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dear reader:

I don’t pray.  But I do pray.


Though I’m intimidated
by its monolithic presence
I often return to that boulder
at the bottom of the canyon

and then
despite my resistance
its command to listen
to what can not be spoken
only felt:

the profundity of its heavy silence.

Through those moments
of strange peace
I slowly uncover
the master boulder
solid in the darkness
of my depths.

This returning is a ritual:
a prayer, a homage—
a way to find home.

listening to silence: poetry ebook
© 2018, Michael R. Patton


rainbow ripples - March 11, 2015s

author’s note:

“Maybe, baby”
       — Buddy Holly


Why didn’t I run away
when I saw the tower
of purple-black storm clouds
rushing toward me?

Maybe I was so desperate
to wake myself alive
I’d risk the blast of those lightning bolts
breaking the anxious air
into shards of shadow and light—

maybe I wanted to again be the child
who can find glee
in stumbling blindly
through hard gray draperies
of merciless rain

but maybe I was also responding
to a deep desire to wash myself clean—

to crack some hard dark block
resistant to the daily process of attrition—

maybe ever so often
this grown-up likes to imagine
how that freedom would feel

and maybe the child knew
sunlight would follow the darkness
and at the end, he’d have the joy
of standing in a bright puddle
with his shiny body shimmering
like a sounded gong

and maybe the man wished
to undergo a ritual:

a symbolic act
made real by the risk.

Maybe such acts are for fools

but maybe this fool felt the need
to remind himself of this stubborn hope:

the dream of returning to you
with a soft rainbow in my left hand

and a fierce sun in my right…

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: the blog

coffee cup drop - February 25, 2014s

author’s note:

Years ago, I adopted the Maxwell House Coffee slogan as a motto for my own life: “Good to the Last Drop”.

Maybe I feel the loss
of meditative ceremonies
because sometimes
this white cup of black coffee
begins to speak to me…

saying silently: “it’s just you
 and me
 at this table
 in this empty room
 in this moment—

“at the very center of the Universe:

“and what we’re experiencing now
 is our substitute for
 all the ritual we’ve lost…”

In such stillness
I’m both expanded
and reduced
as the mundane world
peels away—

as linear time loses its line
I experience how
I extend upward
and for balance,
downward as well—
   toward the core of our world.

Again, I realize
I am constantly anchored
yet never static.

Such a strong peace…
and so, I have no desire
to cling to the moment:
I don’t try to hold the spell…


I lift the cup to my lips

and in an instant
again become someone working at a table
who takes his sips, one by one

but now aware of how
I’m participating in the ritual
of the timeless coffee cup.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
Glorious Tedious poetry

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.


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…

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

I’m my own
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

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