BLACK CAT POEMS
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Rainer Maria Rilke
translated by James Burnham (1948- )
Oh the sight of a tall shedding tree:
to us it has grown to the limit of the sky
that breaks through its branches.
Filled with summer, almost thoughtful,
its faithful head seemed deep and thick.
But now its bones cross the sky like streets.
And the sky doesn’t know us.
At best, if we tried to warp
like birds through new openings,
we would be denied by the right of space
to consort only with worlds.
Like flags, the waves we feel in our seams
seek the connection and comfort of open spaces—
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
But the crown of the tree appears like homesickness.
poems by Rainer Maria Rilke