Verbalise (Rosie Garland)

Last night was a brilliant night of poetry and storytelling at The Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal. In the Warehouse Café, Verbalise regulars were treated to the marvellous work of Rosie Garland, performance poet, goth superstar and much, much more. Her thirty minute set flew by like some dark raven on a mission from Odin in the realms of Midgard; it was excellent. I cannot do it justice on this page, but urge you to click below in order to see Rosie in action at Evidently in Manchester through the foggy ether of the internet (while at the same time urging you to take any opportunity that comes your way to see her live … she is absolutely wonderful) >>>

As for me, I did one about plumbing and another tree poem, one of which is appearing on October 1st, so I reckon a quick preview here is OK provided you don’t tell anyone …



In search of yew in Borrowdale
that shared the sun with Judas,
I walk a rutted path,

aware of twinges, snares, rocks,
carrying your paints and easel
along with this bowl of words,

no longer fit for consumption,
mold festering in knots
from sour touching fruit within.

And if these words were berries,
gardeners would stand disappointed
at the canker in the bark below.

And if a perching blackbird,
sang this song from any tree,
on any perfect spring morning,

it would jar, taint the air
and cause the world to frown
at such discordant notes.

We’ll find a place to stop, you and I,
and you will paint this landscape,
my eye drawn towards a blemish

where a loose neglected sleeve
was dragged across wet canvas trees
in one careless movement;

a moment you might come to know;
as discarding the bowl by this footpath,
I swallow the words and wait

till the bitter aftertaste subsides,
resolves in time to soil and dust
with Borrowdale’s ancient yew.


Published in Riggwelter Issue #14 (October 2018)

Picture credit: By Alfred Heaton Cooper – From the book The English Lakes, Painted by A. Heaton Cooper, Described by Wm T. Palmer, 1908 (2nd edition). Scan from University of Toronto – Robarts Library / Internet Archive 


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