Patrick White

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

I See You In The Eyes Of The Rain - Poem by Patrick White

I see you in the eyes of the rain
and in the broken aspirations of the swallow
that hit the windowpane dead on.
Fire that no longer burns.
Water that no longer drowns.
Earth that no longer receives.
A gust of air that no one breathes.

I see you in the tender, green tendrils
of the wild grapevines clinging to life
like the last plank of a shipwrecked lifeboat
washed up on the shore of the moon.
The most bitter farewells are those
compelled by understanding
to cry a little in the open doorway
and leave as if there were nothing more to say.

Words lightyears beyond communication.
Metaphors like burning bridges
that never quite make it to the other side.
And o how gentle an eclipse comes
to a lover's coltish eyes
when it's time to say good-bye
and if you're a bad man, it's revenge,
and if you're good, it's a sacrifice.

Good-bye, get out, be gone,
I'll live on in my palace of lonely windows
like a man with class in an hourglass
and I'll write faceless songs
to the passage of time as autumn approaches.

Leave me now to the pain
I must wrestle with alone
like an angel in my way
that knows I don't have what it takes
to pull up stakes like a heretic
before I burn for the mistakes I made
on your invigilated test of love.

Once I feel like a loser again
I know I'm at home with myself
and I can feel the clouds laughing in tears
as I get around like rain.
I loved your body like a wishing well.
You loved my brain like an occult spell.

Three afterlives of a star, once you left me
holding the medicine bag of your absence,
I named a desolate street after you
like some kind of municipal gift
to the run down ghetto of a sub-prime heart.

My pain is consoled by my art
like a weather vane is comforted by the weather.
I ghost write the lyrics of the storm.
I incite riots against the norm.
I blood my poems like spearheads
in a wound that never scars the moon.

I shall be the nightwatchman
who makes the rounds of the zodiac
inspecting doors and windows
that are steadfastly closed to him
like lilies in the festering gene pools
of the idle rich in their bridal tents
spawning into money like goldfish.

I shall be an eagle at the extremity
of my wingspan and soar over the smoke
of burning cities like a cinder of freedom
in the eye of a failed revolution
and I will not lament my own extinction
when my starmud settles like a constellation
into the hearsay of bloodshot mirrors.

I will linger in precipitous heights
then shriek like the paper airplane of a poem
down on some bumptious homing pigeon
that was promised a comfortable flight
from here to there, until it was
snatched from the air like a pillow fight.

I will do this because I can feel the glee
of my talons sinking into hypocrisy
like the three crescents of the moon
with an eyrie full of skeletal snakes
that look like a pit full of twisted combs
without any meat on their bones.

Liars convince. Communicators convey.
It isn't what I say. It's the way I say it
that makes all the difference to the meaning
that tones me like a moody chameleon
resonating with a tuning fork of colour
that flickers like a photo-op of lightning
trying to get a glimpse of itself in the mirror.

And then I'm an illiterate divinity student
with a heart as big as an orphanage
full of baffled pilgrims that have lost their way
crutching through the labyrinths of the divine
on a cross that walks them to the end of the line
like the rapture of an apocalyptic anti-climax.

I talk to God about you and she talks back
like a comprehensive alibi for the way things are.
She's got a scar as big as the smile
on the dark side of her face she keeps
turned away from me like an embarassed moon
she doesn't want to reveal to anyone.
But I can see it in the rear view mirror
of my infernal lucidity leading me away from her
like an atomic Sufi reversing my spin
in the charged particle field of my happy sin.

I walk on the wild side in cowboy boots
in a truce with the shadows of Zen
that says a great general may establish peace
but that doesn't mean he gets to enjoy it.
And I'm resigned to the sternness of my discipline
like salt to the earth, like a sail to the wind,
like a ferocious heart to a gentle mind.


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Poem Submitted: Friday, May 25, 2012



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