Patrick White

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

Feel Lost Sometimes - Poem by Patrick White

Feel lost sometimes, abandoned, a loser
that's been fighting a guerrilla rear guard action against myself.
Light years of shining and I feel reduced
to these colours and words crawling across thresholds
that recede like inconceivable farewells into the past.
No human touch, but three goldfish named after
the Greek city states of Athens, Thebes and Sparta,
in an expanding solitude that's all womb, and no embryo
however the stars swim through the Milky Way upstream
like salmon to the creative wisdom of their sacred spawning pools.
We're all sharing the same aquarium like a life support system,
a lifeboat that knows it's a shoreless life
so it's highly unrealistic to expect to be washed up anywhere
except on the moon, there's always the moon,
where the mad go berserk in the shadows of its tides.

There's a pettiness about my wounds, though
several go deep, that makes me feel like a creep sometimes
when I consider that I'm alive enough
not to have been finished off by them
and God knows what I owe for the wisdom
that's accrued to me like a shipwreck on the bottom
that's being used as an artificial coral reef.
Sometimes I feel my heart's being swallowed alive
like the virtues of a noble enemy
or a frog in a fetid bog of waterlilies
crawling with snakes like the radioactive wavelengths
of black lightning experimenting with flesh and blood.

Every poem I write, another sail, another horizon
I'm going off the edge of like the flat earth of a lily pad
down a black hole with more dimensions than it can fathom.
Even in spring, autumn's always approaching
like some orthodoxy of decay with a silver stake,
a thorn of the moon, to hammer into the heart of the scarecrow
that got mistaken for some kind of vampire
after standing guard over the harvest so long
through all kinds of tempests and turmoils
even the crows admired him safely from shelter
like a street drunk in the tent of an all weather overcoat
from the wardrobe of a Salvation Army bin
with straw padded shoulders that made him look
as if he'd been crucified like a sacred clown just for the fun of it.

I preserve my self-pity like fireflies I've put up for the winter
in a canning jar where they're all dogpaddling for their life
in a red tide of pectin running like a bloodstream in the light.
And I send my imagination out like a dragon on reconnaissance
to search out what everyone else is missing
so I can plot this airlift of self-healing metaphors more accurately
than the dandelion seeds I've been sending out lately
like parachutes candling in the manes of the lions of the sun
to ease their suffering as if I couldn't be whole again until they were
even in the way we all fall to earth, some on good,
some on bad soil like Icarus scattered on the wind,
and some like me, into the uncharted seas of awareness
like a rogue star sent into exile by an albatross
that makes it impossible to tell from one day to the next
whether it's a blessing or a curse, or it's me that's hexed
the way life seems to advance as you get older retrogressively.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, August 24, 2012

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