Keeping Quiet…let’s stop for a second

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Keeping Quiet             by Pablo Neruda

 

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.

For once on the face of the earth
let’s not speak in any language,
let’s stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines,
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victory with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.

Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

 

photo Rose Cook

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Big! Poetry – Performance poetry at the Blue Walnut January 11th

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Come along to the Blue Walnut for another night of performance poetry. Celebrate the new year with some of the finest locally sourced poets and spoken word artists, culminating in a headline set from the sublime Rose Cook.

Rose Cook is a well-known South West poet, who co-founded the popular Devon poetry and performance forum One Night Stanza, as well as poetry performance group Dangerous Cardigans.
To open the new year in a special way, she will be bringing along her latest book Hearth to share poems from it, among others. Expect numinous poems, expect surprise, intimacy, humour, expect a grateful celebration of life.
“Rose Cook’s poetry is a secret dance, a graceful flight as her words lift from the page, light and tender and yet powerful enough to change the way we see the world. Her performances are spellbinding, intimate conversations, private transactions as if reaching right into the soul of the audience.” Robert Garnham

Entry fee £6

On Looking At The Beginning Of A Lifetime

On Looking At The Beginning Of A Lifetime

 

All night, a growing sound

which opens the door

to allow a body through.

 

The day you were born

a mist rose from the river.

Seven swans flew over the bridge

their wings sounding damp air.

 

How can I write for you?

My heart is rapt, listening

to your soft breath.

We are still coming to ground.

 

 

poem and photo Rose Cook

(poem from Taking Flight by Rose Cook, pub Oversteps Books 2009)

Thanks to Rebecca Gethin who has taken time to feature my new book ‘Hearth’

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Rose Cook is the latest poet to be featured here. Hearth is her newest collection, her fourth and like Notes from a Bright Field is published by the discerning Cultured Llama.

And the poems? Well, I don’t know what to say because they all give me goose pimples and it’s hard to be articulate about something that does that. Rose has a way of writing about personal experiences in a totally unsentimental way, while being characteristically frank. By employing simple but precise language each poem pierces your heart. She writes about motherhood, her son’s fall, her grief for the loss of her own mother presented through everyday actions like folding sheets, seasons, plants and wild creatures (in particular hares) and all are bound together by her distinctively observant eye, her compassion.

I think it’s her acceptance of life’s precariousness and what our bodies know about us that is a strong binding thread.

Read more on :

https://rebeccagethin.wordpress.com/2017/11/12/rose-cook-hearth/