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

Thursday, 28 July 2011

speaking of now

Here a late bee bobs at the lavender, and behind, in the lilies, the dusky rustle of frog and vole begins. Cat's tail twitches.

The troupe of great-tits have left off their clamour at the feeder, and the scarlet runner bean flowers have lost their accoutrements – two young greenfinches, now long gone from the bamboo perch.

In a minute the smoke of bats will begin there – just there – from the roof ridge. Behind the house a gallop of Friesian bullocks washes down the hillside to the stream. The hay tractor strains up to the brow for the twentieth time – but still no rain, despite the forecast. Away towards the quarry pool there's a mumble of geese, and a young buzzard's whistling lament from the nest in the woods.

From further than I can see comes the muted racket of train. Over the hill out of sight, too, are the five young calves so long without water – I would pray to any god listening that the watergod be kind to them, and soon. I would pray to them all for the Norwegian parents, the Syrian parents, the Palestinian parents – the list goes on.

I am here, quiet, safe, in the courtyard. Another day alive; another day in paradise (though I forget, sometimes, to see). A small wind gets up, strolls in the willow-tops.

If you were here I'd show you all this. And I'd show you the bumble bee I've just lifted from the dog's water bowl – stroke those velvety rust, golden, sooty stripes, notice the one shiny leg waving in the air.

'Be safe,' I'd say. 'Know you are loved.'

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