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

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

the white room (another q&a poem)

And today Miriam Hancock's poem; written, as she's said, as light relief, almost, from her novel-in-progress of the same name.

Another lovely thing: each poem is different from the previous or succeeding poem; each is unique. Thank you, Miriam.

The White Room

The room had always been there.
Just like that, a sentence in my head
as if in response to a question:
Was there a time when the room might not have been there? Or
So tell me, when did you meet, you and the room?

The room had always been there,
and please don’t ask how I know
I just know.
A room with walls whiter than white
and a possibly white-wood floor
with a feeling of air rushing
a sense of movement
through an open window
that you feel rather than see
of light swelling
curling itself into the corners
then filling out till the room
could sail away and still
be a safe place to be.

It had always been there
lying in the forgotten dust
of my forgetting.
But more than that
it had always been there
before my reckoning
before my time
before me.

The room had always been there.
Why had – the past participle
as if it was but is no longer?
Why not has? The room has always been here.
Because once you do that
the danger is
that it no longer exists
in the way it had been:
That first state of being pristine
of emptiness filled with possibility.
Fill it with reality and it wouldn’t be the same.
It would be here now, something different
something that hadn’t been there before.

But really there’s no escape from it –
and still it’s there – that voice which says
The room had always been there.

© Miriam Hancock July 2014

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