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

Monday, 29 February 2016

prose poems from guest contributors: 14 Hilaire Wood

So these two gentle prose poems, from Hilaire Wood, return us to the nature-lyric style which not only characterises Hilaire's poetic tone, but has been the dominant note in this month of guest blogposts – and the dominant note of much of the work sent in.

These are the penultimate guest pieces; see the final one soon, heading my closing blog for this month.

Thank you all for sending your work in – more than I have room for – and, as usual, for reading my blog with these rich contributions.

The Garden

The land is cupped by distant hills, lies open to the sky in its morning blush, a flight path for birds. The whisper of fluttered leaves, an early bee fumbling the roses. Clover and moss spring under my feet, unbowed and unbidden. The blackbird treads with circumspect steps, his eye on the blackberries; damsel-flies hover and pause on the lily-pads. A garden, reclaimed from a turkey farm (there has been so much death). It speaks in the  tongues of the wind through towering beeches, in a disputation of rooks, the monotony of chiff-chaffs. Chiff chaff chiff chaff chiff chaff chiff chaff. Its denizens share domestic resources, spiders hang out on the washing-line, stretch traps between runner-bean stakes; mason bees make nests in the insets for screws on the hose-pipe casing. Who would have thought? Leaving, the garden stays in my mind like the dead, continuing its many and varied lives (there is so much life).


Grey mist, thick as a blanket many times washed. Envelops and blinds, clings thickly, bringing no warmth, only tombstone chill. The ferns are decaying in russet and chestnut, a rich dissolution; the colour of the earth as they die to embrace it. Stalks of evening primrose, pale gold and black, their summer yellow lost long ago. They quiver and vibrate as goldfinches pick and pull at their seeds, sustaining themselves on the lost flowers’ future. At the end of the lane, a sprig of cotoneaster, berries outrageously red against pale green laurel. In the drained and wan colours of winter and twilight such rubicund glamour is incongruous here; glows as if summer has broken through from a brighter world. Back home, damp larch logs burn uneasily, discharging scales like a burnt-out dragon.

© Hilaire Wood

Hilaire Wood lives in West Wales near the sea. Her prose poems are born of jottings and musings from walks around her milltir sgwâr - her ‘patch’. She blogs about poetry at and has published a poetry pamphlet, The Sea Road

1 comment:

  1. Two very lovely prose poems to which I can relate in such a way as to feel very much at home.
    'Leaving, the garden stays in my mind like the dead, continuing its many and varied lives (there is so much life).'
    Just how I feel at the thought of leaving our garden.

    And the stillness of January, deep in winter, waiting as we wait for spring.
    Thank you, from Miriam


Blog Archive