It was a great pleasure to read at the Tagore Festival at Dartington this week. Here is one of the poems that I read there.

Meditating On Cows


There are cows filling the road.

Black and white;

faltering past with their kind faces

their ears that loop

their great slack bodies, mud splashed,

implacable as sideboards.

A face looms in the window

wet nosed, drips from one nostril.

Her eyes shine blackly, seem to see and not see.

Her shoulder bulk knocks the wing mirror.

She startles and begins to run, sliding slightly,

uncomfortable just as my mother used to be

when she ran in slippered feet down the street.

Ahead the road is still full.

Here one is more curious. She stops to lick the door

and stares a second before others hurry her on.

They slop by, silent but for their feet,

some dignity in their quiet obedience

until the last walks by, flanked by the cowman,

who, relaxed and whistling, ties up the gate.

Rose Cook

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