Patrick White

Rookie (September l5, l948 / Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada)

Blue Comet Of A Peacock Dragging Its Tail - Poem by Patrick White

Blue comet of a peacock dragging its tail
like the dowdy hen of a resplendent female
walking in your coronation like the Queen of Heaven
in a new wardrobe across my inner sky
like a broom down in the dumps of its middens
sweeping the stars off the stairs, open your eyes
like the Pleiades and see how even the dust can shine
when there's light in your seeing, and fire
in your starmud. Don't post your loveletter
in a hateful envelope. Smile. Like a kid with a sparkler.
Or as I did in my childhood whenever a new starmap
fell out of the National Geographic like a message
from God as if she'd just dropped one of her veils.
The way I've felt about women ever since.

Don't live like a mop when you were meant for splendour.
Even a matchbook can flare for a moment of two
like the stamens and pistils of a Chinese star gazer lily
with indelible ginger pollen. This might risk
being nauseously sententious, but don't be
the kind of explosion that keeps letting its fuse down.
Let your serpent fire run all the way up your spinal cord
through a gauntlet of planetesimal chakras
and explode like Roman candles in the firmament
of your mind mesmerized by the fireworks of your spirit.

There are sunsets, dawns and moonrises, night skies,
the grey pearls of cloudy noons you've never seen
waiting for you to claim them as the children
of your own eyes, artistic children impatient
to show you the pictures they drew in rainbow crayons
about the way they feel about you. Do you know
how hard dusk tries to be beautiful for you?
How Venus lingers like a blossom of larkspur
long after dark, though the sun has given up,
trying to catch your eye above the shopping mall?

You got it. Flaunt it. Like poppies in the wheat,
like the apple bloom of the moon strewn
like the wavelength of a particle when you look away
and something deep inside of you says follow me
I've laid out a flightpath of feathers for you.

Why keep the pages of your book uncut
like a fan in the hand of a poetess in Tokugawa Japan?
Let five petals open and one flower bloom
like a fleet of origami waterlilies raising their sails
on the Fall River in the summer just past Maberly.

When was beauty ever not a jewel looked upon as vain
by the ore of the houseflies in residence who
can't see their own smeared like the aurora borealis
on the stained-glass windows of their wings
in the indiscriminate sunlight? Let it shine, let it shine,
let it shine, and what it will be let it be to the blind.
Not all flowers open at the same time. The crowbars
of the dragonflies don't pry the eggcups
of the waterlilies open like grave-robbers
in the manger of some stranger's belated afterlife.

There's an hour that comes like insight to a fist
that tenderly unfolds each finger gently
and opens the soft palms of the wild cosmos
swaying like stars and butterflies at the end
of their aerials, to give freely of themselves
a generous answer to the stingy questions
about what we're all doing walking around on the earth.

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, January 20, 2013

Poem Edited: Monday, January 21, 2013

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