Birgit Bunzel Linder
A Raving Soul - Poem by Birgit Bunzel Linder
Your soul is a wild creature
that does not roam but rave.
It clambers in the brushwood,
thrashes leaves and sticks,
sets fire in flowerbeds,
breaks reeds and bends grass.
It burns forests without a spark,
pours venom out of broken glass.
It twists and twirls without direction,
calls to reason without reply,
until the dark settles into its maze,
when it withers in exhaustion.
It coils like fresh fern under shady firs,
yet still trembles like a twig,
exposed to sudden gusts of air.
Scars have copied onto dreams.
Hypnos is a powerless god.
Nyx douses water on the wound.
Then hours of sweetness arrive.
Arms stretched out like branches,
for shelter and for life.
It rises toward the light.
It settles on meadows of peace.
It fills the air with delight.
A nightjar calls from the forest edge.
Sees the red blood of the fringes.
Looks at the chaos and the dark.
Wipes tears from the sticks
that have struck the heart.
It calls to you without a voice.
It offers sacrifices to tame the beast.
It builds a shelter for his head.
It picks up the flowers that have fallen
and arranges them on our bed.
I step into the woods.
I tread with silent care.
I put a blanket over your shivering body.
I wait unmoving and still—
Lest the nightjar calls again.
Lest your soul should rave again.
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