Writings and Witterings


Fantastic Realism

Kieran drew out my prompt at Worcester Writers’ Circle and has written this splendid poem about the de Barros image.


Picture by Andre Martin de Barros

Poem prompt from Polly,

Andre Martin de Barros

Fantastic Realism

The glance of the lance,

drawing the eye to the lie

as it draws blood

by chance, a flood of art,

infested by those contested,

yet able

to play

at my empty table.

Unstable, the knight errant,

A deterrent

for would be kings,

mere inklings,

sheer inklings,

dear inklings.

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This poem 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, ‘Latent’ fits 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 © 2016