Writings and Witterings

Here I Am…


…did you miss me? πŸ˜‰

I’ve been away at The Hurst, on a wonderful Arvon course with ace poet Holly Magill. We had a fab time with tutors Patience Agbabi and Luke Kennard, and guest poet Katrina Naomi.
Here is a poem that came out of one of the sessions during which we discussed characters in poetry πŸ™‚

The Paper Maker

Left, right, left, right,
quick march,
reams of paper,
white and starched.
Order restored,
all in place,
a gross for Mr Johnson
at the Poetry Place.

My name’s Charley,
Charley Waite,
β€˜course, they call me
Paper Waite,
the bloody kids
who want a job,
all through the summer.

They should be like me,
left school at fifteen,
did me no harm as you can see.
Stopping conscription
in nineteen sixty:
the worst thing that happened
for our kids.

Little shits,
graffiti-ing the mill.
I’ll give β€˜em β€˜summer job,’
they’ll get bugger all.
They can scrub
and clean
β€˜til those bricks
are pristine,

Left, right, left, right,
quick march,
reams of paper,
white and starched.
Order restored,
all in place,
a gross for Miss Chard
at the Post Office.

Polly Stretton Β© 2014

…and here are some marvellous photos courtesy of Richard Stephenson, all having a great time – click on the images to enlarge πŸ™‚

Arvon poets at The Hurst 2014 - by Richard Stephenson

Arvon poets at The Hurst 2014 – by Richard Stephenson

Fun on the final night - by Richard Stephenson

Fun on the final night – by Richard Stephenson


25 thoughts on “Here I Am…

  1. Ooh, a little snark to this one! I like it. πŸ™‚


  2. There she is!! πŸ˜‰


  3. Love the rhythm of this poem Polly


  4. Welcome back Polly. You are always missed when away. I do enjoy when you take the gloves off a bit! πŸ˜‰
    How cool to be in a group with Holly herself! I’ve been following her for a few years now and never get enough! She is amazing! xx


    • heh-heh…we were asked to write a poem about (?) the (?) was a slip of paper with an occupation on it that we each had to write, then they were shuffled and given out…I got ‘The Paper Maker’ and this poem was the result. Fab exercise!
      As for Holly…we met at a spoken word event where we were both reading for the first time, back in 2011. Two terrified poets giving support to each other. Holly told me about blogging! And you’re right, she’s ace πŸ™‚


  5. Great poem Polly from a prompt! I cant do that at all! I sit in James’s classes and cant write anything for toffee until I get home and it’s half way through the next week!! Lol

    So great, two good poet friends away together at a place such as this. Ive been following Holly for a couple of years; I love all her work. I tell her every poem is my favourite so far! She has been very supportive of my work as a beginner.

    I hope Im getting better and improving; I think I am. There, Ive said it instead of berating myslf, which James said he will give me lines for if I keep doing it! 😊


    • Polly and I had a ball last week, Christine. One of the many reasons I love our Polly is that she and I are inspired by such different things and yet we compliment one another – kindred spirits. I always know I can rely on Polly for accuracy and practical feedback. And of course, we confuse *everyone* as a duo “PollyandHolly” – which is which? πŸ˜‰


    • James will be proud of you, Christine πŸ™‚ you did make me giggle re ‘lines’ πŸ˜€


  6. Polly, so cool to see this poem here – I was sat the opposite side of the table when you read your first draft for the group and it’s great to see the finished product. I can see the Papermaker in person from your words. I think he likes tweed…


  7. Also, loving Richard’s pics and your new “trees” banner photo – I’m sure I saw your “tree with a face in it” on my wander in the woods on Friday night…!


  8. You two remind me of the song that says “we go together like peaches and cream…” πŸ˜„


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