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author’s note:

I never had anyone tell me a dream where afterwards my life had changed for the better.
      — Richard Ford, from Writers Dreaming, by Naomi Epel
 

THE SUCCESS OF MY FAILURE

I hesitate to tell the dream

because my clumsy words
will trample its textured elegance

but we are cursed
with the blessed desire
to express the inexpressible

and though I will fail
I may still succeed
if the place I describe
reminds you of a place
from your own dreams

and so you again know
a feeling inexpressible.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
dream steps blog

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author’s note:

I may lie to myself while awake.  But in my dreams, I always tell myself the truth.
 

OBEYING A FORGOTTEN DREAM

This morning when I saw
the mess in the mirror
I wondered:

did my hair do a dance in the night
while I dreamt a dream
now forgotten?

Maybe so, because
as I listened to my inside
I could feel the afterglow
of a rollicking midnight party.

However
I had to flatten down
the cacophony of my top
so I could be
a proper employee.

Nevertheless
my spirit hummed
all morning—
my body twitched

until a merciful angel
finally came to my rescue

by setting off the office fire alarm—!

I then had a private space
in which to spin
to shake, to clap
to shout, to laugh

and my hair rose
with the ecstasy
as every strand
did its wild dance.
 

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

beast-reading-bb-january-31-2016s

author’s note:

He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.
            — Dr. Johnson
 

EVOLUTION OF THE SPECIES

When I lived
as a wild hirsute beast
I grunted
at the beautiful pleasures
of this Earth—
I grunted
at the pain

and felt no need for language

until one night…

when I suddenly saw
a living mystery
of moonlight and shadow
bound within the tangles and barbs
of this mundane jungle.

Since that eternal moment
I’ve struggled to express
the beauty and pain
of our human life—

I’ve struggled to maintain
that awareness.

Yes, I often seem to regress—
I slip—
and sometimes when I slip
I snarl and spit

but then the shock
of striking down
awakens me
and I realize again
the cowardice
of trying to kill the pain—
of trying to reject
awareness

and in so seeing, I deepen—
   in deepening to the pain
   I deepen to the beauty.
 


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

pink-mushrooms-gray-b-p-b-january-22-2017sc

author’s note:

A poem for our Winter season.
 

IN THE GARDEN OF DEAD LEAVES

The garden of dead leaves taught me:

beneath the surface
of that stagnant black pond
rich life multiplies.

The garden taught me:

slow decay in the shadow
will suddenly blossom into
circles of pink mushroom.

The garden told me:

don’t worry—
you’re exactly where you need to be…
 

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

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