Writings and Witterings

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Sod’s Law

Napowrimo small

There’s always something to scupper a plan,
the printers aren’t printing, no woman nor man
handles rolling machines, all sweat and sheen,
that clatter forth with our fine magazine.
No worries, I’ll send the mag files online,
only five to print out for those who decline
to use a computer or email; we cater
for those who prefer to use quill and paper.
But my HP printer runs out of ink,
I insert a refill and restart the print.
Just five to print out, no trouble at all,
but my little stapler hits a brick wall.
The mag is too thick for the stapler to cope,
what to do? Online delivery! I hope
they’ll have a stapler to deal with the heft,
if they can’t manage that, I’ll be bereft.
‘Oh yes,’ they say, ‘heavy duty we do,
‘give us a day and we’ll get it to you.’
I bet you can guess what the next line will be,
that’s right, I’m still waiting, it’s day number three!

Polly Stretton © 2020

napowrimo #4

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Calling the Years

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They call through the years
childlike yet adult,
they grew,
as did we.
Photos tell of times
they may not remember,
but memories form
around saved images.

We argue
about Uncle Cliff,
‘He was dark.’
‘No, he was fair.’
‘He was in shadow there;
‘he diminishes with age.’
‘Aunt Rose smelled of perfume.’
‘She would,
‘she worked in a department store
‘on the cosmetics counter.’
Uncle Cliff’s tweed jacket,
the aroma of Condor,
he died of lung cancer,
had a cleft in his chin
like Craig Douglas,
but Cliff was more handsome.

We went to the little shop
at the top of our road.
Uncle Cliff bought
eight Black Jacks
and Fruit Salad
for an old penny.
Aunt Rose
left a tanner
on the dressing table.
The doctor wouldn’t warm his hands over the oil stove
because he had to go out again
into the snow.
My heart cringed at the cold stethoscope.
You cried.

Polly Stretton © 2020

napowrimo #3


Bridge of Scope

Napowrimo 2020


I write, create on the bridge between two places,
imagining feelings, imagining faces
alive with care and laughter and hope,
knowing there’s room, knowing there’s scope
for people all over the world to join in
on my bridge, a span where everyone’s welcome.

Polly Stretton © 2020

napowrimo #1

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The Lake at The Fold

Solitary fish all faced the sun,
I saw them each and every one,
the early morning frost was gone
and the warmth at the top of the pond
brought them up for me to see,
sunbathing carp, one two three,
starting their springtime tan,
sun worshipping, chillin’.

Polly Stretton © 2020



With acknowledgement to



In the albums of my life
solid and fleeting;
the first holiday snapshots,
moments pickled in time,
preserved on shiny card,
rarely reviewed.
Another box holds couples:
some are me and he,
whoever the he was, in transience.
There’s a box for disappointments.
Ah, wait, it’s the same as the second
with a few thrown in
for the paths not followed.
Then there are those for children,
or the lack of children.

Polly Stretton © 2019