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

Sunday, 20 January 2019

January poem

‘January’s Full Moon is called the Wolf Moon’

brittle cold
old fireworks lying on the gravel
like spent stars that we stumble over

and old gods looking
both ways

over the trees that came down in the woods
last week

the dog still bellying down in every
rill or puddle, even in frost

I remember dawns so steely we scraped plates of ice
from inside the van’s windows
daughter snug between us
in layers of sheep-oiled fleece

(I remember the moon quickening in my belly,
her tides and flux; and me
struck from her silver coinage)

and bare-breasted mornings working outdoors
bee-languor afternoons under the larch
where you would take me
in your arms and hold me

I have never told anyone I need you              perhaps this has been a mistake

you’re rolling a cigarette,
your feet bare and earthy and wet
against my skin and we’re waiting

in half-light the twin birds of your eyes
are the only things that move in this winter grove

to pass the time you sing
you are a male voice choir of one

and when at last we emerge into spring
Orpheus, I’ll call you; and again, Orpheus

© Roselle Angwin, 23 January 2008/reposted January 2018; in Bardo



  1. On a frosty Monday morning, this visceral painting strikes a chord of the generosity and simple beauty of aliveness. ("Daughter snug between us" is especially magical.
    Thank you.

  2. Ah Alan thank you! Always lovely to have feedback. The moment of the poem is very old now (daughter definitely grown!), but I still like it.


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