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author’s note:

I’m reminded of the expression, “He’s a nice person—when he’s asleep.”

Whoever coined that phrase has never seen my dreams.
 

GLAD TO SHARE MY INCREDIBLE NIGHTMARE

What a night!—
hail rained down
all through my dreams
to stick in my throat and boot
the next morning
as I tried to talk and walk
as if not so discombobulated
by a sleep
that was non-sleep.

I believe
the steam of what boils in my heart
finds release in dreams—
sometimes creating something quite sweet:
an angelic pipe-organ melody

but more often
blasting a cacophony:

last night, those tight little fists of ice
whipped down on flat stone
in rattling waves of roar—!

But I must admit
such storms light me up
with their lightning

even though in the morning
I’m left frazzled
in the burnt-crisp aftershock…

a charge and burn absent the next night
when I’m refreshed and eased
by gentle visions gone in a wisp…

leaving me with no better story
than to repeat what happened
night before last.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
dream steps blog

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author’s note:

I want to die with my boots on.
 

DYING WITH HIM

Unable to believe a prayer could help
I suffered quietly with the man instead:

I matched my breath
with his ragged breath
and winced
whenever his eyelids crinkled in pain

yet I still felt so distant.

To entertain my impatience
I counted time as his blind hand
ticked against the sheet

and in that way
I fell into a timeless trance

until with a startle
our heart clunked clumsily
once…twice

then my breath and chest slumped
as his whole apparatus collapsed
with one relinquishing heave.

Suddenly a subtle brightness
intensified the room:
a nebulous glittery mist
hovered midair

only to dissolve in a blink—
too soon gone.

I nearly laughed:

what had seemed
so crushingly hard
had become in an instant
ridiculously easy.

In that moment, I realized
the old book spoke the truth—
we are indeed resurrected.

I suffered with him
until we suffered no more.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: a blog

author’s note:

I never had anyone tell me a dream where afterwards my life had changed for the better.
      — Richard Ford, from Writers Dreaming, by Naomi Epel
 

THE SUCCESS OF MY FAILURE

I hesitate to tell the dream

because my clumsy words
will trample its textured elegance

but we are cursed
with the blessed desire
to express the inexpressible

and though I will fail
I may still succeed
if the place I describe
reminds you of a place
from your own dreams

and so you again know
a feeling inexpressible.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
dream steps blog

author’s note:

When a man hears angels singing
he hears angels singing.
           — Mary Oliver
 

THE FABLE OF THE SONGBIRD & THE FROG

When the songbird told him
you’re no match for me
the bullfrog countered:

by who’s measure?—

yes, many have opened
their windows to your song

but the few who’ve opened to mine
recognize a beauty less obvious
so aren’t they more refined?

Only a wise heart can find
the aria hidden within
my harsh slimy croaking.
 


© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: poetry ebook

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