Patrick White

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

I'Ve Always Thought - Poem by Patrick White

I've always thought a shared vision was best,
the tree, doubly witnessed, sweeter in the fruit,
the star seen rising over the hill by two,
exponentially enhanced in its shining
because it binds more than itself and another
in the herb of its light, because
nothing exists except as the sum of the eyes that have seen it
either side of the mirror, and two watching
in love or friendship
realize the world as a solitary river
with an infinite number of confluent banks
unravelling like snakes in every direction,
none flowing the wrong way, all,
the vivid wavelength of an ancient pulse
that grows a heart like a door in a tree,
a lighthouse in the dark
or the moon on the breast of a wave.
Look at a shoelace or a chromosome
or the wings of a thermalling hawk
to see what I mean:
one and together make three,
and three makes everything a shape of space.
I and you are only two, a mere reflection.
But when you look upon something with love,
one glance is enough to show you
all the rivers and trees and valleys of earth,
all the flowers and mountains and birds,
all the fingertips and bells and tides and tears,
all the planets clustered like cherries
that laboured to make your face
the mould and model of their own,
right down to the urns of the stars
that marrowed the gold of your bones
out of the ashes of their dead, all there
from the very beginning of all
when God said let there be light
and there was only light and God
until the light said
let there be love instead
let there be love instead
let there be love instead
and the dark was filled with eyes.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 13, 2012

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