author’s note:

Folklore, past and present, talks about a vast wealth of life, undiscovered, within Earth.
 

SURRENDER TO THE RIVER

Years ago, I woke in the wee hours
from a dream of a river rising up from
deep underground:

I could feel the power
of its great patience

as those dark waters
gently, relentlessly eroded
stubborn dense obstructions.

Since that dream
I’ve learned to listen
to the wisdom of the river

but I still struggle to surrender
to the life determined to break free.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
dream steps blog

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author’s note:

An appropriate poem for Valentine’s Day, I think.
 

THE ARCHAEOLOGIST

Every morning before work
as he sits in his stifling tent
he says her name:

the name of the one once worshiped
at these ancient temple ruins—Her.

With knees lowered
and his head bowed
he feels that name within:

a presence greater
a presence foreign

and yet
there it is:
a part of him.

From the strength of that feeling
he believes he follows a higher calling
and so, every day, he’s able to endure
the dust—
the tedious shifting through dirt
the sweating madness of the desert—

he can even calm the fights
under that merciless sun.

But sometimes at night
while lying on his stiff cot in the dark
after another day of grinding labor
with little gain
that name—the goddess name
may not feel so meaningful

and so, for solace and inspiration
he instead whispers that other name

by contrast, a rather plain name

but like that ancient goddess
the woman of the plain name
also holds a cup to the sun:

no, not a cup of sanctified water—
maybe just a cup of strong coffee
or maybe a cup of stone-cut oats

but aren’t such things also holy?—

this woman, not a goddess
but not wholly unlike one.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

author’s note:

I may lie to myself while awake.  But in my dreams, I always tell myself the truth.
 

OBEYING A FORGOTTEN DREAM

This morning when I saw
the mess in the mirror
I wondered:

did my hair do a dance in the night
while I dreamt a dream
now forgotten?

Maybe so, because
as I listened to my inside
I could feel the afterglow
of a rollicking midnight party.

However
I had to flatten down
the cacophony of my top
so I could be
a proper employee.

Nevertheless
my spirit hummed
all morning—
my body twitched

until a merciful angel
finally came to my rescue

by setting off the office fire alarm—!

I then had a private space
in which to spin
to shake, to clap
to shout, to laugh

and my hair rose
with the ecstasy
as every strand
did its wild dance.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
what I learned while alone: poetry ebook

author’s note:

Happy Groundhog Day to all the groundhogs out there.
 

WHEN I SAW MY GROUNDHOG SHADOW

If dense clouds cover the sky
on his day
the groundhog won’t see a shadow
and so, feel safe
to remain above ground—
to feed, to frolic

in his dim Spring.

On the other hand
if the sun has cut through the clouds
his shadow will be revealed
and our furry friend
will retreat to his dark den—
afraid of the unknown creature
he has just seen.

I can relate:
when I saw my shadow
in fright I tried
to run away

but like the groundhog
that returns after an extra
six weeks of winter
I could not forget
the power of my sight
when I stood in that sunlight.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

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