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dear reader:

Again: written to no one in particular.

Perhaps a precognition.  I hope.
 

OBSERVATION OF A MOTH

All day as she taps
on her keyboard she may seem
so ordinary to so many

but I’ve watched her brush her hair
in the soft lamplight
of a bedroom of shadows

as a moth flutters against the bulb…
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

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author’s note:

Happy Groundhog Day to all the groundhogs out there.
 

WHEN I SAW MY GROUNDHOG SHADOW

If dense clouds cover the sky
on his day
the groundhog won’t see a shadow
and so, feel safe
to remain above ground—
to feed, to frolic

in his dim Spring.

On the other hand
if the sun has cut through the clouds
his shadow will be revealed
and our furry friend
will retreat to his dark den—
afraid of the unknown creature
he has just seen.

I can relate:
when I saw my shadow
in fright I tried
to run away

but like the groundhog
that returns after an extra
six weeks of winter
I could not forget
the power of my sight
when I stood in that sunlight.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

author’s note:

We keep trying to brush the night away with our lights…

But the night just laughs—the night knows it’s still the boss.
 

THE LIGHT OF DECEMBER AT MIDNIGHT

Midnight feels darker
in December:

when I open myself
to the strange quiet
around Solstice night
I know the old familiar
in a new way

for instance…
when I stopped
at that display I’ve often mocked
suddenly I saw

the pink plastic baby lying in tinsel straw
as the hidden life in my heart
gestating slowly towards glorious birth

and the styrofoam star glittery with sequins
seemed to be that wise mind within—
the one that looks down and sighs with sadness
at the sight of my rough antics

and then (to my embarrassment)
I recognized that moon-eyed bovine
as my own slow head

but despite its domestic dullness
my cow brain could still find meaning
in those other display figures
made of cheap fiberboard.

Yes, midnight does seem darker
to this ex-Christian at Christmas—
darker, yet pervaded with such light.
 

myth steps blog
© 2017, Michael R. Patton

author’s note:

Again, a poem with uncertainty, an ocean, and release (see last post)…

Am I repeating myself?  I prefer to think: I’m exploring motifs.
 

FINDING MY SIZE

I woke to find
the waves of the night sea
had carried me
far away from shore–

my legs dangled
in a depth unknown
while cold waters rocked my body
as if I was a discard—

not so different
from how I usually felt
but I could usually ignore
how I usually felt.

Desperate
I searched for a landmark
I could aim myself towards

but black sky
had merged with black sea—
did I see low-lying stars before me?—
or were those the streetlights
along our shoreline drive?—
perhaps
I only saw the lamps
of my hopeful imagination.

I felt helpless as a dot—
a grain of sand about to sink.

I’d heard we all held
an incredible personal power

but as the current mocked
my assertion of free will
that idea seemed a lie
designed to protect
a fragile sense of self.

I then recalled the other story:
how at our lowest moments—
when we feel damn near empty—
the light will descend
through that opening
to rescue us.

Though I still can’t vouch for its truth
I guess belief saved me
because

when the clouds suddenly broke
and that big round Moon beamed
its spotlight down on me
in an instant, I felt safe—delivered—
I could surrender my doubt—
I could lay myself back and breathe—
free in my security.

The spirit of life filled me—
I felt myself swell

but as has happened in the past
I forgot to stop the inflation:

having shrunk down
to nothing
the pipsqueak in me
wanted to expand
to the size of that moon.

But in trying to be bigger
than I am
I lost the blessed moment
and like a beach ball
I then bounced back
to land upon the sandy shore—

back to my usual reality
and so
able to ignore again
how small I am
as well as how large.

Hopefully
next time I shrink down
I can remember
what I usually forget:

how I can be more
by becoming less
but can only maintain
that gain
by keeping my head
in check.
 


© 2017, Michael R. Patton
Myth Steps: a blog

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