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author’s note:

“We have met the enemy and he is us.”
        — Walt Kelly, Pogo
 

ANOTHER BATTLE WON

Yesterday, as I skipped
down the sidewalk
I thought I glimpsed
a vulture circling!

and like a fool, I ran—
ran again
without thinking

and as fools often do
I tripped—
tripped again
and hit

the hard ground hard

then found only empty sky above.

I tried to laugh
but as I lay on my back
I began to feel
my real adversary again—
the parasite of needless fear:

its chattering teeth
trying to devour
the will of my better desire—

I wanted to jump up and run!

But as I fought to find
the strength to stand
I woke again
to that other feeling—
a feeling buried deep:

so subtle, so quiet, yet so solid—

a knowingness that says: all is well
(despite what you think)

a knowingness beyond reason.

The parasite then lost its teeth
(for the moment at least)
and I stood up
and walked on…

another battle won.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
dream steps blog

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author’s note:

Not only is the Universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine.
         — Sir Arthur Eddington
 

UNIQUE BROADCAST FREQUENCY

If I hold very still
when I’m in
that gray place between
waking and sleep…

in the extended silence
my inner ear may detect
a word or phrase
from a voice—
unknown
yet somehow familiar.

Maybe it’s merely the “me”
within me…

but how do you explain those times
when we meet someone
   who seems familiar
   though a still a stranger
and the words just flow
as if we’re continuing a conversation—
maybe one begun long ago…?

Based on such experience
I postulate:
at night, as the conscious mind rests
we transmit messages—
often across vast distances.

I realize I’m not being
very scientific
but
I believe it’s best to believe
that every individual in our world
owns a unique broadcast frequency—

in this way, at least
we the people have equality.
 


© 2018, Michael R. Patton
listening to silence: poetry ebook

Up from the bottom
  of an old pond,
  that duckling
has seen something strange.”
     — Joso (trans. Beilenson/Behn)
 

dUNKED

In those ocean dreams…

I want to bob on the top
of the water like a buoy
even though I know
if I don’t dive down
I will be dunked

dunked again:

drawn down
by some force of nature—down

to dark depths
where faces float like jellyfish:

they seem so foreign
and yet I’m told
they’re all a part of me—

even the women
even the animals
even the machines.

Occasionally I’ll witness
a face so luminous—
I burst to the surface with joy

but more often I’m greeted
by something much dimmer:
maybe a blank-eyed robot
or a drooling dog.

So next time I find myself
bobbing at the top
I may again resist
when I feel
that downward pull…

even though I know
I’ll be dunked if I do

yes—dunked again.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

author’s note:

When a man hears angels singing
he hears angels singing.
           — Mary Oliver
 

THE FABLE OF THE SONGBIRD & THE FROG

When the songbird told him
you’re no match for me
the bullfrog countered:

by who’s measure?—

yes, many have opened
their windows to your song

but the few who’ve opened to mine
recognize a beauty less obvious
so aren’t they more refined?

Only a wise heart can find
the aria hidden within
my harsh slimy croaking.
 


© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: poetry ebook

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