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!

Bread Of Heaven And Roses

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'What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.' Ralph Waldo Emerson



If Emerson had asked your mother
'Tell me what you know'
he would have missed her whisper
She could pluck, unpierced,
the thorny rose
disseminate its perfume
discover no invisible worm
She was loving living
and living loving
not buried in getting ready to live
She knew that the substance
of generous giving
was in asking for Grace
and baking the bread of sharing
with the leaven of trust
humour and humility
which, cast on the waters,
did that Galilee thing
and, as Cervantes noted,
helped to drown sorrow
Transcendent skies
weren't the bread of her eyes
but the kindness kindling
warm light in a lonely eye
a gleam and dream
of harmonies long-forgotten
yet just over the horizon
This, this, was Panis Angelicus'
blessed morsels falling freely
from her ample board.

To peddle Emerson's lexicon
would have wasted litanies
She knew by instinct
that what lies behind
and what lies before
are tiny matters compared
to what lies within
She could not do a kindness
too soon, for she knew well enough
how soon it might be too late.

Your mother hitched her wagon
to her namesake's crown of stars
her 'Yes!' to life in every breath
gesture and neatly sewn prayer
proclaiming a destiny fulfilled
to the women at the gates
her mortal shoes treading an earth
that weeps and laughs in flowers
her inner child the while
inhabiting the courts of heaven.


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Oleg Trofimoff

Copyright

© © Rosy Cole 2015

Recent Comments
Anonymous
I hope nobody minds this little story but it is relevant to what I have to say: I was on a Philadelphia city bus nearly sixty year... Read More
Monday, 16 February 2015 01:42
Anonymous
Joking and goofy stories aside, you've done it again, Rosy. I'm going to root through my files and find all your poems -- I hope I... Read More
Monday, 16 February 2015 01:52
Anonymous
Sorry, but I just remembered this. Both our poems mention roses. Something on the ether?
Monday, 16 February 2015 01:56
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A Legal Fiction

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This day commemorates the execution of King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland in 1649, who was tried by Parliament and found guilty of High Treason for his style of governance which upheld the Divine Right of Kings. His Catholic wife and his preference for the Roman tradition in matters of religion unnerved a nation seeking liberation from Papal authority.

Since Eden, we have wrestled with the conundrum of power and justice which can never be wholly resolved as we strive instinctively to regain a state of being long lost.

Below are some quotes from noted figures. The opinion of the Radical Tom Paine in the following century echoes with devastating ambiguity:

Kill the king but spare the man.
Thomas Paine

I would rather obey a fine lion, much stronger than myself, than two hundred rats of my own species.
Voltaire

But since we have learned sin, we have found, as Lord Acton says, that 'all power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.' The only remedy has been to take away the powers and substitute a legal fiction of equality.
C S Lewis

...the more absolute the ruler, the more absolute the revolution will be which replaces him.
Hannah Arendt

The progress from an absolute to a limited monarchy, from a limited monarchy to a democracy, is a progress toward a true respect for the individual.
H D Thoreau

I feel anxious for the fate of our monarchy, or democracy, or whatever is to take place. I soon get lost in a labyrinth of perplexities; but,whatever occurs, may justice and righteousness be the stability of our times, and order arise out of confusion. Great difficulties may be surmounted by patience and perseverance.
Abigail Adams

Why doesn't the United States take over the monarchy and unite with England? England does have important assets. Naturally the lon ger you wait, the more they will dwindle. At least you could use it for a summer resort instead of Maine
W H Auden

The best reason why Monarchy is a strong government is, that it is an intelligible government. The mass of mankind understand it, and they hardly anywhere in the world understand any other.
Walter Bagehot

Remember that life is made up of loyalty: loyalty to your friends; loyalty to things beautiful and good; loyalty to the country in which you live; loyalty to your King; and above all, for this holds all other loyalties together, loyalty to God.
Queen Mary, wife of King George V

Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule...and both commonly succeed, and are right.
H L Mencken

Where men are forbidden to honour a king they honour millionaires, athletes or film stars instead: even famous prostitutes or gangsters. For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served; deny it food and it will gobble poison.
C S Lewis

When Caesar, having extracted what is Caesar's, demands still more insistently that we render unto him what is God's - that is a sacrifice we dare not make!
Alexander Solzhenitsyn

I am not a 'democrat', if only because 'humility' and equality are spiritual principles corrupted by the attempt to mechanize and formalize them, with the result that we get not universal smallness and humility, but universal greatness and pride, till some Orc gets hold of a ring of power--and then we get and are getting slavery.
J R R Tolkien

Better be secure under one king, than exposed to violence from twenty millions of monarchs, though oneself be one of them.
Herman Melville

If you have time, you might like to read today's blog post on this theme at http://www.pilgrimrose.com

Recent Comments
Anonymous
A lot to digest, Rosy. Much of it dealt with my current major preoccupations. Current but also old. Somewhere in my later years I'... Read More
Saturday, 31 January 2015 02:05
Rosy Cole
Thanks for ploughing through it all, Charlie, and for your comments. I do appreciate them. Yes, I think all those sayings are hi... Read More
Saturday, 31 January 2015 16:13
Anonymous
I'm always afraid I'll seem to be "buttering you up" but I have to say that you amaze me. If there's such a thing as a living, bre... Read More
Saturday, 31 January 2015 17:20
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I Hear The Music Now

 

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer as a young student of seventeen

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His study in Berlin

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His arrest in Berlin

 

On this day, I offer a poem as a tribute to Dietrich Bonhoeffer. His family believed this gifted and 'lovable' man was destined to be a musician. But the Cosmos had other plans.

On April 9th, 1945, he was executed at Flossenburg Concentration Camp in Bavaria for his stance against the abomination of Hitler's Jewish policies. Bonhoeffer's tremendous energy in the cause of justice and peace knew no bounds, even after his arrest. He inspired and gathered about him so many of like mind prepared to do the distance.

Exactly two weeks later, on April 23rd, liberation came, at Flossenburg via the 90th US Infantry. The Third Reich fell as surely as the walls of Jericho.

On that spring dawn, a tidal power was released into the universe that has carried subsequent generations. And those born into a traumatised world within an ace of his passing were touched by his shadow and have best ridden the current of that Life he set free.

 

'There is a meaning in every journey that is unknown to the traveller.' Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 

I am breaking in two
Hell opens its mouth wide
bidding Heaven fill it

Am I a whited sepulchre?
pacific as Christ
before my warden
when a heart of anger
rages under the ribs
at living blasphemy?

Pictures from the past
assail the mind
taunting and tantalising
a Beethoven sonata at dusk
my fingers dabbling harmonies
from liquid keys

preternatural chords
that could transform
a disordered world

Vintage values, vintage leather
a timeworn oaken table
rye bread, schnitzel, sauerkraut
blessed conversation
the family as one dipping
its hand into the dish

my sister's merriment
her sparkling wit, she with whom
I shared a sacred womb

Tubingen, the Neckar's sheen
willow-teased and placid
ancient gables pinked against sky
the halls of learning
prescriptive ink, mottled parchment
a smell of dust and destiny

Embattled senses piqued
drunk on heroic visions
Wagner, Schiller, Goethe
donning the mental shoes
of Luther, Hegel, Kepler
confabulating new fire

The zeal of youth!
The rampant certainty
Good systems of belief
might slay hubris and heresy
Christians foiled, resisted, banned
the torque tightening

But no cheap Grace,
Grace the other side of pain
and prayer, Grace prodigal
and purposeful, power-releasing
stone-breaking Grace
of Heaven's radiant geode!

Orgies of cleansing
God's Chosen hounded, trampled
the burning and the broken glass
the Prince of Darkness
determined to exterminate
his own reflection

The hiding, oh, the hiding
the labyrinthine whispers
earthquaking jackboots
persecution by a buckled cross
the leading where I had no wish to go
like the Lord's disciple

I ask the warden how
his diphtherious daughter does
footsteps clatter in concrete corridors
echoing against the mindless walls
It is Time, O Lord. I am Thine,
You bid me come and die

O perfect irony! O Spring!
A round, rose-tinted dawn!
Birds fly upward like broadcast seed
I see the outlined noose, the narrow way
the gallows way, a doorway framing light
This, this is where it begins...


I hear the music now...

 

from Mysteries of Light (collection in preparation)

preview

 

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Flossenburg Concentration Camp - courtesy of the Holocaust History Archive

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Flossenburg Castle

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 Shared from www.pilgrimrose.com

Copyright

© © Rosy Cole 2015

Recent Comments
Anonymous
I HEAR THE MUSIC NOW: I was excited just to see you had done something on Bonhoeffer. I've just read through it once and I'm sur... Read More
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 01:30
Rosy Cole
Thank you so much, Charlie. I am touched that you found personal treasure in this poem and deeply appreciate your enthusiasm and i... Read More
Thursday, 29 January 2015 15:47
Virginia M Macasaet
Beautiful! Love this post!
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 07:32
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4 Comments

The Poet and The Needle's Eye

 

 

Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood. T S Eliot

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and thought has found its words. Robert Frost

Poetry is language at is most distilled and most powerful. Rita Dove

Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance. Carl Sandburg

You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some of it with you. Joseph Joubert

A good poem is a contribution to reality. The world is never the same once a good poem has been added to it. A good poem helps to change the shape of the universe, helps to extend everyone's knowledge of himself and the world around him. Dylan Thomas

Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose petal down the grand canyon and waiting for the echo. Don Marquis

In poetry, you must love the words, the ideas and the images and rhythms with all your capacity to love anything at all. Wallace Stevens

What is uttered from the heart alone, will win hearts to your own. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A thousand dreams within me softly burn. Arthur Rimbaud

 

There is a running debate in literary forums about the nature of poetry, what it is  and how it can be distinguished, which leaves aspiring poets and readers in a state of confusion.

Our ancestors, right up to the 1950s, seemed to know what it was by instinct. Sound poetry always had, and always will have, a universal resonance. Verse, doggerel, limerick all had a place, usually humorous, that was lauded for its outlandish nonsense and astute comment. The chronicles of history sparkle with the light-hearted asides of versifiers. (Imagine that now! Maybe we are better bred, or, more likely, it's just that we have lost a sense of sportmanship.) They were in rhyme because that made them memorable and somehow funnier and more piquant.

Rhyme has long gone out of fashion and is much maligned. This seems to coincide with the 'freedom' our Western civilisation believes it has gained after doing battle with tyranny in two World Wars. Added to that, the splitting of the atom, with its proliferation of consequences, has undermined integrity. These milestones in cosmic history have challenged scientific and moral will. There was once a prevailing view of what constitutes Good and Evil, whose vital shades of grey must, nevertheless, at some point resolve into monochrome and line-drawing. The Golden Rule was key.

So, the old framework is demolished. Some maintain that God is dead. This leaves no reference point, no order in which we can belong, and much less, thrive. It actually leaves nothing to rebel against except the supposed causes of our amorphous pain and offers no hope beyond a fateful redistribution of suffering.

In the wake of all this, our artforms could only become fragmented if they were to be expressive of reality, our vision self-absorbed. It's harder now to communicate in clear and eloquent terms despite our reach via the media.

Art, like life, requires a vehicle. Perhaps 'vessel' is more apt. It thrives upon a paring down of options. Ultimately, economic recession, focused horizons, can only be good for it. We are made in the Creator's image. We are compelled to create. There is nothing like repression for producing work that exalts us.

The principle is vividly illustrated by Brian Keenan, the Beirut hostage of the eighties, who suffered unimaginable torture at the hands of his captors, yet is able to say this:

"Captivity had recreated freedom for us. Not a freedom outside us to be hungered after, but another kind of freedom which we found to our surprise and relish within ourselves."

It is an extreme example. But art, in order to prove its value, needs the needle's eye.
  
All this has a bearing on how we regard poetry. The call to rhyme and rhythm tends to flag up bad poetry, not only because of the sophistication, or otherwise, of the rhyme scheme, but because of the discipline it demands in the use of crisp, telling, multi-layered imagery within a prescribed number of balanced syllables.

Fear not, this is by no means a plea to abandon free verse, nor to discredit it. We are of our times and must ply with the momentum. It is a plea on behalf of those who are finding their way through thickets of the empirical, self-conscious, imitative and idiosyncratic. Good communication is good manners. And yes, that can take place on many levels, not just the immediate, nor even the conscious. (The Eliot quote above is profoundly telling.) But something within the piece hooks, halts and captivates the reader, who is present in spirit during the writing.

We may take on board academic opinion, be dazzled and informed by it, but then forget it. Forget the vogue. Be still and hold counsel with yourself, listen to the rhythms of your soul, tap into the deep well of emotion and experience that is the unique You, be driven by the language, shuffle the images so that they fall into a new pattern in the mind's kaleidoscope. Latch on to a metre that matches your subject, as Robert Browning did, for one, in How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix.

Poetry is timeless and its form should best support its theme. In the haystack of opinion about what makes for real poetry, first find your needle!

Copyright

© ©Rosy Cole 2010 & 2015

Recent Comments
Stephen Evans
"Good communication is good manners" - very nice.
Monday, 12 January 2015 15:54
Rosy Cole
Thanks kindly for reading down that far ... Read More
Monday, 12 January 2015 17:19
Anonymous
And good habit. Thank you Rosy! Will have those in the house who can read, soak it in. ... Read More
Monday, 12 January 2015 22:43
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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!


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Beautiful ?
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True, Rosy. Kindness can change anything; it can soften a heart, arouse a smile, and much more. ?
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Thank you, Rosy for reading and commenting.