author’s note:

Easy to forget that we’re in outer space.


what I saw was probably
just a car headlight
switching from low to bright
then from bright to low
up there on the hillside.

the sight thrilled my heart
before I could stop to think

and when
the light blinked off
a few moments later
(or maybe it was an hour)
my eyes began to search
the heavens in hope

even as I told myself:
you’ll find nothing above
except a litter of stars

and indeed
though I did strain
that’s all I could see:
distant balls of gas

but so many…
more than I could possibly take in—

once again
I felt our universe to be
something so much greater
than my small mind
can comprehend…

once again
I felt microscopic
in the mystery—

wonderfully insignificant.

Yes, I told myself
probably just a headlight
beaming from low to bright
then from bright to low
over and over again

but even so…

a blessed event.

© 2017, Michael R. Patton
Searching for My Best Beliefs: a book


author’s note:

“Drink me.”
      — from Alice in Wonderland


Some say
the medieval science
of alchemy
can be a useful metaphor

but I say:
a better metaphor
for human transformation
might be wine-making—

the process
is not only less complex
but also open to all

because who among us
has not been crushed?

and after the stomping
we need to be encouraged
to go into the dark—
the metaphor would help us accept
the time and restriction necessary
for our potent potion
to develop.

Then later
when I resist the next step
the metaphor would show me
the reason for opening.

Yes, I’m still fascinated
by the possibilities of alchemy
however, I know
the design of my life
might limit me
to a less lofty goal…

life may limit me
but I won’t limit my life—
I won’t limit my flow
—I’ll pour

myself out—
all I’ve got to give now

followed by more tomorrow…

this winemaker
will never rest…

© 2017, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog


author’s note:

He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.
            — Dr. Johnson


When I lived
as a wild hirsute beast
I grunted
at the beautiful pleasures
of this Earth—
I grunted
at the pain

and felt no need for language

until one night…

when I suddenly saw
a living mystery
of moonlight and shadow
bound within the tangles and barbs
of this mundane jungle.

Since that eternal moment
I’ve struggled to express
the beauty and pain
of our human life—

I’ve struggled to maintain
that awareness.

Yes, I often seem to regress—
I slip—
and sometimes when I slip
I snarl and spit

but then the shock
of striking down
awakens me
and I realize again
the cowardice
of trying to kill the pain—
of trying to reject

and in so seeing, I deepen—
   in deepening to the pain
   I deepen to the beauty.

© 2017, Michael R. Patton
dream steps: another blog


author’s note:

A poem for our Winter season.


The garden of dead leaves taught me:

beneath the surface
of the stagnant black pond
rich life multiplies.

The garden taught me:

moist decay in the shadow
will magically blossom into
circles of pink mushroom.

The garden told me:

don’t worry—
you’re exactly where you need to be…

© 2017, Michael R. Patton
Searching for My Best Beliefs: a poetry book

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