Polly

Writings and Witterings


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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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Photo

I’m not much of a one for putting photo’s of me on the web, but I really like this one taken tonight by Geoff at Parole Parlate. I read No Snow, Poetry Stew and Pantoum: Trust and listened to many fab performances. We had a wonderful evening.

Geoff Robinson © 2013

Polly Robinson performs Pantoum ~ Trust
Geoff Robinson © 2013


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WLF Walk ~ There and Back Again

We had a wonderful day on the hills with our Poets in the Mist and a fab open mic session afterwards at The Malvern Hills Hotel ~ mega-thanks to all who contributed. There’s a full article beneath the slideshow below ~ first, here’s a copy of Gary Longden’s poem, which tells you all about our missing Poet Laureate …

‘A Laureate Goes Missing’

by Gary Longden

We’ve lost the Poet Laureate, she should be at the bench,
We’ve lost the Poet Laureate, a comely buxom wench.
She said she would be waiting, with wit and verse and rhyme,
She said she would be waiting, as we began to climb.
Perhaps she’s been absorbed in the mystic swirling mist?
Or perhaps, after a heavy night, she’s still comatose, still pissed?
She didn’t pay the car park charge – she’s pretty wild like that,
And if the parking attendant looms, she can charm him with her chat.
She wouldn’t stand for a parking fine – no official can browbeat her,
Because she uses poetic, not poxy parking metres.

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Photos by Geoff Robinson

The very first Worcestershire Literary Festival Walk with poets at strategic points on the Malvern Hills took place Sunday 21st October. The event was immediately dubbed ‘Poets in the Mist’ as we all met at the British Camp car park surrounded by swirling fog. Some twenty-five walkers started the walk and followed walk-leader and photographer Geoff Robinson, bright in a high-vis jacket. They were accompanied by many dogs and followed by late arrivals, the Austen family ~ therein lies a tale.

Worcestershire Poet Laureate, Maggie Doyle, was to have been the first poet ‘strategically placed’ on the first bench as the walk commenced. The walkers reached the bench … no Maggie. Mobile phones were extracted from deep pockets but no joy; no sign of the missing laureate ~ oh dear. They decided to walk on. Unbeknownst to them, some ten minutes earlier, the Malvern Gazette photographer abducted Maggie! He knew that she was to be situated on the bench, but no, he decided he needed a clearer ‘backdrop’ and took her, bad back and all, further up the hill ~ to the consternation of a very nice man who came to tell me that they’d gone to the right up the hill as opposed to left down the hill. When the Austen family arrived, they heard the very nice man and went to the right rather than the left and subsequently got their photos in the paper :) Click the blue hyperlink to see the Malvern Gazette photo

In the meantime, I was in the car park pending the arrival of other late-comers. After a few minutes no-one else arrived and I got bored. I set off up the hills after the walkers only to be accosted by said press photographer. ‘Oh!’ said he, ‘I’m glad to see you! Maggie’s up there and I’m a bit worried about her getting down again, it’s slippery.’ Following a brief conflab ‘bench, bad back’ etc, I went in search of Maggie. ‘Maggie! Maggie! Where are you!’ No reply. But then! A vision! There she was walking out of the mist towards me ~ phew!

Our poet at Clutter’s Cave (also known as Giant’s Cave / Waum’s Cave) was the caped Jenny Hope sporting a hare walking stick; her poetry is simply superb and she held us enthralled ~ other passers-by stopped to listen and a birthday party group stopped and enjoyed Jenny’s reading.

In warm blue tunic and cape ~ poetical garb for sure ~ our third poet was Anglo-Saxon specialist and actor, Math Jones. Again, the walkers were held spellbound as he gave them ‘Puck in Love’ on the way up and ‘The Magic Pig’ on the way back.

The poet occupying our furthest reach, ‘Poet’s Point’ ~ actually one of the entrances to the archaic fort at Midsummer Hill ~ was Liz Hayden-Jones. Liz, an experienced walker, who had dressed for the weather, unmissable in a red and blue coat she was joined by poet Jennifer Boden with more wonderful poetry. Following a photo shoot the group walked back to find Maggie, finally, on the bench. Now it was time for The Malvern Hills Hotel, where the room was readied and waiting.

There were eighteen spectacular five-minute performances at The Malvern Hills Hotel. We had food and drink, a nice warm room downstairs just for us; a grand end to a fab day. Two of the children read their poetry, which was special. And you’ll have seen some of the poems written about Maggie’s escapades. Gary’s is repeated further up this page and here is Myfanwy Fox’s poem to be read out loud:

Lost Laureate

by Myfanwy Fox

We missed
Maggie Doyle, missed
in the mist;
there was no vist-
a. We thought she’d be pissed
off but she’d been kissed
by publiss-
ity; a tryst
grist
assist-
ing our exist-
ing list
of poetry set in the midst
of mist
where wist-
ful missuses
might be missed
if you get the gist
I’ll desist.

‘Let’s do it again!’ I foolishly proposed, and they all went ‘Yes!’ So we’re thinking of a Midsummer Eve (21 June 2013) repeat of the walk ending on Midsummer Hill starting at 19:30, £5 each, no charge for children, all proceeds to WLF, bring your own picnic and a poem to read out loud. Hope to see you there :)


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Nain Rouge ~ First Edition

A little while ago, the members of dVerse Poet’s Pub were invited to submit poems to Nain Rouge a start-up online publication showcasing urban life.  This invitation came during the celebration of the dVerse first year anniversary.  The assignment was to write a poem about city life.

If you follow this link Nain Rouge it will take you to the page entitled White Cat Publishing / Nain Rouge First Edition, click on the black and white photo and a .pdf will download, my poem is on page 23 surrounded by other dVerse poets’ work.  Great to see Gayle‘s superb poem about Boston as editor’s choice on the first page :)


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Spilt Milk

Alleyway Refuge

He scrabbles in muck,
down on his luck,
a sorrowful sight,
with eyes swollen, tight
from crying
over milk
that was spilt
long ago.

He scrabbles in bins
for his things,
searches for food
in places you’d
rather avoid;
get’s annoyed
when offered help
he doesn’t want.

He scrabbles in brick dust,
crushed, flushed, stuffed
between lath
and plaster,
amongst jaws of
wood that splinters
against a darkening sky,
searching, always searching.

He scrabbles through days,
endless days,
tasteless days,
empty days,
and lays
his head down
at night
in a box,

with eyes swollen, tight
from crying
over milk
spilt.

Polly Robinson © 2012

 

He scrabbles …
Polly Robinson © 2012


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Summer Sun – a triolet

Following Catherine Crosswell’s first triolet “Pass the Parcel” back in April, I’ve been meaning to have a bash at one.  Today seems the perfect day, it’s so hot, too hot to actually do gardening [much as it needs dealing with!] – well, that’s my excuse anyway, as if I need one!

So here it is, my very first triolet.

Summer Sun

The summer sun beats down, merciless,
And the birds are exhausted with heat,
Sparrows dust bath, pigeons purr.
The summer sun beats down, merciless,
Up with sunshades, lounge, don’t stir,
A sun lotion Sunday paper treat.
The summer sun beats down, merciless,
And the birds are exhausted with heat.

Polly Robinson © 2012


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Blood Diamonds

Nearly there … just this one and Day 22 to complete and I’m up-to-date!  Day 29 and I cannot find a prompt from napowrimo – oh no!  I’ll have to come up with something myself *racks brain* … OK, I have it … hope you think so too.

Blood Diamonds

November 2000 and police intercept a gang
Who plan to smash into the Millennium Dome,
To steal diamonds worth a mere
£200 million.

They intend to escape in a speedboat
On the Thames, like a James Bond film!
Conflict diamonds, synthetic diamonds,

Blood diamonds.
The monopoly is threatened.
Hidden hoarders of diamonds are scared.
Vast, is the hoard of secret diamonds,

Worth billions, yes billions.
A fall in the value of diamonds?
A catastrophe!
Ah, but we love diamonds, because they are
Expensive.

They are, (and we all know this),
Quite simply, a girl’s
Best
Friend.

Marilyn sang the famous song
About it
So …
It must be true …

And yet, the sadness of
Pain, politics and cruelty
Encrusts blood diamonds.

Polly Robinson © 2012

The Millennium Dome, London, UK


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House of Beauty

And our prompt for napowrimo Day 16 is based on the idea of a picture being worth a thousand words — napowrimo posted three pictures, all loosely based around the idea of the ocean, the sea snail was the one that I picked to inspire the following poem.

House of Beauty

A house of beauty

You carry fathoms deep

Tucked in amongst flotsam and jetsam

Aqualine iced blues merge to grazing greens

Whilst your sluggy mollusc body leaves a trail unseen

Below the choppy waves

Polly Robinson © 2012


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To British Weather

A palm tree seen through many raindrops.

The prompt for Day 17 from napowrimo was to write an epistolary poem — a poem in the form of a letter.

‘… include at least 4 of the below in your poem:

1) a song lyric
2) a historical fact
3) an oddball adjective-noun combination (like red grass or loud silence)
4) a fruit
5) the name of a street in your neighbourhood
6) a measure of distance.’

Quite a challenge, I felt.  Here is my response:

To British Weather

Today you are for me
And against me.
Raindrops keep falling on my head
You invite me to catch up
With things I
Should have done
Or
Could have done
But
Didn’t do.

An interruption, intrusion!
An amazing fact is that
Animals can
Rain from the sky,
Don’t ask me why,
I looked it up
To satisfy
A requirement,
A demand,
For a poetic challenge.

Another!
One hundred yards away
Is Crown East Lane,
Where you can buy
Soft, hand-made, fragrant leather gloves
Near the Church of St Thomas.
Here, at harvest time,
The children bring baskets of
Apples, pears,
Plums and damsons.

Anyway, weather,
Where were we
Before I so
Rudely interrupted me?
Oh yes, catching up with
The things
I should have,
Could have,
And didn’t
Do.

No chance of
Gardening,
Don’t want to
Get drowned.
You are for me
Drowning
In words,
You are
Against me
Gardening.

I listen and hear,
Raindrops keep falling on my head
Dribbling, scribbling
On the windows
Dripping, gripping
The brickwork,
Soaking, cloaking
The wooden, now wet and dark,
Garage door.
And inhale the freshness of moist drops – the scent of rain.

Polly Robinson © 2012


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Lullaby

Day 18 – write a lullaby

Catching up nicely now!  This will teach me to fall behind – an epic poetry writing day :)

Lullaby

Listen to mama, shhhh, shhhh,
Loving you so,
Close your eyes, shhhh, shhhh,
To beddlums you go.

Into your dreams, shhhh, shhhh,
Quiet and near,
Slumber so close, shhhh, shhhh,
Soft voice in your ear.

My hand strokes your brow, shhhh, shhhh,
Child of mine,
Your scent fills me up, shhhh, shhhh,
My babe so fine.

Listen to mama, shhhh, shhhh,
Loving you so,
Close your eyes, shhhh, shhhh,
To beddlums you go.

Polly Robinson © 2012

Cradle Chair


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Journey

On Day 20, napowrimo asked us to ‘try taking notes while you are traveling … write a poem that narrates the process of getting from Point A to Point B’.

Journey

On the way
To a wedding day
That is overcast,
Not raining,
Yet.

Purring along,
Listening to song,
Snug as a bug without rug in a car …
Drowsy,
As up with the tweets.

We anticipate
A day so great,
With friends who match,
Harmonise.
Equals.

Polly Robinson © 2012


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Indoors with Ludi Cereales

The unpredictable Spring weather – we’d been rained upon, had hail, high winds and thunder through the day – meant we took Ludi Cereales indoors, so no campfire.  A brilliant evening with many performers entertaining, great food, lots of bread (well, it was Ludi Cereales!) and much to drink – a true celebration of Spring.  Many thanks to Worcester Vigornia Rotary, 42 and Parole Parlate for creating such a great event.

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Solo Connection

I am solo
Yet one of two
I am separate
Yet one of four
I am individual
Yet one of sixty-three
I am unique
Yet one of ninety-four thousand
I am different
Yet one of sixty-two million three hundred thousand
I am inimitable
Yet one of seven billion
‘No man is an island’*
I am me

Polly Robinson © 2012

North America and Pelican Nebulae (narrowband)

*John Donne (1572-1631)


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Ludi Cereales – The Preparation

Plays
Were
Performed
In Republican Rome
At ludi.
That is
– Ludi –
Celebratory
Festivals
Or
Games.

Ludi glorified Gods;
Jupiter [for example]
or wealthy citizens,
sometimes
politicians
who wanted to
proclaim
special occasions:
funerals
or triumphal entries
[don’t ask!]

The Gladiators came out,
animals were baited,
acrobats did their thing,
in an eclipse of literary drama.
Fescennine verses
were staged
– Fescennina carmina –
Italian poetry,
the harbinger of
satire and
comic drama [oh yeah!]

Ludi Cereales,
a fertility celebration
of Spring,
honours Ceres,
goddess of the fields,
goddess of grains.
for eight days only!
Symbolic ritual demands
the release of foxes
with flaming brands
on tails [poor things].

We’ll have
no cruelty
to foxes
here.
But offer
milk,
honey,
wine,
after you’ve taken them
thrice
around the field.

Polly Robinson © 2012


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42: Nosferatu (Dracula) at The Lunar Bar

From the organisers of 42 – an invitation to join in the fun at their first birthday bash

Join us for a Monster Mash at our Birthday Bash, as 42 turns one this month. It has been a fantastic year & it seems fitting that we get to celebrate the 1st anniversary of 42 at the same time as the 90th anniversary of the premiere of “Nosferatu,” by F. W. Murnau. What a great theme for our Birthday bash!

If you would be interested in performing at this &/or other events contact the 42 Worcester Team at 42worcester@42openmicnight.co.uk. Slots will be between 10-15 minutes long.

PRICE: £3.00

PERFORMERS: To be confirmed

INFO ON 42 OPEN MIC NIGHT:

‘42’ is Worcester’s first & only Gothic, Horror, Sci-Fi & Fantasy Open Mic Night for all those who love the genres & everything in between. Let your voice be heard!

Calling all writers, poets, musicians, performance artists, actors and comedians, if you have an interest in these areas we want you to get involved!

‘42’ takes its name from Douglas Adams’ great answer to Life, the Universe and Everything. We thought that was pretty all encompassing and a really snappy name which people would embrace. This is THE genre fans open mic night, and we want them to get in touch and make their voice heard!

INFO FOR PERFORMERS:

There are a few provisos which we must outline at the outset, such as the fact that although we embrace darker works we don’t encourage superfluous gore or scenes of lingering torture for the sake of celebrating cruelty. We do not encourage the humiliation, or attack of anyone due to their ethnic origin, religious beliefs, or the fact that their great grandfather six times removed was kidnapped by aliens. Although a degree of swearing could be part of an artist’s dramatic flow in a given horror story, we ask you to keep any such sequences within a reasonable dramatic format which will sound plausible!

So please respect these guidelines and we will welcome your contribution warmly.

Each performer will be allotted a 10-15 minutes span for their set, and we ask contributors to respect this timeframe! Please get in touch well in advance of the advertised evening if you wish to take part and have specific requirements for sound, etc.

We are always looking for new writers and performers to get involved in the event, so if you would like to become involved we would be chuffed to bits to hear from you! So get in touch!


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Mother’s Day

‘You can only have one Mother
Patient kind and true
No other friend in all the world
Will be the same to you’.

Remember the verse?
Who wrote it? Who knows?

It pleased Mum – kind of.
I was ten, sis was eight

We rowed on Mother’s Day

Went to church
Sis and I

Collected bookmarks with violets
Took them to Mum

But we failed to do something
I don’t remember what

I remember her shouting …
And we went up the shop

We found the small book-shaped vase
With the inscription above

With the last of our pocket money
We bought it with love

She felt guilty for shouting …

We didn’t get it for that.

Polly Robinson © 2012

English: Mother's Day card


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Compo he Stomp-o

A collage illustrating the different compositi...

A daft poem especially for Holly

Compo he stomp-o

Up hill-o,

Down vale-o,

He smell-o

Like poo-o;

Loves Nora Batty-o

In her baggy stockings-o.

He wears a grungy knitted hat and old wellies.

Polly Robinson © 2012