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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 I’m ground down fine.

As I lose
so much of what I was
I’m slowly discovering
the finer me
I’m meant to be

and in the process
leaving 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

note circles - January 29, 2016s

author’s note:

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

SEARCHING FOR A SHADOW

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

stop signs 353w - January 25, 2015s

author’s note:

Oh snail
climb Mount Fuji,
but slowly, slowly!
        — Issa
           (trans. R. H. Blyth)
 

ANY WISE SNAIL WILL TELL YOU

I’m anxious to get past
all these blocks in my path
because I’m told a peace resides
somewhere on the other side:

a peace I desire so much
but doubt I can ever reach…
.
To ease this anxiety,
whenever I saw an obstacle
I usually tried to blast through
like the resolute ram.

But after butting my head
so many times
I finally accepted
this unmovable truth:

I must go slow
when trying to work through
that which stands in my way.

As any wise snail will tell you:
honest progress occurs at a crawl.

But even at this pace
I must sometimes pause
for a breath

and then
I may again begin to perceive
the mysterious music hidden within
all the cacophonous stuff of this path…

by such close listening,
I may achieve
a perfect moment of peace…
 


© 2015, Michael R. Patton
glorious tedious transformation – the book

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