Polly

Writings and Witterings


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Mabel On A Mission

Mabel’s on a mission,
she’s tugging at her lead,
a tiny Yorkshire Terrier,
who has no time to heed
her besotted owner calling her,
saying ‘Come’ or ‘Here,’
she’s on a special mission
and is keen to disappear.

She’s a naughty little pickle,
an invader of my life,
she will not eat her dinner
—that’s caused a bit of strife—
she cocks her head from side to side
when looking for a treat,
and if her walk dares to be late,
she yips and leaps and peeps.

She doesn’t like a shower,
and a bath she likes much less,
she jumps about and drenches me
the wretched little pest.
She goes to training classes,
no, I do not jest,
though, might as well, she thinks it’s swell…
to ignore every test.

Mabel’s on a mission,
each and every day
to get another walk,
and yet another play,
You may have gathered, through this poem,
that Mabel can be wilful,
that melting look to get her way
is truly somewhat skilful.

Now Mabel has a little friend,
Tilly is her name,
She’s driving me around the bend,
well on the way to fame.
‘Let’s go and walk,’ four sparky,
berry bright eyes say,
I cannot disappointment them
so we go out twice a day.

Polly Stretton © 2018

Munchkins–New Year 2018

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An Orchestra Of Orchids

Stand in awe
—look at orchids—
Hampton Court Show shows
orchestras of orchids,
a fanfare of maidenhair fern frames a backdrop
—handbags and gladrags—
vessels to hold plants.

Polly Stretton © 2018

orchids and maidenhair fern http- www.fleuropean.com theres-no-denying-destiny

A beautiful picture of orchids and maidenhair fern – with thanks to: http://www.fleuropean.com/theres-no-denying-destiny/


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Pale Horse

Dead Man's Penny–with thanks to Jean Lee

With thanks to Jean Lee

The Next of Kin Memorial Plaque is a bronze plaque known as the dead man’s penny. They were issued to the next of kin of those who died serving in WWI, nearly a million individuals. 600 plaques were issued to women who died. You will probably recognise the allusion to the Pale Horse and his rider.

Pale Horse

Heels down. Head up. Look
where you’re going.
Go to a place
where you can hear your heart;
listen to the beat,
forget the drub of a thousand pale hooves
and the horsemen of the apocalypse.
We rise and fall together.

Grandma had a penny to remember you,
a bronze memory she Brassoed weekly,
cast in physical prowess, spiritual power,
in devotion to the triumph of good,
Britannia faces left, holds a laurel wreath,
there’s a box beneath, holding your name in raised relief,
and you, a man of miracles.
We rise and fall together.

A circular coin made whole, inscribed:
‘He died for freedom and honour’.
You are a man who has gone,
yet nonetheless lives.
Your Penelope still waits.
Put the littered marshy slew behind you,
put it behind you.
We will start again.

Go to a place
where you can hear your heart;
listen to the beat.
No pale horse snickers,
no harbinger rides quicker,
no more horseshoes, trench fever, heat.
We sleep.
We rise and fall together.

Polly Stretton © 2018

Written for and first published in the Worcestershire Poet Laureate Nina Lewis’s project: A Tale Of Two Cities, Contour eZine issue 3. With thanks to my collaborator, Beth Sweeney, who responded with a poem of her own, which you can see in the publication.


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Betti Moretti–Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2018

Betti Moretti–WPL 2018

Betti accepts her WPL trophy—Photo courtesy of Catherine Crosswell

Our new Worcestershire Poet Laureate (WPL) Betti Moretti. Congratulations to Betti and commiserations to the runners up Sarah Leavesley and Peter Sutton—a whisker between the three of them—we had a marvellous afternoon when Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe launched the 8th Worcestershire Literary Festival.

Nina and Betti have fun with WPL trophy

Betti ‘struggles’ to get her trophy from outgoing WPL Nina Lewis—what fun!—Photo courtesy of Catherine Crosswell

8th Wonder of the World… Worcestershire LitFest 2018

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A fab and informative write up about the LitFest Poet Laureate competition. Nina is quite right in saying that all the finalists were amazing – congratulations to Betti Moretti, the new Worcestershire Poet Laureate, and commiserations to Sarah Leavesley and Peter Sutton, both of whom missed it by a whisker.

awritersfountain

Yesterday was the Launch of the 8th WLF Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe and it all starts with celebrating competition winners for Flash Fiction & Young Writers before the Worcestershire Poet Laureate Finalists take to the stage.

Leading up to the final I felt nervous and nauseous in equal measure, knowing I was on the judging panel was almost as difficult as entering the competition, and like many Laureates before me – I didn’t really want to give it up.

Still, it is someone else’s time now and at least I have had the pleasure of looking back on a year of superb work, I have thoroughly enjoyed the role as an ambassador for poetry.

The Launch was a fantastic event and I needn’t have worried at all – although the judging bit was difficult, there was a whole team deliberating (judges for the competition this year were Polly Stretton, Stephen…

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A poetry performing platform – by Daniel Burton

I enjoyed reading this post–puts things into context 🙂

Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe

Poetry has the potential to move audiences to tears, make people laugh, and tackle some of the most difficult topics in our world. Every poet, whether they’ve been honoured as a Poet Laureate or whether they simply enjoy it as a hobby, has a voice. And that voice should be heard.

At Litfest, we love hearing passionate poets delivering their work and wowing expectant audiences. Poetry is what gets us going, and it’s always a great feeling helping aspiring poets along their journey.

 It’s always been our mission to make poetry and prose accessible for everyone. We’ve seen poets perform sets about everything from mental health through to environmental awareness and everything in between.

“How do you give these poets a platform?” we hear you ask. Through our festival and fringe events!

Each year, our festival committee bring together a week-long extravaganza of open-mic nights and slams which are…

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Living Library 2018

What a privilege to be asked by Linda Bromyard, the Librarian at Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College, to be part of the Living Library again this year. Pupils spend ten minutes with authors to find out more about writing and the writing process. They always have interesting questions. After their ten minutes they move on to the next author. For me, it is a chance to talk with the youngsters not only about my own writing, but also about what they like to read, their favourite authors / genres etc. Discussions about Tolkien and Shire Ditch, what sort of fantasy creatures / beings they like best, all answered with such enthusiasm. One of the lads, who claimed not to read, was wonderfully caught out when we got onto David Williams! There were lots of questions about what inspires / how much time is spent writing / when one started writing / what time of day one prefers to write, and so on.  It transpires that there are many young writers of poetry as well as short stories. I feel this bodes well for the future.

Linda herself is an inspiration, the organisation that goes on behind the scenes, the thoughfulness to not only the pupils but also to the authors, such things never go unnoticed. Thank you, Linda.

Here is a photo of me enjoying a giggle with the pupils at the Living Library. We cannot share photos of the youngsters, but I want to thank them for their interest and also for the delightful thank you notes that Linda forwarded to me on their behalf.

PS Living Library 2018.jpg