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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

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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

heaven beyond - February 26, 2016s

author’s note:

Butterfly!  These words
from my brush
are not flowers…
only their shadows.
      –– Soseki (trans. Beilenson/Behn)
 

A HEAVEN BEYOND DESCRIPTION

I’m told
any heaven worthy of the name
would be beyond description

maybe so, but I doubt
I could remain quiet

because in those rare moments
when light floods my being
I’m overwhelmed by the desire
to express a feeling so heavenly

and though I know I can never find
the perfect words
I’m driven to keep searching—
even long afterwards.

Yes, my efforts
always end in frustration
but

sometimes, amid the silence
that follows in the wake of my words…

I arrive back
at the place I seek

for a moment at least:

that heaven.
 


© 2016, Michael R. Patton
listening to silence: poems of meditation

iris capacity 240w - June 14, 2015s

author’s note:

“Water is poetry.”
       — Jerry Brown, Governor, California

“Poetry is water.”
       — anonymous
 

THE IRIS

When I asked myself
why this life gives me water
beyond my capacity to hold

I found my answer in the Iris flower

that catches the lashings of the storm
in the cup of its petals

until the thin stem finally buckles
and the rainwater spills out
to nourish the earth below:

a gift now flavored
with the complex scent of the Iris…

Relieved but empty
the flower cup then lifts again
to receive more rain.
 


© 2015, Michael R. Patton
dream steps: the blog

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