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globe electrons 293w - April 17, 2016s

author’s note:

I believe we’re all scientists.  From the beginning, we’re all experimenting.


Science tells us
nothing is ever completely at rest—

even when my body becomes a carcass
its trillions of vibrant electrons will still spin

but what about what animated that carcass?—
will the “me” that made this poem continue?

To answer that question
I’m free to go beyond science
and believe whatever I please

yet I base my belief, in part
on acute meditative observation:

even as my limbs
slowly lose momentum
something within gains strength—

an inner spinning force
keeps on rising—refining its pitch.

No—I can’t accept waste:
after death
the am that I am
will still be spinning.
in some form
I’ll be spinning.

Some will surely say
I hold to this belief
in a futile attempt
to alleviate my fear

but even if that’s true
this concept can still lift me
to a place of starry wonder:

we are perpetual motion
—spinning tops—
that continue to rise
after this human life stops.

Though stars collapse
and planets disintegrate
this Universe and its beings
will keep on spinning…

constantly building, I believe
into something greater
than what we have been…

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


coffin electric b - March 21, 2016s

author’s note:

You’re important to me.


Apparently, death is often
more important

than what we could’ve done or been
if not for death…

more important
than the planned Spring wedding

more important than being
a mother to that child

more important than how
the broken woman could’ve grown
if not for her important death…

more important than
all the creative passion
left unexpressed.

But I don’t mean to diminish
our life before death—

if this life wasn’t damn important
why would I have taken the pain
to be born?—

don’t bother to debate me
’cause I’ve already decided
it’s better for me to believe
I’m living something
truly important:

how could we bear the pain
if we didn’t believe
the things, ideas, and activities
of our life were quite important?

On the other hand…

when an important life
seems to end too soon
I say we should accept:
death is often more important
than what we have to give.

By holding that belief
I help myself
bear the pain of loss

and whenever I remind myself
of that belief, I realize:
death may not wait
for me to roll out
all my important plans

and then the moment
becomes monumental.

Yes, I believe I have
some very important plans…

yet if I should fall
down dead tomorrow
I think I’d rest in peace—
comforted by the belief
this life was quite important.

© 2016, Michael R. Patton
Survival: the book

water drops - December 30, 2015s

author’s note:

Best wishes for 2016.


Lao Tzu said
the Ancient Sages
were as evanescent
as icicles


according to my dictionary
that which is “evanescent” is like a vapor—
here and gone in just a short time:

for example…
in the cold night
my evanescent breath
twirls upwards in a wisp
to vanish like a ghost
—like a dream lost—

like the vapor from an icicle—

an icicle slowly dwindling in the Sun
drop…by drop…by drop…by drop

a blessed sacrifice: a gift—
though the Sages have faded into the darkness
their water still lives in our well.

But are we not all icicles
large or small?—

as this life of mine melts
maybe I can make peace with the loss
by telling myself
what I believe to be
a good belief:

long after I’m gone
what I have given (whatever that is)
will still be a part of whatever we are…

I am as you are:
evanescent…yet continuous.

© 2015, Michael R. Patton

myth steps: the blog

forest truck 327w - October 30, 2015s

author’s note:

Did I actually find a skeleton in an old pickup trunk, as stated in the poem below?

Well, I did happen upon the rusted-out truck pictured above.  And if you focus very intently for a spell, you might indeed see a skeleton.

Happy Halloween!


In the forest beyond
an abandoned burial ground
I found an intact human skeleton
upright in the driver’s seat
of a rusted pickup truck shell

but my shock soon dissipated
as I tiptoed over to investigate:

though delicate hand bones
held the wheel as if to steer
I sensed no spirit
inhabiting that antique frame.

I felt no threat:
the skull had lost its death grin
with the falling of the front teeth.

Instead, the specter
that would mock us
was itself mocked
because an earlier visitor
had stuck a silly baseball cap
atop the cranium.

Even so, I continued to stare
into the empty eye sockets
hoping to prompt in myself
some sense of the unseen mystery
—the invisible reality—
that I believe (I hope!)
is an active part of our world.

But when my neck hairs
finally began to rise
the fright came from this question:

might I likewise end my days
in a dry scrub forest?—
going nowhere, nowhere to go—alone:
a derelict in a derelict truck—
a clown set of bones—

a blank for a mouth—
a blank for a voice…?

Shocked by the thought
I walked away from that encounter
feeling most fortunate—

again the Death card
had appeared in my deck
to stir a sense of urgency
and reawaken my resolve.

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
picturing metaphor: the blog

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