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author’s note:

“In the Spring, a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.”
              — Tennyson

And maybe an older man’s fancy too.


The moment
I glimpsed your green slip
I felt myself lift

out of that dark underground artery—

hooked by a hunger
I wanted to ignore
but also wanted to obey

and obeyed, because
I knew I would return

to explore
as monks long have—
as fools long have:

if we plot enough coordinates
in this confusion of tunnels
we’ll eventually realize
the magnificence of a labyrinth

and know just where we are.

But today, I’ll obey the hunger
and maybe tomorrow too

because to live with confusion
we must occasionally forget
our confusion
by giving and receiving
in the manner
of kittens and puppies.

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog



author’s note:

I would like to add: if I’m shopping in a labyrinth, then we’re shopping in a labyrinth.


My dreams confirm the message
of many myths and legends:

I’m traveling through a labyrinth.

However, in these dreams
the inner passageway
often resembles the halls
of your average shopping mall

with countless bright stores
vying for my attention:

offering me
every sort of thing
except it seems
that which I seek

and what might that be?—
well, I can’t exactly say—
I only know I haven’t yet found it
in any of those displays.

But I don’t feel defeated—
no, not in the least:
I’m still eager to explore—to see
what waits next door down:

I like to imagine
I’m gathering valuable information
with the hungry claws
of my six senses—

taking in as many manifestations
as I can possibly tolerate:

puzzle pieces to be put together
though maybe not
until much later—
maybe if I keep shuffling the mad lot
the bits will finally fall
into a discernable pattern
and I’ll find the design
that’s been waiting for me
to perceive its glorious reality—

perhaps that’s what
I seek in this labyrinth:
a vision of its totality!

A beautiful hope
but my solid reality is also lovely
as I’m driven by an innate desire
to see and feel and hear and know
what waits next door down.

© 2016, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: a poetry book

meeting dark seeing light - September 15, 2013s

author’s note:

It seems right to end this poem (and many others) with the “…”

Because it—and the rest—describe a work in progress.


In the dream…

while crawling through the tunnel
I discovered this white alcove
—a slender shaft of sunlight
   coming from a fracture
   in the ceiling brick—

kneeling there
in the bleached dust
in the light, in the shadow
I felt so quiet—

that deep peace
more daunting than
the typical cacophony
of my dreams

and so fear begin to rise and I awoke…

nonetheless, I didn’t quite lose
what I’d found:
the next day, whenever I thought
of that space underground
the usual blur of noise inside me
became just a bit less

but as a result
the threatening feelings
buried beneath the blur
became a bit louder;

no matter—
now, I’ll gladly listen:

I’ll take on all challenges
if, in so doing, I can return
on a more permanent basis
to that place of peace—

seemingly impossible, considering
what I know about myself

but I’m given hope
by the good news
I received last night:

I’m crawling down that low tunnel,
enveloped in darkness—
my progress
                ever so slow

as I fight against the wind storm of my fear…

© 2013, Michael R. Patton

author’s note:

I don’t pray…

Unless prayer can be a recognition of the spiritual in any moment of life.


When I’m in the labyrinth of dream…

and the thread breaks
or the lamp gutters
or gray fog sticks to me
   like spider web—

when my heart fills with sawdust
’til I can’t speak

even then I know
I’m leading myself home…

© 2009, Michael R. Patton
dream steps

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