Tuesday, August 11, 2009

learn the transformations

don paterson

silent comrade of the distances,
know that space dilates with your own breath;
ring out, as a bell into the earth
from the dark rafters of its own high place –

then watch what feeds on you grow strong again.
learn the transformations through and through:
what in your life has most tormented you?
if the water's sour, turn it into wine.

our senses cannot fathom this night, so
be the meaning of their strange encounter;
at their crossing, be the radiant centre.

and should the world itself forget your name
say this to the still earth: i flow.
say this to the quick stream: i am.

from orpheus: a version of rilke's die sonette an orpheus (london: faber and faber, 2006).