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egg head - December 18, 2015s

author’s note:

Since my house
burned down, I now own
a better view
of the rising moon.
      –– Masahide (trans. Beilenson/Behn)

 

THE DILEMMA OF THE MAN IN THE EGG

In the story of the man
confined within an egg
we confront this dilemma:

though the shell now feels
a little too tight, and though
his nourishment has gone stale
our man still prefers this familiar shelter
over the unknown outside.

Fortunately
even such paltry circumstance
can not stop him from growing

and so the shell will likely burst
before our man blindly
extinguishes his life.

Not the most heroic story, I realize

and yet
the man’s inevitable transformation
gives me hope:

hope for our world

and hope for myself.

 

© 2015, Michael R. Patton

common courage: the book

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U Up - April 19, 2015s

author’s note:

The letter “U” is a recurring symbol in my dreams…

But maybe it’s a universal symbol—I know I’m not the only one who’s traveled the “U” path.
 

POEM TO A MIRROR

From the day of my birth onward
I’ve duplicated so many of humanity’s
various stupidities

and I’ve seen you
repeat that history too–
seen you

struggle with your history
just as I’ve struggled with mine:

as I witness
the ferocity of your fight
I realize your strong will…

if I can then remember
you are my mirror
I may also realize mine—

my will to do more
than merely survive.

If I can then remember
how we both mirror
the whole human race…

I won’t lose hope
for the life
of our flawed species.
 


© 2015, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: the blog

ash bird - February 12, 2015s

author’s note:

My goal isn’t to write my story, but to write our story.
 

MY HOPE FOR MYSELF, MY HOPE FOR THE WORLD

I wish I could assure you
salvation naturally follows destruction

but the bird doesn’t always
rise from the ash.

Nonetheless…

if the fire of the our present
becomes a conflagration in the future
I will try to write of hope—

just as I do today

as I struggle to learn
how to maintain a stable peace
without losing my fire—

as I struggle to learn
how to grow a strong flame
without the blaze bursting
into a one-man conflagration.

On this mission
I often collapse into ashes
yet I keep raising myself
back up

strengthened by hope.

My hope for myself
is my hope for the world.
 


© 2015, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: the blog

author’s note:

“There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.”
              —  Martin Luther King, Jr.
 

THE FUTURE OF CATS & DOGS

Half
of this humble poem
was written, originally,
in the language of the cat
and half,
in the language of the dog.

So we assigned the translation
to a scholarly feline and canine.

But we asked the cat
to work at night
and the dog
during daylight—

to avoid conflict.

Even they feared
that sooner or later
their better natures
would be subverted
by animal instinct.

And then civilization
would suffer
yet another
tragedy
in our battle for peace.

However, the dog and cat
did agree to be
photographed together
to celebrate completion
of the project.

And to their credit…
you could see restrained sadness
in their smiling eyes—
a bemused disquiet,
an awareness of shared grief
from all those centuries—centuries
of dog and cat fights.

I can not help but feel hope
when I see such tortured hearts
struggle with all their history.

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

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