UK poet, author and painter Roselle Angwin leads the ‘Fire in the Head’ creative and reflective writing programme.


As an eco-poet and eco-psychologist, she also leads ‘Ground of Being’ outdoors work on Dartmoor, the Isle of Iona and abroad.


She’s passionate about wild places and the natural world, as well as the meeting points between inner and outer geographies: relationship, connection, land.


She has been described as ‘a poet of the bright moment…' whose own sources of creative inspiration are her native Westcountry, the Scottish islands, and a highly individual blend of Celtic myth and metaphysics, psychology, shamanic and Buddhist thinking’.


Her novel IMAGO was published by IDP in 2011.


Roselle lives in Devon, and has a daughter, a partner, and other animals.





ISBN 978-1-907401-70-1


Indigo Dreams Publishing


Publication 07/05/ 2012






138 x 216mm


86 pages


£7.99 U.K





















Tel: 44 (0)845 458 9910


Email: [email protected]






UK  inc P&P






inc P&P


Wild Garlic


The wild garlic this year amongst the bluebells

is prolific, pungent as parable. For months now

we’ve gathered leaves and starry flowers for salads,

soups, sandwiches; better for the heart even than roses.


Everyone we love will leave us eventually,

or we’ll leave them. That’s what the wise vicar

said at that wedding blessing all those years ago.

Knowing that, how can I not love you fully?




Reading The Wild Places


And look how it all in the end

falls back into silence:

these walls, the battles ceded or ‘won’

(as if we don’t all lose);

the fertile fetch between us

quiet as the deserts

between stars.

I read yesterday how many tons

of photons strike us in the course of one day –

how we’re more ‘gap

than join’.


Later, on the causeway

glimpsing the kingfisher stitch light

back across the mudflats,

I remembered that a Manx shearwater

in its life flies as far as the moon

and back; but us –

oh yes

I may kiss your mouth today,

molecule to dancing molecule;

and still

what’s most real within me

might remain unlaunched;

may never make the leap between

my heart’s dark lonely nebula

and yours.





for Annie


That day we sat on the hand-hewn crude

oak bench in mild September sun

at the top of the Teign: Hunters’ Wood,


where the rowans splashed crimson

the slant light’s opaline threshold,

a prefiguring of the blood


which we didn’t see then

would have to be shed, where you’d need

to be strong to survive the descent


into holy darkness. I remember leaves

crisp underfoot; the voice of the river;

and I remember the single white deer


almost not glimpsed as she, brief visitor,

flowed into and out of our world

as if to answer a promise


you’d made at your birth,

as if you’d come back to find her.




Rain Dharma


Poetry again after such an absence,

the house quiet, looking out at the courtyard,

its many leaves fat with gratefulness for this spring,

for rain; a bullfinch swaying like a tropical blossom


on the pot choked with seeding cranesbill, one

thrush, a late swallow checking out the eaves, rain

making the woods more distant and impenetrable,

its tap on the stone step an invitation. The valley’s hush.


Rain settling in like conversation between

lifelong friends; rain, plants, stone, birds

at ease with themselves and each other, at ease

with how the world needs to be.





Reading poetry as she’s dying


because there is nothing else to do. Rain

blurs the day’s horizontal hurry and to sit

here and do nothing is of course also a decision.


How something so small and so close to

unconsciousness can give so much

of herself to being still so engaged


with the world, with so much attention –

leftovers from the turning inward and away

with so much more heft still than ours.


At the feeder the young woodpecker

shrieks each time he pecks, which draws

the magpie to see him off, over and over.


There is being born, there is dying,

there is the flickering fullness between,

and there is, after everything, renewal.


Nothing more in the world today than this

small corner, the dog’s tight-shut eyes,

her chest still rising and falling,

the darkish exuberance of this new spring rain.




Coming down that day

blood thick as a summer river

with pure lysergic acid

I stared as the ryegrass lawn

snaked its roots in an ancient

patterned step dance, galliard maybe,

intricate as a living Persian carpet.


Sound tuned out, we laughed

from two storeys up till tears poured

at the wedding party below

(who saw nothing of what was

transpiring beneath their feet).

Swore to each other that whatever

we’d never believe in marriage.


Later, you opened the book.

I fell into the painting,

hours in the same one, until,

having myself become both

waving corn and sky, Van Gogh’s

three crows flew me

over the edge of the world.





The Cartographer’s Dream


Each time, almost.

Night after night by candle

I run my fingers

over the contours of you.

So close.


By candle I run my fingers,

watch the play

light and touch make of your

forests, hillocks, small

hidden places.


Light and touch; I make you

and name you, pore over

the thin blue veins of you,

taste your salt.


Tasting your salt I know

that that of God

in your rivers

is the sea.


In your rivers. Then

you evade my naming,

and I wake to repeat

the journey,

to arrive.


You evade me, and I

arrive beached, at

the same place.

To arrive, only

to begin again.






Walker Between The Worlds


I am the god who fills the head with fire.

My blood is ancient as the blood of stone.

I walk the cusp where darkness turns to light.

I am the god who fills the head with fire.

My tongue’s the language given by the nine.

I speak the wild waters, the song of bone.

I am the god. Who fills the head with fire?

My blood is ancient; is the blood of stone.


All The Missing Names Of Love


Today I’m obsessed by things transient

or lost: the dog dead for fifteen years

who today lapped water in the kitchen

at noon, even though I couldn’t see her;


my father’s mislaid past; or the names

that slip through my mother’s grasp

like the minnows we’d try to catch

up to our childish knees in the Vellator streams;


the single goose flying out of the fog;

the mulberry that shook herself free of leaves

in a single outbreath one hot June moment; and now

the days’ quickening towards the equinox.


Here too is the lover abandoned half

a lifetime ago in winter mountains – a man

who knows about loyalty, and how to

honour what’s gone with nothing but good.


And, nearer, the moment when my friend

smiled, or rather I sensed him trying to smile,

as if he didn’t know how, as if

it might cost him more than he had.


And something glimpsed in those oxide

hands, the bear’s face and horses

half a mile under the limestone, 25,000

years ago drawn with love and deep


knowing as if pets, as if yesterday,

their carbon and manganese fixed, though

the artist has long since meshed atoms

with everything there is.

And then there is always that Other –

my dark and bright holy and wholly himself



And there’s the way I can slicken up

language, but still not pronounce

all the missing migrant names of love.





Leaf vernacular

for Nick Collier, who gave me this title


How many years did it take, how much rain

and bone and sun, how much loss composted

into black peat to make this leaf, just this one

new leaf flickering green in the January ditch?














ATMNOL 72 Roselle Angwin ATMNOL 72