Writings and Witterings


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


The Bedevilled Student

There once was a student
bedevilled by doubt,
should he stay in and study,
or should he go out?
If he stayed in he’d write,
he’d study, he’d write,
but if he went out
inspiration might strike.

At 42 Worcester
he took a night off,
he’d worked through the daytime
discarded much dross,
now he stumbled and bumbled,
could bare hold his beer,
for fretting and worrying,
should he be here?

Performers walked past him,
a figure so gaunt,
they pondered his mutters
and why did he haunt
the room in the Swan,
the one with Two Nicks,
looking as though
he needed a spliff.
He kept a small notebook
and a sharp pencil stub
and made lots of jottings
to put in his sub…

The beer flowed freely,
’til a bloke with a beard,
said ‘don’t worry mate,
you’ll be fine, never fear.’
Our student, affronted,
really, quite cross,
p’raps he was struggling,
but a fool he was not.
‘Don’t talk down to me,’
he spluttered through beer,
‘I may be a student
in the grip of true fear,
but I will pass my course,
and there’s now’t you can do,
‘cos, I’ll get my Honours
quicker than you.’

Polly Stretton © 2016


The Girl In The Chair And Her Protégé

She’d cupped a small bird in her hand,
born this year, feathers silky soft,
she encouraged flight, held it aloft,
so warm, so weak, it trembled.

She wheeled her chair along smooth garden ways,
a feather dropped, wafted soft.
The bird stayed in the hayloft.

Quietude, rest and warmth worked their magic,
the creature stilled, silently calm,
the scented hay seemed to act as a balm.

The gentle gauche girl returned the next day,
no drama, the bird had flown away.
The girl in the chair and her protégé.

Polly Stretton © 2015



Good to see one of my poems featured on the VerseWrights website and Facebook page

‘Volunteers’ was inspired by Rodin’s fabulous sculpture in Calais from 1889 – according to Linduff et al[1] it serves as a monument to an occurrence in 1347 during the Hundred Years’ War, when Calais, an important French port on the English Channel, was under siege by the English for over a year. Calais commissioned Rodin to create the sculpture in 1884.

The Burghers of Calais by Auguste Rodin

The Burghers of Calais by Auguste Rodin

[1] Linduff, David G. Wilkins, Bernard Schultz, Katheryn M. (1994). Art past, art present (2nd ed. ed.). Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall. p. 454. ISBN 0-13-062084-X.

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Rotary District 1100 Conference 2014

District Governor Jan Harris held an outstanding conference in Bournemouth last weekend. I was privileged to be asked to co-host the ‘Oscars’ evening, when Jan acknowledged district members who have worked so hard with her throughout the Rotary year.

We had a fabulous evening, and as you can see, I was surrounded by handsome men – Oscar and Oliver 😉


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Lindsay’s blog

I was chuffed to bits to be asked why I write by Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn for her series of the same title. To see my response, follow this link to her blog – do leave a comment – it was a lovely thing to be asked about 🙂