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author’s note:

With regret, I cut these lines from the poem below:

“as any witch who sweeps at night
  would tell you:
  change often goes unnoticed.”
 

SPINNING & TURNING

A year or so ago
I awoke from a dream
of a cock crowing on a rooftop—
silhouetted distinctly
by the pink-gold of a rising sun

which I believed symbolized
the arrival of a glorious new life
after decades of hard labor.

But when the weeks passed
and I continued to spin
without appearing to turn
I began to doubt again—

what more could I do
to shatter whatever invisible barrier
blocked my forward progress?—

perhaps something new
would bring in the new

so I began a slew
of fresh healthy activities:

I chanted along
with a recording of monks

and wrote daily in a dream journal—
analyzing scenes of mirrors and fog.

I surreptitiously laid
a stone walkway
in our city park—
a monument to the many strong people
working in the shadows
for the good of all.

I rearranged my files
then rearranged the rearrangement—

signaling to
the powers that be
(maybe outside, maybe within me)
that I was quite ready
for the disruption
of a new beginning.

But despite all I did
I still seemed to spin
without turning

so I again darkened with doubt

until a dream showed
pink-gold sunrays
erasing the gray
of a skylight above me.

Waking in joy
I then began to crow—
finally I understood:

though the mornings
may seem the same
I am turning my world.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

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dear reader:

Allow me to repeat myself:

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

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:
consumed—overwhelmed

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.

However
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—
fighting

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:

“We experience a dream as real because it is real.”
              — Dr. William C. Dement
 

MY BETTER WORLD

The excited uncertainty
of crossing a stone bridge in dark fog

ended
before I’d reached the end—ended
with the alarm of morning

and as I began my usual routine
the intensity faded
and I forgot the dream

until that afternoon:

while waiting to cross a city street
I suddenly recalled the night bridge
hidden and revealed and hidden
by the tease of shifting clouds

and as the feeling returned
my day world of blatant sunlight
became as real as that dream:

the traffic light warning me…
the bleached grey fence…
a vacant lot overgrown with weeds—
all seemed strangely alive

and I felt myself to be
an alien spirit
discovering a wonderland

then the light changed
and as my attention shifted
that sense of intensity faded:

once again I was
a lowly armadillo
grubbing along the asphalt.

However
that feeling of living
in a grander world
is not lost, only asleep

and sometimes
stirs from slumber
to end my daydream.

I then remember
I am more than a mere
creature of survival.
 

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

HOW PAIN BECOMES BEAUTIFUL

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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