For Ruby

 

In the months and days and minutes

before your birth, little one,

your parents are laboring in the multiverse

— great shining world you’ll love —

to bring you here;

still children themselves, but turning,

like you, into something new:

great lovers of your soul,

hurricanes of hope

for all that you will be

and do, little one.

You are coming soon

into the world as it is,

but coming with your differences,

so that the world will be transformed too.

This tiny hymn of hope is sent

across the years, past age and time,

to you in love, little one.

 

 

 

 

UNAUTOBIOGRAPHICAL

 

Und hast die Welt gemacht. Und sie ist groB

und wie ein Wort, das noch im Schweigen reift.

Und wie dein Wille ihren Sinn gegreift,

lassen sie deine Augen zartlich los…

                       

And you have made a world. And it is grand
and like a word that may in silence grow.
And as your will its mind shall understand,
your eyes, with slow caress, shall let it go...

(Rilke, ‘Eingang’)

 

 

To be the reader/writer proper

of The Life — your own —

demands a nunnish renunciation,

or severe old age —

its dissolving, its letting go.

Otherwise, mouthing off too soon,

it will not be what you meant

at all.

 

Wait, until age relinquishes

flesh melting into itself,

the days rolling towards night

in catnap, dream, or sigh.

Then, writing, surely,

will not be

for status, shield, or show —

unless, still raging for more,

the decrepit ego

scrabbles for immortality.

 

But now, in the middle,

here on this ridge between

the heat of summer at your back,

commitments shouldered,

and the trek downwards just begun,

there is neither celebration,

nor time for bowing the head.

To complete The Life,

delivering it for all it’s worth,

would be to glimpse, unmoved,

that other —

shadow-self, not-you —

disappearing ahead on the lonely path.

 

But already you are realising

no body here on the sheer descent

will remember, ah,

the dreams a child once juggled

in the sunny air;

no one will care to trace with precision

the stand and stride

your limbs will struggle for,

bone on bone,

before they fall.

 

But the last word

which comprehends us all,

which dreams you,

must now, at this point,

be unwritable.

The sun still warms your retreating form,

shadows blackening along the path —

look, how tall you've grown! —

down to where mere writing

could never be

The Life.