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

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

wild garlic, and 'only connect'

Talk delivered (and enjoyed – by me, anyway), even though I went off-piste and needed to fit at least 6 days' worth of talking about 40 years' worth of thinking, study and experience into an hour of presentation and a further hour of discussion and co-enquiry into the theme, a double-breasted affair of 'Only Connect', and 'Know Thyself' (more on all this another time).

Meantime, while I was in the discussion meeting my father was taken into hospital, so I'm on standby for news, and not fully able to concentrate.

While I'm waiting, in the spirit of present-moment-awareness and appreciation, here's the snippet of news from South Devon: spring is springing. To my great delight the wild garlic is in leaf here – in beautiful lush exuberant leaf.

I gathered a big bunch last night, and tonight, Shrove Tuesday (St Piran's Day too for we Cornish), I shall make leek, spinach and wild garlic pancakes, with goat's cheese in TM's ones.

In celebration of this new lushness, here's a version of an old poem of mine:

Wild Garlic 2

The wild garlic this year amongst the bluebell spikes
is suddenly prolific, pungent as parable. I’m gathering
leaves by the armful, and soon the starry flowers. For months
it’ll spice our table; better for the heart even than roses.

Everyone we love and everything we know will be taken
from us one day, or we’ll leave them. That’s what the wise
priest said at that wedding all those years ago. Knowing that,
how can I not love this world fully, while I may?

© Roselle Angwin



  1. A beautiful poem, Roselle, and so true. To find one thing to revel in each day is indeed a gift. We're waiting for our wild garlic – no sign yet, of course, being in the cold centre of the northern-southlands – so to speak. Our hellebores are better than ever, though. I do love the way you have to hook up their heads with a finger beneath their chins so as to look them fully and admiringly in their lovely faces. Their necks feel so fragile. J said earlier – they lift up their faces once they've been fertilised and look well pleased with themselves! Not sure if he was joking.
    On a more serious note, sorry to hear about your Dad.
    Love, Miriam.

  2. Yes so true, so true. It brings me home - I can smell the garlic in the woods, smothering the winter bare ground, I can smell it on my boots in the hallway, I can smell it in the cooking pot over the fire. Here the sweetness of yellow mimosa colours the dark green forests, and the hellebores are spotted with their drooping heads - now I will go gently Miriam, 'lift the chins to take a closer look at their lovely faces'. Belying a poisonous streak!! This Mediterranean climate. although softly raining today, seems so dry and barren of lush spring growth, that I know is sprouting in UK but I have heard there is wild esperge (asparagus) waiting to be foraged and picked. Knowing that ..... thank you Roselle for sending this poem and connecting us to a worldly love.

  3. Lovely...! Thank you both for these comments - oh, wild mimosa! Love to you both. x


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