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, 11 April 2011

(prose poem) small benedictions of finches' wings

Sunday afternoon, white sunlight, first bluebells, tulips, chiffchaff & the unweeded courtyard with its pots where I sit – still coming down from the spaces of ocean & sky, from hundreds of miles of travelling, a fizz of hurry in my blood, seeking a kind of decompression chamber or defibrillation of the subtle body

because there is earth & bone & stone beneath our feet we think the world is substantial & we are substantial in it, but it doesn't take much for the ground beneath our feet to fall away & for everything to become as nothing

this planet's wake

a hand lifted in prayer
the small benedictions of finches' wings
the gesture of a wave against the sea
(its return)

this morning, after we'd been sitting on the bench & talking & talking about whether it's better (me) to focus on the asking of questions or better (you) to focus on getting an answer & then somehow the difference between the courage of existentialism & the life-denying stances of nihilism

we were silent long enough to watch the falcon – was it a peregrine? – stoop & fall onto the tussocky grass on the hillside opposite & rise again presumably with breakfast (though we were not close enough to hear the minute screams of its victim) & it seemed to me that the difference between predator & prey as between question & answer is so swiftly eradicated anyway

& now at 4 o'clock of the sunny afternoon an owl starts up with its questions in the newly-budding orchard & is answered & the courtyard like my life remains unweeded

& this too is prayer

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