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, 29 June 2012

Let it be enough some mornings (poem)

Apologies for my silence – the end of each month I'm quite preoccupied with assignments from my poetry correspondence course, plus this week I've been rather absorbed, with a mix of despair and frustration at the level of denial and ignorance, and relief that there are also a few sane informed voices, in discussions on climate change in the Cif thread after Monbiot's article in The Guardian mentioned in my last post.

Light relief – a poem. (IS it light relief?) This one's an old one, from my first poetry collection Looking for Icarus, which is due to be reissued in a year or two by one of my current publishers.

Let it be enough some mornings

High tide, a wild morning, wild and stormy,
and you take the leaf-deep stony path
above seal-grey waters
        where the geese are dragged
through the sodden air like ripped-away prayer flags
in a crazy disordered dance, and the waves
slap hard on the mudflats’ flanks,

and for once questions like
what use is poetry, if you’re starving, or a refugee
squeezed between torture and war, or bleeding alone
in some dark alley
have momentarily flown, though left you unguarded;

but bent low over the creek the damson tree
drops unremarked a cargo of fruit
on the waters –

mornings like this
grey and green with straggled leaves
and the rain storming the opaque sky

let it be enough now to hear this one curlew keen,
to have one last bedraggled swallow skim the thick air
over your head, see the inkcaps’ effortless
overnight arrival,
            to witness one small flower –
samphire, or a late marsh marigold –
struggling through black mud on its journey upwards

against gravity, pointing the way –
let each day be a small triumph, let it be
two fingers to death.

© Roselle Angwin

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