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author’s note:

Some claim dreams are meaningless…

Maybe their dreams are.  Mine aren’t.


In the dream I could not breathe

for one full year!—

as I held to a stiff chair
at the bottom of a murky lake.

To survive this test of endurance
I needed to claw down deep
into my lungs
just to dredge up
a few molecules of oxygen
hidden in storage.

Years later, when I think of this dream
I again experience
the frightening sense
of suffocation—
the tightness in my chest—
the feeling of imprisonment.

Good to remember my strength.

I believe
the wise one within
leads us into trials of adversity
so that we will expand
our capacity.

I believe
that interior puppeteer
gave me the dream
so that I might realize
the benefit of my hardship
then fight for life
instead of crying.

Some will scoff at these ideas—
they’ll state flatly:
no “deep self” enacts a grand plan.

Nonetheless, I’d guess
we’d at least share this one belief:

through such painful tests
people grow.

© 2019, Michael R. Patton
the truth of the dream: poetry ebook


author’s note:

“Truth!  Stark naked truth…”
       — John Cleland


Why should I be embarrassed
by this scar on my chin?—

after all
I have worked hard to heal
and I think I’ve stitched well.

Yet I feel still ashamed—
angry at how I allowed
myself to be wounded—
angry at my weakness.

Perhaps I can finally lift myself
above that injurious belief
by joining the chorus of those who sing:
these scars show our strength!

But to truly refresh us
confession must be honest
so I’ll add to my song:
I haven’t healed completely—
otherwise, you wouldn’t see a scar.

Such relief as I raise my voice—
I’m so tired of trying to hide
the mark that defies the mask:

last night in a dream
a woman felt embarrassed
so I turned off the light

but I could still see her scars—
each one shone in the dark.

© 2019, Michael R. Patton
what I learned while alone: poetry ebook

dear reader:

Allow me to repeat myself:

At my death, I hope someone says: “He fought the good fight.”


In the dream, I knelt down

into a circle of light
found on the floor
of a dusty dark tunnel

and in an instant
an upswell of energy
saturated me—a sensation
both buoyant and dense—

my whole being hummed
with the grand expansion

yet at the same time
I felt diminished
by a power so great:

I soon woke in fear

and immediately lost the feeling

then cursed my weakness

as I often do
when I give in
to lower instinct
and reject what
my higher instinct desires.

I didn’t lose completely:

whenever I remember
that underground light
I can sense (just vaguely)
that force of peace
within me—

within me
yet frightfully foreign:

I doubt I could ever
live with that mysterious intensity
for more than
the occasional moment.

But no matter—
a recent dream shows me
determined to return—

through a dusty storm wind
toward a dim distant light

and though I feel so weak

the exhilaration spurs me on.

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
my war for peace: poetry ebook

author’s note:

It is apparently more important to nature that one should have consciousness, understanding, than to avoid suffering.
             — C.G. Jung


In the dream
pain became beautiful

as I watched you
embrace the tree—
a lover finding the lover
who knows her need:

the need to heal
and be healed.

A symbiotic relationship
working by osmosis:

as you healed yourself
with the tree’s love
you fed the tree with your love

and so your eyes gleamed
on one of its emerald leaves

but many eyes appeared on the leaves above

next time
I hope to see mine

so I’ve renewed my vow
to open and embrace

despite the slow pain of surrender…

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
finding Beauty: poetry ebook


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