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, 10 January 2017

Lost Species poem 15: Roselle Angwin

It's my turn today, though fear not – there are more poems to come yet!

after W S Merwin

What shall we say to you and your kind
when we meet you in the blue beyond –
you great herbivores who could teach us

to live peaceably, who for so long
have done our bidding as slaves, you who
bury and mourn your dead as we do?

What shall we say to you whose faces
we mutilate, whose children we orphan,
whose whole family we’ve driven to the cliffs?

Shall we protest our ignorance as innocence,
tell how our great and growing god Profit
dictates and who are we to contravene?

Might we admit to our failures of imagination,
our poverty of spirit? Or shall we plead merely
that the world and all that’s in it was made for us?

© Roselle Angwin



  1. Your poem really speaks to the desolation I feel about the things we as humans do to our fellow creatures. "what shall we say to you whose faces we mutilate" must be one of the most heart rending lines I've read so far in these beautiful and sad poems

  2. Thank you, Angie. I reined in some of the grimmer things I wanted to say. Some days there's only so much one can bear, huh?


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