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author’s note:

It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.
           — Bob Dylan


I am building an ark

my work guided
by a voice transcendent

asking me to believe
what I can’t yet see

but I blindly obey because
as carpenters, we learn
disasters can happen when
we refuse to listen…

doubt often lowers me down

but I lift myself
with this perspective:

maybe I am
making a grand mistake…

but if so
it’s wonderfully grand.

© 2016, Michael R. Patton
Survival: a poetry book


author’s note:

I’ve been both butterfly and moth.  But mostly moth, I’d say.

No matter—they both have wings.


In the hollow
of my wooden head
lives a lively moth
too quickly excited
by whatever shooting spark—

thus, it kills the flame it fans—
producing but a puff of hot wind.

So the popular theory
about the potential effects
of a butterfly’s wings
would seem to be in error…

my flapping has never created
a cleansing fiery hurricane
in distant capitols or battlefields.

However, this loud smallness
does irritate enough to awaken
something buried under
the dull ashes—

this something rises to action—
determined to quell the fluttering—
this something quells the fluttering
simply by rising…

this workman smolders—
having built a deep fire within—

this workman, once summoned
then continues his forging
in full light

as the lovely moth rests
within the halo of the lamp.

© 2011, Michael R. Patton
searching for the new mythology


author’s note:

I’m learning—albeit, slowly—to listen.  But I still have a hard time believing what I hear.

What if you had
another head
inside your head—
      a better head
      but hidden.

A head that would call
to you…though hard to hear
with your big head talking
all the time, unaware
of that muted voice
trying to get you
to listen.

Unless—as can sometimes happen—
one day you tilt, tumble, hang upside

then the lid on your big head
flops open

and what comes out
in that shocking moment
is an opera

sung by ravens and lions.


by startled reflex
you shove that lid back down
with a firm hand:
ravens and lions are scary, but
even scarier when
they sing


you’ll keep the lid securely in place…

as can sometimes happen…

one day, while I’m distracted
by the mountain clouds,
waiting for the sun to touch
the highest peak…

that lid on my big head
—quietly, secretly—
floats up

floats away.

And this time
as the ravens and lions
raise their choir,
I accept the music

because the singing feels
just like something
that’s supposed to happen
whenever I witness abundance.

During such moments
of unlidness
I feel as if
I am beginning to be
the way I was always
meant to be.

© 2009, Michael R. Patton
new steps

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