Polly

Writings and Witterings


44 Comments

Dry January

Poetry is alive and well,
plus it’s Björn’s birthday – that’s so swell.
What celebrations there will be
lots to eat and drink; he’ll be merry,
unless he’s doing ‘Dry January,’
like folk in the UK for charity.
There are other ways to get a message across
without such promo’s and all that dross.
If we want to give, we’ll give and then
many will give and give again;
no need for novelties, or bigging up,
we just do it quietly, without all that truck.
Those who commit to a better world
can do without a public fuss unfurled,
they quietly get on with helping others,
not suggesting time needed to recover
from a month of no alcohol like we’re in prohibition.
All I say is…don’t make it a tradition.

Polly Stretton © 2015

For dVerse Open Link Night. Join in at Open Link Night – January


22 Comments

Acid Velvet

Nicotiana Alata 'Lime Green' acknowledgement to crocus.co.uk

Nicotiana Alata ‘Lime Green’ acknowledgement to crocus.co.uk

Acid Velvet

Strolling the paths
of my very first flower show,
gravelled with Nicotiana alata,
zesty lime masses soft in the sun.
Salver-shaped, fresh green leaves
wave in the breeze, utter
in the border,
inflorescent cluster of flora,
tobacco panicles
of a younger summer.
Acid velvet trumpets throw
a twilight scent beloved
of city and courtyard,
pour out fragrance for fluttering moths
in cottage gardens.
And I, at my first flower show
fall in love with Solanaceae
for life.

Polly Stretton © 2014


18 Comments

Persephone

This is the latest version of my ekphrastic poem about Persephone.

My Sweet Rose (or The Soul of the Rose) John William Waterhouse

My Sweet Rose (or The Soul of the Rose)
John William Waterhouse

Persephone

Radiant beauty,
goddess of the spring,
scent of the rose
against your brow’s wing;
fertile maid of life…and death.

Seeds of the fruits
of the field.

She meanders in meadows
of fragrant flowers,
roses, violets, hyacinths in bowers.
She’s seized, snatched,
carried off;
stolen by Hades
in a golden
four-horsed
chariot.

And Demeter weeps.

Odysseus at the House of Death
sees a wraith
to make one ache.

Persephone
becomes the curse of dead souls.
Men distrust her six months here,
six months there.

It is said:
“This is no deception sent by Queen Persephone,
this is the way of mortals when we die.”

Feel the horror queen’s light breath.

But wait!
A kindness yet,
to let the souls return.

Springtime Goddess of Rebirth –
mystery initiations –
sudden depressions give way to the mysteries,
a better life,
a different fate after death.

Repeat to the beginning,
seeds of the fruits
of the field.
All shall return.

She is the painted winecup,
she is: life and death,
wife, daughter,
innocence, wisdom,
death and rebirth.

And she stole the beautiful Adonis!
Oh yes!  A psychopomp…
with pomegranate seeds

and blessings
for wisdom and tranquillity.

Death
is not evil
’tis a cycle
for good.

Repeat to the beginning,
seeds of the fruits
of the field.
All shall return.

Polly Stretton © 2014


15 Comments

Mrs Smithfield Returns

Mrs Smithfield writes an ode
and, like a spy,
quietly slips
the blue lined pages
to me.

Her soft brown cardigan
– mohair –
sheds tiny pearlescent stud buttons.
A rural week amongst cruddy cows
and stupid sheep in summer sun,
hot on fields of hay,
yet cool, beautifully cool, gloriously cool
in shadowed woods.

Around a spitting campfire
crackling on parents’ night,
we sing Kumbayah to bemused
faces feasting on fish cakes with bread
and butter, swilling
mugs of hot sweet tea.
Jen and I made five hundred fish cakes:

‘Ridiculous,’ mother says.
‘How fantastic!’ says Mrs Smithfield.

Girls in dirndl skirts as Heidi,
or Cinderella
– a fancy dress competition –
others as two halves of a horse
made of chequered blankets
– no pearl buttons –
Jen and I win as chimney sweep
and chimney.

After,
Mrs Smithfield quietly slips
the blue lined pages
with a faint crackle
and an apologetic air,
to me.

Polly Stretton © 2014

Chimney sweep and chimney with cat Acknowledgement to www.dreamstime.com

Chimney Sweep and Chimney with Cat.
Acknowledgement to http://www.dreamstime.com


17 Comments

Arvon ‘The Story Line’ at The Hurst

A great week in Shropshire focussed on poetry – what a way to spend time. Wonderful surroundings, no internet or service for mobile phones, so a totally ‘cut off’ few days – very restful – and I even got some poems written! The Paper Maker appears in the post before this one 🙂 But without further ado…the photos, by me unless otherwise stated. Click on an image to see larger photos in the gallery: