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. 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 Labrador cross, Poppy, who keeps a firm paw on the work-and-walkies schedule!

The Guitarist's Lament

 

 

 

I’ve bought a guitar
It’s a stranger to me
I’m a stranger to it
But we’ll see what we see
I’m chorded and worded
At least in my head
But the darn thing plays up
And it fills me with dread

 

I’ve tried with a plectrum
To amplify sound
And notes interlope
Where they shouldn’t be found
It won’t cover the noise
When they gatecrash the party
It just gives them the licence
To act hale and hearty

 

I’ve seen on the YouTube
What to do with my fingers
Folks assure me it’s easy
But the dissonance lingers
They don’t say Segovia
Ever took their advice
Though they’d make you believe
He learned in a trice

 

I’ve practised for all of
Ten minutes together
I’ve tried strumming hard
And as light as a feather
I fear my performance
Won’t make youngsters swoon
The beast is high strung
And won’t play to my tune

 

Now a thousand duff notes
Have torpedoed my cause
And keys are a mystery
That won’t unlock doors
I’ve no hope of busking
Outside Trader Joe’s
With proceeds a pipedream
To add to my woes

Recent Comments
Stephen Evans
Tuesday, 07 December 2021 21:18
Stephen Evans
Always happy to inspire ... Read More
Tuesday, 07 December 2021 21:18
Rosy Cole
You are a fund of inspiration, Steve :-) Thank you. I often wonder what we have done to deserve you.
Thursday, 09 December 2021 13:16
3613 Hits
7 Comments

The Rumour Of Sadness And Change


Seasons came and seasons went
during months in lockdown spent,
summer took a blazing glance,
quickened the astonished plants
who had waited on the lip
of efflorescence, but a dip
in weather's fickle capering
snatched clement airs and left a sting
of stringent frost, of gale and storm
and crucified the longed-for balm,
while global horrors put a brake
on freedom's joy; the hive-mind's wake
soon clipped the wings of halcyon dreams
beside the sea and gleaming streams,
with obtuse yearning for the Fall,
the 'sere and yellow leaf', and gall
went wishing that the equinox
would ring the changes, burst the locks
so that the season might prove true
to former character and hue
and comply with valediction
and settle hackles caused by friction.

But then a miracle occurred,
the sun from slumber rose and stirred,
recalled the season's closing door
and pushed his purpose to the fore,
pierced through pollution's hellish gloom
and for a carnival made room,
the flowers danced in fine array,
rejoicing they could live their day,
to butterflies and bees play host,
thus melancholy musing lost!



Then followed that beautiful season... Summer....
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

One day you discover you are alive. Explosion! Concussion! Illumination! Delight! You laugh, you dance around, you shout.
But, not long after, the sun goes out. Snow falls, but no one sees it, on an August noon.
 

Ray Bradbury




 

Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.

Henry James





Summer has filled her veins with light and her heart is washed with noon.

C Day Lewis

  

August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.

Sylvia Plath



The busy bee has no time for sorrow.

William Blake 

  

Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year - the days when summer is changing into autumn -
the crickets spread the rumour of sadness and change.

E B White





   

 As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.

Genesis 8:22



Recent Comments
Stephen Evans
Hopeful! I was just reading Frost's A Prayer in Spring, which reminds me of this.
Thursday, 16 September 2021 20:33
Rosy Cole
Thank you! I'm honoured to be compared with Frost, that's for sure! :-)
Friday, 17 September 2021 12:12
Rosy Cole
Still believe that Hope changes us dynamically and therefore the world.
Sunday, 19 September 2021 10:24
2165 Hits
3 Comments

Every Picture...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me:  Who can this be, I wonder?

Poppy:  It's me.

Me:  No! But this is a good girl. I bet she doesn't turn the garden into an excavation site, or send puthers of cushion feathers over the picture frames.

Poppy:  I'm a good girl, I am.

Me:  So was Eliza Doolittle.

Poppy:  She wasn't up to much.

Me:  Well, she did remember to wash her face and paws. She had an admirer called Henry, just like you.

Poppy:  Oh him. I'm not marrying Henry. His legs are too short. ...Come to think of it, that's quite a handicap.

Me:  Poor Henry, he's such a handsome chap. He'll be heartbroken.

Poppy:  Listen, I'm not marrying anyone. I'm a career girl.

Me:  You mean into the side wall after that cat-shaped item?

Poppy:  I'll give her boundaries! She sashays along the top like she's puffing Vivienne Westwood!

Me:  Knows how to pose, that's for sure. Still, so does the mysterious girl in the picture.

Poppy:  It's me! It's me! It's me! It's my pawtrait! Anyways, I am a career girl. I'm writing a book of furry tails for little pups.

Me:  You don't say!

Poppy:  Yes, I do! I've got an agent and a pawtfolio and everything. And that's my avatar for the fans.

Me:  Unbelievable!

Poppy:  You just can't see me 'cos I'm not lookin' at you.

Me:  I guess you're not looking at the cat, either!

 

 

533 Hits
0 Comments

Advent and Destiny

 

 


 

The past is not dead, it is living in us, and will be alive in the future which we are now helping to make. So said William Morris, textile designer, writer, social activist and colleague of the Pre-Raphaelites.

 

 

Destiny. The subject has obsessed philosophers and occupied dreamers for as long as mankind has been trying to get a handle on his passage through this world. I don't want to get lost in that loop involving predestination and existentialism, but simply to share  a few striking thoughts. These throw up as many questions as explanations, but they do offer new lenses by which our appreciation of daily life may be enriched. Advent is a good season to reflect upon these things.

Anyone who wants to expunge history from the student curriculum is surely driving a nail in the coffin of the human race. Those of us who've ventured into the dense forests of genealogy know well, despite many surprises, the feeling of familiarity and of things making sense, of being part of a canvas that is beyond the scope of our comprehension and influence. How much of memory, instinct, déjà-vu, the sudden atmosphere of other times and places, the very paths we tread, is encoded in our DNA? Do those we are connected with, who have died, guide us? To what extent do our actions and disposition offer hospitality to the roaming 'spirits of the air'? And can the links we forge in this world, even those at a geographic distance, significantly impact our being?

I was born and brought up in Leicestershire, in the UK Midlands, as far from the coast as you can get in England. From earliest years, it never felt right. Neither of my parents was local and they didn't really fit into the community way of thinking with all its lore and historic assumptions. It may surprise Americans and those from other continents, that, although these islands are small, the customs and mythology are area-centred and are, perhaps, roughly defined by its ancient kingdoms, Mercia, Northumbria, and so on. (Hence Thomas Hardy's revival of Wessex consciousness.) The regions have their own character and dialect, arising from the landscape and soil, prevailing climate, and their trades and industries. Consult Ordnance Survey maps and you begin to understand how this has evolved.

The Welsh people nowadays are bi-lingual, but they are proud of their mother tongue and defend their heritage fiercely. The English understand Welsh idioms, but the language is impenetrable and actually more foreign than the languages of Europe and Scandinavia. The Scots, too, are keen on keeping Gaelic alive, particularly in the outlying isles. There is English Gaelic, full of colourful, rugged phrases, with strange words, along with more familiar words that have other meanings and evoke a different experience. Lewis Grassic Gibbon was an author who made profound use of this in his wonderful Scots Quair. Then there is the  old Gaelic language you can only crack with a sledgehammer if you're lucky, which invents a plethora of written syllables that actually have little sound when spoken. But maybe that's just to the Sassenach ear! Despite travel and the media, there are still local accents we may struggle with. Glaswegian is a wholesale assault upon auditory nerves! (Sorry, Weegies.)

 

 

The point of this digression is to try and explain a compelling feeling of being out of context that had no root in my living experience. Always, when I mentally envisioned a map of Britain, I was standing in the middle, looking South and to the right, which meant the West. Why that was so didn't occur to me until fairly recently. My family tree, on both sides, is rooted in Hampshire, Dorset, Somerset and Devon, with the prevailing gene pool coming from Dorset. Since fate has contrived to bring me close to the Hampshire border, I am beginning to feel a strong pull West, a longing for Hardy's Dorset among people with whom there is an established rapport, in a landscape I seem to know to the core. The sense of peace and 'rightness' in being there is a siren call. I live in a picturesque stretch of the South East among good friends and would be sorry to put distance between us, but the pull is something even more fundamental.

And there are other ways in which I wonder how much we're affected by the lives of those who have gone before. The sins of the fathers shall be visited upon the children unto the third and fourth generation, as the Old Testament says. Are we destined sometimes to 'carry the can' for our forebears in order that the chain of consequences arising from malicious deeds might be broken? The text should be approached in context, but does point to our need for rescue by some external agency. It prefigures the coming of the Messiah who, for Christians, is the Sacrifice for Sin.

Whatever our system of belief, this elemental truth is instinctive to our psyche. The dynamic is immanent in every religion and culture worldwide and inspires their characteristic Art, Music and Literature.

 

 

An age-old tradition of former centuries, still occasionally observed, is the concept of 'sin-eating'. This holds that at a person's death, a relative or someone close elects to take on the responsibility for his/her wrongdoings, by prayer and ritual, so that the ongoing fallout might be stemmed and the soul fully released to enjoy eternity.

This is the theme of Mary Webb's legendary Shropshire novel, Precious Bane, set in the Napoleonic era. The heroine, Prue Sarn, is born with a hare-lip and provokes superstitious revulsion. Her brother Gideon has chosen to be the sin-eater for his dead father, scorning the power of the curse on the Sarn menfolk who were believed to have 'lightning in their blood' after one of them was struck dead by lightning during the Civil Wars, two hundred years before. Gideon believes in self-determination and proudly labours to be rich and successful. But in rejecting the momentum of something greater than himself, he invites witchcraft, murder and suicide into the arena.

Prue believes herself beyond the pale, but strives to exorcise her 'bane' with sheer goodness of heart. She blooms with an inner beauty, perceived only by the weaver, Kester Woodseaves, a Christ-like figure. When events conspire to bring a tragic climax and Gideon poisons his own ailing mother who is a burden, Prue becomes the focus of mob-hatred. The community must have its scapegoat. Surely, her ugly defect is a sign that she has been smitten by God as a baneful presence. She is tied to a ducking-stool in preparation for a witch's drowning, but is rescued by her 'guardian angel', Kester, and carried off to wedded bliss.

Precious Bane is one of the most beautiful, powerful and evocative novels in the English language. It rings with deep truth. The title is taken from Milton's Paradise Lost and echoes with many connotations of the work.

Let none admire
That riches grow in Hell; that soyle may best
Deserve the precious bane.

For me, it also brings to mind the felix culpa quoted by Thomas Aquinas when endeavouring to explain how God is able to bring a far greater good out of evil when we apply to him.

O happy fault,
O necessary sin of Adam,
which gained for us so great a Redeemer!

This phrase is usually said or sung at Easter, but in Advent is pregnant with Hope and expectation of New Life.

We are all exiles and outsiders in one way or another. It is good to reflect that, ultimately, we are not in control. We belong to a realm without borders, beyond Time and Space, and our destiny is formed by how we choose to regard that. It both draws and drives us.

We are all exiles insomuch that it almost renders the term meaningless.

 



Footnote:
 Mary Webb has been called a 'neglected genius' and nothing could be so apt. She lived from 1881 -1927. Precious Bane was awarded the Prix Femina Vie Heureuse Anglais for 1924–1925, given annually for the best work of imagination in prose or verse (descriptive of English life) by an author who had not attained sufficient recognition.

You can learn all about the author via this link:

The Mary Webb Society

Recent Comments
Stephen Evans
Very interesting. I don't know this author.
Monday, 07 December 2020 03:01
Rosy Cole
Female authors of that era, and way before that, were seldom taken seriously. At least Mary Webb kept her own name. But I think it... Read More
Sunday, 13 December 2020 17:43
912 Hits
2 Comments

Writing For Life

We are a small, friendly community who value writing as a tool for developing a brighter understanding of the world and humanity. We share our passions and experiences with one another and with a public readership. ‘Guest’ comments are welcome. No login is required. In Social Media we are happy to include interesting articles by other writers on any of the themes below. Enjoy!


Latest Blogs

  I am reading Childe Harold's Pilgrimage by Lord Byron for the first time. I know Shelley well, and Keats, and some of Coleridge and Wordsworth...
The second edition of Sonets from the Chesapeke is available today, with additional sonets (the sonets have two five line stanzas with a concluding c...
PLR
Past Life Regression. Have you ever tried this?   It does help resolve haunting issues of the past. At least for me, PLR has done me good.  ...
Umbria, 2010 It seems like a timeless place. But in the old town in the hills, the bells count the hours and the quarter hours, as they have for gener...
  This is something called Watchathon week on cable here, where they give free access to various channels. One was a classical music channel and...

Latest Comments

Stephen Evans Something Unearthly
23 June 2022
I think what I want more than to be remembered is to have made a difference in something that contin...
Rosy Cole Something Unearthly
22 June 2022
An epitaph is a convention of respect. It marks a spot. How much it says depends on estate and fame ...
Stephen Evans Something Unearthly
21 June 2022
A comforting thought, and similar to the epitaph that closes Gray's poem. But then isn't an epitaph ...
Rosy Cole Something Unearthly
21 June 2022
Perhaps I should have added that, nevertheless, I do feel this is a limpid piece of poetry you have...
Rosy Cole Something Unearthly
20 June 2022
On this theme, I have difficulty with Thomas Gray: Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, And w...