Joan Cairns alias Mrs Roll-Mops and some of her friends!
Ten years ago, when she was a sprightly 79-year old, the Yorkshire Dales poet Joan Cairns published her chapbook: Fell Dancing ... remembering Alec, a 40-page collection of her poems. A signed copy recently arrived at the Poet-in-Residence residence.
Regular readers of these pages and the poetry2010 project will be acquainted with a small selection of Joan's work and will know the quality to expect.
In her covering letter Joan Cairns writes: Leyburn Writers Group was started last year and we are just a small rural concern, but through them I have found some kindred spirits and the desire to go on writing ...
Today, at the ripe young age of 89, Joan Cairns is assembling her volume of work which is straggling about and waiting to be licked into some sort of shape. Yes, it's incredible, but Joan is bringing together a collection of her finest poems to mark her 90th year.
Years ago you came with banners flying
hanselling the house,
pricked up to curiosity
You are our household Familiar
with your elegance
and your distinctive cry.
Now old age needs my lap
for stiff joints
and fading light
a half remembered instinct
flowing from me like water
out into the night
Joan Cairns 2000,2010