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 22 June 2023

(belated) poem for the summer solstice: Sometimes the Mind


Sometimes the Mind

This solstice morning a haze
slips through the gap between
the sweet chestnuts, this portal
the only place in our secluded
Home Meadow that reminds us
there’s a world out there
beyond the trees, that describes
        Sometimes the mind
slips out of key, out of gear,
tectonic plates on a different plane

and you remember for a moment
that there is something you’ve
forgotten, though what it is
you forget too; but the bosky
doorway, framed as it is in
creamy comets’ tails of chestnut
blossom with its bee-thrum
offers a glimpse of bliss

and as the early sun suddenly
floats free of the sky and floods across
the meadowgrass and mallow
over the honeysuckle and right on
into your eyes, in the time it takes
for this one sparrow to gatecrash your gaze
you know that it’s something so simple
you forget over and over: something to do

with kindness, something to do
with it being the only word, in the end,
that counts.

Roselle Angwin

My lovely friends, I know it might be a shock for you to see a post from me; since we have moved to Brittany I've been quiet and reflective; partly I'm considering my writing future. 

I've also been quite reclusive, getting to know this ancient house and the land of which we are guardians. We've spent a lot of time, too, outdoors reclaiming meadow to make a large vegetable garden, planting fruit trees, making a small wildlife pond, and appreciating the wild Home Meadow with its many fragrant roses and bee-shrubs and its orchard, so overgrown we didn't know of its existence until be moved in. We're also planning a future food-forest, planting willow and hazel for coppicing, and considering how we might best help biodiversity. This land has woodland and many bordering trees; we are becoming increasingly familiar with each tree in or on the meadows, but on the whole leaving the woodland that drops to the stream to itself.

There is much to say about all this.

The only writing I've really done is to keep a daily journal of here, and our experience here; this is a year now, nearly, and I have ideas for its further shape. There are still two poetry collections 'in the queue', and a prose poem book; plus a book of essays on place and belonging.

But I have also been working on my long-promised vegan cookbook; still a way to go (editing and checking facts and sources – much more exciting to create a new recipe or two!).

And meantime, there are various other creative projects simmering – if I could just tempt myself out of the hammock and onto the computer...

But I am cooking one or two new online courses again (at last), and if you might be interested in knowing about these and you are not already on my mailing list for my occasional newsletter, you can contact me through the sidebar.

Meantime, I'm considering re-establishing this blog, but migrating it over to Substack.

Till next time, may you live well, and deeply, and with kindness.

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