Reading in the Spring

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it’s time for the next monthly edition of Uncut Poets at the Phoenix Arts Centre, Gandy St, Exeter on April 26 at 7.30pm. Mixing memory and desire will be their two guest poets, Roselle Angwin and Rose Cook.

Roselle’s new book from Pindrop Press, A Trick Of The Light, is a luminous, reflective account of the history, landscapes and special atmosphere of the island of Iona, where she leads annual writing retreats.

Rose’s latest collection Hearth, from Cultured Llama, showcases her characteristic mix of lightness of touch and clarity of vision, dealing with the changes, the losses and gains that age brings, as well as the beauty and revelations of the natural world.

The evening in the Phoenix Workshop will be presented by Alasdair Paterson and a mystery co-presenter. Admission £5 (£3 for open mic and concessions). Lilacs bred out of the dead earth optional.

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The chance of humming…Rumi

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A
man
standing on two logs in a river
might do all right floating with the current
while humming in the
now.

Though
if one log is tied to a camel,
who is also heading south along the bank – at the same pace –
all could still be well
with the
world

unless the camel
thinks he forgot something, and
abruptly turns upstream,
then

uh-oh.

Most minds
do not live in the present
and can stick to a reasonable plan; most minds abruptly turn
and undermine the

chance
of
humming.

 

~ Rumi
translation by Daniel Ladinsky
from Love Poems from God

 

 

photograph by Rose Cook

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