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dear reader:

Again: written to no one in particular.

Perhaps a precognition.  I hope.


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.


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

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:

Maybe what I was told as a boy is true: sports build character.


Sometimes I play miniature golf
just to shift my perspective:

when I see
that model course
I see
a little litany of lessons

and in so seeing, I then see
the course we call “real”
as a round of lessons as well

and if I can later recall
the silliness I felt
as I struggled to deal
with things so fancifully small
I’ll deflate a bit
and as a result
love more:

maybe I’ll again feel
the love I feel
for the real course–
even as I struggle, I love
that daunting windmill.

I also try not to forget
the many lessons–
for instance:
how I got past that alligator
by rolling right into its jaws.

That may not be big
but it’s still important.

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

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