Her Second Letter to Kate

Her First Letter to Kate



Dear Kate,


I will lay our tardy postal service to waste for making me think you were too mad to write. I’m sorry for saying sorry so much, and I’m glad that Everett took all that about the Irish well. Your account of that winter ball is so romantic that it has opened my eyes – our stately public library, whose bookish smell I inhaled so happily, is just a drafty, ill-maintained nook, not to compare with fresh-cut evergreen boughs and spun snow. I’m truly, truly jealous and happy for you.

It is funny that I am back in Kent, armed with a university degree of questionable usefulness, only to be sequestered in another library. But there is some reading I should do for the dreaded little office job, and mother wanted some books too. I thought I would write to you while I am here, sitting at a wobbly desk in the corner, since it lends a desperate ambiance to the letter-writing, and since the steam coach will be another hour to take me home any way. (more…)



Were she mine, then I would twine

Her ropes of pearls in salty swirls

Her charms of ink in dangling rings

And her spells of sighs in sparkling guise

And whisper words of dreamland girt

In chimes of windless, ringing rhymes,

In chests of lockless, burnished depths,

And in mirrors made by hands of jade (more…)

Lanaiea’s Watch

I beg that you tell me of Lanaiea, waiting at her watch
Is she impassive through dawn and tempest
Through shadows’ sway and sunset’s hush?


Does she remain fair as when she took her place
When the Elitheriel left our shores?
Disappearing in the Brightling, to sail forevermore


I beg that you tell me of Lanaiea, for I shall never tread
To her lonesome watch, when none else so spend
Their hearts upon suspense


I might gift her warmth and sustenance, and lightest melodies
Yet these would only cloak her silence
Whilst her eyes stay on the sea


Untouched by worldly comforts, keenly do I know
That none, and not I, could ever bring her more
With the Elitheriel lost, forevermore

Elizabeth Cook, 2013

Image by Christophe Vacher

Yellow – All That is Gold


All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost…
- J.R.R. Tolkien

Yellow is two sided, with shades of envy and heresy at odds with happiness, sunshine, optimism, and wealth. But it is undoubtedly the brighter associations that we think of first and last, just as Tolkien’s poem is ultimately one of hope.

I am reminded of endless possibilities, of late afternoons when the light thickens to a coat of gold, of delightful moments from my childhood and of moments I cannot anticipate. When I see the sun hit a window pane at just the right angle, and I long to be outside, it is only a matter of seconds before my mind follows that sunbeam into someplace and somewhen imaginary.


Red – Romance

Red is for Romance – and just before I wrote this, I had a fitting dream


I crossed a gorge with my finger through one of countless rings, strung onto wires running over the abyss. Each wire hung over a metal track so narrow that one would surely fall without a ring. It was dim, the walls of the mountain encircling the crossing-place, but the baubles that dangled from each pair of rings glittered brightly.


Blue – Worlds and Wonders

As of our age, blue is the last colour to be invented by mankind. Blue is the colour of the future, blue comprises 70% of our planet’s surface, and according to Wikipedia, it is the most popular colour in US and European opinion polls. Blueshift is the shortening of wavelengths as celestial bodies hurtle towards us.

Blue is the colour we gave to the sky, yet it hardly ever appears in nature.