Writings and Witterings


The Bruised and Quiet Wardrobe

Over at dVerse Poets Pub, MarinaSofia is urging fellow poets to let go of abstract concepts and describe things as concretely as possible in a poem combining household objects and adjectives describing emotions or feelings.

The Bruised and Quiet Wardrobe

She comes in the morning,
gives me no warning,
flings my doors forward,
flicks through my frocks.
I’m black and blue
by the time
she has finished
grabbing at garments,
cussing my locks.
I stand here, static,
utterly frozen,
quite unable to rage or rant.
Soon she’s beaming,
happy she’s chosen,
at long last, a woven shirt
brief and scant.
I’ll sit here, static,
’til she needs me again,
looks in my mirror
head cocked and then
gets out a million and one
different outfits,
bed and floor strewn
’til the room is shrouded
with dresses and dirndl skirts,
trousers and blouses.
I’m bruised but quiet,
I am black,
I am blue,
but I’m good,
I am wood
and I know what I do.

Polly Robinson © 2014


Old Woman

With acknowledgement to Alan Nicholls

Acknowledgements to Alan Nicholls

Old Woman

We look at the photo and what do we see?
Pale faded blue eyes staring back vapidly.
Who are you old woman and why do you stare?
What book do you read propped on table so fair?
Your dark gown and bolero, white lace ‘neath your chin
are good clues for us of the times you lived in.
The tapestry chair with dark criss-crossed legs
contrasts with the net ribboned hat on your head.
Who are you old woman and why do you stare?

Polly Robinson © 2014

At one of my regular writing groups, Alan Nicholls, the group leader, brought in a pile of old photographs and challenged us to write something about one of them – this poem is the resulting ekphrastic piece. Evidently, the answer to the question is that it took so long in those days to take the photo that she’d probably been holding the pose for quite a while!


Stockings In The Larder

I’m stocking up the larder
I’m stocking up with food
I’m stocking up for winter
and that’s my attitude!

Whatever I am stocking
with Christmas on the way,
don’t you lot start a’mocking
I’ll be ready for the day!

Polly Robinson © 2014

Christmas pud_edited-1


Found Poem

Rancid bear lingers
with Woodbine’s glow,
the ginnels of grim,
a guess, a no show.

The stink of cheap scent,
acrid smoke stains the ceiling,
mortal man shuffles bent
from six summer’s tunnelling.

Foundations rock
to their weighted layers,
our hero, stunned, shocked
a reluctant nay-sayer.

Pissed again on unoaked whiskey
still warm from the last roaring day.
No sleep, no bedrock, all too risky.
Fail as the sun fades away
to butter on the tongue.

Polly Robinson © 2014

This poem was found during a workshop exercise where we worked on descent and dissent at the OU Poets weekend in Devon.


My Gift

Jenny gave it to me in ’73,
Lauder’s parfum solidifié,
a cameo lid, carved and proud,
a Grecian face, raised, endowed
with curls and plaits in ivory,
on terracotta,
scent set in finely-etched gold.
Jenny gave it to me.

Fast forward to 2013, a bad year,
when that thing happened
that all of us fear,
Jenny, my friend,
she lost, she went.
I don’t forget her,
still use
the same scent.

Polly Robinson © 2014


A Secret Mystery

J.Sheridan Le Fanu

J.Sheridan Le Fanu

After Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

A Secret Mystery

Soulful Maud wanders in solitude
thinking of the strangest attitudes,
of Dickon’s stumpy gait,
of cousin Dudley, loutish and rude,
she flees from him, escapes.
Silas: sinister opium freak,
Milly: rustic, amiable, weak,
thoughts of a marriage to Dudley reek.
Maud’s held like bait.

Madame de la Rogierre appears,
Maud appalled, recalls earlier fears,
plagued by poison intent.
Her governess of lies and spy years;
tortured, Maud’s in torment.
Dragged and driven to a train carriage,
forced to think on a hateful marriage,
knows her qualms will be disparaged.
Shock-scathed; she’s spent.

Wakes to find herself at Bartram-Haugh,
told she is mistaken by the sobs
of hollow-faced Madame,
great long nose and gobbling, cackling chops,
presence like a phantom.
Maud watches crouched in a corner, hidden.
Dudley takes a spiked hammer, driven
to smash the brains of a strange victim.
Thought it was Maud.

Polly Robinson © 2014

September 2014 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Le Fanu (1814-1873). He’s famous for several gothic tales and poems. In A Glass Darkly and Uncle Silas are amongst his better known works. This poem is based on the story in Uncle Silas and on the form of his poem The Stream.



empty shoe www.flickr.com

Empty Shoe – acknowledgements to http://www.flickr.com

A last [1]
forms material shaped
to fit

under leather,
above sole,
below bowed laces

filled by instep,
flesh and bone,
five toes

the void

unthought-of, invisible
yet visible
gap to be filled

and fragranced

Polly Robinson © 2014

A cobbler's last acknowledgement to:  marketlavingtonmuseum.wordpress.com

A Cobbler’s Last – acknowledgements to: marketlavingtonmuseum.wordpress.com

[1] A block or form shaped like a human foot and used in making or repairing shoes.