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

Friday, 20 May 2011

Poem: the watcher behind the windows; Sue Proffitt

More than time for a post from our anthology, Confluence.

Sue Proffitt joined us recently. She lives where the sea meets the land; the poem I've chosen, although its subject matter is metaphorical, could also apply to that part of the coast that is in constant threat of erosion. In fact, Sue's village was notorious for having been partly swept away in dramatic storms some time ago.

Living here keeps one aware of transience, I imagine. These threshold places have a kind of depth of mystery, and Sue's work acknowledges the borders between people and places.

The House of Change

This is the house of temporary.
Nothing lasts here,
not the shingle and mortar
dissolving in the knowing salt,
teased apart in the vivisecting wind.

Not the small tides
of lives, sieved through
the sea’s seasons,
not our dreams,
polished proudly to a gleam,

put out in the sun,
and flayed on the snagging edge
of the unexpected.
We learn to absorb
the tarnish, learn to discard.

Our certainties:
health, here, us, forever, happy,
are stretched tight across
terrible frames; assumptions
break with the strain

or re-emerge, changed
utterly – we learn new names
for what matters. Change
in this house
is the watcher behind the windows,

who saw us arrive,

Sue Proffit

Confluence is available from me – see email on profile page –  @ £.8.99 plus £2 p&p in the UK

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