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author’s note:

Around every Fourth of July, I revisit this poem.

Full disclosure: I’m not always able to live up to these words.
 

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

I’ll be damn if I’ll be terrorized
by anyone

including me—

I have looked into the mirror
and seen how mean I’ve been
to myself.

If I can face that monster
why should I cower
before those who lack
the courage to look
into their own reflections?

When they bombard me
my legs may tremble
but I won’t jump—
no, I’ll pirouette in triumph:
my dance will be my revenge!

Though they curse me to hell
I won’t curse them—
after all
I know the wounds
of their hellacious suffering.

On the other hand
I can’t sincerely bless them to heaven:

I haven’t yet healed myself
to that degree of empathy.

However
I have stopped
and stopped
and stopped
my monster from mirroring
their vitriolic violence

and maybe that’s blessing enough.
 

© 2017, Michael R. Patton
my war for peace: a poetry book

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author’s note:

I may be a fraidy cat.  But I’m a fraidy cat with curiosity.
 

BEFORE A STEP

In the dream, a door swings open

as if daring me to step inside.

I want to accept
but because I see
only darkness beyond
I hesitate

even though I know
I’ll eventually step—
just because I’m so
damn curious.

If I’d employed that guide
I wouldn’t feel this fear

but without fear
how I can realize my strength?

Yes, when I finally step
at first, I’ll feel lost

but whatever path I then find
will be my own.
 

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

author’s note:

I believe the whole human race has entered the borderland.
 

INFERNO DOG

Last night, I again saw that dog
with the spinning inferno eyes—

the one that wants
to lead me from this scrub land
and into and through
the forest so dense.

In a previous dream
I’d stopped at that twilight border—
afraid to enter the extreme
shadowy wonder…
even with the guide dog.

However this time
I forced myself to step

only to trip
over my own shoelaces:

as in other dreams
my laces had somehow gotten tangled.

So once again, I knelt down
and worked to un-knot knots

as the dog watched,
a smile at the corners of its mouth—
it knows I know
I can’t escape the inevitable.
 


© 2018, Michael R. Patton
Survival: poetry ebook

author’s note:

What do I want people to say about me upon my demise?

“He fought the good fight.”
 

GOOD LIFE…GOOD DEATH

At my ending
I think I’ll have courage enough
not to fight
to prolong a life
no longer needed

because in this life
I have fought to overcome
my fear of freedom—

yes, I’ve warred within—
struggling to reject
enticing confinements
that would have been
living tombs.

So maybe at the end
I’ll have the strength
to release a good life
and embrace a good death.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
my war for peace: poetry ebook

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