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



Move away from the waste paper bin.
Move away from the waste paper bin.
Little dogs mustn’t go in the waste paper bin.
Little dogs mustn’t go in the waste paper bin.
I know it’s fun, all that crinkly paper.
I know it’s fun, all that crinkly paper.
Move away from the waste paper bin.
Repetition becomes tedious.
I am patient.
I am patient.

Polly Stretton © 2016

Mabel Passport size photo


Pity Of The City

Full Beaver Moon – 25 November 2015 (always in November) The time of year to set beaver traps before the big freeze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. It’s suggested that the name Full Beaver Moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now actively preparing for winter. It is sometimes also referred to as the Frosty Moon or Hunter’s Moon.

worcester full moon by cathedral - worcesternews.co.uk

Full Moon beside Worcester Cathedral – photo acknowledgement to Worcester News worcesternews.co.uk

Pity Of The City

A dark tale for the baleful Beaver Moon,
the one that sky-lurks tonight:
face lours, eyes glower, glimmering
light emits from pits;
the pity of the city wraps
an evanescence of a smirk
in the murk,

Shades shirk light on earth;
moonshine works to earn
noir histoire.
Tauntingly haunting crooks in alleys,
capes folded, in wait
for a stumbling gait,
imbibers of a jar
or two…

Ghouls wield needles, knives,
shiver and shrive
to priests of the dark;
leave their mark,
a fusty tang, taint of doom; bloodletters
think of mortality only as banality,
forgetting that death comes to all…
and it’s only a frostbitten





Polly Stretton © 2015


Junk Mail

Who needs junk mail?
funk mail,
punk mail,
cards of clunk mail
stinks like skunk mail,
chunky chunk mail,
dog-end detritus,
debunk junk mail.

Who needs junk mail?
hunk mail,
gunk mail,
sofas, clothes and flunkety-flunk mail,
better when it’s shrunk mail,
downtrodden drunk mail,
don’t they know it’s fail mail?
Junk mail.

Polly Robinson © 2014



The Pleiades (1885) by the Symbolist painter Elihu Vedder

The Pleiades (1885) by the Symbolist painter Elihu Vedder


The Symbolist, Vedder,
thought the maids beautiful,
the seven sisters shine.
Their glittering garments
throng the skies. Stars recall
their birth on Kyllini,
to twinkle, cluster bright.

Polly Robinson © 2014

Vandana Sharma from New Delhi, India, is our host at dVerse Meeting the Bar tonight. Vandana’s asked us to write to a poetry form called “Pleiades” invented in 1999 by Craig Tigerman. She tells us that “Pleiades” consist of seven lines, each line starting with the same letter as the title. The title is a single word. Later, Hortensia Anderson restricted the length of each line to six syllables.

Vandana asked us to write a poem in “Pleiades” form. As an extra challenge add a reference to a celestial body (any planet, star, constellation, meteor etc) as this form has been inspired from a heavenly object.


First Love


The piano is in need of tuning
so it can be played in key
music is my first love
rock opera symphony

I love music sheets tucked inside the seat
of piano stool beneath
music soft music loud music beautiful
uplifting and complete

Dissonance: off key
jangles discord—clang clang
the music chaotic bitter sharp
air disturbed—bang bang

Black keys and white keys
wait proud and still
for the piano tuner’s lever
(here he comes up the hill)

He plays sotto voce
presto forte staccato allegro
adagio tosto tutti vivace
tenerezza eco o o o o oh

A tonic in tune once more
affettuoso read the score
pianissimo dolcissimo
come play me piano implores

Polly Robinson © 2012 reposted for Poetics – Under the Influence of Music, a prompt from Anthony Desmond.

Sotto voce: in an undertone
Presto: very fast
Forte: loud; strong
Staccato: brief; detached
Allegro: fast
Adagio: slowly
Tosto: swift; rapid
all; everyone
Vivace: lively
Tenerezza: tenderly
Eco: echo; an effect in which a group of notes is repeated



Written for the Kidderminster monthly acoustic spoken word and music night, Mouth & Music ‘Ghosts and Ancestors’  October 2014–I didn’t make it to the gig, so am posting it here instead…


Funereal drapes and grey shadow
fingers; faded velvet hangs;
single candle
streaks the blackened room.
The alcove portrait scowls
–surveys the family–
gathered, they eat cake.

Boy puts crumbed hands to face;
the portrait stares
with wrathful eyes.
Boy wishes for warmth
away from the glare,
the daggers of the portrait.
No one else sees.

Uncle picks up the folio
below the portrait;
opens it,
lines mirror down the sides
of his mouth.
Matching eyes,
identical scowl.

The boy views the face
he will become:
same frown,
same beetling brows,
same shock of black hair.
Same birthday.

Polly Robinson © 2014