Poetry Blog by Jill Ashforth

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Tony Hill on Dawn (Thu, 21 Sep 2017 06:18 pm)

Stu Buck on Dawn (Thu, 21 Sep 2017 05:27 pm)

Laura Taylor on Sugarworks for me (Thu, 28 Jul 2016 11:28 am)

Jill Ashforth on Sugarworks for me (Tue, 26 Jul 2016 07:42 pm)

Stu Buck on Sugarworks for me (Tue, 26 Jul 2016 10:19 am)

Jill Ashforth on The Waiting Room by Tindersticks (Sat, 6 Feb 2016 08:43 pm)

Stu Buck on The Waiting Room by Tindersticks (Sat, 6 Feb 2016 01:04 pm)

Jill Ashforth on An old love that deepens (Sun, 20 Dec 2015 06:31 am)

Daniel Wardak on An old love that deepens (Sat, 19 Dec 2015 11:55 pm)


A thought awakes me,

and I cling on to the memory of a loved one.

Bird song, faint but swelling,

catches at my heart,

as I pull up the blind revealing the world below.

Light beckons me,

and I press my face against the pane.

I gaze, long and hard as if searching for someone.

My breath mists the glass, and I wave it away,

"Here I am".

Without a sound spoken I have woken...

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City Life

A city awakens,


stumbling to it's feet.

A chorus heralds the next day.

Bin lorries screech and wheeze into movement.

Delivery vans close their double doors with a shudder and roar,

engines engaged.

A shouted greeting cuts through the air.

Cars appear, footsteps multiply.

City life increases it's pace and we continue,

keeping abreast lest we fall,

and beh...

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A Bird's Eye View

Looking skywards,


searching for the songbird who serenades me as I rest.

Weary, but full of wonder,

as the gulls circle and soar further into the sun drenched blue sky above me.

Tiny flickers of colour flit past,

darting from one treetop to another,

while plump wood pigeons sway on slender branches,

and ducks dive bomb the trees,

flapping frantically,

untl the...

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Bird's eye viewbirdsobservingpassers bywatching life

Sugarworks for me

Music speaks.

Music is heard,

And we must reply.

A clap, cheer or whistle

Fills the room.

A clink of glasses,

Shifting feet, shuffling.

We are an abstract art,

Disparate sounds, voices

Harmonising when we connect.

A keyboard riff,

An order at the bar,

A passing moped - 

A city joining in.

Sugarwork me

And I'm lost in a tapestry of sound.

An orchestra...

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EdinburghfestivalJazz BarSoundSugarwork


Echoes of emotions wash over me as I gaze and remember.

I laid,

Bewitched and writhing under covers

As angels rustled,

their dresses sweeping past my bed,

and gently approached to anoint my forehead with a kiss.

Their touch startled me from my sad reverie, and I breathed once more.

Deep, gasping breaths

That filled my lungs with hope.

Grief past,

The sadness subsided,


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Light and Shade

As if sloughing off a skin and emerging

After a painful rebirth, and yes, there were tears.

Emerging into the light after months, years of being in the shade.

When caught in a grey void, time slows, and I fear I will fall with no one to catch me.

Running into the headlights, I fear I will run too fast and fall, spinning into a white void.

I do not fall but stumble, and carry on stro...

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My gifts are paltry, but if I could, I would pluck a star from the inky blue sky,

gather the white gold silk of clouds,

bottle the sultry perfume of the flowers,

and build a monument to my love,

a tower of love.

Love for you, only you,

my love.

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Blaikie Wood

The traffic fumes and roars, deafening my thoughts.

Bark glistens in wrinkled folds with charcoal accents, smudged.

An electric blue flashes cool and a flood of beauty washes over me

as dark, emerald burrs softly quiver.

A wall of trees shields and deadens all sounds.

Silence beckons me.


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Norwegian Wood

I walk amongst the trees but who is there to hear?

I whisper and let my voice rustle the leaves until their tremors cease.

Hoarse and weary, not heard, not seen, I wonder if I have ever been. 

A Norwegian hillside, a Norwegian wood, I sing your song.

Hear me.

There is much talking but who is there ever to hear?

In life, I roar silently as people pass, unseeing.

Soundless, I mo...

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Norwegiannot listeningsilencetreeswood

Life is a Map

Life is a map,

scaled to fit ones horizons.

Cities are a woven web of avenues,

with vines and branches that spread.

Roads, train tracks, canals, rivers, lakes and mountains

mark their territory with a tracery of lines.

They weave a pattern like the doodling of a bored giant.

Take a line for a walk.

Draw me a path home.

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Walking Home at Dusk

entry picture

A moment,

a ripple in time

in the muddy waters of life.

Grey faces standing at the bus stop,


A watery sunset glows, pinkly golden,


I walk past and breath life into the scene

with a vapour of hope

escaping from my mouth,

lips stretching in a smile.

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The Waiting Room by Tindersticks

The fear of emptiness.

Drink to the future, not to forget the past.

I'm your second chance, last chance man.

Time is running out.

Don't let me suffer.

It's the caring that is killing me.

Don't make me fall.

We are planting holes.

We are planting holes in the waiting room.

We are dreamers.

Dont wake me.

We will only hurt each other,

the way only lovers can.


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A Gift of Love

Loneliness breeds sadness.

Like an illness it spreads,

takes hold,

takes ones breath away,


grips ones heart,


in a strangling knot

of grief.

An apparition of love

appears to soothe and comfort,

but as it evaporates and is gone,

a wave of emptiness takes it's place.

A look, a gesture, seems to offer love,

but it is only a memory,

fading fast.


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loneliness. giftLove

For Simon

Love: burgeoning, a smouldering ember.

Passion: a delight long forgotten, once more embraced.

Lover of mine, falling in love with you.

Happiness: a seed is planted, sprouts, grows shoots, strengthens, blossoms and flowers,

scattering pollen from dizzy heights of pure joy.

You lift my heart and make it sing.

Falling, falling, catch my heart, hold it close.

Enfold me, love me, d...

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Damp and beautiful,

bubbles, rings rippling in the deep, waters deep.

Damp light, patches of pink, yellow and blue,

moving along the rain soaked path.

Umbrellas bobbing, dogs snuffling amongst the leaves, sniffing.

The smell of damp, dirt and soft wood drifting through the air.

Colour, damp and beautiful in the light.

Berries glow, jewels amongst the leaves.

Flowers strewn ...

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Shadows dance in my head,


I dream of time in slow motion.

Shadows that drift into focus,

and into sunlit spaces where they dance in my head.

Softly I turn amongst leaves, turn, turn gathering light and texture

in bundles, simply, soft, falling, turn, turn.

Falling into beds of leaves.

Carpets of colour soft beneath my feet.

Blue, black boots, standing, swathed in...

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Miss me?

Miss me?

Miss you.

Missed you





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Far too much







too far.





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Are you



I have wings.

I indicate,









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self expression

Above water

Above the rest, or,

Keeping her head above water?


And the same,


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Dad dancing

Dad dancing:

and I'm the wrong sex

and I'm childless.

wrong sex?

is there a right one?

a third sex?

I know which attributes,

the best of both,

I'd choose.

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best of sexes



Not just about

the words.

Pay attention to

the pauses




marks - marksmiths unite.

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The religion of Niceness

The religion of 

Niceness: may it 

grow, multiply and


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Keys to my heart

The keys

to the

many layers









You hold

the keys

to my heart.

Keep them safe.

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Internal dialogue only


I need to speak



be heard.

Listen, and


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being heard

Today's pleasures

Tiny moments of pleasure,

Like the weight of a warm paw, soft in the palm of your hand.

Like the silky fur of a sleeping cat heavy on your lap.

Like the warmth of a fleecy rug tucked under your chin.

Like the sense of your body sinking lower into cushions.

Like the undulating swell of traffic passing your window

in crashing waves of sound.

Like the smell of coffee as you savou...

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With each step I take

I shrink in stature

until I become a child once again

looking nervously around and

trying to recognise where I am.

I fear I may shrink until I disappear

and become lost forever.

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An old love that deepens

An old love that changes and deepens.

An old love that fits like a glove;

rather saggy and stretched, creased and worn but comfortable and strong:

always there, always caring, always true.

Laughter follows you around and fills the void in me.

Your love pours out and over flows into the cracks in my soul.

Your friendship is a safety net strung below me as I tip toe over life's roo...

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In trouble

I am trouble

nobody's trouble now

watch me implode

sink into the ether

and disappear

no trouble now.

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Skipness Painting


stormy weather,

the paint is splattered

in raindrops.




Sun making me giddy

under a hot sky,

with subtle clouds and

a delicate palette of blues,

a sense of vastness overwhelms me.

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Porto Colom Beach

Candy striped umbrellas

jostle for space on the beach

amongst spread-eagled limbs.

Oiled and golden brown they bake in the sun.

Lily white legs stand,

hot sand trickling between their toes.

Stout tummies lead the way

into cool lapping water,

wading, slow, heavy with

sagging, ponderous thighs.

Children lunge bravely into the deep

and bob to the surface,

grinning ...

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Majorcaseasunsun bathing

Dreams of Pushkar

Dusk falls and bells toll,

echoing across the ghats.

Holy men chant their prayers,

fruit bats soar and glide

across the moonlit, silky grey sky

and a heady, heavy perfume drifts in the cooling breeze.

Relaxing, remembering the bells,

the drums and pipes of Pushkar's bustling daytime.

Sleep will come soon.

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Agra's Jewel

Our hotel - a hermetically sealed bubble of glass,

concrete and polished floors,

is chilly and anonymous.

But as dawn blossoms quietly

we approach the Jewel of Agra.

A grieving husband remembers

with a monument to love:

the Taj Mahal.

It radiates a powerful aura of peace,

delicate and glowing

in the silver light.

Birds flit across the roof

and I stand, 


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dawnIndialoveTaj Mahal


Pink tendrils trail

the sky, gathering

in a salmon cloud

of dusky smoke.

Dark brush strokes

of lilac sweep the

skyline, getting lost

in the tangle of

inky branches

silhouetting the sky.

A morass of interwoven 

trunks, like a spider's web

gone wild and


So delicate, so

soon lost,

evaporated, nothing but

a memory in

the heart and soul.

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