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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:

“In the Spring, a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.”
              — Tennyson

And maybe an older man’s fancy too.
 

YOUR GREEN SLIP

The moment
I glimpsed your green slip
I felt myself lift

up
out of that dark underground artery—

hooked by a hunger
I wanted to ignore
but also wanted to obey

and obeyed, because
I knew I would return

to explore
as monks long have—
believing
as fools long have:

if we plot enough coordinates
in this confusion of tunnels
we’ll eventually realize
the magnificence of a labyrinth

and know just where we are.

But today, I’ll obey the hunger
and maybe tomorrow too

because to live with confusion
we must occasionally forget
our confusion
by giving and receiving
in the manner
of kittens and puppies.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

author’s note:

As they say in the movies: “based on a true story”.
 

BRIEF WINGS

For a moment this morning
I again felt those wings:

suddenly—without warning
that stiff pain struck me
right between the shoulder blades—

the tension pinned me straight up.

But wings are quite personal
so I pretended nonchalance
and eased on down the street

even as I sensed
those wing sprouts opening
ever so slightly—
just a bit more than before—

this time
maybe all the way
to the first pinion joint.

Though eager as ever
I dared not push
for a greater unfurling:

such impatience
actually seems to make
the wings retract.

But despite my caution
the sprouts soon shrank back—
as they have
so many times before.

Yes, they’ll come again
but I never know when—
could be tomorrow
or many months from now.

My deepest meditation
can’t open them
nor do they respond
to my most reverent prayer
or my greatest good act

so I try to distract myself
with honest daily chores.

But of course
my mind sometimes drifts
to my fervent wish:

to one day soar.

However
I wouldn’t fly all the time
nor merely for pleasure
but only when
I deemed the moment
appropriate—

when my high flight might benefit us all.

Don’t snicker—
this goal must indeed be possible
because one night I flew
anywhere I wanted at will.

I often use that dream
to lift myself
when I despair
my wings will never spread.
 


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

future of dogs 332h - January 15, 2014s

author’s note:

When one dog barks, one hundred dogs.
            — old Chinese proverb
 

THE FUTURE OF DOGS

What if we humans
(overwhelmed by our life)
began to regress:

what if we lowered to crawl
then slide even further—
down to a slither

until finally
for the sake of simplicity
we shrank to the basic life
of the one-cell organism?

To fill the void we’d leave behind
maybe dogs would drive our cars:
just like humans
they’d work, play, marry, spend—
experiment, build, scheme…

and perhaps in the exhaustion
of all the stress and rush
they’d eventually stop
and begin wonder if
there might be something more
beyond that mash of noise.

Maybe they’d then invent
a story of mystery
to add another dimension
to their lives
and thus fulfill
an obscure desire

or maybe in those moments of silence
they’d actually begin to sense
a reality unseen:

maybe some
would flex their nostrils
and try to sniff out
that other world

and maybe they’d eventually find a trail
that could lead us there

but if nothing else
they’d experience the ache
of searching
and thus discover
new depths to the heart:

in either case
they’d be driven to express
something beyond the limits
of their usual yapping
and so begin to howl
from deep, deep down

and as those dogs howled
other dogs would naturally stop to listen:

those busy dogs
would brake their cars
and open their ears
to hear the feeling within the sound—
they’d feel the feeling
and in feeling, also begin to howl

and by howling, discover
their better deeper nature—
discover their higher truth:

they’d find the ring
that links them all together.

In this way
canines could continue to evolve—
they’d go beyond raw survival
they’d go beyond dog-eat-dog:

they’d reject the temptation
to lazily regress
to the dark numb world
of the one-cell organism…

 

© 2015, Michael R. Patton

myth steps: the blog

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