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, 27 May 2014

yesterday (poem)


So take these words

turn them into the colour
of sky, a burst of cello song

this snipe startling
from the underbrush

turn them into a few grains of sand

turn them into yesterday
turn them into love

then let them go

none of us gets out of here

© Roselle Angwin 2013 

(first published online on Robert Wilkinson's now defunct but very pleasing poetry site: The Passionate Transitory. You can see RW's work on - lots of it to do with pilgrimage; a subject close to my own heart, as they say.)


  1. Fantastic! There's more to say, I know, but I've already said enough in the last blog (just posted, then I saw this, and it is really fantastic with an incredible ending).
    M xx

  2. Thanks, M. Looking at it just after I posted it, the ending gave me a start. Not sure it works. But am glad you seem to think so... x

  3. The ending is startling but it's also spine-tingling though I'm not sure I could find the words just now to say why. But it does seem right, though I'd love to chew it over with you and anyone else. I'll think about it, sleep on it, come back to it.
    Love, Miriam.

  4. Thank you, M. It's always good to hear another's perception. It's the ending that insisted on, and insinuated, itself... x

  5. Well, coming to the end of my today, I've had another look at this enigmatic, deeply affecting poem and at risk of stating the obvious (I'm often slow on the uptake!) I realise that for me, the poem's about wanting to hold on to now when it feels particularly precious, laden with beautiful life. Not wanting to move on from yesterday, yet keep it alive, set it free. Is it about wanting to halt time, to achieve the impossible of staying alive and fixing time all at once, setting life free from time?
    But I'm always wary of analysing too much, not letting things be, not allowing them a life of their own, free of scrutiny. And now I feel stymied by time and words and trying too hard.
    Sorry, too tired, I think, to be coherent! But I do like examining meaning like this. Hope you don't mind that it's about your poem.
    Good night, Roselle,
    Miriam again (bog-eyed from editing Chapter 3; taking longer than I'd expected) xx.

  6. Roselle, if you want to know, I’ve read this over and over and LOVE it more each time I read it! It could end before the last two lines and would be a jewel lost in deep water; and this ending gives it yet another dimension – like a haiku to me.
    Love B xx

  7. Your comments are incredibly helpful, both of you, thank you! M, yes, I very much appreciate your insight; that is indeed my thinking. And what you said was extremely coherent! Yes, I guess my intention always is to remind myself of the precious present moment; all the more poignant and beautiful because it's transient.

    B, I'm glad you feel that too. I liked your image. If I omitted the last two lines it would be an OK but somewhat 'so what?' kind of poem – it needed to go further. You're right; it would be lost in its own pretty waters that don't tell us much except with a vague philosophical overtone. I'm so glad you felt the closing lines added something extra (as long as they're not too much of a harsh shock...) I feel poetry needs to do more than state the obvious, no matter how lyrically it does that. It may be that in the future those two lines change again, but at the moment, with the input from you both, I feel it's stronger with than without.



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