Writings and Witterings



The second poem, as promised, about the carpet trade in Kidderminster. I was taken by the photo of spools, below, and so this poem was born…

In 2013 I first went to the Kidderminster Museum of Carpet for a poetry workshop with Heather Wastie, who was the poet in residence. Reeking Dyes came out of that workshop.



Cadmium yellow spools
posture in pools
of darkest midnight blue.

A lozenge of orange,
rows of ruby, round and robust.
Over two hundred reds:
threads numbered by hue,
imbued with spirals of tans;
shuttles and bobbins
repeating to plans,
colour eked out from blonde wood.
The scent of wool
filters the air.

Spools in a basket,
a-tisket a-tasket,
weaving a tale of tufts,
echoing warp and weft,
dropping flights of many shades,
spinning a yarn of carpets
created in light,
looming over shade.

Polly Robinson © September 2015


The Museum’s Tale

Following a visit to Kidderminster Museum of Carpet, I felt inspired to write two poems using the language of the carpet trade. I’m posting the first one today and the second one will appear tomorrow. The museum is a wonderful place celebrating, as it does, the history of the carpet trade and its workers. The very first poem, Reeking Dyes, that I wrote after one of Heather Wastie’s workshops in the museum can be seen here.

The Museum’s Tale

In the museum it’s twilight
that time between day and night.
And soon, when all has gone quiet,
a shade begins to alight.
Down the stairs in silence,
no one sees Eliza’s flight,
swift towards the factory floor,
a figure pale and upright.

Ghostly shimmerings glister
on a frame so slender and slight.
She used to shuttle a freestanding loom
when she was a tiny mite.
Her art was handloom weaving,
the cold seeped, that was her plight,
she learned her trade on the job, like them all,
her bones, they ached like spite.

Apprenticed to the Master Weaver,
Eliza feared the dark,
in winter, a candle lit her way,
she was always up with the lark.
Household chores were tended
before she went to her loom,
the fatty scent of tallow
went with her: a rose in bloom.

Now halfway down the staircase,
she beckons as if to invite
her lover to join her on the stairs,
a man so straight and forthright;
Joe had the voice of the workers,
the members who dared to unite.
He was hauled over the carpet,
she on tenterhooks with fright.

Payment reduced for one yard of Brussels,
the workers now on strike,
Joe starved rather than return,
but he returns tonight.
He rejoins his Eliza,
they drift like tufts down the stairs,
they love the museum, the light, the shade,
for telling this tale of theirs.

Polly Robinson © September 2015

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Originally posted on awritersfountain:




For the 3rd year running AWF is hosting INKSPILL, a free online writing retreat. Come and join us and our Guest Writers for a weekend of writing and motivation.

There is NO SIGN UP, NO FEE.

Just read the posts, share links to your work, comment and LIKE the posts.

AWF offers this retreat to you for FREE, in return all we ask is you LIKE, reblog or share our blog posts.


We have several Guest Writers this year – to be announced soon!


Spread the word! INKSPILL

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The Vampire Prince

Written to the theme ‘Vampires’ for 42 Worcester, Wednesday 30 September 2015, and shared with dVerse Poets today. Do follow the link to dVerse, a group of talented poets who would welcome your poem and your comments on the poems of others. In the meantime…

The Vampire Prince

A Transylvanian melody
will chime through the night.
The air is still and warm,
there is no trace of light.
He steals through forest glades
to the castle where she lies,
she tries to hear leaves rustling,
her hopes she can’t disguise,
she knows he’s coming for her,
yet no fear shows in her eyes.

She loves him, oh, she loves him,
his dark and brooding brow,
his high and sculpted cheekbones,
his skin white-cold, ice-sallow.
With a cape of burnished black,
he is not the maniac the villagers
with their garlic seem to dread.
She smiles at the thought
of the crosses they have wrought
to stop him ascending to her bed.

She knows her soul will wince
when she hears the chimes, her prince
will be climbing up the stairs
to claim her for his own.
The scent of who-knows-what,
aromatic, spiced, sincere,
is the harbinger she’s waited for;
waited for, for years.

A rap upon her door
has her swooning, heart a’soar.
She loves him, oh, she loves him
and will do evermore.
Her prince leans in towards her,
his cape’s as soft as zephyrs,
it sweeps her pure white nightgown
as he slowly travels down;
his breath, a mist of insight,
strokes her sweet soft frown.

His teeth glint in the moonlight,
from her, he gets no swift flight,
she arches, sighs in delight.
His teeth make the connection
with her, gentle perfection,
it takes no great detection
to know…
she is his.

Polly Robinson © 2015


Poetry Competition winners


Vote for your favourite!

Originally posted on Weaving Yarns:

In my capacity as The Worcestershire Poet Laureate, I ran a National Poetry Day competition for Worcestershire poets. The results have just been announced, and there’s chance to vote for your favourite of four poems which didn’t quite make the top three. See http://worcslitfest.co.uk/litfest-npd-competition-update-and-poll/

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Dance With Me?

‘Dance with me?’

When Dad was embarrassed, he whistled,
a tootling flootling whoot;
three notes,
always the same, breath gently pushed
through pursed lips, eyes to heaven.

‘Do you want to dance, Dad?’
and he’d whistle.
‘Let’s waltz.’

As we waltzed his lips
remained pursed, exhaling
whistles silent
but audible, as his breath passed my ears,
his eyes upwards, looking at no one,
hoping no one was looking at him.

‘Dance with me?’

Polly Robinson © 2015