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embrace life - June 21, 2015s

author’s note:

Someone once asked me if I ever wrote love poetry…

I replied: I hope there’s love in all my poems.
 

THE LOVE LIFE OF THE ESKIMO

The Eskimos
have as many names for love
as they do for snow—

my Northern friends told me:
in such a brutal world
they need to realize
the myriad expressions
of love.

Of course,
they’ve a name for romantic love—

a name that shares a root
with all the other love names

including the name
for motherly love
which only varies slightly from
the name for fatherly love.

The name for
the fierce devotional love
a dog has for its whip master
is used as well
for the love the Eskimos feel
for a life so harsh:

a name also given to death
as one nears the end—yes
they’ve chosen to embrace death

they say:
accept the inevitable
with joy amid the sadness.

Likewise,
they welcome the long night:

though the Winter often
shuns their offering
they know they must love
the dark and the storm
and the deepest cold
in order to thrive

and besides…

the storm, the cold, the dark
have made them who they are—

so shouldn’t they give thanks?

They honor those elements as gods
because they want to elevate their love

and in so doing, elevate themselves.

I can understand—
I want to elevate my own life…

for that reason
I asked the Eskimos to give me
all their names for love—

I would incant a love word
with each step
and in that way, realize
the love I truly feel
through every living day…

but my Northern friends told me
they also love poetry

and if I didn’t try to find
my own names for love
I’d never be a poet…
 


© 2015, Michael R. Patton
My War for Peace: the book

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author’s note:

A good poem, I think, to welcome our Spring.
 

THE COLD WISDOM OF WINTER

I miss winter—
how breaking through the hard ice
strengthened the beat of my heart;
how braving the sharpening wind
gave me a sense of accomplishment.

How the waves of drifts made me lift
my feet high.  How I kept myself warm
with the heat of desire.

To help myself fight through to Spring
I thought of the sunlight glowing soft
    on the top of every sprout—

I thought of how
the earth welcomes the plow,
of how the soil gladdens to open
to breathe again—
wishing to show how rich brown it has grown
during the dark days—
to reveal its goodness and its godness,
to give an intimation
of what lies deeper down.

But now, my memories have changed
as the season has changed…now—

I miss winter, the cold wisdom of winter.

© 2010, Michael R. Patton
shameless self-promotion

author’s note:

Another poem previously posted on another blog and recently revised.

During my lackluster high school football career, I heard only one half-time pep talk.  It really gave us a charge–for about five minutes.

Perhaps the coach should have told us…

…sometimes you just have to take a lickin’ while doing the best you can.
 

NAKED SECRET

I am not afraid
of depression
of this heavy eagle–
this shadow angel
with its blue flame eyes burning
in the dark mist.

I won’t run–
where would I go?
No, not there–
not anymore.

Now I bask under
a gray sky–
defiantly.  I am wet
in the water, feeling
the tug of war
of waves rocking; I’m washing
internal organs
so that they may process
all the dust I ingest,
so that they may be used
by countless others.

I compliment myself
on being such a complex being.
So monstrous.  So like igneous rock.  In contrast
to my lamb-like appearance.

I am the storm mountain.
I am the stone face the storm
cracks, erases–but who needs
a stone face?

I never knew I would be so strong.
I never knew I would have to be.

This depression crept in like smoke
to whisper a naked secret to me–
to tell me I can be
even stronger–to intimate

that I will be required.

© 2008, Michael R. Patton
hear these poems

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