author’s note:

Though alone this year, I’m determined to have a happy Thanksgiving.  May you have a happy Thanksgiving too.


Because the first human
was as he was
he ordered the sky
and the oceans
and the rich soil
to give of themselves
so he could live

and they said:

“We are quite mighty
  while he is quite weak
  so we should sacrifice
  to provide what he needs.”

And because the man was as he was
he told the plants and trees
to give of themselves—
he told the lakes and rivers
he told the many creatures

and they said:

“We are quite strong
  and he is quite weak
  so we should sacrifice
  to provide what he needs.”

because the man was as he was
he just kept taking
without healing the wounds he’d given
to the sky, to the soil, to the many waters—
to the flora, to the fauna

and so that life collapsed from its wounds
and as a result, the man also collapsed.

But then
the man could no longer wound
so the Earth was able
to heal even its worst hurts.

And so
after an agony lasting forty nights
the life of the Earth rose again

which had the effect
of lifting that man back to his feet.

being down on the ground
had changed his point-of-view—
now he sang a different tune:

“Because I am quite small,
  because I am quite weak
  the life of this Earth
  sacrifices for my sake.

“But as I take
  I must give back—

  I am a dead man!”

Since then we humans
are not as we once were—
now, we thank the Earth
for gifts given
and heal that which we wound.

This myth…a story from our future.

© 2019, Michael R. Patton
40 New Fables: ebook

author’s note:

I’m not finished zinging.

When I look back at my path…

I see much exuberant energy spent
spinning in a dizzy frenzy
as I zinged in zigs and zags

with little measurable gain
to prove the value of those motions.

So to ease self-doubt
I keep repeating to myself:

because of that chaos
I can write about
the pain of being tangled and lost—
I can provide
an empathic mirror
to those confused by a road
that goes here and there
without seeming to lead anywhere.

Well, okay, but
I want to do more
than tell them of a problem
they already know—

how can I offer hope?

Maybe my insight will eventually
sharpen enough
for me to perceive the designs hidden
in lives with wild lines.
But for now
I can only talk of what I’ve seen

and that is:
many many old vines
with torturous twists
and switchbacks—
quite a gnarly mess, they seem
and yet, those vines grew strong
because they struggled to climb.

How dare we condemn ourselves
for spinning in a dizzy frenzy
and zigging and zagging as we zinged
if while making those mad motions
we kept on striving to grow.

© 2020, Michael R. Patton
you tube channel

author’s note:

I think we’re going to have to fight to keep our nerve endings in this new world we’ve created.


I couldn’t escape the vague sense
of something wrong inside

but when I asked the doctor
what the problem was
he asked me:
how do you feel?

and when I couldn’t clearly answer
I feared I might be numb

but then thought:
maybe I’ve found the problem!—

maybe by discovering
my true feelings
I’d open—
the real me would finally be
set free

and my strange malaise would end.

So with determined courage, I began
to poke about
and slowly penetrate down
to what lay beneath
that vague sense

and bit by bit, uncovered…

a storm of confused pain!
Many wounds
connected to
one big wound.

Yes, I also found love and joy inside
but feeling what I felt had not healed me
as hoped.

But at least now I could see
the source of my trouble.
I applied balms and bandages.
And when I realized I needed to do more
I learned to stitch.

Yet after years of work
I still can’t give you a happy ending:
I laugh at my old dream
of being a wise man in peace.

Tempting sometimes to stop trying
but I’m aware: to stop would be
even more frustrating—

I can say so because
I now know how I feel—

how I feel
when I doze in the dust
in the small dark corner
and how I feel
when I again
take up needle and thread.

© 2020, Michael R. Patton
Poet, Heal Thyself: poetry ebook

author’s note:

There’s bad scary and then there’s good scary.

Have a good scary Halloween.


Voices mixed with footsteps
from some revelers in silhouette
echo from the cross street
a block from my house—

the words unclear—distorted.
Maybe those shadows are alien beings.

Well, that’s alright—
I don’t want to feel safe tonight.

Those echoes ring within me
as I sit here on the porch—
I’m being invaded—
a chill thrills my belly

and that’s just what I want

But then the party-goers go on–
the alien echoes die.
I sigh

then listen to the silence
—the emptiness—
both outside and in…

Suddenly the world is perfect:

I’m as deep and as dark and as bright
as that witching-hour sky.

And I realize:
I’m an alien in an alien universe

and you, you’re an alien too!

But that’s alright
I don’t want to feel safe tonight.

© 2020, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog


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