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. 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!

The Art Of The Nations

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have never belonged to a writers' group as such, but long ago attended a course run by an English Lit. lecturer where books were debated.

On one occasion, the subject of prevailing characteristics in various countries came up, how we use the shorthand of stereotypes to convey identity, and I remember a Welsh lady suddenly protesting: "But you can't nationalise human nature!'

This is something I have never forgotten because, although human behaviour arises from the drive for survival, it develops and is shaped by a myriad influences. Time, geography, prevailing climate, constitution of the ground, profile of the landscape, mythology, beliefs and social codes are just a few. These run deep in the psyche but are 'read' by the outsider through surface traits and dealings. Cultural values can differ widely and it is never safe to assume that we're all coming from the same place or envision the same desired outcome.

Years later, I came across Kahlil Gibran's interpretation of racial characteristics which provides much to ponder, and, perhaps, to disagree with. I thought it would be fun to add a few of my own and wondered if readers might like to suggest their impressions.

 

Kahlil Gibran

 

The art of the Egyptians is in the occult.

The art of the Chaldeans is in calculation.

The art of the Greeks is in proportion.

The art of the Romans is in echo.

The art of the Chinese is in etiquette.

The art of the Hindus is in the weighing of good and evil.

The art of the Jews is in the sense of doom.

The art of the Arabs is in reminiscence and exaggeration.

The art of the Persians is in fastidiousness.

The art of the French is in finesse.

The art of the English is in analysis and self-righteousness.

The art of the Spaniards is in fanaticism.

The art of the Italians is in beauty.

The art of the Germans is in ambition.

The art of the Russians is in sadness.

 

Rosy Cole

 

The art of the Americans is in sustaining the Dream.

The art of the Portuguese is in adventuring.

The art of the Antipodeans is in breaking new ground.

The art of the Romanians is in elusive presence.

The art of the Hungarians is in tribal aspiration.

The art of the Japanese is in landscape in miniature.

The art of the Scandinavians is in overcoming enclosure.

The art of the Dutch is in quiescence.

 

And to finish on a capricious note...

The art of the Sicilians, when life hands them lemons, is in the sublimity of Limoncello (de Sicilia)!

 

 

 

 

Copyright

© rosy cole 2016

Recent Comments
Stephen Evans
Interesting. Not sure I think art is the right word. Maybe essence though. Not that I know many Romanians. And for Japan I would s... Read More
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 03:52
Rosy Cole
You have some excellent points about those nationalities.It occurred to me some while back that St Francis of Assisi's lifespan o... Read More
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 22:21
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A Ride On The Cosmic Ferris Wheel (Review of The Circus Poems)

 

Adults are inclined to the illusion that all children love clowns and masks and life-sized puppets, but the unknown being inside a funny fuzzy bear costume can sometimes reduce a bemused infant to tears.

 

 

 

Alex Grant's THE CIRCUS POEMS picks up the theme of FEAR OF MOVING WATER** and goes on to describe anthropoidal existence in a bewildering universe where even symmetry and order are random. He stresses the fragilility of living forms while showing their tenacious commitment to a beating pulse. We go hurtling through constellations at the mercy of sheer momentum until, worn down to dust, we disappear through a pinprick of light that is birth. Thus the cycle begins again. Of the Human Cannonball, he says:

 

"He dreams the same dream night after night – he is shooting down a narrowing opening towards a pinprick of light – he hears the muffled voices, clanging metal, the soft, liquid rumble sluicing behind, firegush and cordite thick in his mouth - a subterranean voyager riding towards his nightly salvation, high above the pink blur of humanity, upturned faces calling out his name – knives glinting in their hands."

 

Was there ever a more vivid analogy of birth? One wonders whether the poet dimly remembers his own to have infused this with so much elemental energy.

 

 

 

The circus characters are the acceptable face of the sinister aspects of human nature. Such entertainment ensures the riveted curiosity of an audience in ecstacies of alarm about how close to annihilation it is possible to steer while keeping balance on life's tightrope. They are all present, the Clown, the Bearded Lady, the Contortionist, the Magician, the Lion-Tamer, the Strongman...

 

"Listen as he tears a telephone directory of hearts in two. The strongman fears nothing, Tiger-striped, thicker-skinned than the elephant, wilderness in his eyes, hair thick as tug-boat rope, he'll crush your ribs like a bar of sodden soap. Children ride on his shoulders, powder pink and soft as guilt."

 

 

In different ways, these individuals sum up what our dreamlike span means on a disintegrating planet. The Fortune Teller's words have a soporific hum that 'winds in your ear'.

 

"You are on a very long voyage, unsure of your destination – many companions will come and go, certain places will hold you – you are moving, returning, always returning."

 

To capture any of it is a feat as great as any prowess demonstrated by the Acrobat.

 

"...then flips her grasshopper body and lands on the white stallion's back as it canters past. Her body melds with the horse -its snort and rumble pulsing through her feet...mane flapping like white seaweed in a bridled sea of dust and plumes and memory."


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Between the big-top spectacular and peeping in at the sideshows, we dip into a few of the calamitous events of global history's fair. Here, the characters are unmasked projections of those ogled from the ringside. The edges of the Self melt and the lives of the many are contained like fluid in the life of one.

 

There is a vivid and atmospheric account of the Bolshevik drive to capture Archangel where the White Army put up fierce resistance. I found it reminiscent of the Komarovsky train scene in Doctor Zhivago. The narrative moves from phrases about rutted earth, reddened snow and shards of bone, through wind and ice and men and animals pitching camp in the forest until the wheels turn again:

 

"and I am done with tents and pegs and iron cages

 

...Today, I heard a gunshot from my window – the blast echoed

 

 like a lost voice and I imagined the animal falling, its hooves

 

extending like a four-pointed star, its breath gushing

 

to the center of the world, its body sucked into the vortex..."

 

 

to this, the following day, as if a grip on reality were only to be conserved within the memory:

 

 

"...The democracy of snow falls noiselessly to earth. Tomorrow, I will walk

 

and eat snow and think of my wife – but in this moment,

 

I raise a glass of Bull's Blood to the world -

 

my first in seven years, and it tastes like the ache

 

of a young boy – like summer by the Bosphorous - "

 

 

and, finally, to this:

 

 

"...The Buddha said that to be born human

 

is like coming up for air in an infinite ocean

 

and finding your head inside the only ring that floats..."

 

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When the circus passes through Mesa Verde on its roll from Colorado to Utah, a flash flood washes away the big cats' trailer, but the show goes inexorably on with its thrills, spills, its contortions and deformities. There is a quotation from the Lancashire Evening News of November, 1871 in which a two-headed, eight-limbed female entertained an audience at the Temperance Hall with her duets, one voice contralto, the other soprano, in a 'very pleasing manner'. This says everything about our amorphous values and attitude to Death. The story underlines the shiftingness in all things. Those stalwart Victorians might well have applauded themselves for their triumph over the demon liquor, and even a civilised lack of qualms, but their primitive palate for horror was undiminished.

 

As Virginia Woolf once remarked: the accent falls in the wrong place.

 

For, there are times when the circus itself, with its cracking whips, flinging knives, bloody teeth, fields the danger. During an earthquake which devastated an Andean Valley in 1971, dislodging millions of tons of glacial rubble, 25,000 people perished in one town alone. According to the Punta Arenas Citizen, only 400 people survived and 300 of those were children attending a circus performance.

 

The ghost of a Deity, neither benevolent nor inimical, looms through these poems. One such passage describes the Trapeze Artist:

 

 

"The cross-bar hangs like a churchyard flag in a lull - the congregation

 

waiting for one more revelation to come flying out of cloistered cloth.

 

The priest of the air mounts his wooden pulpit – throws his spangled

 

cape into the audience and genuflects in their direction. A silent cross,

 

a mumbled prayer, and he looks up past the blazing light, the catcher’s

 

arms open like a pale sacrament, eucharist of skin and bone and wrist."

 

 

This is a superbly focused volume and is, in some ways, more sophisticated than FEAR OF MOVING WATER**. But there is little whimsical diversion, just unvarnished irony. Grant uses words like surgical instruments probing the deeps of the psyche to abstract the truth. He skilfully dissolves the barriers between all the human senses and methods of perception. The collection is not for the squeamish. Or the panic-stricken who are anxious to stop the world and get off.

 

This unnerving ride on the cosmic ferris-wheel will certainly affect your vision.

 

 

RJC

 

 

 

 

 

**Awards for FEAR OF MOVING WATER:

 

Runner-up for the 2010 Oscar Arnold Young Award - Best Collection by a North Carolina Poet. (June, 2010)

 

Runner-up for the Brockman Campbell Award - Best North Carolina Poetry Collection. (June, 2010)

 

 
 
 

 

Copyright

© Rosy Cole 2010 -2016

Recent Comments
Stephen Evans
Sounds fascinating - almost Tarot like.
Thursday, 21 April 2016 02:59
Rosy Cole
Yes, that's an interesting observation, not that I know much about the Tarot Pack, but this collectiion is reminiscent of the Shak... Read More
Thursday, 21 April 2016 14:10
Barbara Froman
Marvelous review, Rosy! Another title for my list. Looking forward to the read!
Thursday, 21 April 2016 17:53
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Rosy Cole's books at New Eve Publishing

 

New Eve Publishing
Great Britain

 

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Available globally through your favourite bookshop. Or #AskYourLibrary.

 

By clicking on the ISBN numbers, you will find substantial discounts at the world's largest independent bookshop. To purchase download formats with covers, please visit New Eve Publishing. Thank you!

 

 

LITERARY FICTION (1)

 

New Eve Publishing (story overview)

First edition published, London, 1980

ISBN 9780955687747 (discounted)

 

Excerpt

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...

...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.

More information on dedicated page

________________________________________________

HISTORICAL TITLES

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New Eve Publishing  (story overview) 

ISBN 9780955687778 (discounted)

 

When the Earl of Berkeley narrowly escapes death in a duel at Arundel Castle, he realises the outcome is not what his opponent intended. His wife has been compromised by a deadly foe, Prince Ernest, Duke of Cumberland, brother of the Prince of Wales.

After a long spell of seclusion, the Countess is launched upon the beau monde. The couple strive to subdue gossip caused by the failure of the 1799 Pedigree Trial to recognise their first marriage. A careful strategy must be adopted to ensure their eldest son succeeds to his father's honours.The blood of kings and tradesmen runs in Fitz's veins and he struggles with a conflicted identity. In many minds, his courtesy title, Lord Dursley, is far from fixed, whilst his reputation for philandering is every bit as robust as Lord Berkeley's. Equally at home in Green Room, boudoir or barn, his proudest conquest is The Fair Greek from Smyrna, bewitching wife of the English Consul in Egypt.

Dursley's beautiful and tiresome Mama dare not put a foot wrong. The Prince of Wales is courting her favours and her watchful spouse well understands that safeguarding her virtue may exact penalties as surely as risking her good name.

Among other intrigues, Lady Berkeley finds herself caught up in the Delicate Investigation of Princess Caroline, banished wife of the throne's heir. A scandal involving risqué conduct and an adopted child brings the Princess into disrepute, a scenario exploited by her husband who wishes to divorce her. One of his chief spies, Lady Charlotte Douglas, grew up in Gloucester and is familiar with Mary Cole's past. She tells how a distinguished barrister once enjoyed a liaison with the Countess at a time she vows she was married.

The Earl's demise after a tragic accident means his widow must confront the House of Lords Committee of Privileges alone. Witnesses are summoned from every stratum of society and her history taken apart. Rogues emerge to stake a claim upon the Berkeley fortunes and romantics to set the record straight. The aristocracy closes ranks. Royal promises are broken and allies melt away as the lengthy hearing wends its sensational course before Cumberland inflicts the coup de grâce.

It seems the only emblem of true loyalty is a Jacobite white rose.

 

 

New Eve Publishing Reprint 2013 (Series overview)

ISBN 978-0-9556877-1-6 (discounted)

Epub (iBookstore)

 

 

 

Often she had watched them in the fickle days of spring, skipping about the lush meadows of Gloucester, exulting in the gift of life. Steadily they grew fat and independent of the placid ewes, unaware of the shadow of the butcher's blade, or that they were destined for some rich man's table.

That was long ago, when Mary was a slip of a thing and Pa kept The Swan Tavern at Barnwood and grazed livestock there. He used to send his meat into the city of Gloucester and numbered among his customers many of the great houses of the Vale. They were well-known, the Coles. Folk grumbled about their airs and graces, but William Cole was a respected tradesman who never sold anyone short. He was proud of his three lovely daughters, of whom Mary was the youngest, and had high hopes of his fourth child, his namesake, Billy, despite the shameless way the women of the household mollycoddled him. His wife, too, was a comely body who earned pin money by nursing sick and newborn infants and saw no contradiction in this humble occupation and that state to which she aspired. "For," observed she, "high birth or lowly, tis nought but an accident. Nobility of character is what signifies." Mary possessed a natural reserve and took this dictum to heart, but her sisters were wanton and Cole was relieved when his eldest, Ann, took up with Will Farren, a likely fellow in the same trade as himself, and went to live in Butchers Row, Westgate, in wedded safekeeping.

Life was simple then. The sun always seemed to be shining. Mary delighted in picking nosegays of sweet peas and lavender from her father's garden and went capering off to school with them, adding poppies and buttercups and Queen Anne's lace along the bridle way.

But in the year 1783, when Farmer George was King and Mary was full-grown, the recent death of old Cole marked a dramatic change in the family's fortune....

 

Excellent review of History both family and English

'This book is wonderfully done. These are my ancestors. Her research is remarkable.'

Jean Batton

Other Reviews

 

New Eve Publishing (story overview)

Original edition published, London, 1984

ISBN 9780955687754 (discounted)

 

 

New Eve Publishing Reprint 2016 (story overview)

ISBN 9781847993540 (discounted)

 

 

New Eve Publishing (Further samples and overview)

ISBN 9780955687761 (discounted)

 

Barbara Froman, Musician and Author of Shadows and Ghosts

 


'Abounds with delights and insights.'

Stephen Evans, Playwright and Author of The Marriage of True Minds

 

'I can open a page of this book and read one sentence... It sustains. It feeds. It is delicious poetry.'

Mary Wilkinson, Writer and Broadcaster

____________________________________________________

CHILDREN'S

 

New Eve Publishing 2011 (sample page and overview)

ISBN 9781479341696

A children's play about Mary Jones, a Welsh girl of Georgian times who saved for six long years and walked 25 miles barefoot to obtain a rare copy of the Bible in Welsh. Her amazing story saw the British & Foreign Bible Society launched in 1804. This edition launched to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible.

This is a one-act/4 scenes play for 8-11 years and has been successfully performed in the UK and New Zealand. It runs for approximately 30 minutes and is especially designed as a children's presentation within an act of worship.

The play can also be read as a story.

Excerpt:


Narrator (1)

It was autumn of the year 1792. Across the Channel, Revolution was rife and King Louis XVI had only months to live. In Britain, John Wesley was at rest in his grave after a lifetime of service to his Lord. His zeal for the gospel had fired all parts of the country and had helped to stem a crisis of the kind in France. Everywhere, chapels were springing up. The Methodist mission hall in the village of Llanfihangel in North Wales was well-attended and one of its most enthusiastic worshippers was a young girl of eight. Her name was Mary and she was the daughter of Jacob Jones, an ailing cottage weaver, and his wife, Molly, who made ends meet with a patch of land and their loom and spinning wheel. Mary loved nothing better than to sing the Lord's praise and to listen to the spellbinding tales of olden times from the Bible.

One evening, after a bright and blustery day, when folk had deserted the market in Abergynolwyn and gone home to supper...

Copyright

© pilgrimrose.com

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Hero

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Image: Liz Lemon Swindle

 

 

 'For my yoke is easy and my burden light.' Matt. 11:30

 

 

The air is fanned with feather fronds

The ground is strewn with boughs

A makeshift carpet tells the way

And straightened path avows

 

I go sure-footed as a goat

Upon the mountain heights

My precious cargo is a Lamb

Prepared for sacrifice

 

I know I am a stubborn beast

A lissom colt untrained

My pilgrim rides as we are one

My back is never strained

 

The sun beats down, my tongue is parched

A mirage slakes the eye

To go the second mile with Him

The mirage does not lie

 

The cry of jubilation swells

The crowds love a parade

Their conquering hero comes to free

Those mighty Rome enslaved

 

And is this whom my forebears shared

Their stable crude and stark

When heav'n bowed down to gather earth

And wheat-gold light quelled dark?

 

He goes towards his destiny

Where brutal malice stings

And history will ever tell

I bore the King of Kings!

 

 

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From THE TWAIN, Poems of Earth and Ether

 

Copyright

© Rosy Cole 2009 - 2016

Recent Comments
Former Member
Beautiful poem, Rosy. Beautiful thought. -- Charlie
Thursday, 24 March 2016 01:38
Rosy Cole
Thank you, Charlie. I wish you a joyful Easter!
Saturday, 26 March 2016 17:24
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2 Comments

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Latest Comments

Rosy Cole Paris, 14 Juillet
08 August 2019
Yes, I feel confident that 'The Government' does not essentially represent the British people. When ...
Stephen Evans Memory
29 July 2019
Very kind!
Rosy Cole Memory
28 July 2019
In view of the above theme, I feel bound to add this:Back in the theater again after too many years....
Rosy Cole Memory
28 July 2019
Some mischievous ambiguity here :-)
Katherine Gregor Paris, 14 Juillet
25 July 2019
I don't blame the Queen or the monarch. They have little say in Government decisions. I hold Her M...