Showing posts from October, 2018


A tree poem to end the week, in homage to a much loved Oak, long may it stay hidden and protected.  Long days pass without sight of people; I hear them near, Summer sounds, laughing children splashing in pools, humming chatter of families, cars raising dust on dry dirt lanes. I remain hidden, concealed, buffered by barbed brambles  guarded by my progeny,  holly spiked  holm oaks  circling my secluded grove. Today she returned once more, this quiet human friend, mother walking with daughter, their hushed words vibrating on the still autumn air, they brush open the brier gate, treading softly on crinkle leaf carpet, stopping to face me, arm in arm, I absorb their awe at my presence. Deep roots transmit crunched footsteps, the sun caked earth trembling, she pauses to seek whispered blessing, here are the tree seekers, tree keepers, I sense the trust of their gentle touch, browned arms girdle my jagged bark, fingers entwine


I am re posting this European peace poem in solidarity with all those marching in London today for a vote on the final deal for leaving the EU. I had no vote in the first referendum, I will continue to fight for the right of all UK and EU citizens living in UK to have a vote in any future referendum.  I AM EUROPEAN The bomb site was our playground, greened over empty spaces scattered around Coventry where families once lived. Traces of bricks and wallpaper still littered the scrubby grass and leggy pink bomb weed, rubble that shattered down on top of shelters, like the one my dad and nana were buried in for three long days, until Grandad dug them out. When not being cowboys and Indians we played war games, buzzing with arms out wide like the planes that filled Coventry’s blacked out skies. The peace was recent, still being built in the Europe of treaties and good neighbours, like Coventry’s new Cathedral, City of reconciliation, rising


When I return to my hometown of Coventry I always visit the Cathedral. I find it uplifting, a beautiful building celebrating peace, rising from the ashes of the bombed out St Michael's Cathedral, its ruins reflected in the magnificent glass wall of Angels and Saints. I always pause to gaze in awe at Epstein's St Michael and the Devil, illustrated here in a photograph by Chris Knight.  ST MICHAEL AND THE DEVIL Blessed Archangel, holy Saint, I have come to know you  as Michael,  a little  casual for a mighty warrior,  protector of all  who call  your name,  wrapping your winged cloak around unguarded human frames.  I find you in hidden churches, stood in silent Spanish squares, shining down through rubied glass, in roadside crypts garlanded with faded plastic roses, on a bedside postcard of  Epstein’s vision. Michael in victory, speared  warrior,  proud browed, a mournful smile, eyes saddened by Lucifer's defeat,  f


A poem inspired by Autumn, here at home in Spain and my nostalgia for northern woods.  AT HOME IN THE WOODS Threading through dark pines, resin fresh on air chilled in mountain’s shade, misting incense of crushed thyme; gaze past tree line to stoned terraces, hillside striped with Levante greens, sage silvered, olive bearing, verdant beryl of ripening ‘mandarinas’ Christmas teasing, yellow flushed fennel sway on blowsy stretched stems, gnomed vines bruised like fallen grapes fermenting on red clay. Living sense of Spanish presence while loosened mind wanders back to cool Northern woods; jewelled moss slipping, squelch of mushrooms hidden in leaf fall freeing spores of fungal decay, air ripe with cyclical change as damp earth exudes richness of summer humus, decomposing, nurturing woodland as it sleeps; think of lost ones who loved these woods, permeating subsoil, resting deep under oak trees. © 2018 Jacquelin


On National Poetry Day I celebrate all the wonderful poets who share their words with us. We respond to poems with individual taste, some move us deeply, illuminate, make us laugh or resonate with memory and experience. Some are accessible, lighter in tone, others written with a degree of technical skill and craft honed over years of practice. All can find a home where they are welcomed and appreciated. This is a brushstroke of my words which I hope find their way to where they belong.  ON THE BREEZE I free my words to blow far on the breeze taking flight with flocking birds tracing perfect mandalas in migratory haste. May they find you on walks among trees, by sun kissed seas, mirrored in lakes so still and deep they reflect our soul. May you feel the love in their making, reverie filtered through cloud lace, to rest where needed, like feathers floating earthwards, in spirals of grace.  © 2018 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  A