PASSION BY KATHLEEN RAINE
Full of desire I lay, the sky wounding me,
Each cloud a ship without me sailing, each tree
Possessing what my soul lacked, tranquility.
Waiting for the longed-for voice to speak
Through the mute telephone, my body grew weak
With the well-known and mortal death, heartbreak.
The language I knew best, my human speech
Forsook my fingers, and out of reach
Were Homer’s ghosts, the savage cinches of the beach.
Then the sky spoke to me in language clear,
Familiar as the heart, than love more near.
The sky said to my soul, `You have what you desire.
`Know now that you are born along with these
Clouds, winds, and stars, and ever-moving seas
And forest dwellers. This your nature is.
Lift up your heart again without fear,
Sleep in the tomb, or breathe the living air,
This world you with the flower and with the tiger share.’
Then I saw every visible substance turn
Into immortal, every cell new born
Burned with the holy fire of passion.
This world I saw as on her judgment day
When the war ends, and the sky rolls away,
And all is light, love and eternity.