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Swelling and Ebbing Currents

I'm too alone in the world, yet not alone enough 

to make each hour holy.

I'm too small in the world, yet not small enough 

to be simply in your presence, like a thing—

just as it is.


I want to know my own will

and to move with it.

And I want, in the hushed moments

when the nameless draws near,

to be among the wise ones—

or alone.


I want to mirror your immensity.

I want never to be too weak or too old

to bear the heavy, lurching image of you.


I want to unfold.

Let no place in me hold itself closed,

for where I am closed, I am false.

I want to stay clear in your sight.


-Rainer Maria Rilke (From Book of Hours 1.12-13)

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken

I want to free what waits within me

so that what no one has dared to wish for

may for once spring clear

without my contriving


If this is arrogant, God, forgive me,

but this is what I need to say.

May what I do flow from me like a river,

no forcing and no holding back,

the way it is with children.


Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,

these deepening tides moving out, returning,

I will sing you as no one ever has,

streaming through widening channels

into the open sea.