from BARDO

The stars are in our belly; the Milky Way our umbilicus.

Is it a consolation that the stuff of which we’re made

is star-stuff too?

– That wherever you go you can never fully disappear –

dispersal only: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen.

Tree, rain, coal, glow-worm, horse, gnat, rock.

Roselle Angwin

Saturday, 22 October 2016

wild geese

Category:Urnersee Category:Goose [ Rudolf Ammann]Creative Commons

What is it about migrating wild geese that so cuts at the heart?

When we see wild geese flying over the valley here, it's perhaps 7 or 8.

This lunchtime, coming back from Totnes, approximately 200 flew ahead of me crossing the hillside, in several breaking vees. Hard to keep the car on an even course: I wanted to stop, get out, jubilate, fly.

So many poets write about them (Mark Doty, Mary Oliver, Kathleen Jamie for 3).

Here's the Mark Doty one I'm thinking of:…/poetry/migratory

And here's one of my own about wild swans (does that count?), written on the Isle of Iona, about migrating whoopers:

Almost a Prayer

After we’d trudged so far to the pass at the top
of the island, rain and wind beating our faces,

rising like a single uncluttered thought
from the lochan’s dark mouth a pair of swan,

whoopers, passing through to Siberia,
their curd-white a thickening, a measure

of silence hefted against grey air,
their presence an act of grace, almost a prayer.

© Roselle Angwin, in All the Missing Names of Love, IDP

Do you know about this inspiring project? 
'One woman. 7,000 km. 11 countries. By paramotor.WWT's daring bid to fly with one of nature’s great migrations on a quest to save Bewick’s swans.'

They could do with our help.