author’s note:

Short.


THE HEROINE DEVELOPS HER BELIEF SYSTEM WHILE WAITING FOR THE NEXT CONTRACTION

Kinda cruel
to push a child into 
a world so cruel.

I suppose I was only thinking
of what I wanted for myself.

Well, too late now.

But at least I’m giving a soul
an opportunity to grow.

Yes, we will grow
as I help this visitor find ways
to deal with the madness of our planet.

myth steps blog
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© 2022, Michael R. Patton
author’s note:

We need more nervous heroes in our movies and TV shows.


STANDING IN THE STORM

Apocalyptic movies reveal:

how we thrill to imagine
some mad cataclysmic event 
that sends the planet's populace running
willy-nilly--arms flailing--
through streets rocking wildly
from the rush of that panic.

But of course
those movies also reveal
our wish to be 
the hero and heroine
who face the burl of fire and storm
and refuse to waver.

At story’s end 
having saved the metropolis--
the nation--the world
we stand with them
in the ashes of the aftermath
and lift our eyes to the hope
of a golden dawn.

However
that big dream only lasts two hours
and when we exit
the mundane life on the street
seems so uninspiring in contrast.

But why should it?--
every day
we feel the heat increasing--
I see people fleeing
a monstrous inferno--
every day
those fiery tentacles destroy
homes, cities, farms, forests, oceans.

We have birthed the apocalypse!

Occasionally I’ll feel out of breath
and realize I’ve been running. 
Then standing amid the fire and ash
I’ll know again how weak I really feel.

At such times, I begin to fear 
my anxiety will soon overwhelm me.

And so, in desperation, I’ll force myself
to find the strength to remain still--
to deal with the firestorm
instead of giving oxygen to those flames
with the wind of my retreat.  

Sometimes then the sun will shine
through those dark shifting clouds
and again I’ll see
how we’ve given ourselves 
an opportunity to be 
the better version of who we are.
The hero and the heroine.

myth steps blog
dream steps blog
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© 2022, Michael R. Patton

author’s note:

Thanks to Marie-Louise von Franz, Robert A. Johnson, Marion Woodman, and Robert Bly for showing me how those stories told my story.  


HAIL, THE LOWLY HERO

Influenced by legends and fairy tales
I decided as a child
I should be a hero--

after all
I wanted the best for myself.

But where were the dragons
that needed subduing?
Where were the fair maidens 
that needed rescuing?

Without great danger
--tests of will--
how could I realize
my high ambition?

Then I remembered:
often in those stories
the grand opportunity of a quest
arrived unexpectedly
at the door of a peasant.

With that in mind,
I would hope and wait

and fill the time by doing 
whatever chores I saw
needed to be done:

I planted seeds.  I pulled weeds.
I stirred a wild stew
made from what I’d grown.

That and much more, I did
as well as I possibly could

yet felt embarrassed:
should a knight errant be doing
such low mundane work?

But even as I deflated
I could feel my hands
slowly growing strong.

And didn’t those books say:
heroes must be strong?

And as I worked and waited
was I not making peace 
with that dragon I felt
coiling, uncoiling, coiling 
restlessly in my heart?  

And was I not
trying to awaken 
my deep empathy
and quiet sense of beauty?

And by trying to save 
the better me abandoned
behind the tower wall
was I not actually
trying to save us all?

Yes, I still wait 
for the grand opportunity
but now I work joyfully--
imagining myself to be
a hero learning through servitude

but just one among a multitude 
growing beautifully
in unseen gardens
all over this world.


myth steps blog
dream steps blog
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© 2022, Michael R. Patton
author’s note:

We’re serving our country.


CLEANING BELOW THE SURFACE

Don’t tell me 
to write to my congressman
or congresswoman--
why waste time 
asking them 
to clean this mess up?

Yes, they know a lot
about surfaces.
But little, apparently
about deep cleaning.

I, on the other hand, saw the need 
to go below the surface years ago.
When my curiosity
led me to a murky shadow
I ran from the basement.
But that shadow shadowed me
so I went back in
and began to clean.

Now many of my many shadows glow.

The crew I’m on
waits in the wings
for end of this show--
ready to clean the stage
up and down.

If you haven’t heard of us
I’m not surprised--
hard to hear honest work
amid the dizzy cacophony
of a mess belonging to all.

I’m Responsible: ebook
myth steps blog
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© 2022, Michael R. Patton

find WHAT I LEARNED WHILE ALONE on amazon

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