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grass-stone-796-dgr-2-march-1-2017sc

author’s note:

I think most people have some type of hillside.
 

WHEN I RETURN

Though this hillside
has often helped me heal
now, I dare not lie down
for fear I’d never rise again.

Grief taints all my usual comforts:

the small blue wildflowers…
the gray stones…
the grasses
I’ve loved so often
with the spirit
that uses these neurons.

But despite the taint
I remain
because these things
–these beings
know me:
they feel my grief
and empathize.

To ease their worry
I’ll hold steady
as a feeling that seems relentlessly endless
slowly drains down

into a hidden reservoir–

a reservoir
I will ignore
to keep from being overwhelmed
as I do my daily chores…

a reservoir
that will eventually
overwhelm me
unless I return
to this green hill—

return when
I feel the pull
to deepen down
to deepen
as I deepen now.

When I return
I will see and feel
the taint left on the flowers
the stones and flowing
grasses

and in knowing
my grief again
I’ll realize
how strong I was
in my weakness—

strong enough
to fight the urge
to lie down forever.

When I return
I will lie down
in these grasses

like a lover
I’ll fall open
once more—

confident
of my courage.
 


© 2017, Michael R. Patton
Butterfly Soul” poems of grief & death & joy

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 the stagnant black pond
rich life multiplies.

The garden taught me:

moist decay in the shadow
will magically 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

whale-spout-792-db-b-db-october-21-2016sc

author’s note:

With regret, I cut these two lines from the poem below:

“When I realize my true size
 I don’t try to act so big”
 

WE ARE WHALES

The larger part
of human life
remains hidden
beneath the waves:

we are blue whales—
our secret language echoes
through vast expanses of ocean

so when I go below
I can hear you again
then feel you again—
you are not lost to me

and if I dare to go
even deeper down
I may hear the whole herd:

at such rare times
I am overwhelmed
by our whale song.
 


© 2016, Michael R. Patton
Listening to Silence: a book

heart eye gray eyes b - May 25, 2016s

author’s note:

With regret, I cut this stanza from the poem below, for the sake of continuity:

and because someone
wants to punch us
after we’ve written “loss is gain”
we know our words
must be accurate arrows.
 

ON THE CONTINENT OF LOVE LOST

She said
her heart had exiled her writing
to the land of love lost.

But I told her
that land need not be the island—
it can be the continent:

on the island
when we write of love lost
we write of the garden lost
we write of childhood lost

and we also write of that
on the continent
but we add:
we must lose the garden
in order to evolve.

On both the island
and the continent, we write
of the confusion of love lost

but on the continent
we write of the drive
to find our way back home.

On the island, we write
of returning
and not knowing
the one we once loved.

But on the continent
we write of returning
and again knowing the one within.

On the island
we write of open wounds
that refuse to mend

but on the continent
we write of how
those open wounds
can lead us down
to the deep wounds:

we write of mending
of mending all the way down—

we write of gaining from loss.

On the island
we’re afraid of losing—
of losing again

and we’re also afraid
on the continent—
despite all our gains:

we’re afraid of a love
we can not escape
a love we can not release
a love we can not hold—

we’re afraid
yet willfully go ahead
because we know we must.

All this I told her
but then admitted:
I don’t always inhabit
the continent

but when I do, I’m able to honor
the past and the present
with memorials and celebration:

memorials
because on the continent
we refuse to ignore our grief

and celebration
because on the continent
even shadows have light.
 


© 2016, Michael R. Patton
finding Beauty: the book

find COMMON COURAGE on amazon

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