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, 23 January 2017

Lost Species poem 19: Geoffrey Leggett

Today's poem is a fluid and subtle sonnet, with a heart-stopping last couplet. Thank you, Geoffrey.

Game Reserve

He’s the only one who’ll look you in the eye
and looking, make you feel he’d like to talk;
he takes no heed of other passers-by
but motionless, he sits as if in thought.
Unconsciously, he scratches at his thigh
and takes a sniff at what it is he’s caught
then, satisfied there’s one less louse at work,
he examines it and eats it by and by.
Turns out he hasn’t got a lot to say,
our thoughts, if such, too far apart to share
and if our differences are night and day
it doesn’t mean to say there’s nothing there.
I’ve seen his children’s cooked hands on a plate,
palm upwards as in prayer, articulate.

© Geoffrey Leggett



  1. This is a wonderful sonnet and yes, the last couplet brought tears.
    Jeff joins me in thanking both you, Roselle, and Geoffrey.

    Miri x

  2. Yes - that last couplet came as a real shock. But I don't know what animal his poem is about.

    1. I've noticed several times that a gorilla will look you in the eye if it is sitting behind bars with nothing better to do. As for the hands, I have seen those too, on a plate, though perhaps not those of a gorilla. They looked like baby's hands.

  3. Thank you both. Angie, I might leave Geoffrey to tell you – I've assumed chimpanzee or bigger ape.

  4. Not many animals will look you in the eye, but the gorilla does, at least when he is sitting behind bars with nothing better to do. I have seen monkey's hands served in restaurants in Africa( Congo) I have also seen colobus (rare) monkeys shot out of trees to eat as 'bush meat' - a normal practice. Anyway, as Roselle says, an ape, take your choice!

  5. So many things that are 'normal practice' are so far adrift in this world, aren't they? Utterly heartbreaking.


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