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author’s note:

I’d like to thank those who have been tolerant of my menagerie…
 

A HOUSE OF TOLERANCE

Last night, while dreaming of
my solitary house
I opened a broom closet
and a bundled body fell out…

one more mystery character to unwrap—
another

in a wide cast
that includes both commanders
and slaves,
mountebanks as well as monks—
a riotous mix.

So please excuse me if I hesitate
to invite you in—
though I may seem quite quiet
I’m actually a carousel
of commotion.

Yes, at first, you might enjoy
the entertainment
but in time, a circus
can become very overbearing—

I know because I live with me.

A struggle
but with its benefits:
by learning to be
more tolerant of myself
I’ve become
more tolerant of others.

Maybe you want to enter
this solitary house
because you’re also trying to learn
tolerance…

well, in that case, okay.

Anyway
I think I’m tolerant enough now
to handle our inevitable
fits of exasperation.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
what I learned while alone: poetry ebook

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author’s note:

I keep learning from old dreams.
 

GREAT HERMITAGE OF GRAY

Years ago in a dream
I saw the truth of my room:

the walls and floor, all dull gray—
even the light motes drifting
down from the ceiling:
dense gray.

Since that vision, I’ve worked
to escape my gray place
and maybe I have—because
though I still see
scary things in my dreams
I witness nothing so monotone.

But ever so often
in my waking hours
I revisit the room
because as a human being
I want to understand

and if I can raise myself
when I return
I’ll again realize
the beauty and benefit
of that hermitage:

though gray, the sun rays
pour down from a skylight

and those high walls
create a great space—
an austere cathedral.

Oppressive, yes, but
power held in check
can build in strength
as our desire to break out
—to bloom—
grows in intensity.

I’ve still much to learn
but at least now I know why
I needed that gray room.
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

frog throat - October 22, 2014s

author’s note:

“I have sounded the very bass-line of humility.”
       — Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I
 

RELENTLESS BULLFROG SONG

Now I know why
the bullfrog immerses itself
in the cold dark water beneath the willow
all through the night:

baptisms are not done in a moment—
long solitary work is required
to raise the soul from the depths.

Such resurrections
resurrect deep feelings—

the frog feels compelled to sing

but has not yet reached
the high sweet notes…

nonetheless,
its relentless coarse croaking
tells us of the drive within all frogs
to heal and heal and heal
and heal the wound…
 

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
dream steps: the blog

buffalo finches - August 3, 2014s

author’s note:

I return to a familiar theme…

Maybe I’m repeating myself…

I prefer to think of it as “developing a motif”.
 

I CAN HEAR MYSELF

Please pardon my absence—

I’d like to squawk along
with all you other birds:

such noise can actually be medicinal

but for a stronger healing
I must walk alone to the mountain lake:

this alien lake, these alien trees
seem to know me—

they know I don’t need pity:
what I need is their understanding…

their wise silence prompts me to listen

but only for so long:

reawakened by the blare
of this alive quiet
my engine begins to rev

so I know I must return
to the grating joyful cacophony
of forces in opposition

that, in truth, only echo
what bangs and clangs inside me.

So, no matter if I’m here
or there, I can hear myself

though still not as clearly as I wish…
 

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
DREAM STEPS

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