Writings and Witterings


No Snow

The Earth seen from Apollo 17.

Christmas, and there’s
no snow.
Rain floods runnels,
banshees howl about the house.
Trees lurch, screaming,
torrents teeming,
roads dammed
across the land.

Close to New Year, and there’s
no snow. No icicles.
Nationwide: the floods.
And on we go to
see the wraith of
seasons gone,
the phantom here,
the ghost of those to come.

New Year, and there’s
no snow. No icicles. No frost.
Savage spectre of what is lost.
Seasons change.
Extremes occur:
spring’s like summer
used to be. Summer’s short.
Autumn comes early.

And so it goes from year to year
the seasons change, become austere.
Those who live with constant jeers
say this: until we do something,
until we care,
it’s our world, our earth,
whose fate
we share.

Polly Stretton © 2012

I am posting this for Claudia’s Change & Turns at dVerse Poets



Nice ‘n Easy Chocolate Mousse

This is my favourite recipe for chocolate mousse, the simplest I’ve ever come across—if I can do it, you can too, and it is delicious 🙂

1choc mousse

100g dark chocolate, plus a little extra for shaving to decorate the top
30g butter
4 egg yolks
50g caster sugar
4 egg whites

1. In a bowl, melt the dark chocolate and butter in a microwave on ‘defrost’ (approx a minute), stir well to combine the two then leave the bowl to one side and allow the chocolate to cool.
2. Whisk the egg yolks and 40g of the sugar for around 2-3 minutes until the mixture is considerably thicker, appearing to become fluffy. Pour in the cooling chocolate and mix gently together.
3. Get the egg whites and whisk well together in a large bowl until they have stiffened, but are not dry. Add the rest of the sugar and continue beat together until the mixture becomes glossy in texture.
4. Spoon around a third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and mix well together with a spoon. Fold in the remaining whites then pour the contents into a serving bowl. Chill overnight in the fridge to allow the mousse to set. Just before serving add chocolate shavings on the top for decoration.

Serves: 6-8
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 5 mins


Winter Solstice—The Year Turns

The first version of this poem was written in 2012, here is an update for Winter Solstice 2022. Merry Yuletide all!1.stonehengeWinter Solstice–The Year Turns

The turning point is upon us.
Great Trilithon‘s smooth flat face
looks to winter sun
slanted light becomes stronger
days become longer
we celebrate rebirth

The sun stands
its shadow
barely changes
sun dials seem static
low in darkening skies
the darkest time

Eat drink carouse
slaughter cattle
quaff new-fermented wine
light candles
for the sun’s winter sleep

Cleanse the house of evil spirits
look at Loki’s mistletoe
an arrow in the heart
tears become berries
symbols of love
life returns
every ending
leads to beginnings
new beginnings

© Polly Stretton 2022

1 winter solstice


not sorry yet

Meadow Run Away

four-year-old legs pumping running away
ma shouts after me ‘come back’ sister wails
ma is livid i pushed the bowl downstairs
this is how she sees it it is my fault
a tall ten-pint goldfish bowl three goldfish
i run down the meadow behind our house
it is hay-making time yellow grass scent
and dust tickle my nose and make me sneeze
sneeze stops me for long enough she catches
me i have glanced behind in my run and
seen her struggling with my little sister
but ma is grim-faced and determined that
i will be caught and punished it was an
accident i tripped knocked into the bowl
which bounced down each stair fish flying water
arcing the finest mirrored droplets splash
the sound of breaking glass tinkles downwards
she comes out of the kitchen babe on hip
and roars ‘nooooo’ i flee out the open door
my legs pump i feel my heart i hear my
breath coming jagged i smell the hay i
sneeze she catches me she screams thrashes me
and at each step thrashes me again all
up the meadow back into the house she
is crying hot angry tears me howling
mortified indignant rebellious
an accident i sob my jaw jutting
i am but four-years-old not sorry yet

Polly Stretton © 2012

‘For this week’s Poetics’ said Fred Rutherford aka Hobgoblin at dVerse, ‘I thought we could work in First Person Narrative.’ An opportunity to put up a favourite poem that appears in my poetry collection Girl’s Got Rhythm in which we see a four-year-old speak of injustice. And we might think about perspectives…


Updated: Morning Town Ride

English: Congestion on the London Underground

English: Congestion on the London Underground

As it’s nearly Christmas, here’s a special treat. A slight re-write of one of my favourite poems, and it seems, yours—it was selected for and published in the first edition of Nain Rouge and again in Girl’s Got Rhythm.

Morning Town Ride

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,
thumb apps,
angry birds,
a mass,

chackety chack
chackety chack
chackety chack

of smells.
room only.
read ‘Free
Metro’, or
Hang from
bars like
apes (phew!)

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



A cause for consternation
across the conurbation, ripe
with foul frustration
and no small apprehension
our tutor’s decision
to give our destination
an historical dimension
and a path to scansion and to rhyme.

He grips our attention,
oh, vision, what description!
Torrid definition.
A brief elimination,
much eradication,
elation, condemnation,
What a combination, of like
Poets in a room Cadbury’s Fruit & Nut!

Polly Stretton © 2012

Written at Arvon during an exercise where we had to make a list of words with the either the same or a similar ending. Final two lines just changed out of mischief (!) heh-heh… 😀



The light in your eye,
blonde of your hair,
silent space where once you were,
tender mouth,
intense glance,
knowing this
the death of romance
and things that say ‘love.’

Polly Stretton © 2012

Stu asks us to today for poetics at dVerse to write about the things/people/moments/times we miss. This is my response to the prompt—great prompt, Stu.