gray leaves 323 gb - June 9, 2016s

author’s note:

I dedicate this poem to all those of my generation who hoped the Carlos Castaneda books were true accounts.

So, in part, I dedicate this poem to myself.


Once in a forest, alone
I tried to force my eyes open

driven by an impatient desire
to see the hidden world I sense—

I peered
into the secret darkness of the trees—
I stared—I squinted—
trying to penetrate

until nearly blind with frustration

then, in exhaustion
I sank down
to rest on a stump
by a dry brook…

but in the quiet blank
of this convalescence
I lapsed into
a timeless, effortless

my empty eyes began to fill
with the beauty
of a simply complex centipede
navigating a battlefield
of gray-brown leaves
between my feet—

this focus, so selfless
pillowed mind and heart

until the magical creature
disappeared into the stump

then the desire to see
the hidden
rose once again:

a drive not satisfied
by such soft comfort

so I stood up
to continue the hunt…

© 2016, Michael R. Patton
finding Beauty: the book