After the light
beams into the inner chamber
on the shortest day,
after the souls of the dead have departed,
silence fills the hollow space
like the beat of the drum just did.
The underland will feed it
like a candle perpetually snuffed,
scent of melted wax and burnt wick
in the dark.
Above, nights pass
and days come
in the temple of time
that makes equals of us all.
The earth blooms into spring,
flowers and fruits through summer,
and releases once more into fall.
On that first winter day,
when the priestess returns
lint and tinder in her pouch,
but guided by memory and touch,
this is what she hears:
the silence of stone.
No words, no message,
just the time-nourished silence.
Rebirth is the gift of the deep,
to return as servant once more –
lover and light-bearer,
priestess and poet reborn.
Title from Rilke’s Book of Hours, I,16