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author’s note:

“The worms crawl in…the worms crawl out.”
               — from The Hearse Song
 

BETWEEN A LION & A WORM

I’ve seen so much shape-shifting:

I’ve seen lions
accept the lie told to them
and crawl under stones
to survive as worms.

But fortunately
a big cat can benefit
from living subterranean

if as a worm
it feeds upon
the rich life to be found
within the black loam.

But as that worm-cat expands
its safe space will become suffocating…

for our lion to rise
we must die the good death—
we must shift once again.

Afterwards
when I look back
on my life as a worm
a sigh of melancholy
may slip from my lips…

but no—
I’ll reject all regrets

because by then
I’ll finally fully accept
I had to lose
in order to grow.
 

© 2017, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: a blog

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author’s note:

Happy Halloween!
 

I DON’T WANT TO FEEL SAFE TONIGHT

Voices from unseen revelers echo
down this shadowy street—

the words unclear—distorted:

sounds from alien beings.

Now I don’t feel so safe
on this porch

but that’s alright—
I don’t want to feel safe tonight.

The echoes drum my wall.

The echoes thrill my belly.

Those aliens have invaded me!

But that’s alright—
I don’t want to feel safe tonight.

The echoes linger long within

then suddenly…nothing
—not a sound inside or out.

Now I see the perfect world again—
I’m as deep and as dark and as bright
as that witching-hour sky.

If everyone is alien
then so am I

and that’s alright:
I want to be an alien tonight.
 

© 2017, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

author’s note:

“Buzz!  Buzz!”
     — Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew
 

THE BEE WITHIN

Years ago
when I felt so dead
I sat myself down
and listened
down
deep within—

hoping to find
some sign of life…

I then discovered
what seemed to be
the steady hum of a bee—
the distant murmur rising.

I love mysteries
(even those within me)
and so
ever since that night
I’ve worked to attune myself
to the bee hum
and in that way
I’ve slowly learned to comprehend
a language still foreign.

A tedious task
yet an ideal way
to gift the mind and heart:

that bee is so wise—
consider this:

in my moments of doubt
the bee often tells me:
don’t worry—
these motions are not for nothing
you’re always making honey.

Listen intently
and you may hear
your own bee hum

not just inside yourself
but also hidden within
the buzz of your words:

while you and I distract ourselves
with lazy chitchat
our two bees communicate
at a frequency higher
than what the untrained ear
can usually detect.

Bees always speak honestly
so my bee might likely tell your bee
how I ran—how I leapt
in a vain attempt
to defy gravity

and your bee might tell mine
how a oak tree can spin
while sitting still.

Our bees reveal to the world
  our secret fears
  our secret shame
  our secret strength
  our secret grief…

but of course
my bee talks mostly to me
just as your bee talks mostly to you.

Unfortunately
I often miss the message of mine
as I rush and holler and curse—

most days
I rush and holler and curse
until I finally collapse—
feeling defeated—
downright dead…

but at such times
I may again be
open to my bee—
at such times
the bee may repeat
what I know but keep forgetting:

these motions are not for nothing
we’re always making honey.

 

© 2017, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

author’s note:

At a time of many disasters, I’m working not to become a disaster myself.
 

REDISCOVERY

Though I don’t pray religiously…

sometimes, I do
lower my knees
then lower my head
and join right palm to left

because this pause
and position
somehow quiets thought
and in the quiet
I rediscover
the wordless wisdom
of what seems to be
a god within

but in this rediscovery
I realize the chasm
between how I usually act
and what I truly am

but in my shame
I regain the purity of humility

and a sense of hope—
knowing again the deeper truth
about myself.
 

© 2017, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

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