Writings and Witterings



He knew.
He thought he knew, there would be
It opened up,
a black hole with white frosted spikes.
He did not witness
the evil taste, the smell
of the tainted
Instead, external aggression by
ships dragging anchors.

‘There’s more than one way,’
they said,
‘this is not a mirage.
‘Wait, it cannot be avoided.
‘excuses will be exposed.’
‘The present determines the future, but
the approximate present does not
approximately determine the future.’
‘Your time may come
‘to witness sabotage.’


Polly Robinson 2013


WLF Walk ~ There and Back Again

We had a wonderful day on the hills with our Poets in the Mist and a fab open mic session afterwards at The Malvern Hills Hotel ~ mega-thanks to all who contributed. There’s a full article beneath the slideshow below ~ first, here’s a copy of Gary Longden’s poem, which tells you all about our missing Poet Laureate …

‘A Laureate Goes Missing’

by Gary Longden

We’ve lost the Poet Laureate, she should be at the bench,
We’ve lost the Poet Laureate, a comely buxom wench.
She said she would be waiting, with wit and verse and rhyme,
She said she would be waiting, as we began to climb.
Perhaps she’s been absorbed in the mystic swirling mist?
Or perhaps, after a heavy night, she’s still comatose, still pissed?
She didn’t pay the car park charge – she’s pretty wild like that,
And if the parking attendant looms, she can charm him with her chat.
She wouldn’t stand for a parking fine – no official can browbeat her,
Because she uses poetic, not poxy parking metres.

The very first Worcestershire Literary Festival Walk with poets at strategic points on the Malvern Hills took place Sunday 21st October. The event was immediately dubbed ‘Poets in the Mist’ as we all met at the British Camp car park surrounded by swirling fog. Some twenty-five walkers started the walk and followed the walk-leader, bright in a high-vis jacket. They were accompanied by many dogs and followed by late arrivals, the Austen family ~ therein lies a tale.

Worcestershire Poet Laureate, Maggie Doyle, was to have been the first poet ‘strategically placed’ on the first bench as the walk commenced. The walkers reached the bench … no Maggie. Mobile phones were extracted from deep pockets but no joy; no sign of the missing laureate ~ oh dear. They decided to walk on. Unbeknownst to them, some ten minutes earlier, the Malvern Gazette photographer abducted Maggie! He knew that she was to be situated on the bench, but no, he decided he needed a clearer ‘backdrop’ and took her, bad back and all, further up the hill ~ to the consternation of a very nice man who came to tell me that they’d gone to the right up the hill as opposed to left down the hill. When the Austen family arrived, they heard the very nice man and went to the right rather than the left and subsequently got their photos in the paper 🙂 Click the blue hyperlink to see the Malvern Gazette photo

In the meantime, I was in the car park pending the arrival of other late-comers. After a few minutes no-one else arrived and I got bored. I set off up the hills after the walkers only to be accosted by said press photographer. ‘Oh!’ said he, ‘I’m glad to see you! Maggie’s up there and I’m a bit worried about her getting down again, it’s slippery.’ Following a brief conflab ‘bench, bad back’ etc, I went in search of Maggie. ‘Maggie! Maggie! Where are you!’ No reply. But then! A vision! There she was walking out of the mist towards me ~ phew!

Our poet at Clutter’s Cave (also known as Giant’s Cave / Waum’s Cave) was the caped Jenny Hope sporting a hare walking stick; her poetry is simply superb and she held us enthralled ~ other passers-by stopped to listen and a birthday party group stopped and enjoyed Jenny’s reading.

In warm blue tunic and cape ~ poetical garb for sure ~ our third poet was Anglo-Saxon specialist and actor, Math Jones. Again, the walkers were held spellbound as he gave them ‘Puck in Love’ on the way up and ‘The Magic Pig’ on the way back.

The poet occupying our furthest reach, ‘Poet’s Point’ ~ actually one of the entrances to the archaic fort at Midsummer Hill ~ was Liz Hayden-Jones. Liz, an experienced walker, who had dressed for the weather, unmissable in a red and blue coat she was joined by poet Jennifer Boden with more wonderful poetry. Following a photo shoot the group walked back to find Maggie, finally, on the bench. Now it was time for The Malvern Hills Hotel, where the room was readied and waiting.

There were eighteen spectacular five-minute performances at The Malvern Hills Hotel. We had food and drink, a nice warm room downstairs just for us; a grand end to a fab day. Two of the children read their poetry, which was special. And you’ll have seen some of the poems written about Maggie’s escapades. Gary’s is repeated further up this page and here is Myfanwy Fox’s poem to be read out loud:

Lost Laureate

by Myfanwy Fox

We missed
Maggie Doyle, missed
in the mist;
there was no vist-
a. We thought she’d be pissed
off but she’d been kissed
by publiss-
ity; a tryst
ing our exist-
ing list
of poetry set in the midst
of mist
where wist-
ful missuses
might be missed
if you get the gist
I’ll desist.

‘Let’s do it again!’ I foolishly proposed, and they all went ‘Yes!’ So we’re thinking of a Midsummer Eve (21 June 2013) repeat of the walk ending on Midsummer Hill starting at 19:30, £5 each, no charge for children, all proceeds to WLF, bring your own picnic and a poem to read out loud. Hope to see you there 🙂


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.

If you follow this link Nain Rouge it will take you to the page entitled White Cat Publishing / Nain Rouge First Edition, click on the black and white photo and a .pdf will download, my poem is on page 23 surrounded by other dVerse poets’ work.  Great to see Gayle‘s superb poem about Boston as editor’s choice on the first page 🙂


Blood Diamonds

Nearly there … just this one and Day 22 to complete and I’m up-to-date!  Day 29 and I cannot find a prompt from napowrimo – oh no!  I’ll have to come up with something myself *racks brain* … OK, I have it … hope you think so too.

Blood Diamonds

November 2000 and police intercept a gang
Who plan to smash into the Millennium Dome,
To steal diamonds worth a mere
£200 million.

They intend to escape in a speedboat
On the Thames, like a James Bond film!
Conflict diamonds, synthetic diamonds,

Blood diamonds.
The monopoly is threatened.
Hidden hoarders of diamonds are scared.
Vast, is the hoard of secret diamonds,

Worth billions, yes billions.
A fall in the value of diamonds?
A catastrophe!
Ah, but we love diamonds, because they are

They are, (and we all know this),
Quite simply, a girl’s

Marilyn sang the famous song
About it
So …
It must be true …

And yet, the sadness of
Pain, politics and cruelty
Encrusts blood diamonds.

Polly Robinson © 2012

The Millennium Dome, London, UK


House of Beauty

And our prompt for napowrimo Day 16 is based on the idea of a picture being worth a thousand words — napowrimo posted three pictures, all loosely based around the idea of the ocean, the sea snail was the one that I picked to inspire the following poem.

House of Beauty

A house of beauty

You carry fathoms deep

Tucked in amongst flotsam and jetsam

Aqualine iced blues merge to grazing greens

Whilst your sluggy mollusc body leaves a trail unseen

Below the choppy waves

Polly Robinson © 2012


To British Weather

A palm tree seen through many raindrops.

The prompt for Day 17 from napowrimo was to write an epistolary poem — a poem in the form of a letter.

‘… include at least 4 of the below in your poem:

1) a song lyric
2) a historical fact
3) an oddball adjective-noun combination (like red grass or loud silence)
4) a fruit
5) the name of a street in your neighbourhood
6) a measure of distance.’

Quite a challenge, I felt.  Here is my response:

To British Weather

Today you are for me
And against me.
Raindrops keep falling on my head
You invite me to catch up
With things I
Should have done
Could have done
Didn’t do.

An interruption, intrusion!
An amazing fact is that
Animals can
Rain from the sky,
Don’t ask me why,
I looked it up
To satisfy
A requirement,
A demand,
For a poetic challenge.

One hundred yards away
Is Crown East Lane,
Where you can buy
Soft, hand-made, fragrant leather gloves
Near the Church of St Thomas.
Here, at harvest time,
The children bring baskets of
Apples, pears,
Plums and damsons.

Anyway, weather,
Where were we
Before I so
Rudely interrupted me?
Oh yes, catching up with
The things
I should have,
Could have,
And didn’t

No chance of
Don’t want to
Get drowned.
You are for me
In words,
You are
Against me

I listen and hear,
Raindrops keep falling on my head
Dribbling, scribbling
On the windows
Dripping, gripping
The brickwork,
Soaking, cloaking
The wooden, now wet and dark,
Garage door.
And inhale the freshness of moist drops – the scent of rain.

Polly Robinson © 2012



Day 18 – write a lullaby

Catching up nicely now!  This will teach me to fall behind – an epic poetry writing day 🙂


Listen to mama, shhhh, shhhh,
Loving you so,
Close your eyes, shhhh, shhhh,
To beddlums you go.

Into your dreams, shhhh, shhhh,
Quiet and near,
Slumber so close, shhhh, shhhh,
Soft voice in your ear.

My hand strokes your brow, shhhh, shhhh,
Child of mine,
Your scent fills me up, shhhh, shhhh,
My babe so fine.

Listen to mama, shhhh, shhhh,
Loving you so,
Close your eyes, shhhh, shhhh,
To beddlums you go.

Polly Robinson © 2012

Cradle Chair