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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:

“Don’t wake him up.  He’s got insomnia—he’s trying to sleep it off.”
      — from the Marx Bros.’ A Night at the Opera
 

SLEEPING WITH THE WHALE

When I wake up
in the depth of night
I often feel a lump
—a whale hump—
beneath my dream pillow.

I’ll then adjust my head
and shift and twist
but I can only ever get
semi-comfortable:

the truth is,
in my heart I sense
the beast waiting for me
beneath the waves…

even at rest we don’t rest—

both day and night
we’re learning
how to ride this whale.
 

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

author’s note:

I’m reminded of the expression, “He’s a nice person—when he’s asleep.”

Whoever coined that phrase has never seen my dreams.
 

GLAD TO SHARE MY INCREDIBLE NIGHTMARE

What a night!—
hail rained down
all through my dreams
to stick in my throat and boot
the next morning
as I tried to talk and walk
as if not so discombobulated
by a sleep
that was non-sleep.

I believe
the steam of what boils in my heart
finds release in dreams—
sometimes creating something quite sweet:
an angelic pipe-organ melody

but more often
blasting a cacophony:

last night, those tight little fists of ice
whipped down on flat stone
in rattling waves of roar—!

But I must admit
such storms light me up
with their lightning

even though in the morning
I’m left frazzled
in the burnt-crisp aftershock…

a charge and burn absent the next night
when I’m refreshed and eased
by gentle visions gone in a wisp…

leaving me with no better story
than to repeat what happened
night before last.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
dream steps blog

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

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