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, 15 July 2014

'What stories do the ancient woodlands tell?'

And thank you today to the nomadic Jenny Cater, who first contacted me when she was living in the Pyrenees, joined us on Iona this year, built an astonishing mandala-contribution in my text and land art beach day with Michael Fairfax, and is currently living in Dorset.

Trees are her thing. And I swear she swore she wasn't a poet!


What stories do the ancient woodlands tell?

White waters hover swelling in misshapen bowls
strung up with threads to the moon.
Cast in a play as shadows seamless act
running on the lands below.
The light and weightless gliding clouds
never falter and fall from the invisible blue
till heavy droplets rain.

Before, the shape of angled grace in sharp intent;
a swooning dance of waving fronds;
scaled back fish, mollusced homes, algal swarms;
all dead and gathered in earth's book shelf.
In distant time uplifted over millennia years
appear smooth and pink and rounded bounty.
Now, pebbles on this beach

Axed by the blade of
hungry hunters guiltless strength.
To dine in the wealth of need and greed.
Hushed into silence as the pin dropped.
A death of years creeping from behind.
The tall trees of the forest were felled.
To float as ships in a sea of war.

When talk turns the table on the tree of life
and knowledge stored tumbles across tongue and lips,
nothing connects to the words on the plate.
Garnished grass in a borrowed world.
In and add and equate
to my unequal tussled mind,
of long lost memories

As sunlight dips to brighten lands below
and folds its final embrace,
the purple robe wraps waxy in a swirl.
To protect the heart from darkness,
to shelter the child within,
to keep the sexy nectar safe,
the Lily flower, floating, sleeps.

If the winds swim over northern seas
sit tight and note the minds bereaved.
Resist the nip of cold on facial skin
by mimicking the birds, in comfort nests,
feathers ruffled in defiant hold.
Warm heart and hands by fire-in-the head
with stories the ancient woodlands told.

© Jenny Cater July 2014 


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