The Colour Of Hope is a poetry collection with happiness at its heart. The 45 poems inside were created during the first lockdown in the UK, at a time when finding beauty and comfort in the everyday seemed at once fraught with
difficulty and vitally important. Each was written for a specific recipient, based on three things they guaranteed would make them feel happy. I received a wonderful range of briefs. From the beautifully universal – a longing for nature and freedom, time spent with family, summers spent in other lands – to the gloriously specific – snaffling a Toffee Crisp from the fridge late at night, Fleetwood Mac songs, making the perfect scrambled eggs,and Ceilidh dancing. The result is a collection of poems that serves both as a record of this intense and intensely strange year, and as an uplifting reading experience that will connect and resonate with a much wider audience than the individuals they were initially written for.
2020 will be one for the history books, a year that has created emergencies on many fronts, not least the emotional. 60% of adults, and 68% of young people in the UK reported a decline in their mental health during lockdown.
As such, 20% from the sale of this book will be donated to Mind, to help provide a bit of light in these uncertain times.
Yesterday, the rain came
and it felt like the earth was singing.
Droplets striking the ground –
hammers on a garden glockenspiel –
lifting up dust and tiredness, washing
the last calendar page clean.
This morning, it’s as if the sun
is remembering favourite shades of gold.
The plates on the drying rack
are manuscript halos, the cheese plant
collects light in its green heart
like slow beads of syrup.
My cool hands have done this dance
many times: crumb, stir, dredge, fold, pat down,
press with silver into plump moons,
ready for the oven. Now they flutter
butter through flour almost of their own accord,
a small desert storm in the mixing bowl.
My mind is on you.
It settles first a few hours hence,
when the tea will be steeping
and the scones will be hot. We’ll take a break
together, your arms encircling my waist
and pulling me into this honeyed afternoon.
It darts forward – catlike,
calendar pages underfoot,
to burnished leaves in Scotland,
when the sun after the rain makes the world new
all over again. And your gaze will hold mine
across a crowded room, comforting as a layer of cream.
Thank you, Jen Feroze and Isabelle Kenyon
About the Author
Jen has been in love with language for as long as she can remember. A former Foyle Young Poet of the Year, her poetry has appeared in national and international journals and anthologies. The Colour of Hope is her debut collection. Jen is a bookworm with a love of baking, conversation that makes your brain fizz and really good cheese. She lives by the sea in Essex with her husband and two young children.