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author’s note:

Actually, I think this is a good poem for the beginning of Spring.
 

FROM THE WRECKAGE

As I watch the shattered jet
smolder in a field…

I notice the wreckage resembles a cross

and begin to wonder if
I’m only using this crash
to mourn my own private losses—

I had to kill
so many childish kings
with their commands and castle dreams
so that my kingly child might live:

this slow painful sacrifice
is still in progress—

no, I haven’t quite arrived
at that new life.

But though I’ve reason to mourn
I’m ashamed to have descended
into self-pity
while witnessing a tragedy

however…

this release of grief
opens a well of feeling

and so, I suddenly swell
with true empathy for the many
who’ll be deep-struck
by the shock of this loss

then realize:
we’re together in grief

and also
together in hope:

as a woman wearing a hood
lifts a baby from the ashes
an artesian tear rises in my eye:

though I know a shadow
will haunt that child
from this time forward…

when I see
that small tear-streaked face
I again believe
in the new life
that follows in the wake
of all our sacrifice.
 


© 2017, Michael R. Patton
Butterfly Soul: poems of death and grief and joy

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coffee zombie - February 19, 2014s

author’s note:

I’m not too aware of what’s in our current crop of zombie TV shows and movies…

But apparently, the zombie is still “the other guy” and not ourselves.
 

WHOLESOME ZOMBIE-HOOD

Though I’ve spent
so much time mining
down in this cave
I regret to say
I can’t yet
provide a guidebook

but if a few of you
now feel the need
to descend into this basement
—this dungeon—
I can give some encouragement:

though others may worry about you,
don’t worry yourself—

that blank stare comes from
the eyes having turned inward

and that blank in your mouth happens
when the zombie listens deeper down.

Yes, your walk may feel robotic
but even when sequestered thus
the need for decorum may require us
to go through our usual motions…
heroic.

This passageway
has existed for ages

but today
we have no horrific rituals
to take us into and through
such catacombs
so we must perform the sacrifice
ourselves:

I’m my own
              undertaker—
I am the midwife
at my own birth.

Don’t worry, undertakers:
this grave has just enough space
to keep us alive
as we finally put to rest
what must die;

don’t worry, midwives:
after we’ve grown enough
the lack of room in this womb
will force us to break out—

to sprout.

Don’t worry, zombies:
this tomb supplies good nourishment
so we will climb from our crypt
—our crib—
feeling refreshed, feeling strong

and then, darkly wholesome.
 

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
Glorious Tedious Transformation promo

author’s note:

This seems a good poem to post as we near the Winter Solstice.
 

BRIGHT SEED

You admit to yourself
you’re dead

but despite how you feel
you can sense
some small nucleus
in some far place…

is not dead—

you can sense the coming
of a miracle birth
because in this season
depth has replaced excitement:

as I step outside
a single weak star appears
high in a black Winter’s sky—

then this sudden hope vanishes
in a moment of implosion…

but the destruction of the husk
reveals a stronger light—

now: see a beaming bright seed…

© 2011, Michael R. Patton
searching for the new mythology

author’s note:

If nothing else, New Orleans taught me two very basic, and complementary lessons: from decay comes life…

…what appears stagnant actually teems with activity.
 

SUMMER’S AFTERNOON DREAM

Shuttered fronts on a quiet street:
those ordinary houses
in a New Orleans unknown
to the tourist trade…

the cracked somnolent clapboards—
mundane, yet mysterious.

All around the block
oak roots break sidewalk
so dandelions can breathe.
Beneath the eaves
wet heat slowly smothers life
to a dark brown pulp

where leaves rest in their skeletal forms.

Sad obsequious stalks
hold happy white flowers.
Trees that droop with antipathy
give comforting shade.

The hose faucet leaks
like a ticking clock
as a three-legged dog
twitches in its sleep—

a summer dream deep…
opaque.

© 2011, Michael R. Patton
searching for the new mythology

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