Writings and Witterings


The Silence of Emptiness

In the silence of my room
I hear a sob
I know it can’t be me
I swore no tears for you.

Yet a curse is no ally
against an empty bed
empty arms
where you once fit

Blinding ache
in the core
serpent bite
of bitter love
no more.

Laughing no more
trying no more
dancing no more
no more.


Polly Stretton © 2016


Sunlit Still

In response to the sepia photograph prompt at The Mag which was a new find for me in 2012 – now taking a bit of a break – this ekphrastic poem:

Sunlit Still

Captured for
all time
in the silent

A sunlit room,
in time
in a snapshot of time.

Unlit candles
cast darkness on sills.
A frozen head
time stands still.

It is 10:30.
It remains 10:30.
It will never be other
than 10:30.

Polly Stretton © 2016


Chasing the Moment

I wish to paint
in the finest water colours.
…and to walk
then soak in a scented bath for hours.
I’d like to dip a brush
into the essence of wild flowers
in that instant, the moment,
that chases the lightest of showers.

Polly Stretton © 2016



First line from ‘The Munich Mannequins’ by Sylvia Plath – it always put me in mind of Michelangelo, I’ve never forgotten reading ‘The Agony and the Ectasy’ – need to read it again now…


‘Perfection is terrible, it cannot have children,’
sterile, frustrated, it comes to decay.
Michelangelo wept when he found perfection,
took up his hammer to do it away.
None stayed his hand as he lunged at his David
breaking his heart on that cool summer day,
birthing his talent
the last chip was chipped off
the warm marble block with its dust sweet bouquet.
confection of lies.
Conception of lies.
He did it away.

Polly Stretton © 2016



Ulysses and the Sirens_Herbert James Draper

Ulysses and the Sirens – Herbert James Draper           c. 1909


Lashed to the mast
of a ship,
he wouldn’t do the wrong thing.
Lilting, seductive, the sirens
would not induce him,
would not lure him
to the rocks.

He knew
that willpower can be used up.
Instant gratification,
long-term reward,
curbed emotions reduce physical strength.
Like a tank of petrol,
willpower can run out.

Polly Stretton © 2016


Acid Velvet

Nicotiana alana - lime - anniesannuals.com

With acknowledgement to anniesannuals.com

Acid Velvet

I stroll gravelled paths
at my first flower show,
zesty lime masses soft in the sun:
Nicotiana alata.
Salver-shaped leaves
wave in the breeze, utter
in the border,
a flutter of inflorescent flora,
tobacco panicles
of a younger summer.
Acid velvet trumpets throw
a twilight scent;
chime of colour beloved
in city and courtyard,
fragrance pours for moths
muttering in cottage gardens.
And I, at my first flower show
fall in love with Solanaceae
for life.

Polly Stretton © 2016


Pity Of The City

Full Beaver Moon – 25 November 2015 (always in November) The time of year to set beaver traps before the big freeze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. It’s suggested that the name Full Beaver Moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now actively preparing for winter. It is sometimes also referred to as the Frosty Moon or Hunter’s Moon.

worcester full moon by cathedral - worcesternews.co.uk

Full Moon beside Worcester Cathedral – photo acknowledgement to Worcester News worcesternews.co.uk

Pity Of The City

A dark tale for the baleful Beaver Moon,
the one that sky-lurks tonight:
face lours, eyes glower, glimmering
light emits from pits;
the pity of the city wraps
an evanescence of a smirk
in the murk,

Shades shirk light on earth;
moonshine works to earn
noir histoire.
Tauntingly haunting crooks in alleys,
capes folded, in wait
for a stumbling gait,
imbibers of a jar
or two…

Ghouls wield needles, knives,
shiver and shrive
to priests of the dark;
leave their mark,
a fusty tang, taint of doom; bloodletters
think of mortality only as banality,
forgetting that death comes to all…
and it’s only a frostbitten





Polly Stretton © 2015