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, 11 March 2015

river suite section 2

Many years ago now I was commissioned to write a long Devon poem for Devon Arts In Schools Initiative (DAISI). At the time, I led a lot of outdoor writing days with rural schools, and my brief was to write a poem that celebrated Devon, was 'accessible' to primary school pupils without being boring for secondary school students, and that adults could relate to as well. Easy peasy.

The aim was that my poem would serve as inspiration for students' own writing, and that the pupils from nine schools, primary and secondary both, would compose music and lyrics based on my poem to perform at three locations in Devon. It was an exciting and moving experience for me.

Many years later, Dartmoor photographer Vikky Minette asked me to display the poem with her photographic exhibition at Dartmoor National Park's High Moorland Centre at Princetown. From that, was born our collaborative limited edition book of the poem, River Suite, with Vikky's very beautiful images of Dartmoor water.

In honour of spring's near-arrival, here's section 2 from the poem. (There are still some copies of the book left from the 300 we had printed; should you wish to, you can buy it in the right hand bar via Paypal.)


lower now where the dawn horses gather
pooled in blue morning
amongst the granite and gorse

you step over the threshold
through a doorway of light
you meet yourself coming back
the other way
and suddenly nothing's the same

and the hand of morning opens
throws these wild rivers to dance down the slopes

fox-red bracken new green and a blanket of bluebell
past the scribbles of stone rows and circles

and here the river curls gentle as a sleeping baby
ash and alder lean to comb the water
hazel and rowan and willow

and you take your shoes off
it's the spring you thought would never come
though the trees are still bearded with winter
and the turf damp and riddled with sheep and rabbit scat
roots of heather, twists of gorse

but the river pools in swirls of froth and brandy
soft black soil and frogs creaking like doors
and see here wild duck
sliding amongst marsh marigold and frogspawn

out of the mist, walking
towards the land of the living
though still the voices call

© Roselle Angwin


No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive