Writings and Witterings


Happy New Year ~ 2013

My very best wishes for the New Year ~ may it bring you all that you wish for :)

iStock_000021293329MediumEvery New Year’s eve
We stand at the top of the lane,
We see and hear
The glittering City fireworks,
No scent of cordite mars or jars;
Sweet bright light
Sky lanterns
Swaying through the night.

This year no breath of snow
Whispers past,
No frost tweaks
At extremities,
The ceiling of the faithful City
Celebrates time.
We stand at the top of the lane
Sipping scented spiced hot wine.

Polly Robinson © 2012


Winter Artistry In The Malverns

Frowsty ferns and frosted hay,
hints of darkening damp decay.
Dank smouldering fires,
smokey blue Shires.
A dog’s yap ricochets
across archaic

Buzzards ride, sway,
swoop on small prey.
Fanthorpe and Auden
write of Malvern
Hills echo poets
with Elgar’s discern-
ing ear.

Polly Robinson © 2012


No Snow

The Earth seen from Apollo 17.

Christmas, and there’s
No snow.
Rain runnels and
Banshees howl about the house.
Trees lurch, screaming,
Torrents teeming,
Roads dammed
Across the land.

Close to New Year, and there’s
No snow. No icicles.
Nationwide: the floods.
And on we go to
See the wraith of
Seasons gone,
The phantom here,
The ghost of those to come.

New Year, and there’s
No snow. No icicles. No frost.
Savage spectre of what is lost.
Seasons change.
Extremes occur:
Spring’s like summer
Used to be. Summer’s short.
Autumn comes early.

And so it goes from year to year
The seasons change, become austere.
Those who live with constant jeers
Say this: until we do something,
Until we care,
It’s our world, our earth,
Whose fate
We share.

Polly Robinson © 2012

I am posting this for Claudia’s Change & Turns at dVerse Poets



burnt toast
Scraping black toast into the sink,
Teen hears Mum say,
‘Just do another slice. Another slice.’
But no, scrape the acrid burnt bits into
The sink. Dad will clean the toast dust, bitter
Choking toast dust sticks to
Sink sides clinging onto
The cloth Mum hates to clear away. She says,
‘Just do another slice. Another slice.’

Polly Robinson © 2012



I’m not much of a one for contentious language, hence the asterisks. I think you’ll know what I mean.

Against fracking 01

Against fracking (Photo credit: Bosc d’Anjou)

Say it as you will
Fracking seems to me
To be
A cross between
F***ing and sh**ging

They insert gas into cracks
And then blow rocks up

Say it as you will
Fracking seems to me
To be
A cross between
F***ing and sh**ging

Polly Robinson © 2012


I Had a Piano for Christmas

1.blue toy piano

They gave me a piano
pale blue, a baby grand.
I practised on it
ker plunk,
ker plink.
They said I was good
and suggested piano lessons.

Because they said I could, I took
piano lessons.
She was Scottish, the piano teacher,
she would make drop scones at the drop of a chord.
I wrote a piece, she played it.
It bore no resemblance
to what I believed I had written.

Polly Robinson © 2012


Bewildered Wilderness

only in Texas; Courtyard Marriott

Shout out for those not in the room, for whom
Others speak.
Chosen couriers – the loudest
Shout down gentle tones.
Velvet-voiced assassins
Canvass views, then
Those ‘in the know,’ breathless,
Await the mooted plan.
Isolation stands by, a
Lone voice in
The wilderness.
In the wilderness:
Beg, plea for those not
Present; for those
Ignorant of itineraries;
For those absent
From the picture.
Who will witness the
Harridan, the
Steamroller, blast
Things into place
Dissent and discontent strike with a
Serpent’s sticky tongue and
Suggest the rest
Go away.
Let those with
The deepest pockets,
Loudest voices
Have their say. Others
May leave.
Go. Go with the majority.

Polly Robinson © 2012

Karin Gustafson, aka Manicddaily is tending bar for dVerse poets today and asks us to write about The Poetics of Presents/ce ~ this poem considers presence and the absence of presence.


Late Again

Specially for our blogging friends :)

Specially for our blogging friends :)

Late again, writing
The cards.
Each year, a donation to
‘Cos then you can send
Environmentally friendly,
Time-consuming yet
So worthwhile,
You feel you’ve done something
For your friends.

But family …
Auntie Edna, Auntie Fay,
Can’t receive eCards
Come what may.
They’re not

You go out and buy
Nice cards for the few,
Nice cards for those who
Are not in the loop
With technology.
Who don’t want to play
With ‘new-fangled gadgets’,
Who prefer the
Old ways.

And that’s OK.

In fact, it’s rather fab :)

Polly Robinson © 2012


Nice ‘n easy chocolate mousse

This is my favourite recipe for chocolate mousse, the simplest I’ve ever come across ~ if I can do it, you can too, and it is delicious :)

1choc mousse

100g dark chocolate, plus a little extra for shaving to decorate the top
30g butter
4 egg yolks
50g caster sugar
4 egg whites

1. In a bowl, melt the dark chocolate and butter in a microwave on ‘defrost’ (approx a minute), stir well to combine the two then leave the bowl to one side and allow the chocolate to cool.
2. Whisk the egg yolks and 40g of the sugar for around 2-3 minutes until the mixture is considerably thicker, appearing to become fluffy. Pour in the cooling chocolate and mix gently together.
3. Get the egg whites and whisk well together in a large bowl until they have stiffened, but are not dry. Add the rest of the sugar and continue beat together until the mixture becomes glossy in texture.
4. Spoon around a third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and mix well together with a spoon. Fold in the remaining whites then pour the contents into a serving bowl. Chill overnight in the fridge to allow the mousse to set. Just before serving add chocolate shavings on the top for decoration.

Serves: 6-8
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 5 mins


Kyrielle ~ Tartiflette

English: Reblochon is a French cow's-milk labe...

English: Reblochon is a French cow’s-milk labelled Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) cheese, made in the Alps region of Haute-Savoie and Savoie.

He can get but one Reblochon,
(I’d better not go on and on),
We really need two. But you know
How it is, I must adapt so …

An extra recipe, I read,
So our guests won’t be underfed (!)
He can get but one Reblochon
And we really need at least two.

He can get but one Reblochon
And we really need at least two
A hasty casserole will fill
Up the hole. Inspiration, phew!

An evening of expectation,
Thank goodness for inspiration.
He could get but one Reblochon
And we really need at least two.


Casserole (Photo credit: el_floz)

Tartiflette, a french dish with a cheese named...

Tartiflette, a french dish with a cheese named Reblochon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to Catherine Wilson, writing in 2003, ‘The Kyrielle was once a very popular poetic form originating in France and dating back to the Middle Ages. In this poetry form, couplets are often paired in quatrains and are characterised by a refrain that is sometimes a single word and sometimes the full second line of the couplet or the full fourth line of the quatrain. Each line within the poem consists of only eight syllables. There is no limit to the number of stanzas a Kyrielle may have, but three is considered the accepted minimum.The name kyrielle derives from the Kýrie. Gay Reiser Cannon at dVerse poets agrees with this description and sums it up in this way:

‘So to sum up:

1. the form can be written a number of ways usually as a quatrain.
2. the form ends in a refrain which is repeated as the last line or after every stanza.
3. the lines should be written in tetrameter (in iambs or trochees) or a count of eight syllables.
4. the original form addressed spiritual topics but that usage has somewhat disappeared.’ (dVerse FormForAll, December, 2012)


Winter Solstice – The Year Turns

1.stonehengeThe turning point is upon us.
Great Trilithon‘s smooth flat face looks
towards the winter sun
which will become stronger
and the days become longer
as we celebrate rebirth.

The sun stands still, its shadow
barely changes.
Sun dials seem static
as the solstice draws near.
Low, low orb in the darkening skies.
The darkest time.

Eat, drink, make love, carouse,
slaughter cattle, feast,
quaff the new-fermented wine.
Light the candles for
the sun’s winter sleep.

Cleanse the house of evil spirits,
look out for Loki’s mistletoe.
An arrow in the heart and
tears become berries,
symbol of love as life returns.
Every ending
leads us to begin again.
New beginning.
New beginning.

Polly Robinson © 2012

1 winter solstice


I Hate Clowns

Written to a prompt by Worcester Writers’ Circle.

A friendly clown

I Hate Clowns

Look at him with his great big grin and all that red and yellow around his mouth. He’s bound to be picked first. Kids love clowns.

I want to be picked first. The gifts on the Christmas Tree have a competition every year: who’ll be picked first. After the food, the children will have Christmas games, then come to the tree to choose gifts. Please let it be me first this year. I really want it to be me.

Still, who would want a dusty little robin whose seen better days? Even with a spangled necktie. I must look happy. Look happy! Here they come!

A little boy comes first, brown hair and shy smile, he wears jeans and a reindeer sweater.  Look happy! Look happy! He’s reaching for me … That’s right, pick me. Pick me.
No! No! Not the box wrapped in gold paper with red ribbons! Why, you don’t even know what’s in it! Why would anyone choose a box?

Off he goes, grinning.

There’s much muttering amongst the gifts on the tree, ‘The box has gone. The box has gone. Who will be next?’ What they don’t know is that I have an extra gift for whoever chooses me. Whoever chooses me gets what they wish for.

More children come and choose, completely ignoring me, and then, a girl with a blue sparkly headband. Here I am, dear. Pick me! Pick me! Look I’m smiling at you. No, not up there, down here, much easier to reach. Pick me!

She walks away with me clutched in her hand, I am overjoyed. This leaves only the clown.

The last small boy sees the clown and starts howling ‘I hate clowns.’

The little girl who chose me says ‘I wish he’d cheer up.’

And he did.

Polly Robinson © 2012

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Christmas cards that change lives

If you haven’t bought all your Christmas Cards yet, please take a look at the information in this marvellous blog from Swindon Old Town Rotary Club. A worthwhile cause ~ all monies raised go directly to the project. Use the PayPal link to purchase these charity cards made of jute.

Christmas cards that change lives | Swindon Old Town Rotary Club.


Review – A Flash of Fiction

My review of A Flash of Fiction on Amazon appeared last night. This is the Worcestershire Literary Festival‘s anthology edited by Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn. I thought you might like to read about it too :) I’ve got some for Christmas gifts. It’s a great read. My friends will love it :)


Click on the image if you’d like to buy a copy.

Fabulous Flashers

Get with the programme ~ get onto some of the funkiest fiction around!

The most talented writers in and outside the UK entered the first Worcestershire Literary Festival Flash Fiction Competition in 2012.

This absolute stonker of an anthology is the result!

Why buy just one story, when you could have 48 selected offerings?

Winner, Amy Rainbow, was a double finalist. Her winning Flash ‘Father and Son’ is a heart-rending story, marvellous to mix emotions so quickly in such a brief tale.

Second prize went to Anna Cullum for `Jasmine and Wet Grass’ in which two cultures talk across a divide.

In third place Emily Pardo’s ‘Adagio’, music to our ears.

PW Bridgman’s ‘Ad Te Clamamus …’ is a brilliant exposition of Irish Catholic life and the relationship between a young couple and her family. Andy Kirk’s ‘Contract to Retire’ has a wonderful twist in the tale and ditto Alan Durham’s ‘At First Sight’.

Every Flash in this anthology has much to recommend it, from the creativity and imagination shown by the writers to the skills and techniques used to keep us engaged.

Recommended every step of the way ~ well done Editor Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn.


not sorry yet

Meadow Run Away

four-year-old legs pumping running away
ma shouts after me ‘come back’ sister wails
ma is livid i pushed the bowl downstairs
this is how she sees it it is my fault
a tall ten-pint goldfish bowl three goldfish
i run down the meadow behind our house
it is hay-making time yellow grass scent
and dust tickle my nose and make me sneeze
sneeze stops me for long enough she catches
me i have glanced behind in my run and
seen her struggling with my little sister
but ma is grim-faced and determined that
i will be caught and punished it was an
accident i tripped knocked into the bowl
which bounced down each stair fish flying water
arcing the finest mirrored droplets splash
the sound of breaking glass tinkles downwards
she comes out of the kitchen babe on hip
and roars ‘nooooo’ i flee out the open door
my legs pump i feel my heart i hear my
breath coming jagged i smell the hay i
sneeze she catches me she screams thrashes me
and at each step thrashes me again all
up the meadow back into the house she
is crying hot angry tears me howling
mortified indignant rebellious
an accident i sob my jaw jutting
i am but four-years-old not sorry yet

Polly Robinson © 2012

‘For this week’s Poetics’ said Fred Rutherford aka Hobgoblin at dVerse, ‘I thought we could work in First Person Narrative.’ An opportunity to put up a favourite poem that appears in my poetry collection Girl’s Got Rhythm in which we see a four-year-old speak of injustice. And we might think about perspectives …


Quatern: Determination

With thanks to Gay Rieser Cannon in the dVerse pub, who challenged us to write a Quatern. A Quatern comprises four quatrains of eight syllables per line with the first line repeated in each verse as the second line in the second verse, third line in the third verse and fourth line in the fourth verse … wow ~ nice one, Gay.
Day Three Hundred Thirty-two

Have you seen determination
On the face of smallest children?
Not to countenance frustration
They’ve a goal, a destination.

There’s no cause for consternation
Have you seen determination?
And no tiny apprehension
In big eyes illumination.

And there is no prohibition,
S/he’s created the decision.
Have you seen determination?
Edges forward with elation.

Process of elimination,
From paying utmost attention
There is less and less confusion.
Have you seen determination?

Polly Robinson © 2012


Updated: Morning Town Ride

English: Congestion on the London Underground

English: Congestion on the London Underground

As it’s nearly Christmas, here’s a special treat. A slight re-write to one of my favourite poems, and it seems, yours ~ it was selected for and published in the first edition of Nain Rouge and again in Girl’s Got Rhythm.

Morning Town Ride

chackety chack
chackety chack
chackety chack

Like a
tube of the
hunched up,
bunched up,
crunched up,
swilled and

chackety chack
chackety chack
chackety chack

Oh oh,
get some
Don’t breathe
on me
last night’s
was good,
last night.

chackety chack
chackety chack
chackety chack

Finger phones,
thumb apps,
angry birds,
a mass,

chackety chack
chackety chack
chackety chack

of smells.
room only.
read ‘Free
Metro’, or
Hang from
bars like
apes (phew!)

chackety chack
chackety chack
chackety chack


chackety chack
chackety chack
chackety chack

bleeding tracks,
Fan face,
cool down,
heat up,
moist hot
heaps of
humanity …
ride …

On …
town ride.

chackety chack
chackety chack
chackety chack

Polly Robinson © 2012