Writings and Witterings



first earlies, small and new,
maincrop stored for winter.
Clay and earth
turned to tilth,
rough handled spade
leaves splinters.
Apples ripen
and are wrapped
in newspaper
staining fingers.

In the cellar
down stone steps
the clatter of heels.
In the cold,
breath freezes.
The dog in its kennel,
head on paws;
looks from under brows
then moves eyes to the side,
as if to say, ‘Go away.’

A place of lacquered music boxes,
globes, clocks, a box of matches:
laughter, anger.

High praise and low
days are common.
Rows end in tears
and gladness.

Polly Stretton © 2015


28 thoughts on “Familiar

  1. You painted a wonderful picture here Polly. I could see it all before me 🙂


  2. Sounds like my grandmother’s house where I spent many a childhood summer… very familiar indeed. Reassuring, comforting.


    • Glad you enjoyed it Marina – I guess it will be familiar to some and can’t help but feel a little bit sorry for those who never experienced such a home…born lucky, ‘eh? 🙂


  3. We didn’t have cellars so thank you for taking me along! 🙂


    • Ah…but you probably had basements…not so very different perhaps? But our cellar was below ground, so dark…spooky…with many, many spiders 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • In southern California? No! I did see a few while up in Canada but they had been ‘finished off’ and wouldn’t fit the description. 😉


  4. As always, you invoke all the senses in your readers. “In the cold, breath freezes.”—-Just reading that makes me want a cup of tea! Wonderful. 🙂


  5. Beautiful. It brought back my memories too. I remember harvesting both apples and potatoes. We had a cold cellar with a resident toad!


  6. This is lovely Polly, reminds me of days gone by.


  7. Wonderfully familiar to me Polly! The cellar and the apple picking and wrapping in newspaper – those were the days. I could smell the earth too, and those gorgeous new potatoes which actually tasted of something! 😊


  8. This brings back lovely comfy memories of my own childhood…..those days when families were more self-sufficient & daily life was precious


    • Thanks, I think it’s Pixie I’m replying to…but you’ve come through as ‘Anonymous’ – hey-ho, glad ‘Familiar’ was familiar to you 🙂


  9. Yes, this is lovely, Polly! Love the phrase, “first earlies,” that made me smile. Your observation about the dog, how it moves its eyes as though the eyes have the power of a computer mouse, to move you to the side… that was a moment of inspiration. Amy


    • Ha! Her name was Sally (the dog) the daughter of my father’s favourite Jack Russell terrier. Her eyes were so expressive. 🙂


  10. Beautiful verses… Best wishes, Aquileana 😀


  11. Such a lovely visceral sensuous poem. Really like the scents and stains here! Thanks, Polly. Hope all is well. k.

    Liked by 1 person

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