Rosy Cole

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Rosy Cole was born and educated in the Shires of England. Her writing career started in her teens. Four apprentice works eventually led to publication of two novels. Life intervened, but she returned to authorship in 2004. She has worked as a Press Officer and Publisher's Reader and is a member of the Society of Authors. Among widespread interests, she lists history, opera, musicals, jazz, the arts, drawing and painting, gemmology, homoeopathy and alternative therapies. Theology also is an abiding interest. As a singer, she's performed alongside many renowned musicians and has run a music agency which specialised in themed 'words-and-music' programmes, bringing her two greatest passions together. Rosy's first book of poetry, THE TWAIN, Poems of Earth and Ether, was published in April 2012, National Poetry Month, and two other collections are in preparation. As well as the First and Second Books in the Berkeley Series, she has written several other historical titles and one of literary fiction. She is currently working on the Third Book in the Berkeley Series. All her books are now published under the New Eve imprint. Rosy lives in West Sussex with her son, Chris, and her Springador, Jack, who keeps a firm paw on the work-and-walkies schedule!

Toast!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A sad omission is the boast

that bread aspires to perfect toast

when poesy cannot fitly utter

how justified a knob of butter

slathered on a crisp, hot slice

salutes the tastebuds beyond price,

for fresh-baked dough's an angel host,

I think this is a toast to toast!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 JupiterImages/Gettyimages/ComstockImages

 

Copyright

© Rosy Cole 2013 -2016

Recent Comments
Stephen Evans
Well done. As you know from reading The Marriage Gift, I believe toast is one of the defining achievements of human civilization. ... Read More
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 18:34
Rosy Cole
Ah yes. I seem to remember that the marriage split over whose was the responsibility for toaster crumbs on the kitchen counter but... Read More
Thursday, 07 January 2016 13:12
Katherine Gregor
Yummy! I'm definitely having toast for breakfast! :–)
Thursday, 07 January 2016 08:36
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6 Comments

The Banana Peel Of The Parts Of Speech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some trenchant reflections on the art and craft of writing...

 

 

This book fills a much-needed gap.

Moses Hadas

 

Good prose should be transparent, like a window pane.

George Orwell

 

The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without the work.

Emile Zola

 

Grammar is a piano I play by ear. All I know about grammar is its power.

Joan Didion

 

Men of few words are the best men.

William Shakespeare

 

Why don't you write books people can read?

Nora Joyce (to James)

 

The letter I have written today is longer than usual because I lacked the time to make it shorter.

Blaise Pascal

 

There's no money in poetry, but then there's no poetry in money, either.

Robert Graves

 

Four basic premises of good writing: clarity, brevity, simplicity and humanity.

William Zinsser

 

The biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished.

George Bernard Shaw

 

No passion in the world is equal to the passion to alter someone else's draft.

H G Wells

 

The adjective is the banana peel of the parts of speech.

Clifton Fadiman

 

The work was like peeling an onion. The outer skin came off with difficulty, but in no time you'd be down to the innards, tears streaming from your eyes as more and more beautiful reductions became possible.

Edward Blishen

 

An editor is someone who separates the wheat from the chaff and then prints the chaff.

Adlai Stevenson

 

I trust it will not be giving away professional secrets to say that many readers would be surprised, perhaps shocked, at the questions which some newspaper editors will put to a defenseless woman under the guise of flattery.

Kate Chopin

 

Where were you fellows when the paper was blank?

Fred Allen

 

You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.

Saul Bellow

 

This book has too much space between the covers.

Ambrose Bierce

 

 

Copyright

© Rosy Cole 2009 - 15

Recent Comments
Katherine Gregor
"An editor is someone who separates the wheat from the chaff and then prints the chaff." Adlai Stevenson This has to be my favouri... Read More
Tuesday, 29 December 2015 21:48
Rosy Cole
I think it's my favourite, too, Katia, although it's a close run thing with the H G Wells quote. If only we could return to the... Read More
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 15:03
Darlene Arden
These quote are marvelous, Rosy. Most of them truly resonated with me. One of my favorite quotes, which has been attributed to sev... Read More
Tuesday, 29 December 2015 23:24
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6 Comments

Mirage

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In aerial latitudes
and the silent margins
of heat and cold,
day and clairvoyant dusk,
the mirage shimmers
above our wilderness,
evoking plangent echoes
of something lost and longed for.


Risk the serpentine defiles,
the jackal's jaws and searing sand,
risk the rugged rocks for miles
to gain a purchase on the land
rendered in such high relief
There we shall slake our dusty frame!
The image pales and comes to grief
All and nothing is the same.


So where to turn and how contrive
the lineaments of real estate
To dream, to sow, to dig, to strive,
to build, to spend, to save, to wait,
though noble empires wax and wane,
high thought and politics our pitch,
an out-of-line design's our bane
Exchequers fail to make us rich.


A temptress is illusion's muse
her laurels bringing frail content
ironic humour bucks the ruse
the stage, the screen, the game, were sent
to occupy the vision's see
If only this, if only that,
had shaped our path, we should be free
by now to revel in delight.


The mind's eye is the heart's big screen
beguiling fictions into facts
daydreams breathe lustre on the scene
our footprints follow in those tracks
Away the promised land foursquare
whose substance sinks in shadow's maw!
But, mind! The mirage memory
reflects a true celestial shore!

 

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Copyright

© Copyright Rosy Cole, 2013, 2015

Recent Comments
Former Member
I had read this earlier but wanted to get to my essay after the long delay. But now I read it twice again and I'm staggered. Somet... Read More
Thursday, 10 December 2015 04:55
Rosy Cole
Thank you for reading, Charlie, and your kind comments. The poem was written in 2013 and was posted in a couple of other places. ... Read More
Thursday, 10 December 2015 13:00
Former Member
Disappoint? Far from that. The cover, incidentally, is very nice. But I would rather have read it first, which I did, before I got... Read More
Thursday, 10 December 2015 13:59
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6 Comments

Two Sides Of The Coin

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In respect of the Paris atrocities, and those elsewhere over recent years, I'm posting (for readers who have time!) an excerpt from my first published novel of 1980, my only foray into literary fiction. A new edition will be available in 2016. It's a 'psychological' novel where the real story unfolds below the surface of everyday life, almost as though the deeps of the subconscious are sending postcards for attention.

In the following hard-hitting passage, Angel
is at her lowest ebb, imprisoned within the tomb of her own psyche whilst coming to terms with a new reality. Her spiritual healing is silently taking place before the Easter experience dawns.

First, a brief overview of the book:

“All that time, life kept putting its face around the door, but never came into the room.”

When Angel learnt there was no remedy for her heart defect, she contemplated a frosted landscape that chilled more than blood and bone. To tell Jude would put a distorted complexion on their life together. Immersed in the precarious expansion of his business, he little suspected the true cause of her deteriorating health and changed perspective.

It seemed events were only too ready to conspire in her silence. The dilemma swiftly wove its web of misunderstanding which prompted Jude's infidelity and Angel's poignant rapport with 'the bookseller of Glenfinnie', reaching a crisis where Jude's own life was imperilled.

While she fought shy of facing the truth, Angel couldn't know that an incorruptible world would shift into focus and begin to turn dust to gold.

But before that could happen, she was to make an interior journey of discovery, seeing in her condition some analogy with the global unrest of our times.

Were Life and Death two sides of the same coin?

*******

'But, daily, as I trod the earth’s disintegrating crust, I knew it was a lie. The world was under sentence of death. In the searching light of truth, I saw how ‘out of true’ its values had become. The vision of New Jerusalem was condemned to everlasting distortion because of the conspiracy of silence about death.

So death, given the offensive, became a foe. He set out to avenge himself, assumed a grimmer visage than need be, deceived by his aptitude for masquerade. He feasted on human fear, abandoning his phantom form and becoming more palpable than life. Death did not suffer a crisis of energy because he consumed ours. Death did not suffer famine or homelessness, did not need to campaign for liberation. Death was having the time of our life, laughing behind the backs of those he stalked like a Nemesis, who, in shunning him, were ironically compelled to entertain him at their tables.

It was as though the whole cosmos was afflicted with morbid disease, spreading from tissue to tissue, limb to limb. People walked the streets, pallid and drawn, enervated by hypervigilance and from filling their lungs with pollution. Nowhere was the air really pure. The water they imbibed was not living water; it came from sources poisoned by effluent that had to be filtered and filtered again and still it was tainted and did not refresh the palate. The rivers flowed foul and dark as the Styx, an unwholesome habitation for struggling creatures. Many fish of the rivers wasted and died. Likewise the fish of the sea. For the oil that was spilled on its troubled waters was crude and restored no calm, only clung to the feathers of seabirds, paralysed their wings and bound them to the earth where they perished. They lay strewn on the shores among the cancerous corpses of fish and sea mammals. They were places of great carnage, the borders between water, air and earth: things driven into an alien sphere could not be sustained.

The elements rebelled. There were tornadoes that tore up trees and plucked homes from their foundations. Fire seethed through the earth’s fractured shell, spewed molten lava and devastated cities. Elsewhere, tsunamis deluged the landscape, rivers burst their veins and swept through the streets and over hearths, snatching valued possessions. There were gluts and droughts and famines. Scraps of humanity wandered in arid places without food, their flesh shrink-wrapped upon pitiful frames, having nothing to live for but the charity of those more fortunate.

There was no sense to be made of it, none at all.

For the floods could not be harnessed to water the dry plains and what some were deprived of ran to fat on the affluent nations so that their hearts could not bear the weight of their surfeiting and they were starved of life just the same. They knew that tomorrow they would die, so they ate and drank and were merry and plundered the earth until there was no more to be had. Then they grew pale and threw up their hands in despair. Economy! We must eke out the bit that is left to us. But they had no notion of the principles of economy, had never practised the art. (Could the leopard change his spots or the camel his sinuous spine to pass through the needle’s eye?) Economy they equated not with self-investment in a common good, but with grasping whatever they could for as little as possible.

So the deserts encroached year by year and the overwrought soil was harder to till. Folk reaped little reward for the sweat of their brow. But where was the Higher Authority to turn to for guidance in putting their house in order?

See! God is dead!

Indeed God was dead, at least dead to the world. God’s House was empty, citizens' houses were empty, empty and to let with vacant possession. But the plight of the homeless was mourned up and down. By day they forlornly wandered the streets and at night sought repose in the places of passage, in arcades, under bridges, on stations. There were houses enough and to spare, though not fit for habitation and too costly to repair. We have a new building programme, they were told. When New Jerusalem comes, you shall have palaces. You have only to step on the property ladder.

Then people said to themselves: What’s it all for? Why are we here? Where is the order, the sequence to contain us? To whom can we refer?

And the doctors dealt out opiates to subdue anxieties and said: Come back in a fortnight if you do not feel better and can explain in four minutes where it hurts. The scientists said: We are on the brink of a discovery, but we need funds. And the politicians set up commissions on borrowed money to look into matters and said: We must redistribute the nation’s wealth. 'To him that hath shall be given and to him that hath not shall be taken even that he hath’ must be exploited. Our white hope for the poor is the trickle-down effect. And they passed many laws to rectify wrongs. And it was there, on the statute book, that the wrongs had been rectified.

But the honey-tongued psychologists were perhaps the most beguiling of all. They readily acknowledged that humanity was bred from the clay and the mire and that what passed from dust to dust in a continuous revolution could not aspire to be gold. Nevertheless, they said, this is not Life. Life is not full of trauma and injustice. The problem lies buried in infancy when our forebears betrayed us.

These things sounded rational to ears grown attuned to sophistry. It was comforting to be absolved of all blame. Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden had been denounced as a myth long ago, but no chink in logic was perceived, only a drain on resources. Folk began to lament the life others had denied them. They nursed their grievances in order to dispel guilt, but only became charged with frustration.

Then some rose up and demanded their rights and the air was oppressive with factions contending for liberation. Terrorists devised weapons and laid them in the path of their brothers. In crowded places they were laid, in streets, aboard planes, beneath cars, in hotel foyers. Men went in search of their lives and wives were widowed at night. The gutters flowed scarlet and children were forbidden to venture outside. A scapegoat was needed and lives were sacrificed to appease the craving for expiation. Many were martyred for the cause, but where was he possessed of so great a love as to lay aside his life for his friend, to find life in losing it? The factions ran to mutually exclusive extremes in pursuit of that strangely inaccessible freedom. Revolution! they cried. More blood must be spilled! But what had they purchased but debts? Where was the life that was strangled out of existence so that life-swapping, wife-swapping and other desperate diversions were rife? Everywhere humanity was in chains. Hostages were daily held. The prisons were full to overflowing and even a life-sentence shrank to a very few years with good behaviour.

Houses were divided against themselves, the sons from the fathers, the wives from the husbands, upper from lower and sinister from dexter: houses, classes, parliaments, kingdoms, divided and cross-divided against their own allies and partisans. Because in warfare it is necessary to identify with one side or the other, to adopt a totalitarian view and become a pawn in the strategy.

The price of life was death.

Yet mankind subscribed to the Truth it could not swallow and thereby perpetuated the travesty. Kingdoms united in altruistic bonds of self-interest that by economic kinship they might lay claim to quantities of this world’s goods and defend themselves from the Enemy in concert.

Meanwhile arms were amassed in dark places underground. It was a matter of pride whose weapons were the most potent, since what could destroy aroused greater awe than the creative capability. It was symbolic indeed, back to front and upside down, that the splitting of what was nuclear and whole, the last resource of integrity, should produce a mine of fresh energy.

Weapons were tested in desolate places to see what they could do. And the whole earth was riven with the dilemma. The aerial structure of the universe was ruptured. Toxic miasmas were released into the ether. Disfigurements and diseases were visited upon the newborn. There was no escape from the cycle of destruction.

But some were beginning to murmur among themselves. If God is dead, who then has ordained such a fate? And they looked at one another. They even saw that they were rationalising means of mass suicide. How bitter was the revelation – to have to sit down to a banquet of ashes in the throes of starvation. If God is dead, we are doomed. They turned and spoke, their voices rising in accusation:

Where is your panacea, O Doctor?
Where your humility, you who advance the frontiers of knowledge?
Where is your Monarchy, O Minister of the Crown?
Where is the Bridegroom you have espoused, O Church?

No answer came. Was it possible to weigh anchor in an abyss, or secure belief with a credit card? The predicament produced some deep-seated anxieties. Industries proliferated to maintain the cleanliness mankind had heard tell was the next thing to Godliness. Everything was to be clean and made new, new, new. It was more economical to discard what showed signs of wear than to try to make it good.

Then people began to see their carbon footprints in the sands of time. We must find a Way Forward, they said. We must return to our green innocence, seek Renewable Energy.

Urgent efforts were made to recycle waste but researchers were hard put to discover the chemistry that would break down indigestible substances and do it cheaply. Unlike the perfect economy of nature which bred life out of decay and achieved its own end with new beginnings.

And while they were there, in their laboratories, scratching their heads over alternative solutions, they stumbled across the first principle of science. They’d learnt it way back from their textbooks, though they didn’t know it by heart. Matter can neither be created nor destroyed.

O Evolution, Revolution, O Creation turned full circle. What a weight of hope and despair is compounded in that law. What condemnation! What salvation! O Death! O Life!'

 

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Copyright

© copyright Rosy Cole 2015

Recent Comments
Former Member
It's 4:10pm and I'm running (figuratively speaking) to catch a bus. Just didn't want to wait to let you know how astonished I am a... Read More
Sunday, 15 November 2015 21:13
Rosy Cole
Thank you, Charlie. It's good to know you found merit in it. This is where the tunnel of breakdown is darkest. I probably wouldn't... Read More
Monday, 16 November 2015 19:28
Former Member
I do know what you mean about expectations or lack of. I often do ask myself why I'm still doing it. I just got a check from my pu... Read More
Monday, 16 November 2015 22:39
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Latest Comments

Monika Schott Farm Reflections: The Migrant Camp
20 October 2017
Thanks, Stephen. It's an important part of history. It must be captured.
Monika Schott Farm Reflections: The Migrant Camp
20 October 2017
Thanks, Rosy, that's a lovely thing to say. I am enjoying it and why shouldn't I share the joy! The ...
Stephen Evans Farm Reflections: The Migrant Camp
20 October 2017
Wonderful that the story of this community is being preserved. Bravo.
Rosy Cole Farm Reflections: The Migrant Camp
19 October 2017
Your enjoyment of this project is infectious, Moni, and unusual and fascinating to read. It's not so...
Rosy Cole Down with Moonlight: A One-Minute Play
19 October 2017
'Course it is. I bet you calculated that when you were still in diapers, as you say over there, and ...

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