The Wagtail Tree


There is a tree in our town

which every night fills

with a cloud of wagtails.


We stand in the cold air

and look up at the branches.

A hundred small bodies perch in silence:


fragile, wild, all facing the same way.

A chain of bulbs is strung around the tree

uplighting their pale breasts, long tails.


This when my mother lies sleeping through

her last Christmas; my life has a split screen

with her face and memories of past times,


hanging decorations, her hands

clipping a silver wagtail to a branch

…this was mine when I was small


and every evening, the birds come back

to roost, and every morning

there is life to be embraced.

by Rose Cook


Poetry Island is at the Blue Walnut with guest headliner Rose Cook

            Rose is one of the best loved poets in the South West. It is an honour to have her back at the Blue Walnut!

Also appearing will be








and your host ROBERT GARNHAM


Thursday 21st November

Blue Walnut Café, Torquay

7.30 (doors open)

8pm (show starts)

Still only £5!

If you would like to reserve a seat, then contact

Apples and Snakes presents Gallery Sessions: The Relaunch 19 November

An exciting line-up of national acts, showcasing the many voices in the current spoken word arena.

Steve Duncan: Slam winning, highly talented spoken word artist with a passionate delivery.
Deborah Stevenson: Nottingham based rising star with a South West preview of her brand-new poetry pamphlet.
Chanje Kunda: Returning to the Gallery Sessions with her aural visual roller-coaster style.
Rose Cook: Much loved Devon poet will be sharing work from her newly published collection ‘Notes from a Bright Field’.

PLUS: Poetry fair and networking with those from the regional spoken word world- join us for a range of stalls from local poets, publishers and groups, share and be inspired whether you’re a practicing poet or a complete beginner; come and see what’s going on near you.
7pm: Join us for a glass of bubbly and meet the poetry people that live and work near you, open to all.
8pm: The show. Sit back, listen and enjoy.

When: Tuesday 19 November, 7pm
Where: The Gallery Café, Queens Theatre, Boutport Street, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 1SY
Tickets: Advance £7/5 / Otd £8.50