Ashley Capes


Ashley Capes teaches Media and English in Victoria. His first collection of poetry, pollen and storm, was published with the assistance of Small Change Press in 2008, and his second collection Stepping Over Seasons was released by Interactive Press in 2009. A haiku chapbook Orion Tips the Saucepan was released by Picaro Press in 2010. Recently his work has been awarded a commendation in the Rosemary Dobson Poetry Prize and in 2009 he won the Ipswich Open Poetry Award with the poem ‘shell.’


old green paint

beneath the bridge
where the busker and his flute
compete with
urine and the yarra,
a school girl drops a coin
into his case
and her friends giggle

down from the bridge
boats are lined up
like water-proofed hawkers,
no better at boasting than
old green paint
on the staircase,
or the predictable swish
of a waitress alfresco

and across the bridge
flinders street station
lies sun-bathing,
fake-tan yellow fading
and the rhythmic
click of the train
becomes the wrist-watch
of a patterned vein.


by the curve

a teacup sits on the sink
inside, imagined marks
where you held it,
not by the handle
but by the curve, to fit a palm
aching from winter

and the rest of the kitchen
looks a little strained –
ant-killers nest against
the foggy window and
cutlery stands like a palisade

but somehow your teacup
shrugs off pain
with a sweeping shadow
cast low over the dish-rag,
to me it looks like you might
return at any minute.



beneath sunburnt roof tiles
I try to keep up appearances
broom bristles
dancing on concrete
and scattering leaves
like brown paper bags with legs

my neighbour is doing the same
only he’s hiding an alien family
in the caravan out back too,
I’m sure of it
that, and a wig beneath his fisherman’s
cap, hedge trimmers
and a polite face like a button
or a cuff-link

that night a strange glow
comes from next door, maybe he’s moving them
though it could be just the moon, blazing
away, looking over the shed
in a strangely possessive manner
as if the whole town
were his very own chessboard,
driveways and roads
‘L’ shapes for his knights.