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 tense, arrested muscles,

plunges into the heart and is gone.

~~Rainer Maria Rilke

(Translated by Stephen Mitchell)

49 comments

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    • kj on July 20, 2008 at 8:23 pm
      Author

    this is for you.

  1. But here’s one from me from 2003 …

    Lovewreck

    Something busted in

    my heart long ago,

    showing itself in

    stillborn emotions

    When I love,

    the sentiment stops

    at the gate

    of my expression.

    Crashes into my

    impassive countenance

    so the only thing showing

    is blank face and

    strange grimace.

    Never completing,

    never reaching

    my beloved.

    And oh, the cage of my being

    is cold and empty,

    even my own soul flees

    the sinking wreck

    of my crushed and crumpled

    adoration.

    • Edger on July 20, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    • kj on July 20, 2008 at 9:05 pm
      Author

     

    ~~Rainer Maria Rilke

    (Translated by Stephen Mitchell)

    We cannot know his legendary head

    with eyes like ripening fruit. And yet his torso

    is still suffused with brilliance from inside,

    like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned to low,

    gleams in all its power. Otherwise

    the curved breast could not dazzle you so, nor could

    a smile run through the placid hips and thighs

    to that dark center where procreation flared.

    Otherwise this stone would seem defaced

    beneath the translucent cascade of the shoulders

    and would not glisten like a wild beast’s fur:

    would not, from all the borders of itself,

    burst like a star: for here there is no place

    that does not see you. You must change your life.

    • kj on July 20, 2008 at 9:41 pm
      Author

     

    ~~Rainer Maria Rilke

    (Translated by Edward Snow)

    Is he native to this realm? No,

    his wide nature grew out of both worlds.

    They more adeptly bend the willow’s branches

    who have experience of the willow’s roots.

    When you go to bed, don’t leave bread or milk

    on the table: it attracts the dead–

    But may he, this quiet conjurer, may he

    beneath the mildness of the eyelid

    mix their bright traces into every seen thing;

    and may the magic of earthsmoke and rue

    be as real for him as the clearest connection.

    Nothing can mar for him the authentic image;

    whether he wanders through houses or graves,

    let him praise signet ring, gold necklace, jar.

  2. U have written a poem that WE just LOVE

    the first one that U put on this site

    after WE beged U 2

    at the time WE were not good enough at blogs to express our opinion very well

    WE would like you to repeat it if you could PLEASE

    (begging again)

    <*o^>—>ME

    (*-*0—> ME2  

    • kj on July 20, 2008 at 9:53 pm
      Author

    He said,

    “It is dark!

    Did the comet die?”

    She answered,

    “Yes, it is dark,

    the comet is gone,

    dark prayers are planted in the land.

    But look,

    here, in the round

    we still have our fire.  

    I tell you now,

    before they come-

    drink blood from our fingers

    eat bowls of our dead-

    we’ll show them the river’s source in the stars,

    found in each of their palms.

    And one-by-one

    they will sit down, and remember.”

    ~~kj

    • kj on July 20, 2008 at 9:58 pm
      Author

    Red-feathered head –

    you fly the Royal Road,

    drop fire seeds

    along ley lines like

    jewels stolen

    from Dragon.

    In time of dark light

    I follow you:

    Find wings

    of dark rain lace,

    place them

    over my shoulders,

    fly the gentle curve of moon –

    bones of your memory

    now pearls.

    KJ, 2001

    • kj on July 20, 2008 at 10:16 pm
      Author

    who’s up next?  i’m very, very serious.

    this is an offering of beauty.

    the temple steps are swept.

    the incense is lit.

    there are soft chimes in the distance.

    and birds.

    and breeze.  

    please bring your offerings.

    • Robyn on July 21, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    …in fact have been doing so already, reading about healing and origins and things that matter.  Blessingways and Changing Woman, politics and science, mythology and behavior.

    I appreciate the friendship expressed here…and in other close by places yesterday and last night.  I have to go search for some context.

    A little story from Les Feinberg:

    I’ve just met him on this car ride to the train station. He’s explaining to me the difference between women and men, girls and boys. “They play differently. They think about things differently. They have different brains.”

    Did he get that theory from Harvard President Lawrence Summers, I ask?

    He leans forward against the straps of his car seat. “Who?” he frowns. He is six years old.

    • kj on July 22, 2008 at 2:22 am
      Author

    posted this in Robyn’s “Muse” today but wanted to re-post here too.  because i think it fits, maybe sort of or maybe just because it is one of my favorite poems.

    She had some horses.

       ~~Joy Harjo

       She had some horses.

       She had horses who were bodies of sand.

       She had horses who were maps drawn of blood.

       She had horses who were skins of ocean water.

       She had horses who were the blue air of sky.

       She had horses who were fur and teeth.

       She had horses who were clay and would break.

       She had horses who were splintered red cliff.

       She had some horses.

       She had horses with long, pointed breasts.

       She had horses with full, brown thighs.

       She had horses who laughed too much.

       She had horses who threw rocks at glass houses.

       She had horses who licked razor blades.

       She had some horses.

       She had horses who danced in their mothers’ arms.

       She had horses who thought they were the sun and their bodies shone and burned like stars.

       She had horses who waltzed nightly on the moon.

       She had horses who were much too shy, and kept quiet in stalls of their own making.

       She had some horses.

       She had horses who liked Creek Stomp Dance songs.

       She had horses who cried in their beer.

       She had horses who spit at male queens who made them afraid of themselves.

       She had horses who said they weren’t afraid.

       She had horses who lied.

       She had horses who told the truth, who were stripped bare of their tongues.

       She had some horses.

       She had horses who called themselves, “horse.”

       She had horses who called themselves, “spirit.” and kept their voices secret and to themselves.

       She had horses who had no names.

       She had horses who had books of names.

       She had some horses.

       She had horses who whispered in the dark, who were afraid to speak.

       She had horses who screamed out of fear of the silence, who carried knives to protect themselves from ghosts.

       She had horses who waited for destruction.

       She had horses who waited for resurrection.

       She had some horses.

       She had horses who got down on their knees for any savior.

       She had horses who thought their high price had saved them.

       She had horses who tried to save her, who climbed in her bed at night and prayed as they raped her.

       She had some horses.

       She had some horses she loved.

       She had some horses she hated.

       These were the same horses.

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