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author’s note:

Highly recommended: The Fisher King and the Handless Maiden, by Robert A. Johnson.
 

MEETING THE WOUNDED WOMAN

After waking from the sight
of a wounded woman
knee-deep in a dark swamp…

I remembered what I’d read:

the “she” a man meets
in his dream
lives within him.

But though still alive
my receptive side
obviously didn’t feel so well—
after all, she’d lost a hand.

But how and when?—
I did not know…
however

as I pondered
the blank shock
in her blue eyes
I began to feel
what she must have felt
during whatever crime
caused the loss—
what she still feels
in the long aftermath:

horror at a savagery both rabid
and casual—
stunned confusion
at an injustice unpunished.

I could feel
the frozen fire
of her righteous anger

but also sensed
warm moist ashes of grief
beneath that ice.

I then understood why
a violent dream may follow
a routine mundane day:

if forced to confront
our deep wounds
during the waking hours
how could we complete transactions
or work with movable parts?

But we don’t occasionally confront
and deal with that truth
those wounds may kill us.

So, I need my horrific dreams—
painful though the awakening may be
I need to dream of a woman
missing a hand.

I can shelf that secret
in the back room
while I’m totaling receipts

then afterward
return to learning
how to heal the life
that gives me life.

Progress is slow, of necessity
but when I feel discouraged
I think of the green lizard dream:

how the little fellow sang with joy
because he’d finally managed
to grow his tail back—

he sang of sensitivity regained
he sang of better balance—
such fun, being functional!

That regeneration
must’ve cost a lot of energy
but what a return—
his song sounded so strong!
 

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

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author’s note:

Not only is the Universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine.
         — Sir Arthur Eddington
 

UNIQUE BROADCAST FREQUENCY

If I hold very still
when I’m in
that gray place between
waking and sleep…

in the extended silence
my inner ear may detect
a word or phrase
from a voice—
unknown
yet somehow familiar.

Maybe it’s merely the “me”
within me…

but how do you explain those times
when we meet someone
   who seems familiar
   though a still a stranger
and the words just flow
as if we’re continuing a conversation—
maybe one begun long ago…?

Based on such experience
I postulate:
at night, as the conscious mind rests
we transmit messages—
often across vast distances.

I realize I’m not being
very scientific
but
I believe it’s best to believe
that every individual in our world
owns a unique broadcast frequency—

in this way, at least
we the people have equality.
 


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

author’s note:

I think I hold the world’s record for daydreaming.
 

LIVING IN A DREAM

In the dream
I bit into an apple

like the apple
I bit into
last Sunday
as I sat, daydreaming
beneath a droopy tree.

However
my dream apple
seemed much more intense
than my day apple—

maybe the dream came to wake me
with this message:

see what you miss
when you lazily ignore
just how incredible
your mundane life is.

I must not forget:
we live in a dream.

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
dream steps blog

author’s note:

Peace: always a work-in-progress.
 

WHAT I DISCOVERED AT THE SLEEP LAB

In our studies at the sleep lab
the quietest test subjects
often report
such loud dreams.

For instance:
the muted woman
who told us how she’d fought
to keep herself intact
as she spun up inside
a crazy gray tornado:

she described her struggle
with an elation absent later
when she awoke from seeing
a white dove perched
on her sunny window sill.

I wanted to say to her:
ironic, isn’t it?—you’re
more excited by the war
than by the peace you’ve earned.

But no, I did not—
we’re only allowed to make
some marks on a chart.

However
that evening I again sounded off
over drinks with my associates—
abandoning my science for the moment
to repeat with certainty this belief:

the dreams we record are proof
that all lives–
   even those so common
   even those so low
   even those so quiet
hold the highest goal.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
searching for my best beliefs: poetry ebook

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