Solace – Molly Rosenberg




WB dominated my thoughts,
His ‘Bee loud glade‘
Buzzed through my mind,
Bringing such longing ,
To go far away to that
Special place.


WB still dominating my thoughts,
Another century indeed,
Now I have my own,
‘Bee loud glade’

No plane, no car, no sea to sail,
Just an open door to,
A special place,
Where the bees buzz,
In the lavender,
Landing on the Lilly pads,
In the cool greenness,
They sate their thirst.

We truly have had our
Wings clipped,
Our horizons
The world holds
Its breath,
Yet there is a
Solace and a
Quenching to be had,
If only we can find
Our own ‘Bee loud glade.

Molly Rosenberg

Molly’s beautiful lyric is inspired by W B Yeats’


The Tower

                  St Leonard’s Tower, West Malling

The Tower

Hot sun

Tinging the grey rag-stone

With gold.

Standing proud against,

A blue, blue

Perfect sky.

The sound of thrushes

In the surrounding parched trees,

Two buzzards wheel overhead.

Ancient stones

Laid down long ago,

By men from history

Gundulph or Odo of Bayeaux,

The detail is lost,

In the realms of time.

Casting its shadow

Over the valley

Of long lost hop fields,

And orchards now depleted

Of their succulent fruit.

Molly Rosenberg

For other poems by Molly Rosenberg search “Molly”

For Sophia on your wedding day

For Sophia on your wedding day

You arrived in a blast of winter ice
And snow flurries
The church clock chimed midnight
Shortly after your first cry
Tuesday’s child is full of grace
I whispered and so you were.

You stared at me as if to say
I know you
I have heard your voice
I have lain beneath your
Beating heart
I have felt your
Love even before I
Became me.

Now you are mine and
I am yours for ever
You grow into
This impossibly beautiful
Creature and I know
That one day your loving
Trusting gaze will light
On another.

We are at that place today
And as I watch you shimmer
And sparkle among the
Flowers and candles
Within this sacred place
I will say a silent thank you
For all that has been and
Is yet to come.

Molly Rosenberg

29 April 2017


A very touching new poem from friend of the blog, Molly Rosenberg.


A deep gnawing in my heart
An urgency pressing into my thoughts
A deep desire to return to the land and people
From whence my blood has sprung.

A short air space away.
Maybe a journey through
Glassy green waves as
In the old days.

I crave the sound of those dear voices
Long to laugh with them and hear
The stories that only they can tell
And I can hear again and again.

I need to go before it is too late
Before the shadows are all that are left
The memories of sandy days,
The cows down the back lane
The chickens by the gate.

The smell of gorse and salt.
Blackberry and apple
Soda bread and breac 
Just memories that I
Can almost taste.

But it is the people
That I am missing
The need to be with
Them grows stronger
As the days and years pass.

Molly Rosenberg

New Year

Here’s a new poem by our occasional collaborator, Molly Rosenberg

New Year

Dull empty faces
Lips that are chapped
From cold not love.

Windows reflect
The unwanted
The unsellable, used up
And discarded.

Tired eyes, out-partied
Pale skinned,
Dried out and brittle.

Time to pause, restore.
Cool, clear waters
Wash away the fatigue.

The mirror reflects
A glimpse of hope
A rebirth,
A bubbling fountain
Of unexplained
Joy and laughter.

Molly Rosenberg


Here’s the latest poem from our occasional contributor, Molly Rosenberg.


Humming birds hover
Incessant flutter of wings
Frequent sips of nectar sweetness
Vital for the life they lead
But I just want to be.
Life mapped out
Months in black and white
No room for diversion
Another concert
On and on
Like waves pounding
The soft silvery sand

A line drawn
On the beach
In my head
Call a halt
Shout STOP
I want to retreat
Need to retreat
To save me.

Calm, tranquility drips
Like honey
From the Humming bird
She returns to her nest
To rest and just be
Like me.

Molly Rosenberg

Autumn Thoughts – Molly Rosenberg

autumn leavesIt’s that time of the year again. Clocks have gone back, the temperature is beginning to drop and we are all bracing ourselves for winter. The landscape is unrecognisable from the bright summer days, yet every season has its magic and its mood. Autumn, a sensitive time for nostalgia, for poring over memories by an open fire, for meditation; a season which John Keats has indelibly marked forever as a time for poetry. And so we are pleased today to present a new poem by our dear friend, Molly Rosenberg.

Autumn Thoughts

          Through gold
          Through ruby red
          Burnt orange
          Amber glow

Like us the magnificence of beauty
reaches its crescendo,
as the array of colours overwhelms
the Ravensbourne Valley.
It takes my breath away.
So short a time like our youth
so fleeting.


Beauty turned to nuisance now
like us when our purpose is served,
all will be swept away.

The sharpness of the air pricks
my cheeks.
I wrap myself in the softness
of cashmere.
Relish the feeling of summer feet
now clad in suede as I tread
lightly through these
golden autumn days.

Molly Rosenberg

Wild blackberries

blackberries_wildThis week I have been revising a book of poetry that has been 18 months in the writing. Sections of the poem have been read by a very good friend of mine, Paul Taylor. I asked him as he was reading to mark the text wherever he found the lines confusing or simply dull. I am now working my way through the pages, sometimes rewriting passages he has marked as uninteresting or simply cutting them out if they no longer seem relevant to me.

It is always useful to have an editor, someone who can be trusted and whose judgment is based on wide reading and long years of experience. On this page I would like to express my gratitude to Paul for the task he undertook with great enthusiasm and completed with great professionalism. The lines  below, written over a year ago, nevertheless echo a poem submitted to the blog mid-August by Molly Rosenberg. According to Paul Taylor, my short poem is actually a metaphor for love. Who knows?

Wild blackberries

Wild blackberry canes
                   barbed brambles
heavy with fruit
                   thrive on the steep banks
of the railway cutting
                   goodness that grows
                   out of the soil :
but easy access to them is barred
                   by dense patches of nettles
so the berries gather dust
                   ripen and then fall back
into the undergrowth
                   to be eaten by birds
and by the large colonies of fox families
                   that have pitched their tents
at various stations
                   along the line

John Lyons

Missing out. . .

A Bigger Splash 1967 David Hockney born 1937 Purchased 1981
David Hockney, A Bigger Splash (1967), acrylic on canvas. Click to enlarge.

I have chosen David Hockney’s painting, A Bigger Splash (1967) from the Tate Britain collection, to accompany a new poem by Molly Rosenberg. The connection is perhaps rather tenuous, but both the poem and the painting deal with absence.

In Molly’s sensitive poem, a personal loss is registered and there is a tense equilibrium between the absence of one life and the presence of another. Hockney’s composition, however, captures the sad, dreary perfection of a Californian day by the pool. Here the pastel colours are deliberately drained of life, and the hard geometrical edges of the draughtsmanship are used to highlight the lifelessness of the scene. What is missing from this painting is the richness of life, there is no hint of a body anywhere. The splash that occurs is tantamount to an attack on the vapid soullessness of the scene, an act not of vandalism but of defiance and rebellion, a yearning for life.

Missing out

Glint of shining Aqua
At times almost blinding.
A boy figure stands
At the edge of the pool.
Elongated limbs that will stretch
With the promise of years to come.
The grandchild he so longed for, yet never saw.
Impatient, he left before age could claim him.

Corn-coloured hair ruffled beneath the surface
Drifts like weeds on the riverbed.
Honeyed limbs, silky smooth
Bejewelled with crystal drops.
He’d have held your small soft hand in his.
Delighted as you tightly clasped
your arms around his neck.

Molly Rosenberg

Dorothea Tanning, A Mi-Voix 1958

A Mi-Voix 1958 Dorothea Tanning 1910-2012 Presented by William N. Copley 1959
Dorothea Tanning, À Mi-Voix (1958) oil on canvas

London has some of the finest publicly owned museums and art galleries in the world and it is all too easy to take them for granted or to dismiss them as mere tourist attractions. Access to these great institutions is currently free, and so it should be. These facilities are great learning resources for children and for adults. Art is an essential human activity and has probably been with us for as long as we have had language. The representation of consciousness, of feelings and ideas is fundamental to our sense of identity, whether it be in words or images. That we are complex beings is to be applauded: it is this complexity which generates great drama, great music, great poetry and great art. We are the only species in nature to ask questions about what we observe in the external world and what we endeavour to understand when we look introspectively into our hearts.

Traipsing round Tate Modern last Sunday, wet through to my soul, and disappointed that the Pollocks I had gone to see were not currently on display there, I needed a piece of art to raise my spirits, and I found several. In particular I was struck by the ethereal beauty of a painting by Dorothea Tanning, À mi-voix, a title which in English means ‘in a low voice’, almost a whisper. This beautifully executed canvas took my breath away, and there is so much that I could say about it, but I won’t go into detail. Suffice it to say that at its heart I see two figures, male and female, bound by a central spinal column, expressing a love that is so delicately intimate it need not be shouted from the rooftops. But maybe that’s just me! Don’t take my word for it, go and see for yourself.

Dorothea Tanning

Artist and writer Dorothea Tanning was born in the United States in 1910 and trained as a painter in Chicago. She was associated with surrealism early in her career and she was married to fellow artist Max Ernst for thirty-four years until his death in 1976. Among her friends were Man Ray, George Balanchine, Truman Capote, Virgil Thompson, and Igor Stravinsky. Throughout her life she was always busy busy busy, into everything: painting, printmaking, sculpture, set and costume design, and her work was exhibited in the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tate Modern, and the Philadelphia Museum. In the late 1990s Dorothea turned to writing poetry and two of her poems are presented below. She also wrote an autobiography entitled Birthday (1986) and in 2004 published a novel Chasm: A Weekend. In an epigraph to one of her poetry books she quotes Montaigne : “it’s hard to be always the same person.” She died in 2012 at the age of 101.

For more information see

All Hallows’ Eve

Be perfect, make it otherwise.
Yesterday is torn in shreds.
Lightning’s thousand sulfur eyes
Rip apart the breathing beds.
Hear bones crack and pulverize.
Doom creeps in on rubber treads.
Countless overwrought housewives,
Minds unraveling like threads,
Try lipstick shades to tranquilize
Fears of age and general dreads.
Sit tight, be perfect, swat the spies,
Don’t take faucets for fountainheads.
Drink tasty antidotes. Otherwise
You and the werewolf: newlyweds.



Don’t look at me
for answers. Who am I but
a sobriquet,
a teeth-grinder,
grinder of color,
and vanishing point?

There was a time
of middle distance, unforgettable,
a sort of lace-cut
flame-green filament
to ravish my
skin-tight eyes.

I take that back—
it was forgettable but not
entirely if you
consider my
heavenly bodies . . .
I loved them so.

Heaven’s motes sift
to salt-white—paint is ground
to silence; and I,
I am bound, unquiet,
a shade of blue
in the studio.

If it isn’t too late
let me waste one day away
from my history.
Let me see without
looking inside
at broken glass.

Dorothea Tanning