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

Friday, 22 April 2011

poem: a geological hour, by Rebecca Gethin

It must be time for another poem from our new Confluence anthology... And this time it's Rebecca, whose collection River is the Plural of Rain (isn't that a great title?) came out last year. The poem I've chosen is a favourite of mine (and I've also seen its various metamorphoses into this form), although it's not necessarily typical of Becky – whose style is again changing at the moment, as deeper darker threads creep in (and I think that's a strength). Becky lives on Dartmoor and the natural world is strongly reflected in her poetry. She works part-time with creative writing at Dartmoor Prison – superfluous to say that it's a challenging environment. Her first novel is coming out this autumn, with a Cinnamon Press award.
   As usual, being copied and pasted it will probably be in a different type/size.


They buried their dead so high
the graves are specks on the cliff-face.

They imagined ancestors watching
over their comings and goings.

Fingers pointing upward they'd name
great-grandparents, sensors of daybreak's first impulse,

approaching weathers, who now voiced thoughts
in thunder, directed lightning, conducted stars.

Inside the crevices a puzzle of bronze bracelets, shell beads
circling what was clavicle, axe heads clinking on metatarsal.

To reach a geological hour all they had to do
was lie still, while rain seeped through limestone. 

Rebecca Gethin

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