Patrick White (September l5, l948 / Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada)
Like The Headstone Of The Mountain Down Into the Grave Of The Valley
LIKE THE HEADSTONE OF THE MOUNTAIN COMING DOWN
Day four: any typos or complaints should be immediately
referred to the exhausted management. lol
Like the headstone of the mountain coming down
like the avalanche of a deposed crown
into the grave of the valley that’s been dug for it
like a housewell in the watershed of a mindstream
flowing on in the degenerating orbit of a Perseid meteor shower
replete with a potential extinction event heading for the Gulf of Mexico.
Like numbered ping pong balls at a cosmic church playing Bingo.
I’m trying to spike the punch bowl with a little laughter
in these wine dark seas I’m adrift on like a drunk sailor
in the depths of all these sweet, sweet tears whether
they’re black or white, empty as the farce of a sacred clown
or full as the hidden harvest in the body of a new moon.
Who cares at this point whether it’s an sos or an lol?
One is a good as the other for a last call sign
from a shipwreck with an oxymoronic sense of humour
laden with a cargo of farewells like a heart with a pulse
of cosmic ups and downs. Steady state or expanding
like space faster than light in a race of accelerating dark energy
to get to an unknown destination no one’s ever heard of before
like the leftover Shangri La of a spiritual ghost town
with an overgrown garden out back seeded with dragon’s teeth.
If tears do more good for the living than the dead,
I doubt if a little laughter in the mix of underground rivers
is going to do much harm to the way we get out of our minds
like angels slumming in the demonic nightclubs of paradise.
When you’re as crazed as I am sometimes the only way
you can sober up is by splashing a prayerful of
counter-intuitive wisdom in your face as if you were
about to meet a dark, dark mother of a goddess at a barn dance.
Let the picture music rip, let it rip, let it rip as if it
were only the cosmic backbeat of rock and roll
with an occasional rim shot on a heady full moon
as if its eyes had just fallen out of the sockets of a skull
full of love like the crown jewels of the comets from a dark halo.
Let’s dance moondogs around the sun and roam
like a pack of wild street angels patched by rainbows
in black leather like a covenant in a turf war we made
like sunspots with the maculate shining we made to midwife
the rebirth of the sun rising over the lunar mountain tops
and sealed with a blood oath running in our veins
like a mindstream rowing like a one-winged royal lifeboat
merrily, merrily, like a pageant of black swans on the Thames
of a terrifying dream that ends like a nightmare we’ve
just been woken up from in time to realize it never ends
as we go over the precipitous waterfalls like a waterclock
that’s lost sense of what hour it is like Thelma and Louise
laughing in glee at the liberating thrill of the descent
like a jump school for dandelion seeds learning to pack
their own parachutes out of the rags and bandages
they cut out of the death shroud of Turin like
the crumpled bedsheets of poetical mummies in love.
Let’s all fall together like a mammoth hunt toward paradise that’s just
discovered they can fly like Dumbo the elephant
by the wings of their ears riding the thermals of picture music
like a new mutation of a red-tailed hawk on the rosary of chromosomes
making wheelies on the double helix of our dna
like the bead of a new moon that’s just been added
like a sacred nickname for love we’ve been empowered by,
the secret of the dark mystery we could never keep to ourselves
not even now as we’re staring into oblivion when you would think
we would learn to shut up and stop laughing as we’re putting
these lucky pennies of past full moons on the eyelids of a death mask
that’s beginning to look more and more like us waxing and waning,
ebbing and neaping like the pulse of lunar tide in a skull cup
of sorrow and joy like a lava flow of new islands and lifeboats
on the flatlining plains and coronation calderas on the Sea of Tranquility.
As if we all wanted to be buried in a cremation of bones
on a pyre of nightskies with all our spurs, crowns, dancing shoes and boots on
like the stairwells in the whirling castles of stars in Corona Borealis
where the elephants that never forget go to die in a Celtic graveyard of stars.
Laughing like kids sliding down the bannisters of some kind
of crazy-wise afterlife in their wake and living and loving
the ride so much they can’t wait to rise from their graves like the moon
from the madness of their dreams and nightmares and do it all again
as if they left just enough of the door of a total eclipse ajar
to let the light in like Bailey’s beads shining through the valleys
of the mountains that toppled into them like a cult
of truant grave robbers playing hookey from the wheel
of life and death they’ve been chained to for awhile,
and not wasting a moment of the Ixionic joy of it.
We danced our way in through the entrance to life
and though we’re less innocent than we used to be
let’s treat death with the same respect, and dance
our way out through the exit if we can. Impress Nietzsche
in chaos if that’s possible, cheer him up a bit: yes, we gave birth to a dancing star,
we didn’t squander the dark mother’s fire womb behind all this,
we didn’t waste it on anything less than poetic ecstasy
from beginning to end. We blooded our abstractions
and made a friend of every hungry ghost we ever danced with
until they were made of flesh and bone like us again,
fallible visionaries trying not to step on anyone’s toes
like a mountains of compassion grinding it out like strippers in a mosh pit.
Yes, our lives were an open book. Nothing to hide. And we were born with the eyes for it.
Comments about this poem (Like The Headstone Of The Mountain Down Into the Grave Of The Valley by Patrick White )
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