Smells – A Poem by Annie Ellis


The bus snorts out of its exhaust pipe,
I smell it as I clamber aboard.
The lady in front of me smells of Lavender
it’s my favourite.

The ride doesn’t last long
I disembark to pollution
thick and greasy.
I sniff into my hanky.

At work glue pots are given out,
lids come off and the brushes,
faceless hairy heads, dive in. 
My stomach adheres to sickness.

Fingers feel pain,
I paste the seams,
clear plastic containers,
to hold towels kept clean,
ready to sell.

Breaktime, I dive to the toilets.
The sticky room turns into a
room of smoke.
I can hardly see my way to a cubicle,
I choke back the mist of tobacco.

Never, yes never am I going to
work here again. 
I’ve stuck it for two weeks.

Annie Ellis first started writing poetry seriously January 2014. She has over six hundred poems written to date. Her first book, Nature at a Cost’, came out in February 2021. She has had poems put in eight anthologies, (Tapestry, Manuscript, Cheltenham 300, Silent Voices, Poetry Library Cafe, Poetry from Gloucestershire and two collections done at the Wilson) and two published, one in Snakeskin and one in The Dawntreader.  She is a Life Patron of the Cheltenham Poetry Festival.  In her spare time, she also writes short stories, lyrics and scripts. One of her ten-minute plays was performed on in the Stroud Theatre Festival September 2016.  Her main aim is to attend as many poetry workshops as she can, as she says they bring the best poetry out of her. She has appeared at a number of Festivals. Cheltenham Poetry Festival, Winchcombe Literature Festival, Evesham Literary Festival, Cheltenham Literature Festival and Evesham Festival of Words. She also was guest poet with a twenty-minute slot at Poetry Café in Cheltenham Library. She has been described as a hard working and imaginative poet by Anna Saunders. Twitter: @AnniecEllis

Banner Art: from Industrial Row, an image by Robert Frede Kenter. Twitter: @frede_kenter

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