Patrick White

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

Let It Go, Let It Go, Let It Go - Poem by Patrick White

Let it go, let it go, let it go, as if my soul
were sweeping out a season of unleafing,
sodden feelings, sodden hearts, the rose ruined,
cumbrous clouds gusting over the eyelashes
of the treeline like dust at the broom of the treeline.
Cold-blooded, shedding an old sky, half in,
half out, I dream like a snake thickening
in its own coils as the autumn turns soporific
of weaving a flying carpet of the roads I've walked
the whole length of myself alone at night
only to discover that it was me that was flowing
and every step I took burnt like a new beginning
as if I were firewalking a graveyard shift of stars.

If you want to open the third eye of the needle
in the haystack of your mind, set fire to it.
What's left shining in the ashes is a ticket out of here.
The serpent's gone down the black hole
after a rabbit like Lepus at the heels of Orion,
like a gamma ray burst of annihilative clarity
and come out the other side of midnight in an hourglass
drying its wings like a dragon from the chrysalis
of an urn with the intensity of a furnace.
The world crowds out the truth of its own existence.
I'm pierced by the wounded insights of a butterfly
into the crazy wisdom of a flightpath without a starmap
that knows anything about where I'm going
or in retrospect, been. I've spent a whole lifetime
trying to mean what I see when I get myself out of the way
like an eclipse of fireflies. I experience the world
like an abyss with eyes looking into its own ferocious solitude.

I know by the whirlwind I'm reaping, it's harvest time.
The whole earth's a silo and a grave. Wheat seeds
in a pyramid waiting to sprout like time locks
on their afterlife when the planets align with the sun
at midnight to wake them up from the absurdities
of what they were dreaming. How strange it all is.
How vague the assurances of our sacred doubts.
I try to keep faith with my absolute uncertainty
like the third wing of a bird hovering between two extremes
and though I'm full of dark energy, strive
not to be the antithesis of everything else
like the enlargement of space in an expanding universe,
where the stars are moving further apart everytime I look.

Formless, does the mind speak to itself in a grammar of things
like dark matter providing a vocabulary for itself
to say the world into existence like a gesture of light
to keep the heart from reading its fate in between the lines
of an overwrought nervous system rooted like axons
in a garden of starmud perishing like a potted plant in a skull?
Sometimes I think I've gone mad, the pain
gets so unbearable in this tragic mime of exile,
when I realize how utterly inane everything is
as the transients walk through the gates of their homelessness
like a stranger on a return journey to a place
that's irrevocably changed like a future that happened
in the wake of an absence that was always behind
whatever he was looking for when he left.

Are we just here to cross our own thresholds of being
like mystic deaths to deepen the solitude of our seeing
as if the seeing itself were the optical illusion of the light
that follows us like a guide lost in the shadows
of who we thought we were yesterday
like the past of a star with an extinct future
always catching up to us with news of the moment now?
Knowledge as the fossil of a future event
we're always trying to predict. Hairy stars
like toupees on the pates of our bald telescopes.
It's only when you hold your mind up to the dark
to look for the source of the light, that you realize
how lost you are and how many time-zones
can be cast simultaneously by the single shadow
of a waterclock running through the woods
like the mindstream of the Milky Way
we keep weaning ourselves from
like vulnerable gods hiding out in uterine caves
with umbilical cords as long as the Road of Ghosts.

I try to see the whole in my own dismemberment
like Kirlian light. A moment of union
in eras of separation, myriads gathered into one
that can't help transcending itself like a fountain.
Some look for the grail. Some for the watershed.
And some ask the living in the language of the dead
what it means, if anything, to be alive in the fall.
As a bush wolf calls out like the only witness
of its homely longing like a summons
on a hill in the distance that's heard it all before
and knows the ensuing silence is probably
the most comprehensively compassionate answer.


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Poem Submitted: Friday, October 12, 2012

Poem Edited: Saturday, October 13, 2012


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