Posts Tagged ‘orbit’

Growing Orbits

after Rainer Maria Rilke, “I Live My Life in Growing Orbits”

I am circling what is true,
with my arms open I am circling,
with eyes wide I am circling,
I am circling that which has never changed
and that which is always changing.
I circle with eyes full of tears, I circle
as I sing along with voice breaking,
lips praising, I circle with chest
expanding, feet eager, my body
exhausted, my whole being charged,
and the only words on my lips are thank you.
I am circling with the certainty
I can only do this right. I circle
the spaces I’ve circled before
only nothing is the same. I circle
the nothing at the center and the everything
which has come from it. With every step,
I see something new, something
I could not have seen before. With every step
I understand and lose my understanding.
I am circling all that can never be known
and all I long to know. I am circling
in quickening spirals and in lazy
orbits and I circle for the joy
of circling. I am circling you, God,
as Rilke invited me to do, and
still I am learning who you are,
so I circle and I circle and I circle.

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I live my life in growing orbits that move out over the things of the world.
–Rainier Maria Rilke

We let it be so small,
that which contains us—
the scalp, the skin,
the windowless room
with low ceilings and buzz
of fluorescent light.

We circle and circle
like dogs searching
for the perfect resting place,
traveling in tight orbits enclosed
by clocks that chime the wrong time,
black boards stained with yesterday’s
words, tangled wires and shelves
of books unread.

Sometimes I believe it’s possible
we might become less solid,
move through the walls
like the ancient wave of ohm,
like a rising song. It is so small,
this room of knowns,
and though we have
been bruised before, trying
to turn walls into exit doors,
let us try again a new unspiraling
something we cannot yet imagine.

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