Pollen and the Storm

Ashley’s first poetry collection, (32pgs) edited by Graham Nunn and published with the assistance of Small Change Press in 2008.

pollen and the storm cover

Ashley Capes’ exquisitely crafted poetry in pollen and the storm explores single moments, from an intimate view. His are deep and perceptive poems, that draw the reader in. ‘31 Anderson Street’ shows a moment in time where the domestic grind drives us toward a different reality: she watched the cars/smoking/ as she dragged in the evening/ pollen and the storm/ coming unstuck, fluttering to the road/ where she caught their scent.

The poems in pollen and the storm express hope, Capes is, however, still aware of the impermanence of things: the past moves into shot/ like a death cap/ bursting from/ earth, smooth/ green (taken from the poem ‘prune’). Whether the mood of the poem is romantic, hopeful, pertinent, or expansive, Capes’ ability to vividly realise each moment will have you wanting to revisit each poem again and again.

Graham Nunn


Ashley Capes is a poet of spirit and a poet of place, and the scent and sense of his imagistic landscapes instill breath and animate his words and the stories he tells in his new publication pollen and the storm. Capes doesn’t just bring the places of his life to you as you read, he brings you to them, and for moments one can become lost in the elsewhere of distant hills and the scent of the sea and songs lit by the inviting glow of memory.

In his poem “pedestrian”, Capes makes a study of his urban world “feet bully the pavement / and cars slip down the highway” – how telling that word “bully”.

Capes has written many comparable lines in this fine and accomplished collection. We want to be dazzled at the freshness of language and insight and we are.

Stylus Poetry Journal




in the possible hush
of 6am the
road is dusted
in pastel-smoke

feet bully the pavement
and cars slip down the highway.

on rubbish bins
crows flick glances
like struck matches

and the wind
squeezes by, rustling
plum blossoms
with clumsy arms.


could we meet
somewhere else
in april
on stone
with rain beading in your hair

I’d listen for once and you’d be strong
I’d be able to sit still
and you’d be happy
for the first time since april

everything would work
and we’d be able to talk, without
feeling crushed by the weight of stars
their cold light, dry as wind

and the streets, empty at dawn
but full, of yellow leaves
and little hurricanes.


Available from:
Collected Works Bookshop
Australian Online Bookshop
Send me an e-mail: mountain0ash[at]gmail[dot]com

6 responses to “Pollen and the Storm”

  1. beautiful music in these poems… RT

    1. Thank you, Eric! Appreciate the visit, a nice Boxing Day gift to see your comment there

    1. Jeff! Thank you 🙂

      It’s one of the ones I still definitely enjoy and wish I could achieve again

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