Kundalini Splendor

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

You went before me (poem) 

You went before me

(inspired by Adam Zagajewski)

You went before me.
I keep running over your
faces, like a private showing
of a film, an exhibit of old photos
in a small gallery.
I wasn't ready.

See, I have this new poem
of Rilke which I just
I wanted to show it to you,
tell you what it meant to me,
get your impressions.

You taught me so much.
Gave so much of your beauty.
How can I bear it,
you were that slender boy
standing at the street corner
near campus
waiting to cross
(a man, actually)
in your striking green suede jacket,
your flaming hair,
image permanently etched
on my mind.

And you--the one I
happened to catch sight of
that day as you were
teaching your class--
when I saw you there
so utterly in command
(you could have inspired throngs)
I caught my breath,
felt myself shoved backward
as if from a blow.
I knew you were someone to be reckoned with,
a poet, a presence,
a being destined for higher things
like a female Yeats (your passion)
or Maude Gonne (his)--
your voice still whispers in my ear
almost like a seduction.

How could you and the others
go so soon,
leave me here to contemplate
how it is
to walk through the streets
of this strange city
and not see anyone
you know,
to sit alone in the corner
of the cafe
over your opened book.

The night here
has a voice of its own,
the days grow long
even as the sun pales
and the mist deepens..

Dorothy Walters
November 4, 2007

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