No-show by David Ashbee



David Ashbee was raised and lives in Gloucestershire  and was one of Enitharmon’s first new poets with “Perpetual Waterfalls” in 1989. “Loss Adjuster” followed from Bluechrome in 2008, and a big new collection is due from Dempsey and Windle this autumn. A founder member since 1990 of The Cherington Poets, and of Cheltenham PS Writing Group, he has regularly read his work at “Holub,” the Severnside poetry group he has run for 40 years. He regularly reviews new poetry publications for “South” magazine and has judged several poetry competitions. He walks many miles as a Cotswold Voluntary Warden.























Somewhere a blood moon in eclipse.

I’d love to see those barleyfields

that sweep up to the sky

suffused with crimson

like a thousand melting poppies

but here by Wilton Water.

the evening light is flat and grey


Over ploughland – a rider

on a milkwhite steed;

another white horse, riderless,

half seen beside a barn.


We thought we heard a curlew

until walkers came by whooping

happy from the inn;

A splash and widening ring

that could have been an otter

was probably a carp.


In light’s last rags we trudge along the towpath.

Exotic things are just beyond our reach.

We settle instead for willowherb, mallow,

cow-parsley gone rusty,

nettle, moorhen, coot.



David Ashbee