May 1st …Beltane blessing all

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Lone Hawthorn On The Moor

 

For you are ancient and withstand terrible weathers.

For you make a dark shape in winter, carry a nest.

For I saw you sheathed in frozen snow, your berries hoar.

For you grow on the crest of a slope.

For you are potent, with medicinal properties.

Wands made from you hold great power.

For in spring you are covered in white blossom.

For you are the May tree and shake confetti on the girls,

who dance around your trunk.

For you are most erotic and bless love and fertility.

For you teem with life, insects that fly and crawl, lichen

and every kind of bird wants to shelter in your branches.

For you fill with the hum of bees.

For you must never be broken, nor taken home,

For you are hope, which remains wild.

For you have thorns and red berries, which imbue meaning,

though children make itching powder, babies are fed your syrup.

For you offer protection.

For you are grizzled and grow low to the ground.

 

Rose Cook

 

* this poem is in my new book  Hearth which is available from me or http://www.culturedllama.co.uk/

 

Reading in the Spring

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it’s time for the next monthly edition of Uncut Poets at the Phoenix Arts Centre, Gandy St, Exeter on April 26 at 7.30pm. Mixing memory and desire will be their two guest poets, Roselle Angwin and Rose Cook.

Roselle’s new book from Pindrop Press, A Trick Of The Light, is a luminous, reflective account of the history, landscapes and special atmosphere of the island of Iona, where she leads annual writing retreats.

Rose’s latest collection Hearth, from Cultured Llama, showcases her characteristic mix of lightness of touch and clarity of vision, dealing with the changes, the losses and gains that age brings, as well as the beauty and revelations of the natural world.

The evening in the Phoenix Workshop will be presented by Alasdair Paterson and a mystery co-presenter. Admission £5 (£3 for open mic and concessions). Lilacs bred out of the dead earth optional.

Big! Poetry – Performance poetry at the Blue Walnut January 11th

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Come along to the Blue Walnut for another night of performance poetry. Celebrate the new year with some of the finest locally sourced poets and spoken word artists, culminating in a headline set from the sublime Rose Cook.

Rose Cook is a well-known South West poet, who co-founded the popular Devon poetry and performance forum One Night Stanza, as well as poetry performance group Dangerous Cardigans.
To open the new year in a special way, she will be bringing along her latest book Hearth to share poems from it, among others. Expect numinous poems, expect surprise, intimacy, humour, expect a grateful celebration of life.
“Rose Cook’s poetry is a secret dance, a graceful flight as her words lift from the page, light and tender and yet powerful enough to change the way we see the world. Her performances are spellbinding, intimate conversations, private transactions as if reaching right into the soul of the audience.” Robert Garnham

Entry fee £6

Thanks to Rebecca Gethin who has taken time to feature my new book ‘Hearth’

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Rose Cook is the latest poet to be featured here. Hearth is her newest collection, her fourth and like Notes from a Bright Field is published by the discerning Cultured Llama.

And the poems? Well, I don’t know what to say because they all give me goose pimples and it’s hard to be articulate about something that does that. Rose has a way of writing about personal experiences in a totally unsentimental way, while being characteristically frank. By employing simple but precise language each poem pierces your heart. She writes about motherhood, her son’s fall, her grief for the loss of her own mother presented through everyday actions like folding sheets, seasons, plants and wild creatures (in particular hares) and all are bound together by her distinctively observant eye, her compassion.

I think it’s her acceptance of life’s precariousness and what our bodies know about us that is a strong binding thread.

Read more on :

https://rebeccagethin.wordpress.com/2017/11/12/rose-cook-hearth/