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, 28 October 2014


Dawn in the valley is a bowl of squid-ink; on its blueback back two owls, a female and a male, draw bluer lines: quu-ick, quu-ick, quu-ick; hoo-hoo, hoo-hoo. 

The path to the orchard is littered with ladders of cast-off ash leaves; between the trees is a web of songlines woven from the night-lives of hare, badger, fox. I add mine to them.

Dog scrabbles at the compost heap after a ghost-rat; beech leaves rain in the half-light – shower of bronze paper-thin coins.

The town is barely awake. Pumpkins, real and plastic both, grin from windows. A sprawl of delivery vans, a spraddle of gulls in the street. Two jackdaws narrowly miss an undignified end under the single front wheel of a Robin Reliant. Behind the litterpickerman an old black Lab just makes it up the hill.

'This is the house in which lived Anne Ball, who in 1586 married Thomas Bodley, founder of the Bodleian Library, Oxford.'

And there's the Brutus stone: Brutus, not as in 'Et tu Brute', but as in the son of Aeneas, Prince of Troy who fled after Agamemnon sacked Troy, and who, legend has it, founded Totnes (Totnes appears in the Lais of Breton Marie de France from the early Middle Ages; and we do have a fine Norman castle, cousin of the one in Launceston, but Brutus as founder in around 1300 BCE?).

In the café, open early, Bamboo in Japan, One Brief Shining Moment, The Stormrider Guide and Classic Scooters lean together companionably on the bookshelves. The coffee's good. I just about remember a time when I did come into town on occasion to sit and write, as all writers should; now it's a rare treat.

In the hospital, they'll be checking his tubes, his meds, his bloods.

Who is the 'I' who dreams all this, who records and names the moments of each ordinary extraordinary day?


  1. That is so true, so poignant. Thanks. love Marg xx

  2. Hello Marg - and thank you. Hope all's well with you and your writing. Rx


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