August is here

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My next event will be Forked @ Sea Change Festival on August Bank Holiday Weekend (26th & 27th August 2016!) This is going to be a HUGE event in Totnes with films, literature, talks and plenty of music across five venues.

The weekend pass is £45, or £35 if you’re a student.

You can see the line up here: http://www.seachangefestival.co.uk/line-up/ – as well as seeing the fantastic spoken word and poetry event, Forked!

Poetry to inspire, delight and provoke!

Stand- up performance poetry and spectacular spoken word from across the South West, hosted by jazz floozy and poetess Mama Tokus.

Join Apples and Snakes for this special one off Forked on tour at Sea Change Festival, bringing its unique mix of styles and genres from the absurd and comical to the heartfelt and inspiring.

PERFORMING POETS INCLUDE: Kayo Chingonyi / Rose Cook / Rob Barratt / Jackie Juno / Mama Tokus.

August 27th @ The Gallery at Birdwood House, 44 High St, Totnes, Devon TQ9 5SQ    7.30pm

photograph Rose Cook

 

 

 

Living, what matters

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Living                         by Denise Levertov

The fire in leaf and grass
so green it seems
each summer the last summer.

The wind blowing, the leaves
shivering in the sun,
each day the last day.

A red salamander
so cold and so
easy to catch, dreamily

moves his delicate feet
and long tail. I hold
my hand open for him to go.

Each minute the last minute.

 

 

 

photo Rose Cook

Elephants and the poetry of elephants

I am delighted to have two poems included in Becky Gethin’s anthology featured on her website and reposted here:

A Poetry of Elephants

If you press this – A Poetry of Elephants –  you will find our anthology of elephant poems. So here’s huge thanks and grateful hugs to all the many contributors: I never envisaged so many lovely poems would  respond to my call-out!  Twenty four poets have sent twenty nine poems in about a fortnight. Please feel free to share this with anyone and everyone.

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When I went to Saba Douglas-Hamilton’s inspiring talk about her organisation ‘Save the Elephants’ she said that we should all do what we can and that made me think of putting together a collection of elephant poems to explore ways in which elephants are a vital part of our culture even though we are not living in elephant habitat. A week ago Kenya set fire to 11 pyres of elephant tusks which I read represents 30 miles of elephant, standing trunk to tail.  I desperately hope that was the right thing to do but it is a hugely significant symbolic gesture on the part of the Kenyan government. If only governments both European, Asian and African just said No to dealing with those countries who harm elephants.

I do hope this works, that you can see this and that you like it. Amazing to see what elephants mean to us all.

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I shall also be sending this to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (they have asked me to do so)  just so that you know.  Also, the Born Free Foundation and Save the Elephants.   Now we just need to find the poachers’ facebook pages and our poems will have the whole problem knocked on the head.

 

 

A Poetry of Elephants can be found at http://issuu.com/rebeccagethin/docs/a_poetry_of_elephants_0ef74ad25cc6bc?e=24753786/35494689

A May Tree for Beltane blessing

 

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Moorland Hawthorn

 

 

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.

 

poem and photograph Rose Cook