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

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Lockdown haibun, & poetry, nature & mindfulness retreat booking now







Lockdown haibun

We the privileged have space, seclusion, a garden. Still, friends become strangers; and strangers, met in the lanes unleashed from their cars, friends.

Otherwise my conversations are with dunnock, buzzard, robin; wild rose, honeysuckle, meadowsweet –

first tongue-burst
of wild strawberries
almost satori

The dogs hope for squirrels. On the hillside, rustle of tree-talk; near-silence of the A38.

Many voices
of the little stream
in conversation
with itself

A long elsewhere away riots, violence, families crammed into spaces that should house one individual. Front-line work, communities crumbling, machines, despair, distress, death and spreading spreading sickness. I imagine these things. I think of my own dead, who are always present.

On the hill
the cows have had their calves
taken away

Last year the sparrowhawks in the trees at the top of the meadow took both fledgling blackbirds and then their mother. The blackbirds were all raised a yard away, in the rockface of our courtyard; were tame. Too tame? Once again the sparrowhawk’s high-pitched tweee is overhead, and I feel my breath catch. New fledglings are now in clumsy half-grown flight, foraging for themselves, snacking on blackcurrants. The young robin has become more wary – in its own wild.

From first light to first star
thrush’s song sounds the valley
like a bell

And here in our garden are the first potatoes, small beans, new courgettes – so easily unheeded, annual quiet miracles like this.


In May one
wild cherry lit up
the whole valley.

© Roselle Angwin




This form, the haibun, is a particular favourite of mine. If you like it too, it forms part of the new 5-day online retreat I've been promising (and there's much else too).

POETRY, NATURE & MINDFULNESS is booking now for early August, and for early October. (You can read more on the link just above, and also here.)

It promises a way of dropping deep: taking time out to be still, quiet and present for an hour or two each day (or perhaps for the rest of your life).

I'd love to work with you. And please tell your friends!


PS: A big thank you to all of you who emailed after I posted my new book cover here, and shared it on social media. Please keep doing that!





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