and time began. Then for a long time you were silent.
Your second word was man, and fear began,
which grips us still.
Are you about to speak again?
I don't want to know your third word.
Sometimes I pray: Please don't talk.
Let all your doing be by gesture only.
Go on writing in faces and stone
what your silence means."
Excerpted from Rilke's Book of Hours. Translation by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy. (c) 1996.