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author’s note:

Not written in any woman in particular.  Written to all, in general.


When I mention her glow
she insists she only reflects
some distant sun…

but later
in the depth of night
she places her hand
over her heart

and wonders if
that warmth radiating
might be more than merely
mechanical heat
from the pumping of blood—

could it also be
the radiance of spirit?

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog


author’s note:

Folklore, past and present, talks about a vast wealth of life, undiscovered, within Earth.


Years ago, I woke in the wee hours
from a dream of a river rising up from
deep underground:

I could feel the power
of its great patience

as those dark waters
gently, relentlessly eroded
stubborn dense obstructions.

Since that dream
I’ve learned to listen
to the wisdom of the river

but I still struggle to surrender
to the life determined to break free.

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
dream steps blog

author’s note:

I know something about choking on silence.


Today “happy / unhappy”
are merely words of make-believe

because today, I feel joy

because today, I feel grief—

joy and grief in death and life:

those forces of emotion swirl
together in a wind dance
—defying my control—

I can’t possibly express
a spiral so volatile
so grandly powerful

but if I don’t try
I’ll choke on this silence

and anyway
no matter what I rave
I think you’ll understand—

after all, as a human
you’re probably well-acquainted
with whirlwinds

so you’ll tolerate
this spinning man
as he shouts:

these forces of feeling
steal our breath

these forces of feeling
give us new breath.


dream steps blog
© 2017, Michael R. Patton

author’s note:

This poem seems appropriate for our times.


As stallions of bruised-black clouds
rushed toward my shore from the ocean horizon…

I thanked my stars I’d found
that boulder on the beach—
a cleft on its leeward side
opened to a secret chamber:
a womb for me—a sacred space
where I could sit in safety…
in peaceful solitude

and indeed
as I hunkered down inside
I felt secure
even as the tide rose
even as the wind rose
even as pellets of rain
shot down on the rock roof
I felt secure.

But that ocean seemed determined
to wreck my calm:
though I tried to reassure myself
I could not ignore the force
of its repetitive threats—
on the count of three
a wave would explode
against the rock-side:
those booming blasts
soon broke into
my body, my mind, my heart.

So, in desperation
I dove down into my dark depths

praying I might find
a solid stone foundation

but no—
I could only locate a little pebble.

But since I had nothing else
to hold, I held it
with the all fierceness
of my spirit.

I’d stopped struggling
to kill my fear—
now, I just hoped to endure:

sometimes, we must go so low
for our higher education—
consider the end:

when I’d become nothing more
than that tiny stone
a big blow shattered the boulder
into shards

and I found myself standing
on sunny beach
as modest waves retreated.

Stunned I was, but closer to peace—
having gained this foundational wisdom:

rock walls can not protect us
from the destruction of storms…

only our own little stones.

© 2017, Michael R. Patton
dream steps blog

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