Monday, November 18, 2013


Rainier Maria Rilke, from Rilke’s Book of Hours, 1996, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy

You come and go. The doors swing closed
ever more gently, almost without a shudder.
of all who move through the quiet houses,
you are the quietest.
We become so accustomed to you,
we no longer look up
when your shadow falls over the book we are reading
and makes it glow. For all things
sing you: at times
we just hear them more clearly.
Often when I imagine you
your wholeness cascades into many shapes.
You run like a herd of luminous deer
and I am dark, I am forest.
You are a wheel at which I stand,
whose dark spokes sometimes catch me up,
revolve me nearer to the center.
Then all the work I put my hand to
widens from turn to turn.

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