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dear reader:

Again: written to no one in particular.

Perhaps a precognition.  I hope.


All day as she taps
on her keyboard she may seem
so ordinary to so many

but I’ve watched her brush her hair
in the soft lamplight
of a bedroom of shadows

as a moth flutters against the bulb…

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog


author’s note:

Happy Groundhog Day to all the groundhogs out there.


If dense clouds cover the sky
on his day
the groundhog won’t see a shadow
and so, feel safe
to remain above ground—
to feed, to frolic

in his dim Spring.

On the other hand
if the sun has cut through the clouds
his shadow will be revealed
and our furry friend
will retreat to his dark den—
afraid of the unknown creature
he has just seen.

I can relate:
when I saw my shadow
in fright I tried
to run away

but like the groundhog
that returns after an extra
six weeks of winter
I could not forget
the power of my sight
when I stood in that sunlight.

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

author’s note:

Happy Halloween!


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

author’s note:

Around every Fourth of July, I revisit this poem.

Full disclosure: I’m not always able to live up to these words.


I’ll be damn if I’ll be terrorized
by anyone

including me—

I have looked into the mirror
and seen how mean I’ve been
to myself.

If I can face that monster
why should I cower
before those who lack
the courage to look
into their own reflections?

When they bombard me
my legs may tremble
but I won’t jump—
no, I’ll pirouette in triumph:
my dance will be my revenge!

Though they curse me to hell
I won’t curse them—
after all
I know the wounds
of their hellacious suffering.

On the other hand
I can’t sincerely bless them to heaven:

I haven’t yet healed myself
to that degree of empathy.

I have stopped
and stopped
and stopped
my monster from mirroring
their vitriolic violence

and maybe that’s blessing enough.

© 2017, Michael R. Patton
my war for peace: a poetry book

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