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.
Sunday, 7 July 2019
Oak by the Brook (poem)
Oak by the Brook
When the great oak fell in the woods
the valley shuddered and we felt
the aftershock in our feet for weeks.
When the great oak fell, fifty families
of mice fled, and the pairs of woodpeckers.
Nuthatches went into exile, and a hundred
thousand insects. The heron and winter’s
white egrets no longer have a lookout
over the minnow brook; no perch
for summer’s turtle doves. Last week
a thousand bees hummed in its canopy;
this winter, the jays will scavenge for
five thousand fewer acorns. The valley
is a wound. The valley is a mouth with
a missing front tooth. The valley is Munch’s
mouth, open and forever a silent scream.
When we walk where the oak was we too
are now silent. The great oak fell; the valley
shuddered; we feel its echoes still.
© Roselle Angwin
I'm currently teaching an intensive yearlong online tree course. Bookings are coming in for the 1-to-1 option that will begin on the winter solstice 2019:
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