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author’s note:

An appropriate poem for Valentine’s Day, I think.


Every morning before work
as he sits in his stifling tent
he says her name:

the name of the one once worshiped
at these ancient temple ruins—Her.

With knees lowered
and his head bowed
he feels that name within:

a presence greater
a presence foreign

and yet
there it is:
a part of him.

From the strength of that feeling
he believes he follows a higher calling
and so, every day, he’s able to endure
the dust—
the tedious shifting through dirt
the sweating madness of the desert—

he can even calm the fights
under that merciless sun.

But sometimes at night
while lying on his stiff cot in the dark
after another day of grinding labor
with little gain
that name—the goddess name
may not feel so meaningful

and so, for solace and inspiration
he instead whispers that other name

by contrast, a rather plain name

but like that ancient goddess
the woman of the plain name
also holds a cup to the sun:

no, not a cup of sanctified water—
maybe just a cup of strong coffee
or maybe a cup of stone-cut oats

but aren’t such things also holy?—

this woman, not a goddess
but not wholly unlike one.

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog


author’s note:

The flower above spoke to me…

It said: “Hey you—yeah you, knucklehead!  Down here!”


I came to this mountain
to find the almighty Sky God

hoping he might have lowered
down in the clouds surrounding
the peak…

but I became lost in the wet gray fog—
tired, disillusioned, I lowered
my eyes down to the ground

and there discovered
the flowers…

all their small faces: mighty suns.

© 2012, Michael R. Patton
searching for the new mythology


author’s note:

I did not realize last week was National Pollinator Week until too late.


Went out in the sun today—the rays
like strings
drew me up
over the water.  I am a bucket, I am a well.
I coalesce for a moment
of wonder.

Then I disappear.

But even without me
the trees will still rustle green,
naiads will still flow
              around the stones
of the stream

—ores will still pulse
within the mountain temple.

Somewhere another child
will play with a ring…and swing
a cup up
to the clouds.

Maybe that child will breathe
some of the same air
that once brought a cry from my lungs—
          then as the child lifts its voice
          again a windstorm
          will carry that cry

—dispersed, sown
   over the world—

same new song.

© 2009, Michael R. Patton
earnest audio
new steps


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