Tag Archives: poems

Minced Lies

Anna Ghislena

Original image from AgeUK Original image from AgeUK

I’m sure there’s a dusting of icing

in the saliva resting on my chin.

You’re looking at it, aren’t you?

It’s ok, nurse can brush it away

if you don’t’ want to touch my skin.

You look a little warm,

your face all rosy and good to see,

with a smile

unaccustomed to lethargy

manifesting under blanketed knees

that feel the cold so keenly.

No, it’s a smile too wide,

it has all to hide,

so wide it might tear your face in two.

“Two weeks ago”, you sigh,

“it’s just flying by;

long office hours and the builders are in..”

But you see,

time hasn’t clipped it’s wings for me

and I’m sure it wasn’t two weeks ago

but four, maybe three.

You said you’d come and here you are,

“Just a short stop because

Christmas shopping is never done;

the dog’s home alone with…

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Wattage. Wattle. Wattpad?


When my young nephew stopped logging on to YouTube every spare minute of the day to find footage of people falling off rollercoasters and to view the newest posts from a multitude of vloggers (you either love ‘em or hate ‘em), we all thought something had “got” him.

In between sitting quietly in his bedroom; lying subdued across the sofa or gazing thoughtfully out of the kitchen window, he started cobbling together stories; feverishly tapping away at the craft of fan fiction and creating introductions to his own stories.  Acquainted with Wattpad, the online place to discover, share and create stories and poetry, he and lots of other kids like him are literally literary unstoppable.  As imaginations flood with countless possibilities, creative energy is like an electrical current coursing with high voltage, producing an off the scale wattage.  Thousands of sentences are interwoven like wattle, interlaced into frames of beginnings, middles and ends.

But, along with this is the desire to be “liked”.

So, are you a Wattpadder?  Open to anyone over the age of 13 years old, does this creative chocolate box really sate your appetites in gaining a wider audience for your own writing or are you just hungry for the creations that others upload for public viewing?

I’m a bit of a pessimist sometimes and my experience of social media avenues has me believing that figures equal popularity and cultivating them is something that must be worked at like a full time job in the form social media etiquette.  Are Wattpadders conversing in the bid for bartering a like for a like?  A follow for a follow?  How do you know if what you produce is sincerely quality reading?  From what I have seen, some of it is really great stuff and some of it is complete trash yet still earns hundreds and hundreds of views/likes/follows.  These figures must attract hundreds more until the work whether good or bad, is being hailed as something a publisher should get their hands on, if they can wade through the blanket of writers saturated in popularity.

Feeling that my work does not exactly fall into a particular genre (yes, it’s only rock and roll but I like it) curiosity got the better of me and I signed up to Wattpad.  There are some rock n roll stories up there but most fall into “chick lit” territory and although I wrote a book which could scrape this genre, I would have to say that my first novel, “Rock Harder”, falls more into the genre of “chick lit with balls”.

So, my experimental Wattpad profile is here – www.wattpad.com/annaghislena .  I have uploaded three of my older poems so far just to see what would happen and to be honest, not a lot has.  I get a lot more positive feedback from performing face to face at spoken word events (giggles, applause and everything) so I know I’m doing something right and I shall still wattle poetry like the wattage is so high it doesn’t even exist.  Although I champion the enthusiasm that so many young people have for writing creatively and agree that Wattpad is a tremendous platform for promoting this, I’m not sure that wattpadding is right for me.  How about you? I would love to hear about any experiences you have had with Wattpad or similar writing platforms.

Thanks for reading and long live the fans!


Too Late

Just get me to the gig on time


Get to the gig, get to the gig,

just like your life depends upon it.

The train runs slow, then quick, then slow,

“For fuck’s sake driver!” you’ll hear me crow,

“The band won’t wait,

they’ll be on at eight!”


Biting my nails, biting my nails,

it’s the wrong type of leaves again on the rails.

We’ve been stuck here so long

that I’ve written this song;

I’ve held in my pee and gazed upon

tempting residential Croydon.


Open a can, open a can,

the one I was saving to kick start my plan

to fuel my courage for greeting my heroes,

to make my day and massage their egos.

But here comes the guard, he looks quite hard,

“Don’t take the can” I scream inside.

“You’re too young son…” and he steals my pride.


Get to the gig, get to the gig,

I am sure that my life will be shit without it,

I cannot wait another year and a day,

and the ticket has eaten all my Saturday pay.

Ok, so the encore, might have to suffice,

and to be honest, I’ve seen them before, just twice.


Slow with a hiss, slow with a hiss,

we finally stop; give the buffers a kiss.

On the platform, my eyes follow

the tour poster with sorrow;

my gig is not on til’ the day after tomorrow.



© Anna Ghislena 2014

Facing Fears

pointe shoes

Last week I took part in my first open mic evening of spoken word.  This is something I have avoided until now through my own fear of public speaking.

To an audience of twenty or so people I read some of my poems, a couple of which can be found on this blog: The Launch and Pavement Cafe.

Sitting behind a neatly placed plant at the back of the room, I compared myself to the other participants, who all read their material so cleanly and so calmly.  When my  turn came, my shaking hands and dry throat must have given away my wretched nerves.   I begged my vocal chords to hold out until the very end.  They did and even secured the correct expression required to deliver the feelings I wanted to convey; hell, I even got a few laughs in the right places!  But, did I enjoy this excruciating act of exhibitionism?

Well, yes!  I did it.  I delivered.  It was recieved.  I achieved.

Would I do it again?

Yes.  I faced a fear; over-rode it and would put myself in that position again, even if I had to be scrapped of the floor like an up-turned jelly afterwards.

But, that’s me and has been for a few years now.  Facing a fear has been a ritual; a masochistic form of entertainment as well as a confirmed sense of achievement for me.

Would I recommend it?  Well, I have come to rule out embarrassment and believe in the phrase “nothing left to loose”.  I make myself do these things.  They are only little things but are “big” for me.

It started with job interviews.  I allowed myself to enjoy them.  In the end I applied for jobs, just so that I could get to the interview process and find out if I was a good candidate with a chance of securing the position.  Weird?  Maybe.

Since then I have abseiled down one of the tallest buildings in the City of London (I now, subsequently, cannot tolerate heights easily and hold my breath at the top of every escalator on the Underground);  three years ago I danced en pointe with my ballet school infront of an audience of over 800 people (I probably won’t do that again, although I still dance en pointe and at least a childhood dream was fulfilled); I interview bands and artists when given the opportunity (but my hand still shakes when holding the voice recorder) and, I published a saucy story (which my mum has just discovered, read (to my horror) and reviewed (but that’s another post which I may divulge at a later date)!

So, to sum up, I enjoy facing fears; the taste of adrenalin, the achievement of over-coming blind panic.  Nothing left to loose.  You don’t know until you try, etc, etc.

The next fear to face?  Well, I’m going on a seven hour flight to New York next week…..and I absolutely hate flying.  I’ll send a postcard if I get there.

Missing January


January has whipped by in a storm, quite literally.  The New Year arrived into a swirling birthing pool of deep water and I chose not to greet it with gushing posts about resolutions or torrents of regrets about how drunk and fat it is possible to have got over the past festive season.

So, in a way I have given January a miss with so much to look forward to now that February is here.

I will be posting a couple of poems that I wrote during those dark, wet weeks.  Not only do I intend to share these on this blog, but also a few tracks by bands and artists that inspired the book that I wrote and published a few months ago.

See you in a bit. x