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

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

the darkness around us is deep

Well, it turns out that my last post before I leave early tomorrow wasn't my last, in fact, but the penultimate. I find I want to post a poem here; one that I posted on facebook.

This is a sad week. As some of you know, I've been very involved in the badger cull protests. With polls showing 80% opposition to the cull, and with far too many scientific studies showing that its effect will be negligible to even start to cover them here (I've been collecting evidence for 18 months), myself and other friends who've been active in opposing it really did think we might turn it around; but it's started.

And now there is the probability of military intervention in Syria – surely an unwise decision, though I realise the issue is complex in humanitarian terms.

In the light – dark – of all this, I want to post this poignant and moving poem by William Stafford, to remind us all that even when humankind seems to be so lost, we can still hold together.

A Ritual to Read to Each Other

If you don’t know the kind of person I am
and I don’t know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant’s tail,
but if one wanders the circus won’t find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider–
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give–yes or no, or maybe–
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

William Edgar Stafford

Stay awake, my friends, stay awake...

1 comment:

  1. And then there's fracking as well!
    Thanks for the poem - it helps a little.


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