Patrick White

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

I Would Speak To You In My Night Voice - Poem by Patrick White

I would speak to you in my night voice
if you were still here. If you were even as near
as the stars commingled in my breath,
I'd thaw my secret zodiac of crystal skulls
and let my mindstream run wild at your feet
like a flashflood waking the dry creekbed up
from its long dream of making the desert bloom
with real flowers in a mirage of metaphors.
I would ignite the pilot lights of a thousand stars
to blaze in an honour guard of mythic starmaps
waiting for you to bless their colours,
because wonder's never been known to start a war
with a world it's amazed by in every mesmerizing detail
without annihilating itself first, bursting
its own bubble in an efflorescent multiverse.

I'm a surrealistic mystic to give it a funny name,
and you've seen my hidden housewells, sacred pools
receiving the moonlight on the water like the blades
of ceremonial swords that tasted my blood first
like a rose bleeds on its own thorns, now let me
show you my watersheds, the fathomless voids
of dark abundance and bright vacancy
where my eyes swim like the Circlet Of The Western Fish
that never swim out of themselves
or the oceanic awareness they're luminously
immersed in up to their gills in the clear light
of the emptiness shining back at them like a distant mind.

Under the icy eyelids of methane seas on shepherd moons
I can feel life stirring like the muse of itself
and though it's too early in evolution to see yet
I've jumped ahead of myself like the light of the Pleiades
and gathered up a herd of wild telescopes
grazing on the stars like big-eyed, thin-legged antelopes
waiting for you to make an appearance on opening night
and watch how they'd dance and leap for you
like grasshoppers in the Bolshoi Ballet
who didn't give a damn that autumn was on its way
to throw cold water on the fire because in this universe
imagination is the physics of the place, and the ants
might busy themselves gathering butterfly wings
like the covers of slender chapbooks of poetry,
but I'm drunk on these lyrical elixirs of the mind
that I take as a sign that you are near in the night
and who has to worry about snow,
when they can live in your light on an occult planet
where myriad seasons can pass in a moment of spontaneity
and the fruits of life invariably fall toward the sky?

Are we both not rooted in the ancient fires overhead?
Nervous systems of black matter, scaffolding the mind
climbs up to paint the origin of worlds before their grand openings,
dark palettes of our third eye, skeletons of pictographic bones
beneath these scriptures of flesh we can read with our fingertips
like holy books and X rays written in the boustrophic signs
of the last time we ploughed the dark side of the moon together
and filled the siloes of the stars with galaxies
that spun like Tibetan prayerwheels, or Moroccan Sufis
or dust devils at the heels of winged messengers
conducting us like the flightfeathers of the dark arcana
we can read in each others eyes like loveletters
written in the cursive dream grammar the heart sings to itself in
when it's a lonely nightbird, and you're there like the stars.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, August 29, 2012



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