Writings and Witterings


Pity Of The City

Full Beaver Moon – 25 November 2015 (always in November) The time of year to set beaver traps before the big freeze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. It’s suggested that the name Full Beaver Moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now actively preparing for winter. It is sometimes also referred to as the Frosty Moon or Hunter’s Moon.

worcester full moon by cathedral - worcesternews.co.uk

Full Moon beside Worcester Cathedral – photo acknowledgement to Worcester News worcesternews.co.uk

Pity Of The City

A dark tale for the baleful Beaver Moon,
the one that sky-lurks tonight:
face lours, eyes glower, glimmering
light emits from pits;
the pity of the city wraps
an evanescence of a smirk
in the murk,

They shirk light on earth;
shades of moonshine work to earn
noir histoire.
Tauntingly haunting crooks in alleys,
capes folded, in wait
for a stumbling gait,
imbibers of a jar
or two…

They wield needles, knives,
shiver and shrive
to priests of the dark;
leave their mark,
a fusty tang, taint of doom; bloodletters
think of mortality only as banality,
forgetting that death comes to all…
and it’s only a frostbitten





Polly Stretton © 2015


The Girl In The Chair And Her Protégé

She’d cupped a small bird in her hand,
born this year, feathers silky soft,
she encouraged flight, held it aloft,
so warm, so weak, it trembled.

She wheeled her chair along smooth garden ways,
a feather dropped, wafted soft.
The bird stayed in the hayloft.

Quietude, rest and warmth worked their magic,
the creature stilled, silently calm,
the scented hay seemed to act as a balm.

The gentle gauche girl returned the next day,
no drama, the bird had flown away.
The girl in the chair and her protégé.

Polly Robinson © 2015


The Journey

Riding from far North they came
through snow and sleet and sheeting rain.
Ice formed behind them, frosted, cracked
red dragon scales, in parts, looked blacked.
On wings sheer clipped, their fire breath quenched,
onward, moving South, they went.

Flying ahead of the sunset West:
werewolves; sprites in fiery vests;
pixies pointing ears to learn
where coal black jackdaws crash and burn.
There is no place to hide.

Then from the sunrise in the East
the faerie queen on bounding beast
the size of which sees grown elves weep.
They hear her voice so light (though deep)
control the slavering ride.

Inch by inch from the dry drought South
a dead sheep carried in its mouth
the Kraken, skin scabbed, wracked and ripped
scouts for the havering hare who nips
at the frail fingers of sylvan wamblers.

Polly Robinson © 2014

Reposting this especially for Poetics: Snowed Under, Iced In, Cosying Up – not sure about the ‘cosying up’ bit though… ;)


Frost Web

Lacy cobwebs creep the hedgerows
sharp as prying spiders’ eyes
glitter-edged and spiky, sparkling
clear spun sugar in disguise.
Lazy hips and haws lounge
as taut twigs cringe in fingered frost
while, fluffed-up red and round, a robin
chirps for all the worms he’s lost.

Polly Robinson © 2015


Frost–Christmas 2014

Chilled window glass
and frozen grass
glitters an aftermath
a greened smattering of snowlike stuff.
Ice sparkles blossom and blush
in the aeons of dawn, a silver flush
to put sequin stars onto blades and shards,
magical cobwebs on bushes in boulevards
listening to the birds.

Polly Robinson © 2014

Acknowledgement to www.deviantart.com

Acknowledgement to http://www.deviantart.com


Bear – A Found Poem

Rancid bear lingers
with Woodbine’s glow,
the ginnels of grim,
a guess, a no show.

The stink of cheap scent,
acrid smoke stains the ceiling,
mortal man shuffles bent
from six summer’s tunnelling.

Foundations rock
to their weighted layers,
our hero, stunned, shocked
a reluctant nay-sayer.

Pissed again on unoaked whiskey
still warm from the last roaring day.
No sleep, no bedrock, all too risky.
Fail as the sun fades away
to butter on the tongue.

Polly Robinson © 2014

This poem was found during a workshop exercise where we worked on descent and dissent at the OU Poets weekend in Devon. I think it fits well with the prompt from Anthony Desmond over at dVerse poets – take a look and join in…


A Secret Mystery

J.Sheridan Le Fanu

J.Sheridan Le Fanu

After Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

A Secret Mystery

Soulful Maud wanders in solitude
thinking of the strangest attitudes,
of Dickon’s stumpy gait,
of cousin Dudley, loutish and rude,
she flees from him, escapes.
Silas: sinister opium freak,
Milly: rustic, amiable, weak,
thoughts of a marriage to Dudley reek.
Maud’s held like bait.

Madame de la Rogierre appears,
Maud appalled, recalls earlier fears,
plagued by poison intent.
Her governess of lies and spy years;
tortured, Maud’s in torment.
Dragged and driven to a train carriage,
forced to think on a hateful marriage,
knows her qualms will be disparaged.
Shock-scathed; she’s spent.

Wakes to find herself at Bartram-Haugh,
told she is mistaken by the sobs
of hollow-faced Madame,
great long nose and gobbling, cackling chops,
presence like a phantom.
Maud watches crouched in a corner, hidden.
Dudley takes a spiked hammer, driven
to smash the brains of a strange victim.
Thought it was Maud.

Polly Robinson © 2014

September 2014 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Le Fanu (1814-1873). He’s famous for several gothic tales and poems. In A Glass Darkly and Uncle Silas are amongst his better known works. This poem is based on the story in Uncle Silas and on the form of his poem The Stream.