Polly

Writings and Witterings


15 Comments

The Paper Maker

The Paper Maker with acknowledgement to www.theglasgowstory.com

The Paper Maker with
acknowledgement to http://www.theglasgowstory.com

Left, right,
quick march,
reams of paper,
white and starched.
Order restored,
all in place,
a gross for Mr Johnson
at the Poetry Place.

My name’s Charley,
Charley Waite,
‘course, they call me
Paper Waite
the bloody kids
who want a job,
all through the summer.

They should be me,
left school at fifteen,
did me no harm, as you can see.
Conscription stopped
in nineteen sixty:
the worst thing
for our kids.

Little shits,
graffiti-ing the mill.
I’ll give ‘em ‘summer job,’
they’ll get bugger all.
They’ll scrub
and clean
‘til those bricks
are pristine,
again.

Left, right,
quick march,
reams of paper,
white and starched.
Order restored,
all in place,
a gross for Miss Chard
at the Post Office.

Polly Robinson © 2014


9 Comments

Mrs Smithfield

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.

Fancy dress, the competition.
Girls in dirndl skirts as Heidi,
or Cinderella,
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 Robinson © 2014

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

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


12 Comments

Thanks

From an exercise in which we selected a first line from another poet, comes ‘Thanks’.

Thanks

This is my second parking ticket since her affair;*
they belong to her,
I’ll send them with my thanks.

She will pay
in many ways,
as will he.

Polly Robinson © 2014

*From ‘Notice’ by Jackie Kay


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:

 


25 Comments

Here I Am…

…did you miss me? ;)

I’ve been away at The Hurst, on a wonderful Arvon course with ace poet Holly Magill. We had a fab time with tutors Patience Agbabi and Luke Kennard, and guest poet Katrina Naomi.
Here is a poem that came out of one of the sessions during which we discussed characters in poetry :)

The Paper Maker

Left, right, left, right,
quick march,
reams of paper,
white and starched.
Order restored,
all in place,
a gross for Mr Johnson
at the Poetry Place.

My name’s Charley,
Charley Waite,
‘course, they call me
Paper Waite,
the bloody kids
who want a job,
all through the summer.

They should be like me,
left school at fifteen,
did me no harm as you can see.
Stopping conscription
in nineteen sixty:
the worst thing that happened
for our kids.

Little shits,
graffiti-ing the mill.
I’ll give ‘em ‘summer job,’
they’ll get bugger all.
They can scrub
and clean
‘til those bricks
are pristine,
again.

Left, right, left, right,
quick march,
reams of paper,
white and starched.
Order restored,
all in place,
a gross for Miss Chard
at the Post Office.

Polly Robinson © 2014

…and here are some marvellous photos courtesy of Richard Stephenson, all having a great time – click on the images to enlarge :)

Arvon poets at The Hurst 2014 - by Richard Stephenson

Arvon poets at The Hurst 2014 – by Richard Stephenson

Fun on the final night - by Richard Stephenson

Fun on the final night – by Richard Stephenson

 


18 Comments

Smoking Bastille

14th July – it’s Bastille Day. The perfect excuse – should you need one – to celebrate!

Smoking Bastille

The enlightened Voltaire
would have feasted, during
the storming of the Bastille,
he said, ‘Let us read…let us dance…’
Imprisoned twice,
he would delight,
eyes bright,
in the fall
of the smoking Bastille.
‘Storm the Bastille. Revolt!’

Fast forward to…
Gauloises Disque Bleu,
elegant,
cool,
sophisticated,
show-off smoking.
Gauloises Disque Bleu.
Prisoners of nicotine
storm their way through…
Revolt!

Echo Voltaire
in the Bastille,
Bruce Willis
in Die Hard.
Revolt!
Alain* so hooked
he enjoyed chemo
smoking Gauloises Disque Bleu.
Smoking Bastille.
Candid clouds of change.

Polly Robinson © 2014

 

The video is *Alain Bashung with the Pogues. Bashung is a famous French singer who was such a fan of Gauloises Disque Bleu, it’s said he refused to quit even during his chemotherapy.


8 Comments

Better Late Than Never – LitFest Photos

My promise to post Worcestershire Literary Festival photos has been on the back-burner as I’ve been a bit busy looking after a friend who broke her ankle while on hols.

Here is a gallery of photos taken at the LitFest 2014 – it should give you a flavour of the fabulous time we enjoyed :)

Click on the images to see them full size.