Winter Solstice in Provence
Rain wavelets overlap in drafts
Down a mountain bowl of air,
Sweeping sage smokes and juniper,
Washing walnut roots and lavender,
Burrowing into chalk bones of the land.
Clay fields filter the rain into flowers of oil,
Or kiss faint crumbling soils into saps of wine.
Each arched cellar births a bleating life into
Darkness hung with cobwebbed straw,
Or shelters bursting bins of vegetable wealth
Culled from last summer's wet ochre soil,
Their roots underground now reaching up
Pale fingers of sprout to only imagined light.
The sky weeps down to how we rose rejoicing
While in warmth we sleep to its brushed caress
Across chill darkened windowpanes.
Words that mumble out our sleeping lips
Are heard in worlds forever kissing ours.
Their messages evaporate incessantly up to
Each new curtained breath of rain-born wind,
Shrouding out a year still huddling round
Its longest dusk of tended embers glows,
Cradling slowly sipped rememberings,
Storing up sleep to feed the coming year.
oil painting by Jane Bendix
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|Rainer Maria Rilke's poetry|