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.
Friday, 21 March 2014
spring equinox poem 2014
I've made a commitment to myself to post here poems for the solstices and equinoxes; partly kept together by my commitment to another poet at each quarter date. So – here it is; though it has to be said my well feels a little low at the moment, and that's OK.
As in the turning year, there are cycles of course in everything, inner as well as outer, and my own cycle of creative inspiration in its poetic shape seems to be about 3 months. Right now, I'm at its nadir. This is a time when I need to fill it up rather than empty it further.
This is, I suppose, an apology for a poem that feels uninspired and rather squeezed-out. That happens; and that has to be OK too.
Good job I have others I'm rather more pleased with, given that I'm reading at the inaugural Teignmouth Poetry Festival tomorrow. http://www.poetryteignmouth.com/uploads/2/2/4/0/2240819/teignmouth_poetry_festival_2014_pdf.pdf (Have I already tried to bribe you with the rumoured tea and cake?)
Tonight I have the job of transporting Brian Patten to his opening gig there.
I've never forgotten his kindness when, about 16 years ago, I was 'support act' for his reading at Exeter Phoenix. I was unknown (not that I'm much better known now!) and also unknown to him. We were sharing a drink at the bar, when the tannoy announced that it was time to take our places in the auditorium for 'Brian Patten's event'. Brian slammed his glass down, marched out of the bar to the front desk, and asked them to replay the message but saying 'Brian Patten and Roselle Angwin's event'.
Here's the equinox poem:
Spring equinox 2014
New young sun. The onion sets are in,
bean, brassica and leek are building up a sweat
in their glasshouse home, and the garden
smells of ocean with its many loads
of kelp. And I’ve spoken all there is
to speak of the year’s great wheel turning
without end, of the pairs of opposites
who each holds each in perfect balance
at facing sides of the cycle until
one or other in the end concedes
how earth and sun, darkness and light
chase each other forever in the silences
of space, the way grief and joy are always
intermingled. I’ve made so many metaphors
of this, and of the swift year’s dying and rebirth
how at the place and time where words fail
we have to follow the flower-maiden
into the dark until at last we learn
to swallow the waiting seeds. So now I let
the family of tits in the willow, new spikes of iris
young badger turning leaves
at the margins of the wood speak
for themselves, for me, of how we’re all
connected, and how everything
dissolves and is remade.
© Roselle Angwin 2014
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