author’s note:

I say, we all grow.

However, I will admit: in certain cases, it’s really really hard to see.


When I was a plant
in a land of drought
I asked the sky for rain

though I doubted
the atmosphere listened
to such requests
what’d be the harm
in trying?

But when the rain
still didn’t fall
I could not maintain
my nonchalance:

in anger, I cursed
that stupid blue blank

and soon discovered
cursing only worsened
the burning

whereas to surrender
in abject defeat
brought me
the cool relief of humility…

but then
as strictures of death
crept into my limbs
the drought began to seem
so unjust.

my ire, and with it, my fire
rose from the cold ashes.

That flame was my life
yet it would devour me
unless I could make peace
with my predicament

and if I was to die
before rain came
I did not want
any extra suffering.


my best logic failed
to calm me

so finally
in desperation
I tried to channel my fire
into a joyous act

of Celebration!

Lacking any formal ritual
I clapped and flapped
in a silly dance–

I celebrated this plant life—
celebrated its crazy ambiguities

celebrated the roots
that sustained me
while holding me captive.

celebrated the leaves
that fed me
yet also gave me this pain.

I celebrated, I celebrated—
not just going through the motions
but truly rejoicing
because now I knew
how much I loved this life—
enough to endure its worst.

And from my celebration
came an ecstasy
of laughter and tears—
I felt myself ascend—

rising, rising
until I finally reached
a lofty rain cloud:

quite proud
I beamed at my accomplishment

but then
from this new perspective
I beheld the obvious:
how a multitude of plants
rose up
from that moon-bone desert—

many of them much higher than I

but whatever their size
they all danced in celebration
of our painful
plant life.

© 2017, Michael R. Patton
Survival: a poetry book