Writings and Witterings


In A Box In A Drawer

Box, commemorative coin, medals, WI badge ~ Polly Stretton 2012

In A Box In A Drawer

There they are in a box in a drawer,
I pause to think,
then think some more,
about what they mean,
about what they were for,
about why they linger in a box in a drawer.

A commemorative coin, two medals,
WI brass and gilt badge, with enamels,
World War Two ‘For Home and Country’.
The coin shows, to put it quite bluntly,
failed bridegroom and bride.
Whilst badge and medals mark honour with pride.

The medals belong to a younger me,
I could swim in those days, lengthily,
A silver, a gold,
a story to be told,
they drown in a box in a drawer,
they can be found in a box in a drawer.

There they sit in a box in a drawer,
what will they mean,
when I leave through that door?
The door ma and pa took a few years ago,
the one that goes one way,
as far as we know.

and these,
nothing more.
Nothing more lingers,
in a box in a drawer.

Polly Stretton © 2012



Flower—A Triolet  

White Flower

White Flower (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Flower—A Triolet

I’ve brought you a flower, he said,
so you will smile, be lucky,
you can see it here from your bed,
I’ve brought you a flower, he said.
When you settle your hot hot head,
you can see it—you won’t feel so yeucky.
I’ve brought you a flower, he said,
so you will smile, be lucky.

Polly Stretton © 2012

If you’d like to know more about this French medieval form follow this link.


The Old Dog

In Lady Godina's Rout (1796), James Gillray ca...

‘Er …no …I really haven’t become obsessed with old roués or old dogs!  I had a writers’ circle tonight and guess what the topic was?  Yep, you guessed! And a good time was had by all 🙂

This poem will be my offering at OpenLinkNight at the dVerse pub with Natasha Head tonight too—get along there and see what the poets are supping…

The Old Dog

The old roué has a penchant for young girls,
he is a menace, yet seems not to know.

Disgust and reluctance to offend cloaks
the girls’ fears, cloaks the animosity,
covers fake laughter after he has gone.
Eyes averted, gaze elsewhere, don’t look don’t
look at him, he could return, just don’t look.

Whilst he is there, oh, whilst he’s there, the girls
are scared. He’s so old with hair in his nose
and ears. He leers, lecherously lurching
toward them in drink, has to touch, to feel,
brush their breasts, pat their pert posteriors,
smile smarmily, disarmingly (not…not).

He thinks he has appeal, he should get real,
he has none for them, his wife must tell him.
Ah! No wife. We won’t wonder why. It’s clear
those who leer we call ‘Old Dogs’ with fondness,
No! They’re a scourge and the plague of young girls.

Polly Stretton © 2012


Morning Town Ride Makes Nain Rouge

Good news…you are reading the words of a stunned person…I submitted a poem to dVerse for the anniversary celebrations and it was entered for the Nain Rouge contest.  I have today received an email from Mark Durfee of Nain Rouge, who says:

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.

Oh boy!

Quick link to it here: Morning Town Ride


Mañana Seaside Days

Sally J. Blackmore asked the poets at her workshop to write an Anaphoric and Ekphrastic poem.  This picture, by British contemporary impressionist, Leslie Stones, transported me to a childhood holiday with the family.  Amazingly ~ do coincidences really happen? ~ Karin opened the dVerse pub doors and asked us to write about summer!

Searching the Rock Pools Leslie Stones []

Mañana Seaside Days

Seaside siblings and a crèche of cousins,
Deckchair damsels dashing hopes of dozens,
Countless crabby tickled toes a’paddling,
Rock pools ~ splash! ~ soft sands in sunlight dazzling,
Scabby shins sprawl sandily, stickily,
Toes touch, tease towel tents, torment trickily,
Lulling listening, laughs linger lacily,
Sunshine shimmers on sunhats racily,
Gulls’ wings sigh while seashells gleam and glitter,
Seaside sunny days hot, sparkling sitters,
Slosh, slosh shallows; shush shushing shingle hosts
Mañana seaside days at Cornish coast.

Polly Stretton © 2012

… and here is an audio of the original poem, especially for Claudia and Amy …


A Beautiful Sadness

As you know, I adore everything pre-raphaelite, so you won’t be surprised to see me write around my favourite pre-raph painting The Lady of Shallot by John William Waterhouse (1888)—she is hauntingly beautiful and sad.  Written in response to Stuart McPherson’s marvellous prompt this weekend for Poetics at dVerse.

The Lady of Shalott ~ John William Waterhouse 1888

A Beautiful Sadness

Beware enchantment beware,
Lancelot has
charisma to share, has
women a’plenty.

Loved by a King,
who trusts him,
his victories,
his search for the grail.

Trust repaid by an
affair with
Guinevere, the King’s
most beloved wife.

The Lady spies him from her
isolated tower,
her faerie bower,
her place of power,

her room of one’s own.
turns, looks,
‘The mirror crack’d from side to side’
she cries,

never to have the prize.
She learns that sans mirror,
sans tapestry…
enchantment leaves.

She is bereft, returned
to mortality.
Her faerie bower,
her place of power,

her room of one’s own,
her isolation
brings about
her destruction.

There is tension.
the status, the role,
the conditions.
Contemporary culture—pah!

She’s a saviour of
the domestic realm.
No!  She is

She leaves her loom
for him.
The mirror cracks
for him.

She turns to look
for him.
She loses life
for him.

Dead before the
ultimate goal: Camelot.
A martyr to unworthy love.
Passionate, beautiful sadness.

Polly Stretton © 2012


Cleaning And Tidying

Woman cleaning toilets.

I’m having an ace time cleaning and tidying…singing ‘She Loves You’, as you do when you’re cleaning…started early this morning with the vacuuming, now onto putting stuff into the loft…ooh, ‘eck, they won’t like the sound of that much!  Not to worry, the house is looking gooooood 🙂  ‘Having a good time’ (Queen—Don’t Stop Me Now—1979)