13 Goodreads ‘My Imaginary Menagerie’

My Imaginary Menagerie: Starring Debra the ZebraMy Imaginary Menagerie: Starring Debra the Zebra by Marian Barker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book 13 of my Goodreads Reading Challenge.

What a wonderful fun read. I bought and read this to my sisters grandchildren and they adored it. So beautifully rhyming it was really easy for them to remember the names of the characters in each poem.

Of course the star was Debra the Zebra having two poems to herself. I even managed to find a Debra for the children that looked like the one on the book cover. We all liked Brian the Lion, Matt the Bat and a favourite was Russell the Mussel.

A book to share with the whole family, for kids of all ages and the young at heart like myself.

Teddy, I and the children loved this book. Happy Reading 🙂

View all my reviews



Re-Blogged ‘Ten Things You Might Not Know About Famous Poets — Interesting Literature’

I simply had to share this wonderful blog about Famous Poets. Please go check it out.

In this special guest post, Ana Sampson offers some fascinating facts about classic poets Matthew Arnold struggled a bit with the ageing process At Oxford University, Arnold made a name for himself as something of a dandy. It was only when he fell in love, and needed to prove that he had prospects, that he […]

via Ten Things You Might Not Know About Famous Poets — Interesting Literature

‘Battle of the Wind’ a poem by Rose English

Battle of the Wind

Battle of the Wind

War torn and battered,
Our soldiers are paraded
For all to see.
Tall and skeletal.

Worn down by the ‘Battle of the Wind’,
Deciduous soldiers seen
In faded uniforms of russet and gold.
While unscathed Officers
Are still adorned in coniferous finery.

Regiments can be seen lined up along roadways,
Or converging upon hills.

Sometimes a lone deciduous warrior,
Stripped of his uniform,
Can be glimpsed –
Struggling to hold his stance
In a vast sea of green.

These are our mighty British Warriors.
They will live through time and season,
Only to be regaled in new finery come spring.
To stand proud and tall
Amongst their regiments,
In true readiness once again
For the ‘Battle of the Wind’.

Copyright © 2016 Rose English


This is one of my most inspired poems. The first one I published online, although I cannot for the life of me find it now. I suppose with so many wonderful writers out there it is very easily lost, tangled up in the world wide web.

It is available along with other poems and short stories in my full colour book ‘Rainbows & Roses ~ Poetry & Prose.’

Happy Reading


Floral Poetry ‘Forget~Me~Not’

There is an old legend that tells the sad tale of how the ‘Forget~Me~Not’ gained its name. The story is of a lady  who one evening whilst strolling beside the river Danube with her gallant knight Rondolf spotted a pretty blue flower. It’s beauty stopped her in her tracks and Rondolf could not resist reaching out to collect it for her.

Unfortunately he slips on the muddy bank, falling into the water. He manages to throw the flower to his fair maid shouting “Forget-me-not.” Sadly all she can do is clutch the flower to her breast as she watches her beloved dragged beneath the waves by his heavy armour and carried away never to be seen again.

The story is immortalised in a wonderful piece of floral poetry by Miss Pickergill which is featured in ‘The Poetry of the Flowers’ by Mrs C.N. Kirtland 1800

Forget Me Not

The Bride of the Danube (Forget-Me-Not)

By Miss Pickersgill

(Featured in Mrs Kirtlands ‘Poetry of Flowers’)


“See how yon glittering wave in sportive play

Washes the bank, and steals the flowers away.

And must they thus in bloom and beauty die.

Without the passing tribute of a sigh?”


“No, Bertha, those young flowerets there

Shall form a braid for thy sunny hair;

I yet will save one, if but one

Soft smile reward me when ’tis done.”

He said, and plunged into the stream


His only light was the moon’s pale beam.

” Stay! stay! “she cried—but he had caught

The drooping flowers, and breathless sought

To place the treasures at the feet

Of her from whom e’en death were sweet.


With outstretched arms upon the shore she stood,

With tearful eye she gazed upon the flood.

Whose swelling tide now seemed as if ‘twould sever

Her faithful lover from her arms forever.

Still through the surge he panting strove to gain

The welcome strand—but, ah! he strove in vain !


Yet once the false stream bore him to the spot

Where stood his bride in muteness of despair:

And scarcely had he said, “ Forget me not !”

And flung the dearly ransomed flowerets there,

When the dark wave closed o’er him, and no more

Was seen young Rodolph on the Danube’s shore.


Aghast she stood; she saw the tranquil stream

Pass o’er him—could it be a fleeting dream?

Ah, no! the last fond words, “ Forget me not !”

Told it was all a sad reality.

With frantic grasp the dripping flowers she prest.

Too dearly purchased, to her aching breast.


Alas! her tears, her sorrows now were vain.

For him she loved she ne’er shall see again!

Is this then a bridal, where, sad in her bower.

The maid weeps alone at the nuptial hour;

Where hushed is the harp, and silent the lute

Ah! why should their thrilling strains be mute?

And where is young Rodolph? where stays the bridegroom?

Go, ask the dark waters, for there is his tomb.


Often at eve when maidens rove

Beside the Danube’s wave,

They tell the tale of hapless love,

And show young Rodolph’s grave;

And cull the flowers from that sweet spot.

Still calling them ” Forget-me-not.”


Floral Poetry ‘The Crocus’

crocus flower-1800825_640


By Mary Patterson

 (From Mrs Kirtland’s Poetry of Flowers 1800)


Lowly, sprightly little flower !

Herald of a brighter bloom,

Bursting in a sunny hour

From thy winter tomb.


Hues you bring, bright, gay, and tender,

As if never to decay;

Fleeting in their varied splendor-

Soon, alas ! it fades away.


Thus the hopes I long had cherished

Thus the friends I long had known.

One by one, like you, have perished.

Blighted—I must fade alone.


Happy Reading


Floral Poetry ‘Buttercups’


Images courtesy of Pixabay

Buttercups by Eliza Cook

From ‘The Poetry of Flowers’ by Mrs Kirtland 1800

‘Tis sweet to love in childhood, when the souls that we bequeath
When we feed the gentle robin, and caress the leaping hound,

And linger latest on the spot where buttercups are found:
When we seek the bee and ladybird with laughter, shout, and song,
And think the day for wooing them can never be too long.
Oh ! ’tis sweet to love in childhood, and though stirred by meanest things.
The music that the heart yields then will never leave its stings.


‘Tis sweet to love in after years the dear one by our side;
To dote with all the mingled joys of passion, hope, and pride;
To think the chain around our breast will hold still warm and fast,
And grieve to know that death must come to break the link at last.
But when the rainbow span of bliss is waning, hue by hue;
When eyes forget their kindly beams, and lips become less true;
When stricken hearts are pining on through many a lonely hour,
Who would not sigh “’tis safer far to love the bird and flower?”


‘Tis sweet to love in ripened age the trumpet blast of Fame,
To pant to live on Glory’s scroll, though blood may trace the name;
‘Tis sweet to love the heap of gold, and hug it to our breast,—
To trust it as the guiding star and anchor of our rest.
But such devotion will not serve—however strong the zeal —
To overtlirow the altar where our childhood loved to kneel.
Some bitter moment shall o’ercast the sun of wealth and power.
And then proud man would fain go back to worship bird and flower.


‘Do you like butter?’

Everyone knows of the buttercup game children, and often lovers play to find out if their friend or partners like butter. The bright yellow petals will shine upon the skin when the pretty flower is held beneath the chin. This little folk legend has been passed down through many generations, the research I have done on flowers has not helped me find the origin.

However, I did find some scientific facts that Cambridge physicists in the UK have discovered that the buttercup is able to shine upon the skin and other surfaces because the cells of the petals contain carotenoids which reflect yellow light. Unlike many other wildflowers the reflection of the yellow light is enhanced because the buttercup has a second layer of cells separated by a layer of air which makes it shine all the more brighter. I still love the game and it often brings happy memories.



One thing I did not know was that the buttercup actually contains toxins, the poisonous substance is called ranunculin. It is found in the flower, the leaves and the seeds especially if crushed.

Sensitive folk may have a reaction to the pretty flower causing their skin to become blistered and irritated. Animals as well as humans will experience a variety of other symptoms, such as excessive salivation, nausea, difficulty breathing, convulsions and sometimes paralysis if the buttercup is eaten. So you have been warned.


I hope you enjoy this feature on my blog I would love to read your thoughts. Poems similar to this are featured in my book ‘Lost Love in Spring’

Happy Reading