Writings and Witterings



This poem was short listed for the Paragram Poetry Prize in 2013. I was invited to Covent Garden to read both this and the long listed ‘Hobgoblin Trees.’ Tonight I’m posting it for dVerse, where we have Kelly behind the bar. Kelly’s asked us about scents that linger, ‘Latent’ fits the criteria.


Grey, receding,
the fragrance of his shaving gel.
He carries an iPad.

The first thing to leave
is the light of his eyes.
I touch his absence;
a disembodied voice,                  ‘see you later.’

There are magical contortions
made by dust motes,
they swirl in the sunbeams that
pour through the east window,
and echo, ‘later, later.’

I still feel the tweed jacket,
rough against my fingers,
it lingers with his shadow in the room.

Polly Stretton © 2016

(written under the name Polly Robinson © 2013)



Winter Flora

Buxom snowdrops
in a corner
slow to spread.

milk flowers

Polly Stretton © 2016

Galanthus plicatus - big snowdrop

Galanthus plicatus

Galanthus nivalis-small snowdrop

Galanthus nivalis

Two lovely photos of these special harbingers – they don’t look very different in these photos, but the smaller one, nivalis, in real life is much smaller than the plicatus.



OU Poets were once asked to write to the theme ‘Wabi and Ostranenie’, after looking these words up (!) here’s what I did…


Find the Persian pebble-edged river,
cross the candyfloss bridge
to pure graph paper.
Work a motif, mina-khani, rosette
aching on acanthus
in repeating figures
borrowed from weavers,
and know
there is no more.
Perfection is another’s domain.

Polly Stretton © 2015


Katie Jones

Gayle is our host on Open Link Night at dVerse. She invites poets to ‘to share with us a poem of your choice, on whatever subject you would like.’

Katie Jones

Ah, Katie Jones,
Katie Jones,
I see your eyes
wide with responsibility,
taken on far too soon.

Here you are at fifteen
cleaning the bath,
I see you always
cleaning the bath,
and raking the coals, black dust

thick beneath your fingernails;
washing in a twin-tub, watching the wind,
drying weather, so much to do.
Scrubbing, scouring,
the wire pad

rough beneath
the soft pads of your fingers,
biting into teenage flesh
that could be wielding
a pen at school.

What about your future,
practical Katie Jones?
Your mother,
sick with depression.
Your eyes show

You will not feel sorry,
you will persevere,
for that is what is expected
of you.

But your eyes, oh, your eyes,
Katie Jones,
they are wild,
they tell of a tale


Polly Stretton © 2015