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, 4 August 2014

3 prose poems ('proems') of 100 words... (love-songs to the world)

August 1st
Planting out lettuce, beet. The garden creaks and whispers as it drinks up the new rain. Shorn fields across the valley are gold, red, green. Now, later, my neighbour in the car park asks me over and over where she should pay, how much; where she might find an unspecified but particular bookshop (feeding her poodle by hand from a tin). When she goes I try and identify the separate spills of pain in my heart: for her? For my sister? For my dead mum? For poor wounded fragile humanity? For myself? From the church roof a young gull laments.

August 2nd
Ten of us up in my dusty study (that’s an anagram) inviting the gods of poetry to join us. We make offerings of our brokenness, our shame, our despair, our humanness. We make an alphabet from laughter, love, joy. Through the skylight the clouds rise up like prophets. South, a blackbird shaking raindrops from the oak. North, a spotted woodpecker calls ‘youyouyouyou’ to the valley. Last night, a tankerful of rain hit then deluged off the roof: I picture the new lettuces, the squash flowers. After the drought, lupin drinking and drinking. These words. Forgetting. Es tan corto el amor

August 3rd
… y es tan largo el olvido. I wrote the lupin bit then remembered that quote. After the film we stood in the ancient courtyard under – in the midst of – the tide of the Milky Way. After the shooting star the whole sky came down to rest in our eyes. Later I stood outside again (the owl-rich dark) and knew myself to be part of that stellar ocean from beginning to end – me, owl and the yellow squashes in their forest of foliate upturned umbrellas. Later again something in me broke at our small domesticated lives, we who are stardust.

© Roselle Angwin


  1. 'clouds rise up like prophets'
    'the owl-rich dark'
    'squashes in their forest of foliate upturned umbrellas'
    'alphabet from laughter, love, joy'

    Fantastic imagery, Roselle; you have a knack for finding just the right phrase, seemingly effortlessly.
    For years I struggled to find the right way to describe the mesmerising cumulonimbus cloud which stretched up miles from sea to sky off the west coast of Harris. The best I could do was – beard of God, or something like that.
    Your 'clouds rise up like prophets' do just that: the words themselves rise up like prophets.

    You've inspired me, I'll try, tomorrow. For now, a glimpse through the windows tells me that the sun has thrown a lens of burnt orange over our land – had thrown, now faded, sunk by the crenellated battle-ship cloud out in the northern sky. It's still there, eyeing me eyeing it.

    Sweet dreams,
    Miriam xx

  2. Very touched by those comments - thank you Miriam (look forward, if you have time, to a contribution? - Loved your last 2 sentences) - and Jacquie, fantastic to hear from you! Thank you. Rx


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