Showing posts from March, 2021

Gardens of 2019: New Place

  Remembering all the beautiful gardens I visited in the summer of 2019, when a bubble was just something you could make with Fairy liquid. New Place in Stratford-on-Avon was once Shakespeare's family home.  A good excuse to share this Shakespeare-inspired sonnet from On the Wing (Offa's Press):   Sons and Roses Shall I compare him to a climbing rose – my semi-hardy, prickly twelve-year-old? He’s scaled the larch-lap fences that enclose our garden, and gone rambling. Buds unfold beyond the fence, in places I can’t see. Some days, on this side, all the stems are bare and hurtful thorns are all he offers me. I worry then: wild brambles lurk out there. What gardener in my place would know for sure which stems to prune and which to leave unchecked, how far to let him wander and explore, at what point freedom turns to base neglect?   I don’t have answers, yet I persevere: so long as roots need water, I’ll be near. Ros Woolner

Gardens of 2019: Martineau Gardens

Remembering all the beautiful gardens I visited in the summer of 2019, when a face mask was just another name for a face pack.   Martineau Gardens is a community garden in Edgbaston. I went to a poetry workshop there run by Mandy Ross and loved how peaceful it felt, despite being only two miles from Birmingham city centre.

Insect poems

  I'm delighted to have a poem about pond dipping in this book of insect poems from The Emma Press . I grew up by the Thames and spent hours fishing for minnows with a jam jar (and building 'piers' out of planks of wood and falling off them). The Emma Press is an independent publisher based in Birmingham that publishes wonderful themed poetry anthologies for children and adults, as well as collections of poems by individual poets.

In sunshine and in rain

  I wrote this sonnet after Storm Doris in February 2017.   In Sunshine and in Rain Some days she’s down, all mud, brown leaves and tears, on others private, huddled in the mist. In summer rain she’s zany, fun, appears to flirt, spins, laughs. Refuses to be kissed. Her temper blazes when the wind is high, I flinch at every crash, move plants indoors. Next day she offers crocuses while I stand silent by the flattened hellebores. But when the purple buddleia’s in my eyes she conjures shadow-pools where clover sings and in the cool green depths the butterflies alight on submerged leaves, splash charcoal wings. Sun-kissed, caressed, entranced, I’m lost. And she’s a goddess. I fill jam jars with sweet peas. Ros Woolner (from On the Wing , Offa's Press 2018)