author’s note:

"My life needs editing."
	-- Mort Sahl


One night 
as I walked through the park
reflecting again on events of the past
I suddenly heard 
a little raspy voice whisper:

“I can answer your wish--
 I’ll erase from your memory 
 whatever you’d like to forget!”

Turning quickly, I spied
a tree frog perched on a low limb. 
Without thinking, I replied:

“Frog, if you’re not playing a trick
 I’ll gladly accept!--
 as long as I can keep
 what I’ve learned
 from looking back.”

“What you’ve already learned
 you’ve earned,”
 the frog croaked back.

What a relief! I sighed.  
I’ve tried hard to understand.
Now I can finally rest--
I’ll no longer feel pressed
to resolve those old conflicted feelings.

With that thought, a bubble popped
and I began to run

fleeing from that devil frog--
afraid that I might succumb
to a temptation
that would deliver me 
to a sweet Eden
if I gave up this bigger wish: 

to one day finally graduate--
having achieved 
a higher degree of peace.

33 1/3 New Fables & Myths
dream steps blog
myth steps blog
you tube channel
© 2023, Michael R. Patton
author’s note:

I’ve never been cool.

But I have learned how to simmer.


As a child, The Sun God
played with burning coal
and in his gleeful carelessness
set his long hair ablaze.  

Every day since that day
he’s run across the sky in ecstasy--
a gold flame illuminating his brain.

But though his light grows our crops
sometimes in his excitement
he allows his fire to rage too hot
and in the thrill of the moment
he’s able to ignore the pain in his skull

nor does he see
the swaths of black ash he then leaves
all across the Earth.  

At the end of those over-heated days
he sinks down in exhaustion
and at rest in his ashes
he finally feels the wound in his head.

Then when his sister (The Moon)
sees him suffering
she feels her love again

and as her tears fall 
to soothe his pain
her reservoir goes
from full to lean.
But then fills back up again

because she draws from a river
of endless goddess empathy.

The Sun God and The Moon God
show us who we are--
just as all gods do.
But unlike them
we have free will--
our tracks need not be ruts:

we can see our mistakes in their mad actions
then choose to change the way we roll.

Bear witness:
the story above helped me see
this obvious fact:
   though the fire in my mind 
   sometimes gives light,
   I can burn myself (and others)
   when I rage too hot.

But if I can keep my blaze at even flame
I’ll no longer need
to bathe my wounded head at night.

Perhaps then I can use
the river of my empathy
to help soothe other heads
burned by their own rage.

33 1/3 New Fables & Myths
dream steps blog
myth steps blog
you tube channel
© 2023, Michael R. Patton
author’s note:

I have some perspective.

Unfortunately, I keep losing it.


Though at first I didn’t want to play
I became hooked
before the end of the first round--
after I saw the metaphor.

the game had always seemed so silly.

But I though I laughed
at my first failed attempt
to putt the ball past the windmill 
I didn’t laugh
after my second try
nor after my third.

Then, at the fifth hole
I really started to burn
as I struggled to navigate 
that ninety-degree turn.

Finally at the seventh
I began to curse the course 
in frustration

then stopped when I suddenly saw
how I’d shrunk myself down.

So began an education.

In the many rounds played since that day
I’ve learned a number of lessons--
including this paradox:

in order to get past the alligator
you must roll right into
those snapping jaws.

My War for Peace: poetry book
dream steps blog
myth steps blog
you tube channel
© 2023, Michael R. Patton
author’s note:

To all the Noahs out there.


As a child when I heard 
the story of Noah
I firmly decided:
you must obey higher guidance
even if people doubt you.

Ah, but my resolution slipped
when, years later
the voice of wisdom spoke to me
as I tried to quiet my heart
during a time of confusion. 

Like the command Noah heard
the message I received 
seemed to go against common sense.

Nonetheless, I might have believed--
if the voice had boomed down from the clouds.
But no
the answer rose softly
from a place deep within me

and so
governed by doubt
I went against the guidance

and soon realized
I should’ve heeded that advice.

And oh--
the advice didn’t stop--
because in curiosity, I strained to hear 
the next message and the next
and the next.

Though in short time, I learned 
I should obey what I heard
I still worried about 
rejecting my reasonable doubt--
after all
I didn’t want to lose my reason--
reason is good!  

Fortunately, I eventually
I developed a strategy:

when I begin to fret about
some major building instruction
I counter my doubt
with this reasonable argument:

maybe I am 
making a grand mistake

but if I act with courage and love 
that mistake will be
wonderfully grand. 

Common Courage: poetry book
dream steps blog
myth steps blog
you tube channel
© 2023, Michael R. Patton


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