The rose teacup….

You’ve snuck around the corner to the place nobody  ever goes 

Such an unusual garden lies ahead, filled with things you just don’t see

No really, the carousel in the corner spun out of sight landing at your toes 

And something the size of a dinner plate looks like a bumble bee 
A little note lies on the table and you just have to take a peek 

‘Welcome, make yourself at home ‘ simply written there in ink of rainbow hues

Feeling quite proud (but scared,) of the forbidden fruit you came to seek

You sit right down and decide to look for clues 
Who lives here, you think as a pot lands wobbling  on the table 

Another note around it’s rounded belly reads ‘look right ‘

Not sure what you’re meant to be seeing, but curiosity will always enable 

You swing to see the strangest roses in this garden now twilight.
It cannot really  be your head says ,as you pluck it from by your side 

I mean rose teacups however pretty do not grow on trees 

And you observe that nothing is real and your bed is where you truly bide 

Obediently, or shocked, you devour the warming brew and sugary treats 
Almost dark now a light so strange it seems there’ll be a storm 

Garden not so pleasant now it’s cast in eerie unearthly glow 

Deciding to leave, go home where there’s a hearth, fire and life is warm 

The garden starts to swirl around , done is the pretty crowded show
Get to the gate, one last glance over your shoulder you give 

To see the fancy place, has all turned to ruins and dirt and rubble 

You head back fast as you can go to the little place you live

Disbelieving what you saw and read, mind inside a protective bubble 
You slept not unlike the dead that night and woke up fresh and new 

Silly dreams I have you thought as the curtains they did billow

Thought no more about it during that day, this much is surely true 

Till climbing into bed that night, a rose teacup lay on the pillow 

©Ailsa Cawley Poetry 2015



The crowd looks on as he weaves his tale, taller and stronger 

You know it isn’t true……  But still you’re drawn in a fish on a hook

Need to see how the “truth, I swear it” fingers crossed behind his back,  


Where, how, what you ask helplessly wriggling in your seat 

As the plot unwinds on a pathway so twisted 

His eyes twinkle amused by this audience who swear they don’t believe 

In magic.

Or in massive armies of one inch men who grow to giants at dusk 

So strong they could carry you away with barely a movement seen 

They don’t exist you say, but look for them secretly 


Of the magical lands visited and what he saw there, all alone 

You can’t take anyone there who doesn’t believe and nobody does 

So how can I show anyone monsters, demons, and sssssh the little men


Loving to hear other tales that said his world of difference was true 

From as far back as I can recall he made me realise one thing 

That if just if I look further and delve deeper into everything 

Yes, I believe anyway in magic.
©Ailsa Cawley Poetry 2015

What is it my pretty?

What is it my pretty,  asked the crone swathed in lace
Her smell of dust, decay and old roses around the girls face
The old curled nails stroking her throat
As she robs the girl of speech, gloating
One sharp scratch you see it won’t hurt for long
And oh you will give such a pretty song
The smell is growing stronger,  hypnotic and plodding
Slowly the girl offers her neck like a sacrifice
Speaking in tones soothing, trying to hide the ice
Not long my pretty and it will be over one sharp……
At the sound of the tinkling she awakes with a start
Fury boiling over from the old woman who now changed
From what appeared to be merciful to animal and deranged
The girl cannot look at the face she would die for
Looking down to the ground and backs towards the door
That she doesn’t remember having been here. .
And the tinkling she sees now was rising from her toes
Not a scream for the trance she’d been in stopped
Any human reaction even lamentation of her own woes
What saved her you ask?
Worn around her throat,  so intent on her dark task
The crone could not see and undid her own work
As her fingers caught and she did jerk
Causing a whisper in reality as they called as they fell
Wake up,  wake up,  and run, for she is a guardian of hell
Come back it’s not your time to go from life
Run, run by the four winds that do blow
Faster, faster go now go.
As she opens the door the girl bends to thank
The necklace which saved her in her trance
Picks one bead before she takes flight
Puts hand to throat she notes the blood
But she survived it, that thing of the night
Like it never happened,  well who would believe?
She tidies herself,  pink mark at her throat
And wonders if tonight that crone will return to gloat.

©AilsaCawley Poetry 2015

And you were wrong

In your head shakes I saw it more clearly than you thought

As you wandered off telling me not to be stupid

Dreams were for other people, other world’s 

Best to just forget with almost disdainful pats to the head,

While crushing my dreams,  your fears,

Underfoot a grinding to dust to be sure the fire couldn’t ignite

Except it never fully extinguished

It just went on a slow low gas, like dinner set to low

Awaiting it’s time to be served, fulfilling needs

Maybe not yours but you can never search horizons

Looking at the beauty therein

Your only thought is tomorrow’s weather,  hang tonight’s beauty

For what good is a golden ethereal light really

And as you walk away marvelling at how sensible you are

How much of a sleep walking dreamer I am

Ask yourself how much you have to show

For blocking out the golden shimmer,  or the almost violent sunset

I have my wild imaginings some can be real

But like a genie you fear

You corked the bottle tightly,  bound and hid it.

My genie roams free but when does yours  burst forth

Escape and turn on you

For keeping it a prisoner TOO long?

Lady of the lake

she watches the water for a clue or reason
Something to explain her churning insides
After the dream
She can’t remember
Or chose to forget
It is rippling like a stone has been cast upon it
Or the creature beneath has hungrily stirring
Her silver eyes flick from side to side waiting
For the rumbling to stir deeper and show itself
Only to her shadow
If she waits patiently
It will appear again
And for as much as the sight chills her blood
She must keep looking, drawn to the chaos
Wanting an end but not
For what would she do with peace?
So the lady of the lake keeps watch
Forever a sentinel
A guardian
An executor
Of her own turmoil


Magicians apprentice

You tell yourself that you are so much better than this lowly rank

It’s easy you know after watching a few cheap tricks and card games

The ribbons pulled through the sleeves of the flapping jacket

Nothing to it, you’re unstoppable, right? Wrong!!

The face I see is astonished at my lack of understanding and blind faith

Because it will work without a doubt if you just believe in something

Anything will do, as long as it’s different to what you said was true before

The witch was never melted by water, there was something else

But that’s your problem, you’ll search long and hard to find the perfect time

To show everyone how bright and shiny you’re becoming

You bought a new cloak, changed the name you give until the point

Where you are confused at who you are, what you are, why you…

So many questions in your magic world of dreams and fairies, and happy endings

No trying because the magic will find you with your stolen invisible cloak

Of colours nobody else can see

The dragon coming towards you is oh so cleverly disguised

You put out the wand of prettiest crystal to stroke the unicorn in imagined blessing

To be consumed by the breath of the dragon you could not see.

Damsels and dragons

As each new damsel with flailing arms appears

Worry not fair/dark/whatever you may be maiden

For your own Arthur is waiting , soon to be here

He will give you his own sad sorry songs to show he’s more than equally laden

This knight as you see him is dressed in stolen armour

The dragons breath still hot upon it, is turning it to dust

Just before the scales fall you will see him start to clamber

Those sinking castle walls he built on fake sand, not  trust

He will tell you he doesn’t understand why you changed to him

Why your face it fits the shell of rusty frame no more

And your old light and love have grown so very dim

Like the burnt out flame of desire you felt before

You will realise one day he’s trying to build a goddess to worship from afar

So stay distant, true, do not utter your dissent!!

It’s high to reach Arthur’s stay perfect bar

And now you can see the armour all ruined and rent

The woman he worships never was human and frail

She doesn’t have problems and she will never ail

He bows at the altar built as a boy in his head

He kneels down before the gods of the dead

So take flight damsel he cannot save you from your own dragons and fire

You were the solid face of a person of which he tires.

The forest banquet

She wandered the forest in the witching hour, a drumbeat in her veins

The tattered dress once of silk and lace hanging in rags on her frame

But this pilgrimage is one to make through the painstaking trek

No-one believes her, but she gives not a care,

They say she imagines things that there’s nobody there

Nodding to themselves and one another about the “silly old woman ” who meets her lover.

She comes to a clearing and begins to dance

Slowly in circles, building up slowly  and losing her years

Till the young girl she stops in mid twirl on a carpet of clover

Behind her a light shines over her shoulder of creamy white skin,

And it comes from within the nearest trees

The table is set with a lamp as she turns,  a long cloth of moss it’s cover

He’s here, and is serving the food, the wine

To the lady in the emerald silk, with the pearls at her neck

Her spinning took her back to the time he was here before

She’s to go back soon but she knows it’s really and truly just fine

For then they will be together for all of the time

The banquet is finished, lights are dim, she sighs

Quietly hugs him goodnight, no words are exchanged

Once again old, dressed in tattered rags she hobbles to her home

A smile on her face and a wave from her hand

She closes the door and gets ready for bed, shabby dress on a chair

Will she tell anyone of her travel tonight?

This time she thinks it’s my secret, they all think I’m mad

But have no idea what they’ve missed by closing their eyes to the light

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