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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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author’s note:

In my experience, dreams don’t lie.
 

THE WAY TO THE KINGDOM

Last night I wished
to escape on the beach

but a dream came to pain me
with golden possibility.

In the scene I was both slave and king

but the king slumped—
useless in his sleep

and so
the slave had to carry his master
through dark forests
through swamps

but found enough strength
in this belief:

as long as he ventured forth
with sincere intent
whatever direction he chose
would return them
to the kingdom

then the king would awaken
and he, his servant
would no longer live as slave.

This dream might seem to be
little more
than a fanciful child’s tale

nonetheless
when I woke from it
I knew again
how lost I usually feel

but also
the strength of my hope.
 


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

author’s note:

As they say in the movies: “based on a true story”.
 

BRIEF WINGS

For a moment this morning
I again felt those wings:

suddenly—without warning
that stiff pain struck me
right between the shoulder blades—

the tension pinned me straight up.

But wings are quite personal
so I pretended nonchalance
and eased on down the street

even as I sensed
those wing sprouts opening
ever so slightly—
just a bit more than before—

this time
maybe all the way
to the first pinion joint.

Though eager as ever
I dared not push
for a greater unfurling:

such impatience
actually seems to make
the wings retract.

But despite my caution
the sprouts soon shrank back—
as they have
so many times before.

Yes, they’ll come again
but I never know when—
could be tomorrow
or many months from now.

My deepest meditation
can’t open them
nor do they respond
to my most reverent prayer
or my greatest good act

so I try to distract myself
with honest daily chores.

But of course
my mind sometimes drifts
to my fervent wish:

to one day soar.

However
I wouldn’t fly all the time
nor merely for pleasure
but only when
I deemed the moment
appropriate—

when my high flight might benefit us all.

Don’t snicker—
this goal must indeed be possible
because one night I flew
anywhere I wanted at will.

I often use that dream
to lift myself
when I despair
my wings will never spread.
 


© 2017, Michael R. Patton
Searching for My Best Beliefs: a poetry book

author’s note:

Actually, I think this is a good poem for the beginning of Spring.
 

FROM THE WRECKAGE

As I watch the shattered jet
smolder in a field…

I notice the wreckage resembles a cross

and begin to wonder if
I’m only using this crash
to mourn my own private losses—

I had to kill
so many childish kings
with their commands and castle dreams
so that my kingly child might live:

this slow painful sacrifice
is still in progress—

no, I haven’t quite arrived
at that new life.

But though I’ve reason to mourn
I’m ashamed to have descended
into self-pity
while witnessing a tragedy

however…

this release of grief
opens a well of feeling

and so, I suddenly swell
with true empathy for the many
who’ll be deep-struck
by the shock of this loss

then realize:
we’re together in grief

and also
together in hope:

as a woman wearing a hood
lifts a baby from the ashes
an artesian tear rises in my eye:

though I know a shadow
will haunt that child
from this time forward…

when I see
that small tear-streaked face
I again believe
in the new life
that follows in the wake
of all our sacrifice.
 


© 2017, Michael R. Patton
Butterfly Soul: poems of death and grief and joy

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