Don’t surrender your loneliness
Let it cut more deep.
Let it ferment and season you
As few human
Or even divine ingredients can.
Something missing in my heart tonight
Has made my eyes so soft,
My need of God
–Hafiz, translated by Daniel Ladinsky
Out of everything I’ve done, everything I’ve lost,
everything I’ve gotten unexpectedly,
I can give you a little in leaves, in sour iron…
here I am with the thing that loses stars,
like a vegetable, alone.
— Pablo Neruda, translated by Robert Bly
I am too alone in the world, and not alone enough to make every moment holy.
I am too tiny in this world, and not tiny enough just to lie before you like a thing,
shrewd and secretive.
I want my own will, and I want simply to be with my will,
as it goes toward action,
and in the silent, sometimes hardly moving times
when something is coming near,
I want to be with those who know secret things
or else alone.
— Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Robert Bly
Sometimes I go about pitying myself,
and all the time
I am being carried on great winds across the sky.
— a Chippewa wild woman
Beneath my chest there is a room
with two chairs and a fewtherbed.
On the table, a solitary candle burns
and the curtains are drawn open to the garden and its moon.
Your place is set, my love
with sweet wine, soup and spoon.
But no grace was spoken
over my ravaged plate.
The candle flickers and the curtains are pulled in.
It is late and my bed beckons.
As I turn from your chair I ask the night
who I will lay with ’till morning.
The wind comes in with a birdsong
But not the one I waited for–
It’s the bird who sings at night
In a garden beneath my chest.
– Oct.5, 2008
We sense there is some sort of spirit that loves birds and the animals and the ants–
Perhaps the same one who gave a radiance to you in your mother’s womb.
Is it logical you would be walking around entirely orphaned now?
The truth is you turned away yourself,
and decided to go into the dark alone.