Rosy Cole

Follow author Add as friend Message author Subscribe to updates from author Subscribe via RSS
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!

Reflected Universe

The second of two passages from Next Year In Jerusalem

 

Frustratingly, my eagerness for adventure was no measure of my ability to keep pace with the high spirits of the rest. Dr. Jennings had forbidden me to dance. At Christmas, I danced solo in the pantomime we put on for our patrons and almsgivers and a lady from the audience was so taken with my performance she offered to arrange proper tuition. Nadia, her name was, a gamin creature in red fox fur up to her ears, a real ballerina, Reverend Mother had emphasised, and a member of the Rambert company. “Such an honour, Angel. You are blessed.”

It was a fairytale come true. Little had I thought to become what I most longed to be! Undaunted by the discipline, I practised my steps morning and night. Madame Minoret at the ballet school was amazed by my progress. A natural, she had confirmed to Nadia, an empathetic dancer, whatever that meant. And Nadia had twinkled. “We shall see what we shall see,” she said.

But Dr. Jennings had come along and put a cold stopper upon my ribs and squinted down his aquiline nose and warned that the dancing must cease. All strenuous activity was to be avoided.

“A slight heart murmur,” he confided to Sister Agnes, relaxing his stethoscope. “Nothing to be unduly concerned about at this stage. However, we had better play safe. Eh, young lady?”

During the night, I went down with a fever. Dr. Jennings was summoned and diagnosed a severe attack of ‘flu. Alarm grew when I failed to respond to treatment. For two days and nights my condition did not abate and even in delirium my toes formed points under the covers. On the third day, the crisis passed. I surfaced, clearer-eyed, to a new world of textures, tastes and sounds. The acuity of my perception was startling. It was as though I had been recast in another mould. The calm relationship of objects, after the storm which had imparted a sinister meaning to them, moved within me a remote happiness. I found myself in the sick bay, in a large bed high off the disinfected linoleum, with Felicity Rag-Doll ailing beside me and a painted Tau Cross on one wall and the Sacred Heart of Jesus on another, inflamed and bleeding, and the Michelangelo Pietà on a third. Down the corridor, Mildred Semple was practising her piano pieces. I sat up and flung the blankets aside. But the second the floor touched cold to my foot, I remembered. How I pined for my lost freedom! It was torture not to be able to take flight and dance, like being a bird and having your wings clipped.

Life was never the same again. All I did involved undue effort. I tried not to give in but tired quickly. What I hated most of all was being left behind like the lame boy in The Pied Piper of Hamelin, forever shut out of the enchanted kingdom inside the mountain because he couldn’t keep pace.

In the garden, I looked on dispirited, while the hole dilated at my feet and my companions alighted on the rewards of their industry. Several blue glass beads were found, an old clay pipe, its bowl still intact, a tortoiseshell comb and a bun penny. As the afternoon wore on, we lost all track of time and place until we heard Sister Agnes calling us across the snow.

Thomas hitched his spectacles up to the bridge of his nose with his forefinger and consulted the position of the sun. “Right men! Pocket the booty! It’s a long trek back to base. Look lively, Novak, or you’ll be spending the night in an eighteen foot drift. Wolf-fodder, that’s what you’ll be!”

We followed him, our Wellington boots cutting a swathe through the smudged lawn. Already the snow on the terrace had melted. A thrush sang in the apple tree stippled with green. The conservatory threw back a pale sky splashed with flame. It was warm. The air smelled of spring and of picnics postponed, of an outing to the sea if we were lucky. Tomorrow all trace of snow would be gone.

It was as we were stamping our boots, about to file in, that a resounding thud drew our attention. A young blackbird had collided with the window and lay, a tumbled heap of feathers, on the path. I darted to his rescue, but it was too late! He fixed me meekly with his beady eye and lapsed, quivering, into stillness. I stretched out a finger and stroked his soft wings. He was as warm as my own flesh and blood, poor scrap, so deceived by the reflected universe. I couldn’t take it in. I fell on my knees and moaned and rocked to and fro and refused to be comforted. How could I bear such passive obedience to order?

That night, I had a nightmare about the hole in the garden and how it could be made good before Simms found out. I awoke, sobbing, to the recollection of yesterday and that precocious silence about which I could never speak.

 

Image courtesy of Carl Bovis

 

 

111 Hits
0 Comments

Puzzling Reflections

 

 

 

 

 

Inside Out



Modern translations of St Paul said 'puzzling reflections'
in describing perception, with a taunting, haunting interplay
of light and shadow, never the same for two minutes together,
which made better sense to him than the King James image

To see 'through glass, darkly' was like tilting with a shroud
You couldn't tell what was on the other side of cloak and gesture,
whose storyline it was, and whose the wider plot, when to engage,
and how to abstract meaning from a colloquy already begun

He liked landscape art that shimmered through a summer haze,
nothing clearly defined, merely suggested, sketched and stippled
Precision was death, the vanity of nailing flesh to a cross,
hoping the spirit would not escape to recite its lore elsewhere

Whereas hyperrealism, all diehard hues, stirred menace by osmosis,
Magritte, Chagall, Picasso, hit the spot, dredging themes and schemes
from where it mattered most. Those artists knew a thing or two
about immanence, hypnagogic dreams and shapeshifting metaphor

Such designs granted form to feeling, which delivered its own relief
without any rationale, the need to decode, or the knife-twisting alarm
at having been jumped from behind into action that didn't fit the fable,
Hamlet and Hedda Gabler a Disney parody, the diapason trashed

Putting a foot in the wrong camp was a hazard of moving and breathing
There was seldom signage to say where you were, no cue as to what
came next in the pantomime of human exchange. You had to hang around
until the swirling atmospheres kindled a vision you knew meant business

One dusk, passing the Stage Door, he turned into the Square to confront
a revelation of community. There, in the foyer, under constellations of lamps,
theatre-goers were sipping and laughing and gesticulating behind glass,
no script, no hard and fast plot; the miracle of doors parting on proximity

Next thing he knew was a stifling warmth and billows of babbling energy
He’d thought to be among long-lost friends, in limelight, the jester at the party,
but the baffling palaver made him feel like a spectre, an outsider on the inside,
so that he fled into night’s embrace, all lacerating noise and winking alarms

 

 

 

from Mysteries of Light (collection in preparation)

 

#AutismAwarenessWeek

Recent Comments
Stephen Evans
Interesting. Looking forward to the collection.
Friday, 30 March 2018 22:04
Rosy Cole
Ooh, a reader! I'm quite giddy at the prospect :-) Have been living on crusts and ale in my attic for too long!!
Saturday, 31 March 2018 18:50
Stephen Evans
I hope at least the crusts were toasted with lots of butter.
Sunday, 01 April 2018 14:55
310 Hits
4 Comments

A Thief In The Night

The first of two passages from Next Year In Jerusalem

 

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

 

Snow fell unexpectedly in my hopeful seventh spring. It made shadows of the bare boughs. It sent shivers down the spindly spine of young birch. It found out the eroded pointing in the brickwork. With a gentle insistence it gathered along the window-ledges, made portholes of the panes and silenced the astonished birds. Flake by flake, it settled upon the lawns Simms had already mown twice that season, and obliterated the paths as though it meant business. Soon it had created a ghostly monochrome world. A child’s world.

No one guessed it was coming. The weather forecast had been promising. It came without warning, this taste of winter in May; a thief in the night.

Mrs Simms, housekeeper at St. Mary’s declared: “Well, well, I never! That’s put paid to the picnic, then. Nipped our plans right in the bud, that has, dear.” She liked things to be orderly, predictable.

“Never mind, I suspect the children won’t be too disappointed,” Sister Joseph said in a pleasant rallying tone. “They’ll be just as happy making snowmen as picking cowslips. You can’t order the weather, I’m afraid.”

She was right. We whooped with delight and scrambled on to the sills to watch the sky come tumbling down to earth at last. We had longed for snow and felt cheated. Unlike its predecessor, the winter had been a sequence of lethargic days, of damp pavements and mild winds that never got off the ground. There was no cutting edge to it. No blade-bright December or January to sting colour into your cheeks and pinch your toes. Spring came unheralded, robbed of its magic. Even the snowdrops flowered unremarked.

But the advent of snow put a new complexion on things. It lent poignancy to the frail evidence of rebirth.

Throughout lunch that day, which included mortifying wads of bread-and-butter pudding I shall never forget, we agitated to be let loose on the sugar-frosted landscape and, as soon as it was over, crowded the exit noisily. We rolled in the snow, scooped it up and stuffed it by the fistful into our mouths, tobogganed in the dell where the oaks were strung with rubber tyres. Long earthen scars appeared upon its slopes. The air was thick with shrieks of glee and icy missiles exploding on ducked backs. Some built a fortress in the shrubbery, irrigating its mote with a length of hose burgled from Simms’ shed, until the brindled snow had turned to slush, the towers sank in ruins and the ramparts were no more.

“I know,” cried someone, “let’s dig for buried treasure!”

And as enthusiasm quickened among us, we fell to seeking our fortune in the swede patch Simms had painstakingly prepared for the new crop. The primary colours of our spades struck a contrast with the snow and with the cheerless garments thrust upon us in those years of rationing after another fullscale war. The world had not entirely awakened to its own survival.

Fortunately, Simms had gone into town on an errand for Matron, and was not around to see his beloved domain turned inside out, soil and snow and clods of clay flying from the trench. The going was tough. The purposeful were soon singled out from those in search of aimless distraction.

“The ground is hard,” complained the whey-faced Polish boy Matron fed with iron pills and spoons of loathsome fish-oil he spat out at her. “I try somewhere else.”
A groan went up from the rest of us. We knew him of old.

“Novak’s chickened out before we’ve started,” sniffed Thomas in disgust, a good-natured elderly boy of eleven who took command of all our enterprises.

“It’s all right for you, my spade’s too blunt,” the quarrelsome Lucy told him.

“Mine’s broken,” wailed little Humphrey, and the corners of his mouth curved down and the beads of moisture in the corners of his eyes filled out.

“Have mine, then,” I said. I was dizzy and my chest felt sore.

“You’re my best friend,” he beamed up at me. “You can have my pudding tomorrow. Unless it’s treacle tart!”

"Old Beaky says she's got a dicky ticker," Thomas informed them, mopping his overheated brow upon his sleeve. "Reckon he could be right. She's always out of breath."

 

 

 

Next Year In Jerusalem was originally published by Robert Hale Limited (now The Crowood Press) in 1980

Recent Comments
Stephen Evans
Charming. ... Read More
Friday, 09 March 2018 14:03
Rosy Cole
Thank you, Steve :-)
Friday, 09 March 2018 22:58
363 Hits
2 Comments

Four Wishes

 

Image courtesy of Diane Romanello

 

 

...For time

to heal and feel and breathe
free air unlaced with taint of death,
to ponder skies of patent blue
and kindled clouds of sunset hue,
to savour moments where life lives
and know no situation gives
of itself and without cost,
for in pursuit true life is lost

...and space

beyond encroaching walls,
a banished need for shopping malls,
those boundaries of every kind
breached on land, in heart and mind,
and false divisions that enlist
a pledge that puts us to the test,
removes our footprints with the tide
of cross-hatched plots and national pride

 ...and place

where energies recharge,
a refuge from the world at large
so inspiration finds its wings,
hard-earned spoils each season brings,
where travel can reveal new cultures
but foils the money-changing vultures,
lends atmospheres that tell of history
and conjures legends wreathed in mystery

...and Grace

in time and space to find
a place within our heart and mind
of peace, emblem of that heavenly home
where pearls exchange for purchased loam,
furnished by One who pierced the gloom
and snapped the bondage of the tomb
and rose to greet a golden dawn,
a mystic presence in our form

 

from Mysteries of Light (collection in preparation)

 

Copyright

© Rosy Cole 2018

Recent Comments
Stephen Evans
Devoutly to be wished.
Thursday, 11 January 2018 01:01
Katherine Gregor
Amen to this.
Sunday, 14 January 2018 11:39
402 Hits
2 Comments

Latest Comments

Ken Hartke Sofia's Bakery
20 May 2018
Thanks, Rosy, -- glad you liked it.
Ken Hartke I Promise
20 May 2018
I am so looking forward to your return -- I love your writing and wish you well. From my youth I've...
Stephen Evans I Promise
20 May 2018
Sometimes when I am dealing with deep anxiety I find that work (by which I mean writing), and the f...
Rosy Cole Sofia's Bakery
20 May 2018
I just love this, Ken. As appealing to the senses as a painting. Thanks :-)

Latest Blogs

   I hear the rotating motion of the fan. My fingers typing on the keyboard.   It’s Tuesday, 4am. I hear my thoughts in this moment’s silence.   ...
My hypnotherapist said, “close your eyes and go to that place that brings you peace. Describe what you see.”   “I see Green all over, peaceful and ...
To get myself back on track. I am going to try.   A hypnotherapist is helping to quiet my mind. Residue from being hit by a bus a couple of years ...
                        The village sleeps while a few coyotes prowl and scuff through the alley that passes for a dusty street. They o...
Something is off balance. Despite the routine in place, there’s a gap somewhere in between.   Can’t quite put my finger on it. I just know and I c...