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.
Saturday, 26 December 2015
a belated midwinter solstice poem (2015)
The old god has gone down in the forest
the birch trunks of his legs
his antlered canopy
the greenwood resounds ragged
to the rasp of his breath breaking.
We shut up the hounds of the Wild Hunt
bake the bread and cakes for the funeral
keen as the forest returns only our loss
to us. The earth’s midwinter standstill
brings just this great crashing hush
where we quiver at our midwinter hearths
stir old ashes with colder fingers
make our long vigil at the long nights’ side
then the third dawn three geese fly east
and the first shout rises –
He is come! He is come!
and even in our mourning we allow ourselves
to see the first faint glimmer –
hope sparking the waymarker stone
at the edge of the wood
even in our grief we cannot resist
the pull of the east, first light, birth –
year after year blinded
by the shock of the new
the return of what we thought lost.
© Roselle Angwin 2015
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