Wednesday, May 5, 2010

THE MOTHERS ("Horizontal Rain")

Recently I had an unbelievably good time reading Faust II in Polish (the only version of the second part I have). It's a comedy, without the darkness of Part I. Mephisto is the chief wit, of course. Faust (the German name means "fist" -- but in Latin, faustus means the favored one) has no sense of humor.
Goethe's "the Mothers" inspired the ending to “Horizontal Rain.”


Years of drought I waited for this
horizontal rain –
strands of raindrops shining in the dark
like Ariadne’s thread,

winding me back to the years
when everything lay ahead –
trembling droplets about to slide
from drenched delicious leaves.

But by midlife I noticed I was deep
in a labyrinth, and whether I’d be
a hero was uncertain, or who
or what I would meet.

Mountains I haven’t climbed
I would no longer climb.
The arson of passion
lay smoldering behind me.

These have been the tools of my survival:
tenderness born of exile
and silence born of cunning,
in corners groping for the thread.

It shines, the dark before the flowers,
my eyes stitched with horizontal rain.
In the wake of my springtime, I see them
again: my mother and her mother,

and the mothers before then –
who one after another
handed me the skein,
so I could remember the journey.

~ Oriana


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