On Seeing and Loving

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Little Owl Who Lives in the Orchard     –     Mary Oliver

His beak could open a bottle,
and his eyes – when he lifts their soft lids –
go on reading something
just beyond your shoulder –
Blake, maybe,
or the Book of Revelation.

Never mind that he eats only
the black-smocked crickets,
and the dragonflies if they happen
to be out late over the ponds, and of course
the occasional festal mouse.
Never mind that he is only a memo
from the offices of fear –

it’s not size but surge that tells us
when we’re in touch with something real,
and when I hear him in the orchard
fluttering
down the little aluminium
ladder of his scream –
when I see his wings open, like two black ferns,

a flurry of palpitations
as cold as sleet
rackets across the marshlands
of my heart
like a wild spring day.

Somewhere in the universe,
in the gallery of important things,
the babyish owl, ruffled and rakish,
sits on its pedestal.
Dear, dark dapple of plush!
A message, reads the label,
from that mysterious conglomerate:
Oblivion and Co.
The hooked head stares
from its house of dark, feathery lace.
It could be a valentine.

photo Rose Cook

At a time of grief

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Grief

 

During and after my mother’s death

I left plenty of space for grieving

or so I thought.

It seems to need so much

perhaps, after all, I will need a new life.

All this brokenness and sitting still.

 

The cherry has been pink since December.

It blooms from dry branches,

never lets go.

 

 

 

poem and photograph Rose Cook

A new year to embrace

Everything Is Going to Be All Right

by Derek Mahon

How should I not be glad to contemplate
the clouds clearing beyond the dormer window
and a high tide reflected on the ceiling?
There will be dying, there will be dying,
but there is no need to go into that.
The poems flow from the hand unbidden
and the hidden source is the watchful heart;
the sun rises in spite of everything
and the far cities are beautiful and bright.
I lie here in a riot of sunlight
watching the day break and the clouds flying.
Everything is going to be all right.

from New Collected Poems

photo Rose Cook

 

Seasonal greeting as the year gets ready to turn

New Year Resolve by May Sarton

 

The time has come
To stop allowing the clutter
To clutter my mind
Like dirty snow,
Shove it off and find
Clear time, clear water.

Time for a change,
Let silence in like a cat
Who has sat at my door
Neither wild nor strange
Hoping for food from my store
And shivering on the mat.

Let silence in.
She will rarely speak or mew,
She will sleep on my bed
And all I have ever been
Either false or true
Will live again in my head.

For it is now or not
As old age silts the stream,
To shove away the clutter,
To untie every knot,
To take the time to dream,
To come back to still water.

 

from Collected Poems 1930-1993

photo Rose Cook

 

Russell Brand talks about Revolution – published on Poetry 24 site today

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Russell Brand talks about Revolution

His mother must be proud after all,

fighting addiction isn’t easy. Clean now,

his intelligence, quick as fish, darts fast.

Her brave boy, thrown helter skelter bipolar,

finds ground.

Fear travels quickly, love a little slower.

Expressive, misunderstood,

the cynic’s clown,

the people’s narcissist

but bearing witness,

sharing truth.

Do you step up?

poem by Rose Cook

published on http://poetry-24.blogspot.co.uk/

http://www.theguardian.com/membership/video/2014/nov/12/russell-brand-on-revolution-democracy-and-vivienne-westwood-video

 

photo from http://www.dudesnews.com/2013/11/02/the-revolution-will-be-televised-russell-brand-on-bbcs-newsnight/