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!



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



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.


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,

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

Ghouls 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


Rock Art

At d’Verse Poetics ‘carved in stone’, Björn is tending the bar. He has given us a series of petroglyphs, carvings found in caves in Sweden.

Tanum Rock Carving: Ship Photo by Björn Rudberg

Tanum Rock Carving: The Sun Ship
Photo by Björn Rudberg

Rock Art

Weather away, feather away
in the acid forests, dissolve,
crumble and fade, disappear
after three thousand five hundred years.

Before you go, let us see once more,
lives lived in harmony,
man is strong, is phallic,
the woman: fertility.

A most important figure,
an icon for what it can do,
the Sun Ship, represents
transport, conquests, food.

Ten thousand ships in Bohuslän
the ship has a finger-like crew
the bulge at the stem, neighing now and again,
is the Sun Horse pulling the sun.

People believed that, in the day
the horse transported the sun,
they wondered how it got back again,
and so the myth was begun.

Our lifestyle destroys cultural heritage,
and all this wonderful work
will disappear in a few decades,
the rock carvings of Tanum.

Polly Robinson © 2015