I have a poem in this wonderful anthology produced by Three Drops from a Cauldron Beltane 2016

 

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The e-issue of the Beltane 2016 special is out now!
(Print to follow later today).

Featuring work by Clint Wastling, Alexandra Carr-Malcolm, Rachel Bower, Tim Dwyer, Maggie Mackay, Karen Jane Cannon, Gareth Writer-Davies, Rex Davies, Liz Ferrets, Amy Kinsman, Margaret Holbrook, Sarah L. Dixon, Carole Bromley, Ness Owen, Phoebe Nicholson, Linda Ann Suddarth, Vicki Morley, Mary Franklin, Seth Crook, Angi Holden, Joanne Key, Jane Røken, Oz Hardwick, Andie Berryman, Sally Spedding, Rebecca Gethin, Margaryta Golovchenko, Sue Kindon, Caroline Hardaker, Dennis Trujillo, Rose Cook, David J. Costello, Barbara O’Donnell, Rachel McGladdery, & Alison Stone.
Open publication – Free publishing

Find it here: http://threedropspoetry.co.uk/2016/04/08/three-drops-from-a-cauldron-beltane-2016-special/

 

 

photograph Rose Cook

Spring is begun again

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The Trees    by Philip Larkin

The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.

Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too,
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.

Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.

photograph 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 Love, for you…

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Without You                              by Adrian Henri

Without you every morning would feel like going back to work after a holiday,
Without you I couldn’t stand the smell of the East Lancs Road,
Without you ghost ferries would cross the Mersey manned by skeleton crews,
Without you I’d probably feel happy and have more money and time and nothing to do with it,
Without you I’d have to leave my stillborn poems on other people’s doorsteps, wrapped in brown paper,
Without you there’d never be sauce to put on sausage butties,
Without you plastic flowers in shop windows would just be plastic flowers in shop windows,
Without you I’d spend my summers picking morosley over the remains of train crashes,
Without you white birds would wrench themselves free from my paintings and fly off dripping blood into the night,
Without you green apples wouldn’t taste greener,
Without you Mothers wouldn’t let their children play out after tea,
Without you every musician in the world would forget how to play the blues,
Without you Public Houses would be public again,
Without you the Sunday Times colour suppliment would come out in black-and-white,
Without you indifferent colonels would shrug their shoulders and press the button,
Without you they’s stop changing the flowers in Piccadilly Gardens,
Without you Clark Kent would forget how to become Superman,
Without you Sunshine Breakfast would only consist of Cornflakes,
Without you there’d be no colour in Magic colouring books,
Without you Mahler’s 8th would only be performed by street musicians in derelict houses,
Without you they’d forget to put the salt in every packet of crisps,
Without you it would be an offence punishable by a fine of up to £200 or two months’ imprisonment to be found in possession of curry powder,
Without you riot police are massing in quiet sidestreets,
Without you all streets would be one-way the other way,
Without you there’d be no one to kiss goodnight when we quarrel,
Without you the first martian to land would turn round and go away again,
Without you they’d forget to change the weather,
Without you blind men would sell unlucky heather,
Without you there would be
no landscapes/no stations/no houses
no chipshops/no quiet villages/no seagulls
on beaches/no hopscotch on pavements/no night/no morning/
there’d be no city no country
Without you.

photograph by Rose Cook

For February 1st, Candlemas, the Light Returns

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Imbolc – Poem for Brigid

 

 

February steps in cool,

clear light glances through doorways.

She leans on the threshold,

her eyes spark bright.

 

She brings green shoots,

the promise of fresh sillion in fields.

We still hear winter’s song, but draw

close to the fire with a smile.

 

Brigid is come with her blessing,

the earth breathes.

 

 

 

poem and photograph Rose Cook