Heather Rosser

Novelist, Memoirist and Educational Author

© 2013 Heather Rosser


I write poetry to record scenes and events that have a particular impact on me.

My poem, The Bronze Chalice, was published in Poems in an Exhibition, an anthology of poems inspired by art in support of the charity, Standing Voice, and published by Oxford Folio in 2017.

The poem was inspired by a Bronze Chalice that was given to me on leaving Nigeria. I have recently passed on the chalice to my son-in-law, Ian Johnstone. The whole poem can be read in  Growing up in the Mandara Mountains.

The Bronze Chalice

Sitting cross-legged on his grass mat the Blacksmith

Chips away the clay mould with infinite care.

Squatting beside him, his Grandson watches

Mesmerised, as glimpses of bronze are revealed.

All afternoon the Boy watches, creeping closer,

Spellbound as an exquisite bronze chalice is revealed.

Cupping it in his hands the Grandfather

Solemnly gives it, his final creation, to the Boy.

They’re here again this afternoon -

The gentle muntjac and her fawn,

For a moment the doe holds my gaze

As she glances warily through the fence

Ears pricked, nostrils sniffing, eyes alert.

She turns as I tiptoe up the garden

Then arches her neck to browse on hazel

Struggling to grow amid the brambles;

She pauses, gracefully turning her head towards the fawn

Then soundlessly glides away into the thicket.

Left to his own devices the youngster

Forages the windfalls dropped from our trees,

Licks the fence post and gazes unafraid

Then stamps his feet as I take a step too near

Observing the dainty hooves and black stripe on his nose.

The low hum of ring-road traffic, a siren screeching,

Even a plane’s roar descending to Brize Norton

Are no threat to the graceful creature playfully

Nuzzling nettles, grasses, blackberries and hawthorn

While bathed in warmth on St Swithin’s afternoon.

St Swithin’s Day