to Hell.


© Ash Cheyne 2017

Daily Word Prompt Challenge – Glaring