Six-Count Jive

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Six-Count Jive ‘has an ethereal delicacy to it that is quite beautiful and I think this is achieved in no small part by the 17-syllable stanza form.’ Mark Chamberlain

These poems describe what it is like to recover from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and have come together over nine to ten years, since a few months before Rosie’s own diagnosis in March 2010. In Rosie’s usual style, the 17-syllable micro-poems can be read individually or as a sequence. They are dedicated to everyone with PTSD or CPTSD, especially those of us traumatised in our own homes.

Having grown up by the sea on Northern Ireland’s north coast, Rosie looked to the seaside for healing when it was needed:

That week old bruise. Its slanting

rainbows

seem to offer distant rescue.

 

Her new home’s a seven-locked keep,

candle-soft,

buttressed by lee-shore mists.

 

Her washed-out gaze wakes to kelp

garlands,

new moon’s high-shore embroidery.

 

Full tide’s in her evening finery:

shingle gleaming

in spangled lace. 

 

She’ll ease her body, trapeze

sea’s finest

filigrees in spring breezes.

 

Where sea and sky merge in a

thousand pinks

aligns the mind’s horizon.

 

The full moon is whispering:

‘Up you come,

waltz with the tide and forget.’

 

Dawns a walking shoreline truth:

tormentors 

debase no one but themselves.