Friday, April 22, 2016

Loves Lost
        You, my beloved lost in advance, my never-appeared: 
                       –  Du im Voraus by Rainer Maria Rilke

There are
So many lost ways to

No one willing to count
The differences
Your latest way

Is misshapen, cruel poem!
Mind what you say
How you send your words
Orchestrate the unknown

Love's poetry is for love
Open, passionate
The long, long kiss

Send no other
If there's charm, beauty

Desire, allure. If not
Send The Panther the other

It will pace, grow weary
In the hands
No heart to win or lose

It's just a panther pacing
Back and forth
An image in a cage

The Panther

His vision, from the constantly passing bars,
has grown so weary that it cannot hold
anything else. It seems to him there are
a thousand bars; and behind the bars, no world.

As he paces in cramped circles, over and over,
the movement of his powerful soft strides
is like a ritual dance around a center
in which a mighty will stands paralyzed.

Only at times, the curtain of the pupils
lifts, quietly--. An image enters in,
rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles,
plunges into the heart and is gone.

Du im Voraus

You, my beloved lost in advance, my never-appeared,
I don’t know which notes you prefer.
I no longer try, when what’s coming billows over me,
to recognise you. All the great
images in me, scenery learned at a distance:
towns and spires and bridges and un-
suspected turns in the roads
and the immensity of those countries
once traversed by gods:
grows to its meaning in me,
your meaning, elusive one.

Oh, the gardens you are,
oh, I saw them with such
hope. An open window
in a country house — and you nearly
stepped toward me, thoughtful. Alleys I found —
you had just gone along them,
and sometimes the shopkeepers’ mirrors
were still dizzy with you, and gave out, afraid,
my too-sudden image. — Who knows if the same
bird did not ring out through us
yesterday, separately, in the evening?


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Published by Australian Poetry Centre, Melbourne

of Arc & Shadow

of Arc & Shadow
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