peace symbol dream - April 15, 2015s

author’s note:

One of the great benefits of getting to know myself better is that I get to know everyone else better as well.


I can’t let myself accept
what I sometimes think
about them:

they’re beyond redemption—

a waste of human energy!—

their eyes so dark with smoke
they don’t see their own fear.

No, I can’t
because I know
my eyes are still too smoky
to truly understand
what I see

and besides,
the ones I speak of
are not a separate species:

if I gave up on them
wouldn’t I also be giving up
on the entire human race?–

this smoky-eyed human race


On the other hand…
if I did give up hope
my life might actually be easier:

I wouldn’t lie in bed at night
asking myself, “What is the answer?”

Yes, I could sleep…

that is,
if I could ignore my dreams…

if could ignore
the desire reflected
in my dreams:

the desire to become strong—
the desire to find peace.

How could I grow in strength
in an easier life?

Do I really want to forget
what I’ve sometimes seen
in my mirror?—

someone much more
than what I’ve yet shown…

No, I won’t give up

I can’t give up
in this fight for peace.

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
Common Courage: the book