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bat flight - March 12, 2014s

author’s note:

A companion poem to the last one posted…

I’ve had scary dreams, nauseating dreams, dreams that have weighed on me all the next day.

But I’ve never had any “bad” dreams.


Though in sleep my body needs
a good feathery rest…

my soul requires those bat wings
that trouble my eyelids—

by the day’s erratic fuss
the upside-down angel
stirs a wind, swirls me up
with no care at all
for my coziness—

only to be dropped
into the cold monk waters
so contrary to
the gentle dinner evening
I’ve just enjoyed—

through the thunder of the depths
where I’m again shaved by electric fishes
with razor-sharp fins

to be beached the next morning:
in the sun, I burn from the cutting—
but though burnt, I’m never quite done.

From the repetition of such exercise
I’ve surmised:
no amount of sacrifice is ever enough—

the sharpened point
can never get
too fine.

Perhaps that’s why
we struggle so hard
to extend our lives
instead of surrendering
to the soft rest of death:

I know
I have so much more
to offer up
in the batty days and nights
of this dark angel.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
dreaming steps


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

blessed findings of lab - September 29, 2013s

author’s note:

Another selection from my collection, Open All Night: poems of our dream life

However, this is not a plug…not a promo.  Nearly everything in that book can be found on this blog.  No reason to pay the .99.

Unless you really want to…


In our work at the sleep lab
we came to realize
our ordinary subjects
were just as fantastic
as what they dreamt…

When we woke them
to learn of their dreams
they spoke with drowsy dizzy
confused fascination

of routine dangers
such as cracked axels
and broken anchor chains

of crucifixions—
such as surfing on a cross
down and up
oceanic mountains

of ghosts—of so many
silent shadowy stalkers.

Of course, their dreams often brought them shame
but just as often, our dreamers beamed proud
while telling how they’d endured
adverse environments—

though the scenario might be
as tedious and mundane
as sitting on a sofa stuffed with hostility
in a suffocating room.

Yes, our subjects traversed
some difficult roundabouts
but fortunately, on occasion
they would return
to an island where the sun surf washes up
to soothe the bruised heart—

a brief vacation but enough
to buoy us before we again embark.

At the sleep lab
such golden dreams
are not set apart
but duly noted
as with all the rest:
in figures and on graphs…

but sometimes
after work, over drinks
we’ll unscientifically admit:
those brilliant moments are proof
of the blessedness hidden within
this adverse mundane life.

© 2013, Michael R. Patton
Open All Night: poems of our dream life

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