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!

Matchless

 

 

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He makes quite an impression

The chair knows who he is -

forget memory foam -

It hears him coming,

catlike and unshod,

and braces for the slump

 

 

He sports a dark blue sock

with an emerald toe

and a furry one, ankle-patterned,

Got another pair like these, he says,

somewhere,

I wouldn't bet on it, I say

 

 

Outside, the clink of recycling,

the dog lets rip a volley of ire

Don't tell him to put a sock in it,

he needs no excuse, he says

There was this Great Dane on the News,

couldn't stop retching

 

 

They opened him up

and found forty-three socks

and a half,

all the colours of the rainbow,

Just proves that silver technology

can't be any good for you

 

 

No, I say, I imagine not,

Makes you wonder what happened

to the half,

the other half,

Well, it wouldn't make a pair,

he says, that's for sure

 

 

 

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http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/04/great-dane-portland-eats-43-socks-hospital-wins-prize

 

 

Copyright

© ©Rosy Cole 2014

Recent Comments
Barbara Froman
You capture canine behavior and thinking so perfectly, Rosy. This made me laugh and wince! As for the socks, I suspect our washing... Read More
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 18:00
Rosy Cole
Thanks! Delighted you enjoyed it! Has many amusing connotations for me ... Read More
Thursday, 11 September 2014 12:01
Anonymous
Enjoyed the poem and the pooch. Also yesterday's video which I'll return to from time to time. Brings back memories of a long gone... Read More
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 18:52
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4 Comments

The Stunned Buzz Of Resurrection*

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"Of all the arts, abstract painting is the most difficult. It demands that you know how to draw well, that you have a heightened sensitivity for composition and for colors, and that you be a true poet. The last is essential."

 Wassily Kandinsky.

 

It may seem a little odd to begin a review of poetry with a quote about artists, but the Snell sisters don't make such distinctions easy. While each is pledged to keep her own internal boundaries, so that Janet's pictures are not a direct expression of Cheryl's poems, but rather conjure the atmosphere of them, it is plain that both are consummate artists, one with well-honed quill, one with a psychogenic brush.

The 'heightened sensitivity for composition and for colors' applies equally to 'true poet', Cheryl. Her verses are a riot of color, sometimes named colors from the palette. She speaks of 'blue irony' and 'the indigo moments before bed' and 'alizarin, vermilion, cadmium, red wings beating everywhere at once'. Those who paint, or spend a lot of time in galleries, know how shades of red vibrate and redefine a whole canvas. Then there are the subtler hues, as in the gentle poem, Aura.

Small galoshes

fracture the rainbow

in a puddle.

 


A spray of seven colors

prisms the sky.

 

 
It falls back to earth,

trailing iridescence

around a thin yellow foot

it mistakes for the sun.

 

Cheryl's mastery of language is breathtaking, her phrases turned with lancet-precision. The montaging of constrasted images taps deep into the soul and releases elusive truths with the chaste simplicity of oxygen bubbles rising to the surface of a lake. You can feel at one with the unfurling torsion of spring, its sinews newly braced, in Poem With Spring Fever, opening you up to growing possibilities beneath a benevolent sky.

The perspectives range from under-your-nose through middle distance to wide blue yonder, with close-up shots that refuse to freeze and leave you on the crest of longing. A broken spider's web is 'a ruination of silk geometries' while 'In the stunned hush of its own snapped strands, the spider writhes and rolls in a ransom of insects.' Hope describes 'how the glazed sky hurled through will feathers will sometimes part like water for one bird.'

And who, in love, has never been poised on this precipice described in Closer?

 

Crisscrossed nerves

vibrate like colours on a map.

My senses are a balcony

overhanging the sea's dark watch,

its constant ticking. I wait,

a flicker of light upon the spine,

from my high place.

The rooms sway, and I know you

are near, the train pulling

into the station,

quick bound

down the escalator,

eyes on the door,

its hinged footing,

your hand opening the cab's yellow

roaring

into the rush-hour surge.

 

This is not poetry merely to beguile the imagination; it is experience by vital proxy, full of pulse and texture and radiance.

Memento Mori is a tour de force. I cannot praise it enough and feel privileged to have had the chance to review such a gem. The book is well-produced and does credit to poet and painter on every level. Janet Snell's expressionist art - vaguely reminiscent of Edvard Munch but intensely unique - broods over these pieces, depicting shape and shadow from the hazy layers of the subconscious. These presences shifting through space are the masks we tow our troubled worlds behind.

If the title suggests that Wordsworth's Intimations of Immortality has been turned on its head, then it would certainly be misleading. This book is life-affirming to a degree and proves the paradox that there is still life beyond the barbed reminders of human transience.

RJC

 

*Title from Cheryl's poem, Indian Summer

http://snellsisters.blogspot.com/

Copyright

© © Rosy Cole 2009

Recent Comments
Nicholas Mackey
What a fascinating article that touches on a favourite subject of mine: the criss-crossing of creativity. How did you come across ... Read More
Saturday, 06 September 2014 08:40
Rosy Cole
Thank you, Nicholas! Yes, I can see how this would echo for you with your interest in writing and photography. What's remarkable a... Read More
Saturday, 06 September 2014 11:56
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2 Comments

White Shirts

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Wishing all friends across the Pond a happy holiday!

 

WHITE SHIRTS

 

With white shirts, he said
the pain is that stains proclaim
your ineptitude
in a competitive world
blighting self-esteem

 

Dripped cappuccino
spinach, lentil soup, red wine
are markers of taste
and habitude and hunger
A neat paradox

 

But the choice is smart
even after Labor Day
I said. Obama's
an iconic trendsetter
It comes from the top

 

They suit you, I said
You wear pristine honesty
on your sleeve, or front
You strive against the tide for
the immaculate

 

That's Hope triumphant
You're no whited sepulchre
sporting a dark shirt
You wish the Cloths of Heaven
and Resurrection

 

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from THE TWAIN, Poems of Earth and Ether

Recent Comments
Anonymous
To strive against the tide for the Immaculate...Amazingly beautiful. H
Monday, 01 September 2014 19:29
Rosy Cole
Thank you! I suspect it's common to the hidden journey we all make, whether wittingly or not.
Tuesday, 02 September 2014 16:32
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2 Comments

The Intuitive Art of Wooing Nature

 

Healing is not a science, but the intuitive art of wooing nature. W H Auden

 

It could be said that the industrial/agricultural revolution which lurched into motion in the late 18th century at the time the Berkeley Series begins, is still an experiment in progress. Some might argue that for all our know-how and technological advance, mankind, on the whole, has gained little in terms of personal satisfaction and inner content.

Whilst the Enlightenment was hauling the western world from a medieval mindset, configured by religious superstition, with all its inbred lore, droves of artisans and commoners flocked into the spreading cities in search of work and became trapped in an even more degrading brand of poverty, their privations the result of prolonged wars, failed crops and land enclosures. Their contact (and their contract) with the earth swiftly diminished, along with the health-giving properties of daily, often thoughtless, interaction with nature.

It's easy for us to raise a brow at the possets and potions of yore and exult in the leaps and bounds of progress, but much of modern day drug therapy is based on synthetic versions of naturally-occurring elements which our ancestors knew how to exploit.

All things must come to the soul from its roots, from where it is planted. Saint Teresa of Avila

 


 

Historical theories held that the environment in which you found yourself, particularly when it was your native one, held all the components needed for well-being. The kind of food that land supported was the most vital for sustenance. Creation was seen as a whole, the human organism not separate from it, but composed, in characteristic permutations, of the same biochemical constituents. Nature, they concluded, supplies close to the source of need. Arnica, well-known for healing strains, bruises and physical trauma, is the mountain tobacco plant, found on rocky altitudes where climbers venture. Burdock grows in the vicinity of nettle patches and the rubbed juice of the leaf upon nettle stings works wonders, as I well recall from childhood. Nettles themselves are rich in nutrients and are a specific for irritated skin and the stinging of cystitis. There is a clue in its Latin name, urtica urens. The skin condition, urticaria, caused by external irritants, is even more likely to be brought on by a (prolonged) psychological state of being nettled!

John Gerard and Nicholas Culpeper, the herbalists of the Tudor and Jacobean ages, were supremely methodical in their approach to recording the properties and virtues of plants. Where they thrive, in what climate, in what soil, in what months of the year they flower, is some indication of the human states they best address and whether the petals, leaves, berries or roots should be used. Colour is important. Reds and greens are associated with the life force. They are the colours of the (edible) hawthorn, or crataegus, a gentle heart stimulant and pulse regulator. Celandine, or chelidonium, was used for afflictions of the gall bladder, its bright yellow a clue to its suitability for jaundice-inducing afflictions.

 

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There is also the 'doctrine of signatures' which maintains that the plant, or its useful part, actually resembles the organs, or disease, it is designed to treat. These were branded accordingly. Lungwort, for instance, for pulmonary infections, snakeroot as an antidote to venom. The botanist and herbalist, Richard Coles, writing in the mid-17th century, observed that walnuts were good for head ailments and it is no coincidence that they resemble the brain. Heartsease, the wild pansy, a specific for the lovelorn and grieving, as well as its smiling countenance, has leaves that describe a perfect heart and is believed to be useful in many illnesses associated with that region. So also foxglove (digitailis) long used in allopathic medication for strengthening the cockles of the heart! The fennel bulb is a classic example of food for heart health since it's shape so well describes that organ and its arteries.

 

 

You see, they didn't need to remember to take their manufactured vitamins and bioflavonoids which our consumption of de-natured foods seems to warrant. They worked long hours outdoors for their vitamin D. They ate local grains and honey, drank real ale out in the fields with their bread and cheese, milk from the cows and goats pastured on their land or the common, eggs from their own or their neighbour's patch. They chopped down oaks for Drake's or Nelson's navy and absorbed enough quercetin for their needs. They picked their elderberries, blackberries, wild strawberries, bilberries, rosehips, nuts, from the hedgerows. It was free food, not battery-grown crops, and had travelled none of the 'food miles' that necessitate chemical processing to keep them presentable. Even brushing against such plants as deadly nightshade (belladonna) and poison ivy (rhus tox) could confer salutary benefits.

 


 

All this requires imagination to a 21st century perspective, but to become steeped in their way of thinking throws open doors to a clearer understanding of our existence on this planet and the integrity of God's providence. When the mist begins to dissolve, it's like grasping a whole new language and poses the question whether the obfuscation is really ours, driven by the greed and hubris of our culture.

All our progress is an unfolding, like the vegetable bud, you have first an instinct, then an opinion, then a knowledge, as the plant has root, bud and fruit. Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason. Ralph Waldo Emerson

A colossal industry has grown up around drug and dietary supplements in many forms, creating a dependency within the economy itself, thus leasing our destiny to outside factors which are no respecter of persons. Whilst not for a moment wanting to dis some of the quantum leaps in medical science, I happen to believe that the Western world would be a lot healthier and holier (more whole) for some self-determination and the forsaking of psychological dependence on others. Consider this, even supposing all prescribed drug trials to be scrupulously rigorous and objective, no one can forecast accurately how a patient will be affected. A doctor's understanding is still almost wholly formed from anecdotal evidence. Sometimes they admit they don't really understand how and why a drug works. All such drugs are heavy-handed in their effects with the risk of negative reactions, seen and unseen.

 

 

It's true there was in the past no regulation. But there do seem to have been prescribed procedures along with warnings about overdosing. However, homeopathy, a branch of medicine which has interested me for many years, is a pharmacological discipline which in application is safe and non-invasive. One random example at a superficial level is that of Silicea (silica) which, taken in the appropriate potency, in drop or small tablet form, has the power to remove splinters all by itself. The same substances are used in an entirely different way to herbalism and remedies will not necessarily agree. (More of this anon.) The philosophy is profound. If the practice and awesome rationale behind it were grasped, it would change the cosmos. But retweet the British Homeopathic Association on Twitter and you'll find yourself spammed by a barrage of aggressive bots (at least until recently, before the clean-up campaign.) I wonder why?

 

 

We have gone out on a limb and belittled our roots. Medicine has been as much the subject of fashion as designer clothes. But in the last decade or two, we've begun to examine the wisdom refined by our ancestors which spanned many centuries with little modification and goes back to the civilisations of Greece and Rome, to Dioscorides and Pliny the Elder. The shrinking globe has also helped us align with Eastern cultures holding to the concept of food as medicine.

Such is the audacity of man, that he hath learned to counterfeit Nature, yea, and is so bold as to challenge her in her work. Pliny, the Elder.

Enlightenment can sometimes be a moving beam and a narrow shaft.

As the opening line of L P Hartley's compelling novel, The Go-Between, states: The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.

 

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Copyright

© © Rosy Cole 2014 & 2012

Recent Comments
Stephen Evans
And the traveler hopes: let me be far from any physician.
Saturday, 30 August 2014 04:29
Katherine Gregor
Hear! Hear!
Saturday, 30 August 2014 10:24
Rosy Cole
Yes, indeed. But the point about your native turf also holds good for any you adopt, or spend significant amounts of time on. Envi... Read More
Sunday, 31 August 2014 11:34
2838 Hits
7 Comments

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Thank you, Rosy for reading and commenting.
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