A Fanfare of Contemporary Women Poets

I am delighted to be included in a new anthology Fanfare: Poems by Contemporary Women Poets edited by Wendy French & Dilys Wood and published by Second Light Publications  www.secondlightlive.co.uk  It is a rich book, full to bursting with many fine women poets.



Falling On My Feet



Crow swings on peanuts.

In the cold and bright,

he looks like a black flag.


The sun has come out,

a lemon light that happens

at this time of year.


I am falling on my feet,

coming to land, the hush of the breath,

all things written through with light.






also pub in Notes From A Bright Field – Rose Cook (Cultured Llama 2013)

poem and photo Rose Cook

All the way to the very bottom


IMG_0397 - Version 2


All the Way to the Very Bottom



People are for love.

They are for meeting.

They are for looking out

of their skins at each other.


People are for uncovery.

They are for gazing.

They are mirrors, bridges.

They are the other leaves on the tree.

They are for being not-me

like an apple is not an orange.

People are not for peeling.


Together we are people.

It is a puzzle, this drawing need

this holding and this unease.



poem and photograph Rose Cook


Autumn, new beginnings.



Fox Days




His father gives him an old hunting coat –

scarlet, moth-eaten, the one he used

when he was ringmaster one summer.


Our son assembles his outfit –

a girlfriend bends, narrows her eyes

to apply makeup to his upturned face.


She kohls his eyes, lengthens lashes,

burnishes his lips cinnabar, finally sprays

to rust-redden his hair, already gelled wild.


He stands to adjust flame ears,

pulls on the geranium jacket.




In the autumn, having left home, he rings,

he says out on the dark road, he can see a fox –

there, there right in front of him,


as if I can see, as if I am with him.

He asks how it is now.

I say fine. It is time to let go,


so these reassurances

that all is well,

while under it


a vixen finds her den empty,

cubs gone – left or taken

the heart cannot tell the difference.




poem and photograph Rose Cook

Post a Poem a Day for 5 days Challenge: my poem ‘Two Cups’


For the third day of the Post a Poem a Day for 5 days Challenge here is ‘Two Cups’ which is in my poetry collection Notes From a Bright Field (Cultured Llama Publishing, 2013) and I nominate Nell Nelson​ to post one of her poems every day for 5 days and tag someone new each day.

Two Cups

Now she’s dead I do it all the time.
I’m always setting out two cups for tea.
I bought her favourite biscuits just last week,
I can’t get used to not having her here.
There’s no one else to tell about the birds
or when The Archers start or to ask
if we should risk the plants out overnight.
The frost might come and then you’ve lost the lot.
I’m always setting out two cups for tea
and shouting her it’s raining, but she’s gone.
A woman comes to clean. She’s very nice.
She doesn’t talk much though and we don’t laugh.
I find I have too much time by myself.
I’d give anything to have her back again.



photo Rose Cook


and so we decide to really live





I have been working on my next collection of poems for some time, but the last few months have been affected by grief and loss, so this beautiful poem by Mary Oliver (in her book Dream Work) really resonated with me.


from The Fourth Sign of the Zodiac by Mary Oliver


I know, you never intended to be in this world.
But you’re in it all the same.

so why not get started immediately.

I mean, belonging to it.
There is so much to admire, to weep over.

And to write music or poems about.

Bless the feet that take you to and fro.
Bless the eyes and the listening ears.
Bless the tongue, the marvel of taste.
Bless touching.

You could live a hundred years, it’s happened.
Or not.
I am speaking from the fortunate platform
of many years,
none of which, I think, I ever wasted.
Do you need a prod?
Do you need a little darkness to get you going?
Let me be urgent as a knife, then,
and remind you of Keats,
so single of purpose and thinking, for a while,
he had a lifetime.


photo Rose Cook