head pole - September 28, 2014s

author’s note:

To be clear: those aren’t pineapples in the picture above.


I put a pole in the center of my home

not to hold the ceiling in place
but to hold me in place:

any time I felt uncertain
I would steady myself against the pole.

I always felt secure while clasping
that smooth solid natural wood.

When the storm collapsed the roof
I simply propped the pole back up
and again felt at one—

even when I was forced
out of my house
I could think of the pole
and again feel stable.

Now, as a nomad
I sit down at night by the campfire
and stick a twig in the ground
and tell myself: that is the pole.

Even if they catch me
even if they beat me
even if they stand me
before a firing squad
I will remember the pole
and not feel lost.

Perhaps you’ll say
I merely seek something tangible
to reconnect me
to my inner strength

I guess that’s so…and yet
there’s more to my response:

whenever I envision that pillar
I also sense a force much greater
than what is contained within
the confines of my small cell.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
listening to silence: poems of meditation