You can find this in The Book of a Monastic Life in Rilke’s Book of Hours.
by Rainer Maria Rilke
You, God, who live next door–
If at times, through the long night, I trouble you
with my urgent knocking–
this is why: I hear you breathe so seldom.
I know you’re all alone in that room.
If you should be thirsty, there’s no one
to get you a glass of water.
I wait listening, always. Just give me a sign!
I’m right here.
As it happens, the wall between us
is very thin. Why couldn’t a cry
from one of us
break it down? It would crumble
it would barely make a sound.
You can find this poem in The Book of A Monastic Life in Rilke’s Book of Hours.
Only in our doing can we grasp you.
Only with our hands can we illuminate you.
The mind is but a visitor:
it thinks us out of our world.
Each mind fabricates itself.
We sense its limits, for we have made them.
And just when we would flee them, you come
and make yourself an offering.
I don’t want to think a place for you.
Speak to me from everywhere.
Your Gospel can be comprehended
without looking for its source.
When I go toward you
it is with my whole life.
From The Book of a Monastic Life in Rilke’s Book of Hours.
Because once someone dared
to want you,
I know that we, too, may want you.
When gold is in the mountain
and we’ve ravaged the depths
till we’ve given up digging,
It will be brought forth into day
by the river that mines
the silences of stone.
Even when we don’t desire it,
God is ripening.
From The Book of a Monastic Life from Rilke’s Book of Hours.
She who reconciles the ill-matched threads
of her life, and weaves them gratefully
into a single cloth–
it’s she who drives the loudmouths from the hall
and clears it for a different celebration
where the one guest is you.
In the softness of evening
it’s you she receives.
You are the partner of her loneliness,
the unspeakable center of her monologues.
With each disclosure you encompass more
and she stretches beyond what limits her,
to hold you.
The Last Supper
by Rainer Maria Rilke
They are assembled–astonished, panicked–
around him, who like a sage concludes himself
and who withdraws from those he’s gathered
and who ungraspable flows past them.
The old solitude comes over him,
which reared him for his deep action;
now he will wander through the olive woods again,
and those who love him will flee before him.
He has summoned them to the last meal
and (as a shot scatters birds from the wheat)
he scatters their hands from the loaves
with his word: they fly up to him;
they flap, terrified, all around the table
and seek a way out. But no use: he,
like a twilight hour, is everywhere.
You can find this poem in The Book of Images.
From Rilke’s Book of Hours by Rainer Maria Rilke
I love you, gentlest of Ways,
who ripened us as we wrestled with you.
You, the great homesickness we could never shake off,
you, the forest that always surrounded us,
you, the song we sang in every silence,
you dark net threading through us,
You began yourself so greatly
on that day when you began us—
and we have so ripened in your sunlight,
spreading far and firmly planted–
that now in all people, angels, madonnas,
you can decide: the work is done.
Let your hand rest on the rim of Heaven now
and mutely bear the darkness we bring over you.
This poem can be found in The Book of a Monastic Life in Rilke’s Book of Hours by Rainer Maria Rilke.
Only as a child am I awake
and able to trust
that after every fear and every night
I will behold you again.
However often I get lost,
however far my thinking strays,
I know you will be here, right here,
time trembling around you.
To me it is as if I were at once
infant, boy, man, and more.
I feel that only as it circles
is abundance found.
I thank you, deep power
that works me ever more lightly
in ways I can’t make out.
The day’s labor grows simple now,
and like a holy face
held in my dark hands.