Sylvia Ashby – Three Poems


Bolshoi Impressions

The hurry, fury, flurry of feet,
an unfurling toss, a leap–up, up–
the white silver-bright all swirled
in a torrent of turns–spiral–gyral–
a whirling world: a battery of motion,
a brilliant commotion! Bodies rush,
surge, soar in a flash of fireworks,
a roar, a blaze of electric kinetics.

The audacity of limbs: a yearning,
an Icarus-need to be free
from jealous gravity.
The apparent ease: a dancer’s deceit
that makes art. The fragile feel:
a luminous shell over agile steel,
pleasing, improbable,
a paradox.

Grace in tension, the spirit
in taut, tender extension,
life caught in animated suspension.
Pitted on point: the hover of
a hummingbird, more poetic than words.
When this–all this–is realized
then human form–human kind–
all humanity idealized.


Metaphor is a mask
an elegant dialect
like bees dancing
esorteric as the language of twins

Metaphor is artifice and gesture
a royal charade
as staged by Inigo Jones;
words translate into mysterious glyphs
go in disquise
poised and obscure

Metaphor refines, removes
offers a view
of a recessed statue in a dim portico:
chiseled, distant
cooled to marble

Lake: At the Margin

as this winter day
I explore
in the grasses and reeds
from my window

watching grey stalks
weave a nest:
do they wait–like me–
for a reddest bird
after those many dark ones?


Author’s Statement on Beauty

For me, less is more.  Though often hard to achieve. Perhaps I can explain it better in terms of theatre, where most of my work has centered.  Rather than grandiose scenery, fabulous effects, spectacular  costumes, I prefer simplicity.  Give me an empty stage with simple, honest acting–that is beauty.  The rest is entertainment.

Sylvia Ashby’s background is in theatre, acting and writing; she’s published 15 scripts for family audiences–with thousands of productions. Her poetry can be found in Rhino ’15, Mezzo Cammin, Muddy River, Constellations, and elsewhere. More at: