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, 14 November 2011

diamond sutra: lightning in a summer cloud

high moor 2/Roselle Angwin 2007

So we have come to the end of one journey and the next one begins.

That ancient Buddhist text, the Diamond Sutra, offers the following words on impermanence (and if I've posted these words before, my apologies!). The little piece below has been adapted to make a chant. I love singing this to myself and the dog (no one else will listen).

Oh have you see this world –
a drop of dew
a bubble in a stream
lightning in a summer cloud –
a phantom, and a dream...

And my riff on a poem by Ch'ing Kung, C14th:

Things of the past are already long gone
and things to come still beyond our imagining's horizon.

The Tao is just this moment, these words, the silence behind them –
and the fallen leaves, this flock of redwing.


  1. The physical world is transient, but memories linger. Intangible at first, fleeting, they grow and soon become sufficient to hold on to. Look after them and in time they'll take the pain away.

  2. Thank you, Undercurrent. It's the sharing of our common human experience that makes so much of our time here so precious, isn't it?


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