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...
No Matter How Far
No matter how far into the past the star travels,
plunging its white fingers into the expanding womb of the past
to pull its own damp head out of convulsive space,
it will never find a beginning, the widening cleft between two thoughts
opening like a mouth full of silence, a sluice gate of thick water,
a dark prelude, the first letter alpha breaking like an eye
out of the eclipsed envelope into a splendour of light
to hang its jewel, its dropp of flammable water
from the i