Artist's Voice Artist Members


Ashleigh Lower

Abandon hope all ye who enter here

Seduction most unexpected!

There, at 24, in the driveway,

Cryptic midst the tangled leaves,

An invitation!  For me?

Caught without my customary wax, I spit to slick my hair,

And twist to a point, my drooped moustache.

Effecting a saunter, I tap a silver melody on a knocker, cast in lead

(No prissy bell for this siren.)

Inspired , I anticipate her easy step in the echoing hall.

The door unlocks and lingers on a silhouette.

A captive in a green dream, eagerness unbinds me to her:

“As requested, dear lady,

At your service.

Let me caress and curdle you,

Delight and dally you…

In short, my sweetest sweet,

I accept. Come, I shall entrance you.”

This with a sweep of propiety towards the garden’s enigmatic sign.

“ Entrance !  That’s not ‘entrance’.

It’s entrance, nitwit.  Now, get on your bike!”

The afternoon sun dives for cover;

 A breeze, indifferent, stirs,

And all this morning’s promise, pales.

We passed upon a stair

We passed upon a stair,

Me here, you there,

You there, golden hair.

As in a storm

Birds blur, trees drown in self oity,

We feel our way

Mis-steps, steps missed, missed steps.

Had she felt me

But chosen not to turn,

And was she now, thinking how

Things might be different

If each had noticed the other

At the same time?

We passed upon a stair,

Me here, you there,

You there, golden hair.


Even as it slips free,

The seed cradles knowledge

That falling is the journey:

Forfeiting dignity’s sheen,

Aching damp and swelling tight enough to burst,

So that a green urge

Might outwit  gravity and grey decay.

A Twig

A twig is just a twig

Unless, scooped from the dust and held in the palm,

Fingers trace its history.

A twig is just a twig,

Unless the eye scratches its silky soul beneath the bark.

As the twig, so the man,

Unless imagination

Remembers the suppleness of youth

And all the promise of the tree.      


Leaf me once,

Leaf me twice.

Leaf me now,

That would be nice.

Stem the crying,

Stem the pain,

The day that's been

Won't come again.

Let us be trees

On disjoined hills;

The wind that blows one,

May leave the other still.