To become the possibility you are, stay still,
do not run or fly up. Stand where you are,
and wait for kind eyes and gentle hands.
Receive yourself through hands and eyes,
that hold you and love you at depth.
To become the thing you are not, quick-
march after your nearest obsession;
the one dressed up as fair desire,
the one that, if your hand was unclenched,
could be found filed under Romantic Lies.
To become what you are not,
bind yourself to acquisitive pursuit,
be a pawn to the approving glance,
a puppet to tomorrow’s fascination,
a slave to pomp and self-pity.
And when your heart is self-housed,
and your mind oxidized by envy,
you will conclude that to be,
you must possess, not merely,
the object, but the other.
And so you arrive at connivance,
and betrayal, if it comes to that.
For most often, the prick
of existential lack, is sharpest
when with your choicest friend.
And in the furnace of ill-shapen want,
your surrogate victim is offered,
to the grim gods of scarcity.
And you—once earnest and eager disciple—
are hidden from mercy, hostage to malice.
But to become the possibility you are,
the shining dust of the hidden God,
simply love a model that is true,
and receive yourself through eyes,
that love you at depth.
Thirty years ago, poet Pat Lowther was to read at the Ironworkers Hall on Columbia Street in Vancouver, with Patrick Lane, David Day and Peter Trower. Just a few days before the event, Pat Lowther was murdered with a hammer by her husband Roy, also a poet. Roy had not been invited to read. Earlier, he had raged on the phone to Patrick Lane, "She’s got no right to take my only audience away from me." Roy Lowther died in prison in 1985.