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dear reader:

I don’t pray.  But I do pray.
 

MASTER BOULDER

Though I’m intimidated
by its monolithic presence
I often return to that boulder
at the bottom of the canyon

and then
despite my resistance
obey
its command to listen
to what can not be spoken
only felt:

the profundity of its heavy silence.

Through those moments
of strange peace
I slowly uncover
the master boulder
solid in the darkness
of my depths.

This returning is a ritual:
a prayer, a homage—
a way to find home.
 

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

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author’s note:

Years ago, I was told: we must lead our leaders.

I’m trying, I’m trying.
 

STOPPING MY CAR FOR A DEER AFTER HEARING THE NEWS REPORT

The radio tells me:
at the peace summit meeting
old men can’t mend old grievances—

but who am I to criticize them?—
I still can’t heal old wounds.

Our leaders lead us into fear

but who am I to criticize them
when fear still rules my head?

Angry disappointment
at the news and at myself
nearly has me driving blind

until I’m struck by the sight
of a deer lying beside the highway—
a casualty of crossing—
the rapid huffing of its chest
tells me death is near.

I’m flooded with empathy
but perhaps I put my foot to the brake
because I see a way to redeem myself
—if only slightly:

I will whisper some comfort
into the ear of that terrorized creature:
I’ll ease its sad passage—

I’ll gaze into its dark round eye
and beg forgiveness

for what?—
for the failures of all humankind.

But as I slam the car door shut
the deer abruptly stands up
on spindly yet stable legs

then in an instant
it bounds off across a brilliant meadow
to disappear into a copse of trees in shadow.

I hesitate for a moment, then follow…

I don’t know what I’m doing
and yet I do.
 

What I Learned while Alone: poetry ebook
© 2017, Michael R. Patton

author’s note:

Awareness is key.  Maybe I should say “the key”.
 

PULLING MY HAIR

Have you ever heard
an angel weep
as it pulls your hair?

These empathetic
yet merciless attendants
have promised me
they’ll stop being
such demons

if I will only catch myself
when I begin to slip

but oh!—
in a blink, I can slip
and I blink so often.

I swear I’m trying
to keep my eyes open:

I weep and curse
as they pull me up
by the hair.
 

dream steps blog
© 2017, Michael R. Patton

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

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