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author’s note:

As they say in the movies: based on a true story.
 

CHASING FOG

One misty childhood morning
I tried to lose myself
in a fog cloud
hovering across the field.

I ran—in a blur, I ran
over there
and then back
and then over there again—

the fog kept moving:

wherever I was
was where it was not.

Finally I had to stop for air
but as I wheezed and coughed
I suddenly realized
that though the fog had fled
I’d still eaten a bit of it
with every huffing breath—
yes
I could feel the rasp
of its wet wisps
deep in my lungs.

And so I kept running:
I ran—I ran—I ran until
I’d cleared the field.

In class later that day
the teacher said The Sun
had evaporated that vapor

so if I could feel
the moist ephemeral fabric
burning down to damp ashes
inside me…

then I must be a sun

(albeit a small one).

That logic—
so fanciful
so egotistical—
later provided blessed perspective
for the adult the child became:

yes, I never seemed to catch
those fantasies I chased…

but as I ran here and there
and back again
wasn’t I always taking in
that which we call “life”?—

wasn’t I always clearing?—

wasn’t I always
living as a sun?
 


© 2017, Michael R. Patton
dream steps: a blog

author’s note:

He’s so fine
Do-lang do-lang do-lang
       — “He’s So Fine”, lyric by Ronald Mack
 

GRIND DOWN FINE

Now I can accept
the feeling of being lost
as I walk this land–
now I can accept
the feeling
of shouldering a burden

because I have accepted
these beliefs:

my steps, though confused, have a purpose—
a hidden path, a plan:

just look how strong I’ve grown

with the weight of this unseen stone
on my back—
a stone incessantly turning.

Yeah
the stone grinds me down
as it turns

but I’m ground down fine.

As I lose
so much of what I was
I’m slowly discovering
the finer me
I’m meant to be

and in the process
leaving a trail—

imagine a trail of corn meal
others may feed upon
and follow

if they feel lost
if they need sustenance
if they struggle
to accept this path
—this burden:

they can feed on me
just as I’ve fed on many
who’ve gone before me

they can feed on us
just as those who follow them
will feed on them—

yes
like you, like me
they will leave
a trail of corn meal
as they find their way—

as they
grind down fine.
 


© 2017, Michael R. Patton
Searching for My Best Beliefs: a poetry book

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

author’s note:

It’s not my trail—it’s our trail.
 

A GLEAM OF PURPLE & GOLD

When I first glimpsed
that mountain peak
I believed

I’d seen my destiny:

I believed
I finally understood
the purpose
of this rising trail.

Thus
as I continued to step
I did so with intent.

Nonetheless
I’ve doubted the reality
behind my stated aim
because clouds and other
atmospheric conditions
usually keep the peak
hidden from me.

Fortunately, the work
of putting one foot
in front of the other
distracts my mind
from excessive worry

that is
until fatigue finally catches me

then I’ll begin to wonder if
I’m actually making progress
or if what I seek even exists.

And so, I’ll stop
and gaze upward
once again—
desperate for
another glimpse…

and indeed
with patience
I’ll eventually see a gleam
of purple and gold:

an image experienced
as a vision—
proclaimed by the spirit
to be truth.

Then
with doubt diminished
and hope renewed
I’ll continue to continue.

Though my heart will want to wait
for another bright beam
I know, from experience:
to linger longer
will only slow my progress

and to walk while looking up
is a sure way to trip and fall.
 


© 2017, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: a blog

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