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

Friday, 20 June 2014

poem for the summer solstice 2014

Summer solstice 2014

In the throat of the valley the brook is a trickle of song
coming out of darkness and homing to light and ocean
between the sussurations of midsummer grass and birdsong.

A year and a year and a year and still the world issues its questions –
sometimes the answers show themselves in full sun
sometimes the same faint question drags the same furrow, in shade

winter by winter a little deeper, a little more raw. We have no choice
but to turn towards the question and be willing to drink it deep. In
the dusk the roe deer treads quivering the path through the valley –

I track it into the woods, and the shadows of who I’ve been follow me.
Here, the new long-tailed tits quicken the oak tree above our heads
and the magpies thieve the first few currants. Like the year

we’ve come now to our full ripeness and soon must fall from the tree
to reseed ourselves, like the earth at its zenith turning back away from the sun
and beginning once again its long descent to what it needs to be.


© Roselle Angwin



  1. Roselle – This is a beautiful sounding of an eternal event, capturing the conflicting emotions of what to me is always a difficult time. It's hard to say farewell to a much-loved, long-anticipated relationship with time which I always celebrate with a wistfulness not quite present at the winter solstice (which we go for hammer & tongs with much jubilation!)
    I do like the way you capture the loss, the facing oneself, the facing of 'the same faint question (which) drags the same furrow, in shade winter by winter, a little deeper, a little more raw.' And a brilliant last line ending in that perfect iambic which seems to gently underline itself: ….'again its long descent to what it needs to be.'
    And sussuration has long been a favourite word of mine.

    Hard not to grieve a little at this time, I think, which seems almost ungrateful, if it weren't offset by feeling, more and more, how lucky I am to have so much. And yes, unexpectedly, I look forward much more to autumn/winter as a time of renewed vigour, creativity – whereas now, how can I work indoors when there's so much out there, so much light!

    Happy Summer Solstice to you from us both,
    Miriam xx

  2. Oh Miriam that's a kind, empathic and clearsighted response - and yes! There IS a sense of loss, isn't there, even as we celebrate the peak of the light? And yes re the how can one work indoors - I've done pretty well this week struggling with the new book, but still the light calls and calls. We went for a nightwalk yesterday - 10pm and when we returned an hour later it was still daylight. Much harder to sleep when the sun tugs, too.

    Thank you for your comment and insight as always, and love to both. Rxx


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