This is a Glosa Series hosting a conversation between
Rilke, Neruda and who I am calling the Daughters of Revolutions
The piece is created with a poetic quilt of lines from four stanza’s
found in three poems translated by Robert Bly:
– I Live My Life In Growing Orbits, Rainer Maria Rilke, both stanzas
– Walking Around, Pablo Neruda, 5th Stanza
– A Walk, Rainer Maria Rilke, first stanza
(See details at end of post.)
Daughters of Revolutions
Journey the spheres to discover
the views atop Venn’s Hallows,
where an ancient temple
honors diverging paths. Here
Daughters of Revolutions gather
to query estranged poets,
for course direction, insight
and inspiration, asking,
What will attract our feet’s magnets?
I live my life in growing orbits,
Rilke’s light frame leans into his words,
To feel, love, and seek truth
of the sacred inner world where
outer contradictions meet – a path
that allows the celestial to be known.
Neruda’s Hitchcockian form sits in stark
contrast. Lips pursed over drooped pipe,
his green-inked writings scattered before him.
He waves, signaling intent to remark.
I don’t want to go on being a root in the dark,
living a good life, doing nothing while
others suffer. I cannot avert my eyes
while poverty imprisons, power
terrorizes, where scores of humans
live and die like dogs, yet privilege
insists, ‘repair lack of will
and equality will be restored.’ Entitlement
to frivol one’s life in beauty and heart
has a rank smell of pus that leaves me ill.
‘My eyes already touch the sunny hill’
a familiar quote my Rilkean distractors
croon. A sunny distant hill is not mystical.
It is a hellish mountain with minefields
navigated by less fortunate humans on
blistered feet, their comrades’ mangled bodies
rotting in their backpacks. What power
can a sunny hill ignite? None, I say. None.
Rilke’s eye traces the sun’s rays as they pierce
a window’s stained glass flower.
‘I am circling around God, around the ancient tower,’
is the thought the sight inspires.
He resists saying it though, turning instead
to the Daughters, their note-taking
tablets poised. He smiles, wondering
if inner temple photos are allowed.
I say, great space has been unfurled
here between we poets. Are there
further questions? The Daughters
see poetic perspectives have swirled
which move out over the things of the world
needing integration – evolving
quantum awareness and
especially now, the Daughters’ ability
to change reality. One Daughter
speaks up. Our way is steep,
stakes are huge, and yet we know
each of you is a part of us.
We don’t want to creep,
insecure, stretched out, shivering with sleep,
afraid contrasting ideas
living in us insist our orbit’s doom.
Neruda shifts his bulky form,
as if to support his extending
awareness of Daughters’
vital role in what must be spun
next. First, let me honor
the load you’ve hoisted on your
backs, for it is a heavy one
going far ahead of the road I have begun.
It is a new idea for me to perceive
Daughters’ DNA as composed
from my truth-filled density
mixed with air-filled niceties
of he who soars with oblivious
self-interest in heavenly spheres.
Lofty ideals have proven weightless –
to date, love has not healed societal ills,
indignities are still endured in fear –
and I have been circling for a thousand years.
Rilke blinks, breathing deeply. Heart’s
politic challenge is to describe
our live’s mundane with honesty.
If a poet cannot see beauty, consider
it is not absent, rather the poet
lacks ability to express the vast
nuances his life offers.
The Daughters’ eyes go wide,
bracing for a contentious blast.
Perhaps I can never achieve the last
word with a poet whose fluff
I admired only in my untested,
immature and gullible youth.
But let me submit: truth reveals
we stand as opposing pillars
of our own clarity. Yet at birth these
Daughters of yours and my Revolutions
are imprinted – with me on their soles and you
in their soul. Let’s not compromise their worth
going on down, into the moist guts of the earth,
pretending to tunnel our way toward them.
How does who we are serve, direct, or inspire
the Revolution they must now undertake?
A Daughter stood, moving
into a dormered circle of light.
At first, all I could hear was the rasp
of tiresome competition, but now I
perceive something new. We Daughters
must petition release from history’s clasp
so we are grasped by what we cannot grasp.
Rilke brightens. Perhaps it’s not a tunnel,
but a bridge our Daughters need
anchored by our polar clarities –
an overpass where their hands will hold
railings while their hearts birth the future.
Neruda sits back, You propose they form
new orbits founded upon, even rising above
the darkness and light of you and me? A Daughter
taps her heart, Fifty years on this planet so warm
and I still don’t know if I am a falcon, or a storm,
only that I am called to create
aliveness anew. This poetic offer
of embrace and support from both
your valuable truths ensures my freedom
to be the Creative I am meant to be.
Neruda grins, Not to preempt
exciting unfoldings, but suddenly I
understand what I’m meant to be! A tough
test to hold my clarity’s view sans contempt –
but that will be my attempt.
Rilke is moved by Contrarian’s
heart-spoken intention to serve that which
desires to come next. I am honored
to be held in solid form by a poetic
truth so deep its gravity ensures my Spirit’s
pillar will stand firm as I praise and pray.
Neruda’s pillar of clarity was built through a life
staring at truths of darkness I am certain
would have caused me to lose my way
taking in and thinking, eating every day.
The Daughters of Revolutions accept the poetics’
mutually-platformed gift. The Temple of Choice
went beyond left or right, offering instead
to occupy divergent view’s strength –
new footings from which to navigate
higher realms of new light’s essence.
As the two poets step away Rilke calls
to Neruda, My friend, perhaps
we have finally matured into a balance –
it has inner light, even from a distance –
made possible by the precision
of who we are and what we express.
Neruda laughs. I see now there is no
such thing as pure or impure poetry.
We’ve made mistakes, yet now we’ve
addressed perceptions gone wrong
while judging each other’s value.
We are well-matched, a perfect duet –
whether manifesting futures strong
or a great song.
© Lori Fleming, 2014