The secret of life, of a happy life, is: leave a little space open for poetry… Massimo Bottura
I am very happy to announce a new, slim volume of poems
Sightings: Rose Cook published by Grey Hen Press
available from Rose Cook or email firstname.lastname@example.org £4 plus p&p
Here are poems “bright as Lord Krishna’s hair’ that take great joy and delight in the wild-life of sea and shore. In an age of cynicism and depression over climate change these poems are a pure celebration of nature; to quote a line from her poem about building a stone wall, they are like “the heartings” that brim with “tumble and lustre”. A truly uplifting collection.
Gill McEvoy (Rise pub Cinnamon Press)
There are poems here delightfully willing to see through the eyes of the creatures involved – whales, dogs, seals, fish, birds – while the human element is aware of itself as the inevitable record of vision.
And there are poems here which speak directly to the hidden in all of us; losses which remain on the inside brought to sight/light by Cook`s tender language and deft crafting.
With the ‘white sheets’ on the washing line, Cook surrenders to sight, while that ‘single red shirt’ acts as a warning: Look out. And up, and everywhere, all the time, because it`s a good thing. Because it helps.
Sandra Tappenden (Speed pub Salt Modern Poets)
by Mary Oliver
My work is loving the world. Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird— equal seekers of sweetness. Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums. Here the clam deep in the speckled sand. Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work, which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished. The phoebe, the delphinium. The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture. Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here, which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart and these body-clothes, a mouth with which to give shouts of joy to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam, telling them all, over and over, how it is that we live forever. photo Rose Cook
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.
* this poem is in my new book Hearth which is available from me or http://www.culturedllama.co.uk/
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.