A New Ulster, issue 121, January 2023, pages 29 – 33 inclusive: On a scale of one to ten; In the cool of this hottest day; Happy the Woman (a response to Horace and Dryden’s Happy the Man)
Mary Evans Picture Library – Poems and Pictures blog: Off the Map, alongside a photograph by William Alfred Green of the Castles of Commedagh, Mournes, early 1900s.
Mary Evans Picture Library – Poems and Pictures blog: High Winds, alongside a beach painting by Sir John Lavery, 1911
Mary Evans Picture Library – Poems and Pictures blog: Beach Hut Christmas, alongside a design by Tess Hines, circa 2018
Mary Evans Picture Library – Poems and Pictures blog: Mirror, alongside Picture 11123621, photograph, early 20th century
Mary Evans Picture Library – Poems and Pictures blog: Oyster Seventeens with Jacob Foppens van Es, Still Life with Oysters, oil on panel, mid-17th century
They lie with the wild
dip their hair and toes in sunshine.
A sliver of time – her inhale,
his blink –
silence vibrates around them.
She holds both the clock’s hands, wrests
Time to a
stop, while he rests in her arms.
The longest minutes of her life:
last contraction and first breath.
New moon watches her nuzzle her
tells Time to leave them be.
In each lark’s heartbeat, each spider’s
baby’s blink, Time stretches, yawns.
Three cabbage whites, two dragonflies,
Moorchicks sprint along the
Playing at flight with stumpy wings.
A baby toad, my thumbnail size,
A perfect pinpoint marvel.
With the unhurried grace of a
Hope holds my elbow, smiles.
I dig and hear, near me, her
Silent breath –
She who first buried spring bulbs.
*Casca’s table, published by London Grip, autumn 2015
Some of the ancient buildings in Pompeii are named after what was found thereby archaeologists. Casca’s House is home to a table bearing Casca’s name though Casca himself was probably never there. He was one of Julius Caesar’s killers and struck the first blow.
Blue pulsing heat. Geckos hide in
in the walls of Casca’s House.
A perfect atrium draws
from my shoulders. Conjures breezes.
Pale in the gloaming, a marble table
three lions’ maws, three paws.
There’s his name, the senator –
P Casca Long –
engraved with overt pride
Words etched deep, but not as deep as
Casca’s wary jab
in Caesar’s neck.
Did this marble come in shame from
cut-price, humbled by Casca’s name?
Hot-blood war, chill suicide,
keeps its witness to itself.
I sway: a toga brushed my arm
Outdoor torpor revives me
Rosie’s bat bits written for Cambridgeshire Wildlife Trust have been published from time to time in Cambridge Evening News
Amid tall rococo willow
Bats flit a bold fandango.
From the lowest towpath shadows
To climb a veiled moon
Cam’s swaying willow skirts
Cloak-and-swagger zigger-zagger bats.
A corner of the eye thing,
Flip flitter twitch
In 2016 Live Canon, Greenwich commissioned 154 living poets to write their responses to Shakespeare’s 154 Sonnets. Rosie was allocated Sonnet 126. You will find Live Canon’s reading on the Performance page.