Writings and Witterings


Morning Town Ride

This is the poem I submitted to dVerse for the anniversary celebrations and it was entered for the Nain Rouge contest.  Mark Durfee of Nain Rouge emailed some weeks later to say:

Your poem MORNING TOWN RIDE made the cut not only to be published in Vol 1 Issue 1 of Nain Rouge, it was also selected by a very qualified group of writers as 1 of the top 6.

I am delighted.


It was grim on the tube this morning in London, so hot and humid, stinky – this came out of it …

English: Congestion on the London Underground

chackety chack
chackety chack
chackety chack

like a
tube of the
hunched up,
bunched up,
crunched up,
swilled and

chackety chack
chackety chack
chackety chack

oh oh,
get some
don’t breathe
on me
last night’s
was good,
last night.

chackety chack
chackety chack
chackety chack

finger phones;
for mails,
thumb apps,
angry birds,
a mass,

chackety chack
chackety chack
chackety chack

of smells,
room only,
read ‘Free
Metro’, or
hang from
bars like

chackety chack
chackety chack
chackety chack


chackety chack
chackety chack
chackety chack

bleeding tracks,
fan face,
cool down,
heat up,
moist hot
heaps of
humanity …
ride on
town ride.

chackety chack
chackety chack
chackety chack

Polly Stretton © 2012



Beans For Tea

Scarlet Robin

I am a little robin
Sitting in a tree,
Mamma says I have to fly,
But I am scared, you see.

My L-plate is affixed
To feathers quivering proud,
Flying lessons start,
We gather quite a crowd.

The ground is such a long way down,
My wings are brown and small,
I tell Mamma that I am scared,
She doesn’t care at all!

Pappa says ‘Fly or else
I’ll shove you off that bough,’
My little body shivers,
‘But Pa,’ I say, ‘tell how?’

‘You’ll be all right, my pretty,
You have a go,’ says he,
‘You’ll fly easy – feathers, wings –
Just think, baked beans for tea.’

I’m launched by his ‘thwack’
My wings stretch gingerly,
I can’t help looking back,
I plummet, dangerously.

The L-plate spirals wildly,
I downward tumble and flap,
My eyes are spinning in my head,
And then I feel a tap.

‘Come on love,’ says Mamma,
‘Give those wings another try,
One – two, one – two, you can do it
Look upward to the sky.’

And then I am away,
Into the blue I soar,
The L-plates fall away from me,
All of their own accord.

My Pa is crowing loudly,
He is so proud of me,
He shouts out as I flutter by,
‘OK love!  Beans for tea.’

Polly Stretton © 2012


A Boy

A diagnosis,
a prognosis,
a suicide attempt
or two,
or three.

The voices
‘He tells me…
She tells me…
They tell me…’
A new world

a world in
a troubled mind.
A world in
a boy so fine.

A boy,
a first born,
a long-awaited son,
a first born

waited for
in a hospital bed,
for three long months;
to keep him,
not lose him.

‘A patient patient’
they called
his mother,
as they pumped her
full of sedative.

The voices
‘He tells me…
She tells me…
They tell me…’
A different world.

A troubled mind;
where did it all go
How can we put it

Polly Stretton © 2012


Shadow Of Fear

Haunting your childhood dreams,
shadow of fear,
climbs stairs to a silent scream;
sharp talons appear
on arms extreme,
bat-like, austere.
Himself to redeem,
he edges nearer…he’s near.

Haunting your children’s dreams,
shadow of fear,
no mirror image seen,
what’s that they hear?
Horror hands intervene,
unearthly sneer;
teeth glint in foulest scene,
his silhouette leers.

Haunting your every dream
shadow of fear,
Nosferatu of nightmare theme,
stalks, then he’s here!
Touch on your shoulder seam,
fangs drip, smeared;
throat constricts slowly,
is punctured, revered.

Polly Stretton © 2012


USA and Canada

Hi everyone, I’m just back from a long weekend in New York with my friend, Angie, we had a fab time, it was hot and sunny and … beautiful.  We went to Freedom Tower (Ground Zero) and saw the wonderful work continuing there; to Niagara Falls, what an experience; took in a Broadway show Priscilla Queen of the Desert; ate too much; walked for miles; chilled in Central Park – and now we’re back home and I’m catching up with hundreds of emails and the blog.  And goodness me, blogging peeps, you have been busy while I’ve been away!  Sorry if I don’t get around to commenting on the wonderful work you did while I was off enjoying myself 😉 but think you’ll understand.  Maybe some poems will transpire as a result of my travels … what think you?

Here are some pics that I took – hope you like them.

Freedom Tower

Freedom Tower – officially the tallest building in New York – just higher than the Empire State Building and still going up!

Niagara, or Horseshoe Falls

The fabulous Niagara, or Horseshoe Falls taken from The Maid of the Mist en route to the swirling waters below


A shot of Broadway – early evening – May 2012

A puppeteer in Central Park

The children were enthralled by the magician puppet in Central Park

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For our young people: New Generations Competitions

Rotary International in Britain and Ireland gives wonderful opportunities to young people.  Rotary’s ‘New Generations’ programme includes competitions for:

Young Chef

Young Citizen

Youth Speaks

Young Musician

Young Photographer

Young Writer

Your young people could win fabulous prizes, including prestigious trophies and cash prizes.  The finalists receive recognition and awards.

Starting with club level competitions, winners progress to district events and, ultimately, national finals, judged in March each year, with news of the winning work subsequently published in national and potentially international Rotary magazines.

Note: all ages as at 31st August 2012.

Young Photographer and Young Writer – open to young people aged between 7-17.

Young Chef – open to young people aged 11-17.

Youth Speaks – open to young people aged 11-17.

Young Musician – open to young people up to the age of 17.

Young Citizen – open to young people under the age of 25.

Contact your local Rotary Club for more details, you will find them easily online.  Our talented New Generations deserve our support.

For more information:

There are circa 32,000 Rotary Clubs worldwide and 1.2 million members in 200 countries. Rotary International in Britain and Ireland alone has 54,000 members distributed over 1,850 clubs.


Audio—The Robin Song

Happy Sunday afternoon to everyone.

Lindsay said she’d like to hear The Robin Song so you’ll find an audio file here dedicated  to Lindsay.

I’m still experimenting with the visuals for audio files and am very much learning about how to do this, hints and tips would be welcome.

I would also like to hear your thoughts on whether audios add a dimension to or detract from the poem in its written form.

So, you will see below a link entitled ‘audio file’, which, if you click on it, should open up in YouTube.

Audio file


The Robin Song

Madeleine Floyd Robin Mug

I love the little robin
it’s such a special bird,
I have a smashing tale to tell,
which you may not have heard,
it starts off in the kitchen, one gloomy winter day,
the mug that has the robin on
got, somehow, in the way.

Yes, I had a little robin mug,
a pretty, favourite thing.
He didn’t mean to break it,
he had a little fling.

It was an upset,
to be sure,
so to the shop we went,
there were none in stock we heard,
and we ordered a replacement.

We collected the replacement
and made a pot of tea,
the robin mug was waiting
to be filled
–a drink for me.
“Oh look,” says my daughter, “You got the mug today,”
I wonder if, Dear Reader, [or listener]
you can guess what next I’ll say?

We tried to avoid
breaking Madeleine Floyd,
our best catching skills let us down.
A little bird mug in
the hand (for a while),
can lead to it being…
shattered all across the kitchen in the tiniest bits and pieces imaginable!

An accident!
An accident!
An accident!
Oh, me.
I’m off to the shop in a moment
to order mug number three!

Polly Stretton © 2012

Audio file

“Tik – ik – ik – ik … Tik – ik …” … Robin