Polly

Writings and Witterings


57 Comments

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
shadows.

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

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

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

Polly Stretton © 2016


15 Comments

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 wondered what he muttered
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…
mission.

The beer flowed freely,
’til a bloke with a beard,
said ‘don’t worry mate,
you’ll be fine, never fear.’
Our student was 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


9 Comments

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


36 Comments

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


14 Comments

VerseWrights

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.


62 Comments

The Journey

Riding from far North they came
through snow and sleet and sheeting rain.
Ice formed behind them, frosted, cracked
red dragon scales, in parts, looked blacked.
On wings sheer clipped, their fire breath quenched,
onward, moving South, they went.

Flying ahead of the sunset West:
werewolves; sprites in fiery vests;
pixies pointing ears to learn
where coal black jackdaws crash and burn.
There is no place to hide.

Then from the sunrise in the East
the faerie queen on bounding beast
the size of which sees grown elves weep.
They hear her voice so light (though deep)
control the slavering ride.

Inch by inch from the dry drought South
a dead sheep carried in its mouth
the Kraken, skin scabbed, wracked and ripped
scouts for the havering hare who nips
at the frail fingers of sylvan wamblers.

Polly Robinson © 2014

Reposting this especially for Poetics: Snowed Under, Iced In, Cosying Up – not sure about the ‘cosying up’ bit though…😉


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 Robinson © 2014