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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Scene Through Glass II

Early morning: I stand at the top of the stairs. Peek
through glass across fields. Lime green leaves of linden
dappling morning rays. A pheasant shrieks. All is well.

Polly Robinson © 2013

Fountains Through Lime Hedge

Fountains Through Lime Hedge (Photo credit: woodstocktaylor)


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Swifts

English: Common Swift (Apus apus) in flight. D...

Swift (Apus apus) in flight

Malvern Hills on misty moisty morning,
the sun up and doing for three hours now
British Camp beckons signing a warning
of bright sunlight as I get to the brow.

Silence and solitude unbroken drops
abiding stillness, soundlessness flutters,
no soul disturbs the calm of the hilltops,
Midsummer Hill sighs in silence shuttered.

And then from the West come the saucy swifts,
swooping and singing, playing today, while
they wait to migrate, chase, drift, flit and lift,
twitter, skitter, dip and dance to my smile.

What joy in aloneness, what joy in sight,
a ballet of darting, diving divas
so rare, a flock of sure swifts in full flight,
plunging and soaring they surpass their viva.

Silence and solitude unbroken drops
abiding stillness, soundlessness flutters,
no soul disturbs the calm of the hilltops,
Midsummer Hill sighs in silence shuttered.

Polly Robinson © 2013

English: The central mound of the hillfort at ...

I live within reach of Fanthorpe’s ‘stagey Malverns’ and Auden’s ‘blue hills’, the hills famously trodden by Tolkien and Elgar that inspired their music and writing.

Swifts comes from an Autumn walk. It’s wonderful to walk our glorious hills ~ the swifts were extraordinary ~ a real and unexpected treat.


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Ode to Sisyphus

Sisyphus

Sisyphus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ode to Sisyphus

Compelled to roll a huge rock up a hill.
A hill, steep and resisting.
The maddening
nature of punishment reserved,
for your hubristic belief
that you are cleverer than the gods.
Bad blood built in Hades,
you’re a fool to try to avoid death.
Now bound by Zeus to an eternity of frustration.

Polly Robinson © 2013


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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)


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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 :)


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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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Elgar’s Hills

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Day 20 and here is a poem about Edward Elgar’s inspiring hills for Napowrimo.

Around the corner
from Elgar’s house,
I see his favourite hills
every day.
Malvern,
where the skies rise
from the hills that
he found inspiring.

Polly Robinson © 2013

English: Malvern Hills in June 2005

English: Malvern Hills in June 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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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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Ibble Wibble

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Day 16 and Napowrimo asked us to translate a poem ~ I couldn’t enter into the spirit of this one, so have done a nonsense poem instead.

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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He Calls

Over at dVerse, Brian Miller is our host for ‘Poetics‘ this week and asks us to write about monsters …

Maybe the monster’s ‘scary or hides under the bed until all the lights are out.
‘Maybe it’s human. Maybe it’s not. All I know is that at the end of this … there is a monster,’ says Brian, ‘Is it hairy with big teeth? What does it eat?’

He Calls

The temperature rises,
crows caw, ground thaws, the moon is full.
The Lenten moon of winter.

Hark!
A bark.
He calls.

Teeth. Filthy, dripping teeth.
Werewolves change form beneath
the Full Crow Moon of winter.

Eyebrows meet at the bridge of his nose,
he grows bristles under his tongue.
No tail, swinging stride, a gaze to paralyse.

He strips off his clothes, his man clothes,
piles them by the roadside,
pees around them in a circle, satisfied,

he turns, howls, bounds to the woods.
Tears the flesh from recently interred cadavers,
drinks the blood of wounded soldiers.

He’s a corpse returned from
the grave
to fornicate.

She’s out all night. Doors and locks
spring open at her approach.
Wolf-women acquire

a dreadful desire for human flesh,
devour their own children
and those of others.

Strength, speed, stealth … shy, sly killers,
cochineal eyes,
bloodied teeth.

Watch out! Silver tipped canes create bubbling burns,
that make them yearn
for the silver bullet to the brain.

It’s merely a myth, simply a shape shift,
a bite, a scratch,
from one transformed …

Hark!
A bark.
He calls.

Hide your babies,
Lycaon serves human flesh
To Zeus.

Polly Robinson © 2013

Français : Le roi lycaon changé en loup par Ze...

Français : Le roi lycaon changé en loup par Zeus, Gravure du XVIe siècle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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Up the Bridlepath

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Day 13 at Napowrimo and our prompt for today is simply to take a walk. ‘Make notes — mental or otherwise — on what you see on your walk, and incorporate these notes into your poem.’

What do I see on my walk today …
empty crushed cartons line the lane,
the wind brings them here to irritate
country dwellers. Cold chip wrappings,
crisp packets, foil, soggy, crumpled plastic bottles.
But wait, further on, up the bridlepath,
through the crooked gate away from the road,
here are newts, grass snakes, a toad.
Up past the marsh bog a vixen appears,
over the mead, to the hedgerow she jogs.
And there, in the hedge, once the danger has gone,
a rabbit comes nibbling; skitters along.
Buzzards overhead, a pair, no three,
they’re looking down at the pheasant,
the rabbit, and me.
The pheasant croaks, cries, as if to warn
the rabbit, who runs through wet grass to …
[hold your breath!] Escape,
just in time as the buzzard dives.
Missed him!

That’s what I saw on my walk today.

Polly Robinson © 2013


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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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Labyrinthine

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Day 11 at Napowrimo and a Tanka is required. Tankas are poems based on syllables, with a pattern of 5-7-5-7-7.

Labyrinthine, the tale
told by a twisted diva,
convoluted, dark,
past impinging on present,
baffling our heritage, so.

Polly Robinson © 2013