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

Monday, 18 November 2013

hiss or kiss?

West, the clouds have been outlined as if with one of those gold gel Christmas pens. Their heavy bellies have been combed into a fine deep translucent fan, glazing the horizon. Above the nearest cloud, Venus climbs high.

We're walking in the dimpsey, Dog and I. The bank, made of huge granite boulders, glows in the near-dark and seems to shift and move like a herd of small cows, or sheep; and it's easy to see why the stone circles in the West, leftovers from the late Neolithic or early Bronze Age, acquire names like 'The Grey Wethers', and – so legend has it – have even been sold as just that, a flock of sheep.

Below me somewhere there's a plaintivity of gull-song on the night, and a single curlew.

Full moon through mackerel cloud now, and the sea's coat's ruffled like that of a silver tabby in the offshore breeze. The sea's gentle, rolling and purring, shugging its back like a huge sea-serpent might.

A single trawler sets out, green light winking at the great silence it enters. Just one trawler; so few fish.


My coat is night, and gorse, and splinters. My coat is wire and wind and salt. 

I am not a supplicant, and today I won't bow down. There's an energy in my solar plexus that I recognise as fire and ice. I like it. I speak and write and go to Wild; but I have become tame. For nearly 40 years I've practised kindness, patience, understanding; I've learned forbearance. Now, I'm learning to growl. My bedrock's granite; conductive, radioactive, enduring.

I have teeth. Come close; meet me if you dare. 
I've teeth. Hiss or kiss? Meet me, but beware.

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