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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.


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


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.

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—

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.


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

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

note circles - January 29, 2016s

author’s note:

The path is under your feet at
All times.
      — Lao Tzu


I told the wise one
how a wild light had infused my blood

and forced me up from my bed
on the longest night
to walk in a naked fever
over fields of fiery ice

until a shadow fell across my path:

a monolithic silhouette stood before me
framed by massive full moon—

a giant unknown
raised an arm, aimed a spear
straight at my heart

but as the moonlight glinted
off the arrow tip, I blinked
and woke to break the spell

though relieved
I felt weak
with disappointment—

I knew, intuitively
I’d allowed my lower instinct
to block fulfillment
of a grand encounter.

But the wise one refused
to sympathize, saying:
what you now search for
may appear again today
as you walk down the street

but most likely you will wander
for an era that will seem like an eon

until you’ve built the strength
to match the challenge

until you have risen above
a natural fear you can never release…

and then what? I asked
(though the question seemed childish).

Afterwards, you’ll return
to find me gone

and your story
will join a Sun chorus of voices—
   each one singing
   its own version
   of the same song.

© 2016, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: the blog

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