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When You Look At A Star - Poem by Patrick White

When you look at a star
can you see
how the night leaves
the intimate doors
of intuitive eventuality ajar?
I'm all future with a prophetic past.
Aviomantic signs of liberated doves.
So many lifespans in a single moment.
How many light-years to the nearest star?
And how many shadows back?
Trying to say the inexpressible in words is like
to trying to thaw a snowstorm
on the tip of your tongue
flake by flake syllabically
or trying to explain bubbles to a glacier
in a momentary suspension of disbelief.
When you look at a star
do you see
that's it's you
that's shining up that far
and it's you down here
receiving your own light back like a ball
you made of your childhood
and threw up in the air
like a celestial sphere
when you had
all the time in the world
to come back and catch it later?
And as I grew older
not waiting for it to come back down
I learned to play vertical pool with the stars
to move things around
that were once considered fixed.
When you look at a star
if you want to clear the table
if you want to make the longshot
if you want to change the birthmark of misfortune
into an upturned elephant trunk of good luck
you have to chalk the cue with your skull.
But I ask you earnestly
if no one's ever failed their death
is it probable
anyone's ever failed their life
despite what their tears and fears have told them
about where they've ended up?
But a good beginning doesn't lead to a good end
because a good beginning never stops.
A good beginning is without conclusion.
It doesn't need to look beyond itself
because nothing's missing from the very start.
When you look at a star
do you see the ancient wisdom
in a child's heart
do you feel the depth
of all the eyes that have looked at it before
with longing wonder and sorrow
asking you to give them some direction
by adding yourself like another dimension to the past?
Is there a firefly of human suffering
mingled in the shining?
A window makes a better starmap
than a ten inch mirror
in a Schmidt-Cassegrain reflecting telescope
on an equatorial mount with clock drive
following them around like paparazzi
but when the stars want to know
where they're at
it's your eyes they parallax
at both ends
of the wingspan of your orbit.
It's your seeing that gives them a fix.
The same eye by which I see God
is the eye by which God sees me.
It's the same with everything
from fireflies to supernovas.
The donkey looks into the well.
The well looks back at the donkey.
Tat tvam asi.
You are that.
The lampshade and the blue parrot.
The donkey and the carrot.
When you look at a star
do you dress your destiny up
in hand-me-down constellations
like clothes you'll grow into one day
or do you wear them like patchs on myths
you're trying to give up
about how rough it's been
to be chosen beauty queen
and bear the diamond tiara of the Pleiades
like the Northern Crown?
When you look at a star
is it the chip of a broken mirror
the plinth of a shattered chandelier
the Holy Ghost of fireflies
a fire-womb of immaculate fusions
that bear the transgender features
of their ancestral elements
like Abrahamic hydrogen?
A burning bush
in the valley of Tuwa
that eventually talks itself out like a candle
when the conversation begins to harden
like an auditory hallucination
into a puddle
of earwax shadows and wicks?
Or do you discern something more
you can't quite put your finger on
or point to
not a presence
but there
an absence
but everywhere
and you standing there
like this tiny insight
with the precipitous extremeties
of a human being
trying to discover your own nature
in the inexplicability of all that shining
wondering if the rumours of awareness
the universe has been spreading about you
are true or not?
When you look at a star
have you ever thought
if mass is energy
maybe matter is mind
and thinking of one
as something that has to get over the other
is like expecting a wave to transcend water?
Light and lamp.
Body and mind.
Not one of two
but two in one
and even that's one too much.
The flower opens
in the light of the sun
like a kiss on the eyelid
and the sun blooms
as if it had a crush on the flower.
When you look at a star
can you feel how the light
touchs your eyes as gently as a butterfly
as if all the eyelashs you've lost in a lifetime
like the ribbing of broken kites
or the spokes of a bike
or the straws of overworked brooms
had come back to you
as a living thing
with antennae legs and wings?
Have you ever looked at a star
and wondered how far away it would be
if you were to measure the distance in thought-years?
And such a small thing the mind
a child's hand
and yet within its grasp
all that mass black matter energy light space time?
How could you fit
all those cosmic immensities
and the abyss that contains them
into such a small place
if they weren't your own ideas?
When you look at a star
do you ever get the feeling
you're swimming through your own gene-pool
your own meme pool
the Pierian spring
where it meets the sea
at the bottom of your mountain mindstream?
When you look at a star
do you ever turn the light around
and look into yourself
through its eyes
and realize
you've been communing with your own reflection
inconceivably
for billions of years
and that little insight
is the cosmic light of awareness
that fills the night with everything that is
when is is not the opposite of is not
and there's no separation in the first atom
between thought life light mind matter and form
and the lion lies down with the lamb
and the old woman says she is not old
and the sparrow lays her egg in the serpent's coil
and the old man who has seen everything says
my eyes are as young now
as you were back then
and your beauty is today?
When I was a boy
growing up in a garbage can
like a diamond in the rough
everyone wanted to cut
and buff the edges off
to polish me like a lens
so everybody could see how focused I was
when I looked up at the stars
from the bottom of a spent wishing well
where you could see them even during the day.
Though I was taught
they were responsible for my fate
and I should blame them for what I am
and not the black dwarfs of hate
who perverted the space around me
like slumlords
until even the buds of the flowers
were white as the knuckles of clenched fists
I never thought for a moment
that anything that clean and beautiful
that far away
from the scene of the crime at the time
could ever do anything here
that needed an alibi.
When I looked at the stars
I was enraptured by their mystery.
I was exalted by their unattainability
and the age of the silence
that surrounded their fires
knowing they've burned longer
than the light has lived
and seen more
than their eyes can forgive
of human life on the planet.
And the greatest agony of my childhood
from seven till ten
such that I would weep
my bitterness to sleep every night
like a child abandoned to a hospital
was that I was born way too early
to get to Aldebaran.
When I looked at a star
I didn't gape like a telescope
into the depths of its utter solitude
but looked upon it like a far intimacy
I could draw near
until I could feel it breathing like silver
all over the mirror
that was as clear
as any dark spear
that ever wounded a mystic with bliss.
Strange whisperings of exiled sages
pouring stories of home
into a young boy's ear
like my mother used to talk about
her childhood in Queensland
as if she were in the Garden of Eden.
When I looked at a star
and listened to its picture-music
I was so deeply moved
by the beauty and sadness of the song
like inspiration in utter solitude
I went into exile with it here
and it was my blossom
no wind could blow away
and it was my root
in the starmud
nothing could pull up
and throw away.
When I looked at a star
I was enthralled
by the dispassionate attachment
and creative dynamic
that burned me like a sacrificial heretic
in the ice of inspiration.
I could forget the small orbit
of house arrest
that a circumstantial planet
had affixed like an electronic anklet around my leg
for being born unforgivably poor.
When I looked at a star
it was as if the flightfeather
of a bluewhite fire bird
landed on the windowsill of my cell
to take pity on me
and share its freedom
with someone living in a cage.
When I looked at a star
it was the synteretic spark
I sent out like a dove from the ark
with two of every mind
in the zodiac aboard
after forty days of flood
to look for Atlantis
like the next best thing
to Mt. Ararat or Cathay.
It was the angel that always looked back
with the same mystic fury in its eyes
that were in mine
when I looked up.
When I looked at a star
I could prognosticate the future
like the distant memory
of someone returning to their origins
waking up from exile
to discover it wasn't a dream.
You can tell by the way a star
flashs like a panicked chameleon
on the event horizon of a blackhole
things are what they seem
when you're peering through atmospheres
with tears in your eyes.
I used to make telescopes when I was young.
I would grind their pyrex eyes
with ever finer grades of carborundum
until they could see just right.
I shaped their fibre-glass bodies
until they were as smooth as a woman's skin.
And I took them out into the open fields naked
far beyond the intrusions of the city lights
and exposed them to the stars
who revered them like clear-eyed mirrors
and adorned one with leaves
and the other with sidereal veils
and said like the elders
and old midwives of an Ojibway tribe
when they name the newborn.
This one shall be called Eve.
And this one Isis.
And to celebrate their birth
opened a third eye
and said
as it is on earth
it shall not be in the sky.


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Poems About Star

  1. 1. When You Look At A Star , Patrick White
  2. 2. To My Darling Raneem , MOHAMMAD SKATI
  3. 3. The Star , Edith Nesbit
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  5. 5. Fortune , Morgan Michaels
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  7. 7. Kira My Shining Star , Michael P. McParland
  8. 8. Shoot The Shooting Star , RIC S. BASTASA
  9. 9. Bright Star , Stefanie Fontker
  10. 10. Mom , Manthra Hariharan
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  12. 12. Where There A Smile Thus There A Special.. , Raymond Sawyer
  13. 13. Shiny Star , Solomon Crane
  14. 14. The Night The Stars Of Respect Touch Onc.. , Raymond Sawyer
  15. 15. The Smile Of A Star Is The Smile Of Star.. , Raymond Sawyer
  16. 16. Every Star That One See Is A Special Star. , Raymond Sawyer
  17. 17. The Star Of Star Bucks Is The Star Of Re.. , Raymond Sawyer
  18. 18. North Star , Elyssa Mathy
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  21. 21. Superstar , Jojo JAC
  22. 22. Where There A Family Thus The Family Is .. , Raymond Sawyer
  23. 23. My Star , Alejandra The Best
  24. 24. Wish On A Star , Lilly Emerson Brayfield
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  30. 30. The Stars Of The Night Is The Stars Of R.. , Raymond Sawyer
  31. 31. To Wish Upon A Star Is To Wish For Star .. , Raymond Sawyer
  32. 32. Last Star... , Michael K...
  33. 33. The Stronger Respect Get The Stronger Th.. , Raymond Sawyer
  34. 34. For Where There Respect There Happiness. , Raymond Sawyer
  35. 35. To Dance Under The Stars Is To Dance Wit.. , Raymond Sawyer
  36. 36. A Special Star Is The Star Of Respect. , Raymond Sawyer
  37. 37. The Stars Of The Night Is The Stars Of S.. , Raymond Sawyer
  38. 38. For One To Count A Star Thus One Count T.. , Raymond Sawyer
  39. 39. The Touch Of A Star Is Like The Touch Of.. , Raymond Sawyer
  40. 40. Night The Night Wind Whisper The The Nam.. , Raymond Sawyer
  41. 41. The Stars That Touch A Rose Is The Star.. , Raymond Sawyer
  42. 42. Where There A Star Thus There Respect. , Raymond Sawyer
  43. 43. Like A Star! , Grace Andahwa
  44. 44. To See A Angel Is To See The Face Of The.. , Raymond Sawyer
  45. 45. Nightwish , Talem G. W.
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  47. 47. The Train Ride Is Like Being Touch With .. , Raymond Sawyer
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