journalread

Writings and Witterings


Leave a comment

Haunting

A gothic tale from ‘The Alchemy of 42’

A Transylvanian melody chimes through the night.
The air is still and warm, there is no trace of light.
He haunts the forest glades and the castle where she lies,
she strains to hear his footsteps, her hopes can’t be disguised,
she knows he’s coming for her, yet no fear shows in her eyes.

She wants to keep this castle, comprehends he can’t resist,
knew it from All Hallows’ when he stole a hard-pressed kiss,
knew it by her father’s pale and trembling lips,
knew it from her mother’s stark forbidding hiss.

She enjoys his sense of style, his dark and brooding brow,
his high and sculpted cheekbones, his skin white-cold, ice-sallow;
in his cape of burnished black, he is the maniac
the villagers with their garlic fear and dread.
She smiles at the thought of the crosses they have wrought
to stop him ascending to her bed.

She discerns her soul will wince when she hears the chimes, since,
when discord climbs the stairs, he’ll try to claim her for his own.
The scent of juniper, aromatic, spiced, sincere,
is the harbinger she’s counted on; dreamt about for years.

A rap upon her door, her pulse races, her mind roars,
she plans to keep this castle and will do evermore.
He leans in close towards her, his cape as soft as zephyrs,
it sweeps her pure white nightgown as he slowly travels down;
his breath, a mist of insight, strokes her furrowed frown.
His teeth glint in the moonlight, from her, he’ll get no swift flight,
she arches, plunges in the knife…

He’ll not take the castle from her, not deny her of her home,
but of one thing she is certain, it won’t be far he’ll roam.
The haunting now commences and continues till the dawn,
she licks her lips: a killing, and legends to be spawned.

Shared with dVerse Poets (2015)

The Alchemy of 42, Black Pear Press (2020)


19 Comments

Latent

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.

Latent

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

 


18 Comments

Nain Rouge—First Edition

A little while ago, the members of dVerse Poet’s Pub were invited to submit poems to Nain Rouge a start-up online publication showcasing urban life.  This invitation came during the celebration of the dVerse first year anniversary.  The assignment was to write a poem about city life.

Sadly, this link to Nain Rouge no longer takes you to the page, but you can see my poem at Morning Town Ride.  Great to see Gayle‘s superb poem about Boston as editor’s choice on the first page 🙂


36 Comments

Homage To Mondrian

With acknowledgement to: anthroposophie.net

Linking up with MeetingTheBar, hosted by Victoria over at dVerse —it’s all about balance…

Homage to Mondrian

Avant-garde minimalist, stunning,
Piet Mondrian made the running,
black, white, opposing pairs,
primary colours—oblongs, squares.
strict Dutch Calvinist, he did his duty,
yet used intuition for basic forms of beauty,
a Utopian ideal, of order, harmony, rhythm,
his paintings neat, neoplasticism,
pure abstract control freak,
his technique,
“…more or less Cubist
…more or less pictorial”
symmetry avoided. A memorial:
aesthetic balance through opposition,
driven to simplify, a man with a mission.

Polly Stretton © 2012

Nederlands: Anoniem. Piet Mondriaan. 1899. Den...

Nederlands: Anoniem. Piet Mondriaan. 1899. Den Haag, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


28 Comments

Beyond The Pale

I agree with Brian from dVerse, the Carroll square poem is a beast to do!  Samuel Peralta is wicked!

Beyond The Pale

When he moves beyond the pale
he turns towards the darker man;
moves towards his blood host grimly,
beyond the blood mist, the gaols,
the darker host, the vampire child.
pale man grimly gaols child, defiled.

If a Carroll square poem works it can be read right to left and top to bottom. Below, I have spaced it to make reading it top to bottom easier and to show it more clearly:

Polly Stretton © 2012


76 Comments

Lamb

Cute lambs  5

Back in 2012, over at dVerse, Gay Cannon asked ‘What is modern?’ and also asked us to write a Triversen poem—I guess we all have our own take on what is modern—it seems to me to be a word that is used in many different ways…anyway, here is my Triversen poem, the form was invented by William Carlos Williams.

Now, in 2015, Grace asks us if we have a favorite spring poem to share—so here it is again 🙂

Lamb

At the start of spring sunshine
in May, a clamour occurs,
an ignominious din.

She sees the lambs born
on a cool sunny morn, stumble;
bumble, late in the daylight.

The sun rises at four,
red, ruby, gold glows up high
and christens the new-born babes.

It comes round, it goes around,
it returns on this morning
of joy, of hope, of new lives.

Polly Stretton © 2012

Over at dVerse Poets, Gay had us writing Triversen  in 2012—it’s harder than it looks—go and see for yourself! Republished in 2015 for Grace’s prompt about springtime.