Thursday, 31 December 2015

Talking to Rilke

I am praying again, Awesome One.
You hear me again, as words
from the depths of me
rush toward you in the wind.

I am seeking to break away
From the inconsequential

To see with greater clarity
That which is of most value

I've been scattered in pieces,
torn by conflict,
mocked by laughter,
washed down in drink.

I have been caught up in many ways

I have written before
'I have proclaimed Truth's river

But have not always been able to swim in it'

In alleyway I sweep myself up
out of garbage and broken glass.
With my half-mouth I stammer you,
who are eternal in your symmetry.
I lift to you my half-hands
in wordless beseeching, that I may find again
the eyes with which I once beheld you.

But I come round eventually

It is like turning a corner
And seeing a whole new vista

I am a house gutted by fire
where only the guilty sometimes sleep
before the punishment that devours them
hounds them out into the open.

I am a house being cleared of debris
Things useless and unused disposed of

I am a city by the sea
sinking into a toxic tide
I am strange to myself, as though someone unknown
had poisoned my mother as she carried me.

I am a city lit by many lights
Able to move around freely unafraid
The many paths cleared of shards

It's here in all the pieces of my shame
that now I find myself gain.
I yearn to belong to something, to be contained
in an all-embracing mind that sees me
as a single thing.
I yearn to be held
in the great hands of your heart--
oh let them take me now.

I am all here

Pieces uniting
Uniting and presenting

What is most real to a waiting world

Into them I place these fragments, my life,
and you, God -- spend them however you want.

To the all-embracing Mind

Who has always seen me as a single thing
I give You thanks for Your wonderous beholding

Text in italics from Rilke's Book of Hours, translated by Joanna Macy

No comments: