Polly

Writings and Witterings


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Contour Issue 2 LOVE

What an exceptional and inspiring read. Wonderful poetry. If I had to select one fave, I’d have to say I love Mark Kilburn’s poem ‘The Child We Can Never Have.’

Poet Laureate

Contour Issue 2It is here! It is here! It is FINALLY here! 

The first issue of Contour was 33 pages and took 9 hours to format. I thought that experience was tough. This issue was framed before submissions closed to give me a head start on production and the poetry element has only ever needed a little tweaking – it was the rest of the pages that tumbled on top of each other through conversion. 

I gave up on new-added-page-numbers after the 7th attempt caused major rearrangement of titles and headings. 

I stopped counting after 19 hours but it has been an incredible labour of love… and here it is ^^^ as if none of this happened! 

All shiny and new and packed with over 50 pages of poetry, news, interviews and more. 

Please share it widely and thanks once again for submitting your work. 

ENJOY! 

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January’s Super Blue Blood Moon

Tomorrow the moon is in Taurus,
a First Quarter,
a young lunar growing
it never falters;
tomorrow waxes gibbous
moving to Gemini,
a slight sliver of disk
sexy in night skies.
Oxygen, silicon,
other traces…
we speculate, appreciate,
as phases pass faces.

But tonight…
the full moon,
a total lunar eclipse,
a blue moon,
and a supermoon
all happening
at once.

Polly Stretton © 2018

With acknowledgement to www.sanhujinka.org

With acknowledgement to http://www.sanhujinka.org


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Submitting to journals: the Jo Bell method

A goodie from Jo Bell circa 2015––sound advice for poets.

The Bell Jar: Jo Bell's blog

Capture

[This article is now taught as part of the Open University’s Creative Writing MA, and I’ve had many many messages to tell me that people have increased their publication record, sometimes by 200% in a year. It’s also included in our new book How to Be a Poet]

I’ve spent some time lately with poetry journal editors – and also with the poor beggars who, like me, send off work to them. It’s struck me anew that many people, especially those at the beginning of their writing career, don’t have much idea of how submission works and what time span is realistic for an editor to consider a poem. Also, they’re wondering how to keep tabs on the seventeen different pieces that they’ve sent out, in order to avoid the no-no of simultaneous submission.

What follows is the Jo Bell Method; the method of an immensely, award-winningly disorganised poet who nonetheless has…

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Folk Like Us / Winds Of Change

My poem below is an ekphrastic poem based on a painting by Graham Wilson entitled Saturday Morning, you can see some of Graham’s art by clicking here. The poem was written as part of a project for Droitwich Arts Network for their exhibition in the Long Gallery at Hanbury Hall. It’s a scene in which, when you first see it, all appears to be full of cheer. The family and their neighbours in a terraced street are all out in their back gardens doing their weekend chores. Like most art there is more to be seen ‘beneath the surface’.

And here is a photo of the painting, with many thanks to fab artist Graham Wilson, who has given his permission for me to reproduce the photo here.

Saturday Morning–Graham Wilson

Acknowledgement to Graham Wilson – Artist

Folk Like Us / Winds Of Change

Open waistcoat, tinted glasses,
fat black moustache;
he’s willing the teddy-boy
to mend the bike.
1950’s Middle England,
post-war, pre-PC; transitions,
pop-music is positioned
to take over the world.

The wind streams fragrant smoke
and waves the washing away…
no sooty sheets today.
Broken fences scatter,
they don’t matter
in a jovial terraced scene;
a typical weekend for folk like us.

Mum, pinnied, scarved, lugs the prop,
her girl holds a basket of clothes aloft.
The dog’s on alert,
and look, there’s Bert
tending his pigeons,
braces crossed,
—Bert never goes out without braces—

The baby hears the wind,
sheets flap, prop scrapes, bike engine stutters,
dog barks, and the boy in the shed
fires his cap-gun. ‘BANG’.
It makes baby jump.
Mum—the one with the red hat–
tucks the blankets closer.
The baby’s wrapped up snug,
as the winds of change blow.

Polly Stretton © 2017


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The Bone Curse, A Supernatural Medical Thriller, Advance Reader Copy #Giveaway

A new book from Carrie Rubin!

Carrie Rubin

Medicine has no cure for evil…

The Bone Curse by Carrie Rubin

🔹If you got cut by an old bone in the Paris catacombs and your Haitian friend swore it cursed you, would you believe her?

🔹If people close to you succumbed to a grisly illness with no medical cure, would you start to have doubts?

🔹If a practitioner of dark magic hungered for your blood and threatened your family, would you suspend everything you believe to be true and enter an occult world as foreign to you as it is frightening?

In The Bone Curse, if Ben Oris wants to save his loved ones from a deadly illness, that’s exactly what he must do.

With the help of his Haitian friend, this rational, logical, science-minded med student must use Vodou to find a cure. But first, he must battle the mysterious priest who’s bent on vengeance and determined to have Ben’s blood as his…

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Trading On The Silk Road

A recent documentary told of the trade route from East to West, ancient, modern, the wares sold and transported, the towns, villages and people along the way, yet I observed a side of this road not often seen, and rarely televised.

Trading On The Silk Road

At the side of the road,
the great Silk Road:
skulls.
Goat skulls,
mule skulls,
skeletons of sheep,
ravaged bones of rats;
on the outskirts of vision
a flash of mountain lion,
the whip of a sand snake,
dust rises, coughing;
old age,
overwork.

Polly Stretton 2017

 


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Merry Christmas

Lovely selection of Christmassy poems from Worcestershire Poet Laureate Nina Lewis 😄

Poet Laureate

merry-christmas-2930882_1920May your holiday season be filled with friends, family, happiness and love. 

Create a quiet moment with a poem. Go on, treat yourself… it is Christmas after all! I have posted some to listen to from Soundcloud for the super busy.

https://www.poemhunter.com/poems/christmas/

A Child’s Christmas In Wales – Dylan Thomas

http://www.americanpoems.com/poets/sylviaplath/1377

Balloons – Sylvia Plath

http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/lucy_maud_montgomery/poems/3529.html

The Christmas Night – Lucy Maud Montgomery

http://www.southerncrossreview.org/44/auden-oratio.htm

Christmas Oratio – W.H. Auden

http://www.poetry-archive.com/c/little_tree.html

little tree – e.e. cummings

Merry Christmas! 

Peace on Earth. 

Nina Lewis x

Worcestershire Poet Laureate

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