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author’s note:

Highly recommended: The Fisher King and the Handless Maiden, by Robert A. Johnson.
 

MEETING THE WOUNDED WOMAN

After waking from the sight
of a wounded woman
knee-deep in a dark swamp…

I remembered what I’d read:

the “she” a man meets
in his dream
lives within him.

But though still alive
my receptive side
obviously didn’t feel so well—
after all, she’d lost a hand.

But how and when?—
I did not know…
however

as I pondered
the blank shock
in her blue eyes
I began to feel
what she must have felt
during whatever crime
caused the loss—
what she still feels
in the long aftermath:

horror at a savagery both rabid
and casual—
stunned confusion
at an injustice unpunished.

I could feel
the frozen fire
of her righteous anger

but also sensed
warm moist ashes of grief
beneath that ice.

I then understood why
a violent dream may follow
a routine mundane day:

if forced to confront
our deep wounds
during the waking hours
how could we complete transactions
or work with movable parts?

But we don’t occasionally confront
and deal with that truth
those wounds may kill us.

So, I need my horrific dreams—
painful though the awakening may be
I need to dream of a woman
missing a hand.

I can shelf that secret
in the back room
while I’m totaling receipts

then afterward
return to learning
how to heal the life
that gives me life.

Progress is slow, of necessity
but when I feel discouraged
I think of the green lizard dream:

how the little fellow sang with joy
because he’d finally managed
to grow his tail back—

he sang of sensitivity regained
he sang of better balance—
such fun, being functional!

That regeneration
must’ve cost a lot of energy
but what a return—
his song sounded so strong!
 

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

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author’s note:

I think I hold the world’s record for daydreaming.
 

LIVING IN A DREAM

In the dream
I bit into an apple

like the apple
I bit into
last Sunday
as I sat, daydreaming
beneath a droopy tree.

However
my dream apple
seemed much more intense
than my day apple—

maybe the dream came to wake me
with this message:

see what you miss
when you lazily ignore
just how incredible
your mundane life is.

I must not forget:
we live in a dream.

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
dream steps blog

author’s note:

Peace: always a work-in-progress.
 

WHAT I DISCOVERED AT THE SLEEP LAB

In our studies at the sleep lab
the quietest test subjects
often report
such loud dreams.

For instance:
the muted woman
who told us how she’d fought
to keep herself intact
as she spun up inside
a crazy gray tornado:

she described her struggle
with an elation absent later
when she awoke from seeing
a white dove perched
on her sunny window sill.

I wanted to say to her:
ironic, isn’t it?—you’re
more excited by the war
than by the peace you’ve earned.

But no, I did not—
we’re only allowed to make
some marks on a chart.

However
that evening I again sounded off
over drinks with my associates—
abandoning my science for the moment
to repeat with certainty this belief:

the dreams we record are proof
that all lives–
   even those so common
   even those so low
   even those so quiet
hold the highest goal.
 

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

author’s note:

Whoever invented the alarm clock must’ve hated dreams.
 

OLD HOPE REBORN

In the dream…

my shoulders slumped
in sad humility

as I looked down at
my footprints in the dust
and saw such chaos—
just a roundabout mess of steps.

I could see no gain
in that circle of clutter—
no, only loss.

But then a voice
(maybe within, maybe without)
said:

you’re a labyrinth within a labyrinth.

So I checked again
and lo!—
I began to see a design…`

a pattern too soon shattered
by the dull drill of my alarm.

But though I can’t recall
the truth I saw
at least, I again believe
a plan exists
for me…for all of us:

so again I have hope—

perhaps foolishly so
but oh—
I enjoy being young again.
 


© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

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