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author’s note:

Heart attacks often occur in the morning hours during the last phase of REM (dream) sleep.


The truth must actually be important:

otherwise why would my dreams
ruin a soft nourishing sleep
by revealing the true chaos
of my waking life?—

ruin, by revealing
my relentless distress

then add to that distress
by revealing
I’m not yet over the sorrow
I thought I’d put to rest
years ago

and then at the end of night
stun me one more time
by revealing the love
behind my dislike
and the anger raging under
what I thought
was calm acceptance.

No wonder our hearts often burst
while we’re asleep…

but maybe my dreams will be
a little easier on me
if I can wake myself
to more of the truth
amid the chaos of these days.

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
dream steps blog


author’s note:

I keep learning from old dreams.


Years ago in a dream
I saw the truth of my room:

the walls and floor, all dull gray—
even the light motes drifting
down from the ceiling:
dense gray.

Since that vision, I’ve worked
to escape my gray place
and maybe I have—because
though I still see
scary things in my dreams
I witness nothing so monotone.

But ever so often
in my waking hours
I revisit the room
because as a human being
I want to understand

and if I can raise myself
when I return
I’ll again realize
the beauty and benefit
of that hermitage:

though gray, the sun rays
pour down from a skylight

and those high walls
create a great space—
an austere cathedral.

Oppressive, yes, but
power held in check
can build in strength
as our desire to break out
—to bloom—
grows in intensity.

I’ve still much to learn
but at least now I know why
I needed that gray room.

© 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:

An appropriate poem for Valentine’s Day, I think.


Every morning before work
as he sits in his stifling tent
he says her name:

the name of the one once worshiped
at these ancient temple ruins—Her.

With knees lowered
and his head bowed
he feels that name within:

a presence greater
a presence foreign

and yet
there it is:
a part of him.

From the strength of that feeling
he believes he follows a higher calling
and so, every day, he’s able to endure
the dust—
the tedious shifting through dirt
the sweating madness of the desert—

he can even calm the fights
under that merciless sun.

But sometimes at night
while lying on his stiff cot in the dark
after another day of grinding labor
with little gain
that name—the goddess name
may not feel so meaningful

and so, for solace and inspiration
he instead whispers that other name

by contrast, a rather plain name

but like that ancient goddess
the woman of the plain name
also holds a cup to the sun:

no, not a cup of sanctified water—
maybe just a cup of strong coffee
or maybe a cup of stone-cut oats

but aren’t such things also holy?—

this woman, not a goddess
but not wholly unlike one.

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

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