Patrick White Poems
The Widening Compass Of Pain
At war with the world and yourself
like two halves of the same unbroken wishbone,
teach the children how to approach their crossroads
in peace, and speak of the sword of the slayer
like a sacred syllable in the mouth of the slain
that cut through your umbilical cord
like a link in a golden chain that held you back
from the liberation of a lyrically unbounded life.
Mollify the poison of the thorn with the cure
in the medicine bag of the other fang.
When the wedding gown of the Japanese plum tree
is ruined in the rain and the dust like...
Burning World, Take Me
Burning world, take me, fold me in your flaming arms
and let me disappear into the unforgiving night.
Among these blind, here, in their black eggs,
eyeless birds who nest in their own ignorance,
I am the leper of light they drive out
with the stone of the moon, the wolf
with the mystic wound that will not heal until the last star
is born of the bleeding. Return me to the cold, brutal beauty
of your mineral wilderness, my bones on Venus