Patrick White

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

In The Straight Up Building Across The Street - Poem by Patrick White

In the straight up building across the street,
a master work of stone masons dead at least a hundred years,
now abused as a bank, the fieldstones that were pink in the dawn,
roseate quartz, are still yellow as wheat in the dusk.
Mood rings of the way the light feels about things.

Milky blue sky and grimy windows, a crystal menagerie
of perfectly still mobiles and stained glass stars
with stubby white candles waiting
for someone to light their wicks with conviction
hanging from cuphooks on the windowframe
to glean the lean insights of the light in winter.

I adorn my solitude with a palace of translucencies
in a dumpy upstairs studio apartment. I paint
the walls of the cave my prophetic skull contains
like an abyss in the palette of my emotions
with starlike things and wheeling solar systems
that would make you think the only path in life to take
is dancing around one another, pendulously suspended
from thin silver chains linked like ripples of rain
into the vertebrae of slender spines, gleaming stems
of the low hanging fruits of the earth. Among them. My brain.

Deep blue jars on the windowsill, mystic nights
in a poor man's cathedral, how many highbeams
on the cars passing down below like blood cells
have they brought to enlightenment without
anyone realizing it as the achievement of their usual discipline?
That wisdom is as capricious as beauty about
the fathomless lucidities of life that happen in the blink of an eye.
The light doesn't insult time apportioning out its gifts.
One firefly's enough to ignite an entire universe.

Icons of bliss. I make a shrine to the light of any place
I'm living in. I illuminate the innate darkness
that overtakes me from time to time like an eyeless nightsky.
Black holes in my galactic spirit crazed for the light
that sends out missionaries to convert their void bound invisibility
through the medium of my sensory starmud into wildflowers
blooming like starmaps of my imagination all over the earth.


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Poem Submitted: Monday, January 14, 2013



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