An exciting new book from Rose Cook

I am delighted to share my new poetry project with you ~

Fresh Start: A Shepherd’s Calendar is freshly published by Hen Run, Grey Hen Press.

This is a project close to my heart and one that I have been working on for over a year.

A Shepherd’s Calendar is a poem that consists of twelve eclogues. Each eclogue is named after a different month, which represents the turning of seasons. An eclogue is a short pastoral poem that is in the form of a dialogue or a soliloquy. I have included a quote from John Clare for each month.

Fresh Start is available now from Rose at:

or from: at £4 plus p&p

This is a fascinating book, one to turn to all the year round, as it leads you through each season.

A perfect gift too, my publisher says.


selected from April:

This morning I hear the pear blossom song

from the end of the garden, a white, buttery lilt,

rapture of blooms, feathered fan, branches full of flowers

held by a black trunk, hollow, ancient pear.

Lifesaving Poems: Derek Mahon’s ‘Everything is Going to be All Right’

A particularly meaningful poem for me right now as I come back to wellness. Thank you Derek Mahon and Anthony Wilson x

Anthony Wilson

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Everything is Going to be All Right

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.

DerekMahon, from Selected Poems

I first read Derek Mahon’s ‘Everything is Going to be All Right’ as an undergraduate, somewhere towards the end of my degree, at a stage of life when everything did indeed seem hopeful and untainted by disaster and breakdown. My reaction on reading…

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Finest: Annie Fisher – “Sitting With Friends”

This is a wonderful poem, beautiful analysed. Thank you Annie and Ben.

Ben Banyard

Annie Fisher FinestSitting With Friends

Today I am friends with the sunshine and the long, long time.
I am friends with the whistling of the man next door
and his uninvited music, which I’ve become accustomed to.

I am also enjoying a fleeting relationship with the shadow
of the jasmine on the carpet.

I am live-in companion to this dark wooden furniture.
Its heaviness and sadness comforts me.

And I’m on pretty good terms with this bamboo back-scratcher.
Alan Ginsberg put a back-scratcher in a poem once,
and now I’ve done it too.

But the little cross-legged Buddha on the mantelpiece
is my most steadfast friend.
He says he’s read the letter in the envelope I tucked behind his back.
He says he understands.

I am a friend to fortune any day,
a friend to anything that shines out there beyond the corner of my eye,
and friend to what may come…

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