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bat flight - March 12, 2014s

author’s note:

A companion poem to the last one posted…

I’ve had scary dreams, nauseating dreams, dreams that have weighed on me all the next day.

But I’ve never had any “bad” dreams.


Though in sleep my body needs
a good feathery rest…

my soul requires those bat wings
that trouble my eyelids—

by the day’s erratic fuss
the upside-down angel
stirs a wind, swirls me up
with no care at all
for my coziness—

only to be dropped
into the cold monk waters
so contrary to
the gentle dinner evening
I’ve just enjoyed—

through the thunder of the depths
where I’m again shaved by electric fishes
with razor-sharp fins

to be beached the next morning:
in the sun, I burn from the cutting—
but though burnt, I’m never quite done.

From the repetition of such exercise
I’ve surmised:
no amount of sacrifice is ever enough—

the sharpened point
can never get
too fine.

Perhaps that’s why
we struggle so hard
to extend our lives
instead of surrendering
to the soft rest of death:

I know
I have so much more
to offer up
in the batty days and nights
of this dark angel.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
dreaming steps


brain storm - March 9, 2014s

author’s note:

I’m reminded of the expression, “He’s a nice person—when he’s asleep.”

Whoever coined that phrase has never seen my dreams.


What a night!—hail rained down
through my dreams
to stick in my heel and crop
all the next day
as I tried to talk, to walk
as if not so discombobulated
by a sleep
that was non-sleep.

The steam of what boils in my heart
finds release in dreams—
at times, refined
into a pipe organ melody angelic

but more often blasting a cacophony—
sometimes quite terrifying:

those fists of ice shrieked in a thundering wind—!

But I must admit
such lightning storms
give me a charge—
despite the frazzled
burnt-crisp aftershock:

a charge absent the next night
when I’m refreshed and eased
by gentle visions gone in a wisp…

leaving me with no better story
than to repeat what happened
night before last.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
dreaming steps

going going gone - January 5, 2014s

author’s note:

Perhaps our dreams are there, in part, to remind us how extraordinary our ordinary lives are.

According to one theory…

as we fall asleep
our minds begin to spiral
like a galaxy—
like a hurricane.

So though we think we rest
we actually expand through Space
at ever greater velocities:

each night, we push ourselves
nearly to the breaking point—
stretching just a little bit more
than before—

each night, just a wee bit more

then as morning light breaks
we contract in a mere instant—
we slam back together again…

According to this one theory.

Maybe so.  All I know is:
in a blink I’m awake and back
in my wooden shoes

and though I can sense
the transport of some momentous event
the memory has swirled far away

leaving me with maybe a few snapshots
or sometimes only some sprinkles of dust.

Well, probably wasn’t that important,
I tell myself…

though I feel like a kid
who’s just missed the circus
and must return to class.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton

penny dream - September 1, 2013s

author’s note:

With great reluctance, I cut these lines from the poem below:

I must have known of you
before I was born
because I felt
the shock of recognition
when we first met.

I still believe the idea is valid; the lines just didn’t fit.


When I close my eyes
in slumber—
when I open my eyes
to dreams
I’m as smart as I was
the day before I was born:

before I was born
I must have known
gold dust would fall
if I’d work patiently
with all else that fell
upon my shoulders

because in dreams I’ve seen
how I’m working constantly.

I must have also known
I’d feel trapped in this net
until I could surrender
to its frightening security

because my dreams have shown how
I’m struggling so hard to trust.

So I know now
what I knew before being born…

but in the blare of daylight
I can so easily forget
and again I’ll feel bound
and again I’ll feel burdened…

only later, when I’m cradled in sleep
will I see the need, the gift, the truth—

when closed for the night
I’m as open as a baby preparing for birth.

© 2013, Michael R. Patton
dreaming steps

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