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

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

snipe: that 13-line sonnet

Today I have no words, no fresh words. Here instead is that 13-line sonnet I mentioned way back when, that BBC R4 used; brought to mind because at dusk yesterday I saw a snipe.


Never before but in snow, lately, from between
the woodland margins at the crux of day and night
a snipe has startled from the peat and russet leaves
now rimed and crackling; in its swift-winged flight

ghosting the snow-lit dusk I’m reminded
of a shade I can’t quite catch from the hinterlands
of my mind. Something magical in its silence,
its speed, that long bill piercing the wind;

something hidden; so that today when I read
Heaney speaking of the soul as weighing ‘roughly
the same as a snipe’ the words snatch my breath;
its name ­– snipe snipe snipe – all day as I go about
nagging my throat, taken up residence in my chest.

~ Roselle Angwin

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