There she stood in her wrinkled peach skin

Wizened by years and knowing

That her full self would not be seen

By the people who chose fear

Of age and cunning.

She smiled at the thought of time

Playing pranks on those beautiful ones

With souls darker than any shade

That could be viewed on the bleakest

Of starless nights .

The pulling of the enforced smiles

Bestowed on those who berated her daily

Yet said nothing except sweet hellos

For fear of the old woman’s curse

Of spending eternity with her.

If they knew she thinks I’ve harmed none

From a girl to cailleach

Yet still they fear my separateness

Like it’s catching or enchanted

Or they may learn something.

If I were not a woman she tuts

A hermit I’d be and no fear would follow

But a woman who wants the same…

One day we shall have it. A world of equals

Of nothing different

Of that I can hope.


©️AilsaCawleyPoetry 2019


Cutting deep

Hailing down upon me the words cut

Deeper than any knife and I’d rather

The blows you threatened happen

Bruises I can heal and then they’re gone

Words are far sharper weapons

Cutting deep

You don the superior spitting face

Hurling untruths that matter not if I defend

Myself or agree, your mind made up.

As I trip backwards on the stairs

Land a few feet down with your face

Cutting deep

And you speak in hushed tones of my

Misdeeds that I half wish I’d done

To say I lead a life off the leash

An invisible chain that makes me start

If a single wrong word is uttered you’ll

Cut deep

So long you did that to me

Telling everyone that could hear

What a terrible person I was to you

How badly you were done to

And I see you now and think I escaped

I escaped

No more cutting deep

That wound is there running deep

Almost healed to surface scar tissue

No more cutting deep a helpless person

A woman who loved you once

Even the monster who wounded

You cannot love have to control every little

Bit of someone else but I know you’re not

Going to cut me ever again

Never again would you be trusted not to

Try and cut me deep

After sweet words and tearful apologies

Your method is always cutting deep.


©️AilsaCawleyPoetry 2018

Hitching a lift

It’s heavy work when you’re a kid

Carrying all this bread on trays

So I hitched a lift

On a passing trolley bus

And slipped

In one end out the other

I saw my mother striding out

Face went white to red

You stupid lad she said

As she’s slapping me on the head

Then she kisses me and wipes it

Like she’s never done it

It was like skating on the road

And I don’t see the problem

After all I never dropped any bread



The woman with no name

The woman with no name

She wanders around cast adrift

Back and forth wandering

Never acknowledged not ignored

Young and tender as a shoot

Leaving new growth in her path

Life springing where she has trod.

A whisper in time maybe, maybe

Is she real or imagined?

The woman with no name

Snowdrops rising shows she’s back

Giving birth to a new spring

Secrets passed down on the wind

Unwritten, but there’s the tales

Pass as milk from mother to child

Kindliness nourishing the land

She is real not imagined

She is a woman with many names

Touching all with her mantle of life


©️Ailsa CawleyPoetry 2018

fishing dark waters

I see your memories are selected from what you want to be

Not the truth only the folklore you want to be seen as being

slowly your myths are unraveling and the knots in your nets used to catch believers in

come undone under your gaze

unnoticed as you are weaving the next chapter in your tale

self made man, self made myth, selfish

You reel in the gazing face, smiling as you cut to see them bleed

watching for any sign or suggestion they’re not willing to be sacrificed

at the altar you have fashioned in your head

A moments hesitation and you will toss them aside,

victim, unnecessary, obsolete, next please

The truth is known but not spoken for it would pain too much

not you, but your surviving victims

the words one day will be spoken to show you for what you are

a soul breaker to whom the booming sound of raining tears

is music to his darkened shell

there are a few observers who know your game and the truth

do not push too far the end of their patience is nigh

your fishing will end as you become tangled in your own weblike nets

The watchers

Silently observing from the shallow grounds in the darkness

the watchers make their way through the gate

into the night world where you try not to belong

but cannot help retreating there in your own little world of hatred

Do I feel pity for you?

Once maybe, almost twice but not anymore

my pity well has run dry down so low only dust remains

I know how you imagine the world should be

Running on the theory of every man for himself

and the only train on the track belongs to you all others obsolete

Oh I know that little line so well it is like a defunct mantra

I see your lips trotting out it’s wording learned by heart to pass the time

To tell yourself that what you do is good, unwatched and unnoticed

Your words carry on the breeze

into the darkness where the watchers take notes ,and nod silently shocked

At the lack of feeling, comprehension within your being

they watch the empty shell long since evacuated of humanity

one day they will claim what remains and grind it to dust beneath their feet

they advance slowly each day and are not observed by you

they have not enough importance in their aura

but that is deliberate

carefully planned to challenge the unaware and test you’re worth

the place they could transport you to in the light

your place is well secured

you don’t even know that standing in front of you is all the light you need

As your back is turned away killing it slowly

diminishing till it’s too late



We talk without the words sometimes,
Squeeze of hand or shoulder
Looking at one another, then smiling
Gentle recognition
Now we’re talking and you say things
Check no-one is around to hear
As you curse the ones you know don’t think
At all mostly
Ask if I mind these curse words, I don’t
Of course you’re aware already, just checking
Your chuckle tells me that
I wonder where all this has come from
Do you just need a sounding board?
Someone who won’t tell you
You can’t say, mustn’t think, shouldn’t feel that!!
Just the canvas on which to paint
That picture swirling in your mind
Because it torments you so
Stopping your colourful imagery for a moment
To check if I’m okay with the canvas
And how you fill it
With happiness, sadness, expletives
Observing that it’s just as it should be, you carry on
A squeeze of the…

View original post 93 more words

Liars truth

So many untruths told
When confronted they were always the same
Little white lies, hurting no-one
Not the dirty great clouds covering,
Darkening any future skies
You’d saunter off, lazily, nonchalant
How could you be caught out?
You named yourself machiavelli
So clever, confident of your own tales
Spun like a spiders web
Above and around me
Resembling a cocoon to hide from reality
None in, nor out
I knew something was amiss, pushed aside the fear, paranoia
Till I called your hotel phone
Not a wrong number she tinkled like glass
Your husband’s in the shower, we’re having fun
Sarcasm dripped with her didn’t you guess?
More tinkling laughter
Phone goes down as she hears me shatter to pieces
You denied it of course, with scorn
She was joking, (she wasn’t)
She apologized long after for her cruelty
Not for doing it, just telling me
You never did, too busy showing the world
How clever you are.


I got an orchid to replace yours to me
It died and I felt bad
Maybe it wasn’t cared for enough

I miss our tea and ginger cake chats
By the fire snug and a world away
But only next door

Your roses are blooming now
And hanging over the fence
Tears sting to look at them

They’re beautiful and you loved them
Like all in your life
With passion and fight and warmth

Finally they put your bench in the park
I can’t look at it yet
Because the memories flood in

I will see it soon, I promise
Take a rose to lay by
Then go to the party there laughing

Not because I forget you, never that.
I made a pledge I will honour
Live life, be happy and smile

But my tea and ginger cake neighbour
My friend
It’s hard when I miss you still

I know you are dancing a jig in the stars
And I shall try to smile gaily
With joy in my heart

Ailsa Cawley 2015


Different fruits

I am the fruit of a different time and place

My freedom is something alien

a beast you cannot tame or calm

because I am my own person.

Belonging isn’t something which is I crave

fitting into your mould for me isn’t necessary

there is meaning to my world without it.

I am a good enough person,  that is all

I crave,  no more no less.

Having learned (finally),  that being me

is purely and simply who I was meant to be

If I try to force myself to fit

then I’d be worshipping a god of clay

Showing only a falsehood, not a truth

continuing on my path I was set upon

A long time before you came along

Never been a one size fit’s all, shrink to fit

the dye is cast the type is set

upon the page that is me

story that is written cannot be changed to suit

For I am myself, warts and all faults

That is good enough. I am not perfect and cannot be.

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