June 14, 2011

The Bowl of Roses (II)

Bowl with Peonies and Roses

Soundless existence ever opening,
filling space while taking it from no one,
diminishing nothing, defined by nothing outside itself,
all coming from within, clothed in softness
and radiant in its own light, even to its outermost edge.
When have we known a thing like this,

like the tender and delicate way
that rose petal touches rose petal?
Or like this: that each petal is an eyelid,
and under it lie other eyelids
closed, as if letting all vision be cradled
in deepening sleep.

New Poems


  1. The image-thought of eyelids, layered inwardly, as the quiet center we attend to, as our sleeping child-self, is infinite with possibility. And that's just one of the layers of this complex rose theology of Rilke's, which Brendan has been so helpful with in past posts. For a treat, search this blog in the sidebar for "Brendan rose" and you can read commentary he and others have contributed much about this, for instance:

    . . . eye and rose are one; and too in that vision all other contraries are wedded, seen as tandems of the other, as thorn and petal are so wildly paired. . .

  2. The first five lines of this poem are so insightful, recognizing, as they do, that there are people who seek to open and grow in silence, who wish to fill space without taking it from others, who wish to diminish nothing on earth, and who seek to be defined, if at all, by the soft and radiant inner light.


"Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night."

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Go ahead, bloom recklessly!