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author’s note:

Someone once asked if I ever wrote love poems.

They’re all love poems.
 

SHE SAID

When I offered
to cross a hundred rivers
just to win a pink ribbon for her

she said

you want to break your heart out
by worshipping a dream cloud.

Well, you can also free
your heart
by trying to lift up
the children in the mud
(which is: everyone—
  including you).

She said

both ways of love allow one
to bow in humility

both ways of love allow one
to expand with the upsurge
of too much feeling

but the dream love
pulls you up
only for the moment
of its gust

whereas the other love
can lead to many great steps
on your long steady climb.

She said

you believe
swimming a hundred rivers
will raise you to the mythic.

Well, you can still live a myth
by pretending
your penknife is a sword
and your flashlight: a guiding torch
struck by a lightning bolt.

And so I did, and so
I now blaze
with sword and torch
on this climb

except when I forget
what she said
as the door closed:

stop, ever so often
and pretend
your sword is a penknife
and your torch, a flashlight—
otherwise

you will trip
over your own myth.
 

© 2019, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: poetry ebook

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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.
 

YOUR GREEN SLIP

The moment
I glimpsed your green slip
I felt myself lift

up
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—
believing
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

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

author’s note:

Heart attacks often occur in the morning hours during the last phase of REM (dream) sleep.
 

DREAMING THE TRUTH

The truth must actually be important:

otherwise why would my dreams
ruin a soft nourishing sleep
by revealing the true chaos
of my waking life?—

ruin, by revealing
my relentless distress

then add to that distress
by revealing
I’m not yet over the sorrow
I thought I’d put to rest
years ago

and then at the end of night
stun me one more time
by revealing the love
behind my dislike
and the anger raging under
what I thought
was calm acceptance.

No wonder our hearts often burst
while we’re asleep…

but maybe my dreams will be
a little easier on me
if I can wake myself
to more of the truth
amid the chaos of these days.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
dream steps blog

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