Writings and Witterings



This is the poem that 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, so this poem is, I believe, fitting 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 © 2013

Shortlisted for the Paragram Poetry Prize 2013


28 thoughts on “Latent

  1. Congratulations Polly 😊


  2. Nice one, Polly – let us know how the reading goes!


  3. Lovely, Polly – it should go down well while you’re selling fruit & veg in Covent Garden market. You deserve this – recognition of a beautiful poem, not flogging apples and pears!


  4. My heartiest congrats and best wishes for what promises to be a distinguishing oration.


  5. Congratulations Polly


  6. Good luck with the reading. I know you’ll wow them!


  7. Congratulations! 🙂


  8. Beautiful poetry.


  9. Oh Polly! Beautiful! Congratulations! I could hear your voice reading the words. You are one amazing poet 😉 Best wishes.


  10. Congratulations Polly…I’m sure the reading will go beautifully, wonderful poem! 🙂


  11. Pingback: Slants of Light readings and photos | Polly

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