The Chaos and the Calm

Poetry by Rose Staveley-Wadham


March 2017

Blossoms at Midnight – A Walk Along Saltram Crescent

It’s not so long ago that I stood at midnight
Under the white blossoms of the trees
I had not known the streets to be so perfect
Nor that I could find in this city peace.

But the blossoms under the streetlights
Became a blur of distant halos
Glowing and trembling with a whiteness
Unknown to me in this dirty busy city.

There was purity in the clarity of
Their gentle iridescence
And they reminded me of a
Dark northern street far away
Where the drooping branches hung
Like stilled raindrops, and I moved alone again.

And the dead seemed to me to speak
In their words were comfort, a closeness
I could never decipher in the waking
Brightness of the lurid day.

Perhaps it was because alone I lingered
And was not bothered by any living thoughts
The burst of stars above my head were
The only hidden faces that I saw.

And now the moment is gone, and I long
For the peace of the blossoms at midnight
I thought before that only in blank oblivion
I could finally be free, but in the darkness
Of the city streets and their March blossoms
I found another kind of liberty.


Rose Staveley-Wadham


A Cultish Love

Whatever bad blood there is between us let it moulder
And in the years between us as we both grow older
We will take the blood that was shed and raise it up to the altar
Like we are the priests of some cultish order
And celebrate what little love that lay between us
When just to feel you near me was like a caress
As if the very atoms of the air were aware of how
We felt and how we needed each other, like water
I would have drank you all in, and if that love was
A sin, the anger that raged in the days when it all fell
Apart, broken, smashed into fragments, then as
We stand side by side, me the bride I should have been,
Facing the altar, finally we can gain the absolution we
Needed to make the restless affection between us sweeter
If only we could have our time and again and learnt
How our love could have been neater, but we could not
Stow it away for rainy days, for it was a love of rage and
Summer, fiery hot suns and gasping sunsets, when the
Nights were too warm and airless and I longed for you
As you longed for me, like innocents, we felt the space
Between us insurmountable, too much to understand,
Too much to feel, as if feeling was impossible when all
We wanted was to feel close to one other.
But the long nights have broken and we have survived the
Winter, unchanged, spring hovers just across the page
And we must be still, and remember, there is no love
That is lost between us, just a love that has changed,
And I have no doubt that although we cannot be together
We will love and stay loving always.

Rose Staveley-Wadham

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑