midnight

It is delicate, midnight.
I hear the knots of the rosebush:
sap pushing upward rising to the rose.

I hear
the scorched stripes of the regal tiger:
they do not let him sleep.

I hear
a canto of one
as it grows in the night
like a dune.

I hear
my mother sleeping
with two breaths.
( I have slept in her,
for five years.)

I hear the Rhone
that descends and carries me like a father,
blind with blind foam.

And afterwards I hear nothing,
but keep falling
on the walls of Arles
full of sunlight…

Gabriela Mistral

Advertisements

in a dark time

In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
I hear my echo in the echoing wood —
A lord of nature weeping to a tree.
I live between the heron and the wren,
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.
What’s madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance? The day’s on fire!
I know the purity of pure despair,
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall.
That place among the rocks—is it a cave,
Or a winding path? The edge is what I have.

A steady storm of correspondences!
A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,
And in broad day the midnight come again!
A man goes far to find out what he is —
Death of the self in a long, tearless night,
All-natural shapes blazing unnatural light.

Dark, dark my light, and darker my desire.
My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,
Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.
The mind enters itself, and God the mind,
And one is One, free in the tearing wind.

Theodore Roethke