Some messengers are ambivalent about their own calling. This one perches 175 feet up, high above the birdwatcher, just below Medusa, and weirdly close to angels.
Rilke from his rampart: Beauty’s naught
But terror’s dawn. Then why do mirk-mites wrought
From strofe and stub, Creation’s afterthought,
Squat seraph-like on spits above the earth:
To herald terror’s end, or stress the birth
Of idle envoys? Will my gaze reverse
The pattern, roughly swat the form aright,
Or only skew the catachresis worse
For pious poets? Dismal in whose sight
We loom in low, like pests, and while you write
Like angels on a book-shelf in Berlin
We stand and wait for nothing to begin.
(For all the entries in this series, hit the “looking up” tab, or read the gargoyle FAQ.)
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