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author’s note:

“Don’t wake him up.  He’s got insomnia—he’s trying to sleep it off.”
      — from the Marx Bros.’ A Night at the Opera
 

SLEEPING WITH THE WHALE

When I wake up
in the depth of night
I often feel a lump
—a whale hump—
beneath my dream pillow.

I’ll then adjust my head
and shift and twist
but I can only ever get
semi-comfortable:

the truth is,
in my heart I sense
the beast waiting for me
beneath the waves…

even at rest we don’t rest—

both day and night
we’re learning
how to ride this whale.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
what I learned while alone: poetry ebook

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author’s note:

It doesn’t have to be an owl.
 

THE OWL AT MIDNIGHT

One blessed midnight…

I woke to find
my confused face reflected
on the translucent lens
of the owl’s dark eyes.

As the wise one peered deep into me
from its perch on the window sill
I froze dumb, struck to the core—

I could feel its sharp vision scanning
through my assorted troubles—conflicts!—
not judging me nor feeling pity
merely calculating my progress
in our refining process.

Overwhelmed by the intense scrutiny
I soon shut down
but though I wished I’d stayed awake
I felt satisfied after that visit:

what I’d only vaguely sensed before
had been confirmed by experience:

our world does indeed have eyes—
yes, we’re being monitored

and though our watchers
may seem distant and dispassionate
obviously, they must care—
otherwise they wouldn’t track
our steps so intently.

I realize some may claim
the owl was but a dream…

but either way
I can still say:
this work I’m doing matters.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
dream steps blog

author’s note:

Happy Halloween!
 

I DON’T WANT TO FEEL SAFE TONIGHT

Voices from unseen revelers echo
down this shadowy street—

the words unclear—distorted:

sounds from alien beings.

Now I don’t feel so safe
on this porch

but that’s alright—
I don’t want to feel safe tonight.

The echoes drum my wall.

The echoes thrill my belly.

Those aliens have invaded me!

But that’s alright—
I don’t want to feel safe tonight.

The echoes linger long within

then suddenly…nothing
—not a sound inside or out.

Now I see the perfect world again—
I’m as deep and as dark and as bright
as that witching-hour sky.

If everyone is alien
then so am I

and that’s alright:
I want to be an alien tonight.
 

© 2017, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

open all night 352H - January 14, 2015s

author’s note:

Some believe we didn’t actually land a man on The Moon…

Of course we did.  But not on this Moon:
 

THE BLESSED BURDEN OF THE MOON

Its white inscrutable face
hovers too close to ignore

while taunting the reach
of these stunted arms
—these starved hands.

I gaze at The Moon
until finally my desire
becomes unbearable

then I turn my eyes down
to weave a way back through
this midnight wood.

But now, I’m no longer so alone:

now I can feel that moon
beaming its weight
down onto my back—

a haunting—a burden:

now I can feel my tides
agitating within—

now I’m forced to feel
sensations, intuitions
I can usually reject—

now this life is again
an ocean of unknown depth.
 

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
open all night: the book

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