Polly

Writings and Witterings


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In the Dark of the Moon

A reviewed version from the dark side for dVerse poets 2nd anniversary, where Tony Maude asked us to write to a previous prompt we missed. Sadly, I was too late to join in the dVerse fun … hey-ho! Here it is anyway:

A dark tale of the waning gibbous moon,
the one that lurks in the darkness tonight.
Brow louring, eyes glowering,
glittering red pinpricks emit from the pits;
the pity of the city wrapped in
the evanescence of the smile
it smirks
at those who lurk
below.

They that shirk light on the earth,
in the shadow of moonshine,
that work to earn
a place in noir histoire.
They that taunt and haunt the
crooks of alleys, capes folded, who
lay in wait for those with stumbling gait,
who’ve imbibed a jar
or two …

They wait with needles,
keen sharp knives,
those who shiver and shrive themselves
to the priest
of the dark; who leave their mark,
a fusty tang, a taint of dung, blood-letters who
think of mortality only
as banality, forgetting that death
comes to all, and it’s only
a fall away.

Polly Robinson © 2013

20110718 Waning Gibbous Moon

20110718 Waning Gibbous Moon (Photo credit: Degilbo on flickr)


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In the Dark of the Moon

The final day of Napowrimo, and the mood darkens with the waning gibbous moon …

A dark tale of the waning gibbous moon,
the one that lurks in the darkness tonight.
Brow louring, eyes glowering,
glittering red pinpricks emit from the pits,
the pity of the city wrapped in
the evanescence of the smile
it smirks
to those who lurk
below.

They that shirk light on the earth,
in the shadow of moonshine,
that work to earn
a place in noir histoire.
They that taunt and haunt the
crooks of alleys, capes folded, who
lay in wait for those with stumbling gait,
who’ve imbibed a jar
or two …

They wait with needles,
keen sharp knives,
those who shiver and shrive themselves

to the priest
of the dark; who leave their mark,
a fusty tang, a taint of dung, blood-letters who
think of mortality only
as banality, forgetting that death
comes to all, and it’s only
a fall away.

Polly Robinson © 2013

20110718 Waning Gibbous Moon

20110718 Waning Gibbous Moon (Photo credit: Degilbo on flickr)


24 Comments

Rondeau: Yellow

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Day 29 at Napowrimo and I’m talking a rondeau of ‘yellow’.

In tones yellow, golden sunshine,
Coneflower, yellow, celandine,
Dazzling sunflowers, detailed lobes.
New York taxis, Buddhist monk robes,
Goldcrests fly in forests of pine.

Traditional, from cow urine,
Now food colouring’s Tartrazine.
Songs of a pretty Texan rose,
In tones yellow.

The sweetened gold of dessert wine,
Bradley Wiggins’ jersey design,
Saffron and rapeseed in the nose,
Yellow bellies courage propose,
Wild heretics in capes recline
In tones yellow.

Polly Robinson © 2013

A rondeau is written on two rhymes with fifteen lines, using the first part of the first line as a refrain. The form is created from three stanzas: a quintet, a quatrain and a sestet.


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Ghazal: Will’s Birthday

The sun shines brightly, the birds sing in tune,
today’s Will’s birthday, celebrate the day.

Elsinore, and Francisco’s at his post,
today’s Will’s birthday, celebrate the day.

Polonius hides behind the arras,
today’s Will’s birthday, celebrate the day.

Ophelia scuttles out to the meadow,
today’s Will’s birthday, celebrate the day.

An elevated skull greets the soft light,
today’s Will’s birthday, celebrate the day.

Today is Will’s birthday, celebrate the day,
and Polly will make the tea, as they say.

Polly Robinson © 2013

This was long thought to be the only portrait ...

This was long thought to be the only portrait of William Shakespeare that had any claim to have been painted from life, until another possible life portrait, the Cobbe portrait, was revealed in 2009. The portrait is known as the ‘Chandos portrait’ after a previous owner, James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos. It was the first portrait to be acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in 1856. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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Lyra

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Napowrimo, Day 23, and it has to be about the Lyrid meteor showers. As it’s in the form of a sonnet, and today is reputed to be Shakespeare’s birthday, it also fits with Imaginary Garden with Real Toads prompt  :)

Tiny specks of light, hip-hop through the night,
itsy tails and trails, a kick for eyes that see.
Lyra shows her faces – mini traces -
while the gibbous moon beams with shadowed hope.
Lying on the grass, the cool of moist green turf,
staring at the night sky, waiting for a glimmer,
wrapped up warmly, earthlings view the heavens
and think ‘eternity’ and things ethereal.
The annual Lyrid meteor shower peaks – throws
glimpses to those waiting far below – shows
the watchers that it is so worth the wait,
the wait, for tiny specks of light that dance.

The patient watchers are entranced, and know
what it is, to see splendour in their skies.

Polly Robinson © 2013

Lyrid Meteor Shower

Lyrid Meteor Shower (Photo credit: David Kingham)

This photo is a close representation of what I saw tonight, though there were more. It took a while for my eyes to get used to the night sky, but after a time the twinkling became ‘trackable’ and these tiny specks became evident ~ marvellous ~ a true wonder. Click on the image to see it more clearly :)


66 Comments

Steaming Tea

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Day 21 Napowrimo, at dVerse Poetics Claudia is talking of springtime. And on the ‘Imaginary Garden with Real Toads‘ they’re focusing on World Earth Day, 22 April 2013, for their open link Monday.

Frost
surprises
on fewer
mornings.
Beneath clarity: a sky of
blueness mirroring springtime
in a slew of white
feathered streaks.

Birds trill, trees bud,
cyclamen leaves peek.
Lambs shout to their ma’s.
Soft, soft, the
wood pigeon calls.
Oh, and the daffodils,
the daffodils,
the glorious yellow trumpeting
daffodils.

As my tea steams
in the chill morning air,
I look around
and beam,
at work
waiting
to begin.

Polly Robinson © 2013


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Tip the Windmill

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Day 19 Napowrimo

We look after our feet
to keep walking
and our skin
for comfort and care;
an observation,
in wellness defined …
think of yourself,
don’t ignore your mind.

The fragile mind,
full of vim and vigour,
deserves our attention too.

By and large
it keeps in good health,
yet a day may dawn
when almost by stealth
it no longer functions in
quite the same way.
They dole out meds,
maybe something is said, that

tilts the balance,
tips the windmill,
turns the head,
away.

Polly Robinson 2013


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Books

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Day 18 Napowrimo prompt challenges us to write a poem that begins and ends with the same word.

Books, they line the walls,
they’re piled on the floor,
the tomes that you and I adore,
books.

They keep us quiet,
make us cry,
with wibbly words we so enjoy,
books.

We read ‘em,
we write ‘em,
fight always to keep ‘em,
books.

Covers, they bind us,
pictures delight,
chapters keep turning deep into the night,
books.

We laugh out loud,
at escapades,
thrill to chillers that talk of the grave,
books.

We learn, we yearn,
see falls from grace,
life mirrored and echoed by worlds embraced in
books.

Genres to please each tang and taste,
romance and history,
tragedy, mystery, smooth and whiskery,
books.

Fiction and faction,
biog’s and auto’s,
text books and how-to’s with lots of photos,
books.

The smell of the paper,
or flick of the ebook,
whichever we favour we’ll never be stuck
for a jolly good read
from books.

Polly Robinson © 2013


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Greetings!

napo2013button1Napowrimo, Day 17, and the prompt is to write poems of greeting. While over at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, they’ve asked for a hello / goodbye poem too :)

Greetings!
I’m from Ibble-Wibble
you might have heard of us
the Ibble-Wibblers have a song
and it is sung like this:

Ibble, wibble, wobble, way,
A silly poem I write today,
Ooty, scooty, mooty, moo,
If I can do it, you can too!

Polly Robinson © 2013


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Safe Hands

napo2013button1For Day 15, Napowrimo’s prompt is to write a pantun, not a pantoum, a pantun. The pantun is a traditional Malay form that consists of rhymed quatrains (abab), with 8-12 syllables per line. The first two lines of each quatrain aren’t meant to have a formal, logical link to the second two lines, although the two halves of each quatrain are supposed to have an imaginative or imagistic connection.

Hand lotion soothes away the cares of the day,
Smoothes and eases, makes skin comfortable,
Children sleep and dream their dreams away,
Safe, someone there, should nightmares trouble.

Polly Robinson © 2013


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Voice and Flowers

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Day 14 and Napowrimo wants a persona poem – ‘that is, a poem in the voice of a particular person who isn’t you.’

A ‘poem in the voice of a superhero (or a supervillain)’ was suggested. ‘Comic book characters are very much like mythological characters — they tend to embody big-picture values or personality traits. Good or bad. Loyal or disloyal!’ Greek myth it is, then.

Voice and Flowers

I am proud and I hunt.
You may have heard,
I found my Nemesis,
or rather, she found me,
me, me, me, me.
That wretched Echo
kept following me,
me, me, me, me.

I found it beneath contempt,
so I shouted,
‘Who’s there?’
And she, a mountain nymph,
of all things,
replied ‘Who’s there?’
like she didn’t know me,
me, me, me, me.

Well, no-one told me she’d
been cursed
by Hera,
couldn’t do anything other
than repeat,
repeat, my words.
She was following me,
me, me, me, me.

And now everyone hears her
forever,
as they see me,
me, me, me, me.
I rest beside river banks
a pale flower
that peers at its own
beauty.

Polly Robinson © 2013

Echo and Narcissus as Amaterasu and Susano in ...

Echo and Narcissus as Amaterasu and Susano in a Mirror (Photo credit: timtak)


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The Lecturer

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Napowrimo Day 12 and we’re asked to, “write a poem consisting entirely of things you’d like to say, but never would …” so I’ve immediately thought about a poem I posted in 2012, repeated below:

The Lecturer

I don’t need you to lecture me
I don’t need you to hector me
I don’t need you to point out
The error of my ways.

I’m capable of thought myself
I too have learned my lessons
I detest your abject misery
Your supercilious nays.

You don’t know everything my dear
You don’t have dibs on knowledge
You cannot force your views on me
Hey, I too went to college!

You make folk feel uncomfortable
Because you don’t let go
You lecture, hector, make life hell
The one who always knows.

Polly Robinson © 2012


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Awdl Gywydd: Raku

A repost of a poem from last year for A2LSM who is interested in form in poetry.

The Awdl Gywydd is a Celtic (Welsh) poetry form that complicates the end rhyme scheme by interlacing an internal rhyme throughout the poem on the second and fourth lines of each stanza. The end rhyme scheme is as follows: a,b,c,b… d,e,f,e, etc.. however, the internal (cross-rhyme) can be placed in either the 3rd, 4th, or 5th, syllable position.
Awdl Gywydd: Raku

Crickle, crackle, raku glaze,
Shattered craze of crafted pots,
Bisque ware fired in burning kilns,
Potters film, peel-off slip shocks.

Excitement lifts temperature,
Glaze is sure to be red hot,
Post fire unpredictable,
Flames a miracle new pot.

Polly Robinson © 2012

Raku ware is the type of Japanese pottery seen in the form of tea bowls in the Japanese tea ceremony. This type of pottery is tricky to fire relying on a complex process that many potters find exciting because it is unpredictable. Raku is more generally recommended for decorative purposes as it is delicate and can crumble if not properly glazed.  To find out more about raku click here.


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Sabotage

He knew.
He thought he knew, there would be
sabotage.
It opened up,
a black hole with white frosted spikes.
He did not witness
the evil taste, the smell
of the tainted
saboteur.
Instead, external aggression by
ships dragging anchors.

‘There’s more than one way,’
they said,
‘this is not a mirage.
‘Wait, it cannot be avoided.
‘excuses will be exposed.’
‘The present determines the future, but
the approximate present does not
approximately determine the future.’
‘Your time may come
‘to witness sabotage.’

 

Polly Robinson 2013


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Fiery

English: Sparkler Polski: Zimny ogień

Blaze
distal phalanges;
sparklers of pain,
in luminescent ligaments.
Carpals cussing, cursing
the dreadful digits,
gripping, griping,
grasping, gasping
rage.
Rage against
the pain.
Rage
through
agony.

Polly Robinson © 2013


13 Comments

Raku Fox

We are prompted to write a cinquain on this, the fifth day of NaPoWriMo. A cinquain is a poem that employs stanzas with five lines. Each line has a certain number of accented or stressed syllables, and a certain number of overall syllables per line.

The wonderfully named American, Adelaide Crapsey created the “American” cinquain, a form in which the number of stresses per line is 1-2-3-4-1, and the number of syllables is 2-4-6-8-2. So the first line would have two syllables, one stressed and one unstressed. The second line would have four syllables, two of which are stressed, and so on.

Here is my cinquain for Day Five:

Raku Fox

Raku Fox

Raku Fox

Raku
ceramic hares,
and fox, who hides behind
the TV in the corner, peeks
and grins.

Polly Robinson © 2013

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Here’s a little info about Raku ceramic making:
Raku-Firing-Pottery


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Skull and Crossbones

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For Day 3 of Napowrimo we’re challenged to write a sea shanty.

Sea Shanties were work songs sung on ships during the age of sail. Napowrimo’s prompt today is to write a Sea Shanty. They were often in the form of call and response, so that’s the shape of my poem.

Captain Jack Sparrow

Captain Jack Sparrow (Photo credit: Wikipedia) [OK, any excuse!]

Skull and Crossbones

A skull and crossbones, fathoms deep,
Captain Jack Sparrow never sleeps

Splice the mainbrace, swab the decks,
Drop the anchor, spy the wrecks

A skull and crossbones, fathoms deep,
Captain Jack Sparrow never sleeps

Mermaids splash and sirens wail,
Sailors search for fishy tails

A skull and crossbones, fathoms deep,
Captain Jack Sparrow never sleeps

Clipper sails on salty sea
Treasure beckons avidly

A skull and crossbones, fathoms deep,
Captain Jack Sparrow never sleeps

Wine casks lined up in the hold
Sailors carouse, ever bold

A skull and crossbones, fathoms deep,
Captain Jack Sparrow never sleeps

Shore folk see the topsails shake,
Grin to see the merchants quake

A skull and crossbones, fathoms deep,
Captain Jack Sparrow never sleeps

Sandalwood scent tickles nose,
Pirates fight off all their foes

A skull and crossbones, fathoms deep,
Captain Jack Sparrow never sleeps

See the tea chests stacked up high
Tea perfume up to the sky

A skull and crossbones, fathoms deep,
Captain Jack Sparrow never sleeps

Talk of sea dogs, talk of grog,
Talk of mists and rising fog

A skull and crossbones, fathoms deep,
Captain Jack Sparrow never sleeps

Polly Robinson © 2013


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Persephone

A rewrite of my ekphrastic poem inspired by the beautiful John William Waterhouse pre-raphaelite painting My Sweet Rose with thanks to friends who have commented.

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 dead,
Scent of the rose
Against your
Sweet head;
Fertile maid of life and death.
Feel the horror queen’s light breath.

She meandered in meadows of
Fragrant flowers,
Roses, violets, hyacinths in bowers.
Seized, snatched,
Carried off,
Stolen by Hades
In a golden four-horsed chariot,
As Demeter wept.

Odysseus at the House of Death
Sees a wraith
To make one ache
For those who have been.
Persephone now 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”

So 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.

Polly Robinson © 2013


47 Comments

Sundew

With thanks to Myfanwy Fox for sharing a photo and a fascinating article about a carnivorous plant on Facebook.

SundewPhoto from National Geographic

Sundew
Photo from National Geographic

Sundew

DroPlets
SwEEt secrEtions
Sundew eNsNares insects
Leaves with minusCule proJections
STicKy

Polly Robinson © 2013

Written to Tony Maude‘s inspiring prompt to write a cinquain, a five-line poem with twenty-two syllables laid out two, four, six, eight, then two again. at dVerse Poets Form for All – The Cinquain