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author’s note:

“I was asleep but my heart stayed awake.”
    — from Song of Songs (trans. Ariel & Chana Bloch)
 

RETURN TO CENTER

In the dream…

a waterdrop
from a towering redwood tree
created the single ring of a ripple
in the center
of a pond’s black mirror:

the ripple spread—
expanding
into a silver wave rising—
gaining momentum

until it met
those rocks along the shore:

a crash, but not destruction
just a loud bounce:

the ripple quickly
put its ring back together
then began the return—
a return to center—

diminishing down
to a wee circle
then down
to a single still point…

a point that sat in ideal peace

only for a moment, I’ll admit
but that moment was enough

for me to renew
before I went forth once more
to sound myself
against those rocks.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
listening to silence: poetry ebook

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Up from the bottom
  of an old pond,
  that duckling
has seen something strange.”
     — Joso (trans. Beilenson/Behn)
 

dUNKED

In those ocean dreams…

I want to bob on the top
of the water like a buoy
even though I know
if I don’t dive down
I will be dunked

dunked again:

drawn down
by some force of nature—down

to dark depths
where faces float like jellyfish:

they seem so foreign
and yet I’m told
they’re all a part of me—

even the women
even the animals
even the machines.

Occasionally I’ll witness
a face so luminous—
I burst to the surface with joy

but more often I’m greeted
by something much dimmer:
maybe a blank-eyed robot
or a drooling dog.

So next time I find myself
bobbing at the top
I may again resist
when I feel
that downward pull…

even though I know
I’ll be dunked if I do

yes—dunked again.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

author’s note:

I may be a fraidy cat.  But I’m a fraidy cat with curiosity.
 

BEFORE A STEP

In the dream, a door swings open

as if daring me to step inside.

I want to accept
but because I see
only darkness beyond
I hesitate

even though I know
I’ll eventually step—
just because I’m so
damn curious.

If I’d employed that guide
I wouldn’t feel this fear

but without fear
how I can realize my strength?

Yes, when I finally step
at first, I’ll feel lost

but whatever path I then find
will be my own.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
what I learned while alone: poetry ebook

author’s note:

I believe the whole human race has entered the borderland.
 

INFERNO DOG

Last night, I again saw that dog
with the spinning inferno eyes—

the one that wants
to lead me from this scrub land
and into and through
the forest so dense.

In a previous dream
I’d stopped at that twilight border—
afraid to enter the extreme
shadowy wonder…
even with the guide dog.

However this time
I forced myself to step

only to trip
over my own shoelaces:

as in other dreams
my laces had somehow gotten tangled.

So once again, I knelt down
and worked to un-knot knots

as the dog watched,
a smile at the corners of its mouth—
it knows I know
I can’t escape the inevitable.
 


© 2018, Michael R. Patton
Survival: poetry ebook

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