Poetry by Sylvan Rose

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As well as fiction, Sylvan Rose is an accomplished and published poet. 'I can recall writing poetry from a very early age, and over the years I've probably written hundreds of poems. Some of it is light-hearted; some of it addresses eternal questions; some is simply written as a means of expressing emotion.

'When people tell me they don't care for poetry, I often ask them if they like songs. Take away the music and much of the lyrical content is poetry in its own right. It's perhaps unfortunate that for so many of us, mention the word poetry and we are transported back in time to stuffy classrooms and stern-faced teachers attempting to get us to grips with archaic language and obscure definitions. But poetry is no longer the scholar's exclusive domain, and I welcome its broader appeal.'

Memories of Edgar Street
Sylvan wrote this verse for her father's 81st birthday, and later it became the eulogy she read at his funeral.
Once upon a time in a little cobbled street
Could be heard the sound of Mischief, and the patter of his feet.
Across the yards and washing lines, a mother’s stern reproof
Would fall upon deaf ears – for his manner was aloof,
As Mischief had a purpose, a code he must uphold -
To overstep the mark and never do what he was told.
For filthy places beckoned, and his investigative mind
Would gladly scour the gutters to see what he could find.
For to the world a piece of junk, to him became a toy:
A can is just a football to every little boy.
Old prams make perfect racing carts; a stick becomes a gun;
Your sister’s skipping rope is just an endless source of fun.
Those satin shirts were quickly soiled; his shoes were always scuffed;
His knees and elbows bore the marks of games that got too rough.
But growing up does not ensure maturity of mind,
And many wives must take the place of mothers, for they find
That while those years have passed, Mischief still remains
Loyal to his roots, and those childhood backstreet games.
For still he keeps those odds ‘n’ ends, all sorts of everything:
Old envelopes and magazines and coiled up bits of string,
A twisted paperclip, a broken plant pot or some foil,
A filthy rag once used to wipe the mower with some oil.
Beneath the bed, behind the clock, in boxes and in bags,
His vast collection still expands, no matter how she nags.
He has a use for everything – one day he’ll prove he’s right,
And should she dare to throw away, he’ll exercise his might,
And quicker than a blinking eye, he’ll gather even more -
It is a losing battle, and she surely knows the score.
But all that junk was truly part and parcel of his vow
When, with all his worldly goods he promised he’d endow.
And so, she should accept these gifts like gold dust in her purse,
From the child she vowed she’d keep, for better or for worse,
And so, for over forty years she kept him and his rags,
They occupied her heart and home in boxes and in bags.
© Sylvan Rose 2006

The Meaning of Life
The following was penned at Ardmore, Co. Waterford, while on holiday.
In peaceful contemplation, by O'Donnell's well I gaze
Across the cliffs, beyond the sea, beyond the white-tipped waves
Into the distance, where I find my inspiration's drawn
And blessed with creativity; each moment I'm reborn.
To see afresh the blues and greens, to hear the trembling grasses,
To drink in Nature's bounty, as the summer slowly passes.
The sun beats down upon my face, the warm wind's soft caress
Stirs my heart with joy and hope, and love's sweet tenderness.
The scents of summer drift upon the gentle tidal breeze,
And birdsong lifts the spirit, while self-doubt simply flees.
It seems the reason we are here is borne of love so pure,
For life flows on and on, like endless waves upon the shore.
No nobler aim can we achieve: to leave no single trace
Except our love, that we might leave this world a better place.
© Sylvan Rose 2003

Myrtos Bay, Kefalonia

Branch of Peace
These lines were written while on holiday in Greece.
Poseidon's horses toss their manes across the troubled seas,
Tirelessly they charge inland, as each before them flees
To be dashed upon the rocky shore; spume and spittle flies,
And I wonder at this vista, as seen through Ancients' eyes.

Did Sophocles once gaze upon these restless seas so blue?
Was Aristotle thus inspired while taking in this view?
Did Plato pen his manuscripts beneath the fragrant pines?
Did cyclamen adorn these slopes when Homer wrote his lines?
And did the Gods bestow their wealth upon an Ancient Greece?
Through Zeus's wrath, did Man accept Athena's branch of peace?

Today the skies are blue, but colour fades across the years,
And men know only turbulence, while women shed their tears.
Our children ride the horses that are dashed upon the shore
Like dreams upon the tide of Life, as fear reigns once more.
Athena's kindly gesture lies ignored by men of haste,
For whom the beauty of this world is such a tragic waste.
© Sylvan Rose 2002

To find out how Sylvan Rose is using poetry to help deserving causes, please click here.