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...
The beast of a thousand unconsummated yesterdays
born without names in the gutter
roars in the rags of its own blood
for the poxy apricot of the rising moon. My voice
is a guitar without strings, the dark well
of an eclipse that eats the dragon
that has lingered too long in the depths without stars.
The crazy windows in this burning room
plead for a reason, a purpose, a sign