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Dedication

Written by: Rainer Maria Rilke | Biography
 | Quotes (35) |
 for Moremi, 1963

Earth will not share the rafter's envy; dung floors
Break, not the gecko's slight skin, but its fall
Taste this soil for death and plumb her deep for life

As this yam, wholly earthed, yet a living tuber
To the warmth of waters, earthed as springs
As roots of baobab, as the hearth.
The air will not deny you.
Like a top Spin you on the navel of the storm, for the hoe That roots the forests plows a path for squirrels.
Be ageless as dark peat, but only that rain's Fingers, not the feet of men, may wash you over.
Long wear the sun's shadow; run naked to the night.
Peppers green and red—child—your tongue arch To scorpion tail, spit straight return to danger's threats Yet coo with the brown pigeon, tendril dew between your lips.
Shield you like the flesh of palms, skyward held Cuspids in thorn nesting, insealed as the heart of kernel— A woman's flesh is oil—child, palm oil on your tongue Is suppleness to life, and wine of this gourd From self-same timeless run of runnels as refill Your podlings, child, weaned from yours we embrace Earth's honeyed milk, wine of the only rib.
Now roll your tongue in honey till your cheeks are Swarming honeycombs—your world needs sweetening, child.
Camwood round the heart, chalk for flight Of blemish—see? it dawns!—antimony beneath Armpits like a goddess, and leave this taste Long on your lips, of salt, that you may seek None from tears.
This, rain-water, is the gift Of gods—drink of its purity, bear fruits in season.
Fruits then to your lips: haste to repay The debt of birth.
Yield man-tides like the sea And ebbing, leave a meaning of the fossilled sands.



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