Sally Cook is both artist and poet. Her poems and essays appear with regularity in many national print journals. Often inspired to relate human vagaries to those in nature, she gains inspiration from her somewhat reclusive life in the country. She has received numerous scholarships and awards and is a five time nominee for a Pushcart Award. Recently Cook’s new book, The View From Here, was one of two finalists in the 2013 Aldrich Press Poetry Book Award judged by Marly Youmans. The book may presently be seen on Amazon. Both Sally Cook’s written and visual works have been described as idiosyncratic, representational and colorful. Whether writing or painting, she is sure to a sharp eye out for the psychological portrait.
Why The Tree Had To Go
Our tree went down today, I watched it go
Decaying branches full with leaves, and slow
To fall. I knew it had to go; it went.
But did it sense I was the instrument
Of its demise? It came as no surprise
To neighbors who had watched it shake; their eyes
Had softened, filled at this, though still
Their minds envisioned crushed cars, window sill,
And possibly that neighbor who did not
Perform within the code. Obnoxious snot
And liar. That’s the reason why the tree
Was sacrificed — to murderous fantasy.
One fractured hillside, houses spilling down
Both sides, in two irregular white rows
Into the center of the little town,
Where sidewalks lined two-storied shops where we
Bought trifles, cheap perfume, a pink nightgown
For someone’s mother, shiny rayon, throws
For baby showers made of eiderdown,
Tin toys and teddy bears. Eternity
Is filled, I think, with all the junk we bought;
The gifts for friends and teachers. Every song
Saved up till we could buy a single sheet
Of music for it, verse and words, complete,
To carol out the windows of our homes,
Much sharper and more sweet than dusty tomes.
Water has ways of changing hue
And shadows on the lake are deep,
From murky grey to sapphire blue
I see them, though the banks are steep.
Sharp waves, whipped up stiff spray that blew
A steel grey breeze that stung our eyes
With ice. A winter’s eve can be
Almost invisible, like me.