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Writings and Witterings


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Letter Writing In The Moonlight

Beneath the apple tree
all is still.
Night, as dark as her lover,
veils the lush grass;
bramble and thistle
scratch, inscribe the ground.

A mist hovers,
loathe to leave the river,
low down in the depths of the garden
where mud oozes
and the odour of damp
settles.

The bench is warm,
as graffitied as her heart.
Love holds her
like the mist—all pervasive—
toads and crickets mock,
‘Write’.

A moonbeam strikes
through cloud.
Clouds steal onwards
and soon the lawn
is shown in a puddle of silver light.
She puts pen to paper.

Polly Stretton © 2018

Written for and first published in the Worcestershire Poet Laureate Nina Lewis’s project: A Tale Of Two Cities, Contour eZine issue 3   With thanks to my collaborator, Beth Sweeney, who responded with a poem of her own, which you can see in the publication.


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No Creosote

In the potting shed
the scent of ancient creosote
wafts in heavy summer heat.
Years of grandpa, pipe in mouth,
leaning against the wall
as grandma wielded the black
brush and yelled,

‘Get back you
kids,’ followed by her gap-tooth grin.

She lives in the still-
standing walls…
no creosote now.

Polly Stretton © 2018

First published on this blog in 2014, this is a revised version – last week’s heat put me in mind of it.

Potting shed


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Poetry Stew

A little bit of Ars Poetica 🙂 First published on this website in 2012, lightly edited today.

Walt Whitman's use of free verse became apprec...

Walt Whitman’s use of free verse became appreciated by composers seeking a more fluid approach to setting text. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Poetry Stew

A little bit of this
and a little bit of that,
all mixed together in a poetry hat,
pull out nubile wordles
bash them all around,
organise the way they look,
smell and sound.
Stir ‘em into shape,
shake ‘em through and through,
let them have their say,
they’ll tell you what to do.
When the stew is finished,
finalised and done
then make some bread to go with it,
knead it just for fun.
Bread has connotations, solid,
formed it rises,
if the yeast is left out
there are no surprises.
Method is important
from limerick to sonnet,
free verse gives to poetry
yeast
to place upon it.

Polly Stretton © 2018


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January’s Super Blue Blood Moon

Tomorrow the moon is in Taurus,
First Quarter,
a young lunar grows,
never to falter;
tomorrow waxes gibbous
moves to Gemini,
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 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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Good News For A Squirrel!

Worcestershire Poet Laureate Nina Lewis has blogged about the event at Hanbury Hall at which I was asked to read my poem ‘Curves’. ‘Curves’ was selected by Peter Hawkins of Droitwich Arts Network (DAN) to be read at the close of the art exhibition. If you’d like to see the painting that inspired it, click here.

There will be readings from the Hanbury Hall poets at Park’s Cafe, 4 Victoria Square, Droitwich WR9 8DS on Tuesday 14th November 7.30 to 8.15pm – come along if you can 🙂

Curves

She owns it:
the branch.
She’s ready for summer
in a lighter coat.
Her curves tell
of coppery kittens
to be born later today,
two, three, or four will arrive
to inhabit the drey.

The painter’s sable brush,
pure,
soft as a blush
to define the narrow
smart face in a tuft-eared embrace.
A picture to enhance the repeated romance
of a cheeky red squirrel
in Norfolk.

The artist describes,
in faint, refined strokes,
sharp arced claws
curved in applause,
and a tail, balanced to guide
a talent that tints
the nut connoisseur,
against the bark
and spiky cones of the conifer.

Polly Stretton © 2017


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Beyond The Veil

Handkerchiefs, white twisted prayer,
sobs breach and break the mourning air,
death takes, will not be second-guessed,
a shroud beneath the lychgate rests.

The shelter with its angled roof
hears clattering of horses’ hooves,
covers the dear departed, blessed;
her shroud beneath the lychgate rests.

The bearers seated by the corpse
know flesh, bones, come to nothing, naught
to ponder, but in time accept,
a shroud beneath the lychgate rests.

From lych to church seems overlong,
they pause, they pray, they chant their song,
to see her pass this way – none guessed
a shroud around the lych would rest.

A hot ague shook her life away,
the children sobbed, begged her to stay,
but death took life, it sucked her breath,
a shroud beneath the lychgate rests.

Yet that was then and this is now,
time changes, untracked: marriage vow,
photo backdrop, bride with guests,
a shroud beneath the lychgate rests.

Spectres, spirits of the passed,
plague actors in the wedding cast,
this shady place does it oppress
if shrouds beneath the lychgate rest?

‘Death is the only deathless one’,[1]
time lingers brief, they’ve just begun,
this is for life, no trial or test,
a shroud beneath the lychgate rests.

Fading out the nuptial glitter,
shadows cast by bygone sitters,
carnation wilts upon his breast,
and shrouds beneath the lychgate rest.

The charm of years, a pretty place,
he gazes down on her sweet face,
craves togetherness, wedded, yes,
a shroud beneath the lychgate rests.

Polly Stretton © 2017


[1] John Payne (1842-1916)