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gold dust leaf full br b words - August 15, 2016sc

author’s note:

…and the street of the city was pure gold…
                  — Revelation 21:21


Though I glimpsed
fragile frost sparkling
amid the fur of that green moss
I rejected the urge
to stop and explore
with my hungry fingertips.

Later, while under
the bare branches of the trees
I sensed a mystery in the wind
but at such a fast pace, I mostly missed
the multi-layered voice
of the long brown grass.

Then, at the end of this rush
I poured water down my gullet
until my belly felt pleasantly plump
but because I forgot to focus
I lost the bright flavor of the ice.

So much gold I’ve diminished to dust.

sometimes I’ll allow something
to break through my somnolence—

for instance:

the time when
the bird perched vertically
on that tall weed stem—

I felt such admiration
for the way it held on
with those small taunt claws

then I was dazzled again
as the wren vanished
in a flash of flutter and feather
drawing my child-mind to the sky
where I beheld
a low cloud sliding swiftly by:

in that blessed instant
my dormant neurons suddenly blazed up
with unspeakable white intensity

but soon
(like the earth-bound soul I am)
I followed the natural inclination
to lower my eyes back down to this world—
a world now beaming
with so many varieties of gold:

the gold I usually ignore

but even then, it’s not lost:
whether I’m aware or not
I’m taking in all this treasure
with every living moment.

I believe after death
we’re finally able to realize
the riches we’ve accumulated
through our human existence.

But until then I can at least
force myself to occasionally brake
to see and feel and hear and taste
and in that way, remind myself:

in this dusty life
I walk on streets of gold.

© 2016, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: a blog


bird chick - August 27, 2015s

author’s note:

In memory of Rita Patton, 1932-2015.


Long ago, a young girl
found a bird chick
opening its beak
to the sky in a silent plea

but though she tried so hard
the cup of her loving hands
could not save the bird

and yet
from that teary frustration
she was blessed

as she became aware
of an opening stretching down
toward the center of her chest:

whenever she saw anyone
crying that same silent plea
she could feel the pain
as the opening tore
just a little bit more…

just that much more


until finally, by instinct
she began to look away
from such everyday sights—

she ignored the silent pleas
she ignored the ghost bird
she ignored the pain.

But she did not live free
because spirits shadow us
even when we forget
and ever so often
they shock us—

just as the ghost bird surprised her
one bright morning

when she looked up
to find in the mirror
an echo of its silent plea
in her own desperate face—

a face she realized
she had secretly seen
in the many faces
she’d tried to ignore

and once again
she could feel the opening
tearing down into
the center of her chest

but deeper now, much deeper:

she then realized
she’d secretly witnessed
that same opening
in all those hearts
she had tried to ignore—

she realized
that even when hearts
live in the dark
they continue to stretch—
to open

just as her own heart
had silently deepened down
through years and years
of false darkness.

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
Listening to Silence: the book

birds nest ear 366w - January 4, 2014s

author’s note:

In olden times, people believed the souls of humans took up habitation in birds, upon death.

I’d prefer the soul of bird to take up habitation in me, while I’m still alive.


Such generosity from that bird:

offering me its golden-throated warbling
for the purpose of healing my ears
—my heart

then building a nest
to demonstrate
how beautiful vessels
though delicately suspended
can defy the storm.

I respond to its fretful notes:

the bird sings of a life precarious.

I respond to its strong tones—

the bird tells us:
I will feel the pain of this fear
and create a song of love.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
listening to silence: the book

rail ribbon - December 21, 2014s

author’s note:

A little light for your Solstice night—I hope.


As I watched the bird
weave those ugly plastic shreds
through the delicate twigs and grass
of its cupping nest…

I realized how I could accept
the junk stuff of this culture

and still create something
of use and beauty…

of useful beauty…


© 2014, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: the blog

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