Celebrating International Womens’ Day – Balance for better – and some poetry news 💛

This morning, I was delighted to receive a copy of the latest Sarasvati magazine, with its beautiful cover and filled with poetry. Some of that poetry is mine, from my latest book Hearth and I am very pleased to be included. Many thanks to Indigo Dreams Publishing and editor Dawn Bauling.

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Hearth is available from me or http://www.culturedllama.co.uk/

Sarasvati from http://www.indigodreams.co.uk

Here’s a poem from Sarasvati, chosen from Hearth and offered here for International Womens’ Day:

enfold  

 

When his mother died, Seamus Heaney

wrote a poem about folding a sheet with her.

 

So many days I have lifted sheets

from the line with my own mother.

 

She taught me the way of folding.

Together we would dance to and fro,

 

handing the cloth to her as she made

the final fold, a pat and sigh,

 

that slight smile to meet my eye,

then on to the next.

 

I never wanted it to end.

 

Rose Cook

 

 

 

Mothers, daughters…International Womens’ Day 🧡

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Moon for Our Daughters       by Annie Finch

 

Moon that is linking our daughters’
Choices, and still more beginnings,
Threaded alive with our shadows,

These are our bodies’ own voices,
Powers of each of our bodies,
Threading, unbroken, begetting

Flowers from each of our bodies.
These are our spiraling borders
Carrying on your beginnings,

Chaining through shadows to daughters,
Moving beyond our beginnings,
Moon of our daughters, and mothers.

 

photo Rose Cook

Celebrating all women – mothers and daughters – on International Womens’ Day

 

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The Pomegranate                                by Eavan Boland

 

The only legend I have ever loved is
the story of a daughter lost in hell.
And found and rescued there.
Love and blackmail are the gist of it.
Ceres and Persephone the names.
And the best thing about the legend is
I can enter it anywhere. And have.
As a child in exile in
a city of fogs and strange consonants,
I read it first and at first I was
an exiled child in the crackling dusk of
the underworld, the stars blighted. Later
I walked out in a summer twilight
searching for my daughter at bed-time.
When she came running I was ready
to make any bargain to keep her.
I carried her back past whitebeams
and wasps and honey-scented buddleias.
But I was Ceres then and I knew
winter was in store for every leaf
on every tree on that road.
Was inescapable for each one we passed.
And for me.
It is winter
and the stars are hidden.
I climb the stairs and stand where I can see
my child asleep beside her teen magazines,
her can of Coke, her plate of uncut fruit.
The pomegranate! How did I forget it?
She could have come home and been safe
and ended the story and all
our heart-broken searching but she reached
out a hand and plucked a pomegranate.
She put out her hand and pulled down
the French sound for apple and
the noise of stone and the proof
that even in the place of death,
at the heart of legend, in the midst
of rocks full of unshed tears
ready to be diamonds by the time
the story was told, a child can be
hungry. I could warn her. There is still a chance.
The rain is cold. The road is flint-coloured.
The suburb has cars and cable television.
The veiled stars are above ground.
It is another world. But what else
can a mother give her daughter but such
beautiful rifts in time?
If I defer the grief I will diminish the gift.
The legend will be hers as well as mine.
She will enter it. As I have.
She will wake up. She will hold
the papery flushed skin in her hand.
And to her lips. I will say nothing.

 

 

 

Photograph Rose Cook

 

for International Women’s Day

 

On Bringing Up Girls

 

 

Aren’t you going to clip her wings?

they said, That’s usual for a girl her age, isn’t it?

We said we didn’t want to clip her wings

and they watched our little daughter grow

bright and strong, then they said

 

Aren’t you going to tie her feet? That’s

advisable for a young girl, isn’t it?

We said we didn’t want to tie her feet

so they saw a young woman growing

clear and brave. Before they could say anything else

we said, Now it is time to teach her to fly.

They fell back.

 

They are teaching her to fly, they repeated,

teaching her to fly.

How wonderful, murmured their daughters,

and how interesting.

 

 

poem and photograph Rose Cook

poem from Notes From a Bright Field – Rose Cook (pub Cultured Llama 2013)

For International Women’s Day March 8th

 

On Bringing Up Girls

 

Aren’t you going to clip her wings?

they said, That’s usual for a girl her age, isn’t it?

We said we didn’t want to clip her wings

and they watched our little daughter grow

bright and strong, then they said

 

Aren’t you going to tie her feet? That’s

advisable for a young girl, isn’t it?

We said we didn’t want to tie her feet

so they saw a young woman growing

clear and brave. Before they could say anything else

we said, Now it is time to teach her to fly.

They fell back.

 

They are teaching her to fly, they repeated,

teaching her to fly.

How wonderful, murmured their daughters,

and how interesting.

Rose Cook