Writings and Witterings


Lithping Around The Myths


My assurances that no small children were hurt or otherwise affected in the making of this poem (!) The theme at 42 Worcester in January was ‘Around The Myths In Eighty Words’ – sometimes you have to go with what’s in your head…

I posted to dVerse OpenLinkNight, why not give it a go? I’m wondering whether the humour is trans-Atlantic — gong by previous comments it is — hope so :)

Lithping Around The Myths

There wath Myth Thmith
at Primary Thchool,
Myth Bigger
featured large;
Mythter Thampthon,
Head Teacher;
Mythith Allthop,
she took charge.

‘Thtop lithping,’ she admonished, ‘thpeak proper,
like wot I do’

‘Can’t help it, Mythith Allthop,
can’t twitht my tongue
like you.’

I want to thay my etheth.
When will my tongue
be free?
How do you
thay your etheth?
It’th a mythtery to me.

Polly Stretton © 2016

It was tricky to get my tongue around the ‘th’s’ to record, but here it is!



KB asked for a persona poem at dVerse Poetics.
Athenian red-figure lekythos, Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design (http://www.theoi.com/Pontios/Iris.html)
I am a rainbow,
a golden winged messenger,
they say I am dewey, fresh faced,
refilling rain clouds
with water from the sea.

I spend the speed of the wind
with my man, Zephyrus,
by my side.
I plunge into
the ocean deep,
underworld dark,
unhindered by the caduceus
staff, hard in my left hand.

My Harpy sister
brings to Zeus the great oath of the gods.
I am Iris, with a ewer
of nectar.

Swift footed,
sure, like a storm,
I see my sister’s wings
on Achilles’ heels.

They call me a delicate herald of light
in my gossamer gown:
ruby red;
orange organza;
yardbird yellow;
green parakeet;
blue sky blue;
divisive indigo;
virtuous violet,
the realm of the rainbow is mine
always beyond reach.

Polly Stretton 2016



Do you see them peeping?
Do you see them creeping?
They’re beneath the blades of green
where the bluebells will be seen.
They’re making for the coracle,
see it in the distance?
And they’ll take it through the mist
to the river just beyond.
They’ll travel up the river,
mothers will get shivers
and children heebie-jeebies
looking for the fae.
It’s known they’ll be here soon,
for it is the time of year
when the fae enjoy the festival,
the festival of fear.

Polly Stretton © 2016


Tight Bouquet

tight bouquet
opens and fades.

The winter roses,
once perfect red
almost orbs,
crinkle with small black daubs.

lines craze from creases,
daubs join in the blot
of restless rot.

Even yesterday,
the bouquet
was not as tight
as we thought.

Polly Stretton © 2016


Under the Cloak of Winter

It’s Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub and Abhra’s at the bar. This poem was in response to my friend Kieran’s (kdavisfanclub.wordpress.com) challenge to write about the photo.

Under the Cloak of Winter

From Kieran

Photo by Damien Davis

They dance through the woods,
beneath elegant trees,
pause at mounds of moss
until the coracle’s in view.

Not yet in the water,
the boat:
the boat is waiting
for them to take a seat
on animal skin.

Mist miracles wrap
and rise,
still, still, still.
Peace settles;

no birds, no flowers,
nothing moves.

Silence stirs
and the trees,
stately sentinels,
to the promise
rising in the haze.

Polly Stretton © 2016



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.