“Orion” by Adrienne Rich

by on 31/03/12 at 11:25 am

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Far back when I went zig-zagging
through tamarack pastures
you were my genius, you
my cast-iron Viking, my helmed
lion-heart king in prison.
Years later now you’re young

my fierce half-brother, staring
down from that simplified west
your breast open, your belt dragged down
by an old fashioned thing, a sword
the last bravado you won’t give over
though it weighs you down as you stride

and the stars in it are dim
and maybe have stopped burning.
But you burn, and I know it;
as I throw back my head to take you in
an old transfusion happens again:
divine astronomy is nothing to it.

Indoors I bruise and blunder,
break faith, leave ill enough
alone, a dead child born in the dark.
Night cracks up over the chimney,
pieces of time, frozen geodes
come showering down in the grate.

A man reaches behind my eyes
and finds them empty
a woman’s head turns away
from my head in the mirror
children are dying my death
and eating crumbs of my life

Pity is not your forte
Calmly you ache up there
pinned aloft in your crow’s nest,
my speechless pirate!
You take it all for granted
and when I look you back

it’s with a starlike eye
shooting its cold and egotistical spear
where it can do the least damage.
Breathe deep! No hurt, no pardon
out here in the cold with you
you with your back to the wall.

It’s with a starlike eye
shooting its cold and egotistical spear
when it can do the least damage.
Breathe deep! No hurt, no pardon
out here in the cold with you
you with your back to the wall.

Ernest Hilbert

Ernest Hilbert is founder of E-Verse Radio.

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