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author’s note:

Some argue over whether we evolved in the past…

To me, the more important question is: can we evolve in the future?
 

SOMEDAY I’LL STAY ON MY FEET

I usually crawl along

until
my desire to see more
overcomes
my instinct for safety

then I will stand

and walk until
I see more
than my little mind can handle

then I’ll go blank
and trip once again
then once again awaken
as I land hard on my chin.

But the more I see
the more I want to see
so I believe
someday, I’ll stay on my feet—
no, I won’t fall asleep:

the desire to witness
will finally outweigh
the anxiety I feel at the sight
of such grand vistas of life.
 

© 2019, Michael R. Patton
dream steps blog

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author’s note:

Happy Groundhog Day to all the groundhogs out there.
 

AFTER I SAW MY GROUNDHOG SHADOW

If gray clouds cover the sky
on Groundhog Day
the groundhog won’t see his shadow
and so, feel safe
to remain above ground—
to feed, to frolic

just as I did
in my dim Spring.

On the other hand
if the sun cuts through the clouds
then his shadow will be revealed
and our furry friend
will retreat to his dark den—

afraid, as I once was
of that creature unknown.

But in time, he’ll return
just as I did:

I guess we can’t forget
the glory to be found in sunlight—
we want to see—
even if
what we witness frightens us
or pains our eyes.

Maybe…or maybe
we begin to worry—
wondering if

that shadowy something
has followed us back inside
and still lurks—
hidden in the dark.

So we then decide:
hard open light is actually safer
than the shelter of soft darkness.
 

© 2019, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

author’s note:

I can dig it, he can dig it
She can dig it, we can dig it
They can dig it, you can dig it
Oh, let’s dig it
      — from “Grazing in the Grass” by The Friends of Distinction
 

DIGGING UP (or: WHY I PERSIST)

In sad frustration
I finally gave up
trying to jump—
jump up to heaven:

I just kept coming back down.

However
the desire for more
still agitated me without mercy

so
to release the impulse
I began to dig down
into the stubborn ground

and persist to this day
though the plunge of the shovel
often pains me as the blade cuts into
old abscessed wounds.

Yes, light may burst from the break
but after the flash, I feel diminished
because I’ve seen my blindness again

yet I persist

though in the dimness I often wonder
if the gold I’ve discovered
is really only costume jewelry.

Yet I persist and why not?—

this mound of dirt I’m piling up
is a pyramid rising, is it not?

Well, maybe yes, but maybe not
in any case, I will persist—because
even if I never find the mother lode
at least, I’ve found purpose
through this work

and anyway, I believe

if we want a glorious life
we must suffer the pain of healing—
we must struggle to open our eyes
and match doubt with faith

and anyway

you can’t fall down
when you’re digging.

Everywhere, everywhere—
so many people jumping.
 

© 2019, Michael R. Patton
searching for my best beliefs: poetry ebook

author’s note:

“We experience a dream as real because it is real.”
              — Dr. William C. Dement
 

MY BETTER WORLD

The excited uncertainty
of crossing a stone bridge in dark fog

ended
before I’d reached the end—ended
with the alarm of morning

and as I began my usual routine
the intensity faded
and I forgot the dream

until that afternoon:

while waiting to cross a city street
I suddenly recalled the night bridge
hidden and revealed and hidden
by the tease of shifting clouds

and as the feeling returned
my day world of blatant sunlight
became as real as that dream:

the traffic light warning me…
the bleached grey fence…
a vacant lot overgrown with weeds—
all seemed strangely alive

and I felt myself to be
an alien spirit
discovering a wonderland

then the light changed
and as my attention shifted
that sense of intensity faded:

once again I was
a lowly armadillo
grubbing along the asphalt.

However
that feeling of living
in a grander world
is not lost, only asleep

and sometimes
stirs from slumber
to end my daydream.

I then remember
I am more than a mere
creature of survival.
 

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

find WHAT I LEARNED WHILE ALONE on amazon

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