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

Thursday, 6 December 2012

tongues of frost

In the lilac dawn the ponies' manes crackle with frost; breath streams like veils. Each of the trees now has taken its own stark individuality, made its bones visible against the sky. This is how it is: the summer canopy intermeshed in a leafy exultation of community; winter the retreat to solitude.

Venus flickers. The car is tongued with frost; the brook's murmur deep and low. Already the birds are in the courtyard, waiting; yesterday the robin followed me and Dog into the house, expectantly.

Once, I stepped out of a house near Bantry into a different universe: all swathed in swirls of rose and green light, shifting and changing as far as I could see. I'd never seen an aurora borealis, all those charged particles from the sun hooking up with our geomagnetic field, changing the landscape into one of dream and mystery.

I have been thinking of my mum, her atoms and dreams dispersing, but her presence everywhere – in these new hyacinth bulbs, in the dawn light, in my heart at five o'clock.

On the radio the other day I heard a word from Old English that means something like 'waking up before the dawn and remaining sleepless'. We are not alone.

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