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author’s note:

I believe the whole human race has entered the borderland.
 

INFERNO DOG

Last night, I again saw that dog
with the spinning inferno eyes—

the one that wants
to lead me from this scrub land
and into and through
the forest so dense.

In a previous dream
I’d stopped at that twilight border—
afraid to enter the extreme
shadowy wonder…
even with the guide dog.

However this time
I forced myself to step

only to trip
over my own shoelaces:

as in other dreams
my laces had somehow gotten tangled.

So once again, I knelt down
and worked to un-knot knots

as the dog watched,
a smile at the corners of its mouth—
it knows I know
I can’t escape the inevitable.
 


© 2018, Michael R. Patton
Survival: poetry ebook

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author’s note:

I’d like to thank those who have been tolerant of my menagerie…
 

A HOUSE OF TOLERANCE

Last night, while dreaming of
my solitary house
I opened a broom closet
and a bundled body fell out…

one more mystery character to unwrap—
another

in a wide cast
that includes both commanders
and slaves,
mountebanks as well as monks—
a riotous mix.

So please excuse me if I hesitate
to invite you in—
though I may seem quite quiet
I’m actually a carousel
of commotion.

Yes, at first, you might enjoy
the entertainment
but in time, a circus
can become very overbearing—

I know because I live with me.

A struggle
but with its benefits:
by learning to be
more tolerant of myself
I’ve become
more tolerant of others.

Maybe you want to enter
this solitary house
because you’re also trying to learn
tolerance…

well, in that case, okay.

Anyway
I think I’m tolerant enough now
to handle our inevitable
fits of exasperation.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
what I learned while alone: poetry ebook

author’s note:

It doesn’t have to be an owl.
 

THE OWL AT MIDNIGHT

One blessed midnight…

I woke to find
my confused face reflected
on the translucent lens
of the owl’s dark eyes.

As the wise one peered deep into me
from its perch on the window sill
I froze dumb, struck to the core—

I could feel its sharp vision scanning
through my assorted troubles—conflicts!—
not judging me nor feeling pity
merely calculating my progress
in our refining process.

Overwhelmed by the intense scrutiny
I soon shut down
but though I wished I’d stayed awake
I felt satisfied after that visit:

what I’d only vaguely sensed before
had been confirmed by experience:

our world does indeed have eyes—
yes, we’re being monitored

and though our watchers
may seem distant and dispassionate
obviously, they must care—
otherwise they wouldn’t track
our steps so intently.

I realize some may claim
the owl was but a dream…

but either way
I can still say:
this work I’m doing matters.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
dream steps blog

dear reader:

The photo above shows that the yellow orchid does indeed have a lip.
 

GOLDEN GROWTH

When the Inquisitor appeared
in a dream years ago…

I realized I was trying
to speed my growth
by stretching myself
on a torture rack

so I then began to use gentler tactics

and accepted the tedium
of gradual change.

A wise way, yes—but
by the time I’d finally
washed off enough dross
to shine a bit…

my youth was gone—
its golden possibilities lost:

in a dream, I saw
gold dust fall down
to disappear into the cracks
between worn floorboards.

I woke in grief
and remained in grief

until an old crone
(impatient with my self-pity)
turned my mind by asking:
does anything ever really die?

then opened the door
to a subterranean cache—
a garden flourishing
with spires of golden grain
and yellow orchids
dripping honey from the lip.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
searching for my best beliefs: poetry ebook

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