Polly Richardson (Munnelly) is a Dublin born poet now living and writing in Meath. She has been published both nationally and internationally in many anthologies and e-zines under the surname of Munnelly and more recently Richardson. A contributing poet to US-based poetry forum Mad Swirl and Europe’s Live Encounters digi mag with poems featuring in Boston’s Nixes Mate review, Porter Gulch Review Cabrillo college US, Italian based Lotus Eater mag and member of and co-runs Navan creative writers group: The Bulls Arse. She has been heard reading at national and international poetry festivals from 2013 to 2019 including Trim’s (Meath Ireland) first poetry festival in 2019. She also has been heard at open mic nights all over Ireland and via Skype for the second time to Dallas when Mad Swirl went live launching their best of anthology 2018 in 2019. In 2017 she worked with Frisian poet and the now Netherlands Laureate Teasd Brunja in Harrlem in Amsterdam.
I to tree canter. Slide quarters to halt gritting before the breakage, it’s essences beckons as hypnotic calls of lavender fields, lays this silence cloaking bare skin sinking to sap and pour, flooding shores, lake retreated into crevasse, each lap ripple repeals taunt grip upon days dawn. I rock to centre, splay hand to catch reflection, spoon each footfall, encompass this, this. Be. Grit to grind, grind the bones of thinking thinkers, so it slurps it’s self to marrow and wait Wait to greet I, this, foundation of internal push, roots burst to roost, yet no earthen sod can bare its thrust, distant whinny calls, envelop it’s rippling as if stone skim across my surface.
I spoon myself. Silence echoes leaving - the greatest gift, spread oysters to lick residue. Shell to the left sits untouched, spoiling by ticking tocks passing themselves, spews up the polluted, pitying bellies of its ingest. I spoon. Many discover gluttony. Can’t help savagery, ignoring their own stench of consumption, sneering smile as they tongue each other’s erosion of themselves and hold And hold. Begrudgery. I spoon up moon, its fullness fills that hunger - nag, stepping over each distant wave, hold, to release. Each palm a pearl sits sinking inwards tethering to wear themselves non-polished nor strung already knowing it’s own uniqueness, perfectly matched, spooning.
Talking to Walls
Waking to rough eyes again, Shirley stirred, trying to undo the wrestled blankets pinning her. “Jesus! Will I ever learn- bed early and bloody sleep!” Her thoughts could clear stadiums if ever they could form bodies and step out. Come to think of it they’d probably streak, run and prance across the pitch, bringing the place to a standstill with everyone gawping more like.
Turning to face the slinky sunbeam, bouncing off the organized chaos of jumpers and mismatched bras, that came through the always- there gap, in her always getting stuck curtains which stopped shorter than the window length. She half-eyed the date, mutter- hissed, “Fucking Valentine’s.”
Nothing worse than ‘Hallmark’ day for the ‘happiest’ waitress in town! That would also include birthdays, Christmas, pretty much anything that required beaming excitement for others or herself. She didn’t begrudge others no, no, years of let downs sort of set fire (wildly) to any notions of giddiness on days such as today.
Slipping on her neon pink runners – snail like; each foot finding its way in somehow to the cushioned ever so worn insides of her lace-ups, she yawned, sucking in the earth and its mother doing a double check patting herself. “Keys, wallet, bag.” She praised her almost together reflection with a nod and a tightening of her out of control hair nested in a uniquely Shirley-bun that sat on top of her head. Until she picked a fight with a stray curl that wouldn’t stay down, giving her the appearance of a lone horn, which was shortly joined by another. After a red-faced tap dance and a roar that would cower a lion, she left her apartment, skimming time, never noticed the toilet roll flapping about from under her skirt.
Finally arriving at work, she reached her left hand up and on to the door pushing it -only the door clearly said PULL. She didn’t see the 6ft blonde man pushing the door out from inside the restaurant. She was distracted by the local stray cat trying to mount the French bulldog; owned by Charles and Leo, that was tied up outside the veggie shop, who were, by now flapping wildly screaming: “Our Baby, Our Baby violated, she’s violated!!”
In what could only be described as a matrix moment, she was wacked full force on the nose by the oncoming door. Running backward, her feet now doing shuffling, with the 6ft Blonde man running forwards stretching out his hand trying to catch running-backwards-shuffling Shirley who landed in dog shite left by Charles and Leo’s French bulldog. Her nose now bleeding, splatted her knees. “Could this day get any worse?” She winced, trying to look up at the face looking down at her heaped, saying something but all she could hear was static. The once flapping toilet roll now hung with the dog shite mashed into it, unnoticed and possibly hurt, after all, it was Valentine’s day, nothing worse than feeling invisible!
After waddling in through the door, this time pulled open by a guilt-ridden 6ft blonde man babbling, “I’m sorry and is there anything I can do?” Shirley made her way past her work mate Tess to the staff bathroom, which thankfully had a shower. Her workmate gawped, so wide squirrels could hibernate there, maybe store nuts. Her 5ft nothing boss was a gym fanatic and liked to be clean. She found that out the hard way when her last margarita experiment went wrong, and she ended up crapping herself serving eggs. This forced her to bust into the bathroom before she offloaded again, a startled, very startled 5ft nothing boss stared back, bewildered as she evacuated the alien doing the Mumba in her bowels. He stood blinking with veet in one hand, the specula in the other as running water hit the middle of his head perfectly. That day was never mentioned again.
Easing herself into the shower, the blue wicker chair firmly propped under the door handle, she slowly washed away the morning’s events, not just physically but emotionally too. Hozier from Eden hummed from the overhead speakers ‘ Baaabe there’s something so tragic about yooooou, something soooo magic about you. Don’t you agree, baaabe…’she didn’t hear the magic bit, body hugged herself as the years gulps erupted matching the force of the power shower. She wilted.
The lunch hour rush was coming to an ease. The last of the office lunch “not -dates” as they’re “not couples”, just colleagues playing footsie under the table, were finishing up. Shirley mindlessly collected the bill, rolling her eyes at them making eyes, stripping each other which every blink. Never noticing the 6ft blonde man who impacted her so much she looked like she done ten rounds with Rocky, sitting in the corner pretending his coffee was still in his cup, he sipped and swallowed air. “Fucking Valentine’s,” she ranted under her breath to the walls, who has often told her to shut up, blaming her for the small cracks that ran at obscure angles along it.
6ft blonde man pondered the morning’s events. He kicked himself for almost knocking out the woman he’s watched talking to walls for the last few months. “Jesus, how hard is it to just say hello!! I’m a grown man for fuck sake and then I go and do that- gaaaah what a twat.” His thoughts often quarrelled with him, beating him up for being such an eejit. And he has, to pull the red card sending them offside, to their annoyance- left to stand on the side-line, noiselessly flapping! He’s almost like an iPhone glitching the number of stop-starts he’s taking each day just to try and say, “Hi”.Shaking his head in his rather hairy looking hands, he took a few deep breaths, turned his attention to his coffee cup, the almost empty coffee cup, he muttered to lone drop of coffee. “Big boy pants now come on, get a grip lad, get a grip,”he swore it smiled back, Jaysus was that a laugh? As if someone stuck a hot poker up his arse, he knocked back that drop; only the sugar hadn’t quite dissolved and he gagged, lip sucked tighter than someone about to get an enema, making all sorts of faces.
Taking mortification to a whole new level he suddenly matched the red of the ketchup bottle snuggled up with salt and vinegar. Shirley turned around blinked a few times, her thoughts shouted, “Get over there, eh choking, he’s choking.” To which she replied, “Fuck off.” The wall wasn’t impressed thinking it’s been offended once again, sending a chunk of itself towards Shirley, only it missed. It hit 6ft blonde man square between the eyes! Unfortunately, the ketchup leaped spilling salt and vinegar, releasing itself with fright all over 6ft blonde man’s face.
“Jesus,” is all Shirley could think, running across the dark wooden floor, her runners squeaking with delight to be moving with added speed. Maybe too excited, unravelling their green laces as they glided across the floor, one flapped left the other right. Maybe they thought they were on a roller coaster and wanted their hands up and out to the sides trying to catch speed and split-second freedom.
She didn’t see the laces parting and partying. She stepped on herself and for a moment was super-girl flying. Only her landing wasn’t graceful, soft but not graceful. Two hairy hands. one left, one right, caught her, underestimated the landing. She landed fully on 6ft blonde man’s head, sending the two of them backward. Smashing the chair he was sitting on in the corner of the restaurant, in full view of the street and passers-by, who, by now, were gawping at the clash of bodies and ketchup. She looked down at a red splattered face gazing up, that muttered something like, “Cello.” She saw the ocean in eyes that looked back at her longing to swim in. And the toilet roll drifted free.