Ash Lea. A poem

Whenever I can, I visit the lake district with friends. There is a house there where someone dear to me would always go with their family.

It is small and built of slate. It has no heating, no phones, no cd player and definitely no internet. The house has a rich library of four records: ‘The Best of Boney M’, Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’, The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’ and ‘The best of Simon and Garfunkel’. The house sits beneath massive ridges and green, green fields and hosts a consortium of sheep in its garden. The front door is red.

Like this poem, the house is called Ash Lea.

Ash Lea



Plummy, thickset heather

growing close by Slater’s bridge,

dipping perse

and easy into water

where you would swim

when you were growing too.



Smells of history

round a swampy mere

where purple plants torn up by children’s

chubby fingers

were carried back

like precious treasures

to Ash Lea.



Mauvish heads

jammed with clumsy concentration

in to dusty jars

like scented English feathers

to sit, lake-ish offerings

on your family’s kitchen table.




to be jealous of a flower.



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