journalread

Writings and Witterings


2 Comments

Frosted Web

Napowrimo small

Lacelike cobwebs creep the hedgerows
sharp as prying spiders’ eyes,
sequin-edged and spiky shining
clear spun sugar in disguise.

Lazy hips and haws lounge
as taut twigs cringe in fingered frost,
while fluffed-up scarlet-red and round,
a robin chirps for the worms he’s lost.

Polly Stretton © 2020

napowrimo #30

So, that’s my final poem for NaPoWriMo 2020 – hope you’ve enjoyed your daily dose of my poetry – hopefully my new collection ‘Growing Places’ will be out later this year.


Leave a comment

Final Bow

Napowrimo small
You were bought but a week ago,
bright and upright, blooming,
now you bow your browning heads,
like unkempt boys, no grooming.
Your fragrance, all consuming
fades away, there’s no resuming,
no comeback freshness looming,
You’re gone, no more perfuming.

Polly Stretton © 2020

napowrimo #29


2 Comments

Spider Bridge

Napowrimo small

In summer, walking Worcester Bridge,
we see a sight that makes us twitch.
Others stop and peer and stare
at spiders
dancing.

We don’t dare avert our eyes
as they spin webs to catch small flies,
but we watch and wonder,
peer and ponder
at the thousands,
or at least hundreds
of arachnids,
what a show!

Our amazement grows
at the human to spider ratio,
they cluster, muster round the lamps,
they’re busy making spider camps
on lights and pillars of the bridge
lined by trapped moth, gnat and midge. 

And big fat spiders.

Polly Stretton © 2020

Revised for napowrimo #28


4 Comments

Bluebells

Napowrimo small

English blue bluebell, harbinger of summer
bend and bow your weight in woods and shade,
drop your heads sweet mists of haze.
Dip down, dance, shiver shake prance,
chinkling and tinkling like infants’ laughter,
slender stems, slight tender tough,
fight off the advance of the Spanish Armada.

Polly Stretton © 2020

Revised for napowrimo #27


2 Comments

Echoes

Napowrimo small

In the present, from the past,
voices echo
sayings last
even when the body has gone,
what was said will linger on.
‘My mum used to say…’
‘My grannie too…’
‘My dad would have something to say to you.’
In the present, from the past,
voices echo,
echoes last.

Polly Stretton © 2020

napowrimo #26


2 Comments

Faerie Folk

Napowrimo small

They steal babies,
issue changelings,
whisk the breath from the weak and the dying,
suck on columbine, nectar, blood,
live in magical hedges in bud;
worry farmers, worry swine,
worry sheep
and creatures bovine.
With green-stained teeth,
sharp, pinlike, pointy,
bright waxed blond hair
that stands up dainty,
knuckled hands and fingers thin,
spikey nails and whiskered chins,
spite in faces, malice in eyes,
nothing can stop them;
they’re from the dark side.

Polly Stretton © 2020

napowrimo #25

 


7 Comments

Spade

Napowrimo small

My purpose is to turn the earth,
not to act as a perch
for a rust-ridden bird
made of nuts and bolts
no good for anything else.

My self abhors the chuckles
of passers-by,
they know not what I can handle:
I’ve toiled;
in soil I’ve turned;
I worked hard,

yet I was spurned
and then discarded,
now, I’m found.

Polly Stretton © 2020

Revised for napowrimo #24


11 Comments

Spring

Spring—a Huitain

Banish the blues with a red touch,
blend them purple for tomorrow,
boys and clinker don’t mean too much
warm debris for the wheelbarrow.
Pigeons perch on the old scarecrow,
who imagines lilacs in spring,
they watch the boy make a furrow
and prepare for life on the wing.

Polly Stretton © 2020

Revised for napowrimo #22


Leave a comment

Grandma’s Kitchen

Napowrimo small

In Grandma’s kitchen
the scented green slab
snaps from a green and yellow box.

A little lathered baby
walks atop wooden slats,
cleans between taps.

The soaked block of Fairy foam
pops to form honeycomb rings
and forms white, soggy,

fragrant films,
that trickle down
the Belfast sink.

Polly Stretton © 2020

napowrimo #20


12 Comments

Dad always did like Pam Ayres

Napowrimo small

A shadow of his former self,
my dad, in a hospital bed,
he’d broken his hip and a bit of his mind,
I’ll tell you what he said.

His close-mouthed lips formed these words:
‘Me teeth, me ruddy teeth!’
‘What about them Dad?’ I sighed,
‘Me teeth, me ruddy teeth.’

His face looked loppy-sided,
he didn’t try to grin,
I peered, to find the problem,
for sure, his teeth were in.

‘They’ve give me someone else’s,’
he lisped and almost bristled,
‘Let me see,’ I couldn’t bear
that when he spoke, he whistled.

His teeth were in, but upside-down,
he’d played these games before,
but this one was far preferable
to searching for teeth on the floor.

Polly Stretton © 2020

napowrimo #18


Leave a comment

Coeur Noir

Napowrimo small

Shabby pile of bones
under a black bridge.
You were found out;
talked to the hawk,
or a murder of crows.

Maybe your first love,
who found you
in flagrante
set you up,
or the second, the witness,
incredulous,
who did not wish
to believe.

Selfish, faithless,
you will be alone.
The black bridge won’t help,
it mocks,
celebrates bones,
droll bones,
beneath the bridge.

Polly Stretton © 2020

napowrimo #17


Leave a comment

The Pound Bank Wreck

Napowrimo small

Her blood drips down my arm,
our jumpers sodden crimson,
wet with tears and blood and snot.

I know it will be my fault.
I lie across her, the thundering roundabout
clangs over two small bodies,

there and gone, there and gone.
We’re too scared to move.
She sobs, squirms, heaves.

Someone’s run off shrieking, “Help! Help!”
A hundred hours later, her cries slow
she shudders, trembles, the tears don’t cease.

Help comes and stops the playground.
A circle of solemn friends watch
as she’s taken away.

Polly Stretton © 2020

napowrimo #15

 

Roundabout.jpg

Acknowledgement to pinterest

 


Leave a comment

The Dogs’ W-A-L-K

Napowrimo small

Time for dogs to stroll,
as sun beats through shade in cedar.
Beneath feet, tunnels mole,
while insects follow-my-leader.

The dogs don’t play the game,
they raise an eye, a brow,
‘Don’t care’ they sniff, declaim,
‘it’s too hot anyhow.’

White umbels hum and hover,
an alien craft swoops, dips then towers
above grasses’ itchy pother,
and burdock in full flower.

Rust green spires spring
over yellow tilted shades,
hear bombus choirs sing
over parasol parades.

Echoes heard,
warm summer words,
calls of birds,
dogs doze, droop, demur.

Polly Stretton © 2020

napowrimo #13


Leave a comment

Fawn

Napowrimo small

I am a fawn,
I live in woodland and forests
and don’t mind a gentle stroll on a quiet moor or hill.
Grass, bilberries, heather
and tree shoots make me happy.
Mum hides me in thickets
—bracken can be prickly—
Mum says it’s safer
until I’m big enough not to freeze;
she barks if anything comes too close.
But she bleats to me.
My mum’s called a doe and Dad is a stag;
guess I am too.

My pedicles itch,
they’ll become antlers with soft grey velvet.
Dad’s velvet hangs in tatters,
he’s over there, rubbing it off
against trees and bushes;
Mum says it’s called ‘cleaning’.
Doesn’t look very clean to me,
the horn’s stained with sap and tannins.

My coat is spotted,
dappled, pommelled, it’ll change soon,
my winter pelt: red-russet-brown.
There’s a myth about us
living thrice the age of man,
nonsense, of course,
but it would be good.
When my belly’s full, I can eat no more,
so I ruminate.

I doze, I wake,
I doze, I wake.

Polly Stretton ©2020

napowrimo #11


4 Comments

Family Palms

Napowrimo small

I meet him halfway,
in a café
between his home and mine.

My heart rants and rails,
impaled, yet veiled.
We walk slowly—at first—
then we run.
Overwhelmed—together.

He wears a tweed jacket,
rough and fragrant;
hugs me close
like we’ve known each other always.

Inside the café, we can’t stop,
can’t stop talking,
—talking—
until I notice his hands,
his hands.

I take his in my own,
turn it palm upwards
—mine too—
there’s no doubt:
carbon copies.
Father and daughter meet at last.

Hands revealed.
Hearts unveiled
in the palms of our hands

Polly Stretton © 2020

napowrimo #10