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author’s note:

This hour I tell things in confidence,
I might not tell everybody but I will tell you.
               — Walt Whitman
 

THE DIAMOND KITE

Yesterday, when I saw the kite
I saw myself

sleeping in a park clearing
—no tail, no string—
just thin orange paper breathing
in a flimsy wooden frame

until woken abruptly by a gust—
twirled straight up—
up above the maple trees

then held—suspended:
burning golden in the sun
for an operatic moment.

But soon the magic went “poof”
and the kite spiraled down
to land softly on the lawn—

the diamond eagle: a ground bird
once again.

I know how it feels

to be suddenly lifted
by some invisible hand—
held aloft

only to be set down
in the next breath.

A short vacation
yet long enough
for me to know the wonder
of being a diamond kite

and so, ever since
I’ve wanted that height
as a permanent residence

and have worked to build
string and tail.

But after so many years
and so much effort, I fear
my kite dream may only be
a pipe dream.

Nevertheless…

when I saw that kite aloft
I could not deny my desire
to lift myself up
to my diamond height.
 

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

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author’s note:

I believe we’re all working in the same way…

…and we never retire.
 

ON THE OTHER SIDE OF MY EYELIDS

Years ago, I woke to find
a whirling circle of sun-fire
descending from a fog
hovering above me—

threatening
yet harmonious—
like the aerial view of a hurricane:
a swirling blaze
of orange and gold tentacles
spiraling
into a cool aqua eye.

I felt myself lift—drawn in
despite the fire

and in sudden response
the eye expanded
to envelop my vision
so I could know
how the soft surface hue
deepens down into
a well of cobalt blue—

ominous and yet
I wanted to dive in

but in an instant—by instinct—
I shut my shocked eyes

and found relief
for my palpitating heart
in that old familiar darkness

however…
amid the growing stillness
I could sense
the awakening desire
of a higher instinct.

In answer
I tried to open again
but soon learned:
I’d not yet earned
more than that brief glimpse.

Ever since
I’ve worked to build
the strength needed
to accept
that which I want
yet fearfully reject.

Yes—
in fatigue, I often sloth

but even then
I can sense the mystery lurking
on the other side of my eyelids

so I remain tantalized…

driven.
 


© 2017, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

dark eyes 310w - March 4, 2015s

author’s note:

In recent dreams, I’m going to a new college.

So, at the very least, I’ve graduated from high school.
 

AN EDUCATION IN THE PIT

When the sky broke open on the first day

in fear of the sudden light
we ran into a cave to hide

and prayed until we’d built
enough courage
to venture back out

but as we felt our way
down the maze of dark tunnels
we became confused

and so, we’ve wandered lost
through the cave to this day…
                             We manage

to comfort ourselves
by forgetting about our blindness

but are reminded
whenever we hit a stalactite
or collide with a bat

or worse yet—
fall into a pit:

an event that can either be
a great motivator or
a hard defeat

depending on whether or not
you can imagine a brighter world:

a world in which
we will find our way
out of the shadows
by the light beams shooting
from our wide-open eyes.

But maybe you think
I speak without knowing
because I’m still down here
in the depths.

To that, I answer:
you can learn a lot in a pit

especially if
you want so badly to be free—

I’ve taught myself,
using all sorts of sources

including the teachings
of those who saw how
to climb their way out…

and what do the wise ones tell me?

You’re the only one
   who can open your eyes.

 

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
finding Beauty: the book

on wings of clam - August 4, 2013s

author’s note:

“No one sees you working in the basement…

“…and no one should.”
                        — anonymous
 

ON THE WINGS OF A CLAM

Only the dog saw her
strip on the beach and wade out
into the darkening waters

as if she’d been hypnotized
by the sunset on the horizon—

as if she’d surrendered
to a glowing moon
seen in a hypnotic dream.

Family and friends comforted themselves
by imagining she had finally flown
to some oval island where she could be
a bird flower bursting into bloom.

But in truth, she did what clams usually do:

she sank to the bottom

to subject herself
to the ever-increasing pressures
of the lower depths

so that a fist might break open
and become a hand…

so that a flower bud might achingly blossom.

Hands are like wings when they open
because they can lift so many others

and when her hands finally bloomed
we found her standing, dripping wet
shining brilliantly on the sand:

a sun flower

but also a pearl
glowing in the moonlight.

Still shining, these days, still glowing
as she attempts to tell us
about that which can never be
adequately expressed

and because what can never be
adequately expressed
cries out so urgently
for expression
she stutters and fumbles
and humbles herself
as she delivers her story…

yet the feeling behind her words
opens us and lifts us up

to stand on her tall shoulders.

© 2013, Michael R. Patton
dream steps

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