Two Poems from Rose Cook


extinguisher – used to be a good triangle player
coffee – a bronchial exponent of caffeine
Deptford – an old pickup truck ( preferably orange and rusty)
Greenwich – a mouldy sandwich
Woolwich – a knitted sandwich
socket – a rolled sock used as a missile
concomitant – accomplished with the vigour of a russian aunt
apprehension – the moment before realising you have forgotten something
kinaesthetic – the beauty of relatives
sod – a sod
maritime – the end of childhood
concentration – a game involving remembering things on a tray
detergent – protective perfume which repels men
counsellor – someone who listens sitting down
overcast – as performed by trainee fishermen with a tendancy to enthusiasm
predatory – a historic time before the custom of wooing became fashionable
tarnished – to be covered in a black glossy coat of tar
prickle – a small prick

Night City

The moon shines down on the city.
Romeo and Juliet dance in a car park,
silent, but for the swing of the sign.
Their bikes are parked next to Macbeth’s,
who is wishing he felt clear about where
he has been all night. He’s due in the City at ten,
in a meeting with some hip-hop Hamlet,
a cockney cowboy from Hackney, who knows Othello well.
Says he’s a buyer, sells art to robots in office blocks.

Three miles away, King Lear’s a zombie,
naked in a penthouse. He sits cross-legged
and chain smokes, desperate to think up a new ending.
In the distance, a figure limps homeward, alone.
It’s Richard III, off to his pacifist wife. He lives quietly now,
teaches Kung-Fu, plays with his sons. They love dinosaurs.

Rose Cook lives in Totnes. She co-founded the popular local poetry and performance forum One Night Stanza, as well as poetry performance group Dangerous Cardigans.

She is one of Apples & Snakes’ poets and has performed at many venues from the Soho Theatre in London to the Blue Walnut in Torquay.

Her latest book Hearth is published by Cultured Llama.


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