Polly

Writings and Witterings


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Here I Am…

…did you miss me? ;)

I’ve been away at The Hurst, on a wonderful Arvon course with ace poet Holly Magill. We had a fab time with tutors Patience Agbabi and Luke Kennard, and guest poet Katrina Naomi.
Here is a poem that came out of one of the sessions during which we discussed characters in poetry :)

The Paper Maker

Left, right, left, right,
quick march,
reams of paper,
white and starched.
Order restored,
all in place,
a gross for Mr Johnson
at the Poetry Place.

My name’s Charley,
Charley Waite,
‘course, they call me
Paper Waite,
the bloody kids
who want a job,
all through the summer.

They should be like me,
left school at fifteen,
did me no harm as you can see.
Stopping conscription
in nineteen sixty:
the worst thing that happened
for our kids.

Little shits,
graffiti-ing the mill.
I’ll give ‘em ‘summer job,’
they’ll get bugger all.
They can scrub
and clean
‘til those bricks
are pristine,
again.

Left, right, left, right,
quick march,
reams of paper,
white and starched.
Order restored,
all in place,
a gross for Miss Chard
at the Post Office.

Polly Robinson © 2014

…and here are some marvellous photos courtesy of Richard Stephenson, all having a great time – click on the images to enlarge :)

Arvon poets at The Hurst 2014 - by Richard Stephenson

Arvon poets at The Hurst 2014 – by Richard Stephenson

Fun on the final night - by Richard Stephenson

Fun on the final night – by Richard Stephenson

 


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The Old Dollop – an Englyn

The old dollop enjoys his jollop and
always talks lots of rot.
His hair is tied in a knot.
He wears shorts, sandals, blue socks.

Polly Robinson © 2014

This Celtic poetry form, the straight one-rhymed ‘englyn unodl union’ consists of four lines of ten, six, seven and seven syllables. The seventh, eighth or ninth syllable of the first line introduces the rhyme and this is repeated on the last syllable of the other three lines. The part of the first line after the rhyme alliterates with the first part of the second line.


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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)


45 Comments

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.


17 Comments

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


26 Comments

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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Flash Fiction

keepcalmAndWriteFlashThinking about Flash Fiction writers on Napowrimo, Day 27.

Flash: a quickly written,
smitten – writer on a mission -
short, short story,
flash fiction.

Get those fingers flashing,
brain dashing,
mind mashing,
pen writing,

brain fighting to
work a twist into
the tail – rail against
time – get it down,

get it down,
get down,
down.
Flash.

logo13sm

22 June 2013

Polly Robinson © 2013


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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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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 vista.
Malvern, distant:
where the skies rise
from the hills;
where he found inspiration.

Polly Robinson © 2013

English: Malvern Hills in June 2005

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


28 Comments

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