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author’s note:

Heart attacks often occur in the morning hours during the last phase of REM (dream) sleep.


The truth must actually be important:

otherwise why would my dreams
ruin a soft nourishing sleep
by revealing the true chaos
of my waking life?—

ruin, by revealing
my relentless distress

then add to that distress
by revealing
I’m not yet over the sorrow
I thought I’d put to rest
years ago

and then at the end of night
stun me one more time
by revealing the love
behind my dislike
and the anger raging under
what I thought
was calm acceptance.

No wonder our hearts often burst
while we’re asleep…

but maybe my dreams will be
a little easier on me
if I can wake myself
to more of the truth
amid the chaos of these days.

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
dream steps blog


author’s note:

Our dreams remind us how extraordinary our ordinary lives are.


According to one theory…

as we ease into sleep
our minds begin to spiral
and expand
like a hurricane
like a galaxy:

though we think we rest
we actually spread and accelerate
through an interstellar space—

each night we extend
just a little bit more
than before—
we grow even as we snore.

But when the alarm sounds
we contract—
in a mere instant
we slam back together again!

I’m not sure of that theory
but I do know:
in a blink I’m awake
and in the rush of morning thought
I quickly forget
my nighttime universe…

but later, while waiting in traffic
I may sense a soft buzz of stardust within
then dimly recall a meteor or a planet.

What I lost probably wasn’t that important
I’ll tell myself

but in truth, at such times
I feel like a kid
who’s just missed the circus
and must return to class.

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

brain storm - March 9, 2014s

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.


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

The steam of what boils in my heart
finds release in dreams—
at times, refined
into a pipe organ melody angelic

but more often blasting a cacophony—
sometimes quite terrifying:

those fists of ice shrieked in a thundering wind—!

But I must admit
such lightning storms
give me a charge—
despite the frazzled
burnt-crisp aftershock:

a charge 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.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
dreaming steps

go dream - January 15, 2014s

author’s note:

My favorite line in this poem is: “because they think they know me/better than I know my own self.”

I’m guessing you can relate.


Here’s my process:

again, a door opens without warning…

again, a dark space dares me to enter…

but because the depth
is unknown
I vacillate
even though I know
I’ll eventually take that step
because the depth
is unknown.

I wouldn’t be so hesitant
if I’d more than myself for a guide
but I’ve cast off all others
because they think they know me
better than I know my own self.

Though I realize it’s a dream
I’m nervous because I can’t imagine
what I’ll find
but still, I try to guess
because I’m so damn nervous
even though I know
I can’t possibly imagine…


shamed at such weak foolishness
I finally take that first bold step…

© 2011, Michael R. Patton

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