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author’s note:

As they say in the movies: based on a true story.


One misty childhood morning
I tried to lose myself
in a fog cloud
hovering across the field.

I ran—in a blur, I ran
over there
and then back
and then over there again—

the fog kept moving:

wherever I was
was where it was not.

Finally I had to stop for air
but as I wheezed and coughed
I suddenly realized
that though the fog had fled
I’d still eaten a bit of it
with every huffing breath—
I could feel the rasp
of its wet wisps
deep in my lungs.

And so I kept running:
I ran—I ran—I ran until
I’d cleared the field.

In class later that day
the teacher said The Sun
had evaporated that vapor

so if I could feel
the moist ephemeral fabric
burning down to damp ashes
inside me…

then I must be a sun

(albeit a small one).

That logic—
so fanciful
so egotistical—
later provided blessed perspective
for the adult the child became:

yes, I never seemed to catch
those fantasies I chased…

but as I ran here and there
and back again
wasn’t I always taking in
that which we call “life”?—

wasn’t I always clearing?—

wasn’t I always
living as a sun?

© 2017, Michael R. Patton
dream steps: a blog


zig zag carnival - July 20, 2014s

author’s note:

“I know an illusion when I see one.”
      — from Soultime by Michael R. Patton


Born into a carnival
I remain a child

puzzled by the colors
of all those lights

including the cruel flashes
that cause me to wince.

As a child I still try
to comprehend this vision,
as an adult, I’ve chosen
to keep my eyes open…

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
SOULTIME: the book


author’s note:

I recently discovered that the poem below is not, technically speaking, a fable.  It’s closer to being a parable.

But “fable” reminds me of those Aesop fables that I enjoyed as a boy.  Whereas, “parable” reminds me of Sunday School.

However, upon reflection, the poem does sound closer to Sunday School, than to Aesop.  Even so, I’m sticking with “fable”.  I believe the poem to be accurate in all other respects.


An old man
sitting in a tree
begged me
to carry him
across the water.

But by the time
I’d reached the other side,
that burden on my back…

had vanished—!

I have made many more trips,
each time toting that same old man.
But I’ve stopped blaming him
for not staying put—
no one fools me as well
as I fool myself

and though I’m wiser now
I continue because
I’ve realized why
I acquiesce to his requests:

I’m discovering
how strong I can be—
I’m learning

how we build strength.

© 2012, Michael R. Patton
new steps

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