Treasure Island

Brian Patten

(7 February 1946 / Liverpool / England)

Doubt shall not make an end of you


Doubt shall not make an end of you
nor closing eyes lose your shape
when the retina's light fades;
what dawns inside me will light you.
In our public lives we may confine ourselves to darkness,
our nowhere mouths explain away our dreams,
but alone we are incorruptible creatures,
our light sunk too deep to be of any social use
we wander free and perfect without moving
or love on hard carpets
where couples revolving round the room
end found at its centre.
Our love like a whale from its deepest ocean rises -
I offer this and a multitude of images
from party rooms to oceans,
the single star and all its reflections;
being completed we include all
and nothing wishes to escape us.
Beneath my hand your hardening breast agrees
to sing of its own nature,
then from a place without names our origin comes shivering.
Feel nothing separate then,
we have translated each other into light
and into love go streaming.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Mick Law (10/14/2007 12:29:00 PM)

    What an incredibley sensual and passionate poem. Patten has the ability to evoke the overwhelming all consuming nature of love without dressing it up in flowery over-used cheese.

    He contrasts the overpowering, almost claustrophobic intensity of new love with their 'public lives' where no one catches a hint of their deep passionate pesonal moments. It's adds a sort of 'if only you knew what we do and what we feel! '

    The Simile of the whale, through the real touch of her breast followed by the metaphor of light, describe the sexual act in such an erotic and stimulating way.Well it did it for me!

    I was really moved by this piece of work. There is a real honesty in the lyric and not a hint of pretense. Although no doubt greater, more worthy critics than me, could find some if they really tried REALLY hard. (Report) Reply

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