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author’s note:

I would like to add: if I’m shopping in a labyrinth, then we’re shopping in a labyrinth.


My dreams confirm the message
of many myths and legends:

I’m traveling through a labyrinth.

However, in these dreams
the inner passageway
often resembles the halls
of your average shopping mall

with countless bright stores
vying for my attention:

offering me
every sort of thing
except it seems
that which I seek

and what might that be?—
well, I can’t exactly say—
I only know I haven’t yet found it
in any of those displays.

But I don’t feel defeated—
no, not in the least:
I’m still eager to explore—to see
what waits next door down:

I like to imagine
I’m gathering valuable information
with the hungry claws
of my six senses—

taking in as many manifestations
as I can possibly tolerate:

puzzle pieces to be put together
though maybe not
until much later—
maybe if I keep shuffling the mad lot
the bits will finally fall
into a discernable pattern
and I’ll find the design
that’s been waiting for me
to perceive its glorious reality—

perhaps that’s what
I seek in this labyrinth:
a vision of its totality!

A beautiful hope
but my solid reality is also lovely
as I’m driven by an innate desire
to see and feel and hear and know
what waits next door down.

© 2016, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: a poetry book


blessed descent - September 11, 2015s

author’s note:

Because we live with the knowledge that we will die, perhaps all humans are, to some degree, courageous.


When the overseers scanned our group
they could see I was the one
trying hardest not to be seen–
the one most afraid
that the earth beneath his feet
was only cloud.

They realized I needed
this trip–this ordeal
more than anyone else.

Now as they turn the crank
my little basket slowly lowers
into the deep ravine
and its echoing bass murmur:

down there
I will explore for all of us
and with luck, return to report
on what delights and terrors exist
in such a precarious place.

Though I feel anxious and small
my chest thrills with silent celebration
as the darkness deepens:

at present
I despise my weakness
but at the bottom
I’ll have the chance
to find my strength…

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
My War for Peace: the book

author’s note:

Allow me to make one thing clear: I am not a belly with its beer.


The beings of mythology
have wandered far
from my yard.

When I finally
discovered them missing,
I was a poor sight:
      a belly with its beer.

I was so far gone
I could not even bring myself
to hunt for them.

Only when a star fell
and burned up my back lawn
did I awake
then move on the trail
of those mythical beasts.

First, I uncovered
a shock of hair
in the dusty road.
Then a claw nail.
Some wet droppings
lying in the dirt.
A place where one of them
had skinned a rat.

I knew they’d probably
have their way with me
once I found them.

But I guess that’s what I get
for years of neglect.

© 2008, Michael R. Patton
dream steps
earnest audio

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