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author’s note:

I may lie to myself while awake.  But in my dreams, I always tell myself the truth.


This morning when I saw
the mess in the mirror
I wondered:

did my hair do a dance in the night
while I dreamt a dream
now forgotten?

Maybe so, because
as I listened to my inside
I could feel the afterglow
of a rollicking midnight party.

I had to flatten down
the cacophony of my top
so I could be
a proper employee.

my spirit hummed
all morning—
my body twitched

until a merciful angel
finally came to my rescue

by setting off the office fire alarm—!

I then had a private space
in which to spin
to shake, to clap
to shout, to laugh

and my hair rose
with the ecstasy
as every strand
did its wild dance.

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


gold dust leaf full br b words - August 15, 2016sc

author’s note:

…and the street of the city was pure gold…
                  — Revelation 21:21


Though I glimpsed
fragile frost sparkling
amid the fur of that green moss
I rejected the urge
to stop and explore
with my hungry fingertips.

Later, while under
the bare branches of the trees
I sensed a mystery in the wind
but at such a fast pace, I mostly missed
the multi-layered voice
of the long brown grass.

Then, at the end of this rush
I poured water down my gullet
until my belly felt pleasantly plump
but because I forgot to focus
I lost the bright flavor of the ice.

So much gold I’ve diminished to dust.

sometimes I’ll allow something
to break through my somnolence—

for instance:

the time when
the bird perched vertically
on that tall weed stem—

I felt such admiration
for the way it held on
with those small taunt claws

then I was dazzled again
as the wren vanished
in a flash of flutter and feather
drawing my child-mind to the sky
where I beheld
a low cloud sliding swiftly by:

in that blessed instant
my dormant neurons suddenly blazed up
with unspeakable white intensity

but soon
(like the earth-bound soul I am)
I followed the natural inclination
to lower my eyes back down to this world—
a world now beaming
with so many varieties of gold:

the gold I usually ignore

but even then, it’s not lost:
whether I’m aware or not
I’m taking in all this treasure
with every living moment.

I believe after death
we’re finally able to realize
the riches we’ve accumulated
through our human existence.

But until then I can at least
force myself to occasionally brake
to see and feel and hear and taste
and in that way, remind myself:

in this dusty life
I walk on streets of gold.

© 2016, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: a blog

cloud arrow bb - March 11, 2016s

author’s note:

The value of a human being can
be measured by what he or
she most deeply wants.
         — Rumi (trans. C. Barks)

To that I say: we all seem to deeply want heaven.  But how to get there—that’s the problem.


Some believe
in heaven you can smoke
as many cigarettes as you wish
without any harmful side effects

but why would we crave tobacco
or any other pleasure?—
how could this velvety ice cream
match heaven’s relentless love?

The best angels
of Beethoven’s nature
would be but a cicada cacophony
compared to the celestial choir

and the starry brilliance
of Van Gogh
would dim to dull
beside the eternal sun.

We wouldn’t pick
cocaine’s kick
over heaven’s constant bliss

that is, unless…

such perfection
overwhelms us:

the flood of light
becomes much too much
soon after our arrival
and in desperation, we jump

back down to Earth.

We then try to escape
the pain of our fall
by blocking the memory
but still sense the loss
and so, pursue those things
that hint of the ecstasy:

a myriad of substitutes
we’ve found or invented—
many or most
actually quite fine

but even a dozen together
can’t completely satisfy.

So eventually, in desperation
we look to heaven again
then fight to lift
ourselves back up

but when (after much effort)
we again reach
that exalted state
we feel overwhelmed
just as before

and so, once more
kick ourselves out.

So many trials we must endure

we finally accept
that this Earth will never ever
be enough for us:

we must find the strength to bear
that which seems to be unbearable

we must give ourselves up

we must surrender to the inevitable.

When will I—when will I
when will I allow
the torrential light to devour
all that I’ve imagined
myself to be?

© 2016, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: the blog

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