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author’s note:

I may be a fraidy cat.  But I’m a fraidy cat with curiosity.
 

BEFORE A STEP

In the dream, a door swings open

as if daring me to step inside.

I want to accept
but because I see
only darkness beyond
I hesitate

even though I know
I’ll eventually step—
just because I’m so
damn curious.

If I’d employed that guide
I wouldn’t feel this fear

but without fear
how I can realize my strength?

Yes, when I finally step
at first, I’ll feel lost

but whatever path I then find
will be my own.
 

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

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author’s note:

A snake once showed me: you can’t get rid of your old skin unless you keep moving.
 

THE BEAUTIFUL OBSESSION OF THE HOTEL GHOST

Each night, I hear her soft steps
on the carpet outside my door
as she walks the hotel hallway.

Like me, she is driven
by the painful desire
to leave the skin
of a worn life behind
and live a new way.

Both of us frustrated—
weary of our slowness
but beautifully obsessed:
we can’t stop ourselves
from putting
one foot
in front of the other
one foot
in front of the other…

People believe she wanders lost
and some believe the same of me
but the sages say:
as long as you keep walking
you will surely find your way.
 

© 2017, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

author’s note:

He’s so fine
Do-lang do-lang do-lang
       — “He’s So Fine”, lyric by Ronald Mack
 

GRIND DOWN FINE

Now I can accept
the feeling of being lost
as I walk this land–
now I can accept
the feeling
of shouldering a burden

because I have accepted
these beliefs:

my steps, though confused, have a purpose—
a hidden path, a plan:

just look how strong I’ve grown

with the weight of this unseen stone
on my back—
a stone incessantly turning.

Yeah
the stone grinds me down
as it turns
but as I lose
so much of what I was
the finer me
I’m meant to be
is slowly unveiled

plus I leave a trail—

imagine a trail of corn meal
others may feed upon
and follow

if they feel lost
if they need sustenance
if they struggle
to accept this path
—this burden:

they can feed on me
just as I’ve fed on many
who’ve gone before me

they can feed on us
just as those who follow them
will feed on them—

yes
like you, like me
they will leave
a trail of corn meal
as they find their way—

as they
grind down fine.
 

© 2017, Michael R. Patton
Searching for My Best Beliefs: a poetry book

author’s note:

In my experience, dreams don’t lie.
 

THE WAY TO THE KINGDOM

Last night I wished
to escape on the beach

but a dream came to pain me
with golden possibility.

In the scene I was both slave and king

but the king slumped—
useless in his sleep

and so
the slave had to carry his master
through dark forests
through swamps

but found enough strength
in this belief:

as long as he ventured forth
with sincere intent
whatever direction he chose
would return them
to the kingdom

then the king would awaken
and he, his servant
would no longer live as slave.

This dream might seem to be
little more
than a fanciful child’s tale

nonetheless
when I woke from it
I knew again
how lost I usually feel

but also
the strength of my hope.
 

© 2017, Michael R. Patton
dream steps: a blog

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