Patrick White

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

Faceless This Time Of Night - Poem by Patrick White

Faceless this time of night, my skin evaporates like dry ice
into a deepening sense of containment
by a dark space with distant cities of light
trying to colonize the Pythagorean fireflies of Cretona,
or the shimmering mirage of Port Angeles
dancing like a seance at the foot of the mountains
across a hundred miles of the Georgia Strait at night,
the immensity of the freedom that dwarfs the stars
with the sheer magnitude of the labour before them.

The fragility of a spinal cord traversing the abyss
of a one-stringed box guitar made of cardboard
when you were a kid, the mere filament
of an anachronistic light bulb with the lifespan
of the wick of an apostate candle at a black mass,
disappointed it wasn't born a flower,
but a weed more at home among the stars
that uprooted it from its intimacy with the earth
like a kindred spirit of light
that must wander through its own solitude
like music at night from an open window
in the life of the mind to reach out to them
like a tendril of smoke from the embering nugget
of the heart nesting in a private crown of fire
that abdicated its empire of ashes for a single note
of the night bird's longing to sing back up
like a bell for a sad universe that's always on the road.

I hear crying in the distance, the dark lament of the hills.
The night creek weeping unseen through hidden valleys.
I can taste the deaths and sorrows, the broken promises
of the rain, drifting like the fragrance of a waterlily
like a star reflected on the undivined watershed of its tears
saturating the air. Matter a condensation of the light,
I can feel life moving through this body, this flesh,
this scrap of starmud, a rush of water, a gust of stars,
a purple passage of blood, a breath of fire and wind,
and the earth, not solid, but real, animating all my limbs,
my vital organs like the ripening fruit of a rootless tree
as if time wept like a bell in me as well, and its tears,
heavy with the weight of too many separations,
yet wise in the ways of the sky, sweetened the fall to come.

Comments about Faceless This Time Of Night by Patrick White

  • (8/15/2012 9:33:00 AM)

    This is an excellent poem, one of the best I`ve read on this site. You have the literary talent of your namesake.
    Great job.
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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 14, 2012

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